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Science and Technology "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." - Carl Sagan.

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Old October 16 2009, 04:16 PM   #31
ProtoAvatar
Fleet Captain
 
Re: Was the LHC Science being given to Dangerous Terrorists?

TeknoNurd:

About "builing the ship"

Any civilization that can build ships that can travel at close to lightspeed has other advanced technologies at its disposal - for one, advanced nanotechnology.
FOR US, building a colony ship would be a huge drain on world economy; NOT for a civilization that mastered nanotechnology and has at its disposal the resources of an entire solar system.

About "motivation"

Motivations for colonizing other places are numerous (as our own history showed) - population pressure; the desire to escape oppression; in order to start "fresh" and not be just a cog in the huge societal machine; certain cultures will wish to be "independent", etc.
The point is - any alien species will be composed of many different cultures with different motivations; some of these civilizations will have the motivation to "move out". And once colonies are established amd develop their own culture, the number of different cultures/motivations will increase (for example, since 1500 until today - aka in 500 years - humanity changed enormously/increased in numbers at an impressive rate) - some of these colonies will soon send ships further out, some not so soon. Per total, as the number of colonies increase, the number of colonizing ships will increase.

About the "dangers" and "speed" of space travel

Outer space, unlike what we see in Star Trek is BORING. REALLY BORING.
Essentially, space is a huge, empty desert with few resources of any kind (and the solar systems are "oasis"). The greatest danger in outer space is to remain without resources. The best way to minimize this danger is to travel at yout top speed - aka near light-speed - once you have decided where you want to go - and, with the FTL speed limit, you WILL NOT LEAVE WITHOUT DECIDING your destination.

About "dolphins"

Yes, it's possible some intelligent species will never develop technology - as far as SETI is concerned these species are always silent. It's also possible that some intelligent species will not have the desire to explore (which is NOT an evolutionary advantage - humanity, without the desire to explore/expand would be stuck in Africa/most likely extinct) - of course, I don't see how these species become dominant on their planet/develop technology.
But, among the alien species - all with different motivations - there will BE some with the ability to create technology/the desire to expand (a definite evolutionary advantage, as said). I have been talking about these species. It only takes ONE SUCH SPECIES and a few MILLION YEARS to colonize the entire galaxy.

Last edited by ProtoAvatar; October 16 2009 at 04:37 PM.
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Old October 16 2009, 05:32 PM   #32
TeknoNurd
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Re: Was the LHC Science being given to Dangerous Terrorists?

ProtoAvatar wrote: View Post
TeknoNurd:

About "builing the ship"

Any civilization that can build ships that can travel at close to lightspeed has other advanced technologies at its disposal - for one, advanced nanotechnology.
FOR US, building a colony ship would be a huge drain on world economy; NOT for a civilization that mastered nanotechnology and has at its disposal the resources of an entire solar system.
This is very much a chicken and egg situation. We are nearing a point where we will need to develop self-sustaining space travel, forget near the speed of light. We may eventually develop "advanced" technology, but it will be after that critical point where we either develop self-sustaining space travel or die. We MAY have already passed this point.

Since we are the only example available, one must believe that other species have gone through similar development cycles. Like I said, and you ignored, it may be a natural lifecycle issue, that by time a species realizes it must get off planet, and develops the technology to get off planet, it's too late to mount a sufficient effort.

ProtoAvatar wrote: View Post
About "motivation"

Motivations for colonizing other places are numerous (as our own history showed) - population pressure; the desire to escape oppression; in order to start "fresh" and not be just a cog in the huge societal machine; certain cultures will wish to be "independent", etc.
The point is - any alien species will be composed of many different cultures with different motivations; some of these civilizations will have the motivation to "move out". And once colonies are established amd develop their own culture, the number of different cultures/motivations will increase (for example, since 1500 until today - aka in 500 years - humanity changed enormously/increased in numbers at an impressive rate) - some of these colonies will soon send ships further out, some not so soon. Per total, as the number of colonies increase, the number of colonizing ships will increase.
The main motivator for exploration of humanity has been lack of resources. A group wanted to seperate themselves from another group for whatever reason, so they moved to the next valley. At times when there was no next valley, simply destroying the old group was an option. But, the buttom line has always been resources.

You are likely right (and wrong) that other species will contain sub-groups with different motivations. This is the problem we have on Earth which is a major hurdle to developing the space technology we need to get off planet. Societies that are all on the same page, with no dissent, actually have a better chance at recognizing the needs of the future and acting on them.

You are counting from 1500 to today, 500 years, why? The population at 1500 was quite large, larger than a colony ship could deliver to a planet. No, we're talking starting with a few hundred people and filling up the planet, this is not a 500 year task, more like 5000 years. And, that's assuming unrestrained expansion. For a society that has spent a few generations in space will build in a certain frugality that would continue when they are society building on a new planet.

ProtoAvatar wrote: View Post
About the "dangers" and "speed" of space travel

Outer space, unlike what we see in Star Trek is BORING. REALLY BORING.
Essentially, space is a huge, empty desert with few resources of any kind (and the solar systems are "oasis"). The greatest danger in outer space is to remain without resources. The best way to minimize this danger is to travel at yout top speed - aka near light-speed - once you have decided where you want to go - and, with the FTL speed limit, you WILL NOT LEAVE WITHOUT DECIDING your destination.
Again, using the only example we have, the best we can do now is head tward a solar system we think will have a planet that we can survive on. We won't know until we get there. Of course, to get there we would have to develop colony ships that are virtually self-sustaining, so that if we get "there" and "there" isn't there, we would head off to the next likely "there". Of course, once we have self-sustaining ships, why do we need to leave the solar system any time soon? There are a lot of resources right here.

