Geo016 - Exploration of Mars

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Geo016 / Exploration of Mars / (M) 3:00-5:20 / Lincoln Field 105 / Prof. James Head

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Josef Tallo (02/18/04)

One of the many interesting and important points that have been brought up was the discussion on religion and science converging. I think this is an important aspect to address while we search for possible life on Mars. Initially, I had thought that science and religion had been completely against each other because of possible contradictions that science may bring to a religion and its' “bible”. Now I see how different religions feel toward the advancement in science and new discoveries. I find it surprising that certain religions find a way to combine discoveries with already established beliefs. And on the other hand, some religions are very sacred and completely have no regard for any new scientific discoveries.

The idea that humans are driven to believe that they are far superior to whatever intelligent life form we may find regardless of intellectual, physical, or any other advanced capabilities that the life form may have, is just startling. I don't understand why humans would think this just because we are the rulers of the world, and that we are more “well-rounded” in terms of way of life. There are many creatures on the earth today that have specific capabilities that far surpass our own. I think that it is crazy when I heard a few stated that humans will just come up with another way to make so that whatever the case with these creatures, we are still superior in one way or another. One student stated that “even if they were far more intelligent than us, we would still consider ourselves better because just that; for being less intelligent, we have the capabilities to have emotions, feelings, and have a personality”. I find this appalling, because I never thought that this would be the case, I never thought that humans wouldn't be able to accept the fact that another form of life beyond earth is “better” in some way. I also think that part of the reason of persistence in extraterrestrial exploration has to do with our egotistical personalities, and the craving for competition or some sort of comparison with another being. For we feel we have already won that “war” on earth, we need another challenger. This is just one of my beliefs which could possibly be addressed in class.


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