Monday, September 13, 2004

Save Human Dna on the Moon??

Space.com has a quirky news item today:
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"Noah's Cosmic Ark: Preserving DNA on the Moon
By Michael Schirber
Staff Writer
posted: 13 September, 2004
7:00 a.m. ET


The complexity of life took billions of years to push and stretch and reshape the biological niche that is Earth. It would seem prudent – if one had the means – to save some portion of the blueprints of this majesty, so that the process would not have to start over from scratch in the event of a global cataclysm.

Morbid, for sure, yet still prudent. But where to put this valuable backup so that it is both safe and handy? And what form should it take? .................see link for more........................"
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This suggestion raises all kinds of ethical problems.

I am reminded of the message advanced by Sir Martin Rees (Royal Society Professor at Cambridge University, a Fellow of King's College, and England's Astronomer Royal) in his recent book: "Our Final Hour: A Scientist's Warning: How terror, error, and environmental disaster threaten humankind's future in this century - on earth and beyond" ( Basic Books, N.Y., 2003).
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His final paragraph:

"The theme of this book is that humanity is more at risk than at any earlier phase in its history. The wider cosmos has a potential future that could even be infinite. But will these vast expanses of time be filled with life, or as empty as the Earth's first sterile seas? The choice may depend on us, this century."





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