On Christmas Day last year (2021), I sat in front of my computer and watched the Ariane-5 rocket lift the new space telescope, James Webb, up into the sky. My biggest concern at the time was that something would happen to the rocket that would destroy this, perhaps the most exciting, journey for humanity. But everything went well, and the James Webb telescope will start delivering a new image of the universe in the summer of 2022, when it is cooled and pre-calibrated. Perhaps we will understand how the universe was created? Perhaps we will be able to observe traces of life out in the universe? Perhaps we will be able to see planets around other stars? Perhaps we will see something completely unexpected, something we not have even been able to imagine so far?

The summer of 2022 could be one of the great moments in human history. But what happened? A murderer and successful thief, with nuclear weapons in his hand, decides to invade his neighboring country with disastrous consequences as a result, both from a human point of view for the population of the attacked country but also maybe from a more existential perspective. We may never be able to see the answers of the mysteries of the universe that now soon are within our reach. Perhaps the answers will remain out there, far beyond the moon’s orbit around the Earth, inaccessible to humanity.    

What if the answers remain out there just because of that a coward dictator would rather sacrifice humanity than be deposed, exposed as a criminal and humiliated, or maybe executed? What if we end up being “almost there” and, at the height of human civilization, being replaced by another species, maybe the octopuses, just as the mammals once replaced the dinosaurs?