The day Gil Levin says he detected life on Mars, he was waiting in his lab at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, watching a piece of paper inch out of a printer.
Levin snatched the sheet and scrutinized the freshly inked graph. A thin line measuring radioactive carbon crept steadily upward, just as it always did when Levin performed the test with microbes on Earth. But this data came from tens of millions of miles away, where NASA’s Viking lander was - for the first time in history - conducting an experiment on the surface of Mars.
“Gil, that’s life,” his co-investigator, Patricia Straat, exclaimed when she saw the first results come in. There was jubilation at JPL.
Now I am a firm believer that life can exist on Mars. Our planet has such a variety and it comes in so many places and forms. Even intelligent life is possible perhaps not as we view it like us but still a life form that can reason.
Centuries ago there were those who claimed some humans were not humans and were to be treated as animals. The thing is we have so much to learn and one glaring fact stands out and that is we have such a limited view of other worlds that there is much that could be hidden from us.
I recall some TV show I saw years ago where we had sent a probe to any planet and it reported no life but as your view is expanded, across from where the probe had landed on the other side of a hill was a city that was visible but unseen by the probe.