British astronomer Lord Martin Rees predicts a future in which humans colonizing Mars will become cyborgs within a generation or two.
Lord Rees also believes that communication with extraterrestrials would be nearly impossible due to the light years that separate such an advanced life form from humanity.
“There is no room for quick answers,” the professor said.
The Martian Chronicles Revisited
Lord Rees predicts that Mars will be colonized in the near future, which is reminiscent of the vision promoted by Elon Musk. However, it also foresees an unintended consequence in the evolutionary process of Martian colonization.
“Let’s imagine that at the end of the century, there are small communities far from the Earth. By then, the techniques of genetic modification and cybernetics will be much more advanced than today.
“They’re expected to be regulated here on Earth, but those intrepid explorers on Mars will do well to modify themselves,” he said.
“They will use all these techniques to adapt and within a generation or two they could become a different species, a mixture of flesh, blood and robot”.
“A scenario for the next millennium could therefore be that some of the descendants of Mars explorers become cyborgs,” he added.
As for this notion, other researchers and futurists have warned that such colonies on Mars would eventually become not only independent of our species, but totally independent of Earth, to the point – perhaps – of creating the first interplanetary conflict.
A complicated terraforming
But Lord Rees made two final observations about the near future that most visionaries like Musk downplay or completely ignore.
For example, the professor claimed that the mass migration to Mars was a “dangerous illusion”.
“It’s child’s play to deal with climate change compared to the reaffirmation of the terraforming of Mars,” he said.
Finally, he concluded that the term “space tourism” should never be used because it will never be without risk. “It should be called ‘space adventure’ for people who like high risk, people who like to hang glide.