Born in 1933, Alexander Bolonkin has a doctorate in technical sciences. He specializes in the fields of aviation, cosmonautics, mathematics, and computer science.
He worked together with Sergei Korolev. Dr. Bolonkin also worked at the Antonov aircraft construction bureau and the Glushko space rocket bureau. He taught at the most prestigious science academies of the Soviet Union. In 1972, he was arrested by the KGB for distributing the works of Andrei Sakharov and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. He spent fifteen years in exile, confined in concentration camps. During perestroika, Dr. Bolonkin was released from prison. In 1987 he moved abroad. In the U.S., he has taught at universities, worked as a senior researcher at NASA and at U.S. Air Force labs. He has authored more than 170 scientific manuscripts and books and has patented 17 inventions, of which several are now considered classified in the U.S. In the field of cosmonautics, Dr. Bolonkin came up with the theories of a cable space launcher, a hypersonic tube launcher, a kinetic anti-gravitator, a multi-reflex propulsion device with engine, space towers, an electrostatic space sail, a ramjet electric space propulsion device, and the cable aviation device. Dr. Bolonkin is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Space Agency, Chairman of the Space Flights section, and President of the International Association of Former Soviet Political Prisoners and Victims of the Communist Regime.
- You are a person who made truly great discoveries in science. More than once you have experienced the pleasure of seeing things that no one else has found yet. You have also experienced injustice, treachery, and betrayal in this life. Now that the finish line is in sight – as they say in sports – what do you think is the purpose of our existence, of our life?
- I have given much thought to this issue – the purpose of our life or, to be more precise, the unacknowledged purpose of mankind that was predetermined by Nature or by God. I have come to conclude that only the strongest have higher chances of surviving in this world. The fittest creature does not necessarily have to be the strongest one in physical terms. The species that is in the best position to survive will be the one with the greatest capacity to reason and the largest base of knowledge. The history of reason on this planet confirms these conclusions. On this planet, man has become God in relation to the entire animal and plant kingdom. He is able to destroy any animal or even wipe out an entire population; he can breed animals that suit his needs, convert forests into agricultural lands, and block off rivers. Whether we want it or not, man entered the universe-wide race for knowledge, for the Supreme Reason, for complete power over Nature. If one considers God to be omnipotent, then, speaking in plain words, the purpose of humans (just as of any creature in the universe capable of reasoning) is to become god. I am not trying to be heretical and am not denying God as the Father, the Creator, and the Teacher of mankind. I would rather like to emphasize the words in the Christian Bible that God created man in his own image. Any parent is proud when his child finally grows up and exceeds him in strength, talents, mental capacities, and productiveness. In spite of all its successes, the humankind is still in its infancy and does not even know what life is for. If the Universe was created by the Supreme Reason, by God, then men will become gods when they learn to create new universes. This result will follow, of course, only if humankind wins the cosmic race towards Supreme Reason. In my book Electronic Civilization and the Immortality of Mankind, I write that we are lucky that the aliens have not yet visited us. Otherwise, we’d know that we had lost the race for Supreme Reason. Mankind would simply be raw materials for them, and they would use us like we use animals and plants on Earth. From this fundamental purpose of existence of mankind, it follows that man’s powers must be entirely focused on the acquisition of new knowledge on the development of science and technology which will at the same time provide a dignified life for people in material terms.
- It is very strange that a man, who knows that his presence on Earth will be very short still thinks of the future when he will no longer be around. Maybe this is the consequence of our preoccupation with the continuation of our kind. Everyone has been talking about global warming for quite some time now – this is a danger that can lead our planet to a catastrophe. What is your opinion on that issue? Why did 106 countries sign on to the Kyoto Protocol, while Australia and the U.S. declined?
- Certainly, the need to provide for the continuation of the human race is in our genes. If it were different, there would not be any living creatures on Earth. Without reproducing its own kind, no civilization may exist.
I do not think that global warming is due to the emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by industrial facilities.
