Last Week’s Baby Will Surely Talk Some Day by Arthur Brisbane

Story type: EssayIt is believed by scientists that the planet Mars may be striving at this moment to communicate with us. Lines of light are seen on her surface–on the bo …

Story type: Essay

It is believed by scientists that the planet Mars may be striving at this moment to communicate with us. Lines of light are seen on her surface–on the border of that part of Mars known as Lake Iscarie–and men of learning believe that the Martians are trying to signal our earth.

Possibly they are trying.

Of this you may be sure: Sooner or later we shall communicate with all the planets, and perhaps through the giant sun receive news of outside solar systems.

We have lived comparatively but a few hours on this earth. The civilization on Mars is millions of years older than our own.

Although we are still primitive savages, we have done wonders already.

We can talk instantaneously with a Chinese sitting cross-legged on the under (or upper) side of our earth. We can send a message around the earth in a few seconds.

Of course we shall talk to Mars as soon as we get out of our cradle down here.

Look into an ordinary cradle where a week-old baby lies nursing his wrath or trying to talk to his toe. There are around him eighty millions of other human beings–fourteen hundred millions if you count all on earth–and he, the baby, cannot say one word to any of them. He does not even know his own mother.

Like humanity on this earth, he is busy growing up. He has not had time to spread out and get an interest in his surroundings.

His liver must get small–at the end of his milk diet. His legs must get straight and strong. He must learn to creep and walk. After a period as extensive in his life as a thousand centuries in the life of the race, he begins to talk to those about him.

We do not believe that the time has yet come for us to talk to the Martians, or to the inhabitants of any other older planet.

They may possibly be signalling to us up there, as a man inexperienced will signal to a new-born baby or even try to make it understand what he says.

It is probable, however, that Mars, far advanced in science, as superior to us as we are to new-born infants, would use the light only to attract our interest and let us know that when the time comes we have an old brother planet anxious to chat with this baby earth.

It will be most interesting when the talking time does come. The men who have lived, studied, experimented millions of years ahead of us will be able to tell us many things that we need to know.

Like the baby in the cradle, we are compelled now to discover everything for ourselves. Our old brother Mars, as soon as we can understand, may help us to take giant steps forward, just as a younger brother, as soon as he can speak, is taught by his elder in one of our families. —-

It will be interesting, also, to observe how we shall probably reject the good advice given us, as the young person here rejects the words of experience.

Suppose we could talk to Mars, and suppose the wise old people up there should tell us that millions of years of experience had made clear the fact that making money is a foolish occupation. How many of us would cease striving for money? The very scientist giving us the message would patent his interstellar talking process and die happy with a huge fortune.

How cheerful also will it be a million or so years hence! We shall then be like a very young child among the planets. Two of the older worlds will be talking, and we shall be permitted to listen, but not to interrupt.

We shall hear questions put as to our origin and destiny.

We know now that the sun, flying through space, is dragging us toward some unknown spot in the universe. Our older brothers in space will have definite ideas as to where we are going and why we are going there.

It will be interesting to follow their speculations, and occasionally, if permitted, to offer our feeble little ideas, as the smart boy occasionally speaks up before his elders.

Our future as one of a family of planets freely communicating with each other cannot be doubted.

He must have a dull imagination who believes that the eternal Law regulating matters here has put such limits to our possible development as would shut us out from a share in the big solar family life to which we belong.

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