Will intergalactic travel ever be possible?

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by pluto2, Nov 1, 2010.

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  1. Skeptical Registered Senior Member

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    adoucette

    We have already reached the point where a robot driven car can work, and it is clearly predictable that, within decades, robot driven cars will be safer than human driven cars.

    Can a robot raise a child? A sufficiently advanced and well programmed robot could, and probably better than biological parents. After all, most parents do a pretty lousy job.

    I see the biggest problem with my suggestion the technical difficulty of preserving an electronic memory for 20 million years. Not impossible, but not easy.
     
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  3. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    Not so, we just kill off all the talking monkeys, heck we limit them to their dirty wet mud ball planet called earth and that would be good enough. Of course when I say we I mean I technological successors (Homo nexus?).
     
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  5. chaos1956 Banned Banned

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    I would rather use earth as a nursery, much like the matrix. Only the people who have the will and ability to gain intelligence get to actually leave it. Then we send all the immoral people to Uranus, while the understanding individuals get to search the galaxies for "intelligent" life-forms. But if during the corse of exploration we find reverse time travel I say we blow the planet up then press a button that brings it back together, just for kicks.
     
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  7. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

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    Raise a child maybe, a teenager not so well, the friggin robot would be chained to a bulk head and the teenagers would be raising hell and figuring out how to distil ethanol and turn the ship around.

    Arthur
     
  8. Skeptical Registered Senior Member

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    Of course, we are talking about a time way in the future. I hope we will have learned a little by then about raising children.

    Of course, in this scenario, we are talking of building a human from data. Real easy to use slightly different data to create a docile teenager. Ahaa haa ahaa.
     
  9. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

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    No way Jose.

    It's like W.C Fields said.

    Kids should be put in a barrel and fed through a hole in the side until the age of 18.

    And then the hole should be plugged up.

    Arthur
     
  10. Dredd Dredd Registered Senior Member

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    For whom? :shrug:

    Planets that orbit stars like our Sun, which will destroy the planets near them, may not experience sufficient memetic evolution even if they do experience enough biological evolution required to develop the technology.

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    That evolution may be more likely for civilizations on planets that orbit red dwarf stars, since they have a much longer span of time with which to develop space travel before their star goes destructively rogue.

    In any case, it is much easier to develop travel within the galaxy first. Travel to a star within the galaxy that will last longer may give breathing room to develop super technology

    Even that is well beyond our grasp now, and looks unlikely because of our damage to our planet, our habitat, which we must maintain in order to survive long enough to learn space travel. :bawl:
     
  11. jmpet Valued Senior Member

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    My personal answer to the Drake Equation is 5 current, active, at-or-beyond civilizations within our galaxy right now at this moment- us being one of them. With that said (in a round galaxy), on average, such places are spaced out 200,000 light years apart.

    I wouldn't rule out computers as our successors- only they can span such distances in Spacetime to form a coherent thought.
     
  12. Skeptical Registered Senior Member

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    jmpet

    I kinda disagree. If humanity can develop interstellar travel, and cruise between stars at 0.1 c, then we can grow to occupy every solar system within a few million years. This is a mere eyeblink of time, compared to the age of the galaxy.

    If 5 civilisations exist at any one time, why has not one at least, in the last few billion years, occupied the galaxy!

    My answer is that intelligent forms of ET are even rarer than you suppose.
     
  13. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    Aaah Feynman's "Where is everybody?" questions. There are many possible answers all of which we have ziltch of proof for. Of course they not being there at all is the simplest answer but occum's razor does not work well in this case, because we have no evidence to rule out the simpler answers first.
     
  14. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

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    That's where it just ties into "What is reality anyway?", are we really here as something that it "solid" (For lack of better work) in state, or are we just some holographic mirage? If it's the later then the universe becomes a veritable labyrinth of winding rabbit burrows.
     
  15. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    That is a good question, because the answer is rather limited to that you can only define that your alone exist in one for or another (I think therefor I am) you just need to assume like the rest of us that reality is real.
     
  16. LunarSun Registered Member

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    At one time the human race thought it impossible to create something which know call a gun, a telephone, or even a computer. In saying that, the idea of intergalactic is certainly possible, given the proper amount of time, research and tests. What we must look at instead however, is will we be able to achieve it before we destroy ourselves. Looking at the violent history of human nature, and the amount of envy and greed our world leaders are succumbing to, we are inching ever closer to another world war, which, as many of us could fathom, will deal with nuclear/biological warfare. Where it is true, the human race has the capabilities and intellectual capacity to thrive as long as the Earth itself does, we must realize, our instinctive nature is to destroy as a means of survival. Unfortunately, when we turn our destruction towards each other, we then run the risk of being the reason for our own extinction.
     
  17. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Sure, but the children always stay one step ahead of us.

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    Who we are is not just what we know, but also how we feel. That is a complex manifestation of hormone production, reaction to pheromones and other unconscious processes, many at a level below the forebrain.

