Are we alone in the Universe?

gleaner63
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Are we alone in the Universe?

Hi,

 

    Most Christians that I know dismiss the idea of extraterrestrial life.  I was wondering if non-theists have any objection to the idea of ETs and if so, why?


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Of course we dont have any

Of course we dont have any objections to E.T's, why would we?

 

(let it be known that if these E.T's are actually Grey's, i will be a Xenophobic bitch and attempt to kill them on sight )

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Are we alone?

 Are we alone in the Universe.  No f<>king way!  it's very silly for us humans to think that we are it.

 

Signature ? How ?


gleaner63
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 Of course we dont have any

 

Of course we dont have any objections to E.T's, why would we?

 Well, I don't know, that's why I asked.  I have talked with at least one non-theists who thinks we are alone.  Part of my initial question is the idea that sometimes people rule out ideas because of an embedded bias.  As an example, I recall reading a scientists reaction to the then new Big Bang theory.  His response was, somewhat paraphrased, "...the idea that the universe had a beginning is repugnant to me..."  Obviously, his bias got the better of him.  Personally I believe that if we are alone or just one of many civilizations in the cosmos, both propositions are staggering.

(letW it be known that if these E.T's are actually Grey's, i will be a Xenophobic bitch and attempt to kill them on sight )

 


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Ken G. wrote: Are we alone

Ken G. wrote:

 Are we alone in the Universe.  No f<>king way!  it's very silly for us humans to think that we are it.

 

What's your best evidence that we are not alone?


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gleaner63 wrote:What's your

gleaner63 wrote:

What's your best evidence that we are not alone?

Laws of Probability... seem like a good start

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The Doomed Soul

The Doomed Soul wrote:

gleaner63 wrote:

What's your best evidence that we are not alone?

Laws of Probability... seem like a good start

This idea is similar to the notion that if life is indeed a "natural"  process as opposed to one that is designed, all one needs are the "right" conditions and life will emerge.  Seems like the discovery of the extra-solar planets might supply us with suitable habitat, although an earth-like planet has yet to be found.


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The right conditions!

  As science progresses we learn that what we used to think were the right conditions are totally wrong .They've found life in very deep gold mines,and in very extreme conditions in the ocean (Thermal Vents) and that's just here on Earth,what can we postulate from these findings? Well I would say that we're learning that life is extremely strong and we honestly don't know shit about life ,really.

 

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Laws of probability

 Indeed.

 

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We certainly do not have any

We certainly do not have any reason to exclude the possibility of extra-terran life. If fact we have every reason to believe that there is life outside our sphere, as this video plainly shows:

I'm with The Doomed Soul on the Grey thing.


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I don't like Reevers


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Total post re-edit:I had to

Total post re-edit:

I had to force myself to actually look at that video image -_-

I cant stand that shit! dont scare me like that *runs off to cry*

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The best I think we can say

The best I think we can say is that it seems very possible that life is not all that difficult to achieve.  Given the immensity of the cosmos and the number of chances (if the other galaxies are similar to ours, which they seem to be) it would be really odd if we were alone in the universe.

Having said that, I think high intelligence is not nearly as much of a slam dunk.  It's not that I don't think it exists, but I'd be inclined to say that it's probably very rare among planets with life.

Having said that, I think the odds of one lifeform ever meeting another are kind of slim.  The distances involved, the harshness of space, the incredible difficulty involved in even finding another life-bearing planet, and at least a dozen other hurdles lead me to believe that it's unlikely that inter-planet relations happen, and if they do, it would be the extremely rare exception to the rule.

 

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 Hambydammit wrote:The best

 

Hambydammit wrote:

The best I think we can say is that it seems very possible that life is not all that difficult to achieve.  Given the immensity of the cosmos and the number of chances (if the other galaxies are similar to ours, which they seem to be) it would be really odd if we were alone in the universe.

 

I call this tge "real estate" argument.  Yes the universe is "awfully" big.

 

Hambydammit wrote:

Having said that, I think high intelligence is not nearly as much of a slam dunk.  It's not that I don't think it exists, but I'd be inclined to say that it's probably very rare among planets with life.

In the book "Rare Earth", the authors make the point, I think, that while life may be common, intelligent life may be rare.  Extremophiles are good examples on how life can adapt, but's it's doubtful something living on the bottom of the ocean will ever build a spaceship.  The again, given a few billion years of evolution...

Hambydammit wrote:

Having said that, I think the odds of one lifeform ever meeting another are kind of slim.  The distances involved, the harshness of space, the incredible difficulty involved in even finding another life-bearing planet, and at least a dozen other hurdles lead me to believe that it's unlikely that inter-planet relations happen, and if they do, it would be the extremely rare exception to the rule.

 It's true that space can be a harsh environment.  I think that early explorers must have felt the same way about the oceans.  However, there is no physical barrier to interstellar travel.  "All" you need is the proper means of propulsion, the money, vision and will.  Relativity will take care of the rest.  For further good reading on these points, see "Unconventional flying Objects" by former NASA scientist Paul R. Hill, and the more recent "SCience and Flying Saucers" by Stanton Freidman.


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I am SOOOO not getting back

I am SOOOO not getting back into the argument over whether or not humans will ever travel beyond the solar system, or whether interstellar travel is even remotely practical in any reasonable case.

It seems like everybody but me wants desperately to believe we can shake hands with aliens one day.  I'm giving up on this one for a while.  I don't like having every science fiction buff on the board mad at me for trying to be realistic about it.

 

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Quote:It seems like

Quote:

It seems like everybody but me wants desperately to believe we can shake hands with aliens one day.

It is highly unlikely. It comes down to two problems. Distance and congruency. Distance, obvious problem. Unless we find a way to travel through wormholes, which we probably won't any time soon, we aren't getting anybody much farther than the outer rim of the solar system. The only consoling fact that is sometimes pointed out is that since there isn't anything to give resistive force in the vacuum of space, an object could travel at a constant velocity with only an initial force applied, and would constantly accelerate if a force is applied...unfortunately, to travel at velocities which are even remotely significant to travel cosmological distances requires taking Relativity into account, and unfortunately...

