“We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us very special.”
“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge.”
“Quiet people have the loudest minds.”
[In the Universe it may be that] Primitive life is very common and intelligent life is fairly rare. Some would say it has yet to occur on Earth.
One can see from space how the human race has changed the Earth. Nearly all of the available land has been cleared of forest and is now used for agriculture or urban development. The polar icecaps are shrinking and the desert areas are increasing. At night, the Earth is no longer dark, but large areas are lit up. All of this is evidence that human exploitation of the planet is reaching a critical limit. But human demands and expectations are ever-increasing. We cannot continue to pollute the atmosphere, poison the ocean and exhaust the land. There isn’t any more available.
I think the human race doesn’t have a future if we don’t go into space. We need to expand our horizons beyond planet Earth if we are to have a long-term future. We cannot remain looking inward at ourselves on a small and increasingly polluted and overcrowded planet. We need to look outward to the wider universe.
So when people ask me if I believe God created the universe, I tell them that the question itself makes no sense. Time didn’t exist before the Big Bang, so there is no time for God to make the universe in. It’s like asking for directions to the edge of the earth; the earth is a sphere, it doesn’t have an edge, so looking for it is a futile exercise.
If we can avoid disaster for the next two centuries, our species should be safe as we spread into space. If we are the only intelligent beings in the galaxy we should make sure we survive and continue. Our only chance of long-term survival is not to remain inward looking on planet Earth but to spread out into space. We have made remarkable progress in the last hundred years. But if we want to continue beyond the next hundred years, our future is in space.
Our population and our use of the finite resources of planet Earth are growing exponentially, along with our technical ability to change the environment for good or ill. But our genetic code still carries the selfish and aggressive instincts that were of survival advantage in the past. It will be difficult enough to avoid disaster in the next hundred years, let alone the next thousand or million. Our only chance of long term survival, is not to remain inward looking on planet Earth, but to spread out into space.