As we are all probably aware of by now, a new solar system has been recently discovered, TRAPPIST-1, which appears to be much like our own solar system and bears the possibility of possessing life. In my endeavors for finding a bogus science news site, I came across a strongly opinionated article on the Institute for Creation Research website. This article claims that there is no possible way for life to be found on TRAPPIST-1. While there is not yet proof that there is in fact life on TRAPPIST-1, it is valid for the author of this article, Frank Sherwin, to make his claims. However, several parts of the article are very clearly from the creationist point of view which invalidates this as a scientifically backed article.
In the the debate about whether or not life can be found in this new solar system, Sherwin states, "but this wholly unwarranted extrapolation lies far beyond the known facts.” He then goes on to explain how just because a planet is in the right position to house water, it does not mean there definitely is water present. And if there is water, it does not guarantee life is there as well (I should mention that this part of the article is very poorly written, probably high school level writing skills). He makes the claim that living cells are not brought about by the random and spontaneous formation of molecules. Sherwin believes the only way for life to be generated is by “purpose, plan, and special creation.” We are aware spontaneous generation is not a valid hypothesis, but who’s to say something like a Big Bang didn’t occur in this solar system to start the evolution of life just like here on Earth?
The next claim he makes is that there have been numerous accounts of planets orbiting stars other than our sun which could have accommodated life but failed to because of the many requirements that must be met. These requirements include: moons to stabilize the planet on a particular axis and cause tides to mix water in the correct way, the correct radius length and rotational speed about their sun, and a magnetic field for protection from the sun.
Sherwin points out the uncertainty and safeties scientists are using to back their claims in case they are wrong. Things like the use of language certified scientists use in their articles like “believed”, “hope,” and “possible.” He also mentions that scientists have stated that if life is not present, it is possible it could evolve within the next few billions years.
All in all, Sherwin provides very little scientific evidence to back his own assertions. He more often slams the claims made by actual NASA scientists. He ends this article with a very bold statement about how unimportant and ordinary this scientific discovery is and how Creationists still have other worldly places to discover which God has created for them. Sherwin very openly states that God is the creator of all life, so really it is not possible to back this either scientifically nor in any other valid way other than through faith and religion.
Posted by Taylor Irwin (Group B, week 5)