Do you believe in evolution or God – what’s this got to do with trading? Sitting at the port here on the Cote d’Azur watching the boats go out to sea to the island of Corsica, often ones thoughts turns to philosophy beyond the bounds of Earth into the universe. Reading the daily Blogs and news apps on my iPhone, drinking my cafe latte, I came across such an article, that gave me pause for thought. Scientists have discovered something recently using NASA’s Kepler space telescope. They have found the best candidates yet for habitable worlds beyond the solar system, including a pair of potentially life-friendly planets orbiting the same star. Wow being a space buff, this kind of stuff interests me. Sorry a long Blog post – but philosophically a very interesting point.
These planets found, join a list of about 700 confirmed extra-solar planets discovered since 1995. The new additions include a pair of planets orbiting a star called Kepler-62, located about 1,200 light years away in the constellation Lyra. Kepler-62’s two outermost planets, both about 1.5 times the size of Earth, are located the right distance from their parent star for water – if any exists – to be liquid on the surface. Scientists also found two planets circling another Kepler target star, Kepler-69, located about 2,700 light years from Earth in the constellation Cygnus. The Kepler telescope measures slight dips in the amount of light coming from target stars that may be caused by planets passing by, or transiting, relative to the telescope’s line of sight. So far, the Kepler science team has more than 2,700 candidate planets.
But the number of potential earths does not stop here. In 2011 NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) calculated that about “1.4 to 2.7 percent” of all sun-like stars are expected to have earth-like planets “within the habitable zones of their stars”. This means there are “two billion” of them in our own Milky Way galaxy alone and assuming that all galaxies have a similar number as the Milky Way, in the 50 billion galaxies in the observable universe there may be as many as a sextillion. Wow, that’s a lot of earths – just think of the number of traders there are in the universe.
Knowing all this, we have also been taught that evolution, from the famous theories of Charles Darwin in “The Origin of Species,” evolution is a fairly common natural event, when looking at such a volume of variety of species on the Earth. If evolution is true, the evolutionary phenomenon can not be so rare. If it happened here, could it not happen on at least some of the sextillion other earth-like planets? Furthermore, many of the experts tell us that the age of the Earth is 4.54 ± 0.05 billion years. However just look how technology has exploded in just 300 years. Just think what we could do in another 100 or 1000 or even a million years. Remember Moore’s law – knowledge doubling every 2 years – knowledge goes exponential! The fantasy of Star Trek becomes a reality.
Hold on a minute – do all earth-like planets develop at the same speed? How many of these sextillion earth-like planets are ahead of us in technology development by 100 or 1000 or even 1 million years? A million years is nothing compared to the age of our earth. There would have to be a huge number of other earth-like planets way ahead of us in terms of technology development. And yet we have not had any real evidence (except for the UFO enthusiasts) of visits to earth by alien beings. Are they all hiding from us because they are all observing the “prime directive (no interference with the internal development of alien civilizations)?” Not likely. This leads me to one of two conclusions:
- We are unique in the universe and the theory of evolution is false … a God?
- There is a “technological wall” that is insurmountable – even after a million years of development to allow us to communicate with or travel to those alien worlds.
Bill Maher has comically shot down the idea of a God with his comparison of religion as believing in the Flying Spaghetti Monster – so evolution must be true – right? The notion of a real God is ridiculous to us now, as a modern, intelligent, knowledgeable, enlightened and sophisticated species. If Bill Maher is wrong – this would bring to light many other questions. So this leaves us with the idea of a “technological wall,” and my point as it relates to our world today and the economics that this may bring.
Yes, as stated before the technology advances of mankind have been profound over the past 3 to 400 years. But at the same time I am recently struck on how technology is slowing in terms of break through technologies providing real economic gains for society. As technology has come, so has the thirst for jobs on a global basis, as the labor-saving devices we create, reduces the need for labor. The consummation of natural resources and the lack of need for the fruits of a man’s labor, turns any civilization into an Easter Island – resulting in a climatic end to the civilization. We are bound by the physical realities, like propelling a human body faster than the speed of light, that will not allow us or any other of the sextillion earth-like societies to advance very far.
Perhaps the nature of all species born out of Darwinism is simply unsustainable and dies – universally – it is a natural law. Or are we technically simply closing in on the “technological wall?” Hardly – but each advance in knowledge/technology may have an equal and opposite effect in terms of human benefit. Sort of reaching the point of diminishing returns. If true, this “technological wall” may not be so far away as we might think. Especially when you see today, the lack of economic growth globally. Perhaps there are a lot of mini-walls before reaching the big and final one. Have we reached a mini-wall? As traders or investors, knowing a wall can eventually come, gives one pause for thought on future directions in the global economy and the markets.
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