The Ur-Quan Masters Discussion Forum

The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release => Starbase Cafť => Topic started by: grayfox777 on February 19, 2008, 06:18:24 am



Title: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: grayfox777 on February 19, 2008, 06:18:24 am
This is very interesting news!

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080217/ts_alt_afp/usastronomyspace
http://www.sciam.com/podcast/episode.cfm?id=2AA69390-B4C6-816D-75980C12FA2DB9C1

There are probably tons of Earth-like planets out there. Scientists say it is extremely more likely than previously thought! 20 to 60 percent of sun-like stars could contain planets similar to Earth. Many could harbor life.... maybe even intelligent life!  :)


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: Resh Aleph on February 19, 2008, 09:55:27 pm
Unfortunately, it seems rather impossible that faster-than-light travel and time travel exist, otherwise we'd have visitors from outer-space and the future. Oh well.


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: grayfox777 on February 20, 2008, 10:50:32 pm
By what we currently know, yeah, it's not possible with our technology. But...  it's always possible that we could learn something new. We don't know everything. After all, we were once confident that the Earth was flat and that it was the center of the universe. We were very wrong about that. I just have this feeling that someday we will find a way.

Even without FTL travel, there are many ways that aliens could still visit Earth.

As for time travel, that very well could be impossible, but who knows for sure...


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: Resh Aleph on February 21, 2008, 01:30:48 am
I wasn't referring to us. I was referring to intelligent races that have existed for thousands or millions of years by now. I mean, it seems unlikely that we will happen to be the first race in the neighborhood to discover FTL travel.

Sub-light travel is so pathetically slow in cosmic terms, that it just doesn't seem to be of any relevance to us as beings that live for only ~70 years. :(


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: grayfox777 on February 21, 2008, 04:00:04 am
Oh ok, we're talking about things from different perspectives. I was thinking more of them being able to come here. So yes, I agree. I doubt humanity will be the first ones around to break the light speed barrier...

...

Woah....

http://news.zdnet.com/2424-9595_22-160112.html
http://arxiv.org/abs/0708.0681

This could be the first step toward it in some way. I really didn't know about this until now, which is  surprising. I'm usually keeping up with this kinda stuff.

Sub-light travel could be very possible for  others.... maybe for us after more scientific breakthroughs.

- Visiting other planets in person (problem is that it would take years just to get to the nearest star) Maybe the Methuselah Foundation will manage to stop/reverse human aging? They're trying, anyway....
- If another race has found a way to reverse their own aging process, or they naturally have very long lifespans, then journeys of many years would be easier for them (and they'd likely have much more technology than us in other fields than genetic engineering too)
- Cryogenics (to slow the aging process of the  travelers)
- Sending robots
- Sending sentient or nearly sentient robots
- Sending humanoid sentient androids

There may be other ways to get places quicker other than breaking the speed of light...
- Teleportation (if we discover some sort of way to do it)
- Wormholes


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: Valaggar Redux on February 21, 2008, 02:43:18 pm
Oh ok, we're talking about things from different perspectives. I was thinking more of them being able to come here. So yes, I agree. I doubt humanity will be the first ones around to break the light speed barrier...

I think what alephresh was trying to say is that no alien race has visited us yet, and that this means (under the conditions that FTL travel is possible and that there are alien races way older than us) that FTL travel is impossible (otherwise they'd be here already).

I would say that it's a pretty big leap to say this, however...
1. Who says they haven't visited us? If someone has the technology to cross the vast expanse of void between the stars, they probably can cloak themselves as well... maybe they have a law that prohibits interfering with the affairs of lesser races, or maybe they're not interested in communicating with us...
2. Maybe FTL travel is very expensive, so one race only has the chance to cover a limited number of stars (out of the many Sun-like stars with planets of the Milky Way*). And our star hasn't been chosen, unfortunately (or fortunately?).
*Though who said that carbon-based life is so common? What if everybody just assumes that all life has the kind of biochemistry that they themselves have, and searches only in the wrong systems? And even if they realize that organisms can be very different from a biochemical standpoint, they still have to search much, much more stars than just Sun-like stars.


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: Dancing Fungus on February 21, 2008, 09:35:55 pm
Humanity will bomb itself into oblivion long before we ever start colonizing other planets. With the way things are going [with global warming, George Bush, and other contributing factors] I predict that we will all be dead before anyone even puts a man on Mars.


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: Resh Aleph on February 21, 2008, 09:43:28 pm
There may be other ways to get places quicker other than breaking the speed of light...

Yeah, I was referring to those as well(?) with "FTL travel".

As for sub-lightspeed, it seems a bit insane to me to send a robot for a 100,000-year journey to another earth-like planet, just to check if there's anything there...

I would say that it's a pretty big leap to say this, however...

Indeed, it's just a hypothesis. Who knows what could happen to a race in a million years of science? Maybe they've become godlike and now find new intelligences to be trivial things. (Jehovah might've been one of their kids playing around for a while.) Or maybe they destroyed themself themselves with a matter-antimatter experiment gone wrong.

Humanity will bomb itself into oblivion long before we ever start colonizing other planets. With the way things are going [with global warming, George Bush, and other contributing factors] I predict that we will all be dead before anyone even puts a man on Mars.

Heh. :P Don't be so pessimistic, it looks like science will fix global warming soon enough (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITER)!


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: Dancing Fungus on February 21, 2008, 10:07:15 pm
Can science fix George Bush too? Because that would be great. Of course, science will also have to fix Osama Bin Laden, the pope, any other world leaders as bad as Bush or as religiously fanatical as Osama Bin Laden and the pope, plus anyone who opposes the idea of science fixing things in the first place.
Well, I don't think any kind of science can help us here.

Unless the entire population of the industrialized world spontaneously decides to put aside their differences and starts cleaning up our half-dead little planet while simultaneously pumping out well designed spacecraft at an incredible rate, the only creatures with a chance of ending up on another planet in a million years are the cockroaches.

Now, how many of the things in the above paragraph-sentence are terribly likely?


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: grayfox777 on February 22, 2008, 02:16:06 am
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1. Who says they haven't visited us? If someone has the technology to cross the vast expanse of void between the stars, they probably can cloak themselves as well... maybe they have a law that prohibits interfering with the affairs of lesser races, or maybe they're not interested in communicating with us...
I agree with that. There's no hard proof that aliens visit us, but that doesn't mean it isn't happening. Maybe they're just not ready to reveal themselves yet.

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2. Maybe FTL travel is very expensive, so one race only has the chance to cover a limited number of stars (out of the many Sun-like stars with planets of the Milky Way*). And our star hasn't been chosen, unfortunately (or fortunately?).
Yeah, I guess that's possible. I kinda doubt it for some reason though. I just think that it would be considered worth the money. Or, maybe the whole [alien] world is cooperating on the project and money is barely an object at all. (haha... would be nice if Earth were like that)

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*Though who said that carbon-based life is so common? What if everybody just assumes that all life has the kind of biochemistry that they themselves have, and searches only in the wrong systems? And even if they realize that organisms can be very different from a biochemical standpoint, they still have to search much, much more stars than just Sun-like stars.
That's true. I'm sure there's lots of carbon-based life out there, but that doesn't mean it's the only kind in existence.

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As for sub-lightspeed, it seems a bit insane to me to send a robot for a 100,000-year journey to another earth-like planet, just to check if there's anything there...
Well, for a closer planet, it could be done in a few hundred years or even less (depending on the closeness of this  alien planet. Some stars are less than 10 years away at a fast sub-light speed) Also, they'd have probably done many studies beforehand to determine the best candidate for closer study. Also still, maybe things insane to us are very reasonable to them (due to social, economical, cultural differences... etc.)

Dancing Fungus has a good point. I really hope we don't end up destroying ourselves like a bunch of damned idiots!  >:(


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: Cedric6014 on February 25, 2008, 02:39:42 am
Hello people

Hereís the definitive discussion on whether it is possible to reach the stars. The answer is going to be ďnoĒ unfortunately, but bear with me.

Letís forget the whole universe for the moment and just focus on the galaxy.  The Milky Way Galaxy is 100,000 light years across and contains maybe 200 billion stars.

First thing is to figure out how many planets out there have planets out there have life forms that have developed sophisticated communication technology (radio or better).
Letís say that 1 in 100 stars have planets around them. And lets say that 1 in 500 of those planets have life. So far thatís 4,000,000 life-bearing planets. Thatís quite a lot. Okay so shall we assume that maybe 1 in 500 of those life bearing planets have developed intelligent life. Thatís 8,000. Iím not entirely sure how weíd define intelligent life but I guess it involves problem solving, reasoning, comprehension, development and civilisation.

Figuring out how many of these 12,000 species actually have the ability to send or receive communication is a bit trickier. The human race is 2 million years old but we really only hit the technology trigger about 10,000 years ago. And weíve only managed to figure out how to send stuff through the air in the last 100 years or so.  But we probably have quite a bit of time still in front of us to develop (until we cook our planet, nuke ourselves or get destroyed by a comet or suchlike).  However, considering the dinosaurs hung around for a good 150 million years, I suspect we are still a young species, and reasonably adaptable too. It really is impossible to guess. Letís say that intelligent species last on average 10 million years, and that we are average. This means we discovered hi tech communication one fifth of the way through our time. So of 12,000 species, around 6,500 could have the ability to send communication through the air.