Ever seen what the Lorentz contraction does to massive objects at those speeds? Neither has anyone else. But it probably isn't pretty. The brick wall on the graph is there for a reason.

However, I am not saying that interstellar travel is impossible. It will just take a lot of technological advances. There are numerous proposed manners in which it could be accomplished. For intergalactic distances, conventional travel, even at 0.5c (anything higher will start to flatten the ship) will take too long. It would most likely require conjectured Einstein-Rosen bridges.

Problem 2: Congruency. Probabilistically, it is likely that there are many other life-friendly planets, and of these, there are many with life on them. As to whether there many intelligent life forms on different plants, we can't say, the Drake equation doesn't have the necessary values it needs to compute this, we don't know enough. Anyway, even if there are, communication or any form of recognition will be virtually impossible. We think that the biosphere on Earth is diverse. But really, from a molecular biology standpoint, all life on Earth is pretty much the same. But here we are talking about 14 billion years of totally divergent evolution. There would be no basis for any form of communication whatsoever. The creatures in question might (in fact, probably will) have totally different sensory equipment. It might percieve wavelengths and frequencies we cannot hear or see. In fact, chances our its perceptual equipment isn't remotely like ours. We might not even recognize them as life forms. They might be swarm intelligences instead of singular conscious entities...etc. ad infinitum.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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Hambydammit wrote:I am SOOOO

Hambydammit wrote:

I am SOOOO not getting back into the argument over whether or not humans will ever travel beyond the solar system, or whether interstellar travel is even remotely practical in any reasonable case.

It seems like everybody but me wants desperately to believe we can shake hands with aliens one day.  I'm giving up on this one for a while.  I don't like having every science fiction buff on the board mad at me for trying to be realistic about it.

 

I don't think anyone will be angry at you.  Of the two of the sources I cited that believe interstellar travel is not only possible but probable, one worked for NASA and the other a University of Chicago graduate in physics.  I think they carry some weight; certainly more than you or I (I majored in history).

 

Some historical perspcective might also help.  There are of course scientists who went on record as saying that launching a satellite was impossible, much less a manned probe of some type.  One of these scientists, whom Friedman talks about on his web site believed a simple manned rocket to the moon was impossible due to weight and fuel limitations.  He made severe miscalculations.  I think also, that we tend to think within our own time frame.  WHo knows what technology might look like in 500 years?

I'm 45 years old and I still remember my 9th grade science teacher telling me she never thought we would make it to the moon.  And even after we did, her response was that we will never get past that.  Clearly she was a product of her times.

Anyway, thanks for your thoughts.


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As a final thought I agree

As a final thought I agree with this statement from Geoffery A. Landis of NASA's Glenn Research Center on the possibility of interstellar travel; 

"I think that ultimately we are going to do it, it's just a  matter of when and who".


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Thanks, DG.  That chart by

Thanks, DG.  That chart by itself is one of the most compelling things against the feasibility of interstellar travel, IMO.

 

Gleaner, like I said, I've put all my thoughts down on this before, and they had no effect, so I'm not going to do it again.  All things considered, even though I think it's kind of irrational (if you know some science) to believe that it's likely we'll travel to other solar systems, I'd rather someone believe in that than Jesus.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Hambydammit wrote: Gleaner,

Hambydammit wrote:

 

Gleaner, like I said, I've put all my thoughts down on this before, and they had no effect, so I'm not going to do it again.  All things considered, even though I think it's kind of irrational (if you know some science) to believe that it's likely we'll travel to other solar systems, I'd rather someone believe in that than Jesus.

 

I completely understand.  I haven't been on this board long enough to have seen your prior posts.  One of my old history professors once remarked that it wasn't so much that certain people wanted to rule the word that made the study of history fascinating (since tyrants are a dime a dozen), but rather why they wanted to rule the world.  In a similar vein, you believe that the technical factors of interstellar travel may be to difficult to overcome, while my old science teacher didn't see the need.  Having not majored in science, I fall short on the technology part (I try to read about it though), and yet I feel compelled by the need for mankind to reach out into the cosmos.  Arthur C. Clarke also talked about this need, and said something to the effect that it was the final test of a species  (yes, I am a science-fiction fan). 

Thanks for taking the time to argue with me!


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Of course!  That's why I'm

Of course!  That's why I'm here.

Something for you to think about, if you feel like it:  Do humans have a need to reach out, or do they believe they have a need?

Just something for you to ponder.  You don't even need to post your answer.  Just an interesting question.

 

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Are we alone? No. As for

Are we alone? No.

 

As for travels outside the solar system, there are the possibilty of warp hole/bubbles that will allow for that. Think of it as a cosmic short cut.

 

However, these rely on String Theory which has not been tested, and require negative energy, and the Casmir effect is to inefficient in this regard.

 


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:Are we

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Are we alone? No.

 

As for travels outside the solar system, there are the possibilty of warp hole/bubbles that will allow for that. Think of it as a cosmic short cut.

 

However, these rely on String Theory which has not been tested, and require negative energy, and the Casmir effect is to inefficient in this regard.

 

Curious, Cap' n. As a believer who also thinks there are other intelligent species out there, do you think they'd share the same concept of deities as humans do, or would they share that concept at all?

I'm reminded of Sagan's "Contact" in which an atheist scientist was refused the honor of making first contact as she would not have been representative of earth.

I know you have looser ideas of god than most, and that's actually the reason I'd honestly enjoy hearing your thoughts on the subect.

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My personal thought on the

My personal thought on the subect.

It really doesn't matter, given the current state of technology. Even if there are other sentient beings out there, it is doubtful we will ever contact them any time soon.

I do however believe that we will likely find evidence of life on other worlds (within our own solar system), or at least the evidence that it was once there, in the next generation or two.

