Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Boldly Going Nowhere?

Op-Ed Contributor - Boldly Going Nowhere - NYTimes.com

IT’S a birthright proffered by science and prophesied by “Star Trek,” “Battlestar Galactica” and a thousand other space operas: We’re destined to go to the stars. Our descendants will spread beyond this nondescript solar system and seek adventure and bumpy-headed pals in the stellar realms.

Well, cool your warp jets, Mr. Scott, because we’re not about to breach the final frontier. Piling into a starship and barreling into deep space may long remain — like perfect children or effort-free bathroom cleaners — a pipe dream.

I don't really see how you can predict future knowledge and technology. I agree that we might be able to project forward twenty, perhaps thirty year at a pinch, what areas of scientific progress might be made.

But after that, unless we are to assume the scientific breakthroughs of the past 50 years represent a now declining peak of scientific endeavour, it is simply not possible to predict future science.

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