When we asked a centenarian: What do you feel most about this world in the past 100 years? The old man will answer without hesitation: The world is changing too fast. That’s right, the speed of human development in the past 100 years is amazing, fast enough to make us feel incredible.
Someone once said: After letting me stay in the mountains for ten years and then come out, I may no longer know the world, and all the changes are too strange. The fact is indeed the case. If you are a post-70s or post-80s, you can compare the 30-year human society with the current human society in your mind, and you will find that the changes are indeed very big.
You should know that in ancient times, don’t talk about 30 years. Even if it is 300 years, human society will not undergo particularly major changes. The fundamental reason why there have been such rapid changes in the past hundred years is the human science and technology. Hundreds of years ago, mankind embarked on the path of scientific development.
The power of science has opened the door to the new century for us and brought unlimited opportunities to human civilization. In the last century, science has shown a scene of blooming flowers. Whether it is in physics, chemistry or other scientific fields, basic science continues to emerge, opening up a new path for human research and scientific exploration.
If you understand the basic sciences of the last century, you will find that the theory of relativity was proposed in the last century, and it gives us a deeper understanding of the universe. The establishment of quantum mechanics was also in the last century, allowing humans to enter the microscopic world and see the movement patterns of microscopic particles.
Antibiotics also appeared in the last century. It caused crazy bacteria to lower their heads and brought great benefits to human health. There were still many basic sciences in the last century. These basic sciences were the basis for the application of science and technology. Without them, there would be no various kinds of science and technology that would continue to appear in the future.
I believe everyone is aware of the power of science and technology. In the past 100 years, science and technology have been changing every day. Take mobile phones more than 20 years ago. At that time, mobile phones were very expensive and single-function. There were only a few wealthy people and The big boss can afford it. However, after only more than 20 years, there is now an average of one mobile phone, which is very cheap and affordable for children.
Secondly, there is communication technology, which has achieved leapfrog times in just 20 years. It has now entered the 5G era, and it has taken a short time for humans to go from 2G to 5G. There are many other technologies that continue to appear, such as artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, etc. The proliferation and rapid updates of these technologies have caused many people to mistakenly make the basic science of mankind have been progressing.
So is this really the case? Of course not. In fact, since the basic sciences of mankind appeared successively in the last century, no new basic sciences have appeared in nearly half a century. In particular, mankind has entered the 21st century for 20 years. The first 20 years of the last century were a relatively glorious era. Many basic sciences appeared at this stage.
In the first 20 years of the 21st century, although there have been many scientific achievements, such as the announcement of the first black hole photo, which confirmed the existence of the Higgs boson, the achievements of the Human Genome Project, the emergence of smart phones, artificial intelligence, and so on.
However, if we carefully examine these achievements, it is not difficult to find that these technological advances are essentially all based on the basic theories put forward in the last century. Gravitational waves and black holes are the predictions of Einstein’s theory of relativity, the Higgs boson is the predictions of the Standard Model, and so on.
There hasn’t been a single advancement in fundamental scientific theories so far this century. Seeing this, some people may say that it is because mankind has mastered all the scientific mysteries of the universe. Only by following the scientific theories of the last century can they become the boss of the universe.
It would be ridiculous if you think so. In fact, human beings may not even have 1% of the universe’s knowledge at present. 99% of the universe is still strange and unknown to us. Scientists once proposed the classification of cosmic civilizations, according to this Level, the strength of human civilization can only be regarded as level 0.7 at present, not even the lowest level one civilization.
The basic science of mankind has stagnated. Who is it that locks up the progress of mankind? To explore why basic science has stagnated, we need to consider two factors. They are energy and human lifespan limitations.
1. Energy. Scientist Kardashev proposed the Kardashev Grade Index in 1964, which is a method used to measure the technologically advanced grade of a civilization. The standard of division is energy. According to the Kardashev level, the cosmic civilization can be divided into three levels. The lowest level civilization requires proficiency in controllable nuclear fusion.
