Our species is, by its nature, an inquisitive one. In order to bring about the world in which we currently live, the humans of the past sought out new knowledge, strove for innovation, and doing so developed the technologies, thought, and circumstances of our present time. This search for expanded understanding and further progress continues to drive our development. In this regard, we are now living in an era of extreme possibility: in so many fields, we are beginning to more rapidly and definitely understand our world. The humans of the past were explorers, and we are explorers still.
This quest for knowledge can be traced back to our species early beginnings. Spreading out of the African savannas and jungles which originally housed us, we quested for new lands and new resources. Whether this was driven by curiosity alone or by pressures for survival, the simple act of wondering what lay beyond the horizon became one of our characteristics. Our powerful intellect allowed us to develop increasingly sophisticated tools, but in order to utilize this intellect we needed to possess an equally vibrant curiosity.
Throughout the development of our civilization, our quest for knowledge was driven largely in part by political goals: discover new trade routes, develop new technologies to benefit the nation, push the boundaries of knowledge and possibility for the benefit of prestige. Regardless of what the ulterior goals and motives for these quests for knowledge may have been, they fueled the innovation and discovery which has spread our species across the globe, into space, and provided it the technologies and knowledge of the modern world. Be it the expeditions to the ‘New World’, the ‘Space Race’, the development of the internet or the exploration of the Pyramids, we have been explorers of knowledge, no matter what the motive.
Now we live in a time of incredible possibility. Our technology enables us to further unlock the secrets of our universe, and future developments will likely benefit us further. With the coming age of exploration, colonization, and development in space, we will be able to explore the final frontier. In many ways, it is the apex of the human pushing of possibility, and will be one of our final realms of discovery. Though scientific theories, by their nature, are continually developing, refining, and reforming, we have come to develop a body of knowledge that can accurately predict and explain the ways our universe works to a large degree. No longer are we trying to only explain the practical; now, our search for knowledge has pushed into the metaphysical and the theoretical. We have mapped the human body, searched and mapped our planet, constructed timelines of our history and our universe, and even begun to probe the planets of our solar system. This is a time of discovery in which knowledge is being unlocked and accumulated to a greater extent than ever before. We are explorers still, in a time of incredible discovery.
What will the future hold? It is, to us in the present, unknown. Yet we can be assured that, whatever may come to pass, the humans of the future will be explorers still. We have come to our present circumstances by virtue of the fact that the humans of the past quested for knowledge, and we today continue that quest. The humans of the future will inherit a world with wide understandings and enormous possibilities. Yet the quest for knowledge will never end. In some ways, a true understanding of our universe’s nature is beyond human comprehension. The vastness of outer space limits our possibility to discover, examine, and categorize everything within it. There will always be new theories, and the process of proving or disproving those theories are quests for knowledge in themselves. So long as humans have a curiosity, which is something innate in our species, we will be explorers still.