Geoffrey Stetson (02/11/04)
Before I begin to review the past class there was something that I noted that I wanted to say during class but couldn't find the right time during the discussion. I find our perception of societies in other space to be interesting. On earth, peoples' ideas of other societies always seem to be demeaning. Ancient Greeks considered all other communities to be barbaric. Even today, at least Americans think they have things figured out much better than people in other countries. But our ideas of people from outer space seems to be that they will either be physically or technologically more advanced than us.
In yesterday's lecture, the Percival Lowell presentation seemed to spark a lot of discussion. It seemed to outline what has driven the hold that Mars has always held over our imagination. Mars, being so relatively close and probably the most comparable to Earth has always given us reason to think there might be life there. People like Percival Lowell were the ones who made their personal convictions known about stellar forms of life and they were the ones who kept the dream alive in the public's mind.The possibility of life in the entire universe is huge, but the discovery of it would cause some humongous waves in society as we know it. Religious groups might be devastated by life on another planet because their conception of creation might be shot down and the specialness of humans would significantly decrease. This is a topic which is worth further discussion but we won't know what the religious applications will be until life is really found.