According to this standard, the level of human civilization is only 0.7, even the human level in “Wandering Earth” can only be regarded as level one. In fact, this classification standard is very reasonable. Energy is indeed the key to judging whether a civilization can achieve qualitative progress.
Human technology cannot be promoted without industry, and the core of industry is energy. The qualitative change of energy is what can really make a qualitative change in civilization. The industrial development of mankind for centuries is inseparable from fossil energy, which is known as “industrial blood”. Regardless of the rapid development of human science and technology in the past 100 years, the industrial blood has never changed. It has always been fossil energy. If there is progress, it is only a substantial increase in the utilization rate of fossil energy.
However, fossil energy has two shortcomings. One is that its pollution is relatively serious. The main reason why the ecology of the earth has been continuously deteriorating in the past 100 years is mainly because of the large-scale use of fossil energy. Another disadvantage is that it is a non-renewable resource. The earth’s fossil resources are limited. Once it runs out, mankind has not found alternative energy sources. Then human development will not only be “locked up”, but technology and civilization will even regress. Tragedy.
What can replace fossil energy is controllable nuclear fusion, which is a powerful energy source with no pollution and a higher energy level. Its realization can not only return the earth to the blue sky and white clouds, but also enable mankind to go to the stars and start the era of great navigation.
One important reason why controlled nuclear fusion is so important to mankind is that the raw materials it needs are very simple and extensive. The reaction of nuclear fusion requires hydrogen, and hydrogen accounts for 90% of the cosmic matter. The earth is an ocean world, and the most indispensable thing is water. Some scientists have calculated that through nuclear fusion reactions, one liter of seawater can produce the same energy as 300 liters of gasoline.
And water is not only very rich in the earth, even in the solar system, scientists have discovered many planets with more water resources than the earth. In addition, the solar system also has two huge hydrogen storage reservoirs, namely Jupiter and Saturn, so in a sense, once nuclear fusion is realized, it means that the energy needed for human development is almost infinite.
2. Human life span, why is life span limiting the progress of human basic science? I believe many of my friends know that if the basic science of mankind wants to progress qualitatively, it needs the emergence of great scientists. In the last century, the emergence of some great scientists in human civilization led to the emergence of basic sciences. For example, the birth of Einstein brought forward the theory of relativity.
However, with the continuous advancement of human science and technology, the division of various disciplines has become more and more detailed, and the amount of knowledge has also increased. This situation will make it take more and more time for humans to learn. In the past, it took 20 years to learn scientific knowledge, but now it takes 40 years. In the future, as the volume of knowledge continues to increase, it will take more and more time.
Nowadays, scientists need at least a doctoral degree to carry out scientific research, and they are about 30 years old. If they want to achieve breakthroughs in a certain field, they must be at least 50 years old. But the average life span of human beings is only about 80 years old, and as the age continues to increase, thinking will become more and more chaotic.
This will lead to when a scientist has learned enough professional knowledge and will soon make a major breakthrough after hard work, only to find that he has reached the end of life. Even if it does not come to an end, the brain’s thinking cannot continue to be scientifically researched. Don’t you say this is a huge regret.
Therefore, from a scientific point of view, lifespan is a key factor affecting the development of human basic sciences. If human life spans are hundreds or thousands of years, then great scientists such as Newton and Einstein are still alive and their minds It is incomparable to other scientists.
Under the leadership of these great scientists, the current strength of mankind may have broken through controllable nuclear fusion, turning mankind into a first-class civilization, and ushering in the era of starry sky navigation. It is life span that is very important to the scientific development of mankind, so in recent years, scientists have invested more and more in genetic technology.
Lifespan is a shackle given to mankind by the laws of nature, and to break this shackle, we can only rely on genetic technology, as long as genetic technology develops to a certain extent. Through gene editing and genetic modification, human life span can be greatly increased. At that time, scientists will have a longer time to conduct scientific research, and the basic science of mankind will explode again, leading mankind to the real interstellar age.