Tag: flood (page 1 of 3)

Mira from the Pleiadian High Council – January-03-2017

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Archangelic Realm ~ HUE-manity’s Light Shining Through You ~ Shivrael Luminance River

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New Channeled Message from Sananda – Golden Light Flight – October-01-2016

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Message to the Lightworkers – September-13-2016

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Noah’s Flood ~ The Evidence in Australia & Worldwide ~ The Creation Event speaker John Mackay

Ayers Rock - testament to Noah's flood? Click to zoom

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Stephen Hawking warns that attempting to contact aliens could invite disaster

Excerpt from cambridge-news.co.ukWhat is known as Active Seti will be under serious discussion this week at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in San Jose, California. Seti spokesman Dr Seth...

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10 Mysterious Biblical Figures No One Can Explain


The canonical Bible is filled with mysterious characters, many of whom drop in for a cameo, do their thing, and then slide out, never to be heard from again. Some are merely extras, but some have a contextual presence that begs further examination. And some are, well, just weird.

10  Melchizedek


Probably the single most mysterious figure in the Bible, Melchizedek was a priest-king of Salem (later known as Jerusalem) in the time of Abram (Abraham), suggesting a religious organization, complete with ritual and hierarchy, that predated the Jewish nation and their priestly lineage from the tribe of Levi. He is only portrayed as active in one passage, although he is alluded to once in Psalms, and several times in the New Testament’s Epistle to the Hebrews.
Some Jewish disciplines insist that Melchizedek was Shem, Noah’s son. He is thought of, in Christian circles, as a proto-messiah, embodying certain traits later given to Christ. New Testament writings assert that Christ was “a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek,” indicating an older and deeper covenant with God than the Abrahamic-Levite lineage.
Hebrews 7, though presents him in a more unusual light. In verses 3 and 4:
“Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually. Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.”
Not only do these verses grant Melchizedek a hierarchical level above the most important Jewish patriarch, they assign him mystical qualities. Some take this to mean an earlier incarnation of Christ. Others see it as an ancient manifestation of the Holy Spirit. His identity, role, and theological function have long been debated.
The paucity of scriptural references have added to the mystery, making him a somewhat spectral figure. As such, newer spiritual traditions, as well as New Age quacks, have taken liberties with his persona. Gnostics insisted he became Jesus, and he is cited as a high-level priest in Masonic and Rosicrucian lore. Joseph Smith wrote that he was the greatest of all prophets, and Mormons still trace their priesthood back to him. The Urantia, a 20th-century pseudo-Bible that claims to merge religion, philosophy, and science, insists he’s the first in an evolutionary succession of deification manifestations, with Abraham being his first convert.
There is even a school of thought that Melchizedek is a title or assumed character name, sort of a theological 007, played by a series of Judeo-Christian James Bonds. 

The lore of Melchizedek is confusing but deep and fascinating. Apocryphal books give us more details, some cryptic, some relatively mundane. The Second Book of Enoch is particularly informative, insisting Melchizedek was born of a Virgin. When his mother Sophonim (the wife of Noah’s brother Nir) died in childbirth, he sat up, clothed himself, and sat beside her corpse, praying and preaching. After 40 days, he was taken by an archangel to the Garden of Eden, protected by angels and avoiding the Great Flood without passage on Uncle Noah’s ark.

9  Cain’s Wife


Cain was, according to Genesis, the first human ever born. He later killed his younger brother Abel in a hissy fit over his sacrifice of meat being more favored than Cain’s sacrificial fruit basket. God put a mark on Cain and cursed the ground he farmed, forcing him into a life as a wandering fugitive. 

That part of the story is fairly well known. Later, though, we read that he settled in the Land of Nod, and, all of a sudden, he has a wife. Absolutely nothing else is mentioned about her. We don’t even know where she came from. In fact, the question of where Cain got his wife, when his immediate family were apparently the only people in the world, has sent many a perceptive young Sunday schooler down the road of skepticism. 

Some have posited a mysterious other tribe of people, maybe created after Adam and Eve, maybe even another race or species. But the standard response is that Adam and Eve had many other sons and daughters to populate the Earth. The only way to keep the human race going would be to mate with siblings, nieces, nephews, and cousins. 

In fact, though the Holy Bible is silent on her identity, the apocryphal Book of Jubilees tells us exactly who was Cain’s wife: his sister Awan, who bore his son Enoch.

8  Joseph Barsabbas


After Judas Iscariot turned in his resignation by selling out his boss, Jesus’s disciples rushed to fill the open position and bring the number back up to a more theologically apt 12. The remaining disciples, including the newly convinced Thomas, looked over the candidates from the 120 or so adherents who followed Jesus. Then they cast lots to pick who would fill the position. 

It went to Matthias, a fairly mysterious character himself. We don’t know where he came from or his previous occupation. Some think he was actually the diminutive Zacchaeus, the tax collector who climbed a sycamore tree to get a better glimpse of Jesus’s ride on the donkey.
The man who lost out was Joseph Barsabbas, also known as Joseph Justus. We know nothing solid about him, even less than we know about Matthias.
There is, however, one bit of interesting speculation. A list of names presented in Mark 6:3 includes some of Christ’s earliest and most loyal adherents. One of these is a man named Joses, and another is James the Just. Biblical scholar Robert Eisenman suggests that James carried on Jesus’s work, and the writer of the Book of Acts assigned him an alias to minimize his importance.

7  The Beloved Disciple


In the Gospel of John, several references are made to “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” This particular favorite is present at the Last Supper, the crucifixion, and after the resurrection. The writer of the Gospel of John even states that the testimony of this disciple is the basis for the text. But there is considerable debate over the identity of this mystery figure.
The most obvious nominee is John the Apostle, one of Christ’s inner circle of 12 and the namesake of the Gospel. But none of the 12 apostles were present at the crucifixion, so that crosses him off the list. Lazarus, resurrected by Christ, is also considered. He seems to have been present at the cited events and is referred to specifically, in the story of His death and resurrection, as “he whom Thou lovest.”
Mary Magdalene, Judas, Jesus’s brother James, or an unnamed disciple, possibly even a Roman or governmental official, have all been considered. There is even a school of thought that John is an interactive gospel, with the reader being the beloved disciple.

