A lot of the questions I read on the boards are to do with elements of the Universe. Questions like - Is it expanding/contracting – when did it begin – was it an enormous explosion – did God do it – what was there before the Big Bang – and so on. It is all enveloped with much semi-scientific jargon, probably spoken by students of the subject. Some even prattle on about GR and QM, and for the uninitiated these acronyms stand for General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, when they tried to put these together they failed. Interesting train of thoughts. I applaud because to be very frank no-one actually knows anything about the Universe bar that there are lots of stars and it’s pretty empty. OK let’s assume for a minute we want to travel to the stars. At the moment that’s not possible with the present technology. We went to the Moon but only just and at great cost. Even Mars is beyond the reach of humans. Gathering knowledge is great if it can be aiding our existence and here is the point – most of the knowledge gained is not really benefiting this planet and all that lives on it. To discover the exact origin of the universe as we see it will not benefit us here one jot. I have no problem with scientists discussing these things as long as we stay realistic.
It is a sad fact that great discoveries that could benefit mankind tend to be turned into weaponry. Prof Oppenheimer is quoted as saying ‘Oh God, what have I done?’, he worked on the first atomic bombs and saw the destruction wrought. So, I think all talk about reaching for the stars should be shelved for now at least. Until we solve the big problems here on Earth. It will not do to blast hundreds of rockets into space and humans cannot live in Africa because most of it will have turned into desert thanks to global warming. People do not seem to grasp how inter-related it all is. Planes, in fact all transport, uses power. That power has to come from something. It means burning. As a result this gives off loads of CO2 and other gases. Those in turn stop the heat generated by sunlight from escaping and so builds up. If you are interested there are plenty of websites that will get into the minute detail of it. Have a go.