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Thread: Man's Permanent Move Into Space

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    Given the likelihood that humans will move into space over the next few generations, making it their primary homes & not returning to the earth, evolution will make considerable changes in humans as the species adapts to space.

    First, there is remarkable bone and muscle loss in prolonged space living. Genetic means to reverse or ameliorate these changes will have to come about. Some means of stopping bone resorption in zero gee will have to be found in order to prevent such fragile bones that space dwellers will keep breaking bones. The same for muscle tissues.

    Radiation is a real problem in space. Unless there is a huge mass blocking cosmic rays and other radiations, the incidence of cancers and genetic damage will increase. During Chernobyl some really wide differences in individuals with respect to radiation tolerance were seen. These need to be found and then, if safe, enhanced in space living humans. Similarly, enhanced resistance to genetic damage will need to be added.

    The nature of space requires vast human adaptations and necessarily persons who are technically gifted, such as engineers and persons with very much higher than normal ability to learn information and skills will do far, far better than those who cannot. One cannot send out for a repairman, when one is 20 M kms. out in a spacecraft or habitat, where there are few people.

    Adaptations to lower oxygen, water and lower metabolic rates, which will preserve resources, and allow survival during accidents, will probably be selected for. Shorter, smaller people will definitely be a great advantage over 6 foot 4 men who weigh 110 kg., as they will require far, far less resources to sustain them.

    It's likely there are many other traits and practical changes in human genetics and related belief and social systems will occur, as well.


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    Quote Originally Posted by steve
    Given the likelihood that humans will move into space over the next few generations, making it their primary homes & not returning to the earth, evolution will make considerable changes in humans as the species adapts to space.
    How exactly can this be considered a likelihood? Where are we going to live, how are we going to get there, and how is that not going to be so outrageously expensive and problematic as to be not even worth considering? What lines of technology are suggestive enough for the future that we can even consider this a possibility, let alone a probability?


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    How are we going to get int space? Cf. rockets and space centers in Cape Canaveral, Khazkastan and the ESA's at Kourou in French Guyana, among a number of others, notably China's entry into manned space travel these last 2 years.

    The means of living in space have been well worked out. Cf. Mir, and the current ISS. Propulsion systems, power systems, life support are all there.

    Considering the dwindling resources on earth and the increase in population, plus the facts that it's dangerous to think we can survive only on the earth, where about every 5-10K years or so, we'll get a civilization ending asteroid impact, we really need to get off the earth for species survival.

    One can detect a rather 'anti-space' bias in your post, which rather ignores quite a few events called 'space exploration' and man in space.
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve
    How are we going to get int space? Cf. rockets and space centers in Cape Canaveral, Khazkastan and the ESA's at Kourou in French Guyana, among a number of others, notably China's entry into manned space travel these last 2 years.
    You said "making it their primary homes and not returning to earth". This implies more than a simple flight to the moon which is as far as we've gotten man. This also implies MASS transit of people and resources
    The means of living in space have been well worked out. Cf. Mir, and the current ISS. Propulsion systems, power systems, life support are all there.
    The means of living in space...where...have been "well worked out"? At what cost? Got any links for this?

    Considering the dwindling resources on earth and the increase in population, plus the facts that it's dangerous to think we can survive only on the earth, where about every 5-10K years or so, we'll get a civilization ending asteroid impact, we really need to get off the earth for species survival.
    Dwindling resources are certainly a problem. But it seems to me that advances in technology and other energy sources, such as nuclear, are a hell of a lot more likely than a requirement that we move into space. Come on. And I think you are way off on how often a "civilization ending" impact occurs. Maybe our definitions of civilization ending are different, but from what I've seen extinction level asteroids come around every 65 million years or so. With such a small sample size it's not very meaningful to even talk about the interval, but 65 million years is certainly far more accurate than 5k-10k years.

    One can detect a rather 'anti-space' bias in your post, which rather ignores quite a few events called 'space exploration' and man in space.
    Get your sensors checked then, because I'm very far from anti-space. I'm very interested and very hopeful for it. But I think I'm just a heck of a lot more realistic about it
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    Actually, it's quite relevant. One does not talk of extinction events, but civilization ending impacts. Please do NOT confuse the two. The two are NOT the same. For instance, if two massive volcanic eruptions occurred at the same time, or a huge, single calderic eruption, our civilizations would be very badly damaged, if not ended. It's a matter of fact that the 'year without a summer' occurred both at the time of the Hekla eruption in Iceland about 1783 and also during Tambora about 1813. If two such eruptions were superimposed, or occurred closely together, much of the northern hemisphere would be depopulated by starvation. It could very well end our cilivilization. It would take generations to rebuild.