6  Simon Magus


“Simony” is the selling of church position or privilege. It is named for Simon Magus, or Simon the Magician, who makes only a brief appearance in the Bible, in Acts 8:9–24. Simon has since become synonymous with heretical thought, and religious exploitation.
He is presented as a powerful magician with a large following of in Samaria, who converts to Christianity and wishes to learn from apostles Peter and Phillip. When he sees the gifts of the Holy Spirit, including speaking in tongues and an ecstatic spiritual state, he offers the men money if they will give him the secret to passing these gifts to others. They are not amused.
Apocryphal texts reveal quite a bit more, like his alleged ability to levitate and even fly, emphasizing that he was something akin to a cult leader in his hometown. It is suggested that his conversion is more for economic purposes than spiritual, and he set himself up as a messianic figure himself, competing for the Jesus dollar with his own homespun theology.
He is thought by some to be a founder of Gnosticism, a patchwork of various religious systems that relied heavily on Judaic and Christian symbolism.

5  Onan


Not unlike Simon Magus, Onan’s brief appearance inspired a name for a particular action.
He was the second son of Abraham’s grandson Judah, the patriarch and namesake of one of the 12 tribes of Israel. His older brother, Er (yes, just “Er”) was “wicked in the sight of the Lord,” so God killed him. What he did to deserve such an execution remains a mystery.
Tradition at the time dictated that Er’s widow, Tamar, become Onan’s wife. Onan had to impregnate her to keep the lineage alive, but he was not as wild about the idea. Maybe it was the thought of impending fatherhood, or Tamar just wasn’t his type. So, taking matters into his own hands, he committed the first recorded act of coitus interruptus. Or, as Genesis 38:9 so poetically put it: “And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother’s wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother.” God was displeased and slew Onan.
The whole tale gets even more sordid. Onan had a younger brother, Shelah. Customarily, he would have been next in line to impregnate Tamar, but Judah forbade it. Tamar, rather than graciously accepting forced spinsterhood, seduced Judah and (became pregnant) by the old man. Judah fathered twins Zerah and Perez, the latter of whom was listed by Matthew as an ancestor of Jesus’s earthly father Joseph...
Some have even suggested that Onan’s death warns that sex is meant only for purposes of reproduction, and not for pleasure.

4  Nicodemus


Nicodemus was a member of the Sanhedrin, a council of men who ruled on Jewish law and governance. He became a friend, follower, and intellectual foil for Jesus, whose egalitarian teachings often ran counter to the Sanhedrin’s rigid decrees. He was also a Pharisee, a leader within the Jewish community who toadied up to the Roman government at the time of Christ’s arrest and subsequent crucifixion.
He is mentioned three times in the New Testament, all in the Gospel of John. He subtly defends Jesus as the Pharisees discuss His impending arrest. Later, he helps prepare Jesus’s body for burial, indicating he had become an adherent to Christ and His teachings.
The first time he is mentioned, however, is in dialogue with Jesus, and these conversations reveal some of the most important aspects of Christian theology, such as the notion of being “born again” and the most famous reference to the divinity of Christ, John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
This detailed conversation explores the divide between the Old Covenant’s dogmatic and exclusive Jewish Law and the New Covenant’s spiritually inclusive concepts. But for a vital contributor to such an important passage of the New Testament, Nicodemus remains a mysterious figure. Some scholars have suggested he may be Nicodemus ben Gurion, a Talmudic figure of wealth and mystical power. Christian tradition suggest he was martyred, and he is venerated as a saint. His name has come to be synonymous with seekers of the truth and is used as a character in many works of biblically inspired fiction.

3  James The Just


He is considered, next to Paul and Peter, the most important apostolic figure in the Church’s history. The Book of Acts specifically names him the head of the Christian church in Jerusalem, and he is frequently cited, both scripturally and apocryphally, as being consulted by both Paul and Peter. So who is he?
Traditionally, he is thought of as Jesus’s brother (or, more precisely, His half-brother). Jesus is listed, in the Gospels, as having siblings, some younger than Him. One was named James.
But James was a common name, and there are several mentioned in the Bible. Two of the 12 disciples were named James, but both are listed as having different fathers than Jesus, and neither went on to become James the Just. James the son of Zebedee went on to be known as James the Great, and James the son of Alphaeus was called James the Less.
It is known that he was a contemporary of Jesus, although he seems to have had no real inner-circle status during Christ’s ministry. The apocryphal Gospel of Thomas says Christ Himself designated James to lead the movement upon His death. The Apostle Paul initially seems respectful, even subservient, to “James the Lord’s brother,” calling him a “pillar” of the movement, even though he was later to disagree with him on matters of doctrine.
Some, though, have suggested the “brother” designation was spiritual, rather than physical. St. Jerome, among others, suggested that the doctrine of perpetual virginity indicated James could be a cousin, which, given the tribal associations and clannishness of the Jewish community of the time, seems valid. Such a relationship would indicate a certain social proximity without necessarily being a true sibling.

2  Simon The Zealot


Of Christ’s 12 disciples, none are more mysterious than Simon the Zealot. His name was meant to differentiate him from Simon Peter and has come to symbolize, for some, that he was a member of a similarly named political movement that advocated Jewish defiance to Roman law. Some have speculated that he acted, within Christ’s inner circle, as a political adviser. His presence then indicated that Jesus had a revolutionary political agenda.
The truth is much less exciting. The “Zealot” movement did not take place until long after the time that Christ would have given Simon his sobriquet, and there has never been any serious evidence that Simon, despite the designation, was a political radical. The name, and the word upon which it is based, did not take on those aggressive undertones until the movement itself was in full swing. More than likely, Simon was given his name because of intense spiritual devotion, rather than any radical political stance.
Nothing else is known of him, at least not with any surety. The Catholic Encyclopedia mentions him as possibly being a brother or cousin of Jesus, with no real evidence. The Eastern Orthodox tradition says he developed his zeal when Jesus attended his wedding and changed water into wine. Some legends say he was martyred; the philosopher Justus Lipsius somehow got it into his head that he was sawed in half.

1  Og


Cited twice specifically, but alluded to frequently in general terms, the Nephilim were a race of violent giants that lived in the pre-Flood world at the same time as humanity. Were they, as some suggest, the offspring of demons and human women? Fallen angels themselves? Or simply the descendants of Seth mentioned in the Dead Sea scrolls, a tribe of cranky cases cursed by God for their rebelliousness? Regardless, they evolved and became known by other names, like the Raphaim, and frequently battled humans for land and power.
The most storied of them was Og, the King of Bashan. He was killed, along with his entire army, and his kingdom was ransacked. All of the survivors—men, women, and children—were put to death, and the strongest and most powerful line of Nephilim descendants was eliminated. Some Nephilim bloodlines continued to do battle with the Israelites, though they were becoming less powerful and dying out. One tribe, the Anakim, allied themselves with the human tribes in Philistia. Goliath was thought to have been one of the last few descendants of the Nephilim.
Goliath’s height is given in the earliest manuscripts as 275 centimeters (9′). That’s hardly as awe-inspiring as the creature laying in Og’s bed, which measured, according to Deuteronomy, 400 centimeters (13′ 6″). That’s basically Yao Ming sitting on Shaquille O’Neal’s shoulders.
Biblically, descendants of the Nephilim could not have survived the Flood, even though Og and other giants are post-Flood figures. Some biblical literalists have attributed their later existence to the descendants of Noah’s family hooking up, once again, with demons. Or, being fallen angels and not human, they did survive the flood.
Jewish tradition gets deeper into information about the Nephilim and their descendants, going against the grain of the biblical account. It tells of Og booking passage on the Ark by promising to act as a slave to Noah and his family. Other accounts have him hanging on to the side of the Ark and riding the flood out rodeo-style.

