When you think of all the things here on the ground that don't work right, the notion that we should consider traveling to other stars seems a little crazy.
But one thing doesn't have to be the enemy of the other. A civilization that strives and reaches will solve a whole bunch of other problems along the way. And there was a time when travel across an ocean seemed insurmountable. So did manned flight. So did travel to the moon. The difference, say the skeptics, is time. There just isn't any way for travel to other stars not to take thousands of years. But we're really good dreamers. The premise of the hilarious movie "Galaxy Quest" is that another civilization, watching one of our trashy sci-fi shows and mistaking it for nonfiction, built all the technology they saw on the screen. Maybe we're that good -- at imagining. You can join the conversation. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet us @wnprcolin.