Will humans ever reach another star?
Jon Spaihts may pen scripts about humans exploring the far reaches of the galaxy, but does the Prometheus screenwriter really believe we will ever reach another star?
Spaiht's prognosis is surprisingly grim, as the veteran screenwriter recently told Forbes that science-fiction authors traditionally overestimate our civilization's future technological progression.
"Science fiction has taught us to see the universe as vastly smaller and less energetic than it is," Spaihts explained.
"Space travel involves such mind-boggling distances and high energies that I think most people have no idea how difficult it is. My personal belief is that as much as I love science fiction, human beings will never reach another star."
According to Spaihts, achieving light speed is impossible, as such a feat is "theoretically prohibited." Nevertheless, Spaihts manages to reconcile his futuristic story-telling with logical reality by channeling the "nautical model" which envisions innovation advancing at a rapid pace.
"It's a recapitulation of our story of the last generations as we have, as a species, expanded our understanding by orders of magnitude every century, and at an accelerating rate," he said.
"[Of course, some] limits are non-negotiable. We may sometimes find alternatives, in making micro-processors cheaper and more energy efficient, for instance. But light speed is what it is."
Interestingly enough, the Prometheus screenwriter remains quite bullish about the rapid evolution of artificial intelligence in the form of both androids and supercomputers.
"It will be like having an angel on your shoulder who can answer your questions and transform the accessibility of data... When that becomes meaningfully possible, it will change the fundamental face of society in ways we cannot predict now," added Spaihts.