Last week, NASA announced they had exciting news. NASA’s Curiosity rover had found “organic compounds” on Mars. Essentially, NASA discovered carbon in rocks dating back billions of years.
It is important we make the distinction between organic compounds (carbon) and life because these two couldn’t be further apart from each other. NASA has not found life. They haven’t come close to finding life. They’ve merely found carbon which exists naturally and can be formed as part of geological processes.
To make this important distinction is everything because everything in our ideology hinges upon this distinction. Are we unique in the universe? Is Earth special? Does other life exist? Did Mars seed Earth with life from a meteor strike?
I celebrate science and the scientific discovery, but there is a very important perspective that we need to take here on earth: We must be in awe at the miracle of life on Earth. NASA’s study could suggest that billions of years ago, the building blocks necessary for life to form on Mars were present just as they were present on Earth. Yet Mars is not teeming with life. Earth is. Mars is not teeming with bacteria. Earth is. Mars is not teeming with rivers. Earth is. Mars is not surrounded by an atmosphere. Earth is.
The fact is that hundreds, if not thousands, of conditions must exist for life to form or thrive. This is what makes Earth unique and ultimately makes life a miracle – Earth is the only place in our known universe that possesses the conditions for life to thrive and we should spend more time celebrating that.