Percival Lowell

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That Mars is inhabited by beings of some sort or other we may consider as certain as it is uncertain what these beings may be.

Percival Lowell (March 13, 1855November 12, 1916) was an amateur astronomer. A millionaire, he founded a professional-quality observatory at Flagstaff, Arizona that is still in use. He is best known for his claims that Mars was covered with canals, which were due to intelligent life. This inspired H. G. Wells to write The War of the Worlds and Edgar Rice Burroughs to write his Mars novels. He also began a search for a ninth planet that led to the discovery of Pluto at his own observatory in 1930.

His sister was Amy Lowell; he was also related to James Russell Lowell and Robert Lowell.

Sourced[edit]

Mars (1896)[edit]

  • Are physical forces alone at work there, or has evolution begotten something more complex, something not unakin to what we know on Earth as life?
    • page 3

Mars and its Canals (1906)[edit]

  • The whole object of science is to synthesize, and so simplify; and did we but know the uttermost of a subject we could make it singularly clear.
    • Preface
  • Formulae are the anaesthetics of thought, not its stimulants and to make any one think is far better worth while than cramming him with ill-considered, and therefore indigestible, learning.
    • Preface
  • That Mars is inhabited by beings of some sort or other we may consider as certain as it is uncertain what these beings may be.
    • Chapter XXXII, Conclusion
  • War is a survival among us from savage times and affects now chiefly the boyish and unthinking element of the nation.
    • Chapter XXXII, Conclusion

Mars as the Abode of Life (1908)[edit]

  • So far as thought may peer into the past, the epic of our solar system began with a great catastrophe. Two suns met. What had been, ceased; what was to be, arose. Fatal to both progenitors, the event dated a stupendous cosmic birth.
    • Chapter I, p.3
  • In the great desert of northern Arizona the traveller, threading his way across a sage-brush and cacti plain shut in by abrupt-sided shelves of land rising here and there some hundreds of feet higher, suddenly comes upon a petrified forest.
    • Chapter IV, p.125

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