Are We Exploring Space for the Right Reasons?
I’m a big fan of space travel and exploration. NASA, SpaceX, Virgin…it’s all good. I was a typical baby boomer kid and had the requisite Apollo photos on my wall. I think the technological advances that were made in the quest to get to the moon and the years following were remarkable.
Because of these advancements and improvements, I’m OK with money being spent on certain things, such as space exploration, defense, and communications. In my idealistic youth I bemoaned the thought of billions of dollars going to NASA when there were hungry and homeless in this country. In a perfect world, I would address that first, however, we don’t live in a perfect world, and budgets are made by politicians and lobbyists, not the hungry and homeless. I’m not saying we can’t do anything about it, but at some point I have to be OK with the spending that does occur because benefits usually follow.
Pointless Ventures vs Real Destinations
What I do have a problem with is time, money, and resources being spent on trying to find the origins of life or the origin of the universe. Just recently SpaceX launched a NASA satellite into space orbit to study black holes and dead stars. This satellite cost $214 million dollars. This is the kind of stuff I disagree with.
First of all, from a faith-based perspective, I don’t think studying the origins of life, or the universe are going to be all that fruitful. I still believe in the Creation story. Maybe we do have a young earth, maybe we don’t. Perhaps God’s first few “days” were 10,000 each…I don’t know. Or perhaps it was simply accelerated time. We know automakers put cars and components through simulators to give the effect of many years of wear and tear in just a few hours. What if the glaciers receding or the continents separating were actually visible to the naked eye….you could see them moving?
Yet one of the most obvious big questions—how did life arise from inorganic matter?—remains a great unknown.American Scientist
The point is, I feel like these folks are wasting their time looking for the origins of the universe. Similarly, scientists trying to figure out the origins of life are wasting their time as well. Humans have learned to fly to Mars, but the origin of life “remains a great unknown”. It’s because they are afraid to take God’s Word at face value.
4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.2 Corinthians 4:4
From a practical standpoint, I don’t really see how studying black holes and dead stars will make any difference either. Do we really think we can stop these from happening? If our sun dies or a black hole sucks up the earth, does anyone believe we can prevent this somehow? I appreciate the quest for knowledge. In fact John Kennedy said;
“The greater our knowledge increases, the greater our ignorance unfolds.”John F. Kennedy
Still, I’d rather see that $214m be directed towards going to Mars or harvesting asteroids for metals than simply throwing money down a black hole, literally.
Even If You Don’t Believe….C’mon Man
I get that many people won’t buy into the Creation story. I do believe, and that’s my prerogative, but even if I didn’t I would have to ask; Should we spend $214 million on studying black holes and dead stars or should we be trying a little harder to explore, mine asteroids, or get to Mars and beyond to see if there is anything useful there?
Not only do we have a hope of finding rare or precious metals needed for the all the batteries that EVs will need, but we can also learn and improve our sciences and processes along the way. Do we really get those same benefits by studying black holes?