Page:Mars - Lowell.djvu/275

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
207
CONCLUSION

supposed, forms of our intellect, but essential attributes of the universe, the time taken by any process affects the character of the process itself, as does also the size of the body undergoing it. The changes brought about in a large planet by its cooling are not, therefore, the same as those brought about in a small one. Physically, chemically, and, to our present end, organically, the two results are quite diverse. So different, indeed, are they that unless the planet have at least a certain size it will never produce what we call life, meaning our particular chain of changes or closely allied forms of it, at all. As we saw in the case of atmosphere, it will lack even the premise to such conclusion.

Whatever the particular planet's line of development, however, in its own line, it proceeds to greater and greater degrees of evolution, till the process stops, dependent, probably, upon the Sun. The point of development attained is, as regards its capabilities, measured by the planet's own age, since the one follows upon the other.

Now, in the special case of Mars, we have before us the spectacle of a world relatively well on in years, a world much older than the Earth. To so much about his age Mars bears evidence on his face. He shows unmistakable signs of being old. Advancing planetary years have left their mark legible there. His continents are all