The best theory physicists have for the birth of the universe makes no sense.
It goes like this: In the beginning—the very, if not quite veriest, beginning—there’s something called quantum foam. It’s barely there, and can’t even be said to occupy space, because there’s no such thing as space yet.
Or time. So even though it’s seething, bubbling, fluctuating, as foam tends to do, it’s not doing so in any kind of this-before-that temporal order.
It just is, all at once, indeterminate and undisturbed. Until it isn’t.
Something goes pop in precisely the right way, and out of that infinitesimally small pocket of instability, the entire universe bangs bigly into being. Instantly. Like, at a whoosh far exceeding the speed of light.
Does sci-fi serve a purpose beyond that of entertainment or escapism?
Why do we write, read, and love sci-fi?
Arthur Clarke (2001: A Space Odyssey) once said,
“There’s no real objection to escapism, in the right places… We all want to escape occasionally. But science fiction is often very far from escapism, in fact you might say that science fiction is escape into reality… It’s a fiction which does concern itself with real issues: the origin of man; our future. In fact I can’t think of any form of literature which is more concerned with real issues, reality.”
Here are some thoughts on the important role sci-fi plays in our culture:
1. Sci-fi makes us think, wonder, and ask what if and why.
“Just as digital didn’t eradicate print, it also failed to kill a lot of other things that were supposed to be obsolete. Here are a few other areas where the world of real things is showing renewed life.”