In the Spring of 2011, my wife and I drove through the Mojave Desert in Arizona. I brought a pocketful of pebbles with me for the grandchildren- a geography lesson that not all deserts are sand. Not all deserts are hot, either. Neither temperature nor soil type define a desert. Lack of rain does. Near the Phoenix area, as I learned, farmers grew cotton in this pebbly soil with irrigation, of course. However those farms are now part of the sprawling metropolis of Phoenix with home dwellers watering their lawns from underground aquifers rather than cotton plants.
The first panoramic photo from NASA’s Mars Curiosity shows a remarkably earth-like scene reminiscent of the Mojave desert. Here is a photo of the desert in black and white followed by the photo snapped by Curiosity.
Home Sweet Home. Interestingly, there is speculation that we earthlings may have come from Mars. Oh, not on a rocket but rather on a meteorite. Planetary scientists claim that all life on Earth could be descended from organisms that originated on Mars which were carried to earth by meteorites. MIT research scientist Christopher Carr and post doctoral associate Clarissa Lui, along with other colleagues, believe that in the early days of the solar system, climates on Mars and Earth were more similar than they are now. They also say that about one billion tons of rock traveled from Mars to Earth and microbes have been shown to be capable of surviving the initial shock of impacting the Earth’s surface. [Red Orbit]
Paul Lutus, an engineer and scientist who designed part of the NASA Space Shuttle, hypothesizes the Mars-Earth link in an article in arachnoid.com He wrote:
The high-resolution scanning electron microscope image above, from a meteorite of suspected Martian origin, shows an unusual tube-like structural form which suggests to many scientists that these may be fossilized microorganisms. One hypothesis conjures that around 3.5 billion years ago Mars’ atmospheric pressure began to drop, and established life forms continued to exist only below the surface in pockets of liquid water. Then a meteorite or asteroid impacted on Mars’ surface, expelling a large amount of material from the surface into interplanetary space — carrying viable organisms with it. The final step in this theory is that some of the Martian surface material fell into Earth’s early oceans, and either successfully competed with, or provided, Earth’s first cellular organisms.
The H. G. Wells epic novel, The War of the Worlds, part one, The Coming of the Martians, may in fact be stranger than fiction or not fiction at all. We may be the Martians! Funny stuff, eh?
UptheFlag, who daily breathes in the Bible-drenched air of the deep South, chastised me recently for suggesting that Curiosity may at last thankfully put an end to the credibility of Genesis. Naturally, the discoveries will not make a dent in the heads of the ‘true believers’ because they don’t like science at all. Were this a small, innocuous group of Americans it would matter little in the big picture yet, sadly, they are neither few nor benign. Many may be categorized as Christofascists as described in Chris Hedges book, American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America.
Mars means nothing to this set of Americans and, incidentally, neither does the Earth. Dominionists, as they are called, derive their name from the Book of Genesis, in which God tells Adam and Eve to have “dominion” over the Earth and its animals. “Dominionism” describes the belief that Christians are biblically mandated to control all earthly institutions until the second coming of Jesus. When is that scheduled? His followers were terribly disappointed when he failed to beam them up too.
The cult doesn’t care too much about this planet- climate change, elimination of species, destruction of natural areas- because they don’t intend to be here all that long. The Heavenly Space Ships will be landing [in Christian Jerusalem!] any time now. The End Times are right around the corner. I wonder if they have their cemetery plots? Or long-term care insurance?
Regrettably they do vote.