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Bill Nye Disputes the Bible’s Great Flood Account


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Where does water actually come from? Comet evidence opening floodgates of mystery

Excerpt from slate.com

WE CALL Earth a water world, and that’s pretty fair: Our planet’s surface is 70 per cent covered in it, it makes up a percentage of our air, and there’s even a substantial amount of it mixed in to the planet’s mantle, deep underground. 

But where the heck did it come from?

This is no idle question. We have a lot of water here, and it must have come from somewhere. There are two obvious source — it formed here along with the Earth, or it was brought to Earth from space. Which is the dominant source has been a topic of long and heated debate among astronomers.

The first big science results have just been announced by the European science team working with the Rosetta probe, and, in my opinion, they throw more gasoline on the fire. Measurements made by the probe show that comets like 67P/Churyumov — Gerasimenko — the one Rosetta is orbiting — couldn’t have been the source of our water.

But that hardly helps answer the underlying question! Why not? Ah, the details …

When the Earth formed 4.55 billion years ago (give or take), there was a lot of water in the disk of material swirling around the Sun. Close in to the Sun, where it was warm, that water was a gas, and farther out it formed ice. We see that latter part echoed down through time now in the form of icy moons around the outer planets.

You’d expect water collected on Earth along with everything else (metals, silicates, and so on). When the Earth cooled, a lot of that water bubbled up from the interior or was outgassed by volcanism.

Where does water come from?
Where does water come from? Source: Getty Images
But we have another big source, too: comets. These are dirty snowballs, rock and dust held together by water frozen as ice. They formed farther out in the solar system, where ice was more plentiful. Long ago, just a few hundred million years after Earth formed and started to cool, there was a tremendous flood of comets sent down into the inner solar system, disturbed by the gravitational dance of the outer planets as they slowly settled down into their orbits. This Late Heavy Bombardment, as it’s called, could have supplied all of Earth’s water.

How to tell? Well, it turns out that in this one case, hipsters are right: Locally sourced is measurably different than stuff trucked in.
Water is made up of one oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms. Hydrogen atoms, it so happens, come in two flavours: The normal kind that has single proton in its nucleus, and a heavier kind called deuterium that has a proton and a neutron (there’s also tritium, with two neutrons, but that’s exceedingly rare). Deuterium is far more rare than the normal kind of hydrogen, but how rare depends on what you look at. The ratio of deuterium to hydrogen in Earth’s water can be different than, say, water in comets, or on Mars.
Note I said, “can be”. We know the ratio differs across the solar system. But suppose we find the same ratio in comets as we do on Earth. That would be powerful evidence that water here began out there. Astronomers have looked at a lot of comets trying to pin down the ratio, and what they’ve found is maddening: Some comets have a ratio very different from Earth’s, and only one (103P/Hartley 2) has a ratio similar to ours.

Jets of material — including water — emanate from comet 67P/Churyumov — Gerasimenko.
Jets of material — including water — emanate from comet 67P/Churyumov — Gerasimenko. Source: AP
Now that’s interesting: 103/P is a Jupiter-family comet, meaning it used to orbit the Sun far out, but dropped into the inner solar system, got its orbit modified by Jupiter, and now has a much shorter path that keeps it in the inner solar system.
Rosetta’s comet, 67/P, is also a Jupiter-family comet. You’d expect them to have roughly similar deuterium/hydrogen ratios.

They don’t. 67/P, according to Rosetta, has three times the deuterium per hydrogen atom as Earth (and 103/P).
What does that mean? It’s not clear, which is why this is maddening. It could be simply that not all Jupiter-family comets have the same ratio; they may all have different origins (born scattered across the solar system, so with different D/H ratios), but now belong to the same family. Or it could mean that 67/P is an oddball, with a much higher ratio than most other comets like it. That would seem unlikely, though, since we’ve studied so few you wouldn’t expect an oddball to be found so easily.

Making things more complicated, some asteroids in the main belt between Mars and Jupiter have water on them, and it appears to have an Earth-like D/H ratio. But we think they have so little water that it would take a lot more of them impacting the early Earth to give us our water than it would comets. That’s possible, but we know lots of comets hit us back then, so it’s still weird that the D/H ratios don’t seem to work out. Still, it’s nice that there could be another potential source to study, and this new Rosetta result does lend credence to the idea that asteroids did the wet work.

So what do comets have to do with it?
So what do comets have to do with it? Source: Getty Images
So if you ask where Earth’s water come from, the answer is: We still don’t know...

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The Astonishing Sumerian Kings List ~ Did Sumerian Kings Rule for Thousands of Years? By Greg Giles

All four sides of the Sumerian kings list artifact

The following work is a translation provided by Oxford University (England), of a prism now in the Weld-Blundell collection of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England. Known more popularly as the Sumerian kings list, it is a list compiled from fifteen or more different texts, tracing the rulers of certain Sumerian cities in succession. The original form of the list is believed to go back to approximately 2,000 BC.  

What is remarkable about this list is the lengths of reigns of a number of kings, some listed as long as 43,200 years. I find several possibilities for the long reigns inscribed on this artifact.  

1. This artifact is a hoax. I do not see this as likely however, as this artifact appears to be taken seriously by credible sources, namely Oxford University.  

2. The scribes and artisans who created the list erred. I do not see this as a very likely explanation either, as even the most mathematically challenged scribe would have noticed the hugely obvious oversights.  

3. The lengths of reigns was propaganda, conning the masses into seeing their kings as more god-like. This scenario is at least plausible, as history books state that as recently as the 20th century, the Japanese people believed their emperor Hirohito was a god, only to be shocked to learn the truth as he made public appearances after Japan's defeat at the end of World War 2. 

4. A handful of modern day scholars believe the years listed are multiplied equations, with kings receiving exaggerated lengths of reigns dependent upon their achievements while ruler. I see this as possible, though I am not convinced. Why choose such an odd way to honor a past king? Sumerians have preserved in tablet and other forms such accurate record keeping on so many varied subjects. Would they really choose to distort their records, records they carefully preserved for future generations, to honor past kings? There is also a lack of solid evidence to support this theory. 

