Making It In The Big Time
By Allan EastmanGo back to Page 5
In Our Time
So, it is only in our own modern times that we have discovered exactly where we, the Human race, stand in the grand scheme of things. How should this make us feel? Should we feel dwarfed by the immensity of the Universe and by the vast eons of Time that have led up to where we are now?
Quite the contrary, I think.
Before, Humans believed that they lived in an infinity of Space and an eternity of Time. We now see that there are definitive dates for the beginnings of things and if current science is as accurate as it seems to be, we are far closer to the beginning of the life of our Universe than the end. We Humans are very new arrivals on the scene and our civilization is still in its infancy. We are learning fast about the nature of our Universe and of our Planet and certainly, even more exciting answers to our questions lay close by in the future.
The Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator, some 27 km in diameter lying under the Swiss-French border, is right now doing experiments that attempt to recreate the conditions immediately following the Big Bang. It is anticipated that some of our most basic questions in science could be explained by these studies. One can hope that major advances will come from these experiments that may explain Time or even allow for the possibility of space flight beyond the speed of light.
By coming to understand the nature of the Universe, we become a real active part in it. Our star, Sol, is a comparatively young Sun in even the Milky Way Galaxy and we are way out in the suburbs, far from the galactic core and the Billions of stars clustered there which have been around far longer than ours. Astronomers think that there are Trillions of planets just in our galaxy alone and statistics would seem to indicate that many of them must have developed Life in some form. There should be civilizations relatively nearby that have been in existence for Millions of years.
We have only in the last 100 years begun to send our electronic transmissions into space. Sooner or later, we should get an answer - or a visit - from out there. And then, the evolution of the Human race can really move on beyond the narrow bounds of our small Planet and our short Time in existence.
We humans conceptualize Time like an arrow flying from the past into the future. We have already unlocked many of the secrets of our past. We now know where we came from. The unknowable future lies out ahead of us but it is a future filled with immense promise.
To be sure, we face many terrible problems here in our own present – war, pollution, diminishing resources. But we face these problems with an understanding of what can become the legacy for ourselves and our children’s future generations. In my own opinion, the next major step we must take is to break out of the parochial bonds which history has placed us in.
We need to look beyond our nation states and our local concerns and see ourselves as what we really are – one family of beings inhabiting one planet in one galaxy amid the awesome abundance of the Universe. That’s when we take the next giant step in our progression as a species.
We are stardust as well as the inheritors of all the Life of the Planet that has led us into the Here and Now. The future is ours for the taking.
Call it science fiction if you want but Humans on the Moon and personal computers were science fiction too, not so very long ago.
Exciting Times, indeed...