Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Origin of Life

I think I will utter one of the most OMG statements you will ever hear regarding the topic of where the origin of life comes from.

Who the hell cares?! Figuring this out is not, in any way, ever going to affect my life right now, if ever. Knowing how single celled organisms evolved to become people, or a tree, or a cat, or whatever, is absolutely NOT going to affect what's going on in the world right now, or help in the advancement of the human race off this flippin rock.

I almost feel the same way about looking at galaxies that are 100 million light years away, where we don't even get to see what's happening NOW, but regulated by the laws of physics to only see what happened THEN. And I can't fly there. I can't get there. I can't touch, smell, or taste there. What would a nebula taste like?

Anyway, I would seriously like a more concerted effort to be placed on the things we need to do NOW, and not so much focus on things that are in the past, too old, or will not really contribute to the immediate advancement of our species. We need better power systems, energy systems, propulsion systems, long duration human exposure to space systems, yadda yadda.

Looking 100 million light years away or spending time wondering about how life started on Earth or in general is not going to get us there any faster.


Louise Ryan said...

You right that it won't help us get there faster but could it give us a reason to want to go there? When we go into space to look for places to explore are we just going to flop onto the nearest rock? I see we are doing that now with the moon and mars but that's because we don't have the technology to go further, but what about when we do? Wouldn't it be intersting to go somewhere that could support life? either with a veiw to studying it or colonising it? If we can understand exactly how it starts and all the pre-requistes needed for life we could point at a likley looking rock and say "that one" or are we going to waste time landing on planets we know won't support us and bang away until something possibly intertesting occurs? I know which i'd rather do.

+he WYZ^RD projec+ said...

One could make a similar argument to exploring space when the human species is not even controlling itself to a non-destructive, sustainable level on the planet we currently exist on.

Douglas said...

Both valid points. That's why I like doing posts like stir the discussion. :)

Anonymous said...

Without astronomy we wouldn't know much about the moon or mars in the first place. Plus what do you think astronauts are going to be doing when they're on the moon or mars- looking for clues to the origin of life on mars, and setting up deep space telescopes on the far side of the moon. What's the point in prolonging the existence of a ignorant species only concerned with the present. We must also take the time to figure out how we got here and our place in the universe to even make it worthwhile.

Douglas Mallette said...

Anon - I'll buy that, but not at the expense of reducing our ability to do more at the present. I guess that's my main point. Looking forward is great, but not at the expense of the present. I guess I'm a bit jaded by our lack of progress in human exploration off this rock. :)

Thanks for the comment Anon.