There is certainly the possibility that there are other sentient beings beyond this solar system who also look up at the stars at night and contemplate their own place in the vastness, as we do. The poetic side of me hopes that is the case. Then again, I also think it would be really cool if there were a large hairy primate skalting the woods in the north west north american continent. Unfortunately, there is evidence for neither, and so while I am open and hopeful of convincing evidence, I'm certainly not holding my breath for it.

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Are we alone in the

Are we alone in the Universe?    (of course not)

But, god made everything for us most special earth MEN ... We are male earth humans and everything else is inferior , except Father god , of our own image, I meant his .... God is a guy as you all know, and

           The Bible told me so , as it starts,  "When God began creating .... " , then just a few pages in it says "HE (god) was sorry" ....

  and HE god made Eve for us guys, too,  .... Gezzz, god loves MAN, his first best !    

      God gave us guys little inferior girls for our pleasure and tools ..... girls are our worker toys, man's possessions,  created to obey we men,  as pleasure breeders for more worker slaves to WE mens wealth ..... 

here's one ,  a pretty girl slave ,

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xa4zIoIOi9g&amp;feature=related

                                                      

 


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We're not alone. Anybody

We're not alone.

Anybody mind if I answer this question too? -

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

Curious, Cap' n. As a believer who also thinks there are other intelligent species out there, do you think they'd share the same concept of deities as humans do, or would they share that concept at all?

They wouldn't share the same concepts, I'm sure - not even we share the same concepts - but yes, they would have concepts of a deity somewhat echoing our own.

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

I'm reminded of Sagan's "Contact" in which an atheist scientist was refused the honor of making first contact as she would not have been representative of earth.

a repugnant notion, but believable since the story was set in the US; there are places that wouldn't happen, fortunately.

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Eloise, do you believe any

Eloise, do you believe any intelligent life would be able to come to the same conclusions about the universe as you, and so there would be a god concept, or do you think that any life would feel a "spiritual" void regardless of their math ability?

 

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Bah. Regardless of the

Bah. Regardless of the problems getting us out there, myself and many others are looking forward to the day when we'll be downloaded out of our future computers into huge transforming robots to board a ship capable of lasting through epochs. Then we'll send out small reproducing probes to scout the galaxy for us and report back.

Then it's only a matter of meeting these strange new civilizations, and conquering them and their resources for the glory of the human empire! Mwahahaha!

Er, ahem.


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Hambydammit wrote:Eloise, do

Hambydammit wrote:

Eloise, do you believe any intelligent life would be able to come to the same conclusions about the universe as you, and so there would be a god concept, or do you think that any life would feel a "spiritual" void regardless of their math ability?

 

I think that all life in the universe would feel some sort of quasi-spiritual/philsophical pull, rather than a void - though as long as there was some kind of a void in their experience some part of the population would try to fill it with concepts of ineffable beings and such.

I'm sure that they could come to conclusions about the universe which are very like or the same as my own, regardless of what manner they have of organising that knowledge, yes, because other world intelligence would be formed from the same basic fabric as ours. 

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Quote:Curious, Cap' n. As a

Quote:

Curious, Cap' n. As a believer who also thinks there are other intelligent species out there, do you think they'd share the same concept of deities as humans do, or would they share that concept at all?

 

 

Considering different civilizations on Earth have different concepts,  I would imagine that extra-terristial would have a different one as well.

 


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The universe is probably

The universe is probably full of life, but whether that life is intelligent and/or makes use of material technology at all is an entirely different questions. The Drake Equation, for example, has been criticized for both underestimating AND overestimating the number of technologically advanced civilizations in the universe. Earth alone is not a particularly good model for judging the evolution of life elsewhere in the universe in different environments (though there are some exceptions, like terrestrial extremophiles), much less how many different ways intelligence analogous to human intellect can evolve, or if it was just a fluke in the first place. If it was a fluke, it's possible there have been other flukes on other planets, but there's really no way to know.

 

So I guess I am "agnostic" when it comes to extraterrestrial intelligence. It's plausible, but we have no way, currently, of knowing for sure. I've also heard it suggested that more advanced civilizations than humans might choose to minimize their visibility to other possible civilizations to reduce the risk of hostilities, which is a plausible reason we haven't encountered any aliens.

 

I don't believe one bit of the Alien Abduction mythos. It is a syncretic susbstitute for religious experience and follows the exact same patterns. I don't think humanoid life is likely to evolve on another planet, and those Greys seem like some sort of psychological projection of substitute angel-figure. Way to similar to human beings to have plausibly evolved on another world, even one relatively similar to Earth.

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now what are the

now what are the possibilities that the human species or all earthly species were genetically engineered by an extraterrestrial species?


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Are we alone in the

Are we alone in the Universe?       We are friggin aliens .... 

Eloise rocks, she is god, she's not even agnostic, she is a nature queen, a panentheist!   

Sensible possibilities will of course require unavailable probabilities. Go sci fi intuition. How many big bangs other than our own are also just currently underway, let alone those in the infinite past. WTF is time? , really spins my head. OUCH ....

A little something for every one here, from prophet Carl Sagan,

http://www.hillmans.soupbo.com/bu/sagan1.html

ON EXTRATERRESTRIAL INTELLIGENCE:

      "There are some hundred billion (1011) galaxies, each with, on the average, a hundred billion stars. In all the galaxies, there are perhaps as many planets as stars, 1011 x 1011 = 1022, ten billion trillion. In the face of such overpowering numbers, what is the likelihood that only one ordinary star, the Sun, is accompanied by an inhabited planet? Why should we, tucked away in some forgotten corner of the Cosmos, be so fortunate? To me, it seems far more likely that the universe is   brimming over with life. But we humans do not yet know. We are just beginning our explorations. The only planet we are sure is inhabited is a tiny speck of rock and metal, shining feebly by reflected sunlight, and at this distance utterly lost."

  -"The Shores of the Cosmic Ocean," Cosmos, p. 7.

