Why thinking about migrating to other planets?

Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by Saint, Oct 16, 2017.

  1. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    Who can tell what our species' journey will be.
    I honestly don't think homo sapiens will exist in 5 billion years, as that implies no evolution, no changing environment, no competition etc.
    And 5 billion years is a rather long time.

    Who knows what we'll learn, discover, be able to do between now and then.

    But the idea of migrating off-world is no different than people choosing to migrate to a different, untamed land called the Americas, or Australia etc.
    People choose to explore, to live on the limit, to push the boundaries.
    We scale mountains simply because they are there to be climbed.
    We walk to the poles simply because it is a challenge to do so.
    So it is that people will choose to live in a harsher environment than on Earth, because of the challenge, to be the first.
    For some it may be the only escape from an overpopulated world in which they find they have no prospect of being important, so they go to a small colony to help build infrastructure, knowing it will have a purpose, and thereby give them purpose.
    Who knows.
    But build it, and they will come.
    So to speak.
    Hipparchia likes this.
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  3. Hipparchia Registered Senior Member

    A couple of posters opposed to the practicality of the idea seem to think the objective is to move a substantial portion of the population off the planet. Surely the objective is to move a small portion of the population to a new planet. When we first moved Out of Africa we did not leave that continent devoid of people!
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  5. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    For the people who are talking about moving to a "new planet"...what planet? Moving to another planet in our solar system isn't improving the odds of surviving.

    If you are talking about moving to a planet in another solar system...that's not practical.
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  7. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Right. But we must remember that species labeling is artificial.

    "We" will still be "we" in 100, 000 years, even if a "we" of 102017AD can't mate with a "we" of 2017.

    I mean, whether we call ourselves H. Sapiens is a matter of semantics.
  8. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    It is.

    True, it doesn't avoid Solar System-wide disasters, but it avoids everything that affects one planet.

    1] Not yet. Again, when is it time to start?
    2] How practical does it need to be if it can save our species?
  9. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    Ah, the days in the future when Homo Apatheticus becomes extinct simply 'cos it can't be bothered to survive.

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  10. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    It needs to be practical. If it's not practical it won't save our species.

    Leaving the most suitable planet in our solar system for another one isn't the best idea either. What is your scenario of something that would happen to Earth to make life here less likely than on another planet?

    An asteroid that wiped out a lot of life still leaves a planet that is more habitable than any other planet in our solar system.
  11. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    OK, we've moved the goalposts.
    At least now we're engaging in a discussion about what would be necessary, rather than than that it's simply pointless.
  12. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    When what's involved is discussed it will become obvious that it's simply pointless.

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  13. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    There's "moving to a new planet" in the exploration sense, in the mass-exodus sense, and in intermediate senses somewhere in the middle.

    I don't see a mass-exodus as being practical in the foreseeable future. Maybe if a habitable exoplanet is discovered and interstellar transportation capabilities exist. But that's not happening anytime soon.

    Moving everybody, or a large proportion of them, to another body inside this solar system isn't practical either. There's nowhere we could go that doesn't require living in a sealed protective environment.

    What I do see as more likely are the other two alternatives. We (or our descendants) are likely to see manned solar system exploration. We can visit most of the planets and moons that robot spacecraft have already visited.

    And we might want to set up more permanent facilities in some of those places. I expect that Moon bases might possibly exist at some date, and Mars bases as well. The Jovian and Saturnian systems too. (They are almost little solar systems in their own rights, and some of their moons are very interesting scientifically.) We might see large mining operations with human staff (though most of the hard work is likely to be done by robots). If something like life is ever discovered out there, there will be a rush of scientists.

    Some of these off-planet facilities might grow to the point where they are largely self-sustaining and might have hundreds or even thousands of residents. I can see it happening in the Jovian system if lots of activities take off on various Jovian moons. Travel times from Earth to there might be long, costly and arduous. So I can imagine a local main-base for the other smaller outposts around the Jovian moons, providing those activities with supply, manufacturing, scientific, medical and administrative functions. Men and women being what they are, children are likely to be born there someday, so there will start to be native space dwellers.

    But I don't foresee mankind's footprint off Earth getting much bigger than that. The space-dwelling population will probably always be a small fraction of the human race.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2017
  14. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    It is indisputably not pointless. The humans race must expand if it is to continue. Not simply as insurance, but because we must keep busy, growing, building, using resources, etc.

    It is disputably very hard. (Well, no one disputes it's hard).
    It then becomes a question of: how soon do we need to start? (And further, why wait until we need to?)
  15. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    It is pointless to work toward establishing a "new world" on another planet in another solar system. A human will probably never leave this solar system.

    The human race doesn't have to expand. We don't need to do pointless things in order to keep busy and in order to use resources. That's just silly.
  16. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    You keep making assertions, but you don't back them up with rationale.

