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Interesting article on Yahoo about possibly finding an Earth like planet by 2014.

New Earth Possible

This got me thinking about how we as people (Citizens of EARTH) would treat this new planet

Warp over the orange fold

Most like this planet would not have an intelligent spieces like humans on it (most likely would be just some lower animal/plant lifeforms).  How would we go about treating this planet.

It may seem a long ways in the future, but I think some decisions should be written in stone NOW!

As there would be no pre-existing industry, I believe that a new planet that could sustain life should be protected by high enviromental standards so as to preserve it.

There would be no economy to ruin, there would be no lives affected by this stance before the first people land there.

It would be my fear that the mega-corporations of the world would just see this as a new opportunity to plunder, my hope would be for this new world to sustain life on a more simpler level.  An agrocultural live in harmonry with nature philosophy.  I believe a suffcient number of people would gladly jump at the opportunity to live this type of existance which would be a true safe haven for human race. (Let's face it humanity is pretty screwed the fuck up here and will most likely obliterate ourselves in glorious stupidity)

When an earthlike planet is found, I hope sensible people will get a UN resolution to protect this new planet before the mega multinational corporations get a chance to push their rape and pillage agenda

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Comment Preferences

  •  I don't think you quite appreciate (13+ / 0-)

    the distances involved between solar systems.  There is zero chance - zero chance - of even robotic probes being sent to an extrasolar planet, let alone a "rape and pillage agenda" being implemented.  The very nearest star other than the Sun would take thousands of years to reach at the maximum speed of current technology.  Candidate worlds for Earth-like habitats are hundreds to thousands of times further than that.  Barring radical change in physics, the extent of our exploration of those worlds will be telescopic.

    Technology is a compromise: You can use whatever tool you choose, but be assured it will use you back.

    by Troubadour on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 10:39:39 AM PDT

    •  As technology advances (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slinkerwink, TofG

      We may discover a way to break the speed of light barrier.  Progress in technology keeps moving forward.

      If you told me as a kid I could take an object from my pocket and flip it open and talk to people over vast distances (aka Star Trek commincator..now the cell phone) I would've thought you were joking.

      •  Um, a hundred years ago, Einstein (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Troubadour, Neuroptimalian

        figured out the max speed limit based on mass is approximately 186,000 miles per second.  Nothing, not even a neutrino can beat that.  With that said no chemical rocket is capable of getting that far.  The Lucy show from the 1950's  is just now getting to some part of the galaxy that are not even close to the middle of the Milky Way.  

        Every time history repeats itself, the price goes up...East Wing Rules

        by Pithy Cherub on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 10:55:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Lucy hasn't even left our spiral arm. (0+ / 0-)

          Technology is a compromise: You can use whatever tool you choose, but be assured it will use you back.

          by Troubadour on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 11:06:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Actually, among others, Michio Kaku in Physics Of (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pithy Cherub, sebastianguy99, FG

          The Impossible speculates on faster than light travel. His conclusion (in that chapter) is:

          Wormholes and stretched space may give us the most realistic way of breaking the light barrier. But it is not known if these technologies are stable; if they are, it would still take a fabulous amount of energy, positive or negative, to make them work...
          Because there is still controversy over the fundamental laws governing the fabric of space-time at the quantum level, I would classify this as a Class II impossibility.
          In his concept
          Class I Impossibilities saren't impossible today known laws of physics and might be doable this century.
          Class II Impossibilities are at the edge of our understanding of the physical world and could take a milennium or more to effectuate.
          Class III Impossibilities violate present known laws of physics.
          •  Kaku called Earthlings a Civilization 0 society (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TofG, sebastianguy99

            too.  We have no ability to master our own planet.  Civilization II can master a star.  We are terrified (rightly) of our own star having a more energetic output that plays havoc with our magnetic field.  Terra forming, if ever, for Earthlings would probably be on Mars and we have 0 planned manned missions.  Kaku dreams big but understands we got nothing here conceptually that allows us in this lifetime to reach beyond our solar system.  A wormhole in this neck of the woods is a mite scary.  

            Every time history repeats itself, the price goes up...East Wing Rules

            by Pithy Cherub on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 12:42:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I have trouble listening to Kaku... (0+ / 0-)

            ...given one of his bumpers on the Science channel for Firefly talks about the FTL travel in the show.  I don't know what freaking show he was watching because there most specifically is no FTL in Firefly.

            •  the Firefly 'verse is a little big for no FTL (0+ / 0-)

              Word of god aside, FTL does make it easier to explain having that many Earth-like planets only days or weeks apart.

              Never attribute to stupidity what can be adequately explained by malice; stupid people couldn't hurt us so effectively.

              by Visceral on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 04:36:24 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Word of God (Whedon himself)... (0+ / 0-)

                ...has explicitly said that Firefly is in a single solar system.  There are dozens of planets and hundreds of moons, all of which have been terraformed, the central-most of which were completed first while people traveled to the solar system on generational ships.  There is a bunch of pre-story history written by Joss in a preproduction memo printed in the Serenity: The Offical Visual Companion, including a long list of planets in the system.