Just by itself, the industry cannot cause a serious increase in the average temperature of the Earth. The increases in the average temperatures of the Earth began about a hundred years ago (earlier the Earth’s temperature was not measured scientifically), when industry-generated carbon dioxide was practically absent. There is a strange part of the temperature curve in the 1930s: while the emissions of carbon dioxide grew intensively, the average temperature of the Earth was constant. Most likely, the warming of the planet is connected to cyclic solar activity. Everyone knows there were glacial ages and warming periods long before any factories were built. In my opinion, we should combat global warming not by placing restrictions on the development of the industry, but by the useful recycling carbonic gas. For example, an Israeli company called Strategic Solutions Technology Group offers coverting carbon dioxide into biofuel through the use of seaweed algae. This seaweed consumes carbonic gases and grows 20 to 30 times faster than corn (which, despite the protests of the starving half of the Earth’s population, we still want to use as biofuel). Hot industrial gases that pas through sea water not only make it saturated with carbon gases (food for seaweed), but also result in the evaporation of some of that water, which adds to the supply of fresh water so necessary in drought-prone areas of the world. Also, global warming is harmful to some, but it is useful for others – for example, Russia with its cold climate and large polar areas.
- Many scientists express concern at the formation of dead zones on Earth and the increase in the levels of oceans. Various forecasts are now put forth. What do you think about these questions?
- Modern technology allows to counter the negative phenomena of nature, such as dead zones. In particular, I offer a simple and inexpensive way of transforming deserts or cold areas in blossoming gardens. The idea is that the designated area or city is isolated from the environment by a thin layer of film of adjustable transparency supported at the highest point by air pressure. Inside this cap it would be possible to set up a closed water cycle – in the afternoon the weather would always be nice, and at night there will be small showers. Detailed scientific development of this idea can be found in my articles on the website of Cornel University.
- You are, of course, knowledgeable about the creation of the so-called “time machine” by French and Swiss scientists. The physics try to simulate the conditions of the universe in the first instants after the Big Bang, to glance into “a black hole.” It was not intended for man to be able to see what happened at those stages of creation. Is there a danger in this?
- The answer to one part of this question is in my reply to your first question. Through the use of science, man tries to aspire to find the secret of the construction of the universe, to reach the understanding of the essence of the world, the essence of the person, the essence of the probable presence of the Creator in these processes – in short, to aspire to become God himself. It is not mutiny against God. God can only be pleased when humanity, his child has reached something greater. If we shall understand the universe, sooner or later we shall learn to create a new universe and to bring life there, transferring knowledge we have save up. Having understood the principles of the flight of birds, people created flying devices that are more perfect than birds themselves. There is no limit to knowledge. There is also no limit to the development of reason. In earlier times, on the small scale, man thought that the world consisted of molecules. Then he understood that molecules consist of atoms. Then that atoms consist of a nucleus and electrons. The nucleus consists of protons and neutrons. Protons and neutrons are made of quarks, and so on. There are also other particles. On the bigger scale, man in the beginning thought that the world consists of just local surroundings. Then he found out that there are continents. Then that continents are part of the globe, that the Earth is only a part of Solar System. The Solar System is only a part of the Galaxy, the Galaxy is only a part of the Universe. I do not think that the world of it comes to an end. And if we want to survive, to appear worthy to the Creator to justify His hopes, we should at all times aspire to new knowledge in order to win the universal race of reasons to the Supreme Reason. The Creator has made us only for this purpose and has presented us an opportunity to develop further. It still remains to be discovered whether we are reasonable enough not to ruin ourselves in wars and human squabbles. The concept of Spiritual Diplomacy can play a big role here.
- What do you think is the reason that there arise so many critical global situations menacing to existence of our Earth? The number of the terrible hurricanes and floods goes up. Rivers and wooded areas disappear. The second part of this question relates to the decline on the individual level. It seems to me, the average worldly person is losing his natural vitality and habits. This phenomenon is degeneration – degradation of the thinking person.
