May 27, 2008
As a young reporter I was privileged to cover the space program from its base in Houston. I got to know some of the astronauts. It was a thrilling experience and those were heady days as America led the world in getting to the Moon.
I was reminded of those successes when the spacecraft Phoenix landed on Mars Sunday night. Pictures were quickly beamed back here and we could see not only the spacecraft, but the desolate wasteland that is the Red Planet. Scientists want to know if life in any form exists on Mars. Maybe it does; maybe not.
A friend of mine believes that if we could transport ourselves to another planet we could start over, learn from our mistakes on earth and create a better life. I reminded him that it wouldn’t work because we would take our sin nature with us, leading to all of the problems – war, famine, crime – that we now have.
Space exploration is exciting and I’m sure scientists will learn a lot about Mars. But they would also do well to consider what the late astronaut Jim Irwin said: the great miracle is not man walking on the Moon; but God walking on the Earth.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.