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To review, now, the chain of reasoning by which we have been led to regard it probable that upon the surface of Mars we see the effects of local intelligence. We find, in the first place, that the broad physical conditions of the planet are not antagonistic to some form of life; secondly, that there is an apparent dearth of water upon the planet's surface,and therefore, if beings of sufficient intelligence inhabited it, they would have to resort to irrigation to support life; thirdly, that there turns out to be a network of markings covering the disk precisely counterparting what a system of irrigation would look like; and, lastly, that there is a set of spots placed where we should expect to find the lands thus artificially fertilized, and behaving as such constructed oases should. All this, of course, may be a set of coincidences, signifying nothing; but the probability points the other way. As to details of explanation, any we may adopt will undoubtedly be found, on closer acquaintance, to vary from the actual Martian state of things; for any Martian life must differ markedly from our own.

The fundamental fact in the matter is the dearth of water. If we keep this in mind, we shall see that many of the objections that spontaneously arise answer themselves. The supposed herculean task of constructing such canals disappears at once; for, if the canals be dug for irrigation purposes, it is evident that what we see, and call by ellipsis the canal, is not really the canal at all, but the strip of fertilized land bordering it,--the thread of water in the midst of it, the canal itself, being far too small to be perceptible. In the case of an irrigation canal seen at a distance, it is always the strip of verdure, not the canal, that is visible, as we see in looking from afar upon irrigated country on the Earth.

We may, perhaps, in conclusion, consider for a moment how different in its details existence on Mars must be from existence on the Earth. One point out of many bearing on the subject, the simplest and most certain of all, is the effect of mere size of habitat upon the size of the inhabitant; for geometrical conditions alone are most potent factors in the problem of life. Volume and mass determine the force of gravity upon the surface of a planet, and this is more far-reaching in its effects than might at first be thought. Gravity on the surface of Mars is only a little more than one third what it is on the surface of the Earth. This would work in two ways to very different conditions of existence from those to which we are accustomed. To begin with, three times as much work, as for example, in digging a canal, could be done by the same expenditure of muscular force. If we were transported to Mars, we should be pleasingly surprised to find all our manual labor suddenly lightened threefold. But, indirectly, there might result a yet greater gain to our capabilities; for if Nature chose she could afford there to build her inhabitants on three times the scale she does on Earth without their ever finding it out except by interplanetary comparison. Let us see how.

As we all know, a large man is more unwieldy than a small one. An elephant refuses to hop like a flea; not because he considers the act undignified, but simply because he cannot bring it about. If we could, we should all jump straight across the street, instead of painfully paddling through the mud. Our inability to do so depends upon the size of the Earth, not upon what it at first seems to depend, on the size of the street.

To see this, let us consider the very simplest case, that of standing erect. To this every-day feat opposes itself the weight of the body simply, a thing of three dimensions, height, breadth, and thickness, while the ability to accomplish it resides in the cross-section of the muscles of the knee, a thing of only two dimensions, breadth and thickness. Consequently, a person half as large again as another has about twice the supporting capacity of that other, but about three times as much to support. Standing therefore tires him out more quickly. If his size were to go on increasing, he would at last reach a stature at which he would no longer be able to stand at all, but would have to lie down. You shall see the same effect in quite inanimate objects. Take two cylinders of paraffine wax, one made into an ordinary candle, the other into a gigantic facsimile of one, and then stand both upon their bases. To the small one nothing happens. The big one, however, begins to settle, the base actually made viscous by the pressure of the weight above.

