Back on Monday my son-in-law and grandson took me to see the newest Star Trek movie and I must admit I really enjoyed it. As far back as I can remember I have always liked Science Fiction, good Sci-Fi, that is. Asimov, Heinlein, Bradbury, and Clarke were just some of my favourite writers. Of course like most lovers of Sci Fi I guess I am a dreamer because I believe that someday what is fiction will become fact.
Now, not in my wildest of dreams do I believe that everything in Star Trek will happen. I seriously doubt that we will have transporters or that we will meet people like the Vulcans with their touch-telethapy. I do believe, however that we will break the light speed barrier. Call it wishful thinking but it just doesn’t sit right that the Universe would unfold all these wonders and then withhold them from us. It is incapable of being a tease. I remember reading, I don’t recall who, that there are two possibilities in the Universe; The first is that we are alone and all that is in existence is for us and two we are merely one on innumerable species that populate the Universe. I believe that we are merely one of many and that someday, we will meet others. I don’t think it will be any time soon and I have no idea whether those that we meet will be friendly or malicious bad guys. Carl Sagan once said “The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent”.
The Universe where there are more Galaxies than there are people a fact that is mind boggling. We Humans think that we are the centre of everything when in reality we are a minor species on an insignificant world orbiting a mundane star on the outer edge of one of these myriad of Galaxies. Sort of says something, wouldn’t you agree. We humans might be insignificant in the scheme of things but there is one thing we have going for us. Curiosity we want to know why, how, when, and where. Where we come from, where we are going, how we get there and why we want to go there. This curiosity has dragged us up from the primordial muck where we were spawned into the top species on our little world. A thousand, ten thousand, or a million years from now (if we are still here) we will be just as curios as we are now. Two million years ago one of our ancestor who would eventually evolve into humanity looked up at the night sky and wondered what all the pretty lights were. Well it took us awhile but now we know. They are the Sirens’ call beckoning us to explore.
Star Trek is a fantasy but it is also a dream. A dream born in the mind of one individual Human, Gene Roddenberry. A dream where he visioned Humanity out amongst the stars, or as he put it “To boldly go where no man has gone before. To seek out new worlds and new life”. This is Humanity’s ‘Destiny and to deny this is to do so at our peril. As a species we must seek answers to the whys and wherefores it is part of our genetic makeup. It is what has driven us forward over the eons and it is what will keep us vibrant as a species. To stop asking why is to stagnate and that leads to oblivion. If at some far distant time in the future when we are no longer here and some other life form is dominant let them say that we were creature of insatiable curiosity.