5. Humans lived far longer life spans in our past. I see this theory as certainly possible.  

6. Ancient Sumerian kings were of extraterrestrial origin. 

What I find most intriguing is that possibilities number 5 & 6 appear the most likely explanations to the Sumerian king list.

Greg Giles     



The Sumerian king list: Translation provided by Oxford University etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk

(In the following translation, mss. are referred to by the sigla used by Vincente 1995; from those listed there, mss. Fi, Go, P6, and WB 62 were not used; if not specified by a note, numerical data come from ms. WB.)
1-39After the kingship descended from heaven, the kingship was in Eridug. In Eridug, Alulim became king; he ruled for 28800 years. Alaljar ruled for 36000 years. 2 kings; they ruled for 64800 years. Then Eridug fell and the kingship was taken to Bad-tibira. In Bad-tibira, En-men-lu-ana ruled for 43200 years. En-men-gal-ana ruled for 28800 years. Dumuzid, the shepherd, ruled for 36000 years. 3 kings; they ruled for 108000 years. Then Bad-tibira fell (?) and the kingship was taken to Larag. In Larag, En-sipad-zid-ana ruled for 28800 years. 1 king; he ruled for 28800 years. Then Laragfell (?) and the kingship was taken to Zimbir. In Zimbir, En-men-dur-ana became king; he ruled for 21000 years. 1 king; he ruled for 21000 years. Then Zimbir fell (?) and the kingship was taken to Curuppag. In Curuppag, Ubara-Tutu became king; he ruled for 18600 years. 1 king; he ruled for 18600 years. In 5 cities 8 kings; they ruled for 241200 years. Then the flood swept over.
40-94After the flood had swept over, and the kingship had descended from heaven, the kingship was in Kic. In Kic, Jucur became king; he ruled for 1200 years. Kullassina-bel ruled for 960 (ms. P2+L2 has instead: 900) years. Nanjiclicma ruled for (ms. P2+L2 has:) 670 (?) years. En-tarah-ana ruled for (ms. P2+L2 has:) 420 years ......, 3 months, and 3 1/2 days. Babum ...... ruled for (ms. P2+L2 has:) 300 years. Puannumruled for 840 (ms. P2+L2 has instead: 240) years. Kalibum ruled for 960 (ms. P2+L2 has instead:900) years. Kalumum ruled for 840 (mss. P3+BT14, Su1 have instead:900) years. Zuqaqip ruled for 900 (ms. Su1 has instead: 600)years. (In mss. P2+L2, P3+BT14, P5, the 10th and 11th rulers of the dynasty precede the 8th and 9th.) Atab (mss. P2+L2, P3+BT14, P5 have instead: Aba) ruled for 600 years. Macda, the son of Atab, ruled for 840 (ms. Su1 has instead:720) years. Arwium, the son of Macda, ruled for 720 years. Etana, the shepherd, who ascended to heaven and consolidated all the foreign countries, became king; he ruled for 1500 (ms. P2+L2 has instead: 635) years. Balih, the son of Etana, ruled for 400 (mss. P2+L2, Su1 have instead: 410) years. En-me-nuna ruled for 660 (ms. P2+L2 has instead:621) years. Melem-Kic, the son of En-me-nuna, ruled for 900 years. (ms. P3+BT14 adds:) 1560 are the years of the dynasty of En-me-nuna . Barsal-nuna, the son of En-me-nuna,(mss. P5, P3+BT14 have instead: Barsal-nuna) ruled for 1200 years. Zamug, the son of Barsal-nuna, ruled for 140 years. Tizqar, the son of Zamug, ruled for 305 years. (ms. P3+BT14 adds:) 1620 + X ....... Ilku ruled for 900 years. Iltasadum ruled for 1200 years. En-men-barage-si, who made the land of Elamsubmit, became king; he ruled for 900 years. Aga, the son of En-men-barage-si, ruled for 625 years. (ms. P3+BT14 adds:) 1525 are the years of the dynasty of En-men-barage-si. 23 kings; they ruled for 24510 years, 3 months, and 3 1/2 days. Then Kic was defeated and the kingship was taken to E-ana.
95-133In E-ana, Mec-ki-aj-gacer, the son of Utu, became lord and king; he ruled for 324 (ms. P2+L2 has instead: 325)years. Mec-ki-aj-gacer entered the sea and disappeared. Enmerkar, the son of Mec-ki-aj-gacer, the king of Unug, who built Unug (mss. L1+N1, P2+L2 have instead: under whom Unug was built), became king; he ruled for 420 (ms. TL has instead: 900 + X) years. (ms. P3+BT14 adds:) 745 are the years of the dynasty of Mec-ki-aj-gacer. (ms TL adds instead: ......; he ruled for 5 + X years.) Lugalbanda, the shepherd, ruled for 1200 years. Dumuzid, the fisherman, whose city was Kuara, ruled for 100 (ms. TL has instead: 110) years. (ms. P3+BT14 adds:) He captured En-me-barage-si single-handed. Gilgamec, whose father was a phantom (?), the lord of Kulaba, ruled for 126 years. Ur-Nungal, the son of Gilgamec, ruled for 30 years. Udul-kalama, the son of Ur-Nungal (ms. Su1 has instead: Ur-lugal), ruled for 15 years. La-ba'cum ruled for 9 years. En-nun-tarah-ana ruled for 8 years. Mec-he, the smith, ruled for 36 years. Melem-ana (ms. Su2 has instead:Til-kug (?) ......) ruled for 6 (ms. Su2 has instead: 900)years. Lugal-kitun (?) ruled for 36 (ms. Su2 has instead: 420)years. 12 kings; they ruled for 2310 (ms. Su2 has instead: 3588) years. Then Unug was defeated and the kingship was taken to Urim.
134-147In Urim, Mec-Ane-pada became king; he ruled for 80 years. Mec-ki-aj-Nanna(ms. P2+L2 has instead: Mec-ki-aj-nuna), the son of Mec-Ane-pada, became king; he ruled for 36 (ms. P2+L2 has instead: 30)years. Elulu ruled for (mss. L1+N1, P2+L2, P3+BT14 have:) 25 years. Baluluruled for (mss. L1+N1, P2+L2, P3+BT14 have:) 36 years. (mss. L1+N1, P2+L2 have:) 4 kings; they ruled for (mss. L1+N1, P2+L2, P3+BT14 have:) 171 years. Then Urim was defeated and the kingship was taken to Awan.
148-159In Awan, ...... became king; he ruled for ...... years. ...... ruled for ...... years. ...... ruled for 36 years. 3 kings; they ruled for 356 years. Then Awan was defeated and the kingship was taken to Kic.
