I read recently that Stephen Hawking was warning about the possible extinction of the human race unless man developed the ability to leave Earth and live elsewhere.

“I see great dangers for the human race,” he said. “Our only chance is not to remain inward on Planet Earth but to spread out into outer space.” In the current political climate regarding illegal immigration, where there are those who want to repeal the 14th Amendment and enact Arizona’s SB-1070 in many other states, the irony is clear.

A hundred years or thousands of years in the future, mankind might be looking for a new home. Because Earth will have become unlivable. And if we develop the technology for space travel necessary to cover the millions and millions of miles of space to find an inhabitable planet, we will land on foreign soil, that will make us the illegal alien.

If it is the fate of the human race is to become a gypsy of sorts, will another civilization be hospitable and understanding? Or decide that we have no right to infringe on their world?

Certainly our past and present has taught us that change and time will happen no matter our best efforts to stop or slow down. And complicated issues rarely have simple answers.

Still, the solution may be as easy as recognizing that sometimes everyone must find a new home, and finding the moral clarity to expect accountability for one’s actions. Being a host and being a guest each have their own sets of rules and responsibilities.


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