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>Some 15 years ago I put the argument that the discovery of NEO generated
>mass extinctions could lead to a new paradigm of the role of Intelligent
>Humanity in the scheme of things - namely that, contrary to the fin de
>siecle pessimism which reduces Man to the status of an unpleasant
>polluting ape whose intelligence is an evolutionary dead end, we now
>have a raison d'etre, viz. the creative dispersal of Life and Mind into
>the wider Universe. We are in my view a "Chosen Species" - whether by
>Providence or Evolution is immaterial. This Ideology I term Evolutionary
>Cosmic Destiny- others call it Astronism , Cosmism, or Astronautical
> So far as I know, I am among the first to set out in print (albeit as
>yet un published, except in magazine articles) the linkage of a human
>evolutionary future specifically to the asteroid threat and modern
>astronautics, some 4 years after Alvarez's work on the dinosaurs
> This concept could become one of the great philosophical unifying ideas
>of Mankind, and now needs to be disseminated into the world of opinion
>formers, media and culture - even, perhaps, politics
> To this end I have helped to launch/contribute to three international
> Space Age Associates http://www.astronist.demon.co.uk/index.html
>The Greater Earth Initiative http://www.greaterearth.org
> and Technologie di Frontiera http://www.tdf.it
>I have published articles on these and related ideas in the Singapore
>Straits Times, variuos UK Radio programmes, Freemasonry Today Magazine,
>Mensa, Medical, and Astronomy Journals from the Arab States to South
>America, and forums ranging from the Bahai's Islam and the Vatican
>Observatory. It is, IMHO, vital that the astronomical and space
>communities learn to speak with one voice to the world communities in
>an effort to focus our space programmes onto the task of creating a self
>sustaining human presence beyond this planet while our civilization
>still has the technical, educational and intellectual capacity to do so-
>As Shakespeare put it "There is a tide in the affairs of men which taken
>at the flood leads on to Fortune..."
> Windows of opportunity can close as well as open. Easter Island differs
>from Earth only in size.
> In summary, Science sometimes generates ideas with profound
>implications for society at large - the NEO threat is the index case.
> " Science exists to understand the world - the point, however is to
>change it!" with apologies to Karl Marx.
> Michael Martin-Smith