If C. S. Lewis were alive today, he wouldn't be at all surprised by new evidence of life on Mars. When he wrote his science fiction novel, Out of the Silent Planet, Lewis introduced a medieval concept of the heavens to modern readers.

Moderns are taught to think of "space" as empty, except for an occasional star, separated by light years of nothingness, says Louis Markos, English professor at Houston Baptist University and author of Lewis Agonistes. Traveling to Mars via spaceship, Markos says, Lewis's hero Ransom "finds what the medievals would have expected—a warm place full of life."

Discoveries in space
For Christians, recent announcements about discoveries in space allow observers to see God's design of the heavens, not just facts about the universe. Scientists have announced the possibility of alien life on Mars, unveiled pictures of the universe's past, and discovered another planet within our solar system. For some Christian teachers, these discoveries are examples of God's faithfulness and a cause to praise him.

The Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, have found proof of water on the red planet, and the European space program determined that methane gas was in the planet's atmosphere, meaning the gas may have been produced by microbial life.

Sedna, the recently discovered planet beyond Pluto, gives scientists a look at how planets in our solar system formed, said Deborah Haarsma, a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Calvin College. And the Hubble Ultra Deep Field allows scientists to track the universe's ancient development. "We're able to look further and further out into space, which allows us to look further back in time because light takes so long to travel," she explains. "That particular ...

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