If FTL travel IS possible, at what stage do you develop the technology? I suspect earlier rather than later. I donít think we would have to wait till 7 million AD. Remember, as far as civilisation goes, weíre only 10,000 years old. And the last 200 years have been where 99% of the advancement has been made. Just imagine how advanced the 800 races who are 9 million years old have become. It is impossible to comprehend really. Does the technological advancement peak at some point? Do you get so smart that youíve reached the limit? Maybe you reach a stage where you realise that fulfilment comes from happiness and contentment rather than technology and development so you stop bothering. Maybe the Buddhists are right after all! I would imagine though that many species would be driven to explore the universe.

IF FTL travel is attainable, you would have to say that this would be quite soon. Say in the next million years. Okay, so using my suspect method of calculation, that gives us about  5,500 species who could  potentially be racing around the stars. It would take a while for them to explore 300 billion stars. Thatís 35 million each! But actually the 5,500 have been star faring for on average 6 million years each so thatís 6 stars per year per race.

They could have covered most of the 200 billion stars between them, and surely would have stumbled across a civilisation like ours which pumps out all manner of communications (radio, satellite, etc) on a regular basis. So the crux of my argument is if FLT travel was possible, we would have more than likely been stumbled upon by ay number of travelling species by now. So Ė they are ďout thereĒ, but weíre never going to meet them.

Okay, since actually writing all this and going through it in my head, it really isnít that definitive I suppose. Maybe getting to 6 stars per year is actually really hard. And all you have to do is add a zero to any of my first bunch of assumptions and it becomes 60 stars per year per race which is sounding decidedly tricky.

Anyway, Iíve had enough and really must get back to work.





 




Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: Resh Aleph on February 25, 2008, 01:21:02 pm
Okay, since actually writing all this and going through it in my head, it really isn’t that definitive I suppose. Maybe getting to 6 stars per year is actually really hard. And all you have to do is add a zero to any of my first bunch of assumptions and it becomes 60 stars per year per race which is sounding decidedly tricky.

I'd expect the stars-explored-per-year statistic to increase constantly, by improving technology/adding resources/ordering catalog item 2418-B: Remote Self-Replicating Robot Explorer Probe...


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: RTyp06 on February 27, 2008, 01:29:05 am
Cedric, ever hear of the Drake Equation? Most of that work has already been done.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drake_Equation

As far as FTL travel, remember it was once "proven" mathematically by mainstream science that heavier than air flight was impossible. Fortunately we have people who think outside the lines, like a couple of bicycle mechanics in Ohio that ignored the scientific "facts".


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: Arne on February 27, 2008, 08:41:33 pm
How many % of suns are like ours anyways? Also, it's funny how some news sites say Earth-like planets, others say Terrestrial, or just Rocky.  I think there's quite a difference.

As for the Fermi paradox, my bet is on rapid collapse into something which has no interest in other life, such as ascension into (or annihilation by) technological singularities.

P.S. Airplanes can't fly, it's dogma by Airplane Engineerists who are just looking for funds. We're really dealing with false memories here, implanted using mind control devices. When you hear about plane crashes on the news, that's just failed Airplane Engineerist experiments which leaked out.


Title: extra-terrestial life
Post by: Kelner on March 05, 2008, 04:46:19 pm
Regarding life on Mars - what about a famous NASA shot in recent newsline? Wanna show you this guy I've found and his amazing debunking texhnique!

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQ-CiG7seUU


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: Death 999 on March 05, 2008, 09:56:53 pm
Some extra considerations from Asimov:

If asteroid/kuiper belt/oort cloud civilizations form, they wouldn't have a psychological problem making the jump across to another system, even if it takes 1000 years, because they bring home with them.

The time it takes to cross the galaxy is going to be short on geological/astronomical time scales even if it is done at a small fraction of light. Like, if it's done at an average of only 0.5% of lightspeed (100 times as fast as the voyager probes), filling the whole galaxy will only take a few million years.


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: Dancing Fungus on March 05, 2008, 10:07:12 pm
How could you have a civilization on an asteroid or a comet? They're tiny and airless. Even a whole cloud of them wouldn't warrant much of a civilization. And I don't think there would be enough resources to make any kind of colonization of an asteroid other than a small mining operation worth it.   


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: Death 999 on March 05, 2008, 10:50:57 pm
You don't live ON the asteroid, you have spaceships which mine them, potentially  completely.

You run on a minimal mass loss economy, so mining isn't important except to replenish what little you do lose, or to replace stuff that has been embrittled by radiation.

Kuiper belt and Oort cloud objects have plenty of hydrogen, so you can use fusion for energy.

This obviously requires very high technology, especially in recycling.


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: Dancing Fungus on March 06, 2008, 04:34:26 pm
What kind of civilization would think that this adventure was worth it? Even if each one of your spaceships was practically a floating city you'd overpopulate them all easily. That would lead to further complications. Unless you aren't implying that a whole civilization would live there, only part of one instead.
 
And with all of the technological advancements necessary for such an endeavor, wouldn't it be way easier to just colonize planets? Even if these planets would take thousands of years to get to it would still be cheaper, easier, and more efficient.


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: Lukipela on March 06, 2008, 04:39:32 pm
What kind of civilization would think that this adventure was worth it?

The kind that comes from an overcrowded/threatened/dying planetary system and just needs to get away?

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Even if each one of your spaceships was practically a floating city you'd overpopulate them all easily. That would lead to further complications. Unless you aren't implying that a whole civilization would live there, only part of one instead.

A spartan and careful civilisation, every couple just gets the two children. What is a civilization anyhow? Even if they started off as part of a larger one, after 500 or so years they'd be pretty unique anyhow.

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And with all of the technological advancements necessary for such an endeavor, wouldn't it be way easier to just colonize planets? Even if these planets would take thousands of years to get to it would still be cheaper, easier, and more efficient.

Your civilisation could be heading towards another planetary system, bringing loads of people.

Also, maybe it's a xenophobic civilisation that wants to be left alone?


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: Dancing Fungus on March 06, 2008, 05:01:16 pm
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What kind of civilization would think that this adventure was worth it?

The kind that comes from an overcrowded/threatened/dying planetary system and just needs to get away?
But why asteroids?

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A spartan and careful civilisation, every couple just gets the two children.
Well, this might work for a little while, but if these critters are anything like humans [which they very well might not be] there will probably end up being all kinds of corruption, waste, and ultimately conflict. Whatever survives this inevitable mess will probably then pick up the pieces and make a another "careful" society, which will one day blow itself away too.  This process would probably then repeat until the asteroids run out of suitable resources. Then what?

And what the Heck would they do if a spaceship breaks, accidentally or not, in a way that couldn't easily be repaired? Build a new one? Probably not since there would be few tools and nowhere to build it. 

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Also, maybe it's a xenophobic civilisation that wants to be left alone?
Tell me again about why planets would not work for this.


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: Death 999 on March 06, 2008, 05:17:07 pm
But why asteroids?

Because that's all there is on the way to the next system.

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Well, this might work for a little while, but if these critters are anything like humans [which they very well might not be] there will probably end up being all kinds of corruption, waste, and ultimately conflict.

Corruption and conflict are tolerable for such a civilization. Waste is another; but I really wonder what kind of waste you're thinking of here. When you're in a closed system, it's not so easy to truly waste. You'd have to dump something out the airlock for it to be truly gone.
So, waste is just losing stuff and wrecking its organization. It can be found or remade, or both, again.

This process would probably then repeat until the asteroids run out of suitable resources. Then what?

They're doing this as they go to another system; so, if they can last the roughly 5k years it'd take to get there, they're going to have a lot of resources again. The scarcity conditions relax, planets are colonized, more ships made. Repeat until you've colonized the galaxy.

And what the Heck would they do if a spaceship breaks, accidentally or not, in a way that couldn't easily be repaired? Build a new one? Probably not since there would be few tools and nowhere to build it. 

A civilization that lacks tools? You're really not grokking this concept of civilization. If you'd expect a civilization to have it (e.g. tools, a foundry, a 'drydock'), they have it.

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Also, maybe it's a xenophobic civilisation that wants to be left alone?
Tell me again about why planets would not work for this.

Because it's too nearby? Mars, or even Pluto, is practically on our doorstep if you're capable of building an asteroid civilization.


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: Lukipela on March 06, 2008, 05:17:24 pm
But why asteroids?

Bring your resources with you. If you just head out on a ship, you have nothing except for what you can carry. Bring a bunch of asteroids and at least you have some resources.

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Well, this might work for a little while, but if these critters are anything like humans [which they very well might not be] there will probably end up being all kinds of corruption, waste, and ultimately conflict. Whatever survives this inevitable mess will probably then pick up the pieces and make a another "careful" society, which will one day blow itself away too.  This process would probably then repeat until the asteroids run out of suitable resources. Then what?

