The universe is suddenly very wet. With the discovery of water on Mars and now on our nearest heavenly body, the moon, it seems that what was once impossible has become very possible: life elsewhere.
We know that Earth is constantly bombarded by meteors when we look up into the night sky and spot shooting stars. But more astounding is astronomer Lou Frank’s recent discovery. Using the Hubble Telescope to study Earth’s atmosphere, Frank proved that Earth is constantly being hit by snowballs from space. The implications are enormous: If ice from outer space hits Earth regularly, it could be “snowing” onto other planets too, providing much-needed water to support life.
To me, more astonishing than discovering water traveling in comets, is how humans are now moving beyond the age of globalization. Call it the age of cosmozation. The word doesn’t exist in the dictionary, but then, two decades or so ago, neither did globalization. Soon, Webster will have to add cosmozation, or something like it, in order to address man’s intensifying relationship with the cosmos. After all, sending rovers to mars to dig and then crashing a probe onto the surface of the moon is changing the dynamic of the cosmos.
Roland Robertson, a social scientist, defines globalization as “The compression of the world and the intensification of consciousness of the world as a whole.” The world shrinks, geographical constraints are overcome, while identities become multilayered, complex. We are, in fact, interacting and influencing one another on an unprecedented scale and intensity, regardless of the distances.
By taking Robertson’s definition a step further, it seems inevitable that the universe too, shrinks and compresses as we explore and measure it, and infer profound implications from our discoveries. Cosmozation then is the process in which man’s awareness expands beyond the globe: He grows cognizant that he exists on intimate levels with the rest of the universe, that he is interacting with it, and, increasingly, having an effect upon it.
Some of the latest scientific discoveries have tantalized the mind: evidence of possible water currently flowing on Mars, gushing down gullies in various craters; and organic materials found in comet dust collected from the comet Wild 2. And the Galileo space probe that orbited Jupiter showed us that on Europa, one of Jupiter’s many moons, huge oceans lie beneath an icy surface. Scientists found active volcanoes as well—that is to say, these could be the ingredients that spark and possibly support life.
Now we have evidence that water is abundant everywhere, in asteroids and comets, and even on the moon. It seems that the idea of life out there is becoming more believable each day.
Years ago, Francis Crick, who discovered the DNA molecule with two other scientists more than half a century ago, floated the idea of panspermia – that genetic materials came to earth as part of the interstellar exchange. Many mocked him behind his back.
But if Earth didn’t receive DNA for a start up way back when, we are now actively sending out DNA through space with our spacecrafts and satellites and shuttles. There’s water everywhere. And in the cosmic age, in the age of cosmozation, if you will, with so many probes and satellites and spacecrafts out there, there’s also plenty of earth’s genetic materials out there as well.