Now apply this principle to a possible inhabitant of Mars, and suppose him to be constructed three times as large as a human being in every dimension. If he were on Earth, he would weigh twenty-seven times as much, but on the surface of Mars, since gravity there is only about one third of what it is here, he would weigh but nine times as much. The cross-section of his muscles would be nine times as great. Therefore the ratio of his supporting power to the weight he must support would be the same as ours. Consequently, he would be able to stand with as little fatigue as we. Now consider the work he might be able to do. His muscles, having length, breadth, and thickness, would all be twenty-seven times as effective as ours. He would prove twenty-seven times as strong as we, and could accomplish twenty-seven times as much. But he would further work upon what required, owing to decreased gravity, but one third the effort to overcome. His effective force, therefore, would be eighty-one times as great as man's, whether in digging canals or in other bodily occupation. As gravity on the surface of Mars is really a little more than one third that at the surface of the Earth, the true ratio is not eighty-one, but about fifty; that is, a Martian would be, physically, fifty-fold more efficient than man. As the reader will observe, there is nothing problematical about this deduction whatever. It expresses an abstract ratio of physical capabilities which must exist between the two planets, quite irrespective of whether there be denizens on either, or how other conditions may further affect their forms. As the reader must also note, the deduction refers to the possibility, not to the probability, of such giants; the calculation being introduced simply to show how different from us any Martians may be, not how different they are.

It must also be remembered that the question of their size has nothing to do with the question of their existence. The arguments for their presence are quite apart from any consideration of avoirdupois. No Herculean labors need to be accounted for; and, if they did, brain is far more potent to the task than brawn.

Something more we may deduce about the characteristics of possible Martians, dependent upon Mars itself, a result of the age of the world they would live in.

A planet may in a very real sense be said to have life of its own, of which what we call life may or may not be a subsequent detail. It is born, has its fiery youth, sobers into middle age, and just before this happens brings forth, if it be going to do so at all, the creatures on its surface which are, in a sense, its offspring. The speed with which it runs through its gamut of change prior to production depends upon its size; for the smaller the body the quicker it cools, and with it loss of heat means beginning of life for its offspring. It cools quicker because, as we saw in a previous chapter, it has relatively less inside for its outside, and it is through its outside that its inside cools. After it has thus become capable of bearing life, the Sun quickens that life and supports it for we know not how long. But its duration is measured at the most by the Sun's life. Now, inasmuch as time and space are not, as some philosophers have from their too mundane standpoint supposed, forms of our intellect, but essential attributes of the universe, the time taken by any process affects the character of the process itself, as does also the size of the body undergoing it. The changes brought about in a large planet by its cooling are not, therefore, the same as those brought about in a small one. Physically, chemically, and, to our present end, organically, the two results are quite diverse. So different, indeed, are they that unless the planet have at least a certain size it will never produce what we call life, meaning our particular chain of changes or closely allied forms of it, at all. As we saw in the case of atmosphere, it will lack even the premise to such conclusion.

Whatever the particular planet's line of development, however, in its own line, it proceeds to greater and greater degrees of evolution, till the process stops, dependent, probably, upon the Sun. The point of development attained is, as regards its capabilities, measured by the planet's own age, since the one follows upon the other.

Now, in the special case of Mars, we have before us the spectacle of a world relatively well on in years, a world much older than the Earth. To so much about his age Mars bears evidence on his face. He shows unmistakable signs of being old. Advancing planetary years have left their mark legible there. His continents are all smoothed down; his oceans have all dried up. Teres atque rotundus, he is a steady-going body now. If once he had a chaotic youth, it has long since passed away. Although called after the most turbulent of the gods, he is at the present time, whatever he may have been once, one of the most peaceable of the heavenly host. His name is a sad misnomer; indeed, the ancients seem to have been singularly unfortunate in their choice of planetary cognomens. With Mars so peaceful, Jupiter so young, and Venus bashfully draped in cloud, the planet's names accord but ill with their temperaments.

Mars being thus old himself, we know that evolution on his surface must be similarly advanced. This only informs us of its condition relative to the planet's capabilities. Of its actual state our data are not definite enough to furnish much deduction. But from the fact that our own development has been comparatively a recent thing, and that a long time would be needed to bring even Mars to his present geological condition, we may judge any life he may support to be not only relatively, but really older than our own. From the little we can see, such appears to be the case. The evidence of handicraft, if such it be, points to a highly intelligent mind behind it. Irrigation, unscientifically conducted would not give us such truly wonderful mathematical fitness in the several parts to the whole as we there behold. A mind of no mean order would seem to have presided over the system we see,--a mind certainly of considerably more comprehensiveness than that which presides over the various departments of our own public works. Party politics, at all events, have had no part in them; for the system is planet wide. Quite possibly, such Martian folk are possessed of inventions of which we have not dreamed, and with them electrophones and kinetoscopes are things of a bygone past, preserved with veneration in museums as relics of the clumsy contrivances of the simple childhood of the race. Certainly what we see hints at the existence of beings who are in advance of, not behind us, in the journey of life.