Then they die I suppose, unless they made it to wherever they were going.

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And what the Heck would they do if a spaceship breaks, accidentally or not, in a way that couldn't easily be repaired? Build a new one? Probably not since there would be few tools and nowhere to build it. 

What would your colonists travelling by ship do if that happened? They'd have even fewer resources and less tools. A large civilisation traversing the void could have the capability to build new ships and platforms, provided they brought enough factories. And with resources available they can repair almost everything.

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Tell me again about why planets would not work for this.

Because if there are other races out there, planets are the first place they will look. We're desperately searching for planets and dreaming of going there. Out somewhere in Deep Space, no one will find you and you'll be left alone.

EDIT: Darn it you overgrown bug. Beat me to it.


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: Dancing Fungus on March 06, 2008, 05:46:21 pm
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Corruption and conflict are tolerable for such a civilization.

No they're not. For example, let's say someone is unhappy with the resource system, they get some people to support them and then take over a ship. The other colonists wouldn't like this, and they'd attack the hijacked ship. Negotiations might fail. Then the two sides would butcher each other until one surrendered. The result: a demoralized and potentially unruly populace, lots of blown up junk, and possibly not enough left to go around. This would lead to more conflict.

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A civilization that lacks tools?

My idea wasn't that they wouldn't bring tools, it was that these tools might be lost somehow and not easily replaced. The same applies to these "factories" you both say they would have. You know what a pain in the ass it would be to lug around a giant spaceship factory with you everywhere you go?

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Also, maybe it's a xenophobic civilisation that wants to be left alone?
Tell me again about why planets would not work for this.
Because it's too nearby? Mars, or even Pluto, is practically on our doorstep if you're capable of building an asteroid civilization.

And if you are capable of building an asteroid civilization, aren't the asteroids practically on your doorstep too?

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And what the Heck would they do if a spaceship breaks, accidentally or not, in a way that couldn't easily be repaired? Build a new one? Probably not since there would be few tools and nowhere to build it.

What would your colonists travelling by ship do if that happened? They'd have even fewer resources and less tools.

They'd all be dead. But the point is that you can pump out ships and cram them full of people more easily and with less cost than a giant fleet of asteroid-colonizers. 

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And with resources available they can repair almost everything.
Well, until they run out resources anyway.


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: Valaggar Redux on March 06, 2008, 05:58:34 pm
Actually it's pointless to bring live citizens with the migration party. Way better would be to bring just some zygots in cryogenic stasis, or just genetic material (the ships being crewed by robots). Planets that can support live are seeded with some colonies, and planets/asteroids with lots of minerals are mined (new migration parties being fabricated from them). With something like this you'd cover a big chunk of the Galaxy pretty easy. (Which makes me wonder for a minute -- are we alone in the Galaxy?)1

And no need to build asteroids along, as resource consumption is going to be minimal (just a little fuel consumption, and some patching of micrometeorite holes).

____
1Other, more likely and more exciting possible reasons:
1. The race that inhabits our region of the galaxy has an ethical principle not to mess with primitive races.
2. It's not cost-effective to equip the robot colonizer fleets with weapons to obliterate lesser races from inhabited planets (and equipment to detect those sentient races, and detect their technology level as well -- you don't want to risk a war with an advanced race).
3. My idea sucks.


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: Lukipela on March 06, 2008, 06:02:57 pm
No they're not. For example, let's say someone is unhappy with the resource system, they get some people to support them and then take over a ship. The other colonists wouldn't like this, and they'd attack the hijacked ship. Negotiations might fail. Then the two sides would butcher each other until one surrendered. The result: a demoralized and potentially unruly populace, lots of blown up junk, and possibly not enough left to go around. This would lead to more conflict.

I think your still thinking on the wrong scale here. This is a civilisation, not just a few hopscotch ships. So what if one rebels? The other thousand or so will deal with them. Unless you're talking about a gigantic split down the middle, in which case the result is exactly the same as if you live in a solar system, the opposing parties wipe each other out.


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My idea wasn't that they wouldn't bring tools, it was that these tools might be lost somehow and not easily replaced. The same applies to these "factories" you both say they would have. You know what a pain in the ass it would be to lug around a giant spaceship factory with you everywhere you go?

You don't lug it with you any more than the rest of the fleet. You launch together and all go in the same direction. It's not like the factory will have to taker a detour along the way and get lost, they'd all be travelling with the same velocity. And what kind of loss is this anyhow? An entire civilisation (say, he population of Earth or maybe a bit less) have launched themselves into space along with all the infrastructure needed to support them and enough pieces of rock to replace any raw material losses they might have for the next 5000 years.. They aren't going to lose their only can opener on the way.


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And if you are capable of building an asteroid civilization, aren't the asteroids practically on your doorstep too?

Not if you launch them out of the system into the void between the stars It's a very big place, and the odds are very much better that you won't meet anyone. Put it like this. If you live in a city, where do you meet the least people? A) in the city centre. B) in your car out in the suburbs or C) out in the wilderness where you drove your car?

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They'd all be dead. But the point is that you can pump out ships and cram them full of people more easily and with less cost than a giant fleet of asteroid-colonizers. 

If you ahev the technology to pump out loads of ships and colonists, I doubt it's going to be that more cost efficient to launch a small splinter civilisation with better chances of survival every 50 years than it's going to be to launch new colony ships every year and hope they don't break, run out of tools, die of infighting, meet hostiles etc.

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Well, until they run out resources anyway.

At which point they'll hopefully be in the next system ,or have found some more rocks floating around somewhere.


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: Lukipela on March 06, 2008, 06:06:43 pm
Actually it's pointless to bring live citizens with the migration party. Way better would be to bring just some zygots in cryogenic stasis, or just genetic material (the ships being crewed by robots). Planets that can support live are seeded with some colonies, and planets/asteroids with lots of minerals are mined (new migration parties being fabricated from them). With something like this you'd cover a big chunk of the Galaxy pretty easy. (Which makes me wonder for a minute -- are we alone in the Galaxy?)

Only if your main goal is to colonise new worlds and travel onwards. It'll work till you run into Ur-Quan's or somesuch, and after that they'll enslave you all. Out in the dark cold space some of you will survive.

I wonder how the first generation raised by robots and videos turns out? Still, I suppose if our A.I is good enough to handle the travel, colonisation and so forth, raising toddlers shouldn't bee too hard.


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: Valaggar Redux on March 06, 2008, 06:10:40 pm
Only if your main goal is to colonise new worlds and travel onwards. It'll work till you run into Ur-Quan's or somesuch, and after that they'll enslave you all. Out in the dark cold space some of you will survive.

Er, how can they enslave us all if they don't know where we are? They just meet a vanguard robot fleet, that's all. They have no idea where the fleet comes from (it might be a good idea to approach the star from another direction than the one you've been travelling along, so that they can't pinpoint your starting point).

I wonder how the first generation raised by robots and videos turns out?

Mmm... maybe if the robots are androids (I know, improper term for alien-like-looking robots, but I can think of no better word), or if the toddlers are born already mature (their species being like that naturally, or maybe they became so via genetic engineering)?


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: Lukipela on March 06, 2008, 06:15:19 pm
Er, how can they enslave us all if they don't know where we are? They just meet a vanguard robot fleet, that's all. They have no idea where the fleet comes from (it might be a good idea to approach the star from another direction than the one you've been travelling along, so that they can't pinpoint your starting point).

Good point ,as long as the robots don't know anything about their makers and don't carry any material that can be traced back. Such as instructional videos for the toddlers, history books and such. But I guess if every civilisation starts off fresh you'd be safe.

Also, as an aside while this is a very cost effective way to colonise planets, it doesn't really help the billions left behind as their sun is slowly dying and/or the black hole of doom approaches.


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: Valaggar Redux on March 06, 2008, 06:22:22 pm
Er, how can they enslave us all if they don't know where we are? They just meet a vanguard robot fleet, that's all. They have no idea where the fleet comes from (it might be a good idea to approach the star from another direction than the one you've been travelling along, so that they can't pinpoint your starting point).

Good point ,as long as the robots don't know anything about their makers and don't carry any material that can be traced back. Such as instructional videos for the toddlers, history books and such. But I guess if every civilisation starts off fresh you'd be safe.

Also, it doesn't protect from invaders that use the same method to propagate their own species, only they have big guns and enslave everyone in their path. I suppose that big defense/retaliation/preventional-offense fleets could help, though... (and a war would go like this: A. Invader sends scouts to all nearby stars. B. One scout detects a spacefaring race -- and is detected, and destroyed by it, but not before broadcasting the discovery back to its builders. C. The defenders are bolstering up their defenses, while the invaders are on their way. D. The fights continue until one of the fighting parties runs out of resources, or abandons.) and your species would get more resources than in the dark, grim depths of interplanetary space.

Also, as an aside while this is a very cost effective way to colonise planets, it doesn't really help the billions left behind as their sun is slowly dying and/or the black hole of doom approaches.

