The Andromeda Galaxy is more than twice the size of the Milky Way and is heading straight towards us at 400,000 km/hour. It was formed at about the same time as the Milky Way and contains at least twice as many stars. The two galaxies will collide in about 4 billion years, and the black holes in their centres are likely to converge, forming the galactic nucleus of a new super-galaxy. Our solar system will probably find itself in new stellar geography, or ejected entirely into outer space.
Should we be worried?
Of course not!
We have much more immediate issues on our plates, and, anyway, if our civilization survives for 4 billion years, we’ll have some pretty nifty technology available to deal with the Andromeda collision. Rather, let’s worry about our survival for the next hundred years, when our grandchildren will be grandparents.
Well, the 20th century wasn’t great for advancing global harmony. Fascism, communism, colonialism, racism and related wars claimed more than 120 million lives. Despite that, global population still grew by 4.4 billion. Is this progress towards peaceful coexistence?
It doesn’t look like it.
Global population will double again in the 21st century. Not only have deadly new national and ethnic conflicts already arisen, but our political systems seem to be failing to deal with the effects of globalisation. Most notable of these are economic, industrial and ethnic migration. Consequently, the latest ism to be added to the list of political credos is Trumpism (formerly Brexitism), propelled by the contempt of the working populace for the failure of the governing establishment to protect their standard of living (nice version). Or, (nasty version) propelled by the ambitions of politicians so narcissistic that they believe all publicity, however odious and mendacious, is good for them. The voters have got a point though. Are we now to witness the disintegration of the EU and, in due course, a new round of conflicts between the rising new sovereign states? (Sorry Vlad, but we couldn’t invite you into NATO because you’re not really on the North Atlantic, are you, like…er, Turkey and Bulgaria?)
Back to the Andromedans, then.
If they have a 4 billion year developmental jump on us, surely they know enough about remote manipulation of a human brain to sow the seeds of self-destruction in our society? Then, they can just pick up the pieces when the time comes, rather than engaging in a costly invasion?
Doesn’t the apparent appetite of our leaders for armed conflict seem almost surrealistic given the lamentable experience we have had with it?
Just a minute – doesn’t that fellow Trump look a bit strange?
PrometheusTags: Ethnic Migration, Self Destruction, Trumpism