160-178In Kic, Susuda, the fuller, became king; he ruled for 201 + X years. Dadasig ruled for (ms. vD has:) 81 years. Mamagal, the boatman, ruled for 360 (ms. L1+N1 has instead: 420) years. Kalbum, the son of Mamagal (ms. WB has instead:Magalgal), ruled for 195 (ms. L1+N1 has instead: 132)years. Tuge (?) ruled for 360 years. Men-nuna, (ms. L1+N1 adds:) the son of Tuge (?), ruled for 180 years. (in mss. L1+N1, TL, the 7th and 8th rulers of the dynasty are in reverse order) ...... ruled for 290 years. Lugalju ruled for 360 (ms. L1+N1 has instead:420) years. 8 kings; they ruled for 3195 (ms. L1+N1 has instead: 3792) years. Then Kic was defeated and the kingship was taken to Hamazi.
179-185In Hamazi, Hadanic became king; he ruled for 360 years. 1 king; he ruled for 360 years. Then Hamazi was defeated and the kingship was taken (ms. P3+BT14 has instead: was returned a second time) to Unug.
(In mss. IB, L1+N1, TL, the 2nd dynasty of Unug of ll. 185-191 is preceded by the 2nd dynasty of Urim of ll. 192-203.)
186-192In Unug, En-cakanca-ana became king; he ruled for 60 years. Lugal-ure(ms. P3+BT14 has instead: Lugal-kinice-dudu (?)) ruled for 120 years. Argandea ruled for 7 years. (ms. L1+N1 has:) 3 kings; they ruled for (ms. L1+N1 has:) 187 years. Then Unug was defeated (ms. TL has instead:destroyed) and the kingship was taken to Urim.
193-204In Urim, Nani became king; he ruled for (ms. vD has:) 120 + X (ms. IB has instead: 54 + X) years. Mec-ki-aj-Nanna, the son of Nani, ruled for (ms. vD has:) 48years. ......, the son (?) of ......, ruled for (ms. IB has:) 2 years. (ms. IB has:) 3 kings; they ruled for (ms. IB has:) 582 (ms. TL has instead:578) years. (ms. vD has instead: 2 kings; they ruled for 120 + X years.) Then Urimwas defeated (ms. TL has instead: destroyed) and the kingship was taken to Adab.
205-210In Adab, Lugal-Ane-mundu became king; he ruled for (mss. L1+N1, TL have:) 90 years. (mss. L1+N1, TL have:) 1 king; he ruled for (mss. L1+N1, TL have:) 90 years. Then Adab was defeated (ms. TL has instead:destroyed) and the kingship was taken to Mari.
211-223In Mari, Anbu (?) became king; he ruled for 30 (ms. TL has instead:90) years. Anba (?), the son of Anbu (?), ruled for 17 (ms. TL has instead: 7) years. Bazi, the leatherworker, ruled for 30 years. Zizi, the fuller, ruled for 20 years. Limer, the gudu priest, ruled for 30 years. Carrum-iter ruled for 9 (ms. TL has instead: 7) years. 6 kings; they ruled for 136 (ms. TL has instead:184) years. Then Mari was defeated (ms. TL has instead:destroyed) and the kingship was taken to Kic.
224-231In Kic, Kug-Bau, the woman tavern-keeper, who made firm the foundations of Kic, became king; she ruled for 100 years. 1 king; she ruled for 100 years. Then Kic was defeated (ms. TL has instead:destroyed) and the kingship was taken to Akcak.
232-243In Akcak, Unzi became king; he ruled for 30 years. Undalulu ruled for 6(mss. L1+N1, S have instead: 12) years. Urur ruled for (ms. IB has instead: was king (?) for) 6 years. Puzur-Nirah ruled for (mss. IB, L1+N1, S, Su1 have:) 20 years. Icu-Il ruled for (mss. IB, L1+N1, S, Su1 have:) 24 years. Cu-Suen, the son of Icu-Il, ruled for (mss. IB, L1+N1, S, TL have:) 7 (ms. Su1 has instead: 24) years. (mss. S, Su1, TL have:) 6 kings; they ruled for (mss. L1+N1, S, TL have:) 99(ms. Su1 has instead: 116) years (ms. IB has instead: 5 kings; they ruled for (ms. IB has:) 87 years). Then Akcak was defeated (ms. S has instead: Then the reign of Akcak was abolished) and the kingship was taken to Kic.
(mss. IB, S, Su1, Su3+Su4 list the 3rd and 4th dynasty of Kic of ll. 224-231 and ll. 244-258, respectively, as one dynasty)
244-258In Kic, Puzur-Suen, the son of Kug-Bau, became king; he ruled for 25 years. Ur-Zababa, the son of Puzur-Suen, ruled for 400 (mss. P3+BT14, S have instead:6) (ms. IB has instead: 4 + X) years. (ms. P3+BT14 adds:) 131 are the years of the dynasty of Kug-Bau. Zimudar (ms. TL has instead: Ziju-iake) ruled for 30 (ms. IB has instead: 30 + X)years. Uß³i-watar, the son of Zimudar (ms. TL has instead: Ziju-iake), ruled for 7 (ms. S has instead: 6) years. Ectar-muti ruled for 11 (ms. Su1 has instead: 17 (?)) years. Icme-Camacruled for 11 years. (ms. Su1 adds:) Cu-ilicu ruled for 15 years. Nanniya, the jeweller, (ms. Su1 has instead: Zimudar) (ms. IB has instead: ......) ruled for 7 (ms. S has instead: 3) years. 7 kings; they ruled for 491 (ms. Su1 has instead: 485) years (ms. S has instead: 8 kings; they ruled for (ms. S has:) 586 years). Then Kic was defeated (ms. S has instead: Then the reign of Kic was abolished) and the kingship was taken (ms. P3+BT14 has instead: was returned a third time) to Unug.
(ms. IB omits the 3rd dynasty of Unug of ll. 258-263)
259-265In Unug, Lugal-zage-si became king; he ruled for 25 (ms. P3+BT14 has instead: 34) years. 1 king; he ruled for 25 (ms. P3+BT14 has instead: 34)years. Then Unug was defeated(ms. S has instead: Then the reign of Unug was abolished) and the kingship was taken to Agade.
266-296In Agade, Sargon, whose father was a gardener, the cupbearer of Ur-Zababa, became king, the king of Agade, who built Agade (ms. L1+N1 has instead:under whom Agade was built); he ruled for 56 (ms. L1+N1 has instead:55) (ms. TL has instead: 54) years. Rimuc, the son of Sargon, ruled for 9 (ms. IB has instead:7) (ms. L1+N1 has instead: 15) years. Man-icticcu, the older brother of Rimuc, the son of Sargon, ruled for 15 (ms. L1+N1 has instead:7) years. Naram-Suen, the son of Man-icticcu, ruled for (mss. L1+N1, P3+BT14 have:) 56 years. Car-kali-carri, the son of Naram-Suen, ruled for (ms. L1+N1, Su+Su4 have:) 25 (ms. P3+BT14 has instead:24) years. (ms. P3+BT14 adds:) 157 are the years of the dynasty of Sargon. Then who was king? Who was the king? (ms. Su3+Su4 has instead: who was king? Who indeed was king?) Irgigi was king, Imi was king, Nanûm was king (in mss. L1+N1, Su3+Su4, Imi and Nanûm are in reverse order) , Ilulu was king, and the (mss. P3+BT14, S have:) 4 of them ruled for only (mss. P3+BT14, S have:) 3years. Dudu ruled for 21 years. Cu-Durul, the son of Dudu, ruled for 15 (ms. IB has instead: 18) years. 11 kings; they ruled for 181 years (ms. S has instead: 12 kings; they ruled for (ms. S has:) 197 years) (mss. Su1, Su3+Su4, which omit Dudu and Cu-Durul, have instead: 9 kings; they ruled for (ms. Su1 has:) 161 (ms. Su3+Su4 has instead: 177) years. Then Agade was defeated (ms. S has instead: Then the reign of Agade was abolished) and the kingship was taken to Unug.
