South Side Signal de Babylon (New York), 27 octobre 1877 Theo Paijmans, Magonia Exchange, 14 mars 2007
Is this neighboring world the abode of living creatures? This question is beyond the present power of science to answer. But would it not be strange beyond expression if a world, with land and water, and changing seasons, and apparently all the conditions required by life, so like our earth that it is even possible that man could exist upon its surface, should roll on through the ages uninhabited and unenjoyed? Our earth teems with life in its remotest corner, yet some Martial astronomer may at this moment be wondering what is the use of us, and whether our planet is the abode of intelligent beings. After the wonders that science has already achieved, he would be bold who should say that this problem can never be solved. Unfortunately, we can not hope for much from the improvement of our telescopes and the increase of their magnifying power. The disturbances produced by our atmosphere are aggravated by every such increase. But when the problem of life in other worlds is solved—if it ever shall be—it seems safe to say that it will be by the attentive study of our near neighbor.