 


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gleaner63 wrote:Hi,    

gleaner63 wrote:

Hi,

 

    Most Christians that I know dismiss the idea of extraterrestrial life.  I was wondering if non-theists have any objection to the idea of ETs and if so, why?

I think all Christians and atheists should dissmiss the X-file crap and area 51 crap. But considering the amount of time the universe has been around and the trillions of gallaxies which means even tons more suns and tons more planets, law of averages would say, even if life were a minority in the universe, it would still be a statistical probiblity.

If we look at the ratio of any life, most attempts fail, but a minority does happen. I see life on other planets as although an extreem minority, still a likelyhood.

BUT, as far as intelegent life, I would think that since the periodic table and the laws of physics are solid, whatever life is out there, will be in the same isolated position we are in.

We know of no material that can withstand getting past the speed of light, and we would have to go thousands of times faster than that, to make space travel possible.

I think we will eventually find a primitive cell type life maybe on Mars. And even if we couldn't we could find life here that can withstand extreem temps and put that life on Mars.

But crap about UFOs and little green men, was a myth started out of the WW2 fear of invasion combinded with nuts mistaking military exorsizes and equiptment for being real "little green men".

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I have to disagree with both

I have to disagree with both Hamby and Deludedgod on this circumstance. I think it is actually inevitable that human life will one day encounter alien life. Human history is riddled with proof of the pioneering spirit of humanity. If it were ever concluded that life existed on another world, however far away it was, you can be damned sure that someone will be rich and stubborn enough to make the journey.

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Vastet wrote:I have to

Vastet wrote:
I have to disagree with both Hamby and Deludedgod on this circumstance. I think it is actually inevitable that human life will one day encounter alien life. Human history is riddled with proof of the pioneering spirit of humanity. If it were ever concluded that life existed on another world, however far away it was, you can be damned sure that someone will be rich and stubborn enough to make the journey.
The only problem is that it's just not going to be possible if the thing is further away than the edges of our solar system.  To go further than that: First, build something that can withstand space for an indeterminate amount of time.  In itself that is virtually impossible.  Find a fuel.  Get that something to move fast.  Very fast.  Faster than objects can move.  That's never going to be possible.  Find a way to keep humans alive for the journey.  Freeze 'em? Nope.  Breed 'em?  Only if you pass the first obstacle.

There is almost certainly life somewhere out there, lots of life, but if some of it's not here in our solar system with us, we're not going to get to it.  Determination and money are not enough to get anyone to Alpha Centauri let alone Mars.

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


Vastet
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Thomathy wrote:Vastet

Thomathy wrote:

Vastet wrote:
I have to disagree with both Hamby and Deludedgod on this circumstance. I think it is actually inevitable that human life will one day encounter alien life. Human history is riddled with proof of the pioneering spirit of humanity. If it were ever concluded that life existed on another world, however far away it was, you can be damned sure that someone will be rich and stubborn enough to make the journey.

The only problem is that it's just not going to be possible if the thing is further away than the edges of our solar system.  To go further than that: First, build something that can withstand space for an indeterminate amount of time.  In itself that is virtually impossible.  Find a fuel.  Get that something to move fast.  Very fast.  Faster than objects can move.  That's never going to be possible.  Find a way to keep humans alive for the journey.  Freeze 'em? Nope.  Breed 'em?  Only if you pass the first obstacle.

There is almost certainly life somewhere out there, lots of life, but if some of it's not here in our solar system with us, we're not going to get to it.  Determination and money are not enough to get anyone to Alpha Centauri let alone Mars.

Incorrect. It is simple to create something that can withstand space. We can do it today. It's simply not worth doing, as there is no perceivable income or benefit from such a vessel at this time. As for the journey itself, you do not consider generational voyages, which have been considered the most likely method of travel since the birth of the space program. Generational voyages remove any and all worries concerning velocity and time. You can travel at a meager 10kph and still make it to another star. It'll just take that much longer.

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Quote:First, build something

Quote:
First, build something that can withstand space for an indeterminate amount of time.  In itself that is virtually impossible.

We already have. See: the Voyager spacecraft.

Quote:
Find a fuel.

You'll note the adundance of these extremely large burning cauldrons of raw elements called 'stars'....

Quote:
Get that something to move fast.  Very fast.

A perhaps-feasible means to do this was actually postulated by Carl Sagan once - of course, since then, we've come to realize that relativistic spaceflight is simply not possible because of the compessing forces involved.

Still - we don't need to move fast at all. Increase the average person's lifespan by replacing their organic parts with mechanical ones, or just download everyone onto a hard drive, and go from there. Granted, a giant interstellar sailing server won't exactly be shaking hands with anyone, but the load of self-replicating robots it produces should be able to.

 

I'd like to take this moment to also point-out that Hamby has never even had one single solid argument refuting an outreach to outer space. The practicality argument is ridiculous; last I checked, it's awfully practical to have a solution in hand for when your supplies all dry up. Earth can't sustain us indefinitely, which means we'll have to be moving along at some time or another.

Personally, I think it's just an old-fashioned mindset to think that we're bound here, or that the space program is wasteful.

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"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
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As do I.

As do I.

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Kevin R Brown wrote:We

Kevin R Brown wrote:
We already have. See: the Voyager spacecraft.
Kevin, that spacecraft will cease to function.  It will become too irradiated in time for the computer components to continue to function.  That spacecraft could not support human life.  It is exposed to far too much deadly radiation that penetrates right through it.

 

Quote:
You'll note the adundance of these extremely large burning cauldrons of raw elements called 'stars'....
HAHAHAHAHAHA! Cheeky!

Quote:
A perhaps-feasible means to do this was actually postulated by Carl Sagan once - of course, since then, we've come to realize that relativistic spaceflight is simply not possible because of the compessing forces involved.
Mhmm.