Maybe they can just lower their population growth when the sun is nearing to death. So that the planet isn't anymore inhabited when the sun goes bye-bye (or rather, hi-hi).


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: Lukipela on March 06, 2008, 06:25:03 pm
Maybe they can just lower their population growth when the sun is nearing to death. So that the planet isn't anymore inhabited when the sun goes bye-bye (or rather, hi-hi).

Er...yes. I'm sure they'll feel better about sending zygotes out if they voluntarily go extinct rather than get wiped out by their sun exploding. Voluntary death is so much nicer.


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: Valaggar Redux on March 06, 2008, 06:30:10 pm
Maybe they can just lower their population growth when the sun is nearing to death. So that the planet isn't anymore inhabited when the sun goes bye-bye (or rather, hi-hi).

Er...yes. I'm sure they'll feel better about sending zygotes out if they voluntarily go extinct rather than get wiped out by their sun exploding. Voluntary death is so much nicer.

Well, it's better than turning into flaming carbon bits. And they have nothing better to do, save for using von Neumann miners to turn all asteroids in their system into ships. Suns going (super)nova aren't good enough reason not to colonize planets -- it only happens once in a lot of billions of years, after all. And the benefits of colonizing planets are enormous.


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: Dancing Fungus on March 06, 2008, 07:42:31 pm
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You don't lug it with you any more than the rest of the fleet. You launch together and all go in the same direction. It's not like the factory will have to taker a detour along the way and get lost, they'd all be travelling with the same velocity. And what kind of loss is this anyhow? An entire civilisation (say, he population of Earth or maybe a bit less) have launched themselves into space along with all the infrastructure needed to support them and enough pieces of rock to replace any raw material losses they might have for the next 5000 years.. They aren't going to lose their only can opener on the way.

My point isn't that it would be lost as in "it just floated off", but rather as in that it would be destroyed, damaged, would have crashed into something, lost life support, etc. while with the rest of the fleet.
Also, if you can afford to launch your/an entire infrastructure into space, I don't think anything is going wrong anytime soon and there probably is nothing beyond your reach.

Oh and I'm not talking about can openers. I'm talking about some kind of specialized gadget that is really hard to make and has some more important function [assuming that you need one]. And obviously they would bring spares if they could. But unless your colonists can see into the future, I don't understand how you could possibly plan out exactly what you will need for the next thousand years. Most things you could probably fix or build, but there are other things that you can't make.
 
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Not if you launch them out of the system into the void between the stars It's a very big place, and the odds are very much better that you won't meet anyone. Put it like this. If you live in a city, where do you meet the least people? A) in the city centre. B) in your car out in the suburbs or C) out in the wilderness where you drove your car?

So now we're talking about shoving asteroids around the Universe. So you float off into deep space with asteroid homes and sit around. Big deal. I doubt enough other asteroids will just happen to float by that you could just sit there indefinitely.

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If you ahev the technology to pump out loads of ships and colonists, I doubt it's going to be that more cost efficient to launch a small splinter civilisation with better chances of survival every 50 years than it's going to be to launch new colony ships every year and hope they don't break, run out of tools, die of infighting, meet hostiles etc.

Actually, it would be much more efficient. Think of it this way. At this moment in time, the human race possesses primitive space flight. We have lots of people crowding the planet. We are currently exploring the possibility of terraforming planets like Mars. If we had that capability, then we would be pretty much good to go for colonization of other planets.

All you have to do is crap out a bunch of ships, send them on their merry way, and maybe a few of them will set up other colonies. We don't need fancy fusion power, asteroid recycling, or space factories. We just need a concentrated effort on the part of the human race, so that the Chinese [or whoever] don't shoot down all of our ships. 

Of course, you will need scout ships to find suitable planets. But finding planets is way easier than finding asteroids, even asteroid clouds.

And why do colony ships need any tools other than those for basic maintenance?

And incidentally, if your sun is going to go supernova in a little while, even your evacuation ships wouldn't make it. Supernovas often destroy not only the system they occur in, but nearby solar systems as well.

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Well, until they run out resources anyway.

At which point they'll hopefully be in the next system ,or have found some more rocks floating around somewhere.

Or they will all be dead. Oh well. I'm sure there are plenty more complex infrastructures lying around for us to launch into space.


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: Lukipela on March 07, 2008, 09:43:17 am
My point isn't that it would be lost as in "it just floated off", but rather as in that it would be destroyed, damaged, would have crashed into something, lost life support, etc. while with the rest of the fleet.

You're still not thinking on the right scale. If you have a civilisation travelling like this, it's likely to not only have more than one of a type of factory, but also the kind of factories needed to produce spare parts for the broken factories. Put it like this, if an asteroid falls on the NASA shuttle factory (or wherever they buidl those things) can we never again build shuttles? No, because we have the tool and resources required to rebuild that place with the help of our other factories and the resources present.

Likewise, a spacefaring civilisation will have more than one factory, raw materials and the likes. If the can opener factory breaks it's bad, but it can be repaired. And if not, a new factory can be constructed. It's a civilisation, not 5 ships and a factory + a rock.

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Also, if you can afford to launch your/an entire infrastructure into space, I don't think anything is going wrong anytime soon and there probably is nothing beyond your reach.

That's kind of the point. No one has claimed that this is something that will happen tomorrow, or that it's going to be easy. Just that it is possible, feasible (as far as we know) and not as bad an idea as you think for a advanced civilisation to send out splinters like this.

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Oh and I'm not talking about can openers. I'm talking about some kind of specialized gadget that is really hard to make and has some more important function [assuming that you need one]. And obviously they would bring spares if they could. But unless your colonists can see into the future, I don't understand how you could possibly plan out exactly what you will need for the next thousand years. Most things you could probably fix or build, but there are other things that you can't make.

Again, factories, standardised parts and resources. Just like here on Earth. If you think about it, our civilisation has survived for the last 4000 years, and we've plenty of resources left even though we've barely scratched the surface of our planet. We don't need to know what we'll need in 1000 years but we'll be able to construct it by then. If we start out as a high tech civ instead of hunter-gatherers, we'll also be able to control our enviroment much better. spartan conversation of resources, remember?

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So now we're talking about shoving asteroids around the Universe. So you float off into deep space with asteroid homes and sit around. Big deal. I doubt enough other asteroids will just happen to float by that you could just sit there indefinitely.

So plot a route where you come close to a star system now and then, send in scouts and borrow asteroids. The idea is not to stop somewhere (in relation to what?), it's to keep moving. Or alternatively as we talked about earlier, you just use it as a means of travelling between systems.

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Actually, it would be much more efficient. Think of it this way. At this moment in time, the human race possesses primitive space flight. We have lots of people crowding the planet. We are currently exploring the possibility of terraforming planets like Mars. If we had that capability, then we would be pretty much good to go for colonization of other planets.

Not really. Even if we could terraform a planet, we haven't got the resources or technology to transport a large enough amount of people there with enough resources to keep them alive (and we don't know how to freeze them yet). Any colonisation by ship is far into the future.

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All you have to do is crap out a bunch of ships, send them on their merry way, and maybe a few of them will set up other colonies. We don't need fancy fusion power, asteroid recycling, or space factories. We just need a concentrated effort on the part of the human race, so that the Chinese [or whoever] don't shoot down all of our ships. 

Of course, you will need scout ships to find suitable planets. But finding planets is way easier than finding asteroids, even asteroid clouds.

I'm not arguing that we need to build splinter civilisations, only that it is a perfectly valid idea. You are the one insisting on applying all of this to us right now. And if we do that, please tell me how you plan to keep those people alive, and allow them to terrafrom a new planet with current technology if you just stick them in a ship and shoot them out. The nearest star is 4.2 or so lightyers away, with current speeds you'll have to keep those colonists alive and well for a very long time, and if a single system on your wonderful ship fials they are all dead anyway.

And it's not hard to find asteroids, they are right here in our system ;)

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And why do colony ships need any tools other than those for basic maintenance?

When you arrive it might be nice to build a similar place to your own, rather than living in mud huts. For that you need a lot of technology for mining, construction, power generation and the likes. Or were you just going to land and become hunter-gatherers again?

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And incidentally, if your sun is going to go supernova in a little while, even your evacuation ships wouldn't make it. Supernovas often destroy not only the system they occur in, but nearby solar systems as well.

Unless you happen to notice the signs a few 100 000 years in advance. Which you probably would if you have the tech to build huge galcatic arks and/or splinter civilisations.

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Or they will all be dead. Oh well. I'm sure there are plenty more complex infrastructures lying around for us to launch into space.

Again, we are not trying to launch anything, we're discussing a possible way of living. Is "Oh well, I'm sure there are plenty more terraforming colony ships capable of sustaining huge numbers of humans for extended periods lying around for us to launch into space." a valid response?


