Across the Martian Frontier? Thoughts on Planet B, a Martian Safety Valve, and the Earth as Our Body

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Abstract

Even though we are on the precipice of a “bad Anthropocene,” humankind should not colonize Mars. Mars is often depicted as our “Planet B”—an evacuation plan for Earth. But in this time of ecological crisis, theologian Sallie McFague suggests that we think of the Earth as God’s body and take our obligation to care for our common home seriously. Likewise, in contrast to calls for colonization, I contend that two American historical anecdotes—the safety valve theory and the Yellowstone—illustrate why humanity should think less about becoming Martians and instead find meaning and purpose in remaining Earthlings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalTheology and Science
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

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Keywords

  • Earth
  • Earth as God’s body
  • Gaia Hypothesis
  • Mars
  • planet B
  • safety-valve theory
  • Yellowstone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Religious studies
  • History and Philosophy of Science

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