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Human Innovation and Knowledge

  By Roy D. Follendore III

Copyright 2001 RDFollendoreIII


Evidence of the ability of human beings to produce basic symbols through Art only go back a few tens of thousands of years.  Our written languages on go back a few thousand years.  Our ability to communicate to the other side of this planet only goes back a few hundred years.  Our ability to communicate around our planet in less than months goes back less than a hundred years.  My father could remember when radio was the big thing.  My Grandmother could remember when there was no radio, or cars, or electricity, or indoor plumbing.

In the 1950's the world was astounded by the concept of sending a spacecraft orbiting around the Earth.  People around the world went out at night to see if a glimpse of light could be found streaking across the heavens.  This led to the decade of the space race.  The news media gathered around every launch and the American people held their breaths as the Apollo launches sent men to the moon.  The moon race represented not only the adventure of exploration but a safe means from which two countries who threatened the survival of humanity could safely technologically compete.  But underneath the benign cosmetic shell of that race was growing something of far more long-term importance.  We gained the ability to not only allow each other the room for technological competition; we also gained the ability to work together through competition.   


Today our world is a very different place.  There is now an international space station in orbit around our planet and people from very different cultures and societies continuously operate it.  Citizens around this world can access a worldwide network of computers to get the latest updates on launches.  We have had a huge telescope in orbit for nearly a decade and we have obtained not only evidence of the early history of the big bang, from which the Universe began, we have also seen evidence of huge black holes at the center of nearly every single interstellar Galaxy.  At the smallest levels we are beginning see and understand the existence of matter itself.  We have even mapped our own human genome and we are coming to terms with what we are and what life is. We are no longer alone. We have evidence that life may exist on Mars and that life on Earth may in fact have come from Mars.  There are machines that can walk like us, talk like us, and look like us.  There are machines being built that are beginning to be engineered to think and work together.


Having said all of this, it is important to also express the fact that the report card for Humanity is not good.  We have found that we have damaged our atmosphere, our land and our oceans.  Vast holes are appearing annually over large parts of our planet.  We have destroyed most of our forests along with the great ecological treasures that they contained.  Our Ocean is a dumping ground where we lay out thousands of miles of floating nets to feed a population that continually breeds in the name of their religious faith.  A majority of the great reefs are being systematically destroyed by the result of pollution and the rising sea levels as our World overheats and melts our frozen reserves of fresh water into the sea.  If all of this were not enough we also know that there are asteroids and comets out there that will one-day rain down destroy life on our planet as they have done in the geologic past.  


All of these things exist for us because we have gained and maintained knowledge of them.  If you did not know about these things then you do now and can know more. this does not imply that had you or humanity not known about them they would not have affected us.  The things we don't know can and often do hurt us.  In fact, if we choose to remain ignorant of certain things, our ignorance might easily destroy our future existence.  


Knowledge allows us to reach out and act positively within our environment and it allows us to make difficult decisions that would not regret, by providing for us the opportunities of better range of choices.



Copyright (c) 2001-2007 RDFollendoreIII All Rights Reserved