June 1st, 2008 22:09 EST
What If The Phoenix Lander Discovers Intelligent Life On Mars?
Novelists, songwriters and movie directors have long been fascinated with the concept of life on Mars. Creative geniuses like Ray Bradbury and Elton John have mined the red planet and produced novels and songs that have captured our imagination.
But is "life on Mars" only fodder for artistic souls, or should scientists seriously consider the breathtaking possibility?
The Mars Phoenix Lander has sent pictures back to earth that give hope both to romantics who believe in little green men from Mars, and scientists who only accept empirical truth.
"Ground controllers at NASA observed some unexplainable images which prompted the question: could there be intelligent life on Mars?
The pictures sent from the Phoenix Lander depicted images of strange phenomena, including a distant white entity unlike anything else on the red planet`s surface. Dismissive scientists believe it to be simply another large rock, but others aren`t so quick to discount all possibilities.
`We`ll take a closer look at it,` said Peter Smith of the University of Arizona.
NASA is prepared for anything, officials said. The Mars Lander is "equipped with the ability to communicate with extraterrestrials." Attached to the probe are computer disks containing songs, pictures and poems. I hope one of those songs isn`t "You Light Up My Life" by Debby Boone, or the Martians might indeed destroy our little blue planet.
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Is the distant "white entity" just a rock or something created by an intelligent race of aliens? If it`s just a rock, it`s not going to stop dreamers from contemplating the idea of life on Mars. But if it turns out to be the handiwork of intelligent beings it will turn life on earth upside down.
The rocket scientists at NASA may be "prepared for anything", but are earthlings prepared for life on Mars? Mr. and Mrs. Born Again might be horrified at the prospect of intelligent beings on Mars who don`t know Jesus Christ from an asteroid. They might consider Martians demons intent on destroying all God-fearing earthlings.
If the Mars Lander discovers evidence of intelligent life on Mars (past or present), I hope that NASA will share the thrilling news with the world. Mr. and Mrs. Born again aside, I think most Americans will accept the truth without going bonkers.
In many parts of the world, people might go into a panic at the news of intelligent life on other planets. But to be honest, I couldn`t care less how developing countries might react to the reality that we are not alone. Some Muslims go into a frenzy if a cartoon depicting Mohammad is published. Why should intelligent civilizations worry about how this great discovery will affect countries enslaved by primitive religions?
The Phoenix Lander should be able to operate for another three months, let`s hope that`s enough time for the little machine to detect life on Mars.