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Dear Dr. Staff: I'm confused now. When Confused asked about why Mars was red in a previous question, you told him that it was because the plants there didn't have any C02 to breathe, so they turned red and died from holding their breath too long. But my Astronomy professor says that there is plenty of C02 on Mars, and that you're fibbing. She says that there's so much C02 for them to breathe, that there's googles of plants running around up there, but that, since Mars is further away from the Sun than the Earth, it's so cold that they are all wearing red wool scarves and mittens. Is she saying this because she's jealous that you get to teach so many more classes than she does? Or you just trying to pull the cotton over our eyes?

--Just Another Curious Kid

Dear J.A.C.K.: Well, actually, this confusion is all the result of modern science's constant quest for knowledge, and the fact that what science believes can change from time to time as more information is obtained. Two months ago, when I reported to you about the plants on Mars, the currently prevailing scientific theory was that the plants there had run out of carbon dioxide to breathe. However, some other scientists believed that, if the plants were dead, they would turn to dust and blow away in the wind, and these scientists believed the theory your astronomy professor told you. You see, in the world of science, especially at the frontiers of research such as exobiology, leading scientists often disagree. You will be happy to know that both of these theories are losing popularity, however, to an all new and improved theory, based in part on information obtained when I flew past it about a week ago. This new theory explains that the vegetation on Mars was originally cultivated by an ancient Martian civilization, and that it consists mostly of tomatoes, apples, cherries, and strawberries. You might note that, if you look at an apple tree, it looks green because there are a lot more green leaves than apples. Well, this is where the Martians' advanced technology comes in. Through extensive agricultural breeding techniques, they managed to create plants that are almost completely made out of their fruit, so you can eat the whole plant. But then, another theory gaining popularity doesn't require this, saying instead that the Martians build thousands upon thousands of red barns to keep their harvests in, and that all these barns seen together from a very far distance make the planet Mars looks red.

--Just Another Wonderfully Brilliant Open-hearted Nice Enlightener.

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