a reply to: Ove38
The problems with doing as you suggest are many fold.
First, the chances are that the soil of Mars, and the significantly reduced light that the planet receives, when compared with the circumstances on
Earth, would probably result in significant changes over generations of plants, to the DNA of the plant, assuming one could be made to grow at all.
This would likely result in either the death of the plants from runaway, unhelpful mutations, or make the plant adapt to its surroundings in a manner
which makes it less useful to grow.
Crops could become corrupted, plants that once breathed out oxygen could end up breathing out some other gas....
There are just too many things, biologically, that could go wrong.
But another thing is this... Until every square centimetre of the surface of Mars, not to mention every cave, crevasse, and gap in a rock, has been
probed and prodded and examined by robots and people alike, trying to essentially terraform a world would be irresponsible. Doing so prematurely could
result in the destruction of some native life forms, or destabilise an entire ecology, so we have to be CERTAIN that there is nothing living there, of
any kind, before we begin that sort of process.
Lastly, we humans need to get over our obsession with making our surroundings familiar to us, with taking our customs and opinions and applying them
to every place we happen to be in at the time. The universe is a place of beauty and savagery, wonderful in its majesty, and terrible in its cold,
oppressive scale. We should appreciate the beauty which exists in this universe, without having to paint it in the colours of our territory, our birth
The last thing I want for my descendants, is for them to be able to travel the universes breadth, and never escape the mundane. It would be like
taking a trip to a near by star system, only to find that McDonalds had beaten your there! I say the hell with it. We should experience the universe
as it is, waaaaaay before we start thinking about making it as we would like it!