In one of the most interesting headlines I’ve seen in a while, New Scientist published an article entitled “Building Blocks of Alien Cells Found on Saturn’s Largest Moon”. The article contends that the essentials for life have been found in the atmosphere of Saturn’s Moon Titan. I’ve linked the article below for anyone who is interested.
The article goes over the varying theories regarding Titan and the possibility of life being there. The authors propose that vinyl cyanide, known in chemical nomenclature as acrylonitrile, could form cell walls in alien life. The chemical structure of vinyl cyanide is shown below.
A study done in 2015 is claimed to have shown that vinyl cyanide could be the used to build a cell membrane. The article states that estimates of Titan’s vinyl cyanide content from just one of the seas of the moon would be able to produce 30 million cell membranes per cubic centimeter. That’s a lot of cell membranes. Of course, even evolutionists admit a mere cell membrane is not enough for life. Genetic material is needed, along with a mechanism to produce and digest nutrients.
This is where the rails come off for this article. The number of things wrong or at least questionable with this article is practically limitless. The first is the assumption that there is or could be alien life in the first place. The idea of aliens does not square well with Scripture at all. Check out Answers in Genesis’ explanation of this which I’ve linked below. The second issue is the assumption that life could form spontaneously. This has never been observed on earth, which has an oxygen-rich atmosphere. In the nitrogen-rich atmosphere of Titan, it is even less likely. The third issue comes from the vinyl cyanide itself. Vinyl Cyanide is an element that can be synthesized in the lab and it has been. It is a highly volatile liquid and is toxic, even at low doses. It also is highly explosive in the right conditions. Remember from above that in just one sea on the moon there is enough vinyl cyanide for 30 million cell membranes per cubic centimeter. So essentially Titan is a massive bomb, waiting to explode.
This article might be one of the most deceptive articles I have ever read. It is equal parts absurd, ridiculous and comical. Even if aliens exist, which I doubt strongly, no scientist has ever seen one or dissected one to know what it’s cell walls look like. Yet the article proclaims from the headline “Building Blocks of Alien Cells Found on Saturn’s Largest Moon” as if scientists knew for certain vinyl cyanide was a component of alien cell membranes. Further, the article never mentions vinyl cyanide’s explosive, flammable, or toxic properties. That is conveniently ignored for the sake of pushing the theory. To top this off, the amount of pure supposition included in this article is absolutely astounding. Consider the following quotes, one from the article, the other from a scientist quoted in the article.
But maybe life on Titan could be made of different stuff. (article body)
If they can survive long enough to reach the sea, perhaps they can play a role in any chemical reactions that take place there, maybe even the ones within the shelter of the vinyl cyanide membrane that could lead to a metabolic process (Professor Paulette Clancy Cornell University)
If…maybe….could….perhaps….those are not words of proven science, those are words used for pure speculation and flights of fancy. Yet this is being published in a science journal and at least two scientists have published articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals discussing it as well. And they want to tell me that creationists are gullible fools believing a lie. This is not science, it’s a fairy tale for adults.