Indestructible Germs and Perishable Specks: The Golden Bridge between Science and Faith in The Martian
The Martian was the least successful of George Du Maurier's three novels by almost any standard one wish to apply. The chapter demonstrates that The Martian reflects Du Maurier's knowledge of cutting edge science about Mars as propounded by astronomers Camille Flammarion and Percival Lowell and widely disseminated in the periodical press. He was attempting to create a comprehensive philosophy that incorporated the latest science, but infused it with 'hope that is not an illusion'. Like his novel's protagonist, Du Maurier aspired to create a 'golden bridge in the middle of which science and faith can shake hands'. Du Maurier provides an alternative account of evolution that challenges Flammarion's by reversing the Mars-Earth binary and by elevating the English above Martians and other humans. Though they are temporarily superior to human beings, the Martians will be overtaken because human brains have evolved to be 'ampler, subtler, and more complex' than Martian brains.