G H
 
  0  
Reply Sun 2 Mar, 2014 03:06 pm
@RushPoint,
RushPoint wrote:
why bother with science and physics

To acquire more power over the world, of course. People in general couldn't care less about this crap of merely pursuing knowledge for knowledge's sake, of just satisfying curiosity. It's the new toys and tools that technology outputs from science developments, the increased predictive ability and control of over a dangerous universe; and new horizons they open up for both resource pillage and creativity.

Quote:
when the more we learn and understand the less significant or "smaller" we become!

It's the original human species that is becoming smaller and headed for extinction. But thanks to what we have discovered and created, a variety of "posthuman" species will be engineered and self-engineered over the coming centuries, which will be able to live in the contaminated atmosphere of our gutted planet and within outer space itself -- multiplying across the galaxy. Archailects, for instance, will be something equivalent to gods, so ironically "man" will literally contribute to inventing God this time around rather than just writing myth-related literature about such beings. As well, this will actually reverse the view of baseline humans having been insignificant -- we will have provided the meaning and direction for all that future flourishing of interstellar "life" and serve as the base ancestor or origin for the branching theogony that follows (a "family tree" of posthuman deities).
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Sun 2 Mar, 2014 04:20 pm
@G H,
Your "multiplying across the galaxy" is naïve both because it does not take into consideration human nature as it has manifested itself over the centuries, and it doesn't take into account intragalactic distances and the problems of human space flight. Travelling among the stars would be a massively expensive endeavor in absolute terms--the materials and energy needed to send out just a few humans. Human nature as manifested over the centuries strongly suggests that the several billion left behind are not going to want to see such a massive expenditure on behalf of a few hundred--or, more likely, a few dozen--people. Intragalactic distances make it a crap shoot at best, and mean that to assure success, a program of exploration which will require at least hundreds of years, and more likely thousands of years just to identify a plausible target. There will still be at that point the consideration of the massive expense of get those few hundred, or few dozen people there alive with the resources to establish a colony with a reasonable probability of success.
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Sun 2 Mar, 2014 04:32 pm
@RushPoint,
Quote:
Carbon emissions have if anything increased the rate of global warming, we are now melting permafrost in Siberia that is over 200 thousand years old

Over geologic time CO2 hs actually DECREASED. That's one oof the adaptations that gave rise to C4 plants
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Mar, 2014 04:34 pm
@RushPoint,
Quote:
Bee populations globally have decreased by an alarming 40%,
Severl honeybee species are actually rising. As we address nicotenoid pesticides, perhaps we can bring the Italian strain back
G H
 
  0  
Reply Sun 2 Mar, 2014 06:16 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:
Your "multiplying across the galaxy" is naïve both because it does not take into consideration human nature as it has manifested itself over the centuries, and it doesn't take into account intragalactic distances and the problems of human space flight. Travelling among the stars would be a massively expensive endeavor in absolute terms--the materials and energy needed to send out just a few humans.

You mean flesh and blood, resource-needy, unable to hibernate or deactivate themselves, literal "people" traveling in "spaceships" between the stars within days or weeks by fictional warp drives or hyperspace transitions? Or, in only a slightly more sane Heinlein-like acceptance of reality -- sending slow, giant "arks" traveling at a good fraction of the speed of light? Please don't project your anthropomorphic Star Trek visions of the future upon what I meant. There are hundreds of thousands of years available for travel when both the escaped "wildlife" and the deliberate intelligence migrations are no longer dependent upon a limited biological substrate coughed-up by billions of years of unguided evolution.

