I first wrote this several years ago as a speculation piece based on some of the ideas my grandpa and I used to toss back and forth on the farm. It was published a long time ago, I believe, in some little sci-fi online magazine.
Interesting discoveries have been made recently with respect to Mars by the rovers Spirit and Opportunity. The biggest of these discoveries is the potential traces of water found as markings on rocks. Water, as any scientist will tell you, is the cradle of life as we know it. If that belief holds true in the case of the red planet, why then did life stop working on Mars?
As far-fetched as it seems, the answer could be in the Bible. The Bible contains ample reason to believe that Mars, and perhaps at one time all of the planets in our solar system, held the answer to the perfect world. In Genesis chapter one, we find that Adam and Eve were told to “be fruitful and multiply.” The catch here? Adam and Eve would not have died if they had not “fallen.” Population experts today have enough trouble accepting the current population trends! Imagine the trends with respect to the Garden of Eden! God would have had to put the people somewhere. Did Mars and the other planets exist simply to allow for population growth? It's impossible to tell, but what is clear by the scientific record is that Mars was at least originally able to support basic life needs such as water.
Why then, if Mars was God's answer to the pending population explosion, did it cease to exist as a living planet? That answer, if one continues with the Biblical narrative, lies in Genesis chapter three. In verse 19, Adam is told that, because of his deed, “By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” After death came to be part of the human experience, God would have known that man no longer needed the other planets. Mars simply withered and died, leaving mere traces of what could have been.
Is this too far-fetched to believe? Has the rover discoveries turned the Bible from an ancient text into a science fiction book? Does this rule out evolution as a means of creation? It's far too early to tell the ramifications, especially considering the fact that the Mars mission is only a few years old. What the theory does, however, is show at least a speculative reason that Mars may have at one time in a not-too-distant-past held the title of “Earth's backup.” Until, that is, the first man signed his death warrant. And as man went, so did Mars.