A permanent base on Mars would have a number of advantages beyond being a bonanza for planetary science and geology. If, as some evidence suggests, exotic micro-organisms have arisen independently of terrestrial life, studying them could revolutionise biology, medicine and biotechnology.
Many investigators feel uneasy stating in public that the origin of life is a mystery, even though behind closed doors they admit they are baffled. – Paul Davies
Is there anything science should not try to explain? Science is knowledge and knowledge is power – power to do good or evil. Sometimes ignorance is bliss. – Paul Davies