“ No one gave a thought to the older worlds of space as sources of danger, or thought of them only to dismiss the idea of life upon them as impossible or improbable. It is curious to recall the mental habits of those departed days.”
“The planet Mas, I scarcely need remind the reader, revolves about the sun at a mean distance of 140,000,000 miles, and the light and heat it receives from the sun is barely half of that received by this world. It must be, if the nebular hypothesis has any truth, older than our world: and long before this earth ceased to be molten, life upon its surface must have begun its course.”
“The secular cooling that must someday overtake our planet has already gone far indeed with our neighbour. Its physical condition is still largely a mystery, but we know now that even in its equatorial region the midday temperature barely approaches that of our coldest winter. Its air is much more attenuated than ours, its oceans have shrunk until they cover but a third of its surface, and as its slow seasons change huge snow caps gather and melt about either pole and periodically inundate its temperature zones.”
“The intellectual side of man already admits that life is an incessant struggle for existence , and it would seem that this too is the belief of the minds upon Mars. Their world is far gone in its cooling, and this world is still crowded with life, but crowded only with what they regard as inferior animals. To carry warfare sunward is, indeed, their only escape from the destruction that generation after generation creeps upon them.”
These passages demonstrate the ancient nature of the Martians and the humans’ complete lack of understanding or knowledge about their nature. The Martins and their planet have been around for eons longer than humanity. They have seen the course of nature and the gradual declination that occurs with the growth of their species. The Martians understand the ways of the Universe in ways that the humans cannot, and the humans in their hubris refuse to believe themselves to be nothing but newborns on the universal stage. In the course of their new life humans have not seen anything compared to the Martians and their complete lack of knowledge of their galactic neighbors reflect this. Humans can only begin to understand the Martians world, whereas the Martians know us intimately and by all accounts have been eyeing their new potential conquest for eons.