Image Source: BBC.
Space exploration will tell us the secrets of the universe. This is because space exploration is a synthetic act. It demands a united vision from, and intense cooperation among, diverse experts. It will require a Millennial convergence of many fields of research and knowledge, which have been divided and sequestered through overspecialization over the past two hundred years. No matter the focus - from cryptocurrencies to the relationship between anti-ageing and cancer - every area of human endeavour and study seems set for epiphany. We are coming from many different paths to a higher consensus of understanding which we cannot yet see.
Case in point: professors at American University in Washington D.C. recognize that space exploration will likely be the main catalyst in our next big jump in knowledge. They are establishing a research group in the university's School of Public Affairs to study space policy analysis. On 31 July 2014, the School hosted a webcast debate, Is It Time to Search for Life on Mars? The participants discussed the line between geology and biology, drawn in that tiny, incredible moment when dead elements become live biologics.
They concentrated on the critical conditions under which the inanimate can become animate. The key in that turning point is radiation. From their point of view, Mars colonization strategists were tackling the question backwards, since life on Mars will depend on the ability to resist radiation. They are trying to reverse engineer colonists' survival by understanding the relationship between radiation and life.
The role of radiation in the genesis of life took the seminar participants from the realm of quantum biology to cosmology. They asked how life manifests on a grander scale, as part of the larger forces of the universe. What is life in these terms? Life is a temporary expression of order, antichaos or negentropy in the face of the disorder, entropy (energy lost to dissipation or friction), in a disintegrating universe.
One of the talk's participants was Dr. Chris Carr, an MIT scientist whose work involves the search for extra-terrestrial genomes. In comments on the relationship between entropy and the origins of life, he remarked that researchers at the University of Glasgow have observed pockets of decreasing entropy. In future posts, I'll discuss how Millennial findings on antichaos tell us about the geometry of the universe, and have already begun transforming diverse areas of human thought and discovery.