297-307In Unug, Ur-nijin became king; he ruled for 7 (mss. IB, S have instead: 3) (ms. Su1 has instead:15) (ms. Su3+Su4 has instead: 30)years. Ur-gigir, the son of Ur-nijin, ruled for 6 (ms. IB has instead: 7) (ms. Su1 has instead: 15) (ms. Su3+Su4 has instead: 7) years. Kuda ruled for 6 years. Puzur-ili ruled for 5 (ms. IB has instead: 20) years. Ur-Utu ruled for 6(ms. Su3+Su4 has instead: Ur-Utu), the son of Ur-gigir, ruled for 25 (ms. Su1 has instead: Lugal-melem, the son of Ur-gigir, ruled for 7) years. 5 kings; they ruled for 30 (ms. IB has instead:43) (mss. PÝ+Ha, S have instead:26) years (ms. Su3+Su4, which omits Kuda and Puzur-ili, has instead: 3 kings; they ruled for (ms. Su3+Su4 has:) 47 years). Unug was defeated (ms. S has instead: Then the reign of Unug was abolished) and the kingship was taken to the army (ms. Su3+Su4 has instead:land) of Gutium.
308-334In the army (ms. Su3+Su4 has instead:land) of Gutium, at first no king was famous; they were their own kings and ruled thus for 3 years(ms. L1+N1 has instead: they had no king; they ruled themselves for 5 years). Then Inkicuc (ms. Su3+Su4 has instead:......) ruled for 6 (ms. L1+Ni1 has instead: 7) years. Zarlagabruled for 6 years. Culme (ms. L1+N1 has instead: Yarlagac) ruled for 6 years. Silulumec (ms. Mi has instead:Silulu) ruled for 6(ms. G has instead: 7) years. Inimabakec ruled for 5 (ms. Mi has instead: Duga ruled for 6) years. Igecauc ruled for 6 (ms. Mi has instead: Ilu-an (?) ruled for 3) years. Yarlagab ruled for 15 (ms. Mi has instead: 5) years. Ibate ruled for 3 years. Yarla (ms. L1+N1 has instead:Yarlangab (?)) ruled for 3 years. Kurum (ms. L1+N1 has instead: ......) ruled for 1 (ms. Mi has instead: 3) years. Apil-kin ruled for 3 years. La-erabum (?) ruled for 2 years. Irarum ruled for 2 years. Ibranum ruled for 1 year. Hablumruled for 2 years. Puzur-Suen, the son of Hablum, ruled for 7 years. Yarlaganda ruled for 7 years. ...... ruled for 7 years. Tiriga (?) ruled for 40 days. 21 kings; they ruled for (ms. L1+N1 has:) 124 years and 40 days (ms. Su3+Su4 has instead: 25 years). Then the army of Gutium was defeated (ms. TL has instead: destroyed) and the kingship was taken to Unug.
335-340In Unug, Utu-hejal became king; he ruled for 427 years, ...... days (ms. IB has instead: 26 years, 2 + X months, and 15 days) (ms. J has instead: 7 years, 6 months, and 15 days) (ms. TL has instead: 7 years, 6 months, and 5 days). 1 king; he ruled for 427 years, ...... days (ms. J has instead: 7 years, 6 months, and 15 days) (ms. TL has instead: 7 years, 6 months, and 5 days). Then Unug was defeated and the kingship was taken to Urim.
341-354In Urim, Ur-Namma became king; he ruled for 18 years. Culgi, the son of Ur-Namma, ruled for 46 (mss. Su3+Su4, TL have instead: 48) (ms. P5 has instead:58) years. Amar-Suena, the son of Culgi, ruled for 9(ms. Su3+Su4 has instead: 25) years. Cu-Suen, the son of Amar-Suena, ruled for 9 (ms. P5 has instead: 7) (ms. Su1 has instead: 20 + X) (ms. Su3+Su4 has instead: 16) years. Ibbi-Suen, the son of Cu-Suen, ruled for 24 (mss. P5, Su1 have instead:25) (ms. Su3+Su4 has instead: 15)(ms. TL has instead: 23 (?)) years. 4 kings; they ruled for 108 years (mss. J, P5, Su1, Su3+Su4 have instead: 5 kings; they ruled for (ms. P5 has:) 117 (ms. Su1 has instead: 120 + X) (ms. Su3+Su4 has instead: 123) years). Then Urim was defeated (ms. P5 has instead: Then the reign of Urim was abolished). (ms. Su3+Su4 adds:) The very foundation of Sumer was torn out (?). The kingship was taken to Isin.
355-377In Isin, Icbi-Erra became king; he ruled for 33(ms. P5 has instead: 32) years. Cu-ilicu, the son of Icbi-Erra, ruled for 20 (ms. P5 has instead: 10) (ms. Su1 has instead: 15) years. Iddin-Dagan, the son of Cu-ilicu, ruled for 21 (ms. Su1 has instead: 25) years. Icme-Dagan, the son of Iddin-Dagan, ruled for (mss. P2, P5 have:) 20 (ms. Mi has instead:18) years. Lipit-Ectar, the son of Icme-Dagan (ms. P2 has instead:Iddin-Dagan), ruled for (mss. L1+N1, P2, P5 have:) 11 years. Ur-Ninurta (mss. L1+N1, P2 add:) , the son of Ickur-- may he have years of abundance, a good reign, and a sweet life --ruled for (ms. P5 has:) 28 years. Bur-Suen, the son of Ur-Ninurta, ruled for 21 years. Lipit-Enlil, the son of Bur-Suen, ruled for 5 years. Erra-imitti ruled for 8 (mss. P5, TL have instead: 7)years. (ms. P5 adds:) ...... ruled for ...... 6 months. Enlil-bani ruled for 24 years. Zambiya ruled for 3 years. Iter-pica ruled for 4 years. Ur-dul-kugaruled for 4 years. Suen-magirruled for 11 years. (ms. P5 adds:) Damiq-ilicu, the son of Suen-magir, ruled for 23 years. 14 kings; they ruled for 203 years (ms. P5 has instead: 225 years and 6 months).
(Mss. P2+L2, L1+N1 and P4+Ha conclude with a summary of the post-diluvian dynasties; the translation of ll. 378-431 uses numerical data from each mss. but follows the wording of P2+L2 and L1+N1)
378-431A total of 39 kings ruled for 14409 + X years, 3 months and 3 1/2 days, 4 times in Kic. A total of 22 kings ruled for 2610 + X years, 6 months and 15 days, 5 times in Unug. A total of 12 kings ruled for 396 years, 3 times in Urim. A total of 3 kings ruled for 356 years, once in Awan. A total of 1 king ruled for 420 years, once in Hamazi.16 lines missing
A total of 12 (?) kings ruled for 197 (?) years, once in Agade. A total of 21 (ms. P4+Ha has instead: 23) kings ruled for 125 years and 40 days (ms. P4+Ha has instead: 99 years), once in the army of Gutium. A total of 11 (ms. P4+Ha has instead: 16) kings ruled for 159 (ms. P4+Ha has instead: 226)years, once in Isin. There are 11 cities, cities in which the kingship was exercised. A total of 134 (ms. P4+Ha has instead: 139) kings, who altogether ruled for 28876 + X (ms. P4+Ha has instead: 3443 + X) years. 21.

