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View Diary: Why Not Engineer Animals with Human-level Consciousness? (143 comments)

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  •  If you look at the physics, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    interplanetary colonization isn't really in the cards.  Sadly, Star Trek really is fiction.  I wish it weren't so, but this planet is all we genuinely have and we'll cease once the sun ceases, and very likely well before.

    •  Many people's lives are so surrounded and (1+ / 0-)
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      intertwined with technology that they would have no trouble spending their entire lives on an artificial planet.

      Nature is hot, cold, wet, dry, dirty and full of insects and germs and things that want to eat you. It seems we have mostly used our "intelligence" to distance and isolate ourselves from nature.

      •  It's not a question (1+ / 0-)
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        Claudius Bombarnac

        of preference, but of distances, energy requirements, the sheer hostility of space, etc. Nor is it simply technical challenges of ships.  It's also what space does to our bodies (muscle and bone degeneration, seriously raised chances of cancer due to highly charged particles passing through our bodies).  Similarly, it's unlikely that fetuses could develop properly in space because of zero g environments, and barring any chryo sleep, they'd be needed for prolonged travel to other stars.

          Oh sure, we might have a small scientific group of five or six people on Mars or the moon at some point, but beyond that it's really just not technologically feasible.  This is even more true of interstellar travel, nor is it something that technology can fix.  There's no escape hatch to the planet earth, so we better take care of it.

        •  Given a few hundred more years, technology could (0+ / 0-)

          overcome those difficulties. Rotating space stations five miles across with magnetic protection from ionizing particles much like the earth. Then there's terraforming planets. We've learned to do it on earth on a major scale.

          I could envisage a select group of extremely wealthy and powerful people creating such a scenario to escape an earth doomed to destruction.

          Maybe we will just stay on earth and begin to re-terraform it after a major extinction event caused by human abuse.

          Maybe silicon based consciousness will eventually replace our meat bodies. Then it won't matter what happens to nature. We could "live" on a rock as long as there was an energy source.

          •  Like I said, (0+ / 0-)

            there's no technological fix for this.  Ain't gonna happen.  Just getting the materials needed for such ships out of earth 's gravity well is economically unfeasible for anything more than a handful of people.  We're stuck and WALL-E is not a documentary.

            •  The materials won't come from the earth except (0+ / 0-)

              at the very beginning.

              economically unfeasible for anything more than a handful of people
              That's OK. I never said this was for the common man. It's for the elites to escape the sinking ship (that they destroyed in the first place).

              It was once said that tar sands oil would not be economically feasible for at least 100 years, if ever. Tight oil in the massive quantities now available were but a (wet) dream to most oil men just a decade ago.

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