The development of space flight and nuclear explosive technology seem to verify the argument that there
is an upward spiral of intellectual evolution on Earth. Although some other terrestrial animals exhibit a degree of intelligence
only human beings can build machines capable of interplanetary flight, and have invented nuclear weaponry that can be designed
to temporarily protect the Earth from catastrophic cosmic bombardments. Moreover, since October 1996 technological societies
have learned how symbiotic life is by utilizing the enclosed laboratory Biosphere 2, operated by Columbia University outside
Tucson Arizona. While living in the Biosphere it was discovered that humans can not exist long in an isolated environment
without many of Earth?s living organisms, or for that matter nonliving variable factors to sustain them in an ecosystem (1).
Moreover, in order to avoid extinction from some cosmic catastrophes mankind can use actualized scientific
knowledge to protect its? world by sending rockets with nuclear warheads to intercept incoming comets or asteroids. However,
animal and plant populations must eventually be dispersed to other planets, or space habitats, that have been terraformed,
to avoid major cosmic catastrophes that will cause extinction. As has been demonstrated in Biosphere 2, hospitality of these
new environments to the different population genetics of Earth?s living things is a necessity to accomplish the long time
symbiotic survival of human beings. If populations are not significantly dispersed and our planet is bombarded by giant cosmic
particles, like those of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 that fragmented and slammed into Jupiter in July 1994 (2), the chance of a
successful defense of the Earth would be minuscule and life would probably be obliterated. According to the Department of
Physics and Astronomy at Stephen F. Austin State University?s Web Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 FAQ, ?The real show-stopper was fragment
G which struck Jupiter with an estimated energy equivalent to 6,000,000 megatons of TNT (about 600 times the estimated arsenal
of the world).? However, when it is remembered that fragment G was only one of 21 displaced pieces of the original comet and
a similar comet could rifle into the Earth, that deduction is the real show-stopper. After viewing the result of some of the
impacts through my own home telescope it was clear to me that life?s tenure on this planet is not secure. Reinforcing this,
the Encarta (R) 97 Encyclopedia reports the Martian meteorite (ALH84001) seems to have been blasted off that planet by an
asteroid impact about 16 million years ago. This event must have been a major catastrophe, probably significant enough to
extinguish Martian life if it existed, and the existence of Martian life is not out of the question. Rod-shaped structures
found on the meteorite have been interpreted as tiny fossilized bacteria by some. Moreover, Simon Clemett of Lockheed Martin
at NASA's Johnson Space Center reported on the presence of magnetite in meteorite ALH84001. ?About 25 percent of the magnetite
crystals found inside globules of carbonate rock in the Allan Hills 84001 meteorite from Antarctica seem to resemble crystals
grown by an Earthling bacteria known as MV-1. Since the crystals were formed before the meteorite was blasted free of Mars
in a giant collision, only Martian bacteria could have made them?if they are biologically made crystals at all, that is.?
Clemett presented work by a team led by his colleague Kathie Thomas-Keprta at the August 30, 2000 Meteoritical Society meeting
Furthermore, NASA has found indications of climatic change and signs that previously Mars had liquid water
and a warmer, thicker atmosphere (3). On December 4, 2000 a NASA HQ/JPL release stated, ?In what ultimately may be their most
significant discovery yet, Mars scientists say high-resolution pictures showing layers of sedimentary rock paint a portrait
of an ancient Mars that long ago may have featured numerous lakes and shallow seas.? This evidence further indicates that
on Mars there once might have evolved simple forms of life that were blown into space and possible extinction by a giant asteroid/comet
Mars cosmic collision and it is safe to conclude that a similar event could occur on Earth.
Consequently, it has not yet been determined how many Near Earth Asteroids (NEA) there are or how many could
significantly damage the Earth. And known historical impacts on the Earth and other planets along with more factors that will
be mention indicate we will probably face continued future asteroid and comet bombardments. Short period comet paths are not
exactly known since they move in more than one way. Although planets follow regular orbits around the Sun a comet's path is
constantly rerouted by the gravitational pull of the planets, the Sun, and its? own water vapor outgassing as it nears the
Sun. Likewise, long period comets emerging from the Oort cloud, at the outer limits of our solar system, are even more unpredictable.
In fact they are currently absolutely unknown, can surprise the Earth at any moment, and we have at this time absolutely no
means of predicting the enormity of their danger to our planet. Also in the November 2001 issue of the journal Science, new
studies are helping fill in astronomers' views of how near Earth asteroids orbit the sun and how they ended up as NEA in the
first place. The picture emerging is one in which asteroids in the belt between Mars and Jupiter collide, shatter and then
clump together into families, migrate into regions of space where the gravity of Jupiter can jar them loose from their orbits
and finally take up residence close to Earth. "It's pretty clear that [near-Earth asteroids] come from the main asteroid belt
between Mars and Jupiter," explains Joseph Stuart of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an author of one of the reports.
