View From a Distant Planet

Astronomers recently discovered a sun with a group of planets revolving around it. What made news was that the planets were twice as old as our Earth and yet appeared to be in the “Goldilocks” range where life could develop. Imagine how life has progressed here on Earth. Modern man has only been here for a very small fraction of the time life has existed on this planet. Now think of life evolving from this point on for several more millions of years, assuming we don’t blow ourselves up first or have a stray astroid smash into the planet.

We’re taught that species make changes in order to improve their survival rates. Two novels that touched on this topic and did wonderful jobs are Childhood’s End and Darwin’s Radio. Both showed humanity making a profound and rapid transformation. I’m more inclined to think that the transformation will take place over a greater timeframe so that each generation will not be aware of the subtle changes. If you leaped forward a thousand years or so, though, you’d notice marked differences.

What kind of changes? I believe that we have barely touched the abilities we have. Lucy is a recent movie that touches on that subject. We treat most diseases today by giving patients poison and hoping that the poison kills the disease before it kills the patients. That approach should change within the next hundred years. I expect science to give more credence to the mental powers we possess. Take auras, for example. Why shouldn’t some people have a greater range of vision and be able to see certain energy patterns that most people can’t see? Take the body’s immune system. Someday we should be able to summon our own immune system and order it to fight or not fight certain attacks. Remember that inflammation is the result of our body attacking cells it should not attack. Remember also that inflation leads to a variety of major diseases today.

As we learn to control our minds more, we might discover that all these New Age reports of people leaving their bodies and having out-of-body experiences might have some merit. Apparently the U.S. government and the Soviet Union used to use people with high ESP scores to visit highly secure sites without actually physically traveling to them. Telepathy is another mental ability that our government has explored. Let’s assume that these are abilities that gradually will be routine for most people as we evolve.

Either people will become smart enough to realize the dangers of pollution and clean up the world, or they will learn to adapt to such an environment or die. It’s easy to speculate about all three possibilities, and they all make excellent science fiction novel plots.

Unlike some science fiction novels and movies, I don’t see human’s evolving to have larger heads because there is no way that human females could carry such babies to term or deliver them without dying in childbirth. Rather, we’ll just learn to unlock the currently unused cranial capacity.

Ultimately we might no longer need a physical Internet with routers (sorry, Cisco) or servers (sorry HP, IBM, and Dell). Our mental capabilities might extend to the point that we could communicate using telepathy. I believe we could ultimately become a post-industrial and post-services economy where there really is no need for poverty or disease.

The problem that needs to be solved, though, is human nature. Put a few humans together and they ultimately begin to squabble and fight over territory and power. How do we change human nature without taking away a certain amount of aggressiveness that humanity needs to push it to strive for the stars and for new discoveries and inventions? You wouldn’t want to see that trait bred out completely when people are able to order up their children so that they have perfect noses, no tendency to develop baldness or obesity, and perfect complexions.

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