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: Death 999 on March 07, 2008, 04:08:37 pm
Asimov's original point was that people would be living among the asteroids for a living, mining them and selling the metal down-system (i.e. to people on Earth, the Moon, and Mars), and would have been doing this for a long time, perfecting their independence gradually.
Before anyone commits everything to a move across to the next star, they're going to have practical experience in living without external support for a very long time at a stretch. Eventually, they'll get to the point that they never really need external support at all, and then the only question is whether they want to go.

~~~~

One thing to consider is that mass production will not be so important, since you can't afford to build disposable crap, and, likely, scales will be smaller (this may be a civilization, but I doubt it's going to be a large civilization). So, production runs will be shorter. So, factories in this civilization will be made much more general-purpose.

~~~~~

Population controls would serve to get the population down into the range where a generational starship can be built and launched given the resources remaining in the system. Expecting people to just not have children at all doesn't seem likely.


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: Dancing Fungus on March 07, 2008, 05:02:14 pm
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Also, if you can afford to launch your/an entire infrastructure into space, I don't think anything is going wrong anytime soon and there probably is nothing beyond your reach.

That's kind of the point. No one has claimed that this is something that will happen tomorrow, or that it's going to be easy. Just that it is possible, feasible (as far as we know) and not as bad an idea as you think for a advanced civilisation to send out splinters like this.

Well, ok then. I was arguing on the basis that you thought all of this would be ultra easy even with more primitive [dare I say practical?] technologies. Since that wasn't your argument at all I'll stop with that for now.

Also, please note that I know the scale of this idea and have the whole time. However, I am also of the mindset that if something is bigger and more complex, more can wrong. Never forget Murphy's law.  :)

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Actually, it would be much more efficient. Think of it this way. At this moment in time, the human race possesses primitive space flight. We have lots of people crowding the planet. We are currently exploring the possibility of terraforming planets like Mars. If we had that capability, then we would be pretty much good to go for colonization of other planets.

Not really. Even if we could terraform a planet, we haven't got the resources or technology to transport a large enough amount of people there with enough resources to keep them alive (and we don't know how to freeze them yet). Any colonisation by ship is far into the future.

Nonsense. We could spread to other planets in our solar system [do you actually think I meant interstellar travel?] quite easily with the resources we have here. All you need to do is build a couple of ships, fill a few of them with supplies and tools and terraforming equipment and then just cram your huddled masses in there. They could arrive on Mars or even Titan in a couple of years.

Obviously interstellar travel is still not an achievement of humanity. But if we developed a slightly better form of propulsion and cryogenics [plus a few other things] it could be. And I'll bet that's still easier than developing all of the other recycling and asteroid harvesting methods. If we pursue the idea of colony ships we would be able to colonize other worlds much more quickly than if we spend a thousand years of hard research and hope nothing goes wrong until we can live among asteroids.

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The nearest star is 4.2 or so lightyers away, with current speeds you'll have to keep those colonists alive and well for a very long time, and if a single system on your wonderful ship fials they are all dead anyway.


Could you not send multiple ships? Or maintenance robots?

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Is "Oh well, I'm sure there are plenty more terraforming colony ships capable of sustaining huge numbers of humans for extended periods lying around for us to launch into space." a valid response?

Not really. You could build thousands of these for every one asteroid fleet you make. And if you are advanced enough to make magical asteroid fleets where nothing ever goes wrong I think you could do just as well with colony ships. Sure, colony ships might be riskier, but you can make them easier and they could still arrive at their destination more quickly than the "asteroid riders".

The logical conclusion would be to try both methods and see which one works out better, but obviously we can't do that. Not yet anyway.


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: grayfox777 on March 08, 2008, 11:07:10 am
Hmm, interesting discussion has begun.... and I will add something great to this....
There's a strong possibility that one of the 3 closest stars, Alpha Centauri B,  could have a planet very similar to Earth.   :o ;D

http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/080307-another-earth.html


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: Lukipela on March 08, 2008, 06:03:12 pm
Well, ok then. I was arguing on the basis that you thought all of this would be ultra easy even with more primitive [dare I say practical?] technologies. Since that wasn't your argument at all I'll stop with that for now.

Yeah, like Death explained much better above, we're not just going to move over, it's a gradual process. I didn't really mention that since you seemed to be mostly concerned about viability, not how to get there. My apologies.

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Also, please note that I know the scale of this idea and have the whole time. However, I am also of the mindset that if something is bigger and more complex, more can wrong. Never forget Murphy's law.  :)

Earth is a pretty big place too. A civilisation (even a small one) can absorb mistakes much better than a single vessel.

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Nonsense. We could spread to other planets in our solar system [do you actually think I meant interstellar travel?] quite easily with the resources we have here. All you need to do is build a couple of ships, fill a few of them with supplies and tools and terraforming equipment and then just cram your huddled masses in there. They could arrive on Mars or even Titan in a couple of years.

Yeah, I assumed you meant interstellar travel since you were talking about multiple planets and fusion engines. Still, that seems a bit iffy to me. Colonisation is certainly a viable on Mars and a few moons, but most planets are way out of our reach. It's not enough to send people there, they have to survive on their own. Venus and Mercury are inhospitable, Pluto is cold and dark. And the rest of them are gas giants. And even on the moons and Mars, we wont be building more than glorified outposts, dependent on products from Earth for quite some time.

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Obviously interstellar travel is still not an achievement of humanity. But if we developed a slightly better form of propulsion and cryogenics [plus a few other things] it could be. And I'll bet that's still easier than developing all of the other recycling and asteroid harvesting methods.

You still need to be able to recycle pretty darn well on your colony as well. Otherwise it'll be dependent on the "motherland" or fail pretty quickly. And you need to harvest resources from the planet. This becomes especially important when you leave your own system and the trip back gets much longer. So you still recycle and you dig mines on a planet instead of on asteroids. One is possible right away, the other is clearly impossible and doomed to fail. Why?

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If we pursue the idea of colony ships we would be able to colonize other worlds much more quickly than if we spend a thousand years of hard research and hope nothing goes wrong until we can live among asteroids.

Which is why no one in this thread has been saying anything about this being necessary. Splinter civilisations is an idea for a large present civilisation, not for one that has barely dipped it's feet in the space age. When the entire system is full of people and you've already sent out dozens of colony ships, then a asteroid civ can become a good option, especially if the asteroids have been colonised long ago anyway due to the large population.

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Could you not send multiple ships? Or maintenance robots?

Because people on multiple ships will still need the same amount of food and tools no matter whether they arrive in five ships or one? You can certainly send a lot of tools in an automated ship and your colonists on another, but then that Murphys law of yours dictates that you shouldn't be too surprised when the tools get lost. Or maybe they break and can't be replaced? Also, your main argument point (which I'm not disagreeing with) is that it's cheaper to just send colony ships, rather than construct entire civilisations. Build enough of your backup ships, and you'll get close to a splinter anyway, just without the asteroids.

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Not really. You could build thousands of these for every one asteroid fleet you make. And if you are advanced enough to make magical asteroid fleets where nothing ever goes wrong I think you could do just as well with colony ships. Sure, colony ships might be riskier, but you can make them easier and they could still arrive at their destination more quickly than the "asteroid riders".

Well if we ignore the fact that we don't make them for the same purpose sure. It makes much more sense to make thousands of magical colony ships that somehow have all the tools necessary for terraforming and building a civilisation without risk of those critical tools breaking than making an steroid fleet. Unless you already have people living in the asteroid fields who'd like to leave.


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: Dancing Fungus on March 10, 2008, 03:54:14 pm
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Also, please note that I know the scale of this idea and have the whole time. However, I am also of the mindset that if something is bigger and more complex, more can wrong. Never forget Murphy's law.  Smiley

Earth is a pretty big place too.

And look at all the problems it has! Genocides and plagues and George Bush, oh my!

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You still need to be able to recycle pretty darn well on your colony as well. Otherwise it'll be dependent on the "motherland" or fail pretty quickly. And you need to harvest resources from the planet.

Wouldn't the asteroid fleet have exactly the same problem when they colonized a planet? Since the assumption here seems to be that they both would need similar amounts of techno to do their respective jobs, then how would the asteroid fleet be better at colonizing a world? Sure, they might have more people and more initial resources, but sooner rather than later they would both be reliant on supplies from off-world. And any interstellar supply operation is not going to be easy.

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Build enough of your backup ships, and you'll get close to a splinter anyway, just without the asteroids.

Well, you wouldn't send a fleet of a hundred or so ships to colonize one planet, because that would be overkill.

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Well if we ignore the fact that we don't make them for the same purpose sure. It makes much more sense to make thousands of magical colony ships that somehow have all the tools necessary for terraforming and building a civilisation without risk of those critical tools breaking than making an steroid fleet. Unless you already have people living in the asteroid fields who'd like to leave.

If you have people floating around in an asteroid fleet all prepared to go, then I don't see any reason why you shouldn't send them. I may think colony ships are more efficient, but I'm not saying that we should ignore this idea altogether.


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: Death 999 on March 11, 2008, 03:25:57 pm
And look at all the problems it has! Genocides and plagues and George Bush, oh my!

