Dear 100 Hour Board,
A few days ago I was watching the movie Interstellar with my husband. Spoiler alert if you haven't seen it yet. (Yes, it's 5 years old but I hadn't seen it until last week.) If I'm understanding it correctly, there's two plans for how they're going to save the human race. Plan A is figuring out a way to get all the people on Earth to another habitable planet in another galaxy. The other option is having a "population bomb" where thousands of human embryos are sent to the habitable planet.
While watching this, we started wondering if there would be any purpose to preserve the human race if there were no records or culture passed on. Do you think humans are worth saving as a species just for the sake of saving or would it only be worthwhile if there was a way to pass on culture and history? Does your answer change if you think of it from a gospel perspective?
-The Happy Medium
Dear Goldilocks Planet,
I think that humans are worth saving, even if no culture can be passed on. Humans have the innate desire to love and rebuild, and I think that we should at least give that option to the future generation. We also seem to be pretty happy and hopeful as a species in general terms, and giving future generations that seems to me like a good idea.
From a gospel perspective, I think it's an even better idea to keep humans alive. God needs a way to continue to give His children life, and He will take care of them, even if they are left with nothing. I am hopeful that he'll guide us no matter where we are, and it's better that he guide us from ground zero than that we just end ourselves. He is the one in control of when our life as a species ends, anyways.
Dear Merry Middle,
Excellent movie choice, first of all, it's one of my favorites. Regarding your question, I think that it would be worth saving because regardless of Plan A or Plan B, a new culture would develop anyway. True, Plan A would mean that there would be more wealth of past culture, and Plan A's new planet culture wouldn't look the same as Plan B's... but it would still be a human culture. Geography has a really significant impact on how societies form and how resources are distributed.
And, this is not a widely held opinion, but I believe there are certain things that are innate in the human spirit, and the society and culture that might develop would not really look so different from the world we live in today. There are patterns in human behavior and morality that repeat themselves everywhere, independently. Also, they send out Mann, Edmunds, and Miller to do research and, if sensible, to begin starting a colony (which, as we saw, Edmunds did.) Therefore, there would be existing architecture, agriculture, science, math, physics, etc. when/if Plan B were used, and the Endurance would also be there. In any case, I think even if Plan B is the one that was used, there would be some parts remaining of the culture and records, and the new population wouldn't be starting from scratch anyway.
It should also be noted that Interstellar takes place in a futuristic post-truth society where people hardly believe in science anymore because science didn't save them from disaster. So, that society has likely already corrupted (or changed) what we feel is our culture. Surely they have destroyed and altered records of history - for example, the school teaches that the Moon landing was faked, so who knows what else they've messed up.
As far as a gospel perspective goes, I think that Interstellar does a good job of suggesting the possibility of God, i.e. "They." Something greater than current human beings, with greater understanding and more abilities than we can comprehend. It is determined that obviously "They" must care at least a little bit, because they let Cooper into the Tesseract to manipulate gravity enough to get the message to Murph, and also (I believe, anyway) made sure he was dropped off close enough to Saturn to be saved and see Murph before she [EEP! Spoiler Alert!] died. I think They wanted to allow people to keep their family relationships and overcome adversity. That being said, according to our theology, God will, on occasion, wash out society to start over [think Noah's ark, Sodom and Gomorrah, etc.] Regardless, I think that if God didn't want something to happen, it wouldn't. I don't think He would be that opposed to Plan B, but might influence people to ensure some things were carried on from the previous human society. However, I think They are a representation of God, and God would want us to have our families together and keep those relationships and memories and culture.