Quote:
Still - we don't need to move fast at all. Increase the average person's lifespan by replacing their organic parts with mechanical ones, or just download everyone onto a hard drive, and go from there. Granted, a giant interstellar sailing server won't exactly be shaking hands with anyone, but the load of self-replicating robots it produces should be able to.
And where exactly, Kevin, is this technology?  I'm not even sure that such a thing as downloading people onto a hard drive is even feasible, let alone possible.  And if we're not moving the spaceship all that fast, the time involved becomes immense.  So immense as to make such a trip worthless.  If it takes thousands of years to reach another star, what exactly is the point of having gone there if in the interim humans are extinct?  What would the point be in such a journey be if other technology could give us as much experience of that other world around that other star?  I mean, if we've built a spaceship to journey thousands of years through interstellar space and can download people onto hard drives, we must have some other fucking awesome technology.

And I don't believe the space programmes are wasteful and mindest has nothing to do with it.  We're not stuck here on Earth permanently.  It's just not reasonable to believe that we'll be living on a planet orbiting another star.

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


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Thomathy wrote:Kevin R Brown

Thomathy wrote:

Kevin R Brown wrote:
We already have. See: the Voyager spacecraft.

Kevin, that spacecraft will cease to function.  It will become too irradiated in time for the computer components to continue to function.  That spacecraft could not support human life.  It is exposed to far too much deadly radiation that penetrates right through it.

That spacecraft was not designed to support human life, as human life was not to accompany it. Nor was it designed to last forever. And finally, a maintenance crew was not stationed aboard it.

Thomathy wrote:

Quote:
Still - we don't need to move fast at all. Increase the average person's lifespan by replacing their organic parts with mechanical ones, or just download everyone onto a hard drive, and go from there. Granted, a giant interstellar sailing server won't exactly be shaking hands with anyone, but the load of self-replicating robots it produces should be able to.

And where exactly, Kevin, is this technology?

100 to 200 years away at most. It is not however a requirement for travel in space, so frankly that's irrelevant.

Thomathy wrote:
  I'm not even sure that such a thing as downloading people onto a hard drive is even feasible, let alone possible.

There's nothing to suggest it isn't possible. And everything to suggest that it is.

Thomathy wrote:
  And if we're not moving the spaceship all that fast, the time involved becomes immense.  So immense as to make such a trip worthless. 

Worthless to you perhaps. Not worthless to everyone.

Thomathy wrote:
If it takes thousands of years to reach another star, what exactly is the point of having gone there if in the interim humans are extinct?

What is the point of studying genetics when the generation that started it will be long dead before their work achieves a level of understanding within the medical field that makes us look like dark ages barbarians? What's the point of studying evolution or nano-technologies?

 

There are millions of reasons to leave our solar system. The most spectacular one of all is the fact that if we don't, we will die. Period. No argument possible. Travel to another star will happen as long as humanity survives long enough to require it. It will happen before that as irrational people come up with irrational reasons to leave Earth, as well as perfectly rational people come up with rational reasons to leave it.

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Quote:And where exactly,

Quote:
And where exactly, Kevin, is this technology?  I'm not even sure that such a thing as downloading people onto a hard drive is even feasible, let alone possible.  And if we're not moving the spaceship all that fast, the time involved becomes immense.  So immense as to make such a trip worthless.  If it takes thousands of years to reach another star, what exactly is the point of having gone there if in the interim humans are extinct?

The technology is merely waiting in the wings. We're already replacing human body parts with synthetic ones - we just haven't takenthe really big steps forward in this area yet. Self-replicating robots are a matter of refining our ability to create better artificial intelligence algorythms. And you're correct - it may be that we can't, for some reason, download the contents of a brain onto a digital hard drive (though this looks more and more feasible as we realize how similar the human brain is to a computer system).

I surrender the fact that whatever the future holds for space travel, there is little chance that actual human beings will be making trips to other galaxies. But, in my opinion, 'humanity' is more than simply it's biology; we're our mechanical inclinations and our imaginations as well (at the least), and to shuttles ourselves to the stars in mechanical bodies seems just as appropriate to me as shuttling ourselves away in our current bodies.

Quote:
It's just not reasonable to believe that we'll be living on a planet orbiting another star.

Heavens no. It would likely be hardly appropriate to declare ourselves 'living' in any matter at all by this juncture.

Certainly we'd spend more time in the void than we would on a world.

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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Oh. I didn't answer the OP's

Oh. I didn't answer the OP's question. Doh!

 

Personally, I find it highly implausible that there isn't highly developed life elsewhere (the only real argument against such right now is the Fermi Paradox, and that's easily enough explained presently by the fact that we've only had the ability/desire to go looking for aliens in very, very recent times) - but, that said, there's a lot about the universe that we simply don't know and can't comprehend properly, so it may be that there is some barrier to life elsewhere that we're simply ignorant of right now (this is what Asimov postulated, and why his books never included alien life).

 

Titan and Europa might yield interesting thing in this regard - an extensive exploration of either, I think, are our best shots at finding simple organisms in the solar system elsewhere from Earth.

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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Vastet wrote:Thomathy

Vastet wrote:
Thomathy wrote:
  And if we're not moving the spaceship all that fast, the time involved becomes immense.  So immense as to make such a trip worthless. 
Worthless to you perhaps. Not worthless to everyone.
Practically a meaningless statement.  That sentence is not atomic.  It must be taken in context with the rest of what I wrote.


Vastet wrote:
Thomathy wrote:
If it takes thousands of years to reach another star, what exactly is the point of having gone there if in the interim humans are extinct?
What is the point of studying genetics when the generation that started it will be long dead before their work achieves a level of understanding within the medical field that makes us look like dark ages barbarians? What's the point of studying evolution or nano-technologies?
You've totally misconstrewed what I wrote.  If humans are extinct by the time our acheivments reach another star the whole point of such a mission is void.  Our research into genetics and evolution and nano-technology are not comparable to a journey that isn't underway and isn't strictly within the realm of possibility.  Do not attempt to compare an imagined mission to another star to the point of studying anything that we have studied and are studying.

