August 16, 2014 by JImbo
I had a dream last night that they found life on Mars, but there was a huge debate. Instead of welcoming it as some great discovery, lots of folks were angry because it was there. They had planned on terraforming the whole planet and moving in human colonists. Then this tiny organism pops up and suddenly there’s “ethical issues.”
It’s not a new issue (you have seen Avatar right? The movie that ripped off from 16 different movies from the Smurfs to Dances With Wolves to Apocalypse Now?) That’s all about this theme.) But where do you draw the line?
We’ve seen how endangered species can stop development and half construction here in the States. What about on other planets? What gets protected in space, where there are no national laws to go by?
Do the Chinese apply Chinese law to their colonies and we apply US law to ours? That could be a bitch if we colonize opposite sides of Mars. You can’t terraform HALF of a planet. It just doesn’t work that way.
What if we found ONE tiny one-celled organism on Mars, or even a few bacteria or something? Would we be required to stop building on Mars and leave the whole planet alone? Is the bar ANY life or just Sentient Life? Who decides that?
What if there was a race of super-intelligent sea creatures down there that just never bothered to build spaceships or any technology? The equivalent of Martian Dolphins under the surface in some huge underground lakes or oceans. Would they still get protected or would it be Manifest Destiny all over again?
I dunno. Tough call. If we fuck up this world enough, we just might NEED another place to go. Or, even if we don’t and a huge meteor comes flying in outta deep space. Hey, it’s happened before… many many many times. It’s only a matter of time.
How far do you think the whole “sanctity of life” thing extends?