Many folks would like to see us back on the Moon and developing its resources.

Sunday, August 10, 2003

Do Martian Bugs Have Any Intrinsic Rights: "MARSDAILY

The Intrinsic Rights Of Martian Bugs

The intrinsic value of any potential ancient Martian fossils is not disputed, but what about living bugs that could seriously curtail human activity on Mars.
The Spacefaring Web 3.14 by John Carter McKnight
Scottsdale - Aug 01, 2003
Recent evidence of vast amounts of water ice on Mars supports the possibility of indigenous life. At the same time, that water could enable human settlement and massive environmental engineering, or terraforming. A moral conflict could face us soon, pitting Terrestrial life against the Martian. The course of action we choose should be informed by broad debate: the ethics, as much as the biology, of Mars deserves full exploration.
Should intelligent extra-terrestrial life be discovered, presumably through a deep-space signal, the scientific community has a well-developed set of protocols for determining its response. No such protocols exist for responding to a discovery of microbial life (through there is a proposal to formulate them). Oddly, the prospect of primitive life is the more controversial: our concept of the appropriate response is shaped by our views on environmental ethics, where profound disagreements on basic assumptions divide us in our daily lives as much as in our views of a future on Mars."


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