Will intergalactic travel ever be possible?

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

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  1. dhcracker Registered Senior Member

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    Guys I'm sorry but as far as colonizing the universe and why haven't aliens done it.. so far the best explanation we have with the most data and testing is the rare earth hypothesis. There is obviousely much more to the evolution of intelligent life than the number of stars in a galaxy or as the drake equation has it laid out.

    Chances are most life that could have had a chance was made extinct just as most things are extinct here for example. I think its possible somebody is out there but I bet its WAYY out there. Until we get some probes to other stars and other classes of stars we will have nothing other than our own little corner to base our calculations on for the odds.. and those odds aren't very good so far.
     
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  3. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    Ha! We don't need to work together to evolve, we evolve so far via competition and extermination of each other and once we have machine intelligence I would be surprise if majority of humanity will peacefully merge with it, I'm pretty sure it will have to exterminate much of humanity, just like we did with Neanderthal.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2010
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  5. Skeptical Registered Senior Member

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    Human evolution in the near future will come from gene modification. Within 100 years, humanity should have the tools to eliminate harmful genes in our prospective children. Beyond that, I have no doubt that we will develop the tools to make children smart, good looking, athletic, healthy etc. In time, these techniques will become cheap and widely available. What parent would not do that, given the choice?
     
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  7. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    I'm betting on cybernetics, why pay to modify the unborn when you can enhance your mind, extend your life and even achieve immortality?
     
  8. LunarSun Registered Member

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    We did not "exterminate" the Neanderthal, the Neanderthal simply became more intelligent, and then Darwinism kicked in(Only the strongest survive). What I am saying however, is because of the technology we have, and due to the competitiveness and destructive nature of the human being, we are bound to destroy each other completely. The more unfortunate aspect, is that, because of WMD's, we will likely take out most of planet Earth as well.
     
  9. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    Aside for minimal evidence of interbreeding Neanderthals were not a direct ancestor, they were an off-shoot of our combined ancestor (homo erectus?) many factors likely played in their extinctions but one of them most certainly was competition with homo sapians.

    and it quite likely we will destroy our selves, but if we manage machine intelligence before then, that will succeed us.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2010
  10. james 007 Registered Member

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    Usually when someone says something is impossible, we'll probably find a way to do it if it's within our current realm of understanding. There is knowledge we have yet to discover so there's no point in trying to answer the actual question. So just keep seeking knowledge
     
  11. jmpet Valued Senior Member

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    You overlook the ascension of AI taking over completely. Only machines can travel interstellar distances over vast amounts of time to report results that are received millions of years later by the same AI-construct.

    To cite the original Star Trek, I wouldn't outrule sentient machines exploring the cosmos on their own behalf- humans aside. Computers: machines that reliably hold information over time can exist indefinitely, we're just skin and bones.

    To answer the OP, the only way we can explore the cosmos is with machines at the helm- us humans will never have that luxury except as an observer.

    I just hope our first interplaneary ambassador is Bender.
     
  12. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    That worked really well on that ball planet!
     
  13. jpappl Valued Senior Member

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    There is a way to answer the question of the OP.

    For example, let's say we have an encounter in which we can observe an ET craft.

    Assumption is that we have undeniable evidence of it being ET.

    Where did it come from ?

    There are few scenarios that would not answer the OP at that point.

    IOW, that yes intergalactic travel is possible. Someone else was able to do it. So either it's just a matter of time or we won't make it long enough to have figured it out.

    I think that at present the only way I can see us doing it is with machines/robots. We just are even close with a propulsion system to send people.
     
  14. woowoo Registered Senior Member

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    forget spaceships, one day we will move around with our minds,
    extradimensional travel, moving instantaneously to wherever.
    some say humans have had that ability for thousands of years,
    but most of us, not all, have forgotten how. this kind of ties
    in with a couple of current forum threads on evolution, eventualy
    we will evolve a new mode of consciousness that will release
    us from the confines of the physical universe. that
    sound like fun, something to look forward to.
     
  15. Skeptical Registered Senior Member

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    No.
    It is good evidence of interstellar travel. Not interglactic.
     
  16. jpappl Valued Senior Member

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    I suppose. But if ET came here, considering the implications of distance either way. They know something we don't.

    At which point we may not be able to assess what their limitations are.

    Of course, one is a wee bit more challenging.
     
  17. Skeptical Registered Senior Member

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    My view is that if ET is out there, pottering around from star system to star system, then he/she/it should have already been here. The galaxy is about 8 billion years old, and it only takes a few million years for any intelligent species to fully colonise, assuming our physics remains correct. (If they had FTL travel, then it would take a lot less!)

    So, what are the odds against such a species happening on Earth just now?
     
  18. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    There are more than one hundred billion stars in this galaxy. Regardless of the speed that their ships can achieve, how many ships can they possibly have? You may predict a new technology that can free us from the limitations of relativity, but surely the rule that an object can only be in one place at one time will still be enforced. Do you think they'll be able to visit an average of twelve stars per year?

    Wait, I thought our galaxy was thirteen billion years old? In that case they only have to visit eight per year. Assuming they invented FTL travel a very very very long time ago.

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  19. Skeptical Registered Senior Member

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    Fraggle

    Your logic ignores speed of population increase. If a spacegoing civilisation can double its population in 100 years (and remember, we humans are doing this at 3 to 4 times that speed), then a billion individuals become a trillion in only 3,000 years, and a 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 in 6,000 years.

    Of course, it will not be like that, with only pioneering worlds reproducing at that speed. However, increase in population size is not a limiting factor, and to get enough individuals to colonise 200 billion worlds to the point of overpopulation is not difficult.

    The real limiting factor is speed of travel. I do not believe that any species will ever develop FTL travel, since the laws of physics cannot be gotten around by waving some magic wand. However, a cruising speed to 0.1 to 0.2 c between stars is theoretically quite possible.

    This sets a minimum time for humans to colonise the galaxy of about 350,000 years, which is unlikely. To do it in 350,000 years requires travel speed of 0.2 c, and that we send space probes across the galaxy in vast numbers (possible for the enormous populations and large number of colonised star systems we could achieve in a few tens of thousands of years), run by robots, and carrying heaps of frozen embryos.

    However, more realistically, it will probably take some millions of years. Yet this interval is also an eye blink in galactic time. So why has no alien species already done it? This is essentially the nature of the Fermi Paradox. Why are they not already here?
     
  20. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    Again there are many possible answers to the Fermi paradox, the simplest and most possible is that there is no one or very few out there who have not yet or do not want to colonies the cosmos. But other answers are still possible, they may be aware of us but do not want or care to interfere for example.
     
  21. spanglo Registered Senior Member

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    They are aware of us, but we're the 1,345,678th planet on their to-do list.

    The known laws of physics makes intergalactic travel a touch sell, but I believe that what limits us now will not limit us in the future.
     
  22. dhcracker Registered Senior Member

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    What if it took this long for heavy elements to be seeding in areas that are capable of sustaining life long enough for intelligence to evolve? There is much that says just maybe.. maybe we are the first or among the first so we have not had time to find anybody.
     
  23. dhcracker Registered Senior Member

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    I think in the future we will figure out high energy ways to warp space. There is much yet to be discovered, but for now .1c is tops for near future.
     
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