Genocide isn't going to make sense if you're all one civilization; plagues are things we can deal with here already, and they won't have to worry so much about diseases crossing over from animals, since there won't be wild animals all around.
George Bush... well, I'd say he's mainly dangerous because of his opposition.
Remember how ineffective he was in August of 2001?

Wouldn't the asteroid fleet have exactly the same problem when they colonized a planet?

The asteroid fleet is composed of people who are already self-sufficient with what they have. They would not have left unless they were. Any planet they find is a bonus. Your fleet of cryo-people is not self-sufficient at all. That's the difference.

Sure, they might have more people and more initial resources, but sooner rather than later they would both be reliant on supplies from off-world.
... so, no, they wouldn't.


Quote from: Lukipela
Build enough of your backup ships, and you'll get close to a splinter anyway, just without the asteroids.
I was not married to the concept of them bringing asteroids, merely that they would be capable of surviving off of asteroids; but do keep in mind that if these ships are going to be in space for a few thousand years, they'll want a lot of hydrogen around for fuel. Enough that your fuel tank will be indistinguishable from an oort cloud object. So, there's no real difference.

Well, you wouldn't send a fleet of a hundred or so ships to colonize one planet, because that would be overkill.

It all depends on the success rate, doesn't it? If 2% of ships will make it through in condition to be usable on the other end, 100 seems a reasonable gamble (provided that none will be so abruptly damaged that those on-board cannot be transferred to other vessels with spare capacity)


I'd like to point out another point of Asimov's, that only an asteroid civilization would be likely to want to go. Who would want to cut themselves off forever, with no chance of return, with the way of life on the way being totally alien and unpracticed, and only your 50-greats grandchildren get to make it to the other end? No one. But an asteroid civilization brings everyone with them, and the way of life is fairly ordinary to them. That there is another end is just a bonus.


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: Dancing Fungus on March 11, 2008, 04:05:33 pm
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Genocide isn't going to make sense if you're all one civilization;

People will ALWAYS find differences to squabble over. It is nigh-impossible for humans to really be able to work together peacefully unless they have a common enemy or a common goal of significant importance. It doesn't matter what you do. People will even risk their own lives to screw each other over.
Even if these people have learned to live with each other for years, how do you know that their children or their grandchildren will do the same?

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plagues are things we can deal with here already,

Well, we think we can anyway. But just because you bombard a disease-causing virus or bacterium with antibiotics all the time doesn't necessarily make it harmless or "cured".

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I'd like to point out another point of Asimov's, that only an asteroid civilization would be likely to want to go. Who would want to cut themselves off forever, with no chance of return, with the way of life on the way being totally alien and unpracticed, and only your 50-greats grandchildren get to make it to the other end? No one. But an asteroid civilization brings everyone with them, and the way of life is fairly ordinary to them. That there is another end is just a bonus.

What about people who live on a planet that is so overpopulated as to make it incredibly unpleasant to live there? Or people who are seen as heretics or "inferior" people and who are persecuted by everyone whom they meet?

And on a similar note, if my possible reasons for leaving the homeworld are successfully contradicted: who would want to be launched into space and live in giant spaceships that float around in a cloud of asteroids, where they are trapped for their entire lifetimes and expected to  sacrifice nearly everything for the good of the fleet?
 


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: Lukipela on March 11, 2008, 05:57:29 pm
And look at all the problems it has! Genocides and plagues and George Bush, oh my!

Death already covered this, but why exactly do you think that this is something unique to a asteroid civilisation? Your hardy crew of 50.000 or so flying through space in a small cramped tin with ransoned food, nowhere to go, and no chance of surviving even the slightest accident seems like a pretty good place for genocide, plagues and all manners of trouble.

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Wouldn't the asteroid fleet have exactly the same problem when they colonized a planet? Since the assumption here seems to be that they both would need similar amounts of techno to do their respective jobs, then how would the asteroid fleet be better at colonizing a world? Sure, they might have more people and more initial resources, but sooner rather than later they would both be reliant on supplies from off-world. And any interstellar supply operation is not going to be easy.

Like Death said, no. The whole idea that we've been putting forth several time is that a civilisation travelling this way is self-sufficient. They don't need to be restocked. The crew on your small colony ship wont be sufficient, unless they bring all that stuff (factories and so forth) with them, thus they will be dependent on help from home. What is the confusion here?

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Well, you wouldn't send a fleet of a hundred or so ships to colonize one planet, because that would be overkill.

Like was already stated, it doesn't matter where you send them if their survival rate is low. Even if you send 50 to the same planet, chances are most wont make it.

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If you have people floating around in an asteroid fleet all prepared to go, then I don't see any reason why you shouldn't send them. I may think colony ships are more efficient, but I'm not saying that we should ignore this idea altogether.

Your original statement was something along the lines "How would this work/Why would this work". I'm glad that's been cleared up.

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People will ALWAYS find differences to squabble over. It is nigh-impossible for humans to really be able to work together peacefully unless they have a common enemy or a common goal of significant importance. It doesn't matter what you do. People will even risk their own lives to screw each other over.
Even if these people have learned to live with each other for years, how do you know that their children or their grandchildren will do the same?

This comes up whatever form of colonization you choose to use. I'd think that a larger group could absorb this sort fo trouble much better though.

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Well, we think we can anyway. But just because you bombard a disease-causing virus or bacterium with antibiotics all the time doesn't necessarily make it harmless or "cured".

Vaccination seems to work quite well. An advantage with a civilisation built like this is that quarantines ought to be quite easy to enforce.

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What about people who live on a planet that is so overpopulated as to make it incredibly unpleasant to live there? Or people who are seen as heretics or "inferior" people and who are persecuted by everyone whom they meet?

And on a similar note, if my possible reasons for leaving the homeworld are successfully contradicted: who would want to be launched into space and live in giant spaceships that float around in a cloud of asteroids, where they are trapped for their entire lifetimes and expected to  sacrifice nearly everything for the good of the fleet?

The idea is that when you "leave" on an asteroid civilisation, you'll be taking a lot of your friends and family with you. You'll be living and working together, spending your lives together. With a colonisation ship, you're isolated and have a clear goal that needs to be achieved, building a colony from the ground once you arrive in the far future.



Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: Dancing Fungus on March 11, 2008, 06:33:29 pm
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Death already covered this, but why exactly do you think that this is something unique to a asteroid civilisation? Your hardy crew of 50.000 or so flying through space in a small cramped tin with ransoned food, nowhere to go, and no chance of surviving even the slightest accident seems like a pretty good place for genocide, plagues and all manners of trouble.

I don't think that they are all going to butcher each other if they are cryogenically frozen. And if they aren't frozen, the distance they are traveling is probably fairly short, so they should have a decent chance of survival assuming nothing goes horribly wrong, which is always possible.
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Vaccination seems to work quite well.

Vaccinations are useless against strands of diseases we know nothing about. Like those that have evolved to survive in a world with said vaccinations.
 
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The idea is that when you "leave" on an asteroid civilisation, you'll be taking a lot of your friends and family with you. You'll be living and working together, spending your lives together. With a colonisation ship, you're isolated and have a clear goal that needs to be achieved, building a colony from the ground once you arrive in the far future.

That wasn't my point. I meant getting people to live in the asteroid cloud in the first place.
Would you like to leave your cozy home and be launched into space on a giant ship where you could float around inside a big cloud of space rocks surrounded by people you don't know? And in that giant space ship you would have to spend your entire life working like a dog so that maybe the 20th generation of your descendants [assuming you are allowed to have any and that they don't die] can live on some ugly little planet somewhere far away?

It seems to me that getting people to live this way would be just as hard at first as it would be to get people to live on a colony ship.


 


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: Death 999 on March 11, 2008, 06:45:55 pm
What is your problem?

if they aren't frozen, the distance they are traveling is probably fairly short, so they should have a decent chance of survival assuming nothing goes horribly wrong, which is always possible.

way to completely subvert the suppositions of the entire argument. This is irrelevant. We are talking about long intergenerational voyages.

Vaccinations are useless against strands of diseases we know nothing about. Like those that have evolved to survive in a world with said vaccinations.

These have contradictory assumptions AND are irrelevant. First, "a world we know nothing about" has very little to do with an asteroid civilization, because they don't need to go to planets. They can do their own little closed loop thing.
Second, "a world with vaccinations"... Earth is such a world. Also, any world they go to wouldn't be, since they'd be newcomers.
 
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That wasn't my point. I meant getting people to live in the asteroid cloud in the first place.
Would you like to leave your cozy home and be launched into space on a giant ship where you could float around inside a big cloud of space rocks surrounded by people you don't know? And in that giant space ship you would have to spend your entire life working like a dog so that maybe the 20th generation of your descendants [assuming you are allowed to have any and that they don't die] can live on some ugly little planet somewhere far away?

This is total baloney. Are you only thinking about this to come up with reasons this is stupid and wrong, or are you trying to see how it might work? If the latter, you're really really really stupid. So, I am presently accepting that you are not trying to see how it might work. I suggest that this is not such a useful way to proceed in this discussion.