These new studies, are "refining the details of how that might happen." Stuart, who compiled data from the Lincoln Near-Earth
Asteroid Research (LINEAR) project, found 1,200 more kilometer-size rocks orbiting the sun than recent counts have detected.
"It's key for astronomers to know how many such objects there are and how they revolve around the sun in order to assess the
risk that one might collide with Earth, he notes." Therefore, randomness in space, is currently a deficiency of human knowledge
and the number of unknown NEA along with newly emerging NEA, from the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, create
a chaotic situation causing collision predictability to be currently without merit. It then seems just a matter of time coupled
with the chaotic nature of asteroid/comet orbits, and the eventual emergence of an unknown threatening comet from the Oort
cloud before the Earth will be impacted by an asteroid or comet capable of catastrophic devastation or at best great regional
damage. Reinforcing this concept is current NASA.gov data, ?NEAs are a dynamically young population whose orbits evolve on
100-million-year time scales because of collisions and gravitational interactions with the Sun and the terrestrial planets.
The largest presently known is 1036 Ganymed, with an approximate diameter of 25.5 miles (41 kilometers). Estimates suggest
at least a thousand NEAs may be large enough -- 0.6 mile (1 kilometer) or more in diameter -- to threaten Earth." NASA.gov
data also document that on June 30, 1908, a small asteroid 330 feet (100 meters) in diameter exploded over the remote region
of Tunguska in Siberia, devastating more than half a million acres of forest. One of the most recent close calls occurred
on March 23, 1989, " . . when an asteroid 0.25-mile (0.4- kilometer) wide came within 400,000 miles (640,000 kilometers) of
Earth. Surprised scientists estimated that Earth and the asteroid -- weighing 50 million tons and traveling at 46,000 miles/hour
(74,000 kilometers/hour) -- had passed the same point in space just six hours apart.? Also the Report of the British National
Space Centre?s Task force on potentially hazardous NEAR EARTH OBJECTS, September 2000, B:3 designated that the March 23, 1989
NEO was Asclepius and estimated it had a diameter of 300 meters. It is interesting to speculate how Asclepius? orbit was affected
by its? close encounter with the Earth and how it would be affected by that of other objects along its? journey. It is safe
to assume it will probably not return to intersect the Earth?s orbit exactly as it had on March 23, 1989. If that is the case,
and the next time the asteroid that missed the Earth passes by, how close will it be to a rendezvous with our planet and do
we have all the data necessary to answer the question?
Important mechanisms insuring the continuation of life's existence are adaptation, dispersion, and reproduction.
Coupled with these mechanisms is life's prime motive, which is survival. Mankind's survival motive compels him to defend Earth
from cosmic catastrophe unless the threat is overwhelming; like that witnessed as comets collided with Jupiter in 1994. If
the threat is overwhelming mankind can disperse kindred symbiotic life forms to live in or on habitats off the Earth. When
this is done, humankind will have increased its chances of surviving a catastrophic cosmic collision, because people can then
colonize the designed hospitable environment populated with living things that complement human existence. Consequently, since
mankind has intellectually and socially evolved so as to acquire the ability to protect the Earth from minor cosmic catastrophes,
and can expedite the dispersal of life to other planets if needed, these are uniquely fundamental survival roles in animal/human
evolutionary development. In fact only humans have ever occupied the biological niche that is the playing of these roles and
it seems evident that evolution has put mankind in the position to be planetary lifesavers.
The life on any planet will probably become extinct over time, if for no other reason than the death of
the planet's sun. In our case the sun will expand to a red giant before collapsing. Therefore, unless interplanetary travel
is used to disperse living things from this world, life from it will probably dead-end. The only evident design capable of
assuring multiple and highly evolved species survival, through time and cosmic catastrophe, is the evolution of intelligent
beings working in various specialized teams and functioning as a creative unit. It also seems evident that the beings must
have at least the capability of developing a nuclear comet/asteroid defense and interplanetary flight; thus they can occupy
a unique biological niche and act as planetary lifesavers.
Consequently, intelligent beings capable of interplanetary flight and nuclear technology have evolved by
way of natural selection and life's prime motive, which is survival. It therefore seems evident that any intelligent beings
capable of space flight and nuclear explosive technology may not have evolved on this world, or possibly other worlds, to
just survive as a planet bound species. Instead it is probable that people have evolved to occupy the niche that could perpetuate
the survival of evolved life by way of planetary protection and interplanetary dispersion. If this is not the case, then the
human race is destined for a planet-bound extinction, either by its own doing or through some other disaster as has been the
case for all of Earth's previous dominant species. Eventually, another species more capable than Homo sapiens will have an
opportunity to develop, and the protection and dispersal of life from this world may take place. If not, life will probably
dead-end on this planet as it might have on Mars.
