November 15, 2019
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‘Life on Mars,’ offers a unique blend of sci-fi, absurdism and social satire

Community Author: Robert Klose
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‘Life on Mars’ (July 2019) takes a satirical look at evolution vs. Intelligent Design — a sort of feint by anti-evolutionists to get creationism into the classroom by assiduously avoiding the mention of God. Instead, reference is made to a “higher” or “superior” intelligence. But what if the Intelligent Design folks are right and the evolutionists are wrong?

In something of an absurdist recap of the Scopes Trial, a college professor is taken to task by the government for teaching evolution in contravention of the religious principles of the newly established Theocratic Union of American States. The story’s conceit is this: what if the scientists are wrong and the evangelicals are right, and life on earth is the product of a higher intelligence? However, no one is prepared for who — or what — this intelligence turns out to be.

Robert Klose is a regular contributor of essays to The Christian Science Monitor.  His other books include “Adopting Alyosha — A Single Man Finds a Son in Russia,” “Small Worlds — Adopted Sons, Pet Piranhas and Other Mortal Concerns,” “The Three-Legged Woman & Other Excursions in Teaching,” and the novel, “Long Live Grover Cleveland,” which won a 2016 Ben Franklin Literary Award and a USA Book News Award.

Copies of “Life on Mars” are available at all major booksellers.