How big will the impact of nanotechnology be in my life in the next 20 years?

You asked: “How big will the impact of nanotechnology be in my life in the next 20 years?”

Great question and the answer depends on whether you’ll get sick and need nanotechnology. Twenty years is not long. I’ve lived twenty years 4 times over. Each time the situation is basically the same. You are born, grow old, get diseased and die. They have new cures, and new medicine, but you’re still going to grow old and eventually die.

Nanotechnology, if ever realized, will be another medical breakthrough to cure this and that, but you’ll still grow old and die eventually.

How close are we from attaining immortality via technological and medical advancement?

We are no closer to attaining immortality of the body at all. We can cure and/or treat certain diseases and conditions of the body which undoubtedly extends our lives past the malady. However, certain things cannot be overcome. Most deaths are not caused by old age but by other means, however, when all else fails old age catches up and will always catch up.

There is only one living creature that I am aware of that is thought to be immortal and that is the flatworm. It regenerates itself continuously and never seems to die.

We, however, are not flatworms.

Why hasn’t one species “won” evolution? Why hasn’t one super-species outcompeted all competitors?

Humans are the dominant species based on our technology and industry intelligence, opposable and language skills. There are creatures that eat humans, but homo-sapiens as a species won’t be wiped out because of it. Most of us just avoid being in a place where we might get eaten by a shark or a crocodile or a lion.

We have our educational institutions, Internet, electricity, cities, medicine, cellphones, transportation and so on.

In that sense, we are the super-species.

But there’s nothing saying we will improve in the future. We could devolve over a few hundred thousand years time. Dependence on technology and shopping in supermarkets doesn’t advance mean we will evolve “upwards.” For example, I wear eyeglasses, but it used to be in days of yore if you couldn’t see clearly you’d die soon enough. There’s nothing saying that our eyesight, teeth and a host of other things will improve over time.

Right now, however, we’re the pinnacle, standing at the top of the hill. Like this picture that I took in Caprock Canyon State Park in Texas and then heavily modified it inside The GIMP.

caprockcanyonstatepark

 

Worried about death?

In the Bhagavad-Gita, a famous Hindu scripture, Krishna says: “For the soul there is never birth nor death nor, having once been, does he ever cease to be, he is unborn, eternal, ever-existing, undying and primeval. He is not slain when the body is not slain.”

Think about it.

What will happen after 10,000,000,000,000,000 years, i.e. what will the fate of humans, the earth, technology, and everything else, be?

Well, Lee Ballentine answered this very nicely. We don’t even know if the universe will still exist in 10 quadrillion years. As far as we know, the universe is between 12 and 14 billion years old. You can fit ten million billions in 10 quadrillion. So 10,000,000,000,000,000 years from now is thousands of billions of years more than the age of the earth is now. There will be no Sun or Earth. If the present rate of expansion of the universe continues, you will no longer see stars. If mankind somehow survived that, they would likely have evolved or devolved on some distant planet into something not resembling humans of today, and would have had to jump from solar system to solar system as millions of suns came and died. However, as billions of years goes by the stars get further and further away, making hoping from one solar system to the next more difficult.

Therefore it isn’t likely humans will exist by then, what to speak of the earth, the sun or even what remains of Andromeda and Milky Way merged and then dissipated.

How would the earth and the moon react if Haley’s comet were to pass between them?

No reaction physically. Psychologically we’d be freaked out, but Haley’s comet is a small body that would have little gravitational effect on either large Moon or even larger Earth. It would zip by with no effect except to excite scientists and make headlines.

To Be or Not to Be

My wife has gone all religious on me. I’m not used to that. For years she was leaning towards atheism. I was uncomfortable with atheism even though I lean heavily toward physics.

Atheism makes sense. More sense then most evangelicals, ISIS, Catholics, Jews and so on. At least to me. I think all religions could use a dose of atheistic realism.

However, I’m mortal, like you, and I’m sixty-four, like Paul McCartney’s song. Days flow by into months which flow by into years. I’ll die. Now my fascination with science kicks in. Survival of the fittest: evolution. All species seek to live, not die. The fittest survive longer than the weakest. So I seek to live, not die. I really don’t want to die. That’s what all people feel except those who are mentally ill and want to commit suicide.

So we dream of never ending life. Religion is born and we convince ourselves we won’t die forever.

There’s glitches in that theory, I know. Science points us to galaxies, expanding universes, black holes, the possibility of life on Titan, Saturn’s moon. But is that it? Is there no mystery to life itself?

An atheist would say no. In my heart I feel otherwise. For most of my life I’ve been devoutly religious. There’s subjective as well as objective. I really don’t feel the subjective is due to chemical reactions in my brain or the brains of many people both now and the past that have had religious experiences.

And my wife is suddenly, almost inexplicably, drawn toward religion. I mean, like, it’s her only thought all of a sudden. Weirdly, I’m the best one to teach her in the direction she wants to go.

There’s probably more to this thought on this post, but that’s what I’ve got for now.