Mars: 1.) Ho-hum or 2.) Holy SH!T

What really fascinates me the most about our ventures to otherworlds really is the perspective of where we (as humans) have evolved from and the technological achievements that have allowed reach these goals.

The world as we know it is about 4.5 billion years old.

Mankind however is a little over a million years old.

As mankind evolved, so too did his tools, his dwellings, and the other necessities that were needed to aid his survival.

What if man never acted on how to make a spear? What if man never dreamed of creating a dwelling? Granted many other animals have some basic ability to create something from nothing (i.e. nests, webs, or anthills) for mankind, there was something else that drove us beyond this ability. There seemed to be an innate desire to know more. Why is that? Why can’t we just leave well enough alone? This is what I find most interesting not only about us but also about why I’m fascinated about robots and Mars.

In the evolution of mankind, it took a little over a million years for us to reach the moon.

Robots which are significantly younger

have been able to not only breach the solar system as space probes but to also visit two other planets.

first venus:

then mars: APOD: 2004 January 14 - A Mars Panorama from the Spirit Rover

Why are we doing this? From what we’ve gathered thus far, we can’t really live anywhere else.

There is life on no other planet except our own but technology has allowed us to not only create life but to also use it help us learn about the world around us. Robots may not be “alive” by the strictest definition of what “alive” is defined as:

but as far as being able to interact with us, then yes, robots are as much a living thing as a cockroach is alive which can act and react to the world around it:

Now, looking to the future, how can we use robots to help us with our own issues? What man has limited ability to achieve, perhaps robots truly may be able to assist with our endeavours in eradicating cancer, finding water, food, cleaner energy, or the likes.

If there is answer we seek to a problem, we no longer have to limit our search to our own planet, robots are the tools we can use to aid us in a challenging future of our own evolution.

However, if robots are not alive now what if they become alive in the future? What then will happen to us?

Should we sit idly by or realize that the future of a new lifeform of our own creation may very well be upon us?

We can’t live anywhere else but here. The universe is open for the machine.

Whoa, thanks for the info. Agreed, when you look into the sky at night and realized that we are controlling a “rover” rolling around on the surface of some twinkling dot, it kinda makes all of our problems here on earth petty.

As for the robots being alive and helping is out, have you read “Prey” that’s currently on the best-seller list? Forget the author, but it’s by one of the big guys. Anyhow, it deals with robots and nanotechnology.

I’m all for human advancement. Obviously we have come up with some pretty nasty stuff (VX gas, nukes), but there wouldn’t be any good if there wasn’t any evil.

that book “Prey” is by Michael Crichton

and it does look interesting. i’ll have to check it out. of course, as you mentioned, the technology that results from our knowledge does manifest itself in evil ways which is the subject of that book. but there’s good too:,1452,47879,00.html

another book that i’ll be digging up in the near-future is this book:

which will be the subject of a movie to be released this summer starring will smith:

there was something recently on TLC (?) i saw which discussed robots and how they’re being used for entertainment and research purposes. there was an argument also about how comfortable / uncomfortable people are with robots that looked like robots vs. robots that looked human. personally, i’d feel comfortable with an artificial lifeform that didn’t look human vs. something i perceived as human but wasn’t.

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not to say that i get my freak-on with something that looked like C3PO but it would be really awkward to interact with an entity i knew wasn’t human but looked like it was.

Pretty cool.

I think an interesting differentiation between humans, and every other form of life is that we have the ability to create something for no apparent logical reason. We have the ability to create not only out of need, but also out of desire. And we have the creative capacity to look at an invention with no intrinsic use and apply one to it after the fact, did the creators of the Web ever think Friendster would evolve out of their medium?

As far as books I would recommend to start reading some Phillip K Dick. He died in '83 but I find his writing more advanced than Asimov. A good place to start would be “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep”, the book that inspired the film Blade Runner. His stories also inspired Paycheck, The Minority Report, and Imposter. It’s telling that 20 years after his death his story lines read truer than ever.