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					                    Proudian Senior Seminar
                         Homework #5
             Cosmos Chapter 5: Blues for a Red Planet

Part A:
1. A reasonably educated scientist of 1900 might view Mars as:
        a. A cold, dry, desolate world of craters like the Moon.
        b. A warm, swampy, cloud shrouded world.
        c. A cool, dry world of vanishing water resources, with signs of current plant life
        and possibly dead intelligent life.
        d. A cool, wet world with a thriving intelligent form of life.
        e. A cool, dying planet with an intelligence bent upon the conquest of Earth.

2. A reasonably educated scientist of 1970 might view Mars as:
        a. A cold, dry, desolate world of craters like the Moon.
        b. A cold, dry, desolate world with ample evidence of past flowing water.
        c. A cool, dry world of vanishing water resources, with signs of current plant life
        and possibly dead intelligent life.
        d. A cold, wet world with possible evidence of microscopic life.
        e. A cold, dry world with ample evidence of microscopic life.

3. A reasonably educated scientist of 2005 might view Mars as:
        a. A cold, dry, desolate world of craters like the Moon.
        b. A cold, dry, desolate world with ample evidence of past flowing water.
        c. A cool, dying planet with an intelligence bent upon the conquest of Earth.
        d. A cold, wet world with possible evidence of microscopic life.
        e. A cold, dry world with ample evidence of microscopic life.

4. What’s one topic or idea from the reading, which you did not understand, were
confused about, or would like clarified in class?
Part B:
1. Since the time of Percival Lowell, scientists have only succeeded in showing Mars to
be a dry and lifeless planet. What benefit (beyond the crushing of imagination and
dreams) have astronomers brought us by virtue of their scientific investigation of Mars,
and why should we tax-payers continue to fund it?

2. On page xii of the Introduction Carl says that one reason for writing Cosmos was his
firm belief that the public would be far more interested in the Viking mission than the
media were giving them credit for. Now that you have read his description of Mars and
the Viking mission, do you agree with his belief? Relate this belief to your own
knowledge and feelings about the current Mars Rover mission.

				
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posted:4/17/2011
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