First: Sad News - Though expected, the passing of author Iain Banks came as a shock and a blow. I first met Iain in London, where I lived in the mid-1980s, when we were both brash young newcomers. I've always respected his literary fiction, but even more deeply admired his science fiction, especially the last two decades. His Culture Universe was among the few to confront straight-on the myriad hopes, dangers and raw possibilities that might be faced by a humanity-that-succeeds….
What kind of future might we expect as we approach the 22nd century? Of course, no one can track the future this far in advance with 100% accuracy, but if we consider technology advances predicted for the years ahead; then add a touch of imagination, we see a plausible picture of what may lie in store for us.
Many kids and teens paint or spray irreverent, subversive drawings on walls, doors and everywhere else. One subject has always been a favorite, and now our Spirit has drawn it in the sand of Mars! The story is all over the Internet. Space.comsays: “Has juvenile humor landed on Mars? The Internet is buzzing today (April 24) over a phallic design etched into the Red Planet’s surface nine years ago by NASA’s Spirit rover, with some folks suggesting the robot’s drivers drew it on purpose out of boredom, mischievousness or some combination of the two.”
The ‘Big Bang’ theory, widely regarded as the leading explanation for the origin of the universe, goes something like this: space and time instantly appeared about 14 billion years ago in a hot, expanding fireball of nearly infinite density.
Although many believe that intelligent life thrives throughout the cosmos, today, we have found no hard scientific evidence of their existence. Experts even disagree that intelligence of human quality is the normal culmination of evolution.
A growing number of cosmologists believe that we are but one of many universes and at least one of these other worlds lies close to ours, possibly only a millimeter away. We can’t see this world because scientists believe it exists in a type of space different from the four dimensions of our everyday reality.
Forty years after the last flight to the Moon, human exploration of outer space seems to have stalled, although a number of options exist for new scientific and technological alternatives, both in goals and the means to achieve them. Public opinion polls fail to look deeply into popular conceptions, and they tend to reveal only weak enthusiasm.
I recommend watching the one-hour film Knocking on Heaven’s Door, by George Carey, aired by the BBC in 2011, to all space enthusiasts interested in the history of the Russian space program and our future out there in the universe. The film zeroes in on the powerful role that religion can play in advancing radical scientific visions.
Why peer into this far-future? As scientists forecast significant catastrophes for our solar system, galaxy, and universe, it seems fitting that we should focus on solutions for these disruptive events…
We know a lot about the history of life on Earth, but how it began is still one of our greatest scientific mysteries. One hypothesis is that life actually originated on another planet, and many scientists today take the idea quite seriously.
Ever since Enrico Fermi questioned back in the 1950’s why, if a multitude of civilisations are likely to exist in the Milky Way, no sign of their existence in the form of probes or spacecraft has ever been detected, scientists and critical thinkers have struggled to resolve the problem by supplying a host of inventive arguments with mixed reception.
“Welcome ladies and gentlemen, to the Time Portal. In a few moments, we will beam your minds 10,000 years into the past at a location what is now Russia, where you will experience the sights and sounds of the Neolithic Revolution as humanity transforms from Hunter-Gatherer to Civilization status.
Ex nihilo nihil fit – from nothing, nothing comes, – so the saying goes. It is, however, conventional wisdom that hinges on the very definition of “nothing”, and a “self-evident” truth which, upon closer examination, turns out to be not only deeply controversial, but perhaps even beyond human comprehension..
“In a distant future, adventurers prepare for a cosmic journey at Spaceport America, but they will not be boarding any rocket-driven spacecraft. Instead, they simply walk through a StarGate-like archway and instantly step onto a planet hundreds of light years from Earth.”
If anti-aging guru Aubrey de Grey’s prediction of a 1,000-year lifespan is correct, then one may wonder what life might be like living for such a long time. The following timeline looks briefly at today’s world, and then offers a positive glimpse at how the future might unfold as we trek through the next millennium:
I was born with a romance for space, and so I was recently thrilled to read Benjamin Abbot’s argument on settling the future.  I too have been bothered by the trends I am seeing in the space industry and the vernacular used in reference to it.
While I share dreams of interstellar travel, I find positive invocation of European colonialism profoundly problematic. If posthumans see themselves as Columbus, Cortes, Pizarro, and John Smith when they set off for the stars, expect very bad things. Let’s decolonize our desires, folks.
Our hive culture has established a hierarchical pyramid where we, the greatest of the great apes, have crowned ourselves on top of a conceptual food chain that is confused / mixed with a superiority chain…