Reasons to Believe

Mars—A Tough Environment for Organic Molecules

TNRTB Archive - Retained for reference information

Scientists continue to demonstrate how uninhabitable Mars is by studying chemical reactions on the planet. Methane in the Martian atmosphere recently generated a lot of excitement that it might be biological in origin. While nonbiological explanations eventually won out, processes that remove methane also argue against a biological source. Lightning discharges likely produce large quantities of hydrogen peroxide, which break down organic molecules. The quantity of hydrogen peroxide produced may coat the planet’s surface with a peroxide “snow.” Consequently, any proposed Martian organisms would face an extremely hostile environment. In contrast, Earth provides an incredibly friendly habitat for life, consistent with the intervention of a divine Designer fashioning it for that purpose.

o   Sushil K. Atreya et al., “Oxidant Enhancement in Martian Dust Devils and Storms: Implications for Life and Habitability,” Astrobiology 6 (2006): 439-50.


·         Related Resource

o   Fine-Tuning for Life On Earth (June 2004)

·         Product Spotlight

o   Origins of Life, by Fazale Rana and Hugh Ross

Subjects: Life on Other Planets, Mars

Dr. Hugh Ross

Reasons to Believe emerged from my passion to research, develop, and proclaim the most powerful new reasons to believe in Christ as Creator, Lord, and Savior and to use those new reasons to reach people for Christ. Read more about Dr. Hugh Ross.