Revision history

03.ix.1999 : GZ : adapting translation
04.xii.1999 : JAB : proofreading
08.xii.1999 : GC : tagging
14.i.2000 : ER : proofreading SGML
14.i.2000 : ER : converting to HTML 4.0
7.ix.2001 : ER : header and footer reformatted; substantive content of file not changed

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The New American Dream ~ The Case for Colonizing Mars

Excerpt from Ad Astra

by Robert Zubrin

Mars Is The New World

Among extraterrestrial bodies in our solar system, Mars is singular in that it possesses all the raw materials required to support not only life, but a new branch of human civilization. This uniqueness is illustrated most clearly if we contrast Mars with the Earth's Moon, the most frequently cited alternative location for extraterrestrial human colonization.

In contrast to the Moon, Mars is rich in carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen and oxygen, all in biologically readily accessible forms such as carbon dioxide gas, nitrogen gas, and water ice and permafrost. Carbon, nitrogen, and hydrogen are only present on the Moon in parts per million quantities, much like gold in seawater. Oxygen is abundant on the Moon, but only in tightly bound oxides such as silicon dioxide (SiO2), ferrous oxide (Fe2O3), magnesium oxide (MgO), and aluminum oxide (Al2O3), which require very high energy processes to reduce.

The Moon is also deficient in about half the metals of interest to industrial society (copper, for example), as well as many other elements of interest such as sulfur and phosphorus. Mars has every required element in abundance. Moreover, on Mars, as on Earth, hydrologic and volcanic processes have occurred that are likely to have consolidated various elements into local concentrations of high-grade mineral ore. Indeed, the geologic history of Mars has been compared to that of Africa, with very optimistic inferences as to its mineral wealth implied as a corollary. In contrast, the Moon has had virtually no history of water or volcanic action, with the result that it is basically composed of trash rocks with very little differentiation into ores that represent useful concentrations of anything interesting.

You can generate power on either the Moon or Mars with solar panels, and here the advantages of the Moon's clearer skies and closer proximity to the Sun than Mars roughly balances the disadvantage of large energy storage requirements created by the Moon's 28-day light-dark cycle. But if you wish to manufacture solar panels, so as to create a self-expanding power base, Mars holds an enormous advantage, as only Mars possesses the large supplies of carbon and hydrogen needed to produce the pure silicon required for producing photovoltaic panels and other electronics. In addition, Mars has the potential for wind-generated power while the Moon clearly does not. But both solar and wind offer relatively modest power potential — tens or at most hundreds of kilowatts here or there. To create a vibrant civilization you need a richer power base, and this Mars has both in the short and medium term in the form of its geothermal power resources, which offer potential for large numbers of locally created electricity generating stations in the 10 MW (10,000 kilowatt) class. In the long-term, Mars will enjoy a power-rich economy based upon exploitation of its large domestic resources of deuterium fuel for fusion reactors. Deuterium is five times more common on Mars than it is on Earth, and tens of thousands of times more common on Mars than on the Moon.

But the biggest problem with the Moon, as with all other airless planetary bodies and proposed artificial free-space colonies, is that sunlight is not available in a form useful for growing crops. A single acre of plants on Earth requires four megawatts of sunlight power, a square kilometer needs 1,000 MW. The entire world put together does not produce enough electrical power to illuminate the farms of the state of Rhode Island, that agricultural giant. Growing crops with electrically generated light is just economically hopeless. But you can't use natural sunlight on the Moon or any other airless body in space unless you put walls on the greenhouse thick enough to shield out solar flares, a requirement that enormously increases the expense of creating cropland. Even if you did that, it wouldn't do you any good on the Moon, because plants won't grow in a light/dark cycle lasting 28 days.

But on Mars there is an atmosphere thick enough to protect crops grown on the surface from solar flare. Therefore, thin-walled inflatable plastic greenhouses protected by unpressurized UV-resistant hard-plastic shield domes can be used to rapidly create cropland on the surface. Even without the problems of solar flares and month-long diurnal cycle, such simple greenhouses would be impractical on the Moon as they would create unbearably high temperatures. On Mars, in contrast, the strong greenhouse effect created by such domes would be precisely what is necessary to produce a temperate climate inside. Such domes up to 50 meters in diameter are light enough to be transported from Earth initially, and later on they can be manufactured on Mars out of indigenous materials. Because all the resources to make plastics exist on Mars, networks of such 50- to 100-meter domes could be rapidly manufactured and deployed, opening up large areas of the surface to both shirtsleeve human habitation and agriculture. That's just the beginning, because it will eventually be possible for humans to substantially thicken Mars' atmosphere by forcing the regolith to outgas its contents through a deliberate program of artificially induced global warming. Once that has been accomplished, the habitation domes could be virtually any size, as they would not have to sustain a pressure differential between their interior and exterior. In fact, once that has been done, it will be possible to raise specially bred crops outside the domes.

