Tuesday, June 27, 2006

We're Doomed!!--Let's Get Off This Rock

There's an interesting piece by James Pinkerton at TCS, about the looming threats hanging over mankind, and the little planet we call home. He points out some of the efforts being made to get us re-started if there's some global disaster, including an arctic seed vault designed to preserve the makings of a floral revival, post doomsday. His plans get grander, though. He's bucking for a population shift--to space. Now, y'all know I am enamored with the idea of exploring the galaxy, starting with our own neighborhood. Heck, I hope that space travel is on the itinerary when I get to heaven (and yes, I do believe in heaven. I think we might be surprised at some of the contents of black holes.) I also hope that before I die we're sending out brave bands of colonists to some of the real estate in the general vicinity of Earth. However, I'm not quite as pessimistic as Pinkerton, who fears it's possible we will need space as a lifeboat when we blow up the planet.

Pinkerton makes some good points about the precarious situation in which man finds himself, or in some cases has put himself. The world is pretty scary with crazy people controlling nuclear devices, and all. Even without that incentive, though, I think space exploration is worth it. People thrive when they have challenges that seem to hold some meaning. For some people that means feeding the hungry, for others, curing cancer. For some of the brilliant minds at the world's disposal, this means facing the challenges of space exploration and learning what we can "out there". I can go with Pinkerton to where his conclusions lead, i.e. space travel as a good thing; I just can't go there for the same reasons. Read the article and tell me what you think.


  1. The Darker Face of Su27/6/06 7:07 PM

    Spreading out into space won't necessarily solve the problems we've caused while on our own planet, it may only increase the scope of the destruction we are capable of. As long as we are prone to sin, perhaps the solar system is simply our isolation ward and the reason we've encountered no other life beyond Earth is that it needs so be kept a safe distance from us. As long as we are prone to sin, one questions the wisdom of trying to survive the cataclysms that many claim are the planet's way of cleansing itself.

  2. That's straight out of Lewis' Space Trilogy, and I agree with you. Pinkerton sees this as a way to avoid problems we create, possibly in the misapprehension that we will have learned our lesson, and won't mess up the rest of the solar system. I think sin would travel with us, don't you?