A Dark Look at the Status of Man with a Ray of Hope
Change is inevitable. Change is constant. This law is universal. Like it or not, humanity is barreling down a road that could lead to the destruction of all mankind. We are in an age where our advancements, our inventions, have the capacity to destroy us all; or lead to our salvation.
Technology continues to evolve and shape our world. Even at the farthest corners of the Earth, those places where native peoples have held to tradition through millennia, none are untouched by the progress of modern man.
There is much to be said for the intelligence of man. We’ve discovered wonders, we’ve created wonders. Yet, for all our brilliance we are still controlled by our instincts. There is a constant in the universe: balance. It is seen at the microscopic level all the way to the astronomic and the infinite. It is obvious in almost everything, water conforming to the shape of a container, the orbit of the planets, sustained fusion in the sun, economics, weather, our blood pressure, ecosystems etc… Everything, every action and every behavior in the universe eventually succumbs to this equilibrium, man is no different though we try to ignore it.
The problems that face the world have wrought great advancements in technology and humankind. Out of necessity comes ingenuity and invention. But, does our genius spell our own doom?
It is our folly to think that we can control and manipulate our destiny without regard to the laws of the universe. Whether we destroy ourselves or the universe does it for us, change is inevitable. Seen from space at night, the Earth looks like a huge ant hive of illuminated cities. We are devouring our world and changing the very climate. The universal law of balance will deal with us one way or another. Nature responds to the change we have shaped. Already storms and earthquakes ravage the land and if we pollute the atmosphere enough, we will simply suffocate.
Through our advancements in medical technology we have increased our lifespans and conquered many diseases but we now face monumental problems due to overpopulation. We address hunger with biologically engineered plants and creative modifications to agricultural methods but our solutions only make the problem worse the more lives we save. Eventually, we will not have enough food to survive.
World conflict is inevitable over limited resources as we continue our march towards technological superiority. We are smart but still slave to our instincts. We are territorial and territory is limited. We fight for survival and engineer ever-more powerful weapons to defend and acquire territory. It seems the tide of war is always upon us. We cannot hide from the fact that our instincts lead our behavior and even cause us to destroy one another as we are driven by universal equilibrium.
We continue to advance, painfully, as we flounder in the dark attempting to discern the nature of our universe. We cannot stop. Intelligence is our salvation and our destroyer. Is our end inevitable? It seems we are in a race against time. Our technology must outpace our growth or we will die. We must expand our frontiers and there is only one frontier left. Man must take to the stars.
When you walk to the edge of all the light you have and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown, you must believe that one of two things will happen. There will be something solid for you to stand upon or you will be taught to fly ― Patrick Overton
How will we be received by the universe and possible alien races if we do reach the stars, with our violence and growth? This is the conundrum previously illustrated in The Mote in God’s Eye; will we be viewed in the same light? Will we be accepted or blockaded? It is too early to tell. For now, we must focus on the next monumental step and hope we have the intelligence to achieve it. Whatever the future holds, we must try.