Upon the Threshold
Collage by D.K. Spencer
What do we hope to find out there?
Our Human spirit drives us to create and explore, to invent and discover, to imagine and make real the world in which we live. We as a species will never stop doing this. It is without question our most defining attribute, pushing the known into the boundaries of the unknown, asking questions about the unknowable.
Do I think we push a little haphazardly, perhaps even a little irresponsibly at times? Yes, yes I do. I think there will always be room for improvement, just as I believe our thinking will evolve over time with perspective and wisdom. I have to believe this.
But let's be honest. We are searching for something out there. We are driven to find some sense of meaning for our existence and our place in the universe. This is such an overriding impulse, we cannot not do it. We are compelled to find answers to the unknowable. Are we alone? Is there God? Why are we here?
We venture out into space in search for these answers even though it is unlikely we will ever find them. Elon Musk wants to colonize MARS in the near future as it must seem the next logical step in our exploration. But there are many obstacles that will need to be overcome to actualize this vision into reality. One big one is the Van Allen Radiation belt.
Secondly, creating an atmosphere on MARS is also an unlikely scenario. We certainly won't be terraforming MARS. If we can't take care of a planet that already has an atmosphere and is suitably perfect for human life, how are we going to create a livable environment on a lifeless dry rock?
The dirty little secret that no one talks about is our inability to move beyond our solar system without rewriting the laws of Physics. Sure after hundreds of years we could build a system of space stations that act as causeways, or intermediate destinations that drift out farther and farther into space, allowing us to leap frog from comet to comet. But is this really likely?
There are only three paths we can take to be able to move beyond our solar system in any meaningful way in the near future. The first of three paths is comparatively easy, with each path progressively being more difficult than the one before it.
1. We make contact with a super advanced, benevolent alien species that wants to help us become better than we are.
2. We gain a fundamental, life altering understanding that drastically bends our collective knowledge of physics and reality.
3. We collectively leave our bodies temporarily but often, to connect with other lifeforms, intelligences, and energy forms through a higher cognizant, and almost spiritual awakening making the manufacture of spaceships obsolete.
All of what I suggest might be wrong, of course. But it seems the more complicated we make our lives, the farther out of reach the answers to our eternal questions become.