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December 03, 2006

Human destiny?

Stephen Hawking has declared that the human race has no option but to conquer space if it wishes to survive. Now I freely admit that I understand very little of the professor's pronouncements on matters of physics or the mathematics underlying it, but this I do follow. It makes perfect sense, but that is where I have a worry. Sense is not a strong point with most of the human race, particularly the ruling classes; that is; the politicians and the bureaucratic classes, and they control the money that goes into research. Research fuels the development of the things we will need to do this, and research is a very low priority unless it is on something linked directly to "how many votes will this get us at the next election."

There is so much exciting research on space, the origins of the universe and the means to get us up there, that it is difficult to see why the politicians can't see the advantage of spending some money on it. Just look at what has been discovered thanks to space programmes: vastly improved computers are a spin off; fibre optics are a spin off; medical research has benefitted because we needed to know the answers to certain exposure risks; synthetic fibres have been developed from the programmes and the list goes on and on. Currently there are a number of programmes being jointly managed between Russia and the US with Europe also doing a great deal in the joint partnership - a partnership which is far more productive than Blair's "Special Relationship".

Among the many things current research is discovering is that Einstein was wrong a number of points - to be fair he thought he might be as well - and we have now discovered that the speed of light is not constant, it varies as does the speed of sound. Gravity also does not behave as Einstein predicted and is stronger in some cases than it should be, or weaker in others. It is also distorted more powerfully by some bodies than others and we have other, as yet, unexplained matters which need further research so we can begin to unravel the knowledge we will need to lift ourselves fully into the cosmos. The research currently going into Fusion Reactions is encouraging, but hopelessly underfunded, all power to the French who have had the courage to take the lead while our own shower of incompetents are still pouring money into black holes that win them votes from the ignorant.

Stepehn Hawking is right, we must conquer space if our race, or whatever it is evolving to become, is to survive. Sadly though, I suspect that the first people to be shipped out will be those carrying the nanny bureucrat genes - and they will breed and strangle any further evolution, thus ensuring the race dies out anyway. Funny that.

Posted by The Gray Monk at December 3, 2006 07:57 AM

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