 

Quote:
There are millions of reasons to leave our solar system. The most spectacular one of all is the fact that if we don't, we will die. Period. No argument possible. Travel to another star will happen as long as humanity survives long enough to require it. It will happen before that as irrational people come up with irrational reasons to leave Earth, as well as perfectly rational people come up with rational reasons to leave it.
WHAT?  No matter where we go we die as a species.  Your argument is prolonging the inevitable.  Something I'm more than partial to, though I simply see no reason to believe that it's feasible that humans will live on another world orbiting another star.

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


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Kevin R Brown wrote:The

Kevin R Brown wrote:
The technology is merely waiting in the wings. We're already replacing human body parts with synthetic ones - we just haven't takenthe really big steps forward in this area yet. Self-replicating robots are a matter of refining our ability to create better artificial intelligence algorythms. And you're correct - it may be that we can't, for some reason, download the contents of a brain onto a digital hard drive (though this looks more and more feasible as we realize how similar the human brain is to a computer system).
Except that the human brain is not similar to a computer system, not any computer system ever created or operational today.  We can't even create a computer system remotely similar to the human brain.

 

Quote:
I surrender the fact that whatever the future holds for space travel, there is little chance that actual human beings will be making trips to other galaxies. But, in my opinion, 'humanity' is more than simply it's biology; we're our mechanical inclinations and our imaginations as well (at the least), and to shuttles ourselves to the stars in mechanical bodies seems just as appropriate to me as shuttling ourselves away in our current bodies.
I suppose I won't argue there.  It's not as though some technology of ours won't be able to make a journey to another star if certain things are possible, unless time is a diminishing factor on the likelihood.

Kevin wrote:
Quote:
It's just not reasonable to believe that we'll be living on a planet orbiting another star.
Heavens no. It would likely be hardly appropriate to declare ourselves 'living' in any matter at all by this juncture.
I'm not going to argue with pure fantasy.

Kevin wrote:
Certainly we'd spend more time in the void than we would on a world.
I was this close to quoting SMAC after reading this.  This close!  But, I'll refrain.  You likely haven't the slightest what SMAC is anyhow.

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


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Quote:Thomathy wrote:  I'm

Quote:

Thomathy wrote:
  I'm not even sure that such a thing as downloading people onto a hard drive is even feasible, let alone possible.

There's nothing to suggest it isn't possible. And everything to suggest that it is.

Hmmm.. You might want to consult a few neuroscientists before you go off half cocked speaking for them like this.  I often use the analogy of a computer for how the brain works because for simple examples, it works just fine.  However, the analogy is severely flawed once you start getting into the nuts and bolts of it.

The first thing you need to recognize is that human memory and computer memory are not really analogous.  Second, a human being is not simply a collection of memory data.  Our DNA is directly responsible for every single aspect of how our data is processed, acted upon, and remembered (or not, as the case may be.)  Data without the accompanying human -- at the exact same time -- would not be the same human.

Let me put it another way.  To extend the computer analogy farther than it ought to be taken, if a human is a computer, it is a computer that is literally reprogramming itself every instant of its life, and that reprogramming is being done by a unique combination of 25,000 or so genes, each of which contains thousands of unique combinations of a base 4 programming language capable of creating any one of tens of thousands of protein variations, depending on how many "alternate spellings" are available for gene splicing.

I addressed this in my thread about cryonics.  The thing is, humans are not like computers.  You can't just unplug us, plug us back in, and stick a disc in.  In us, our bodies at any given instant ARE the computers AND the DATA at the same time.  They are inseparable.

Consider imprinting:  When a baby duck imprints upon a human instead of its mother, it's because there's a particular gene that expresses only for eighteen to thirty six hours a couple of days after birth.  Once the gene has expressed, it "turns off" and for the rest of its life, that duck is imprinted onto the human.  Can't be undone.  However, you take that same duck a year or two later and examine its genes, you'll find that you can't tell by "looking" at them what it's imprinted on.  Now that the genes have expressed, a certain neural pathway... a PHYSICAL pathway has been created, and forever and always, when a certain set of stimuli are received, neurons will travel down that pathway.  That pathway is unique to that particular duck. 

However, since imprinting, the duck has been recording data about the human it imprinted on.  Every interaction has caused physical changes in the structure of its brain.  These changes are dependent on life.  That is, if the duck's brain ceases to operate, the whole thing is kaput.  No amount of electricity pumped through its heart will make it the same duck anymore.  That's one reason why brain death is final.  Even if we could figure out a way to start a brain again after brain death, IT WOULDN'T BE THE SAME PERSON.  It would be an empty brain in a grown person.

Let me be really clear about this.  All of a person's memories are completely and irrevocably tied to their exact, unique DNA.  In other words, if you plug the right data into the wrong person, it's not the same person.  Furthermore, at any moment, your personality, memory, etc, are tied completely and irrevocably to the process of continual "reprogramming" that has been done since you were conceived.  Remove the data from this, and it is not the same person.

So... let's pretend for a minute that we can figure out how to take an exact snapshot of every one of trillions of neurons and somehow get an exact copy of a person's memory.  That's fine, but when you get to your new planet, you're going to have to have that person's EXACT DNA, clone them, and put them through exactly the same life they had the first time, down to every detail, until precisely the moment that you took their memory....

But then, if you're going to all that trouble, why'd you bother taking the person's memories in the first place?  You've just built the same person from scratch...

See the problem?  Memory is not just data.  People are a total package.  Our brain is not a computer -- our whole body is a machine, and every aspect of its function goes into the continual adaptation and "reprogramming" while we're alive.

 

 

 

 

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Thanks, Hamby!

Smiling Thanks, Hamby!

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


Vastet
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Thomathy wrote:Vastet

Thomathy wrote:

Vastet wrote:
Thomathy wrote:
  And if we're not moving the spaceship all that fast, the time involved becomes immense.  So immense as to make such a trip worthless. 
Worthless to you perhaps. Not worthless to everyone.
Practically a meaningless statement.  That sentence is not atomic.  It must be taken in context with the rest of what I wrote.

