Thursday, March 09, 2006

I love good news. Well this isn’t precisely good news. More like news that should cause cautious optimism. But given the current state of affairs our planet is in I’ll take what I can get.

This has nothing to do with the Dubai ports deal. Something still stinks there I just haven’t figured out what yet.

It also has nothing to do with George Bush signing an extension for the Patriot Act. Don’t you just love the smell of our constitution burning? I’m kidding.

Rather it is far more hopeful news. I love hopeful news. One of Saturn’s moons, Enceladus, has geysers that shoot water miles into space. The geysers are similar to Old Faithful at Yellowstone Park. Go read about it here.

Why is this so cool? Because this is the first time that we have been able to confirm that liquid water exists anywhere but here on ole Mother Earth. Where there is water there is the possibility of life. Also they have detected methane and CO2, both of which give scientists hope that there are organic materials on Enceladus. It could be microbes or bacteria or jellyfish. It could be fish. There may be nothing at all. We do not know. Which is precisely why we must look.

Imagine if we discovered life on another world in our own solar system. Imagine if we could prove that we are not alone in the infinite void of space. Our whole perception of the universe may have to change. It would be a magnificent change to live through.

Ok, I’ll grant you some religious leader would wet his pants. But I wouldn’t care. If we could discover alien life it would make the discovery of the New World look like finding a nickel in your pocket.

I know have made some rather extraordinary claims and as Carl Sagan used to say, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” We lack that extraordinary evidence. But that should not hinder us from looking.

I know it may seem a bit odd that I’m so jazzed about this. But it’s things like this. It’s the things that make my imagination take off even for a few fleeting moments, that help make this life truly bearable. I’m able to forget about the mess in Iraq and the troubles here in the USA and the rest of old Mother Earth. I’m able to put my personal concerns aside and dream big dreams.

Isn’t that what makes life better?


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