Friday, June 15, 2012

Staring into the face of the future…

And the face that stares back at you is not human! How does this concept grab you?

Star surrounded by a dust cloud

I looked at the likely possibilities the future could hold for us. Of course there will be medical “miracles” and technological improvements. Nanotechnology will shrink electronics to the point where implants in our eyes, ears, and limbs will enhance our engagement with our world. To the expression "better living through chemistry" we can now add the expression “better living through nanotechnology”.

As a result of our continuous wars, advances in prosthetics are giving people new arms and legs. Some people are now able to compete in downhill skiing and long-distance running on these artificial limbs. Soon the government will probably propose the addition of some magnetic ink in the form of a nanobot inserted somewhere under our skin to keep better track of us.

Aimee Mullins Howard Schatz via
Much of the debate on the place of advanced prostheses for the disabled in competitive sports often downplays arguably the most important perspective: that of the athletes who couldn't compete without them.

Developments like man/machine interfaces, growing our own replacement organs, and genetically enhancing our own natural abilities are easy to predict. I go one step further though. I predict the big one, the monumental, astronomical, Google to the nth degree biggie. I predict we discover evidence of other life beyond our immediate solar system. I do concede it is likely we are the only living forms of life circling our sun at the moment.

That may not have always been the case. Mars, for example, being much further from the sun, would've cooled off and turned into a water world as many as 1 billion years before Earth cooled to the point where it could sustain life in its most primitive forms.
The more we learn, the more we realize that life might have begun elsewhere and just landed in our solar system, by accident (or by fate if you prefer) after riding on an asteroid from who knows where.

Here are a few photos taken by Hubble. Ours is one beautiful universe!

For a look at the entire photo album follow this link:

As science marches forward, Western religions are digging in their heels and, as incredible as it seems, still insisting the universe is only a few thousand years old. In fact, some polls in America indicate that a majority of our citizens believe in the theory of divine creation.

In order to retain these archaic beliefs religion is interfering with politics. Religious leaders are heavily involved in insisting creation be imprinted on our young school-age minds. To accomplish this they seem to have taken control of the content in most school textbooks in use today. Instead of focusing on the future of technology and its impact on civilization, they attempt to brainwash future generations into irrationally clinging to the past.

This may explain why we're falling behind the rest of the world in the important disciplines of math and science. It may explain why we have to import thousands of people to work in our high-tech industries. American schools are failing to provide the education necessary to supply the human capital required to fill these types of jobs. This is shameful policy that needs to be corrected before we fall further behind the rest of the planet in these critical areas.

A recent movie release titled, "Paul", brings us back to the concept that we are not alone in the universe. If you have not yet had a chance to see this movie you should put it on your agenda. The movie points out that if we were the only source of life in the universe it would be the most incredible waste of space imaginable. For those who believe in the "intelligent design" concept this fact alone stands in absolute contradiction to the “intelligent” part of the equation. After all, what would be intelligent about creating billions of galaxies and trillions of solar systems and then allowing life to exist in just one of them?

To my way of thinking that would be the stupidest “intelligent” design possible and the worst utilization of a brand-new universe imaginable. Surely a "God" could and would do better.

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