I just read some of the cover article in this magazine. The relatively new field of “astrobiology” has scientists spending all kinds of time and money setting up experiments in places like a frozen arctic lakes, tropical caves, and such, in order to simulate conditions on, say, parts of Mars, Europa, and so on, in a quest to discover life forms, like, for instance, earth’s microbes and other possible microscopic life “out there.” Uh… I just interviewed a philosophy professor at Ohio Northern University who teaches a class on Environmental Ethics. He talked about people developing what he referred to as “virtue ethics.” That is, their actions are determined, not at random, but rather through where their moral compass points to. Okay… If I know that some one billion people on this planet don’t have access to clean drinking water, and I’m part of a field spending millions, maybe billions, of dollars, and all kinds of precious time and valuable expertise, on looking for extra-terrestrial microbes, what might that say about where my moral compass is pointing? Just askin’.