                Sihnon
                Londinium
                Beylix
                Greenleaf
                Hera
                Border Moons
                Osiris
                Jiang Yin
                Dyton
                Ita
                Verbena
                Angel
                Boros
                Higgins' Moon
                Ezra
                Bellerophon
                Athens
                Whitefall
                Haven
                Three Hills
                Deadwood
                Newhall
                Lilac
                Paquin
                Salisbury
                Aberdeen
                Whittier
                Muir
                St. Albans
                Kerry
                Highgate
                Harvest
                Regina
                Bernadette
                Persephone
                Shadow
                Ariel
                Beaumonde
                Liann Jiun
                Silverhold
                Santo

                Earth-That-Was couldn't handle the growing population and resource needs of humankind.  Amazingly enough, instead of wiping itself out, the human race rose to the challenge of finding a new home for the species. A nearby star was located, home to dozens of planets and hundreds of moons, almost all of which had enough mass and solidity to be templates for new earths.  Through giant processing plants, terraforming technologies, gravity regulation and the introduction of every known form of Earthlife, each planet became its own little (or in some cases, huge) Earth.  Every person willing and able to leave the Earth migrated to the new system.  An entire generation never even saw the outside of a spaceship, the journey took so long.  But the planets were ready for habitation (despite the odd quirk of nature or miscalculation on a few) and civilization as we knew it began to rebuild.  The work started on the two largest, most central planets, Sihnon and Londinium.
                Whedon then goes on with 14 more paragraphs about the backstory to Firefly, explaining things like why characters speak English and Chinese (America and China having the economies big enough to finance the terraforming and initial migratory interstellar space travel of the generational ships), and revealing interesting bits not revealed in the show, like how Mal was a volunteer in the Independent military once the war broke out but Zoe was career military, and central planets have human lifespans of 120 years, 94% literacy rates, and the majority religion is Buddhism.

                It's a fascinating read for a fan of the show (like me :D).

                •  To be honest, FTL is probably a more plausible (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Visceral

                  explanation than a single star with hundreds of planets in the habitable zone around it. . . .

                  I have a hard time picturing that many massive objects in stable, life-supporting orbits.

                  We don't want our country back, we want our country FORWARD. --Eclectablog

                  by Samer on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 05:32:10 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  Technology is not a monolith. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marleycat, exterris, FG

        IT advances rapidly because it depends on the ability to abstract information, which exists independently of the medium.  As a result, you can keep miniaturizing it down toward fundamental limits, and once those limits are reached you can just change the medium to something that can go even smaller.

        Physically moving things, however, cannot be advanced through greater abstraction - only a greater level of absolute input.  This is why we're still flying subsonic aircraft instead of flying at mach 6 from New York to Tokyo in a couple of hours.  And it's also why we're still occasionally sending unmanned probes to other planets instead of zipping around the solar system ourselves in big spacecraft.

        And that's the solar system, not the galaxy.  We will spend the next several centuries just growing outward to the Moon, Mars, asteroids, etc., and probably take millennia filling out the niches this solar system has to offer us.  The likelihood of voodoo physics enabling superluminal travel in that time is trivial.  We've had general relativity for a century, but we still haven't been able to translate it into advances in transportation for the reasons already mentioned - to go faster, you need more absolute input, and that takes time to develop.  

        Technology is a compromise: You can use whatever tool you choose, but be assured it will use you back.

        by Troubadour on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 11:01:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  My thoughts exactly... (4+ / 0-)

      The nearest solar system is over 4 light years away (meaning if we could travel at the speed of light, it would take us over 4 years to get there) and likely contains no habitable planets.

      Also, when you consider the time it takes for the light from these distant suns to reach us, it's possible that the first Earth-like planet we find no longer exists.

      •  Unlikely to go extinct in the interim. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        exterris

        The Milky Way is only 120,000 light-years across.  Even the human species is older than that.  But yeah, it does illustrate how preposterous the idea of going to these places is.

        But on the plus side, telescopic observation is the most likely avenue through which we'll discover extraterrestrial civilizations like our own.  First we'll find Earth-like planets with life-indicating atmospheres.  Then we'll develop our technology to look even more closely, and eventually we'll be able to see the telltale chemical and even electromagnetic signatures of technology occurring.  Of course, two-way communication would be out of the question, but it would give birth to a lively new science of studying ET's from indirect telescopic data.

        Technology is a compromise: You can use whatever tool you choose, but be assured it will use you back.

        by Troubadour on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 11:05:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Truthfully... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FG

    ...you can sustain a simpler, more agricultural life in harmony with nature here on earth too. Any of the subsistence farmers I visit in Africa do as much.

    But when given the opportunity to live differently and less in harmony with nature, most people take it.

    I don't want to spend my time digging for my food. A modern economy offers a vast variety of careers and activities unavailable to people on such a planet. I want and like the benefits of modern medicine, transportation and education. We have the economy we do, not wholly, but in large part, because this is the way people want to live; and people are unlikely to change that much whichever planet they live on.

  •  All the bad sci-fi movies I've seen come as a (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, sebastianguy99

    warning when I think about discovering life on new planets. A plague, alien infestation, weird mildew taking over everything, a sentient blob, a sentient bug, and so on.....

  •  Of course if any of the UFO sightings are true, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, exterris, Mannie

    ...then that would seriously challenge what we now see as the immutable law of physics. I'm not saying that any UFO's are extraterrestrial in nature, or that they carry intelligent life, but I think we need to be acknowledge that we do not know what the heck is going on in other parts of the universe.

    To assume the entire universe works the way we believe our little sliver operates is, at best, closed-minded.

    "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

    by sebastianguy99 on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 01:44:16 PM PDT

  •  Question (0+ / 0-)

    Why do you assume any earth like planets out there won't have intelligent life on them. There are many solar systems that are far older than ours. I would say the odds are that there are many planets out there with life forms more advanced than ours. Jeeze we aren't that far removed from discovering fire.

    life is just a temporary discontinuity  in the second law of thermodynamics

    •  Answer (0+ / 0-)

      1) Odds are small to find an inhabitble planet (we found lots that aren't)

      2) Then the odds of a higher lifeform evolving on top of that

      I am sure somewhere in the great vastness of space there is intelligent life out there, I say the odds of us finding it on the first habitable planet are low

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