Startling as the outcome of these observations may appear at first, in truth there is nothing startling about it whatever. Such possibility has been quite on the cards ever since the existence of Mars itself was recognized by the Chaldean shepherds, or whoever the still more primeval astronomers may have been. Its strangeness is a purely subjective phenomenon, arising from the instinctive reluctance of man to admit the possibility of peers. Such would be comic were it not the inevitable consequence of the constitution of the universe. To be shy of anything resembling himself is part and parcel of man's own individuality. Like the savage who fears nothing so much as a strange man, like Crusoe who grows pale at the sight of footprints not his own, the civilized thinker instinctively turns from the thought of mind other than the one he himself knows. To admit into his conception of the cosmos other finite minds as factors has in it something of the weird. Any hypothesis to explain the facts, no matter how improbable or even palpably absurd it be, is better than this. Snow-caps of solid carbonic acid gas, a planet cracked in a positively monomaniacal manner, meteors ploughing tracks across its surface with such mathematical precision that they must have been educated to the performance, and so forth and so on, in hypotheses each more astounding than its predecessor, commend themselves to man, if only by such means he may escape the admission of anything approaching his kind. Surely all this is puerile , and should as speedily as possible be outgrown. It is simply an instinct like any other, the projection of the instinct of self-preservation. We ought, therefore, to rise above it, and, where probability points to other things, boldly accept the fact provisionally, as we should the presence of oxygen, or iron, or anything else. Let us not cheat ourselves with words. Conservatism sounds finely, and covers any amount of ignorance and fear.

We must be just as careful not to run to the other extreme, and draw deductions of purely local outgrowth. To talk of Martian beings is not to mean Martian men. Just as the probabilities point to the one, so do they point away from the other. Even on this Earth man is of the nature of an accident. He is the survival of by no means the highest physical organism. He is not even a high form of mammal. Mind has been his making. For aught we can see, some lizard or batrachian might just as well have popped into his place early in the race, and been now the dominant creature of this Earth. Under different physical conditions, he would have been certain to do so. Amid the surroundings that exist on Mars, surroundings so different from our own, we may be practically sure other organisms have been evolved of which we have no cognizance. What manner of beings they may be we lack the data even to conceive.

For answers to such problems we must look to the future. That Mars seems to be inhabited is not the last, but the first word on the subject. More important than the mere fact of the existence of living beings there, is the question of what they maybe like. Whether we ourselves shall live to learn this cannot, of course, be foretold. One thing, however, we can do, and that speedily: look at things from a standpoint raised above our local point of view; free our minds at least from the shackles that of necessity tether our bodies; recognize the possibility of others in the same light that we do the certainty of ourselves. That we are the sum and substance of the capabilities of the cosmos is something so preposterous as to be exquisitely comic. We pride ourselves upon being men of the world, forgetting that this is but objectionable singularity, unless we are, in some wise, men of more worlds than one. For, after all, we are but a link in a chain. Man is merely this earth's highest production up to date. That he in any sense gauges the possibilities of the universe is humorous. He does not, as we can easily foresee, even gauge those of this planet. He has been steadily bettering from an immemorial past, and will apparently continue to improve through an incalculable future. Still less does he gauge the universe about him. He merely typifies in an imperfect way what is going on elsewhere, and what, to a mathematical certainty, is in some corners of the cosmos indefinitely excelled.

If astronomy teaches anything, it teaches that man is but a detail in the evolution of the universe, and that resemblant though diverse details are inevitably to be expected in the host of orbs around him. He learns that, though be will probably never find his double anywhere, he is destined to discover any number of cousins scattered through space.

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