Why thinking about migrating to other planets?

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

  1. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    This doesn't even make sense.

    We are here, now, talking about our future, aware it is delicate; we start planning for it now. Why do you think we wouldn't know? We are taking it as a given.

    Of course, you go about your life. So do I. What does that have to do with humanity as a whole just not bothering to plan for the future?

    Honestly, I don't know what your argument is.
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  3. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    If you are planning for doomsday, of course you can always plan for that, whether it's reasonable or not.

    If a global freezing takes place over thousands of years then we adapt biologically somewhat and then we just start declining. If it's over a long enough period of time it's not that obvious. My point is there are many reasons to think that any species isn't going to be here for millions of years. Maybe we will be or maybe we won't.

    The human species isn't immortal however. We're not "special". The sun will get too hot for anything to survive on Earth at some point. That still doesn't mean we will be able to go to another solar system.

    I understand that that makes you uncomfortable but it shouldn't. You are going to die within 100 years. It doesn't matter what is going to go on on Earth in a few million or a billion years.

    It's not important to "save" humans. If life can survive elsewhere in the universe then it's always there, surviving.
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  5. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Why would planning for a coming catastrophe be unreasonable?
    You yourself admit it's coming. Why would we not act?

    We can do something about it.

    That remains to be seen.

    Actually, we are.

    We have the unique powers of anticipation and foresight. We can act, as a unit, and with purpose, to control our future. Why would we not so do?

    Do you also believe we should not bother controlling CFCs and other emissions? I mean, you and I will both be dead before they affect us.

    That seems non sequitur. I don't dispute the first, but what does it have to do with whether we can emigrate?

    Don't condescend. This is logical discussion.

    That's your personal view. It doesn't matter to you.

    Why do you think it applies to anyone else?
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  7. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    I'm not arguing against planning for something if a plan will make a difference. Planning to leave the solar system borders on not being possible.

    Science fiction writers do a much better job of it than those who are limited to reality. It doesn't concern me, not because of some lack of empathy for future generations. It's because it's not likely to be something we can do something about and, as a problem to be solved, it's way down the list.

    Let's cure cancer first, work toward peace on Earth, educate a population that wouldn't even consider electing a "Trump" as their leader. Populating a planet in another solar system just isn't on my list due to the physics involved, resources required, low likelihood of success or even of need...all things considered.
  8. Hipparchia Registered Senior Member

    Such as spending time arguing on the internet with silly, impractical people who can't distinguish SF from reality? Impressive lifestyle choice!
  9. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    I limit my exposure. What is your solution to this problem? It takes two to tango.
  10. Hipparchia Registered Senior Member

    Which problem? Your inability to stay away from discussions of what you consider to be foolish? I don't consider such discussions foolish since they may prompt imaginative and progressive individuals to contribute towards the expansion you consider silly.
  11. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    If we are, then it's quite possible our technology will be significantly more advanced than it is now.

    How do you know?

    Forget the species for a moment and consider individuals. How long do you think it will be before an individual human being will be effectively immortal? I don't think it will take millions of years.

    In what sense are we not "special"? What are you talking about? Why would we need to be "special" to leave our solar system?

    Of course not. But it will mean that if any of are going to survive we're going to have to think about moving some of us elsewhere. It's either that or give up and accept the death of humanity. And I can't see everybody just taking that lying down, if they have another choice.

    If it doesn't matter to you, why are you so keen to discuss it?

    You don't think there's any value in preserving anything human? Why not?

    Why is it not possible?

    You wave your hands at things like physics and economics. Can you elaborate, please?

    Bear in mind that you're not just saying it's not practical now, but that it won't ever be practical.

    The ongoing survival of humanity as a whole is way down the list? What do you prioritise as more important on your list?

    OK. Can't we do those and leave the solar system?
  12. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    You prefer discussions where everyone is of the same opinion? Is that really a discussion?
  13. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    I would imagine that our technology would be significantly more advanced. We still won't be traveling at the speed of light. The distances will still be immense. I'm not saying that it's impossible that it will occur.

    I don't see any evidence for an individual becoming effectively immortal. The oldest human that we know of was 122 and we can effectively say that it's not likely to live beyond 100. Even though the average age has changed throughout the years the top end hasn't.

    Infant mortality and better treatment for things that would have killed us results in higher averages now but healthy people who have avoided those things have always lived about 70 some years. I don't see where there is any evidence that we are headed for immortality. I think the averages will go up.

    We are just another species and therefore not special. We don't need to be special to leave our solar system. We might need to be special to put this much effort into planning to colonize the universe.

    Plan away. If you are planning on being immortal I guess you will have plenty of time.

    You confuse apathy for point of view. This is a discussion forum.

    Value is in the eye of the beholder. If you value it then you value it. I might value preserving dinosaurs. Life goes on without them however.

    I'm not waving my hands. Look at the distances involved, the speeds required and the resources (fuel or whatever) required and under some scenarios it become virtually infinite.

    I'm not saying anything with the 100% certitude that you seem to require from my remarks. It's not currently practical to revive dinosaurs. Will that one day be possible? I can't say with certitude that it won't be but practically speaking I don't think so nor would it matter.