    Any programming of a simulated human, or of a human with some of his biological functions replaced by computer simulations, will have to take this into account.
    Then you must not be talking about our galaxy, which is only 100KLY in diameter. This formula makes it unlikely that there are more than two civilizations in the Milky Way, and quite possibly only one.
    Yes, the cycle time of our organic processors is very slow. It's been suggested that it takes us about one tenth of one second to form a complete thought, and one tenth of that to sense an external stimulus and begin to react to it.
    You must only be referring to our galaxy. At that speed it will take one million years merely to reach the other side of it, and about ten million to reach the next one.
    As I pointed out, there was an error in the math. If civilizations are, on the average, 200KLY apart, then there's a really high probability that ours is the only one in this galaxy. I'm not going to spend the morning brushing up on my trigonometry, but I'll estimate that a galaxy will need to be roughly 400-500KLY in diameter before it becomes probable that it hosts five civilizations an average distance of 200KLY apart.
    Another equally reasonable explanation is that interstellar travel is just as difficult as we think it is, no matter how advanced your science is. Just how good do your engineers have to be, to build a ship that will operate with no outside support for a large fraction of a million years? And how wise do your psychologists, sociologists and other "humanoid scientists" have to be, to set up a community that will survive in that environment for that duration, without reverting to the Stone Age, destroying itself in a war, or being killed off by Gooey Mutant Space Microbes that nobody anticipated?
     
  18. dhcracker Registered Senior Member

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    ROFLMAO You can tell who has raised teens here haha. That is about the truth, they would find some way to turn it into a rebellion.. maybe they would send the robots back to assimilate us haha.
     
  19. Skeptical Registered Senior Member

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    Fraggle said :

    "You must only be referring to our galaxy. At that speed it will take one million years merely to reach the other side of it, and about ten million to reach the next one."

    Of course. I thought my wording made that clear. A few years ago, out of pure monkey curiosity, I sat down and played with the numbers. Turns out that the main limiting factor determining time to colonise our galaxy is how quickly we can move through it.

    To get to the far side of our galaxy at 0.1 c would take 700,000 years, since we are already half way to the centre. In theory, it could take little more than 700,000 years to fully colonise the galaxy, using technologies such as frozen embryos and robotic ships.

    I have always said that, in 500 to 1000 years, which is when we might have the methods to reach other stellar systems, we would also have highly advanced robotics. Assuming those robots do not do a "terminator" on the human species, and remain servants, then they can be used to prepare the way for interstellar expansion. If enough highly advanced, intelligent and capable robots go first, the first human embryos to be thawed and raised will have a home already built.

    There is a tendency for scifi romantics to postulate some kind of wild west frontier on new planets. Personally, I think it is far more likely the colonists will live in giant space cities, and these will be built and waiting for them by robots. Colonists will be soft city dwellers who move from one city to another, to be waited on by robots. Or else frozen embryos to be thawed and raised by robots, and move into luxury space city apartments.

    Anyway, the lower time limit fror colonising the galaxy totally, using ships capable of 0.1c is about 700,000 years, assuming trillions of frozen embryos and an obsessive drive to colonise. With vessels that travel at 0.2 c (barely possible in theory), it would take 350,000 years. Of course, if the expansion was more 'natural', without the expansionist obsession, it might take up to 10 million years. Either way, it is a mere eyeblink against galactic time.

    Colonising another galaxy, though, is a totally different kettle of fish. Barely possible using the method I previously described. I imagine that this might happen only in the case of an advanced civilisation that was driven to utter desperation. By what, use your imagination.
     
  20. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    This is well-grounded in history. As I noted in an earlier post, throughout human history the frontier has been an escape valve for people who feel stifled by the constraints of the society in which they live. Whether it was a Paleolilthic band of nomadic hunter-gatherers 50KYA deciding to leave northeastern Africa and walk into Asia where there were no elders and no rules, or a Babylonian slave sneaking out of the compound after dark and heading for the Pontic Steppe where there was no civilization to even build slave compounds, or a factory worker in 19th-century New York Going West where a man could live by his wits, eating raccoon meat and using their hides for clothing, and not having to answer to anybody's laws, rules or customs... the frontier always stood there off in the distance as an alternative to a life with too many rules.

    As I've also pointed out, the disappearance of the frontier has taken its toll on civilization. People who really don't want to live here don't have any choice. And people who think they don't want to live here never have that idea tested, by the opportunity to leave. All of these people do an awful lot of grumbling.

    I can't believe that it won't be this same contingent of humanity, those who are willing to sacrifice comfort, convenience and safety for an adolescent version of freedom, who will be the first to volunteer for "The Final Frontier."
    By the regimentation of civilization! If they're anything like us, there will be millions of them who want to get away from rules and structures, and test their wits against the unknown perils of a frontier.

    Maybe they've got something analogous to testosterone.

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  21. Skeptical Registered Senior Member

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    Fraggle

    While projecting historic trends into the future is not a bad way of predicting, it is not fool proof. Suggesting that the conditions that sent an escaped slave out into the steppes might be analogous to a colony forming on Alpha Centauri would be wrong. (OK. I know you did not say exactly that!)

    Human colonisation attempts in any other stellar system will not happen for many hundreds of years, and the society that does it will be very different to ours. I am suggesting a society riddled with robots, which implies robot labour to set up the new colony.

    Colonising another galaxy will not be done by disaffected members of society. A journey of 10 million years cannot be done that way.
     
  22. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    As a singularitarian and transhumanist, I hope we develop use technology not to destroy our selves, but to replace our selves, once we do away with the talking monkeys almost all of are problems are fixed. Our extinction is guaranteed its just a matter making it so we aren't a dead end in the evolution of life.
     
  23. LunarSun Registered Member

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    Electric Fetus,
    I completely agree with you, and I'm sure many others hope for the same outcome. Unfortunately however, history has shown differently. Unless there comes a major, humbling impact upon the entire human race, the chances of us being able to work together with such cohesiveness as to allow ourselves to evolve and be replaced, is slim to none at best.
     
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