My apologies, Star Trek fans: Space is not the final frontier.
Frontier is a word based on the Latin "frons", meaning front. With regards to North American settlement, frontier was used to describe the limits of land usage, bringing to mind the music of Aaron Copland. Now, the word has a more extensive meaning .
The title of this article is misleading: I will not waste time bringing down Star Trek (I love Voyager). Instead, I will tackle the one enemy of the field. The grand nemesis to science. The proliferator of nescience. The downfaller of man. What I speak of is pride.
How did an article about frontiers venture into pride? For one to name space as a final frontier, it must mean that all other frontiers have been mapped, charted, and explored. However, us scientists cannot even draw the frontiers of the thoughts that think up such foolishness. Science requires humility.
As described in the Rhthym of Consciousness series , the world around us is composed of Constants and Variables. We are a variable. What makes a variable a variable? More specifically, what varies a variable? Time.
Image Time as an object. Say that this object is your smartphone - named Time - with a YouTube video on it. The YouTube video is merely a set of images flashing through the X axis of milliseconds. You are outside of Time. As your finger slides left and right across the bar under video to progress forward and backward in Time, you do not change. In this situation, you are constant.
By this definition nothing in this world is constant. You are affected by time: you will die: you are variable. Like a spectator watching a soccer match, only someone on the outside can truly see, hear, smell, and taste everything.
No one currently on Earth is on the outside. Thus, no one living can know everything. The cones and rods of your retinae only take in 390 to 700 nanometers of the entire electromagnetic spectrum. Your tympanic membrane can only reproduce 20 to 20,000 vibrations per second of all there is to hear. Tactile neurons only orchestrate symphonic impressions of the outside forces disturbing them. Olfactory and gustatory receptors are limited to the handful of genes that code for them.
You are a frame in Time's video; a word in a book; a variable beyond the constant.
The true scientist knows this. He or she also knows that no matter how many Nobel prizes a person wins nor how many years a scientific law may be established, said venerated researcher was still only a variable that studies the beauty of the constant.
Until a few years ago, it was once thought that 50% of our DNA was "junk", that the tonsils were useless, and that mitosis governed most of the cells of the body. This world is submerged in ignored mystery, often staring right in front of us.
All it takes is humility.
It is the ant, not the giant, that asks questions about the mountains. For the ant is wise enough to know that the frontiers of it's brain cannot fit the heavens, but the frontiers of the heavens can fit its brain.