- The increase of global weather situations is connected to solar cycles. As to the degradation of the person, most representatives of the older generation tend to think that it was better before, and that now there is degradation. The youth, on the contrary, thinks that many things were not as they should have been before. For example, in the beginning of the last century, the image of a woman with no clothes on caused disgust and general condemnation. Now, even porn-stars serve in legislative assemblies, and co-gender schools are a norm. I do not think that the Creator is concerned with such issues as sex, or the prohibition of abortions. He has presented life to us and we should further develop ourselves and resolve our problems. The church plays a significant role in the moral plane - by sacred scriptures and rules that adjust the relation of people and limit despotism.
- Since 1959, after the address of professor Richard Feynman at the Californian Institute of Technology, the era of nano-technology began. As a matter of fact, it is the creation of a new stage of life of the universe where micro-systems will replace all existing technology as a result of man’s power to control atoms and molecules. Atom-power microscopy has made this possible. Some people welcome such wondrous opportunities, while others are fearful that this new invention can destroy the world…
- Any scientific or technological achievement can be the greatest blessing for mankind or be used to harm people. Even such a basic tool as an axe that can be utilized to build dwellings may be used to kill people. Mankind cannot deny scientific and technological progress because it contradicts the purpose of his existence. Denying science will inevitably result in man’s loss of the universe-wide race for reason. It is important, that new achievements not become dangerous weapons, not fall into in the hands of dictators. As to nano-technology, in conjunction with its development, there will also be created a protection mechanism to prevent the non-authorized intervention of nano-particles into a human body. When new discoveries are made, there are always loud cries that warn about their danger and demand forbidding the inventions. To be afraid of new technologies is not simply silly, but, on a fundamental level, extremely harmful because it contradicts an overall objective of mankind. The church should promote scientific and technical progress in every possible way.
- In our discussion we have raised many issues threatening the life of the planet and the individual person. Nevertheless, with all of the negative factors, life is beautiful. Were there people in your life that tried to reflect God through what they did? Were there people that showed joy in life even under the most difficult circumstances?
- Yes, there were such people, for example, Andrei Dmitrievich Sakharov or Aleksandr Isaevich Solzhenitsyn. The contribution of academician Sakharov and writer Solzhenitsyn, as well as of many other former Soviet human rights defenders, to the development of a civilization cannot be overestimated. The powerful, fanatical nuclear communistic regime occupying many countries and threatening the world could only be broken from within. In case of war, of a direct external intervention, the use the nuclear weapons would have follwed, leading to a global catastrophe. I think Sakharov, Solzhenitsyn, and former Soviet human rights defenders are the greatest people that turned the course of history and saved mankind from destruction. Current Russian officials, former communists and KGB men colored into supporters of democracy that have come to authority thanks to the blood of human rights defenders do not like former political prisoners. They refuse to give out confiscated residences, to rehabilitated former human rights political prisoners, to return Russian passports, to pay pensions, to pay indemnification for the many years spent in concentration camps. When the Sakharov Center in Moscow was destroyed by gang members, authorities prosecuted not the criminals, but the people who organized the exhibit.
- What is your most important dream in this life? What would you like to see and understand?
- The biggest dream of my life is to find and give people immortality. I am glad that I managed to discover how this goal can be accomplished. I am glad even though it will not be until the generation of our children and the future generations that this can be actually realized. The idea is very simple and the development of it is described in my books and on my website. In brief, the essence of my idea is that the person or the soul of the person is the information stored in his brain. If we manage to write down all that information and insert it into a new active person, or as I name it the Å-body, we shall continue to exist indefinitely. The Å-body can have a mechanical body, and it will not require food, air, dwelling; it can live in outer space or the ocean; it can have any shape, or be moved by teletransference (moving by a laser beam) to other planets. The E-body would be indestructible because it would keep a copy of itself in a warehouse and be restored at any moment.
The main problem is: how to copy the information from the brain to an electronic chip? I propose to make it simple - to write down the information going into a human brain. Glasses that record everything that a person sees already exist. To this it is possible to add gauges recording emotions. In order for the soul to be full, such record should be made from childhood. Middle-aged people can partially restore their lives in memories and in photographs.