Monday, January 18, 2016

The Children's Hour

When they tell you that faith is a chimera and belief in God is belief in an "invisible Sky Daddy" who will solve all your problems by and by....

Read them some of the comments at this article.  The article is absolutely right:  space travel is the chimera, the physical universe is the obstacle we cannot overcome, and "colonizing" a planet that doesn't now sustain life would require a journey of millennia (good luck with that) and "terraforming," an idea that's vague and amorphous in science fiction stories, much less being something we will someday do because "technology."  (Just recreating the ecosystem that sustains the bacteria that sustains us is literally beyond human comprehension.  But we'll do it!  Science will find a way!)

It's blind faith.   It's blind, simple, stupid, doo-dah faith, trust in science and engineering (i.e., technology) to solve all the problems we decide we have.

And since we have a problem living here, we'll solve that by finding another place to filth and foul.  Which is, to some degree, the summation of human history, especially of American history.  If it is our "Manifest Destiny" to go to "the stars," then who, pray, set that destiny for us?  The cosmos?  Life?  Intelligence?


The very discussion of the topic puts into context all the other discussions that heat up the internet.  We can't agree on whether Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton should be the Democratic candidate for president, but we'll all agree with the technology that solves all our problems so we can escape this planet and find another one where we can start over and make sure this time everyone lives the way we want to.



  1. This reminds me of two things, 1. a big mouthed physicist who dismissed the campaign to protect biodiversity on Earth with the claim that for all anyone knew human beings could get along just fine if they were the only species on Earth. Apparently it didn't occur to him that a human being is entirely reliant on jillions of organisms that live in "our" bodies and sustain many of their vital functions, not to mention other, little things like what we're supposed to eat. Most of the "terriforming" stuff I've heard comes from people like astro-physicists and not ecologists. His Holiness, Carl Sagan, for example. 2. The internet trolling I've gotten over the last week from a true believer in the omnipotence and omniscience of SCIENCE! It turns out the guy has never taken a single college level course in science and seems to know most of what he knows from watching - not reading - sci fi and TV shows.

    The stupidity of the people who think they're brilliant, that's what I've learned from the internet.

  2. Many of the comments insist we must first colonize Mars. The article points out the nearest possible planet is 12 light years away.

    Mars, among other things, is too far from the Sun. A bit cold there, without shelter for, well, EVERYTHING,