As Darwin prophetically remarked in his last paragraph of Descent of Man, ?Man may be excused for feeling
some pride at having risen, though not through his own exertions, to the very summit of the organic scale; and the fact of
his having thus risen, instead of having been aboriginally placed there, may give him hope for a still higher destiny in the
In the late 1970?s evidence to support the theory that a comet caused catastrophic destruction of the environment
leading to the extinction of the dinosaurs was discovered by Luis and Walter Alvarez. Working with a team of scientists from
the University of California they were making a study of the rocks around the K-T boundary in Gubbio, Italy. In particular,
they were looking at a layer of clay at the boundary point that contained an unusual spike of the rare comet-enriched element,
iridium. This spike revealed that the levels of iridium contained in the clay were roughly 30 times normal. Later, comet-enriched
material from the impact's explosion was found dispersed in similar geologic time scale formations all over the world. With
radiometric dating it was also found that the time of the comet?s impact and the dinosaur extinction 65 million years ago
occurred almost simultaneously (4). Evidence then suggests that the superbly successful dinosaurs became extinguished in a
fiery cosmic catastrophe, because they did not have the intelligence to either protect the Earth or disperse life to other
planets. Consequently, the evolution of intelligent space traveling nuclear explosive capable beings is life?s cosmic catastrophe
survival strategy. As Darwin hoped, this strategy seems to be Mans, ?higher destiny? and is essential for the survival of
evolved species from this planet. In the broadest context imaginable, mankind must go forth and multiply.
In 1871, in Descent of Man, Charles Darwin wrote about his evolutionary theory, ?It seemed worth while to
try how far the principle of evolution would throw light on some of the more complex problems in the natural history of man.?
Later in the same work he wrote, ?Now when viewed by the light of our knowledge of the whole organic world, their meaning
is unmistakable. The great principle of evolution stands up clear and firm...?
Currently it is believed that male/female (sexual) reproduction seems to be an indisputable factor facilitating
the genetic evolution of animals and plants. Combinations, permutations, random mutations, speciation, and population genetics,
along with other and unknown concepts, influence coded DNA information delivered to offspring by two opposite gender parents.
Thus, offspring produced from males and females have greater differences from their parents than offspring from a single (asexual)
parent. The children then have a greater ability to adapt in ways that will increase or decrease their chances to survive
and reproduce in a changing environment. Those that better adapt and most often survive and reproduce will pass on their different
inherited genetic characteristics to their offspring. Thus, there is change or evolution, and if the advantageous adaptation
is markedly different, species characteristics may be modified greatly over time. These are arguments validating Charles Darwin?s
theories and also some of the reasons, following the development of sexual reproduction, that there has been an increase in
the speed of biological evolution on Earth.
It seems evident that another kind of evolution takes place when energy/matter has changed or evolved through
time to form particles. The particles sometimes seem to change and further increase in mass. To explain this, it is theorized
that matter evolved or changed from energy when subsequently related strings, or maybe multiple quarks, emerged as matter?s
constituents following the big bang, which seems to be the first event in cosmic history between 12 and 14 billion years ago.
Afterward protons, electrons, and neutrons were fashioned from matter's constituents along with antimatter, other particles,
and possibly even more things not yet considered. However, it is better understood that hydrogen and helium probably would
have been the primary products of the big bang. Later some of the gasses were concentrated and compressed by their own gravity,
forming stars, and the heavier elements were created by fusion reactions in those stars or later in supernovas. Consequently,
energy and matter seem to be naturally changing in a kind of cosmic evolution, and although energy can be transformed, it
cannot be created or destroyed.
According to Einstein?s most famous equation, E = mc2, it is apparent that matter and energy are fundamentally
interrelated. This being the case, energy seems to be the original stuff of matter?s cosmic evolution. Life might or might
not be the ultimate result of the cosmic evolution of matter from energy. However, life in the universe is a fact and a consequence
of cosmic evolution, because without the required elements created by star/supernova fusion there would be no materials to
Adapt or Perish:
Living things that are better adapted to their environment have an advantage over their competitors. The
better adapted probably will have a greater chance to survive. Successful reproduction is necessary to facilitate adaptive
change; otherwise the change will have great difficulty being introduced into a gene pool. Furthermore, dispersion of matter
increases the chances that life will develop in different places in the universe. Also dispersion of life on a planet, or
in the universe, is preferable so life will not easily be obliterated by local or cosmic catastrophe. Thus, forms of life
will have a greater chance to survive a catastrophe, cosmic or otherwise, and produce offspring.
Organisms that incorporate changes in genetics, life style, and habitat resulting in successful adaptation,
dispersion, and reproduction tend to increase their chances of survival over competing organisms not changing. Therefore,
organisms better at adapting, dispersing, and reproducing will be the probable progenitors of future generations occupying
a similar biological niche. In the long run, when the environment is in a constant state of change, as it seems to be in our
universe, biological evolution is fundamentally essential to the ongoing existence of life itself. In other words, in a constantly
changing environment, forms of life that can not adapt to change probably become extinct, if for no other reason than the
death of their sun, which would be the ultimate cosmic catastrophe. These brief fundamental principles are essential in order
to understand the evolution of Homo sapiens as a species capable of asteroid/comet protection and/or dispersal of life on/or
from the Earth to avoid extinction.