Local Commentary

Editorial: Our Long Term Goal

Where would you place the human race at this point in comparison to where it will need to be to escape the confines of this biosphere and ensure its potential to have a positive impact on the cosmos as a whole?

Alright, before being diagnosed with mild heat stroke on this first day of what promises to be a very hot summer, we should point out that such a grandiose vision may be a valid way to get a handle on precisely what our lives on this orb are all about.

If our lives are vectored toward a dead end, then what’s the point? There are three common schools of thought: the argument there is no point to life at all, the one that says it will all be sorted out in heaven, and the one which says that, while there is ultimately no point to it, it behooves us to love our neighbors, nonetheless.

But a fourth might be to posit that we, as a species, are working on a finite time line, which can be roughly established but which seems so remote from the present that it is very hard to take seriously. The one factor gaining more traction, however (due to things like the summer we’re in store for), is the idea that we humans are burning up our planet, and that the end of its days as a habitable place may be sooner than we think.

The reaction to that unpleasant thought, however, has been to bang loud drums on behalf of reversing the human-based causes of global climate change.

While this makes sense to do, few evaluate the prospect from the standpoint of what a colossal failure it would represent for the evolution of life on this planet, and not because we’ll all be toast, but because we’ll have failed to spread the benefits of our experience, the accumulation of our knowledge, the beauty of our art and more beyond our tiny corner of the galaxy to impact the ultimate course of the unfolding of the really big picture.

So, our object must be not only the accumulation of more and more knowledge, art and invention, but to organize our human species in a fashion that will enable our large-scale propagation on a cosmic scale. Two thoughts on this:

First, wars will never achieve this organization. War is fundamentally antithetical to this goal, at their best simply preconditions for peace.

Second, a prevalent assumption is that if there is intelligent life out there capable to visiting us, then it must be insensitive, menacing and cruel, aimed at destroying us. This has got to be flat wrong, as illustrated by what it will take to successfully put our own species into space. There must be a degree of harmony, of empathy, of the appreciation of our diversity as a species, to accomplish it.

So, any space visitors here will most certainly be very good people.