As we all know, now that the trivial and relatively uninteresting business of mere engineering has cleared a hurdle, Mars Curiosity can get to work on the important stuff: finding evidence of biology on Mars. This is where it’s also going to get peculiarly controversial, because some creationists are feeling a bit threatened: there is a subset of creationists (definitely not all of them!) who are convinced that there can be no other life elsewhere in the universe. There’s also a weird subset that believes there may be intelligent life elsewhere, but it must believe in the Christian god, and these alien worlds must have been visited by an incarnation of Jesus…but let’s not get that deep in the bizarre yet.
Because this is bizarre enough. Faye Flam got an angry letter from a creationist who is upset at all the money wasted on Mars Curiosity, because it’s absurd to consider the idea that life may have arisen somewhere where a god didn’t put it.
Her answer is excellent, you should go read it. Although, sad to say, it’s not true that her correspondent is from some strange dimension…he’s pretty typically from our tiny corner of this galaxy.