    The 'nuclear winter' scenario has also been extened to asteroid impacts. A sufficiently large asteroid impacting in the oceans or on land would release such global energy in the form of dust or rainfall, that we'd see either a very long winter, or very, very large rainfall, which could destroy our civilization.

    It's not at all outside of the realm of possibility and indeed has probably occurred before. Given how close some rather large asteroids have come to the earth observed in the last 50 years, it's not at all unreasonable to conclude that, sooner or later, a large enough impact having the effect of multiple Tamboras will occur.

    That you seem not to realize this peril is a rather interesting phenomenon which is not entirely scientific. "Rocks from Space' is a rather good book which gives a readable, scientific treatment of this problem.

    Given our huge populations, and their sensitivity to ANY kind of energy or food interruption (remember Katrina?), we could indeed lose our civilization to a prolonged asteroidal winter. We simply do NOT have enough food to feed even a fraction of our people even with a SINGLE 'year without a summer' let alone several.

    And ignoring a potential problem is NOT dealing with it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve
    The 'nuclear winter' scenario has also been extened to asteroid impacts. A sufficiently large asteroid impacting in the oceans or on land would release such global energy in the form of dust or rainfall, that we'd see either a very long winter, or very, very large rainfall, which could destroy our civilization.
    So what evidence leads you to believe that events of this magnitude happen every 5000-10000 years? You seem to be arguing in your last post that I don't think things like this can happen, when I am merely saying that your estimation of their frequency is *way* off.

    It's not at all outside of the realm of possibility and indeed has probably occurred before. Given how close some rather large asteroids have come to the earth observed in the last 50 years, it's not at all unreasonable to conclude that, sooner or later, a large enough impact having the effect of multiple Tamboras will occur.
    Of course. I completely agree. Not only can it happen, but it's ignorance to claim anything but that at some point, it WILL happen. It's unavoidable.
    But that doesn't change the realities of the difficulties of leaving planet earth and making somewhere else our primary home within the next few generations . It's completely unrealistic and I think there's very little to no chance of that.

    That you seem not to realize this peril is a rather interesting phenomenon which is not entirely scientific. "Rocks from Space' is a rather good book which gives a readable, scientific treatment of this problem.
    Quit mischaracterising my position. I fully realize the threat, and I don't need your book recommendations. I just think you vastly overestimate their frequency of occurance, and vastly underestimate the difficulties of leaving planet earth and making somewhere else our primary home within the next few generations which is almost verbatim what you claimed was a likelihood.

    Given our huge populations, and their sensitivity to ANY kind of energy or food interruption (remember Katrina?), we could indeed lose our civilization to a prolonged asteroidal winter. We simply do NOT have enough food to feed even a fraction of our people even with a SINGLE 'year without a summer' let alone several.
    No argument here. It would be devestating.

    And ignoring a potential problem is NOT dealing with it.
    Agree. Of course, pretending we have the means to fix it (or will soon) when we don't (and probably won't), doesn't fix it either.
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    First you made the comment that we haven't been living off the earth on a regular basis. I guess that means, Skylab, Mir and the ISS haven't had during their lifespans, nearly continuous occupation. I don't doubt the problems are there, but unlike you, I don't doubt that major ones have been largely solved.

    It's not lack of resources or technologies or money, which are the problems. It's lack of motivation. Consider than the Iran/Iraq war in the 1980's cost about $1 trillion. Had money of that kind been spent over a 10 year period to create permanent space habs (Apollo cost a mere $20-25 billions for perspective), then I don't doubt we'd have had permanent space habitats by now.

    The money is there. The problems are real, but certainly solvable. It's not been done due anything BUT lack of incentive to do so. Perhaps after the first partial gigaton impactor strikes a major nation plus cities, killing 100's of 1000's to millions or more, then the race will wake up. Perhaps it will take two closely space volcanic eruptions, or the onset of another full Ice Age, devastating the northern hemisphere before it will be realized what needs to be done. But until then the problems are NOT financial OR technological, but cultural & psych, fixed right squarely between human ears. No where else.
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    Well, the money is there. The resources also are there in space. Consider the worth of a single iron rich asteroid of about 500 m. in diameter. The mass is about 65.6 million cu. m., translating to about 550 million metric tons of iron and nickel with a smattering of heavier elements such as chromium, cobalt, etc.

