As we look at the bitterly cold desert on Mars today, the thought of flowing water seems laughable. Yet evidence is growing that the planet was once wet ... and this possibility fits nicely in the creation model. Did water once flow on the surface of another planet in the solar system? Although Mars is now a desert, we have growing evidence that rain and flash floods once scoured the surface, sustaining a network of streams and lakes—and perhaps even an ocean. Today it appears that some of this water is locked up in subsurface permafrost and the rest has escaped into space.
Where did all this liquid water come from, and why did it disappear? These are two of the greatest mysteries in planetary astronomy. Mars is currently too cold and its atmosphere is too thin to support liquid water. So how did it ever produce and sustain an ocean and a thick atmosphere?
The spacecraft and rovers sent to Mars over the past five years are equipped with next-generation instruments to help solve these very questions. Yet despite our ever-increasing knowledge of the Red Planet, investigators are still baffled.
The search is hampered by a glaring flaw in their theories. Since we can’t observe past events, we must make assumptions. If the assumptions are wrong, the conclusions will be wrong. Instead of turning to God’s Word, the one infallible source of truth about planetary history, secular astronomers assume the universe is old. Genesis 1, in contrast, informs us that the Creator formed all the planets on Day Four of Creation Week, just a few thousand years ago. Then the whole cosmos came under God’s judgment because of Adam’s sin (see Genesis 3 and Romans 8:22). Starting with these realities can help astronomers avoid rabbit trails and begin making sense of the evidence.