It doesn't matter what context it is placed within, you are still wrong. You assume that your values apply to the entire human species, and they do not. You are acting as irrationally as a theist.

Thomathy wrote:

 

Vastet wrote:
Thomathy wrote:
If it takes thousands of years to reach another star, what exactly is the point of having gone there if in the interim humans are extinct?
What is the point of studying genetics when the generation that started it will be long dead before their work achieves a level of understanding within the medical field that makes us look like dark ages barbarians? What's the point of studying evolution or nano-technologies?

You've totally misconstrewed what I wrote.  If humans are extinct by the time our acheivments reach another star the whole point of such a mission is void.  Our research into genetics and evolution and nano-technology are not comparable to a journey that isn't underway and isn't strictly within the realm of possibility.  Do not attempt to compare an imagined mission to another star to the point of studying anything that we have studied and are studying.

Again you are wrong. Ignoring all of the irrelevant and biased(as well as mistaken) comments, humans cannot be extinct if they are travelling between the stars, now can they? Beyond that, do not assume that travel to another star has no point. It merely erodes your argument further, as if it were necessary.

Thomathy wrote:

Quote:
There are millions of reasons to leave our solar system. The most spectacular one of all is the fact that if we don't, we will die. Period. No argument possible. Travel to another star will happen as long as humanity survives long enough to require it. It will happen before that as irrational people come up with irrational reasons to leave Earth, as well as perfectly rational people come up with rational reasons to leave it.

WHAT?  No matter where we go we die as a species.  Your argument is prolonging the inevitable.  Something I'm more than partial to, though I simply see no reason to believe that it's feasible that humans will live on another world orbiting another star.

When someone resorts to semantics, I declare victory. Just because the offspring of humanity may not be classifyable or definable as homo sapeins does not mean that my points become invalid. Try again.

Thomathy wrote:
Except that the human brain is not similar to a computer system, not any computer system ever created or operational today.  We can't even create a computer system remotely similar to the human brain.

Again you are wrong. The human brain is remarkably similar to a computer system. Just because we do not yet have the technology to recreate it does not mean we will never have. You are effectively copying everyone who said flight was impossible, only to be proven completely wrong when it was acheived.

Hambydammit wrote:

Hmmm.. You might want to consult a few neuroscientists before you go off half cocked speaking for them like this.  I often use the analogy of a computer for how the brain works because for simple examples, it works just fine.  However, the analogy is severely flawed once you start getting into the nuts and bolts of it.

The first thing you need to recognize is that human memory and computer memory are not really analogous.  Second, a human being is not simply a collection of memory data.  Our DNA is directly responsible for every single aspect of how our data is processed, acted upon, and remembered (or not, as the case may be.)  Data without the accompanying human -- at the exact same time -- would not be the same human.

Let me put it another way.  To extend the computer analogy farther than it ought to be taken, if a human is a computer, it is a computer that is literally reprogramming itself every instant of its life, and that reprogramming is being done by a unique combination of 25,000 or so genes, each of which contains thousands of unique combinations of a base 4 programming language capable of creating any one of tens of thousands of protein variations, depending on how many "alternate spellings" are available for gene splicing.

I addressed this in my thread about cryonics.  The thing is, humans are not like computers.  You can't just unplug us, plug us back in, and stick a disc in.  In us, our bodies at any given instant ARE the computers AND the DATA at the same time.  They are inseparable.

Consider imprinting:  When a baby duck imprints upon a human instead of its mother, it's because there's a particular gene that expresses only for eighteen to thirty six hours a couple of days after birth.  Once the gene has expressed, it "turns off" and for the rest of its life, that duck is imprinted onto the human.  Can't be undone.  However, you take that same duck a year or two later and examine its genes, you'll find that you can't tell by "looking" at them what it's imprinted on.  Now that the genes have expressed, a certain neural pathway... a PHYSICAL pathway has been created, and forever and always, when a certain set of stimuli are received, neurons will travel down that pathway.  That pathway is unique to that particular duck. 

However, since imprinting, the duck has been recording data about the human it imprinted on.  Every interaction has caused physical changes in the structure of its brain.  These changes are dependent on life.  That is, if the duck's brain ceases to operate, the whole thing is kaput.  No amount of electricity pumped through its heart will make it the same duck anymore.  That's one reason why brain death is final.  Even if we could figure out a way to start a brain again after brain death, IT WOULDN'T BE THE SAME PERSON.  It would be an empty brain in a grown person.

Let me be really clear about this.  All of a person's memories are completely and irrevocably tied to their exact, unique DNA.  In other words, if you plug the right data into the wrong person, it's not the same person.  Furthermore, at any moment, your personality, memory, etc, are tied completely and irrevocably to the process of continual "reprogramming" that has been done since you were conceived.  Remove the data from this, and it is not the same person.

So... let's pretend for a minute that we can figure out how to take an exact snapshot of every one of trillions of neurons and somehow get an exact copy of a person's memory.  That's fine, but when you get to your new planet, you're going to have to have that person's EXACT DNA, clone them, and put them through exactly the same life they had the first time, down to every detail, until precisely the moment that you took their memory....

But then, if you're going to all that trouble, why'd you bother taking the person's memories in the first place?  You've just built the same person from scratch...

See the problem?  Memory is not just data.  People are a total package.  Our brain is not a computer -- our whole body is a machine, and every aspect of its function goes into the continual adaptation and "reprogramming" while we're alive.

I need consult with noone. An abacus is by definition a computer, though it has almost nothing in common with the device of the same name that I am currently typing upon. The term "computer" is more varied than your arguments accept, nullifying your arguments.

 

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You're welcome.  In fact,

You're welcome.  In fact, while I'm on the subject, let's explore this a little further.  I've mentioned before the astronomically large cost -- in both human life, resources, and capital that would be necessary to get a manned spacecraft to the edge of the solar system, not to mention anywhere near another earth-like planet.  Let's consider this a little more.  Realize that I'm not talking about technical hurdles here.  I'm talking about human hurdles.