But to give you a start:

When this starts out, the participants CAN and DO go home. The people are highly paid professionals. They go out, they mine a while, they come home.
As they perfect the methods, some people opt to stay longer.
Once enough people are doing that, it becomes not crazy to stay permanently and have a family. You can still visit Earth.
Once a few generations have passed, Earth is that other place, it's not home.
Things progress from there.


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: Dancing Fungus on March 11, 2008, 07:01:44 pm
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if they aren't frozen, the distance they are traveling is probably fairly short, so they should have a decent chance of survival assuming nothing goes horribly wrong, which is always possible.

way to completely subvert the suppositions of the entire argument. This is irrelevant. We are talking about long intergenerational voyages.

way to quote me out of context.

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Vaccinations are useless against strands of diseases we know nothing about. Like those that have evolved to survive in a world with said vaccinations.

These have contradictory assumptions AND are irrelevant. First, "a world we know nothing about" has very little to do with an asteroid civilization, because they don't need to go to planets. They can do their own little closed loop thing.
Second, "a world with vaccinations"... Earth is such a world. Also, any world they go to wouldn't be, since they'd be newcomers.

Sorry for trying to use different vocabulary. I meant "world" as in dimension, universe, place of being, not as in a planet.

Let me ask you: would YOU like to leave the Earth to live on a mining platform and come back every 5 or 10 years [or whatever]? Would you do it once to see what it was like and not go back?

I've noticed that seem to be becoming very emotional about this, even to the point of questioning my intelligence, which I find most rude . But in the interest of preventing conflict and general unhappiness, I offer you this: I will shut up if you want me to.


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: Death 999 on March 11, 2008, 08:06:11 pm
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if they aren't frozen, the distance they are traveling is probably fairly short, so they should have a decent chance of survival assuming nothing goes horribly wrong, which is always possible.
way to completely subvert the suppositions of the entire argument. This is irrelevant. We are talking about long intergenerational voyages.
way to quote me out of context.
This looks in context to me. The entire discussion is about long voyages without cold sleep.

Sorry for trying to use different vocabulary. I meant "world" as in dimension, universe, place of being, not as in a planet.

What the heck? what are the chances that an interstellar colonization attempt are going to run into anything like that? Negligibly small, I think, in real life.

Given the supposedly serious discussion, no interpretation of 'world' other than 'planet' made sense.



Let me ask you: would YOU like to leave the Earth to live on a mining platform and come back every 5 or 10 years [or whatever]? Would you do it once to see what it was like and not go back?

Let me ask you: what the heck do you think this has to do with anything? Nothing to do with this topic, for sure.
The crux here is your completely baseless assumption that one would be roped into going again.
If you were thinking about this in a problem-solving fashion, this assumption would simply not occur to you.

I've noticed that seem to be becoming very emotional about this, even to the point of questioning my intelligence, which I find most rude .

I actually did not question your intelligence. I used that you aren't stupid to conclude that you aren't even trying. You amply supported this with what I just quoted. No one can be that stupid, but it's quite easy to be that apathetic.


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: Dancing Fungus on March 11, 2008, 08:47:21 pm

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if they aren't frozen, the distance they are traveling is probably fairly short, so they should have a decent chance of survival assuming nothing goes horribly wrong, which is always possible.
way to completely subvert the suppositions of the entire argument. This is irrelevant. We are talking about long intergenerational voyages.
way to quote me out of context.
This looks in context to me. The entire discussion is about long voyages without cold sleep.

No, it is NOT in context, at least as I see it. You seemed to have missed this:

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I don't think that they are all going to butcher each other if they are cryogenically frozen. And if they aren't frozen......

And this:

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But if we developed a slightly better form of propulsion and cryogenics.....

So no, the ENTIRE discussion was not about long voyages without cold sleep. Or if it was I missed that and said stuff about cryogenics that no one bothered to contradict. And since cryogenics really are central to my arguments and they would all be moot with cryogenics out of the way, it appears I am not the only one being apathetic.

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Sorry for trying to use different vocabulary. I meant "world" as in dimension, universe, place of being, not as in a planet.

What the heck? what are the chances that an interstellar colonization attempt are going to run into anything like that? Negligibly small, I think, in real life.

You still do not understand. Let me see if I can choose better wording in the original sentence.

Vaccinations are useless against strands of diseases we know nothing about. Like those that have evolved to survive in an environment with said vaccinations.

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The crux here is your completely baseless assumption that one would be roped into going again.

What abyss did you pull this out of? I never said anyone would be forced to go again and again against their will.


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: Death 999 on March 11, 2008, 10:33:33 pm
No, it is NOT in context, at least as I see it. You seemed to have missed this:
...
You talked about cold-sleep, then you talked about live travel, then you talked about cold sleep. Just because you sandwiched a statement about live travel in between two statements about cold sleep doesn't mean that it's actually about cold sleep.

So no, the ENTIRE discussion was not about long voyages without cold sleep.

It is the root-level discussion, at least since the start of page 2, ever since you asked, "How could you have a civilization on an asteroid..."

Or if it was I missed that and said stuff about cryogenics that no one bothered to contradict. And since cryogenics really are central to my arguments and they would all be moot with cryogenics out of the way, it appears I am not the only one being apathetic.

I have done an exhaustive review of the entire thread.
The crux is an examination of two methods of interstellar colonization:
1) people gradually move to the asteroids, get more independent, move out when they're ready and it's in their interest (the Asimov method)
1a) with all the tech you'd need to have an asteroid civilization but without actually having one, send out a large well-equipped fleet of colony ships that could become an asteroid civilization if it wanted to (the Lukipela method)
2) build cheap cold-sleep colony ships that haven't got recycling facilities and rely on support from home, and send out a lot of them, despite that no one doing the hard work to make them at home benefits from these, ever (the Dancing Fungus method).

Luki and I have attacked 2 based on a variety of things, but its use of cold sleep is not one of them. So, attempting to buttress the use of cryogenics is missing the point totally.


Vaccinations are useless against strands of diseases we know nothing about.

If we can isolate an infectious agent, we're more than half the way. The problem is mainly if it changes its surface all the time (like, say, HIV). But anyway, you've ignored my rebuttal to that, which was, if it's an asteroid civilization, it's not going to get infected because it's not going to come in contact with alien life.

Like those that have evolved to survive in an environment with said vaccinations.

Like I said, going to a foreign planet should help greatly in that regard, since no alien world will have vaccinations before we get there, and the world we're coming from did.

And lastly:
Quote from: Death_999
The crux here is your completely baseless assumption that one would be roped into going again.

What abyss did you pull this out of? I never said anyone would be forced to go again and again against their will.

I could find no other interpretation of this sentence:
Let me ask you: would YOU like to leave the Earth to live on a mining platform and come back every 5 or 10 years [or whatever]?
The next sentence muddied matters, to be sure... but in the light of how you had misportrayed life in an asteroid civilization ("And in that giant space ship you would have to spend your entire life working like a dog so that maybe the 20th generation of your descendants [assuming you are allowed to have any and that they don't die] can live on some ugly little planet somewhere far away?"), it didn't seem so unreasonable that you'd have such a dystopian view.

I just couldn't figure out what you were getting at. Because just asking if some people would be all right with living on a mining platform for a period of 5-10 years for adequate remuneration seems to have the obvious answer, "YES", which doesn't support your point.


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: grayfox777 on March 14, 2008, 06:37:38 am
Speaking of asteroids...

Panspermia just became a MUCH stronger theory recently. Scientists have found extremely high levels of amino acids in two different meteorites. I don't see why this couldn't have happened on other planets in our galaxy and in other galaxies too!  ;D

http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/080313-life-origin.html

EDIT: Just found this!   ;D

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2008-042

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NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have discovered large amounts of simple organic gases and water vapor in a possible planet-forming region around an infant star, along with evidence that these molecules were created there. They've also found water in the same zone around two other young stars.


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: Lukipela on March 15, 2008, 05:13:44 pm
Rather than to try and jump into the quoting fray again, I'll just limit myself to a few comments.

Dancing Fungus, most of your objections to an asteroid based civilisation are things that would be much more likely to affect colonists on one of your colony ships. Loss of tools, loss of ships, unknown diseases and such are all things that will affect your colony ship much more badly than they will a (small) civilisation with the ability to produce replacements, better isolate and treat diseases and so forth.

Other issues you raise affect both equally, such as the need to recycle. An asteroid civilisation certainly cannot survive without some high tech recycling facilities, but the same can be said for a colony ship and the colony it creates.

As for the arguing about the use of resources, I think you don't fully appreciate just what your colonists need to continue their civilisation. It is certainly much cheaper to send a small colony ship off into the stars than launch a part of your infrastructure, or create similar infrastructure for that purpose. But if you only send out small colony ships with a small chances of survival, your job really isn't done there. You also need to furnish those colonies with all the preprocessed resources and tools needed to colonise the new planet properly, and allow them to become independent. And since each launch is independent and risky, that means you will in fact have to launch quite a few ships in order to guarantee survival.