    It could be obtained according to "Mining the Sky" for about $20-25 B, altho given new technologies over the last 15 years, doubtless less by now. Its net worth is in the trillions easily.

    Let's see, worth of $5-10 trillions)conservatively) in metals divided by a cost of $20-25 Billions. A range of about, what, 20,000-40,000% return on investment, more or less. I defy you to find that kind of return on any investment on earth, on that scale.

    Given that the largest costs for space habitats are the several $1000's/kg. put into NEO, not only would it create a very large "bank" of raw materials for far, far cheaper space construction than mass lifted out of the deep earth gravity well, but an actual metals worth in the $5-10 trillions to finance the job.

    It's doable. It would not take that much money, say about 0.2 of 1% of our GDP for a year, or far, far less per nation if the EU, Japan and the US decided to do it.

    One believes that you overestimated the difficulties, underestimated the value of space resources, and frankly, having not given any real, factual DATA about the costs of space travel, despite protestations that you are FOR space, seem rather pessimistic. Obviously, if you think it can't be done, you won't EVER do it. Leaving it to the nation/consortium which does indeed first do it to run the show on earth, from the ultimate military high ground of space.

    Should the Chinese with their huge GDP decide to do it first, then one hopes we can learn Mandarin in short order.

    NO, the numan future necessarily lies in space, because the resources there are so vast that those on earth are trivial. The first power which takes the high ground of space and tethers that to a large, metal rich asteroid will run the show on earth from that massive financial and military advantage. Because space is all there is, and the earth is inconsequential except to us locals.
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve
    Well, the money is there. The resources also are there in space. Consider the worth of a single iron rich asteroid of about 500 m. in diameter. The mass is about 65.6 million cu. m., translating to about 550 million metric tons of iron and nickel with a smattering of heavier elements such as chromium, cobalt, etc.

    It could be obtained according to "Mining the Sky" for about $20-25 B, altho given new technologies over the last 15 years, doubtless less by now. Its net worth is in the trillions easily.

    Let's see, worth of $5-10 trillions)conservatively) in metals divided by a cost of $20-25 Billions. A range of about, what, 20,000-40,000% return on investment, more or less. I defy you to find that kind of return on any investment on earth, on that scale.
    You keep whining that I'm not substantiating my *opinion*, but you are throwing numbers around and not providing any justification for them.
    Show us YOUR sources and your data instead of asking me to take your word for it. Show me some research which suggests that this project is doable.

    I did a quick search on "Mining the Sky" and read a couple reviews - I really don't think you should be criticizing other people for not substantiating their views if this is the best you can come up with. Popular literature is fun and all but it's hardly scientific support - very, very far from it. I've read plenty of popular literature - Davies, Greene, Smoot and others, but there are limitations that have to be recognized when it comes to it. Have anything more substantial? A popular science book, with some data and some very fanciful exaggerations (according to reviews) is hardly convincing.

    Besides, if the return is so great - why isn't it being done? You mentioned lack of motivation, but for big business $$$ is the biggest motivator of all. If this has such unprecedented promise, you'd expect corporations to be lined up racing to be among the first to reap these benefits, wouldn't you?
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    You are simply ignoring the facts. "Mining the sky" is a very good primer on what's going on. You cannot simply dismiss the facts there wth a wave of your amateur hand, which is what you have done.

    Frankly, your comments bear no weight. You simply refuse to supply any data which support your assertions, then accuse my posts of doing what you are manifestly doing. I've given some sources, in which are contained many, many further references.. You cursorily dismiss them without even reading or even treating with the data and ideas there.

    Frankly, your positions are pessimistic, and since you steadfastly refuse to join in a factual, scientific discussion of the pertinent facts & concepts which might support your position, one can take your comments for what they are worth. You've dismissed space travel and habitation, and plausibly no amount of data is going to change that mind set. Given a broadly generalizing belief based upon that kind of lack of specific data, reasoning and ideas, one can reasonably deny its truth value.
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    What other source did you give other than a popular science book, which isn't even much of source? Present some real sources and some real facts and I'd be happy to look at them. I'd love to be wrong about this one but telling me that I'm wrong doesn't do the trick.
    Why don't you answer my last question while you're at it?

