Ronald Bailey ponders our responsibility in exploring other planets:
[O]ne chief reason [to avoid human contamination of new planets] is to prevent inadvertent contamination by Earth microbes from being mistaken as evidence for the existence of extraterrestrial life. But do we have an ethical obligation to prevent harm that might be caused by Terran life to extraterrestrial life? Even more broadly, do we have the right to change the environments of other worlds even if they do not contain any living organisms?
About these questions, moral philosophers disagree. There's a long pro-terraforming tradition (especially among philosophically inclined science-fiction readers): Turning a lifeless place into an inhabitable one seems like a noble goal. Meanwhile, others argue that we have a moral, and possibly even an aesthetic, obligation to leave extraterrestrial life untouched.
A former factory worker from the British Midlands may be the last living master of the centuries-old Sikh battlefield art of shastar vidya. (Photo collage: click to enlarge.) The father of four is now engaged in a full-time search for a successor.
The basis of shastar vidya, the "science of weapons" is a five-step movement: advance on the opponent, hit his flank, deflect incoming blows, take a commanding position and strike.
It was developed by Sikhs in the 17th Century as the young religion came under attack from hostile Muslim and Hindu neighbours, and has been known to a dwindling band since the British forced Sikhs to give up arms in the 19th Century.
Nidar Singh, a 44-year-old former food packer from Wolverhampton, is now thought to be the only remaining master. He has many students, but shastar vidya takes years to learn and a commitment in time and energy that doesn't suit modern lifestyles.