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A Message to Our Descendants in 50,000 Years

December 27, 2006

I came across this website, which asks you to preserve what you consider humanity’s most important knowledge in one sentence. Examples include – F=Ma, No Such Thing as a Free Lunch, and the 3 Laws of Thermodynamics.

The postings lead me to the KEO website, where messages are accepted to be loaded on to a satellite that will crash back into the Earth in 50,000 years.

In their words:

The faraway children, of your children … of their great-grand children … who you would never know … would love to know you. What would you like to tell them?

I’d like to tell them this:

It is hard to put in to words the reflections and revelations I have had in my twenty (20) short years of life on this planet. I hardly remember half of them anyways. But I will try.

It is already a miracle that you are reading this. I cannot say at I would have imagined the human race to survive another 50,000 years. The current state of our planet and our species seems doomed to collapse.

In our current state, humans are unable to escape their basic nature – we are but glorified apes. Our primitive instincts and desires live through our genes – they drive us to fight violently, eat excessively, and desire insatiably.

The same genes also drive us create relentlessly, share generously, and love each other passionately. If humanity is now able to play with its genes, I hope the latter genes are kept intact. They are what make this Earth worth living.

At this point in time, the vast majority of humanity believes in a personal entity that created this universe. This belief and others that often come with it is said to be a good thing, but it seems to me to be wrong. It also seems to me that these beliefs often lead to bad things. I hope that in the future, we evaluate claims based more on evidence and less on faith.

I long to know what science has revealed to you about our human nature and about the universe we live in. At the same time I fear this knowledge, for it may bring revelations that I may not be able to accept. I long to know what life is like for you now and again I fear I could not handle it.

I have struggled to find meaning to the life and existence I have been born into. It is a hard struggle, one that I expect to last my whole life. But I believe that this struggle itself gives meaning to life. I wonder if we humanity continues this struggle today. Against the vast, bizarre, and uncaring universe, that struggle is all that we have. I wish you and the rest of humanity well.

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