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January 07, 2004



And by the way

a) Don’t know exactly how photosynthesis works

visit your nearest library and read a textbook

b) Have no firm idea of the internal workings of the simplest cells

Exactly where have you been hiding anyway?

c) Don’t know how DNA expresses proteins

We don't know how a circuit board actually works either, but look! You're reading this!

d) Have only cataloged a small percentage of lifeforms on earth


e) Can’t even sensibly define what ‘life’ is yet.

The ability to adapt and evolve through propogation...the state of a bio-electric organism when not decomposing...and why does this need to be answered anyway? Isn't this one of the questions we can search for an answer for by doing exactly as what is being proposed?



Your comments are all quite diverse! Myself, I am of the opinion that we, as humans, and possessed with the human capacity to excel best when challenged, have this almost-complete Earth-like planet right next door to us! As we have gained enough knowledge to realize that the planet IS earth-like, we at the same time realize the potential that Mars has for supporting life...now I'm not a firm believer in coincidence...it has been my experience that everything happens for a reason. Everything. No matter if we don't like the reasons, even if we do happen to puzzle out what those reasons are. While I don't believe that our 'seeding' the planet with life will result in the re-creation of an Age of Dinosaurs, I do believe that what we have is a planet 'next door' to us, which is currently dead, and we have the ability to breathe life into it. The carbon dioxide ice caps need to be melted, which will raise the mean temperature to above zero, which will thaw the permafrost that lies below the regolith and thaw the freshwater caps laying under the CO. All of a sudden (ok, a handful of years or so!) there is water on the planet! Oceans! If there ever was life there, and it has managed to survive the 3.5 billion years of dormancy, it will revive...if there's not, well, genetic research has come a lot farther than I can even fathom...there is certainly life here on Earth that can survive there now...more so if the temperature there is raised.

There have always been people who have put the brakes on when faced with new experiences and technologies...what if Columbus said 'ya, you're right...maybe the world IS flat!'? What if Edison gave up after only trying 999 ways a light bulb didn't work? Or A.B. Bell listened when the hecklers said there'd never be any use for the phone? Could you imagine the stale, stagnant world we would be living in, rather than the one we find ourselves in now? And yes, the human propensity for evil certainly has appeared to shadow things here...but look! Life requires balance! Our propensity for evil is matched by our propensity for good! We as a species have learned thousands of different ways to be morbid and horrible, and at the same time, have learned thousands of ways to better the human existance, to grow in knowledge, in spirituality, to extend the average persons life span...to the point where we actually better start looking for ways to exist elsewhere in this solar system. Or would you rather that everyone only live on Earth when there are 100 billion people sharing it? Think hard. We need to learn, grow and expand, or we will begin to forget, to live in decadence, and fade. Next door is a world that seems like it is just waiting for us to reach out and claim it! Its there, currently incapable of life, but tantalizingly close! Within our grasp! So little needs to be done to make it habitable...Not for America...not for Canada...not for the EU or Russia or China, or any other nationality, but for humanity. One thing IS for certain. The nay-sayers slow things down (just look at any government!) and the yay-sayers do it anyway. When all is said and done, who would even wish to go back and change it? Would you go back and stop the phone from being invented? The light bulb? Would you rather that air conditioning wasn't available in August, or that you had a horse instead of that old beat up chevy?

I not only want to see Mars happen...I want to be part of it.


I' not sure about "seeding" people on Mars...or any lifeform for that matter.
Wouldn't there be alot of complications involving travel, climate, oxygen, gravity etc.?
I'm just not sure it's such a great idea as it's wound up to be. Maybe we should try to conserve the planet we have.

Rohit Gupta

I had the same idea a a day ago. Funny how memes travel, don't you think. LOL!

I was thinking that if ALL world governments were to submit 100% of their defence budgets and build a common fund to send a seed mission to Mars, it would accomplish two things:

1. Diffuse the War On Terror, and it's collateral damages.

2. Instill a spirit in humanity of collaboration instead of competition.


"This dense atmosphere produces a run-away greenhouse effect that raises Venus' surface temperature by about 400 degrees to over 740 K (hot enough to melt lead). Venus' surface is actually hotter than Mercury's despite being nearly twice as far from the Sun."


