Editorial by Nicholas Pediaditakis, MD, DLFAPA
Explosions in new knowledge have happened in humanity before. In our part of the world, it happened in in Ancient Greece in the 5th Century BC, in the 8th century of the Arabian Renaissance in Mosul (a series of enlightened regimes promoting free ideas and science from the whole world), and again in the 17th and 18th century in the Western world (in the age of enlightenment in England, Germany, and France). It is happening once more at the present time; but this time, it’s happening world wide.
The new knowledge is been produced and accumulated at an unbelievable rate. It spreads rapidly — events taking place here, are known in Tokyo in minutes. Information is readily available for the multitudes to participate and make their own discoveries. If there were golden ages of scientific progress for humanity in the past, we should call the present one a platinum one.
There are three areas where the scientific progress is more evident: biology/molecular genetics, astronomy, and electronics.
Do you know that we now can even edit the genome — the set of instructions for our body for how to grow and function? The method is called CRISPR. This editing can take place not only for individuals in their own body, but even in the genetic line — the very set of instructions insuring the reproduction and stability of the species we belong to — and currently forbidden, as we do not want to alter our human nature.
While in electronics, we are using phenomena whose true nature is beyond our comprehension like quantum mechanics. Chinese scientists sent a satellite up recently that can communicate using an incomprehensible phenomenon called entanglement thus being secure from being intercepted and read by third parties/adversaries.
In the area of astronomy, we intercept rocks billions of miles away to find out what they are made of. These asteroids, of which some of them, are so far away that it takes the radio waves to arrive to us with information 20 or 30 or 50 minutes as the messages are speeding up at the rate of 186,000 miles per second!
Further there now are also convergence between biology and electronics. Recently, a group of scientists in Greece were able to create an electronic neuron (the functional unit of the brain) by using a mixture of three peculiar metals sandwiched between two electrodes.
The ramifications of this rapid progress are enormous. We create not only new products to make our lives easier, secure, or entertaining, but many of these innovations enable us to manage problems we ourselves have created, problems that threaten our own existence (for example, artificial trees that use their leaves to harness solar power). Personally, running my 9th decade of my life on this Earth, I don’t cease to wonder and be grateful for the era I lived in.
Copyright © 2016 by Nicholas Pediaditakis, MD
For more information on Dr. Pediaditakis and his Raleigh NC mental health clinic, visit his Facebook page.
Dr. Nicholas’ blog may be read at chroniclersofthesoul.com.
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