Thursday, February 11, 2010

Yesterday is today is tomorrow

One of the favorite genres of books to read has been science fiction.
Serious science fiction like "Shikasta" by Doris Lessing and "Solaris" by Stanislaw Lem.
And of course the books by H.G. Wells like "The Time Machine".

Good science fiction gives a surprising vision of the future.
It describes in an innovative way how our world may look in some time to come.
Expanding consciousness and the imagination.

In 1895 the author H.G. Wells published the novel "The Time Machine".
It is the story of an English inventor who has made a machine with which he is able to travel in time.
The book is much more about politics and social aspects of society than it is science fiction.
But many people will never learn that fascinating and major part of the story simply for the fact that the book is classified as science fiction.
Unable to accept the concept of being able to travel in time and therefore not taking this important book seriously.

Good science fiction writers are visionaries.
They have an imagination of concepts that seem alien, strange and sometimes absurd, but in time sometimes it turns out they were not exactly idiots.

Take this concept of traveling in time like H.G. Wells came up with.
To travel to a future time or to travel to the past.
Although the way H.G. Wells envisioned time travel is primitive, with a machine invented by one person, the concept in spite of Albert Einstein's theory of relativity is becoming more and more acceptable.

For example, recently scientists of the University of Copenhagen in Denmark have pieced together most of the DNA of a man who lived in Greenland about 4,000 years ago.
The DNA was recovered from a tuft of hair that had been excavated in 1986 from permafrost on Greenland's west coast, north of the Arctic Circle.
The thousands of years in a deep freeze was key to preserving the genetic material.
What they found was that the man had type A-positive blood.
Brown eyes.
A dark skin.
Dry earwax.
A boosted chance of going bald and several biological adaptations for weathering a cold climate.

Finding out these things through DNA-research about people over 4,000 years ago, is a way of traveling in time.
Recreating what has been.
Having the reality of that time integrate in our contemporary reality.

Still, according to many Science Fiction writers, this is Mickey Mouse stuff.
Because the real time travel happens through the fourth dimension.
This some people can do.
But it is not accepted or explored in science.
Not yet.


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