That is quite hot.

Mars is much colder

From: http://www.solarviews.com/eng/mars.htm

"The average recorded temperature on Mars is -63 °C (-81 °F) with a maximum temperature of 20 °C (68 °F) and a minimum of -140 °C (-220 °F)."

Neither place is very hospitable but Mars is closer to realistic.

Patrick Meuser

Why all this attention to life on Mars? Why not Venus?


Hey dreamy idea but I don't think humans or any animals should go out of Earth and live on other planets. I mean I know humans are intelligent but what's the point of going there when we already have a planet? You say it'll be a great opportunity for us to study and stuff like that but I don't think that humans need to go that far just to prove we're intelligent. Yea i know curiosity, it's our nature what's going on and things like that and we can still continue to explore space but we don't need to go and live on it. Humans are intelligent but we're dangerous why should we go alter other planets just so we can live on it? We have already killed off so mamy animals and plants I don't think we should go around and destroy other planets! What's the point of investing so much money on things like that--to change the gases on mars and chuck in a few species of animals in the background. It's so stupid. So what if our planet gets destroyed?! It's either gona be our fault or it's the way that nature goes, big deal!

martin g

Hmmmm. Nice idea – shame it won’t work. Perhaps in the future, but for the time being, bearing in mind that we :

a) Don’t know exactly how photosynthesis works
b) Have no firm idea of the internal workings of the simplest cells
c) Don’t know how DNA expresses proteins
d) Have only cataloged a small percentage of lifeforms on earth
e) Can’t even sensibly define what ‘life’ is yet.

I think it might be a little premature. Oh, there is the added problem that if we can’t manage to sensibly look after this one – what makes you think we’d do any better with planet number 2 ?


Well, it won't hurt to seed Mars... But what is all this silly stuff about watching life on another planet, or reaching another stage of evolution by dumping some life on Mars?

Sure, bring along a few life forms if anything might survive up there. Fine. If we die, and it evolves into something smart, great.

We're not going to study it for thousands of years, if humans live that long, I think we'd be better off actually sending people there. Things like seeing if they get dinosaurs is silly, sorry. Put humans there, get evolved, get out of this solar system. Plenty of time for dinosaurs later, when we have more planets to play with.

And it's not like we'll instantly reach another stage of development by shipping off some random spores. Sorry. Maybe when we have two self-sufficient planets, but I fear we need at least another solar system to be certain. Two planets may nuke eachother any day.

I'll be gone in two lines from now.
- Anyone saying we should NOT put life on Mars is bloody stupid.
- Nova, you're not enlightened yet, but keep up the good work! :)

Vita Noble

Regarding seeding life on Mars: I had the same idea when I first saw the Mars photos, and I'll bet a lot of other people have too. Hope some of them have decision-making positions with NASA...

George Mawer

There is no point in 'seeding Mars' as you
put it. Earth life cant be re-developed from a few bits of DNA. Earth life is the whole of the biosphere. And sure enough, as you say we are destroying that biosphere at an accellerating rate and there seems no way of stopping. The biosphere slowly built up over bilions of years to create the rich diversity of life that probably reached maximum density at about the time we arrived on the scene. From there it was all downhill as we changed the environment to suit ourselves. At first locally and now globally. The planet will divest itself of us and a lot of other higher life forms in the comparatively near future and will then settle down to regenerate. The biosphere is founded upon solar energy stored by photosynthesizing plants and we are depleteing that storehouse by over-harvesting the planets stored recorces. The future is bleak to say the least.
Good luck
George Mawer
Sydney Australia.


I wholeheartedle agree (I posted about it but can't get my trackbacks to work correctly ...).

We don't know what life will do on Mars, but it'll sure be interesting. Plus we have a toolbox full of DNA adapted to very diverse environments, by choosing what to send up there we can accelerate the process many many times. We don't have to wait for random mutations as our ancestors, bacterias in the Precambrian era, did.

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