A:     You know, a couple of centuries ago, you would have been declared a lunatic for staring up at the moon for so long.

S:     I wouldn’t have objected if they did, I’m fascinated by the cosmos. I always wished I was a young man at the time of the moon landings. Such an exciting time. However, if I stay alive long enough, I might be able to see the first man land on Mars.

A:     If you stay alive long enough, your lifestyle will kill you long before, trust me. Anyway, it is exciting, but I’d rather see all of that money, time, effort being put to use to solve earth’s own problems. Poverty, food and water shortage, pollution, global warming, energy, a labyrinth of diseases and multiple healthcare issues; science should focus on these human problems, not ponder idle questions about the origins of the cosmos or peruse grand, unrealistic plans of interplanetary colonisation.

S:     You’re an awfully sombre person Ameen, where is your sense of adventure? Don’t you ever look at the stars and wonder what mysteries they hide? And as for earth’s problems, work in one direction does not affect progress in another. Furthermore, these are not ‘idle’ questions we ponder; this has a direct bearing on the fate of humanity. In a few billion years, the sun will run out of hydrogen and expand, and we will need to move to another planet outside our system.

A:     A few billion years! Do you realize how far away that is? 20,000 years ago man was living in caves, look how far we’ve come. Do you know how expensive a shuttle launch is? Do you know how many people are working at the Large Hadron Collider? Even if I agree to the need for alternative resource generation, why are we bumbling around looking for the Higgs-Boson or struggling with String Theory when thousands of children die every day because they don’t have enough food or medicine?

S:     Because bumbling and stumbling led us to the discovery of Penicillin and nuclear energy. Only aimless wandering leads us to new lands, not known routes.