OK, here is the article I’m referring to for starters:
Now microbial life is pretty hardy stuff. They have found it in volcanoes at the bottom of the ocean, and in ice in the coldest parts of Antarctica. To find it on Mars, which is colder than Antarctica for sure, means microbial life is a little tougher than originally thought. But, what can’t be proven on this mission is if that microbial life is there or not. Which begs the question, do we REALLY need to know?
Today, the Messenger probe was launched to visit Mercury. It’s basically a one-way shot that will take about 8 years to get there. When it does get there, it’s going to basically shoot some pictures of Mercury up really close, as they now suspect there is frost in some cavernous impact craters on Mercury. All of this is to see if there is microbial life on Mercury. This again begs my question, do we REALLY need to know?
Microbial life isn’t really life IMO, it’s slightly advanced over plants, and it moves. It doesn’t think, I don’t think it even reacts. It does what it does and dies. If there is microbial life on Mars, it only proves there is microbial life on Mars. It doesn’t prove a civilized species lived there and died off for mysterious reasons. It doesn’t prove Mars is in its infancy waiting to flower into a civilized planet. It only proves that microbial life can exist in environments much harsher than originally expected.
I would much rather see more money spent on SETI than probing Mercury and other planets that are generations away from serving any use to mankind. At least with SETI, we’ll know that microbial life can advance to a more sophisticated state and under what conditions it takes to advance. I’m not devaluing the rover missions, they have been fantastic. I’m just not sure Mars has anything more to offer than what it has. We need to know how much more advanced societies got past the barriers of the barbarism that allowed them to advance than we need to know whether or not there’s microbial life on Mars.
Editor’s update, 5/3/2017: We’ve had rovers and satellites scouring Mars for well over a decade now and we still haven’t found even a clue of microbial life on Mars. Two realizations from this:
- We don’t need to send men to Mars. There’s nothing there.
- If “scientists” are this wrong about something this simple and easily documented, how accurate are they are on Earth’s future?