Do you think we are slowly reaching the end (of science)?


This was great week for science. The scientists from CERN Large Hadron Collider finally proved with great probability that the Higgs boson particle exists. Not that any of us mortals truly understand what it means for the future of mankind, but it's supposed to be quite significant, so I won't argue with that. Science has come a long way, and while we take into account a few other interesting and revolutionary fields, such as Artificial Intelligence, Biotechnolooy, Nuclear Fission, Stem Cells, Genetics, etc., we must also consider the timeframe in which these discoveries did or will take place, in relation to the history of our planet and humanity.

Imagine this: if history of Earth would be represented by one standard year, first cells would appear by the end of February, life would move to dry land around December 1st, dinosaurs would appear on December 13th, modern mammals on December 27th. On the evening on December 31st, first hominids would evolve in Africa, and 10 minutes before midnight, Neanderthals would spread throughout Europe. Around minute to midnight, agriculture would be invented, the Roman Empire would collapse 10 seconds before new year's, and the last 2 seconds would be marked by the industrial era. (source)

Makes you think about our insignificance in the history of Earth (not even the whole universe). But we've come a long way in these few minutes. The steam engine was invented 250 years ago, and look at us now. All in two seconds of Earth's history!

I think it was Isaac Asimov who said modern computerization represents the fourth big revolution in communication, after speech, writing and printing. Speech was invented tens of thousands of years ago, writing thousands of years ago, printing hundreds of years ago, and information technologies decades ago. Yes, it goes exponentially faster with each iteration, because every new generation of communication allows information to travel faster and reach more people, besides the fact that each time, global population is a few times greater than before. This enables science and knowledge to evolve even on a faster pace. Thousands of universities and scientist are already taking into account what CERN had discovered and announced, developing theories even further, making experiments of their own.

If all goes well, I think there is only one possible scenario: we will soon come to the end. Find that particle, understand that impulse, define that force. And by soon I don't mean tomorrow, or even in our generation, but in no time compared to History. Hundred, even thousand years? Why not. Ten, hundred thousand years? Sure, we have time, what are a few "minutes" more. Imagine everything we'll discover if we don't fuck it up on a major scale and our society evolves in a similar fashion as it did before.

But what is waiting for us at the end? Well, I think we are all pretty much aware of that. "Why are we here?", "What do we have to do?", "Is this real life?" and that sort of shit that brought us here in the first place. I think science has a good chance of clearing these things up one day, and then we will find the ultimate answer (or question). And Science will become one with Religion and the whole situation will be quite ironic, concerning the traditionally opposed stance they have. The only question that remains is, will we live happily ever after then, or will we just find another, greater and even more complex system, where we will have to help our Gods find their Gods?

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written 7.7.2012 10:59 CET on chronolog
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