Edge asks us What will change everything? Specifically, “what game-changing scientific ideas and developments do you expect to live to see?”
I’m not so sure it makes much sense to ask what ideas will change the world dramatically, but I think there are two clear-cut scientific developments which will occur within the next 50 years. The first is the creation of life in the laboratory. It’s going to happen. It should, of course, crush creationism and its lying, deceitful bastard cousin intelligent design, but it will just be used as a prop for the claim that life only comes from a creator (which will, of course, be a laughable misunderstanding). I suspect far less than 50 years for this to happen. The next two decades may prove to be the time needed for the greatest discovery since Darwin discovered natural selection.
The second will be the discovery of life on one or more exoplanets. No longer will natural selection be the greatest discovery in the history of man. In fact, it won’t even be remotely close. The discovery of exolife will radically alter the philosophies of the world, deepen our understanding of the Universe, and place humanity in the best perspective it has ever had.
Post your own thoughts here, if you please.