Scientific Sense Podcast

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Space contamination

Space agencies world over have been on a quest to send a feeble human out of the world and most likely to Mars. Now that the president has also joined the game, more investments will be going in that direction. And many private companies are on the same track as well. But is there any reason other than nourishing own ego to attempt a trip to the red planet?

Humans have ably demonstrated that they are incapable of taking care of the environment they live and breed in. To send a specimen of the human kind to another planet would be the first step to initiate an irreversible catastrophe. Some have argued that sterilization of robotic equipment travelling to other planets is overdone and even suggested that humans should seed any rock they can find with bacteria and virus. Sure, the single celled cousins may jump at the suggestion, but is that wise?

Exploration has been integral to the human experience. But history also shows that their explorations have resulted in irreversible damage to what they found. They have been unable to learn by observation and bad habits picked up in the past hundred thousand years invariably has led to scorched earth policies. Now that the horizons are expanding beyond the struggling blue planet, there is no indication that humans have learned from their mistakes.

God does seem to have a sense of humor as she appears to have imposed daunting space-time constraints on a species who has acquired a quantum computer, by sheer accident. To make matters worse, the canopy, humans could observe is infinitely bigger than they could ever experience and akin to an ironic twist in a horror movie, they find that such observations are fleeting as the whole universe runs away from them at an accelerating rate.

Those who sit back in awe of the abundance of ignorance surrounding them, often have no desire to drive the truck to the next planet. But the engineers among us live for such meaningless tactics without ever thinking what it really means.

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