Starts With A Bang

Humanity needs science to survive and thrive (Synopsis)

Humanity has made some tremendous achievements as a species, society, and civilization. The greatest ones of all were only made possible by the collective enterprise of science. Image credit: NASA / Apollo 11.

“Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

The enterprise of science is one of the most misunderstood in all of society. Some view it as its own religion; others view it as a political ideology gussied up in smart-sounding clothes; still others view it as open to interpretation. But science is none of those things, and is rather the full suite of knowledge humanity has accumulated along with our process of discovery, investigation, and ongoing hard work.

Astronaut candidates Tyler N. (Nick) Hague, Andrew R. Morgan and Nicole A. Mann, as they look over a chart that will help sustain them for three days in the wilderness. Image credit: NASA / Lauren Harnett.

When we look at why humanity is so successful as a species, it’s rooted in our ability to understand the natural world. We’ve learned how a variety of systems work, independently and together, and have figured out how various influence affect it. This has led to advances in everything from agriculture, health, safety, and medicine to Earth science, astronomy, and particle physics.

The stars within and beyond the Pillars of Creation are revealed in the infrared. While Hubble extends its view out to 1.6 microns, more than twice the limit of visible light, James Webb will go out to 30 microns: nearly 20 times as far again. Image credit: NASA, ESA/Hubble and the Hubble Heritage Team.

Without science, stagnation is the absolute best humanity can hope for. But with it, our success is limited only by how quickly we can move forward!