Herbert W. Franke

Visions of a better world

The science of the future, the futurology, and the Science Fiction stand each other in a complementary relation. Both have the same topic, but the ways of approximation are different. Thus futurology derives its results on the basis of mathematical calculations and logical deductions from facts, whereas the Science Fiction is based upon expectations, desires and fears. The futurologists try to expresses its results as generally valid predicates, whereas the Science Fiction Writers pick out the special case, as dramatisation on the basis of conflicts of human beings in a future world. Futurology uses a dry, often mathematically oriented language, whereas in the Science Fiction the problems are embedded in adventurous and emotional accented stories comprehensible from everybody.

The future is determined by extraordinarily many factors; they are a complex feedback system: Each factor influences each other, and so the result is not predictable. Therefore the statements of the futurology can have only probability character. On the other hand, the Science Fiction can uses diverse literary plots, which allows to describe a type of simplified model situation. So in the utopian novels the action can run inside a small person's group in an isolated environment - in a spaceship or on an other planet, whereby the situation can escalate to a very extreme stadium. In this way the Science Fiction represents a laboratory for free reflection about future worlds, which offer a useful base for a more serious scientific penetration. The lecture will deal with some lines of technical evolution, initiated in the hope for a better world. It turns out that the consequences of many of such activities are disturbations of the biological or social equilibrium. As it seems they do not lead us to a better world.