There is another resource question I think is worth considering as well. The quality of your colonists. If an asteroid civilisation takes off, it will certainly consist of a lot more people. But will they all be as valuable? Every colony ship you send out needs to incorporate a large amount of specialists, from Leaders and Doctors to Geophysicists and.. Well, you get the idea. As many of your colony ships will fail (due to Murphys law and the processes you yourself have described) this essentially means that any civilisation sending out a lot of these colony ships will be suffering a severe brain drain. In comparison, an existing asteroid civilisation will contain people of all creeds, and if the civilisation already exists it will not need to recruit new geniuses from the intelligence pool.

Naturally this isn't true if you build up a splinter from the beginning, in that case you will need a lot of people. But these people will stand a better chance of surviving and not as many will die in vain.

As for how such an asteroid civilisation would start, I think it is fairly natural. When there is not enough space, people move to the frontiers. Look at America. The first people who arrived there certainly left a lot of amenities behind, and for generations they toiled under very basic circumstances. Similarly, an asteroid civilisation would have to begin humble, with people who no longer wish to go back "home" and people who are no longer welcome at "home". As time passes and conditions improve, suddenly all manner of people wish to live there.

And as I already said as an psychological  aside. It's a lot easier to leave if you are taking your friends, family and people with you on a world you grew up on than if you shot off with a low survival chance to eke out a uncertain, back-breaking living on a world that may be very different from what you once knew.

And finally, for Death_999. An "Asimov" civilisation as you call it is much more likely to be first, but I think the positive benefits of a "Lukipela" civilisation would be that all your equipment is new. Instead of leaving with things that have been built during centuries with all the problems that might entail, you leave with a shiny streamlined infrastructure.


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: Death 999 on March 17, 2008, 06:12:54 pm
When there is not enough space, people move to the frontiers. Look at America. The first people who arrived there certainly left a lot of amenities behind, and for generations they toiled under very basic circumstances.

I would suspect it's more like where there is an opportunity, some people will go there. Especially as going now would be a great deal more expensive than then. An oppressed minority might be able to afford to send one member if they all chipped in.

So, more like the southern (commercial) colonies than the northern (religious) colonies.

Or like the wild west, but with better communication and transparency (space is the ultimate in transparency), thus more in the way of rule of law.

~~~~

As for old vs. new: tools will be made afresh every so often. The atoms will get old, but they do that the same rate regardless.

~~~~

In all other respects, agreed.


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: Lukipela on March 18, 2008, 04:37:06 pm
When there is not enough space, people move to the frontiers. Look at America. The first people who arrived there certainly left a lot of amenities behind, and for generations they toiled under very basic circumstances.

I would suspect it's more like where there is an opportunity, some people will go there. Especially as going now would be a great deal more expensive than then. An oppressed minority might be able to afford to send one member if they all chipped in.

So, more like the southern (commercial) colonies than the northern (religious) colonies.

In a way I suppose. I was more trying to compare the primitive living conditions you'd face at first  in the asteroid belt, compared to what you might be used to on a planets surface. I'd guess that once you have a colony or two inside your solar system, and private spaceflight becomes even vaguely affordable, quite a few different groups would be eager to set up shop in different regions. Eventually they'll have been around long enough to raise the standard of living considerably.

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As for old vs. new: tools will be made afresh every so often. The atoms will get old, but they do that the same rate regardless.

I was thinking more in terms of compatibility and standardization. A civilisation that has grown slowly under a long time in the asteroid belt is bound to have machinery adhering to quite a few different standards, much like any oldish factory/country. A freshly put together one could be more standardized, easier on replacements and generally easier to handle, repair and refit.


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: grayfox777 on March 20, 2008, 04:28:09 am
http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/080319-extrasolar-methane.html

Methane detected at an extrasolar planet  :o
This is all happening so quickly!  ;D Now that I said that, there probably won't be any news for... about a year.


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: Death 999 on March 20, 2008, 04:05:16 pm
Nifty that we can do spectroscopy on these planets.

But Methane isn't exactly surprising, considering it's just one carbon and four hydrogen. It's the simplest thing you can make with carbon, possibly excepting carbon mono- or di- oxide.

Don't forget, just because it's an 'organic' molecule doesn't mean it came from life. Not that I'm saying you thought that.


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: grayfox777 on March 20, 2008, 09:06:34 pm
Yep, true. There may be no life in that system at all. But it proves that methane is out there... which I guess isn't too much of a surprise. Nice to have it confirmed, though!  ;D


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: Death 999 on March 20, 2008, 09:51:15 pm
The only thing of interest is that we can tell that there's methane on a particular planet outside the Solar system. We've seen methane ambiently in outer space before, that's not at all a concern.

However, that is significantly of interest!


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: grayfox777 on March 22, 2008, 07:43:51 am
Good point.  Why wouldn't methane be out there? As you said, this just proves that they can detect that fact. I think I was confused about what the significance of this find  was.... but I knew that significance was there somewhere!

Maybe this same thing will happen soon, only with alien life, rather than methane. Astronomers predict we'll discover alien life somehow in the next few decades. After all, why wouldn't there be life out there? ;D

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/11/1114_031114_setisearch.html


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: SweetSassyMolassy on May 19, 2008, 10:17:23 pm
I wasn't referring to us. I was referring to intelligent races that have existed for thousands or millions of years by now. I mean, it seems unlikely that we will happen to be the first race in the neighborhood to discover FTL travel.

Sub-light travel is so pathetically slow in cosmic terms, that it just doesn't seem to be of any relevance to us as beings that live for only ~70 years. :(
Yeah, 70 years earth time. It is possible to reach relativistic speeds though, which means that a trip to alpha centauri, in which the spacecraft is traveling say at one tenth the speed of light, would take about 40 years earth time. Relativistic time dilation would only make the trip take 37.95 years.
Also, with stuff like this
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_pulse_propulsion
Sub-light speed will become possible.
Let's say a spaceship reaches 80% of the speed of light, then the trip will only take about 18 years. So, if the pilot doesn't mind watching everyone he/she's ever known on earth outgrow them, then it is possible to make it to other places.
Lets say he/she travels at 99.99% the speed of light
On earth it would take around 4 years
The trip will take .4 years in the space ship.
So if you wanted to travel 100 light years, it would only take 10 years traveling at that speed. So, one generation could make it 100 light years and back, assuming they don't mind that the earth will be hundreds of years into the future


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: Resh Aleph on May 19, 2008, 10:38:00 pm
Let's say a spaceship reaches 80% of the speed of light, then the trip will only take about 18 years.

Won't that require ridiculous amounts of energy? Not to mention 99.99%... Besides, Alpha Centauri is very close. What about a distance of a thousand light years? Ten thousand? It's unacceptable! :'(


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: SweetSassyMolassy on May 19, 2008, 10:50:30 pm
Yeah it would. But did you read the medusa thing? It's definitely a possibility. 99.99% is extremely hard to attain, because the amount of kinetic energy required to speed up beyond about 60%c increases dramatically. If we wanted to accelerate to this speed, nuclear energy is probably the way to go. But that doesn't mean it's not possible.
Yeah, 1000 light years is a stretch, but reaching alpha centauri, something very possible, would be an incredible achievement.


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: Particleman42 on May 19, 2008, 11:51:19 pm
Well, you have to factor in time for accelerating and decelerating, too. If you don't decelerate then you'll crash into the planet at 0.80c or whatever. So that could make the trip take longer.


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: grayfox777 on May 20, 2008, 10:32:00 pm
That might be a problem for us, but I don't think it would be a huge problem for a civilization with more advanced technology. Better technology could dramatically decrease deceleration times.


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: SweetSassyMolassy on May 21, 2008, 06:59:23 pm
True, I think the answer might be somewhere in here though
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBGIQ7ZuuiU


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: Particleman42 on May 21, 2008, 11:12:25 pm
True, I think the answer might be somewhere in here though
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBGIQ7ZuuiU

Wow, you sure got me. Don't bother clicking that link, it's a rickroll.


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: Deras on May 23, 2008, 01:56:29 am
To whoever mentioned the Drake equation (click me)  (http://xkcd.com/384/)


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: Lukipela on May 23, 2008, 04:20:23 pm
To whoever mentioned the Drake equation (click me)  (http://the Drake equation (click me))

I think you need to work on your links. This is what you wrote:

[.url=http://the Drake equation (click me)]the Drake equation (click me) [/url.]

whereas you should be doing something like [.url=http://www.drakeequation.com/whatever] (click me)]the Drake equation (click me) [/url.] without the extra dots.


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: SweetSassyMolassy on May 23, 2008, 07:01:15 pm
good thing theres someone enlightened on this thread


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: Deras on May 23, 2008, 07:38:57 pm
I always do that, I keep copying the wrong url (or in this case, no url at all)

Thanks though, and it's fixed now ;D


Title: Re: Earth-like planets raise prospects of extra-terrestial life
Post by: Particleman42 on May 23, 2008, 10:11:31 pm
Yeah, xkcd is always hilarious. But the Drake Equation isn't really necessary now. We already know about tons of intelligent species out there - Pkunk, Ilwrath, Spathi, etc. I mean, come on! :)