Monday, July 22, 2013

Water on Mars - What's Really Out There?

Being the huge nerd I am, when I discovered more evidence had been found pointing to water on Mars, I was pretty stoked.  I mean, it could answer one of life's biggest questions: Are we alone in the universe?  Humanity has been asking that questions for thousands of years, and everyone seems to think something different.  For example, my mother thinks believing there is anything else out there is stupid and naive.  I, however, think life on other planets is somewhat probable.

It seems lately a plethora of new research has been found and in the past 24 hours, the possibility of an ocean ever existing on Mars has been trending (along with the royal baby, of course).  Mars has been under close scrutiny for years and we seem to be getting the same information over and over: It may have supported life at one time, but humans could not live there because of its lacking oxygen and water.  The Mars rover Curiosity landed last year and this may be the most exciting information we've gotten since then.

Regarding the issue of life on other planets, (which is in fact, the point.  I got sidetracked) we really don't have any evidence either way.  No matter how you think we all ended up here, you must admit that the Earth is an anomaly.  The other planets in our Solar System are desolate and empty (as far as we know).  To give us answers, we generally rely on the same things we rely on for answers pertaining to everything else:  Science and Religion.

If you know anything about either of these, you have probably noticed that both tend to be very Earth-centric and therefore don't give us much information on what else is out there.  I suppose that makes sense, considering we have never actually been anywhere outside of Earth other than the moon, but it makes forming a stance on this issue quite difficult.

Of the two, religion seems to be less open to anyplace other than Earth supporting life.  The Bible, for example, (which I am referencing because of the many religions that follow it and my personal understanding of it) tends to centralize Earth with its mention of "the heavens and Earth".  Revelations, which is supposedly prophecy, seems to revolve around Earth's destruction and mentions no other planets.  This leads me to think that either God created only one Earth, or the other planets have no sin. The former seems more likely, but also makes no sense, as I have to wonder why God would have bothered creating the rest of the universe.  Finally, this leads me to the conclusion that either pieces of the Bible were lost in translation, or God has not told us the whole story.

Science lends a different viewpoint, which in some ways makes more sense, as it leaves possibilities open, letting our understanding grow and change with time.  Science suggests that many Solar Systems exist like ours and that they might consist of planets supporting intelligent life (In which case, we're all screwed.  All our satellites and crap would be hard to miss).

I tend to never side with Science, and I'm not necessarily doing that here.  The Earth is too perfect to be a mistake, or the result of a big bang in space.  The alignment of the stars, gravity, the atmosphere that protects us from the outside: there is no way all that could have magically appeared.  Earth is perfect, in my opinion.  It's mankind that's not, which is why I have such a complicated relationship with Science.  But I can't help believing there has to be something else out there.

I can't be just Earth.  If it is, why does Mars even exist for us to find an ocean on?  Why have we spent so much of ourselves trying to find out if there is, in fact, nothing to find?  If humans are so evil and horrible sinners, why would a world exist solely for us?  Are we just the most entertaining of God's creations?

You can probably see at this point that I am quite confused.  There is so much I don't understand, and some things I think humanity will never know.  All I know is that we cannot be alone.  There is too much beyond our understanding: witchcraft, dreams, existence, space.  These things must have an answer, an explanation.  Even if it's just a bunch of little green creatures in the galaxy over, there has to be someone watching.