Maybe I am just getting cynical in my old age. Maybe I am also getting tired of science moving beyond critical thinking and trying to justify more research into the absurd. Plus, maybe we shouldn’t go where no man has gone before (in the Star Trek paradigm) because just perhaps we might get noticed by less than well-intentioned others in the universe.
I do care how we live on this planet and the legacy of what we leave for our children and their children. We certainly do need to think about the next 100 years even though I will only see a small fraction of it. And, I do believe technology will provide some unbelievable advances that lift all of humanity and provide sustainable answers to the long run.
But, the time scale of the universe makes all this seem pretty lame. The nearest star is just over 4 light-years away. Think about what that means. We will not know if it goes away for four years. It might not be there anymore. Then, how about this feature article about a radio signal several billion light-years away. Read the story in USA Today.
Are we really talking about something that happened around the time the earth was formed and is just now getting here? I can’t wait to see tonight’s news where someone is sure to claim the aliens are coming.
It just doesn’t matter. Let’s focus on what does.