Past and Future Connected

This was inspired by a discussion on extra-solar planets, though the subject of my reply is something I have thought of for a long while.

“This one ( This survey – ed) was looking at confirmed finds rather than possible or potential ones. Some counts include possibilities that others don’t consider confirmed. The one (potential earth-like, habitable planet – ed) at 35 ly seems nice.”

“but we still can’t travel even to Mars (manned that is) so how do we get 35 ly?”

That is true. But 200 years ago we were playing with kites and balloons. When I was 3 I knew people who were 100. So they were born 150 years ago. I bet they knew people who were at least 75 when they were 25… so that means they knew people around 200 years ago… that is not so many jumps backwards… I figure people born when I reach 75 (in 22 years) will be adults before I die, or at least be old enough to know me and before they die… perhaps another 100 years will have passed… So their kids could see 200 years from now… without too much medical magic.

What am I getting at… in reality the past and future are a lot closer than most people realize. I have known people who knew people from the time of wind and muscle, a time before steam power. Likely I will know people who will live in a time beyond infernal combustion engines — perhaps a time of force fields and squeezing of matter to singularities and the warping of space-time… or even things I can’t imagine. 35 ly? And their children? The first step is knowing that there is something outside of the water. Then we know there is a reason for lungs and legs an wings to escape the puddle and grasping jaws.

Heritage is a link between the past and the future. That is why “We are heritage”.

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