Once again, water was confirmed on Mars generating a significant level of excitement especially in conjunction with the newly released movie “The Martian”. The reason for the excitement is the possibility of life: either Mars may one day become a human outpost or, even more sensational, the discovery of native Mars life forms. This second possibility is especially important to those that look for life beyond Earth.
The assumption is that life just starts from non-life when the right environment is present (abiogenesis). Maybe so, but so far this has not been proven, therefore all assumptions about life in the Universe based on statistic similarities of other planets to Earth are at this point pure speculations. Statistics are for now misused given that so far we have a sample size of 1 (one) life supporting planet.
To prove abiogenesis, it make much more sense to experiment on Earth where life already thrives, and where water, energy, and organic materials are abundant. Not only are the conditions on Earth ideal for life, but the cost of experimenting is infinitely smaller than on Mars or elsewhere.
Of course, those that try to support their religious point of view – that abiogenesis disproves God – have an impossible task. If and when abiogenesis happens, we will never be sure that God doesn’t have a hand in that.