Sunday, October 19, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Men and women really may be from Mars

By
From page A10 | September 11, 2013 |

The issue: What’s next for the space program? Maybe we should revisit the old neighborhood

A well-received bestseller published in 1992 bears the title “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus.” It turns out that men really may be from Mars, but so are women.

THE IDEA, in numerous variations, is that about 4 billion years ago asteroids hit Mars, which then had a more hospitable climate than its current carpet of red dust. Meteorites colliding with Mars sent chunks of matter flying into space, some of which landed on Earth.

Some of the meteorites may have transported key minerals from the Red Planet to Earth, theorizes Steven Benner, a professor at the Westeheimer Institute of Science and Technology in Gainesville, Fla. Benner’s theory — presented last month at the international Goldschmidt conference and covered by the BBC — suggests how ribonucleic acid (RNA), a compound with ingredients vital to living organisms, might have come to Earth, where certain minerals and proteins essential to life were scarce or nonexistent.

Somehow this stew of interplanetary ingredients evolved into living organisms, and these organisms evolved into humans. Mars was not quite so lucky. Insufficiently dense to hold on to an atmosphere, the Red Planet became a dead planet.

But mankind, now that it has the capacity for interplanetary travel, is driven to go to Mars. Even now, two U.S. rovers are trundling around its surface, digging, poking and prodding. High overhead, an American satellite is making a detailed map of Mars’ surface. Can a GPS for Mars be far behind?

THE SPACE PROGRAM is at a crossroads right now with a choice of missions: Return to the moon? Set up camp on one of the larger asteroids? Capture one of the smaller asteroids for further study?

But the space conversation keeps returning to putting astronauts, perhaps even a colony, on Mars. There are sound scientific reasons for this, but there is something deeper, less amenable to easy explanation.

Perhaps, at some primal level, we simply want to revisit the old neighborhood.

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Howzat! Cricket tradition grows in Davis

    By Lily Holmes | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Housing First pilot project targets West Sac homeless

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

    Return to sender: MRAP removal options go to council

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    $18.75M grant aims to build global food security

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Cop witnesses car-pedestrian collision

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

    Hawaii hit by winds, rain as hurricane veers west

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Evidentiary hearing set for man shot by CHP

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    For the record

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

    Firefighters on the town

    By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A3

     
    Donate used books at Co-op

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Love-life tips on ‘Heart to Heart’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Volunteers sought to chip in on parks cleanup

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Crash victim ID’d as Woodland man

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3

     
    Senior Computer Club hears from county official

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Guns to be discharged at police range

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3

     
    DHS ski and snowboard swap set on Nov. 9

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Wolk sets ‘Morning with the Mayor’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Safe viewing of solar eclipse planned

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Fill the Boot for the hungry

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3

     
    Quiz Master Gardeners at open house

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Celebrate origami at Davis library

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Esparto home targeted in three-city pot bust

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A4

     
    Apply by Friday for Biberstein grants

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Wolk earns perfect score from senior advocates

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    UCD celebrates 50 years of global agricultural success

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    Special education information night scheduled

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A11

    Be on the lookout for tagged Monarch butterflies

    By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A16 | Gallery

     
    .

    Forum

    Old news disturbs the present

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Take time to reach out for help

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A8

    Are we there yet? Yik Yakking the day away

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A8

     
    A bionic hand with feeling

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

    Ain’t Snow Mountain high enough

    By Our View | From Page: A14

     
    Let’s take Davis’ energy future seriously

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A14

    Teach cyclists to obey laws

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A14

     
    Proposed lights harm kids

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A14

    Water theater isn’t fun

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A15

     
    Elect Granda to board

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A15

    Yes on Prop. 47: reasonable changes to curb recidivism, save money

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A15

     
    No on Prop. 47: an end to safe neighborhoods, and more victims

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A15

    Be careful cycling on Fifth

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A15

     
    .

    Sports

    Competitive Aggies fall at No. 6/7 Montana

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Devils stick it to Chico, cancer

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Vargas emerges from crowded Aggie WR corps

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    JV Devils fall to Franklin

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

     
    Niemi leads Sharks to win

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

    UCD roundup: Big crowd sees Aggies nip Guachos

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

     
    Davis is a temple for fine beverages

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Arcadia Biosciences earns spot on global innovation list

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    35 employers will be at West Sac job fair

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Rob White: Building an economy on innovation

    By Rob White | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Sadie Louise Barga

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Morgan Wheeler

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Peggy Belenis Swisher

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, October 19, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B8