Can Humans Evolve on Mars?

Interplanetary Colonies

Creatures have evolved through millions of years of evolution. Eventually, it has created complex species which, have adapted to their environment.

Our planet has plants, and we breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide.

Mars has hospitable surface conditions and water. The temperature and atmospheric pressure on Mars are closer to Earth than any other planet or the moon in the solar system.

What would happen to a species which is moved away from its home planet - or more specifically, what would happen if humans moved to Mars?

It's fun to think of humans living in the galaxy. Outposts of human beings among the stars. Humans could evolve into a species which, is not like humans we know at all.

We might not become interstellar human beings but, we can start at being interplanetary. Maybe, in the future, we will colonize Mars. We will be faced with challenges but, over time humans may live and die on Mars.

Establishing a permanent settlement will be complex. A habitable settlement will be on Mars before, the first crew departs Earth.

What could happen if, humans evolved on Mars after each generation?

The more isolated the population is, the more different the population will change, and faster it will evolve.

Evolution is mutation and natural selection. Mutations happen when there are copying errors in DNA, radiation and chemical damage. A mutation which, improve a population is more likely to spread. Natural selection has kept favorable traits.

There will be a drift between Martian and human populations. They may become different species. They might be slender and cosmetically different.

Eventually, we might become a multi-planetary species.

What traits would be developed on Mars?

Mars is very different than Earth but, how people would evolve on Mars depends on our technology.

Martian surface and colonies may use modular architecture and 3-D printing.

One factor is gravity. Mars has a gravity 38% of Earth. Less gravity means less bone and muscle strength to function.

Over time, Martians would have less bone density and muscle mass because, of genetic mutations. This has been seen in astronauts.

Martians would be taller because of the decreased gravity to pump blood around the body. We might expect future Martians to be endurance athletes.

A small evolutionary difference is that the people of Tibet have a higher lung capacity. The difference between species on a planet would be a lot greater.

Also, there is a lack of atmosphere on Mars. We would have to develop the technology to survive.

There is a possibility of terraforming. It might be possible to form an atmosphere and ocean. Maybe, this is in the future but, it's interesting to think about.

Unless people live underground, there will be more DNA damage from the cosmic radiation. That means more mutations.

Another factor is Mars is sterile. As far as we know, there are no microbes.

Our immune systems are constantly exposed to bacteria and viruses on Earth. This means there is selection to keep our immune system up to date. 

Can microbes survive on Mars for crops?

To live on Mars means to be able to produce our own food. One factor is to recycle dead plant matter and bacteria. This is essential for crop growth on Mars.

Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are essential for plant growth. Plant growth depletes the soil. The nutrients are released back into the soil when dead plants breakdown. Growing the food locally will be important.

Space colonization is achievable and is a goal which, is gaining momentum. Our option as a multi-planetary civilization is Mars. Ultimately, Mars has the potential to become a self-sustaining civilization. 

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Can Humans Evolve on Mars?
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