Monday, July 25, 2005

ALONE AGAIN...

MIT and Caltech researchers investigated a piece of Martian rock from the Martian equator which suggests that the 'warmest' part of the planet has been dead frozen for 4 billion years, apparently leaving no chance for liquid water to have existed on that planet, except for the very unlikely possibility of any kind of life arising in the first half billion years...assuming that even if it did, it survived the next four billion year freeze. It seems that we are alone again...

Isn't this a good metaphor for out own life? There too, there are ups and downs, times when we are surrounded by friends and family without a care in the world, and then suddenly times when we feel lonely and alone. The same seems to be happening for life on Mars. The first time someone claims that there is no life, then somebody else stands up and says no, you haven't looked in the canals. Then we go to the canals, don't find anything there. Again somebody pipes up and says no, you haven't looked at the equatorial rocks...and it continues. Seems the same state of being and non-being applies to both individual human life and humanity as a whole.

4 Comments:

Blogger Saket said...

Stephen Hawking says, "If we are alone in the universe, it does seem like an awful waste of space."

On being alone... The Earth's situation is a tad different if you ask me. There is speculation about us not being alone, but we've always been alone. On a more human level, we are alone sometimes and then not alone sometimes. There is no ambiguity like there is for the whole planet.

The nice part is that no one has been planning an attack for a million years like HG Wells thought of it. Mars has been frozen long enough... So loneliness does come with it's benefits for the earth.

2:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a random thought. I see that you're reading a couple of books on philosophy right now. You could try your hand at Sophie's Choice.

5:57 AM  
Blogger Ashutosh said...

Saket, right. In fact I was asked a question in a competition where I had given a talk about ETI, whether I would or would not welcome visitors from outer space; in the split second that I was given to answer, I somewhat hastily, but more likely as a reflex action, said NO...they say that answer cost me a place at the finals!
Anonymous: Will take a look :)

6:54 AM  
Blogger Hirak said...

I was arguing with a friend this weekend about creationism/religion/God etc. and I wish that there was life on Mars. It would have made it quite easy to refute some ID-based logic.
From Dawkins's -Selfish Gene, it appears that even life has no real purpose. It just happened - one among the possible bazillion things that could have happened.

For now, life on earth is special, but not special in the sense that some people think it is.

8:23 AM  

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