"The debate continues to rage over the future of our energy supplies. When is the peak of hydrocarbon production? Can alternative energy sources replace the one's we use today? What are the consequences of depletion? Who will be the next American Idol?"
The answers are unclear, and our future uncertain. Much depends on our collective circumstance, and the opportunities available to us. But our choices count as well; how we seize the opportunities afforded us.
Sounds like the basic theory of evolution. Species, which take advantage of opportunities, prosper by these choices, and push themselves forward into the biologic future. Of course we have lost more species than have survived. Meaning most species fail evolution's test eventually, yielding to more successful varieties.
Even our world economy, systems of government, & personal relationships follow a similar pattern of development by domination. We view this as a natural, and even beneficial process, and accept its authority in almost every facet of our daily lives. Competition makes us stronger.
If this theory of forced development through competitive selection holds true for the smallest example, perhaps it also holds true for the largest ecosystem we know, our universe.
We would imagine any planet in the universe which is capable of supporting life to share certain characteristics, as well as differing wildly in many ways. For an evolving world, the emergence of the "tool maker" means the resource clock starts running. From this point on, a species building on it's previous success begins the common process of exploiting naturally occurring resources as it becomes more advanced. This presents a common problem for our tool building cousins; resource depletion. It is difficult to imagine any species continuing down the path of the toolmaker without the necessary resources.
So perhaps, just as we see in the evolution of terrestrial species, the same applies for the development of species on a universal level. For all we know life, basic life, is quite common out among the stars. And absent the overt signs of intelligent life, perhaps intelligence is more rare. For advanced toolmakers, like ourselves, the challenge becomes less one of technical advances, and more about how we cooperate. After overcoming the natural world of it?s birth; having learned the skills to master it's own environment, surely the next measure of this species is it?s ability to manage these resources for it's own ultimate benefit.
So is the mastery of ourselves the ultimate challenge for a species? Are there more advanced species out there waiting for us to "grow up"? From a universal perspective, humanity is like a single species on earth, competing for it's place in posterity through natural selection.
Like a sophomore college student awakened from sleep, only to realize that final exams are halfway over, are we in a mad dash to graduate or fail a process we scarcely knew was there?
Life is precious, and we regret the loss of any species. But just how upset are we when we lose a species or two? (I think we lost a couple while you read this)
Perhaps humanity falling isn't the great tragedy it seems from the inside.
It is said that good fences make good neighbors.
Maybe the universe is waiting for us to become good neighbors, and space is the ultimate in good fences.