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Old 13th November 2011, 12:40 AM   #76 (permalink)
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Re: Alien civilisations - less likely?

well, obviously, back then they were travelling on foot out of africa. w/ space colonization, it'll most likely be a "few" numbers at first, but at the pace things move nowadays, it'll quickly catch on. if we already have the ability to move millions of people around the world daily pretty much effortlessly today, then in 500yrs or so, who knows?
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Old 13th November 2011, 01:32 AM   #77 (permalink)
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Re: Alien civilisations - less likely?

Travelling on foot out of Africa is an absolute doddle compared with travelling between the stars in any foreseeable future.

Mass migration would only become feasible if something like "stargates" could be established to allow people to step from one planet to another. But that is fantasy rather than science fiction since there is no way that even the most way-out physicists can conceive that it might be even theoretically possible. But still, I notice that you're a fantasy writer so there's no reason why you shouldn't use the idea!
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Old 14th November 2011, 11:52 PM   #78 (permalink)
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Re: Alien civilisations - less likely?

i think the first satellite to be colonized would be the moon, which obviously does not need a stargate teleportation device to reach.
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Old 15th November 2011, 02:25 AM   #79 (permalink)
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Re: Alien civilisations - less likely?

It would be immensely difficult (as well as incredibly expensive) to establish a self-sustaining colony on the Moon. Note the "self-sustaining" bit - they would have to generate all of their own air, water and food, plus have all of the facilities needed to equip, maintain and extend their sealed habitat. It would always be vulnerable to disasters like a minor asteroid strike, against which it has no atmosphere to provide protection. The same applies to any other colonies which are not sited on a human-friendly planet.

It we just need more living space it would be vastly easier to colonise the Antarctic, where the air and water come for free, temperatures are much warmer and transport is a miniscule fraction of the cost.
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Old 16th November 2011, 02:02 PM   #80 (permalink)
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Re: Alien civilisations - less likely?

like i said:
Quote:
Originally Posted by TL Rese View Post
today, the airline industry transports Millions of people every day around the world in a matter of hours. this would have been completely inconceivable to people living 500yrs ago, back in christopher columbus' time, when it took months just to putter across the atlantic - when they didn't even kno the americas existed and when the size of the earth was even in question. if you had suggested airplanes or walking on the moon to these people, they would have laughed in your face. in the same way, the coming centuries can bring similar inconceivable leaps in knowledge and technology.
maybe the antarctic will be colonized at some point - i'm not saying it won't be - but if our species is still around in a few centuries, we will most likely have the means to colonize space. just because it seems impossible/difficult now doesn't mean it will be in the far future. and i think it'll be unlikely that a colony will be "self-sustaining", given the interconnectedness of everything nowadays. even back in american colonial times, we still had trade w/ britain.
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Old 17th November 2011, 02:56 AM   #81 (permalink)
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Re: Alien civilisations - less likely?

If the principal reason for establishing a colony off Earth is to provide a back-up in case a giant asteroid strike or something wipes us out, then by definition the colony has to be self-sustaining.

It is by no means a given that human science and technology will continue to develop. Our society is very interconnected, as you note, but that brings its own vulnerabilities. A lethal and highly contagious disease could spread around the world extremely quickly (especially if it has a long incubation time). If people stopped turning up to work for fear of catching the disease this could rapidly cause the progressive collapse of our society. Other possible causes of disaster might be a serious (but not extinction-level) asteroid strike, or simply huge shifts in the global climate caused by a runaway greenhouse effect. Any of these could shatter our fragile interdependence and lead to a death toll in the billions.

If anything like this happened, while humanity might survive it, the technology level would probably be much lower. Just think about what it takes to make the PC on your desk - the rare minerals mined from all over the world, the sophisticated chip production techniques concentrated in very few factories in other countries, and so on. Making that computer involves a high technology functioning via a complex international web. Break that web and how do we make computers?

Furthermore, once we lose our advanced technology we can probably never regain it (at least not in its present form). All of the easily obtainable minerals and fuels have already been mined out. To get at the rest we need very high-tech methods (e.g. deep ocean drilling for oil). So without that technology we couldn't get at them...a post-catastrophe human civilisation would probably have to be based on wood, not metal!
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Old 22nd November 2011, 09:56 PM   #82 (permalink)
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Re: Alien civilisations - less likely?

well, it depends on what you mean by "self-sustaining". our world is currently very interconnected, but if, let's say... china disappeared tomorrow, then yea, we'll go thru a difficult period re-adjusting our business structures, etc. but we'll eventually recover. we most likely won't go extinct. it'll be the same principle w/ space colonization.

anyways, i think space colonization is an interesting topic, so i'm gonna open this up on an exclusive thread. as soon as i figure out how to link to this thread...
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Old 5th January 2012, 09:40 PM   #83 (permalink)
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Re: Alien civilisations - less likely?

Did anyone see the program on BBC 4 tonight: The Search for Life: The Drake equation. I'm pretty sure it was a repeat (first shown in 2010) but this was the first time I've seen it and I was pretty impressed by the relatively balanced view; largely echoing many of our comments here. If you've not seen it then I'm sure it will be avilable on iPlayer or for those outside the UK it is probably available on the web somewhere.
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