The simple truth is that nobody who gets onto a spaceship bound for another earthlike planet is going to see the planet.  If they're "downloaded," they'll be someone else completely when they get there.  Not even remotely recognizable as the same person.  If it's accomplished by generational flights, well... it'll be somebody's great-great-great-great grandkids, who will have experienced generations of life so alien to life on earth that the psychological effects will be enormous and unpredictable.

Now, with all that in mind, let's say it's going to cost a hundred trillion dollars to send the first interstellar craft into space, and it will never be heard from again in our lifetime.  By the time it reaches its destination, our grandkids will have had great great grandkids who will have had great great grandkids.  Are you going to pony up the tax money to send that thing out when you're working for minimum wage and could use a little of that money for food and medicine for your sick grandma?

Yeah... I know... technology will save us, and it'll be cheap and we'll be able to send subspace signals back across space time and so forth... but that's not how it works.  The first step will be a baby step, and getting outside of the solar system is a tiny, tiny baby step.  The thing is... we'll all be dead before the outcome is known.  That's not the kind of thing humans do, for one simple reason:

There's no personal profit.

Please, Kevin... remember that Game Theory proves group selection completely and utterly wrong.  We don't do things for the good of the species.  The entire race will not ever do anything to continue humanity on another planet because there's NO PAYOFF FOR ANY OF THE INDIVIDUALS INVOLVED.

 

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Hambydammit wrote:You're

Hambydammit wrote:

You're welcome.  In fact, while I'm on the subject, let's explore this a little further.

Please do. I find this lack of logic within otherwise logical people to be most entertaining.

Hambydammit wrote:
I've mentioned before the astronomically large cost -- in both human life, resources, and capital that would be necessary to get a manned spacecraft to the edge of the solar system, not to mention anywhere near another earth-like planet.  Let's consider this a little more.  Realize that I'm not talking about technical hurdles here.  I'm talking about human hurdles.

None of which are relevant. I turn your attention to an island on a lake in B.C., Canada. This island was once intended by a man(I forget his name) to house an amusement park. Everyone and their mother told him it was a stupid idea. He tried it anyway. It failed, as everyone said it would. But he still tried it. Guess what? People are going to try to go to other worlds anyway, regardless of your pointless and meaningless arguments to the contrary.

Hambydammit wrote:
The simple truth is that nobody who gets onto a spaceship bound for another earthlike planet is going to see the planet.  If they're "downloaded," they'll be someone else completely when they get there.  Not even remotely recognizable as the same person.  If it's accomplished by generational flights, well... it'll be somebody's great-great-great-great grandkids, who will have experienced generations of life so alien to life on earth that the psychological effects will be enormous and unpredictable.

Finally the nay-sayers come up with something that I can agree with.

Hambydammit wrote:
Now, with all that in mind, let's say it's going to cost a hundred trillion dollars to send the first interstellar craft into space, and it will never be heard from again in our lifetime.  By the time it reaches its destination, our grandkids will have had great great grandkids who will have had great great grandkids.  Are you going to pony up the tax money to send that thing out when you're working for minimum wage and could use a little of that money for food and medicine for your sick grandma?

Who says I have to? Who says that the people who started the project won't have anticipated this? Or that a community in the future may decide to take up the cost out of pure curiosity? Quite frankly, you are throwing out quite the strawman argument here. Is there anything realistic for you to present here?

Hambydammit wrote:
Yeah... I know... technology will save us, and it'll be cheap and we'll be able to send subspace signals back across space time and so forth... but that's not how it works.

Indeed. That is fantasy. Or sci-fi. Or whatever. 

Hambydammit wrote:
  The first step will be a baby step, and getting outside of the solar system is a tiny, tiny baby step.  The thing is... we'll all be dead before the outcome is known.  That's not the kind of thing humans do, for one simple reason:

There's no personal profit.

False again. Personal profit is not the only reason to do something. Despite the seeming inability of Libertarians to accept this reality. On top of that, you can not prove conclusively that extra-solar travel would be incapable of creating a profit. Again, you are simply putting forward strawman arguments.

Quote:
Please, Kevin... remember that Game Theory proves group selection completely and utterly wrong.  We don't do things for the good of the species.  The entire race will not ever do anything to continue humanity on another planet because there's NO PAYOFF FOR ANY OF THE INDIVIDUALS INVOLVED.

 

Payoff is not a requirement. Try again.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


Hambydammit
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I need consult with noone. An abacus is by definition a computer, though it has almost nothing in common with the device of the same name that I am currently typing upon. The term "computer" is more varied than your arguments accept, nullifying your arguments.

No, vastet.  Forget the word computer.  It doesn't exist.  I never used the word computer.  This isn't the computer you're looking for.

Humans are completely tied to their genes and their environment.  That is, everything about our "mind" -- our memories, our logic, our thought processes -- are the near instantaneous result of a continual process of interaction with our own bodies and our environments.   We have trillions of neurons.  Each is regulated by a continuing and constantly changing interaction with millions of other neurons.  These neurons are in place exactly as they are because of precise expression of an entirely unique set of genes.  Any one without ALL of the others is not the same person.  The changing relationships between neurons are the result of the cumulative effect of everything that has happened to us, down to every last detail, since the moment of our conception.

If you do not replicate everything, exactly the same, it is NOT the same person.  Do you have any idea how much change a single gene can make?  The difference between a G and a A in one tiny section of one gene can make the difference between a Type A neurotic person and a laid back easy going person.

Memory is not a static set of data files that is retrieved.  It is a constantly updated and fully integrated part of our awareness that is entirely contingent upon our exact physical state at any moment.  Our awareness is not our brain.  Our awareness is an emergent state caused by our entire body functioning as a complete unit, largely driven by the brain.  Take any aspect away, and the term "my memory" becomes meaningless.

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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