Space is not all that empty, there are rocks traveling quite fast all over that if they bump into your space ship, or vice versa, the space ship is toast. Space is a big, bad place, and a society would risk it only if it had no other choice.

Also, Near Light Speed travel will require a lot of fuel to speed up and slow down. This is a problem right now. Even IF we get to NLS, we still need a self-sufficient system for those 10s or 100s of years, which will require a big ship.

ProtoAvatar wrote: View Post
- there will BE some with the ability to create technology/the desire to expand (a definite evolutionary advantage, as said). I have been talking about these species. It only takes ONE SUCH SPECIES and a few MILLION YEARS to colonize the entire galaxy.
and it only takes TWO to foil each other.

Again, we haven't even determined if a species lifecycle allows enough time to get off-planet before it uses all it's resources. It's not looking like we will do it, what if this is the norm, or unavoidable?

We are on the cusp of manipulating our own genes. Perhaps this is a normal situation, and the undoing of every possible spacefaring species. Perhaps smart machines are the undoing of spacefaring species.

The fact that Aliens aren't here and Drakes Equation indicates they should be means there's something that makes interstellar expansion unlikely or extremely difficult. We can't just hand wave the problems away, because one of them, or all of them, or other ones we haven't even figured out yet, are preventing the Aliens from getting here, and therefore us from getting "there" someday.
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Old October 16 2009, 06:05 PM   #33
ProtoAvatar
Fleet Captain
 
Re: Was the LHC Science being given to Dangerous Terrorists?

TeknoNurd

We vs "cool" aliens:

We/humanity, is, at this point in time, primitive - we've been serious about technology for only ~400 years.
Civilizations that can build ships able to travel to near light-speed developed technologically for tens of thousand of years (most likely).

You are saying that WE can't build near-lightspeed ships, WE can't "see" planets in detail (we're getting closer to this goal, though), WE can't avoid a space rock (which is actually not true when we're talking "rocks"), etc.
You're saying nothing about a species thousands of years more advanced than us. If something can be done according to physical laws, then this species should be able to do it.

WE are, of course, nowhere near the level of technology needed to build a near-lightspeed ship.
But we're relatively close (a few centuries) to building interplanetary ships - and colonize our own solar system (our own back yard, so to speak).
This achievement will alleviate population pressure/resource scarcity for the next thousands of years - during which time we will develop technologically.
The resources of a solar system are vast, but ultimately limited.
As you said one motivaton in colonization has been, historically, resource scarcity - of course, it was not the only motivation; not even close.
After thousands of years, population pressure and resource scarcity will impose a vigurous space colonization program - of course, space colonization could have begun long before that point, due to various "motivations".

Is it possible that we will self-destruct tomorrow/in the next decades/due to population pressure and resource scarcity? Yes - the cold war is testimony to that. One of the proposed solutions for the Fermi Paradox is that all species self-destruct once they reach a certain point in their development. Another solution is that intelligent/technological life is extremely scarce. And there are other, more "unorthodox" solutions.
But it's also possible we won't self-destruct at all.


1500-now:

I mentioned the 1500-now example to exemplify how fast cultures can change/how fast population can grow, given adecvate resources.
And a colonization ship can carry tens of thousands of colonists (this is a timid estimation) - most of whom could very vell be "frozen" (or something similar). Also, don't think these colonists won't have the means (technological or otherwise) to reproduce/increase their numbers rapidly, if they so wished - of course, they shouldn't have the motivation to increase their numbers by such means beyond what is needed for their safety/prosperity.

About "space wars" - when we're talking about interstellar civilizations:

Two possibilities
- the civilizations are at about the same level - in which case neither will gain an advantage - meaning both will continue to exist/expand.
- one civilization is far more advanced than another - in which case this civilization could destroy the opposing one (a task which will take centuries/millenia at the very least!) - meaning the more advanced civilization will continue to exist/expand.
It's worth mentioning that the less advanced civilization could survive simply by sending near-lightspeed colonizing ships in the direction opposite to the more advanced civilization.

As you see, in no possible scenario will alien life disappear.

About AIs:

If AIs destroyed their organic creators, these AIs would take their place and become a space-faring civilization.

About gene-manipulation - why would this lead to the demise of a species? Could you elaborate?

And about the Fermi paradox/Drake equation:

Yes - why are the aliens not here, when they should be here, according to what we know about physics, chemistry and probability?
The truth is - we don't know. Several explanations were offered, but none was truly convincing.
The light speed limit, though, is NOT a viable explanation.

Last edited by ProtoAvatar; October 16 2009 at 07:14 PM.
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Old October 17 2009, 04:41 AM   #34
PurpleBuddha
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Re: Was the LHC Science being given to Dangerous Terrorists?

TeknoNurd wrote: View Post
The fact that Aliens aren't here and Drakes Equation indicates they should...
That is flat out wrong.

The Drake Equation merely identifies some of the variables we need to figure out so that one day we may calculate the odds of intelligent life out there, and how many species there may be.

Of the seven variables in the equation we have only a little information about two of them:

1.) The average rate of star formation in our galaxy per year
2.) The fraction of stars the have planets around them

Any even then, the information we have about those two variables is far from complete. Without more data, any calculation from the formula is simply a guess.
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Old October 17 2009, 08:52 AM   #35
Asbo Zaprudder
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Re: Was the LHC Science being given to Dangerous Terrorists?

Boy, is this thread off topic.

In answer to the original question, I doubt it unless there exist theoretical terrorists who use supercomputers to bomb virtual targets.
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