Which is not to dismiss the hardier microorganisms of that [someday] relic tradition as having potentially been the first pioneers of interplanetary journeys and interstellar comet-hopping ventures. But minus falling upon a celestial body with a protective environment, that ancient non-engineered version of "seeds" go nowhere as far as developing into complex life forms; and certainly lack any programmed instructions to set up shop right off the bat for developing into either a civilization or a diversely exploding machine wilderness.
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/did-earth-life-come-from-space-tough-algae-suggests-panspermia-possibility/
Brandon9000
 
  2  
Reply Sun 2 Mar, 2014 06:19 pm
Active mining of the asteroid belt would be a good baby step in the general direction of interstellar travel. Maybe after a century of travel within the solar system, the possibility of building a primitive craft to reach Alpha Centauri in a plausible amount of time would become apparent.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Mar, 2014 06:49 pm
@G H,
Don't project your snotty assumptions on what i meant. I had no Sci Fi author and no movies or television programs in mind. To send humans out into the galaxy, it is necessary to shield them from cosmic radiation, and it is necessary to mitigate the effects of micro-gravity. Both of those requirements would entail huge expenditures of material resources and energy. I am talking strictly in terms of what it would take to send people out into the galaxy while taking reasonable steps to protect them and assure that they arrive at their destination in a condition to exploit the projected colony.

Then you dodge off on some tangent about life being "seeded" in the galaxy. That has nothing to do with the proposition of the human race "multiplying across the galaxy," nor any putative "variety of "posthuman" species"--which would still need to be shielded from cosmic radiation and to have a method of mitigating the effects of micro-gravity.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Mar, 2014 06:51 pm
@Brandon9000,
We've discussed this before, and i heartily endorse this idea. In addition, it might be sufficient, for example, to have humans living underground on Mars, so as to better assure the survival of humanity. Although there are many satellites in this star system ("moons"), i don't know that any are good candidates for human colonization.
RushPoint
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Mar, 2014 08:26 am
@farmerman,
I surely hope so, but one problem? I am from Canada and we ban the use of these pesticides years ago and bee populations here are still declining! I'm going to research this a bit further.
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Mar, 2014 10:34 am
@Setanta,
It's also possible that a species might develop with a biological or emotional imperative to expand in to new environments at all costs. They might find it irresistible for some reason. Such a species might attempt space colonization even at great economic cost. But I still think even they (if they are biological and not mechanical) might find asteroid mining and ion drives to be the most natural jumping off point for an attempt at galactic colonization.

If such a species existed, I expect there would be very little in the way of discussion which would dissuade them from trying to take over every habitable bit of rock they came across (even if we already inhabited the rock).
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Mar, 2014 10:44 am
@RushPoint,
don't kid yourself. You have one of the biggest mustard growing industries in the world and they use nicotenoids on those plants.
The problem with the Italian bees involves pesticides , natural cycles , and mites that were imported and for which, the Italian strains haven't developed a resistance
I trted as a beekeeper with my dad about 50 years ago and its always a learning curve.
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Mar, 2014 01:47 pm
@Setanta,
Quote:
Intragalactic distances make it a crap shoot at best……..and more likely thousands of years just to identify a plausible target
Very interesting speculation indeed. I'm sure S. has ref to our own homeland so bereft of immediate neighbors. But with recent discoveries suggesting there are more planets than stars I wonder if there mightn't be a small fraction of instances close enough together to make feasible interplanetary travel

After all a very small fraction of a huge number can still be enormous
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Mar, 2014 03:05 pm
@dalehileman,
Wonder to your heart's content (after having butchered the text of my remarks)--your witless speculations are a matter of indifference to me.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Mar, 2014 03:08 pm
@rosborne979,
I also think asteroid mining might be the best starting point (see Brandon's remarks above--we've discussed this before). The most attractive part of using the asteroids as a base is that it doesn't entail using large quantities of the earth's resources, and you don't have to boost anything out the earth's gravity well.
0 Replies
 
G H
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Mar, 2014 03:11 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:
Don't project your snotty assumptions on what i meant. I had no Sci Fi author and no movies or television programs in mind. To send humans out into the galaxy,

Obviously you have a lot of dinosaur era science fiction in mind since you're still babbling about sending "humans out into the galaxy". Again, don't project your archaic crap into my posts. You're not a good ventriloquist and I damn sure didn't submit an application to be your wooden dummy.
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Mar, 2014 03:22 pm
@Setanta,
Quote:
--your witless speculations are a matter of indifference to me.
Wow S. but you seem somehow to have it in for me