    What makes you conclude it is pointless to colonize another world (some day)?

    What makes you conclude a human will never leave the SS? (It has only been a century since heavier-than air would "never" happen.)

    What is silly about expansion? (More specifically, what do you think would spontaneously change about human nature that we would just stop doing what humans have done since they were definably human?)
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  17. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Expansion isn't silly. It's silly to conclude that humans have to expand.

    Humans will likely never leave the solar system because of the distances required and therefore the time required to get anywhere else. The nearly solar system is 4.2 light years away (or something like that).

    I understand that your response will be that even though the physics and logistics involved look daunting, science will figure something out in a billion years. I don't think we will be around for that long.

    I think we will send man to Mars someday. We won't colonize it more than likely because there is no reason to and because of the expense and logistics.

    All that you have going for your argument is "anything is possible".
  18. Hipparchia Registered Senior Member

    "Have to" covers two concepts:

    If we wish to provide a back-up to ensure that humans are not destroyed by some fate befalling the Earth then we have to expand.

    Unless and until our basic instinctive drives change then a proportion of the human population have to expand. It's in our DNA.

    What is silly about either of these?

    An interesting capacity of many humans is the ability to act on behalf of future generations. This eliminates the problem of time. Generation ships, hibernation, embryos raised by AIs at the destination planet, could all come to be viable solutions.

    Perhaps not. All the more reason to start now rather than later.

    People will be on Mars before 2050, quite possibly before 2030.

    The reasons to colonise it have already been pointed out.

    Expense and logistics are only an issue to those who do not understand compound interest.

    That's not Dave's argument, which has a lot more going for it.
  19. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    "Expense and logistics are only an issue to those who do not understand compound interest"...now that is truly silly.

    Humans will not be around that long and not because an asteroid will take us out. What species is around that long?

    Having to expand isn't in our DNA. Even procreation can be controlled. Most people in the U.S. no longer than families as large as in the past. Exploring is a natural characteristic. Having to leave our solar system isn't.

    Looking at most of the technologies being talked about you're talking about anywhere from 76,000 years to 1, 000 years. When you get into practicalities it's mindboggling...cost, resources needed, time and the fact that you need to do more than just get one person to another planet. You have to support them along the way and on the planet.

    It is actually bordering on silly.
  20. Hipparchia Registered Senior Member

    Your objections would be funny if you meant them as a joke.

    Economic growth, even at only a fraction of a percent, means that what was prohibitively expensive (and complex) fifty years ago is affordable and quite common today. So, yes - you don't understand compound interest.

    I haven't specified a time. How are you able to make assertions based upon unspecified time? We've been around 200,00 years +/-. I'd estimate we are good for at least another 200,000 and then of course there will be continuity with whatever we evolve into. It will still be a bipedal, large brained hominim (unless we go really heavy on the gene tailoring).

    Now who is being silly (and inattentive - we've already covered this) ? We are never likely to move large numbers off the planet. That's not what we are talking about when we talk expansion.

    You are correct that exploring is natural, but what mental deficiency leads you to think it would somehow end at the heliopause?

    No. What's silly is your underestimation of the rate of progress. You know Seattle, I suspect you are not getting enough sleep.
  21. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    If I have a mental deficiency and you are entering into a conversation with me then I might have to question your judgement.

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    We went to the Moon 50 years ago and haven't been out of near Earth orbit (with manned craft) since them. Our natural need for manned space exploration might not be a strong as you think (strong enough to go to other solar systems).

    You've demonstrated that you don't understand compound interest with your statement above. Compound interest has nothing to do with the rate or cost of technological change.

    If Earth's climate changes (and I'm not referring to changes due to man) then bipedal man might not be around in any form. Another "ice ball Earth" period would pretty much end man in any form.

    That's more likely that most of the scenarios being discussed here.

    An education should be in more than science fiction, don't you think?
  22. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    That right there is some seriously excellent motivation for - not only colonizing another planet - but indeed for starting to plan it as soon as possible (i.e. before it is practical).

    You posit that humans here in Earth will get wiped out in future, yet you also seem to think it is pointless (indeed, silly) to take steps to avert it.

    OK, you are a fatalist.

    We won't book you a ticket.

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  23. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    It doesn't happen fast enough for you to know to plan for it.

    I posit that you are going to die one day but maybe if you start to plan for it now you can avert it?

    You won't know that humans are wiped out. You will just think that the overpopulation thing has been getting better in recent centuries.

    I'm not a fatalist. I'm a realist. I save money, go to work each day, and try to take care of my health.

    I could wear a paracord bracelet, wear a neck knife, bury some gold in the backyard and develop a plan for the Zombie Apocolypse but realistically there are better things to concern myself with.

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