Will humans achieve interstellar travel?

Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by timojin, Jul 7, 2016.

  1. timojin Valued Senior Member

    I doubt we are going to make a round trip to Mars
    NO. Never. Not ever, even 100 quadrillion years from now. Never. Clearly, what follows is just my highly speculative opinion. It seems to bother people. Some call it pessimistic. Some call it overly optimistic. Whatever. Just my thought.

    Should our species remain extant for the next thousand years —meaning we don’t kill ourselves with bio-engineered plagues, or Yellowstone doesn’t erupt and kill us all, or a KT-like impact doesn’t happen— we will eventually cease being “human” in a few
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  3. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    It would really help if you put the quote from the author in quotes. It looks like you are saying
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  5. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Two big gaping flaws in his logic:

    Why would he think that, just because we make self-reproducing machines, we wouldn't bother to make the journey ourselves?

    If we'd made robots in the 1600's, would we not have bothered to colonize the Western world?

    Okay, technically he's saying Homo Sapiens sapiens won't make the journey, but he doens't discount that our evolved descendants will. That's kind of a bait & switch.
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  7. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

    As long as my descendants hate Big Brother, I'll still consider them human.
  8. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

    So one man has an opinion and he writes it down, he publishes it and folk read it.
    Does not mean zip other than he probably has to write something or he will starve.
    I really dont care what he thinks.
    Who would have thought 500 years ago we swould transplant hearts, 3d print stuff, fly, send vehicles into space or have sliced bread.
    Who knows, this guy does not know but be running against popular belief that we can make it, he draws attention. Big deal. Anticlimatic sensationalism. Grump grump grump.
  9. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Much more recently, only a handful of dreamers would have believed that some day their descendants would be able to travel to the ocean floor--which, of course, they had absolutely no idea how deep that is!

    Alvin Toffler divides human history into "waves," not the word I would have chosen but good enough. Oddly enough, he doesn't go all the way back to the discovery of controlled fire, before which people had to eat their meat raw and it took many hours to chew it up. Cooked meat is much easier to eat and it gave them back as many as six hours a day for more productive activities.

    Anyway, his First Wave was the Agricultural Revolution, which began around 10,000BCE with the cultivation of calorie-rich plants and the domestication of protein-rich livestock. Once again, a new technology gave people back many hours of their time, which they could use to try out new ideas: they no longer had to spend long periods away from home, following animals and bringing back the meat.

    The Second Wave was metallurgy, beginning with bronze, an alloy of tin and copper, both of which can be smelted in the low-temperature fires that were already in use for pottery. Metal tools have much greater strength and precision than stone tools--no matter how well-crafted, and some of those old stone tools are real works of art! Metal farm implements greatly increased the productivity of their agriculture, but personally I think that the crowning achievement of the Bronze age was the invention of the wheel. It's just impossible to cut a decent wheel with a stone axe--but a bronze cutting tool makes it ridiculously easy. Before long somebody got the clever idea of putting wheels on a box, turning it into a wagon that could be tied to any of the livestock they had already domesticated: goats, oxen, camels, even big dogs, but ultimately horses. The outcome was that communities were no longer isolated, with communication limited to journeys by a few explorers--whose explorations, of course, removed them from the tribe's labor pool. The wheel was the dawn of COMMERCE! People traded everything, especially IDEAS. Civilization was here to stay.

    The Third Wave was, of course, the Industrial Revolution. I presume that no one who's reading this needs to have that explained! We were no longer limited to the energy of the muscles of humans and other animals, augmented by water wheels and windmills.

    The Fourth wave is upon us: digital technology.

    And my point: a human living in the early-to-middle years of any one of these Waves could hardly have imagined what life would be like in the next one.

    There will surely be Fifth Wave, perhaps giving us the technology to travel to other planets, and perhaps even other stars, in comfort and safety, without exhausting the entire Gross National Product of half the world just to do it ONCE.

    (I've played a little fast and loose with Toffler's paradigms, but I'm sure he won't mind.

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    Xelasnave.1947 likes this.
  10. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Not now, unfortunately.

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  11. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    It certainly reads like an editor's letter in the paper - designed to raise hackles and get people talking. A pot-stirrer.

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