The point to be made is that unlike colonists on any known extraterrestrial body, Martian colonists will be able to live on the surface, not in tunnels, and move about freely and grow crops in the light of day. Mars is a place where humans can live and multiply to large numbers, supporting themselves with products of every description made out of indigenous materials. Mars is thus a place where an actual civilization, not just a mining or scientific outpost, can be developed. And significantly for interplanetary commerce, Mars and Earth are the only two locations in the solar system where humans will be able to grow crops for export.

Interplanetary Commerce

Mars is the best target for colonization in the solar system because it has by far the greatest potential for self-sufficiency. Nevertheless, even with optimistic extrapolation of robotic manufacturing techniques, Mars will not have the division of labor required to make it fully self-sufficient until its population numbers in the millions. Thus, for decades and perhaps longer, it will be necessary, and forever desirable, for Mars to be able to import specialized manufactured goods from Earth. These goods can be fairly limited in mass, as only small portions (by weight) of even very high-tech goods are actually complex. Nevertheless, these smaller sophisticated items will have to be paid for, and the high costs of Earth-launch and interplanetary transport will greatly increase their price. What can Mars possibly export back to Earth in return?
It is this question that has caused many to incorrectly deem Mars colonization intractable, or at least inferior in prospect to the Moon.

For example, much has been made of the fact that the Moon has indigenous supplies of helium-3, an isotope not found on Earth and which could be of considerable value as a fuel for second generation thermonuclear fusion reactors. Mars has no known helium-3 resources. On the other hand, because of its complex geologic history, Mars may have concentrated mineral ores, with much greater concentrations of precious metal ores readily available than is currently the case on Earth — because the terrestrial ores have been heavily scavenged by humans for the past 5,000 years. If concentrated supplies of metals of equal or greater value than silver (such as germanium, hafnium, lanthanum, cerium, rhenium, samarium, gallium, gadolinium, gold, palladium, iridium, rubidium, platinum, rhodium, europium, and a host of others) were available on Mars, they could potentially be transported back to Earth for a substantial profit. Reusable Mars-surface based single-stage-to-orbit vehicles would haul cargoes to Mars orbit for transportation to Earth via either cheap expendable chemical stages manufactured on Mars or reusable cycling solar or magnetic sail-powered interplanetary spacecraft. The existence of such Martian precious metal ores, however, is still hypothetical.

But there is one commercial resource that is known to exist ubiquitously on Mars in large amount — deuterium. Deuterium, the heavy isotope of hydrogen, occurs as 166 out of every million hydrogen atoms on Earth, but comprises 833 out of every million hydrogen atoms on Mars. Deuterium is the key fuel not only for both first and second generation fusion reactors, but it is also an essential material needed by the nuclear power industry today. Even with cheap power, deuterium is very expensive; its current market value on Earth is about $10,000 per kilogram, roughly fifty times as valuable as silver or 70% as valuable as gold. This is in today's pre-fusion economy. Once fusion reactors go into widespread use deuterium prices will increase. All the in-situ chemical processes required to produce the fuel, oxygen, and plastics necessary to run a Mars settlement require water electrolysis as an intermediate step. As a by product of these operations, millions, perhaps billions, of dollars worth of deuterium will be produced.

Ideas may be another possible export for Martian colonists. Just as the labor shortage prevalent in colonial and nineteenth century America drove the creation of "Yankee ingenuity's" flood of inventions, so the conditions of extreme labor shortage combined with a technological culture that shuns impractical legislative constraints against innovation will tend to drive Martian ingenuity to produce wave after wave of invention in energy production, automation and robotics, biotechnology, and other areas. These inventions, licensed on Earth, could finance Mars even as they revolutionize and advance terrestrial living standards as forcefully as nineteenth century American invention changed Europe and ultimately the rest of the world as well.

Inventions produced as a matter of necessity by a practical intellectual culture stressed by frontier conditions can make Mars rich, but invention and direct export to Earth are not the only ways that Martians will be able to make a fortune. The other route is via trade to the asteroid belt, the band of small, mineral-rich bodies lying between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. There are about 5,000 asteroids known today, of which about 98% are in the "Main Belt" lying between Mars and Jupiter, with an average distance from the Sun of about 2.7 astronomical units, or AU. (The Earth is 1.0 AU from the Sun.) Of the remaining two percent known as the near-Earth asteroids, about 90% orbit closer to Mars than to the Earth. Collectively, these asteroids represent an enormous stockpile of mineral wealth in the form of platinum group and other valuable metals.

Historical Analogies

The primary analogy I wish to draw is that Mars is to the new age of exploration as North America was to the last. The Earth's Moon, close to the metropolitan planet but impoverished in resources, compares to Greenland. Other destinations, such as the Main Belt asteroids, may be rich in potential future exports to Earth but lack the preconditions for the creation of a fully developed indigenous society; these compare to the West Indies. Only Mars has the full set of resources required to develop a native civilization, and only Mars is a viable target for true colonization. Like America in its relationship to Britain and the West Indies, Mars has a positional advantage that will allow it to participate in a useful way to support extractive activities on behalf of Earth in the asteroid belt and elsewhere.

But despite the shortsighted calculations of eighteenth-century European statesmen and financiers, the true value of America never was as a logistical support base for West Indies sugar and spice trade, inland fur trade, or as a potential market for manufactured goods. The true value of America was as the future home for a new branch of human civilization, one that as a combined result of its humanistic antecedents and its frontier conditions was able to develop into the most powerful engine for human progress and economic growth the world had ever seen. The wealth of America was in fact that she could support people, and that the right kind of people chose to go to her. People create wealth. People are wealth and power. Every feature of Frontier American life that acted to create a practical can-do culture of innovating people will apply to Mars a hundred-fold.

Mars is a harsher place than any on Earth. But provided one can survive the regimen, it is the toughest schools that are the best. The Martians shall do well.

Robert Zubrin is former Chairman of the National Space Society, President of the Mars Society, and author of The Case For Mars: The Plan to Settle the Red Planet and Why We Must.

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Human Origins from Sumerians ~ With Zecharia Sitchen ~ Video

The story of the great flood as told in the Bible originated from the ancient Sumerians, who settled in early Mesopotamia and whose legends and mythologies greatly influenced the subsequent civilizations of that area. The later versions of the stori...

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