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Monday, August 06, 2012

Life on Mars? So what?

Congratulations to NASA on landing the Curiosity on Mars.

Suppose life is discovered on Mars? I see nothing in the Bible that would rule out that possibility, or that predicts it, and no threat to my faith, whether life is discovered on Mars (or anywhere else but Earth) or not.

Some additional musings:

It is impossible to absolutely prove that there has never been (or, for that matter is not now) life on Mars. It can always be argued that the Curiosity, and any additional exploratory apparatuses or people, have not looked everywhere, under every circumstance. There could be life deep within Mars, or only under rocks in a few places that have been overlooked, or the life might not have been Carbon-based, so the wrong procedure was used to find it. However, I think that we may decide that there is reasonable doubt that life now exists, or ever has existed, on Mars, at some point, if there is no evidence for it.

Who cares if there is life on Mars? Well, curious people ought to care, just to find out. Also, it is possible that, if Martian life forms are found, we might be able to study them, and learn something of value, such as a cure for cancer, or how to establish life on the moon. The discovery of the Americas by Europeans is not an exact parallel, of course, but that discovery certainly changed life in Europe (and the Americas!), in ways that would have been impossible to predict. Do I anticipate important benefits to humans, if life is discovered on Mars? No, but it can't be ruled out.

If there is reasonable doubt that life has ever existed on Mars, then we will probably be more inclined to go there ourselves. The argument that we have messed up the biology of earth, and, therefore, shouldn't be allowed to mess up the biology of Mars, will be weak, or non-existent. Why should we go to Mars? Because it is there, as someone said about why we should climb Mt. Everest, however strong or weak that argument is. It is possible that there may be commercial and scientific value from various phenomena, geological, meteorological, or astronomical, discovered going to Mars.

We certainly have enough to do on earth. Poverty, disease and sin are a long way from being eliminated. But perhaps, as the pictures of the earth from the moon changed our way of thinking about ourselves, probably for the good, looking at earth from another planet, with an atmosphere, might also change our way of thinking about ourselves, for the good, enough and more to offset the expense and effort of going to Mars. But don't hold your breath.

Thanks for reading. I have previously mused about the possibility of religious activity among living things on other planets.

2 comments:

i am Grateful... Kerry i am. said...

God of wonders beyond our galaxy... YOU are holy. Amen. -- kerry

Martin LaBar said...

Thanks, Kerry i am.