I thought my posting was pretty well detached and neutral
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Mar, 2014 03:23 pm
@G H,
You already make a good dummy. You did refer to "posthumans," and you did, without qualification, talk abou spreading out across the galaxy. The reasonable implicit assumption is that you meant humans spreading out across the galaxy. You only came up with that hilarious "seeding" fantasy after i first replied to your drivel. Don't blame me for your failures to express yourself competently. There is nothing archaic about recognizing the limitations imposed by cosmic radiation and micro-gravity. Cosmic radiation, at least, would apply to your castles in the air about "seeding" the galaxy. If it would be extremely difficult to get people to pony up for manned colonization mission, it would be nearly impossible to get them to pay huge sums for an idiptoc Johnny Appleseed project.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Mar, 2014 03:25 pm
@dalehileman,
What it was devoid of is an understanding of what i was saying and why i was saying it. Once again i'll point out that you butchered the quote of my post. To find candidate planets, you'd want to send out mechanized missions, not manned missions. So you'd have to wait for them to get to the target, assess it, and send a report back--before any manned mission has to make the trip. That could take at least centuries if not thousands of years. Do you get it now?
0 Replies
 
akaMechsmith
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Mar, 2014 03:59 pm
@RushPoint,
A lot of our human destruction is from our point of view. Every species including ours eventually will come to some sort of balance with its environment. This balance generally comes in cycles. Most of human activities are an attempt to circumvent these natural cycles.

One such cycle is the cycle that runs between the fox and the rabbit in the US and Canada. The rabbit is so successful in one part of the cycle so that they increase to the point that the foxes have a very easy life. The rabbits don't get enough to eat and are weakend and easy prey. The foxes eat well and have many babies. next year there are so many foxes that most of the rabbits get eaten. This leaves more food for the surviving rabbits. Meanwhile the foxes are so thick that the worms, viruses, and starvation kill off a lot of them. Then the rabbit population rebounds and the cycle begins anew.

When you transfer this to humans you can see evidence of the cycle again. Humanity was in a fair balance for thousands of years. Sometimes they starved, sometimes sicknesses and poor nutrition served as a check on their numbers. Then some clown taught the Jews to wash their hands. Uh-O! That was a technological improvement that allowed cities and towns which heralded in agriculture. The the laws of Malthus took over again. Famines in China and India kept down the population. Tribal warfare in the Americas helped slow down population growth for several thousands of years. Then another clown invented the plow and the horse collar. This allowed a density human density to occur that allowed for plagues and smallpox. This worked for a couple hundred years. Then technology reared its head again. Vaccinations and artificial farming methods are staving off the cycle for now. World wars and cultural wars such as the Viet-Nam, Korean, and Boer wars helped some. The troubles in the Sudan are killing many that would otherwise starve as their resources run out. Abortion in the U.S. and Europe are killing a hundred thousand or so a year.

So humans also have a natural equilibrium. Humans are also the only animal potentially able to understand this. The only point open to debate is at what living standard do we wish to maintain this equilibrium. It will happen whether we do anything or not. Malthus was a mathmetician or rather perhaps a philosopher who understood arithmetic.

As a species humans are a sucessful one. The jury is still out on whether they , as a species are an intelligent one or whether we will continue to be subject to natural cycles?
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Mar, 2014 04:38 pm
@RushPoint,
I don't think that the pursuit of scientific knowledge (whether in physics or any other field) is intended to make us mor significant or "bigger" so why would the opposite result make the pursuit pointless? In fact the more we understand, having figured it out ourselves, the bigger we are.

We don't all realize we are a biological fluke, nor do we know how long we will be around. Religion is not about the species but about the individual. If humans ceased to exist tomorrow, there is no reason to assume that God would cease to exist as well. We may be one of countless creations. Our end doesn't mean the end of his creations.

You despair too easily. Greed and corruption are social constants. They've been been with us since the beginning and we are still here...and clearly thriving. It's true though that people tend not to really confront a problem until it reaches a point of crisis, but that doesn't mean we can't deal with them all in crisis mode. We've done fairly well so far, even if it's just surviving the crisis. But again, perhaps this is a fatal flaw of humans. So what? It just means humans won't get to be part of the grander future, not that there won't be one.

Evolution is an ongoing process and hardly one that kicks in only when a speci
0 Replies
 
 

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