    If you can do any of those, go for it. Theoretically, you can do anything and everything. Going to Mars would be a good learning experience. Thinking about trying to colonize the universe is a good thought experience as well.

    It's just not likely to ever happen. We're likely to go the way of the dinosaur before we reach the apex of the universal consciousness. The kind of linear (or accelerated) progress that you envision is seldom borne out my facts.

    In the 70's crime was perceived to be the greatest problem facing our country. The linear projections were daunting. It got Richard Nixon elected. Crime rates have been coming down ever since.

    As they say, nothing goes up forever. Our time too shall pass.

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  14. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    This is false.

    There is no physical reason why it is not possible to leave the solar system.
    Granted, it's gonna take a lot of effort and we'll want some more efficient ways of doing it, but there's are no hard stops preventing us from building a large multi-generation habitat and pointing it at a destination.

    Again, I'm not arguing that we're anywhere near being able to do this yet, but your stance is far too strong - you make a leap from "a lot of effort" to "nearly not possible" with no justification.

    What makes it nearly not possible? What challenges can we be sure can't be overcome?

    And: point of order: the original assertion included planets within our solar system. Are you acknowledging now that this will be practical some day?
  15. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    I've answered most of your questions in my post above. Regarding "now" acknowledging that inter solar system colonization will be "practical" some day. No. It may occur just like the Moon landing occurred. Was that "practical"? No. We aren't living there and though we could, it isn't really "practical" to do so. We do it because we can. For knowledge. It doesn't solve a problem, practically speaking.

    It is "practical" in the scientific sense in that we could do it because the distances and times involved are "practical". Colonizing the universe is not.
  16. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Well, you're certainly entitled to your opinion, I just don't see you backing it up with rationale.

    It will become practical when it's required in order for our species to survive.
  17. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    When will that be? When the planet gets full? Just before the asteroid hits? When the sun is about to become a Red Giant?

    My whole post (s) are "rationale". You just don't agree.
  18. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Exactly. That's part of the planning.

    No, they're merely assertions.
    When you say it's "not practical", how do you define that?
    And why does it not being practical now mean it won't ever be practical?

    As you point out above, we can't late until it's too late to decide we need to get out of the way.

    I would say that - since there are hard stops to our continued existence on Earth - our survival is most definitely practical. The end (not going extinct) justifies the effort. It's just a matter of when we start.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2017
  19. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    I've given my rationale. You just don't accept it....distances too far, speeds too slow, speed of light being a physics hard stop. Energy required being enormous, etc.
  20. Hipparchia Registered Senior Member

    You may be reading what I have written, but you do not seem to be reading what you have written. I welcome a discussion such as this, but you have stated that you consider the ideas expressed in it "silly" and "unimportant". I know why I am here, butI have not idea why - with the views you have expressed - you are here.
  21. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Why is anyone here? You must already be aware that much of what is posted on this forum is silly. That cannot come as a surprise to you. Why anyone is here is not germane to any discussion.

    Again, I ask, you do prefer discussion only by those with whom you agree?
  22. Hipparchia Registered Senior Member

    OK. This time you are not reading what I have written. To save you going back a couple of posts these are the relevant words.

    "I welcome discussions such as this . ."

    I have also explained why I welcome such discussions.

    "I don't consider such discussions foolish since they may prompt imaginative and progressive individuals to contribute towards the expansion you consider silly."

    Why do you keep asking a question I have already answered.

    Let's return to the topic. What do you consider impractical about the following idea, proposed over thirty years ago? Tell me why this would be impractical to implement in the next five hundred years.

    Roundtrip Interstellar Travel Using Laser-Pushed Lightsails
    This is the abstract -

    This paper discusses the use of solar system-based lasers to push large lightsail spacecraft over interstellar distances. The laser power system uses a 1000-km-diam. lightweight Fresnel zone lens that is capable of focusing laser light over interstellar distances. A one-way interstellar flyby probe mission uses a 1000 kg (1-metric-ton), 3.6-km-diam. lightsail accelerated at 0.36 m/s^2 by a 65-GW laser system to 11% of the speed of light (0.11 c), flying by a-Centauri after 40 years of travel. A rendezvous mission uses a 71-metric-ton, 30-km diam. payload sail surrounded by a 710-metric-ton, ring-shaped decelerator sail with a 100-km outer diam. The two are launched together at an acceleration of 0.05 m/s^2 by a 7.2-TW laser system until they reach a coast velocity of 0.21 c. As they approach a-Centauri, the inner payload sail detaches from the ring sail and turns its reflective surface to face the ring sail. A 26-TW laser beam from the solar system, focused by the Fresnel lens, strikes the heavier ring sail, accelerating it past a-Centauri. The curved surface of the ring sail focuses the laser light back onto the payload sail, slowing it to a halt in the a-Centauri system after a mission time of 41 years. The third mission uses a three-stage sail for a roundtrip manned exploration of t Eridani at 10.8 light years distance.
  23. Saint Valued Senior Member

    If we really go to other planets, is it possible we will encounter lethal virus that can exterminate us faster?
    Something like in the Alien movie?

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