    Besides, if the return is so great - why isn't it being done? You mentioned lack of motivation, but for big business $$$ is the biggest motivator of all. If this has such unprecedented promise, you'd expect corporations to be lined up racing to be among the first to reap these benefits, wouldn't you?
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    Corporations, esp. American ones, are oblivious to long term investments and goals. The development of th VCR was one such. It required a long term, sustained investment and work. The US corps were not willing to do that. The Japanese did and got the entire US market.

    Making an investment in going out and seizing a metal rich asteroid is of the same type. No corps have the resources to do it of themselves, unless Bill Gates is willing to take the risk with half his fortune. He could do it, frankly, given the proper organization and support.

    Long term investments in the aerospace industry 60 years ago, also, were not being made by US corps. That was why the government had to promote it, as necessary for our defense, as well as commercial airliner industry. Corps again, did NOT of themselves, go in that direction either.

    The same is abundantly true of human space habitation. Corps are NOT going to commit to the long term goals of space habiation and exploration because it will not bring immediate profits. Altho in the long run the profits will be unlimitted.

    It's lack of vision, lack of corporate will and a mindset, again, which is geocentric and eventually will destroy itself.

    As I've written before, the human interest in survival and long term benefits lies not on the earth, but in space, because space is all there is and the earth is inconsequential.

    Sooner or later, this will become abundantly clear that humanity's future does NOT lie on the earth, but in space. That is why our evolution must necessarily carry us into space.

    I've repeatedly asked you WHY we cannot explore and inhabit space. You cite costs, but then give no references at all. I've given Mining the Sky and "Rocks from Space' as two good source texts about these, in which they contain hudnreds of additional references.

    Don't impugn me because you can't hit a library or haven't same, either of which is not a good excuse.

    There is no royal road to geometry, or learning about space habitation, travel, acquiring asteroids, or much else. It takes work, not sitting in front of a computer thinking it will pour data into one's brain. The Internet IS NOT an archival source of information. It's but a window. It's NOT the library of learning
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    Kargel, Jeffrey S. Metalliferous asteroids as potential sources of precious metals Journal of Geophysical Research vol. 99, no. E10, 10/1994
    Abstract
    Recent discoveries of near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) and chemical analyses of fragments of asteroids (meteorites) suggest that there may be a gold mine, literally, in near-Earth space. Judged from meteorite analyses, two types of asteroids offer particularly bright prospects for recovery of large quantities of precious metals (defined as Au, Pt, Ir, Os, Pd, Rh, and Ru), the ordinary LL chondrites, which contain 1.2-5.3% Fe-Ni metal containing 50-220 ppm of precious metals, and metallic asteroids, which consist almost wholly of Fe-Ni phases and contain variable amounts of precious metals up to several hundred ppm. The pulverized regolith of LL chondrite asteroids could be electromagnetically raked to separate the metallic grains. Suitable metallic asteroids could be processed in their entirety. Statistically, there should be approximately six metallic NEAs larger than 1 km in diameter that contain over 100 ppm of precious metals. Successful recovery of 400,000 tons or more of precious metals contained in the smallest and least rich of these metallic NEAs could yield products worth $5.1 trillion (US) at recent market prices.
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    Good find Ophio, but HOW are we supposed to mine one of those, get the materials back to earth, and so on? It's the logistics that don't seem realistic, not the materials that make up asteroids.
    And then, even if we could, how does that translate to steve's claim of humans "leaving earth as their primary home"? Having a lot more materials is great but it still requires resources to use em, resources to get em, and feats of logistics we haven't even come close to achieving to even begin to accomplish.
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve
    I've repeatedly asked you WHY we cannot explore and inhabit space. You cite costs, but then give no references at all. I've given Mining the Sky and "Rocks from Space' as two good source texts about these, in which they contain hudnreds of additional references.
    ...that's great that you keep asking me that but that's not the claim that I am challenging. I am challenging your claim that within a couple generations it is likely that we will leave earth as our primary home. It's a fantastical claim. I challenge one of YOUR claims and you are saying that it is incumbent upon ME to DISPROVE it, rather than on YOU to SUPPORT it? Giving the name of a popular science book doesn't cut it, I'm sorry. Telling me to look up references contained in that book doesn't cut it, either. If that's as much support as you feel is necessary, that's fine with me - there isn't much more to dicuss, I'll go on thinking you are wrong and you'll go on thinking you are right. No biggie.
    If you want to make a stronger case, I'm all ears.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neutrino
    ..I am challenging your claim that within a couple generations it is likely that we will leave earth as our primary home.
    Sorry, Neutrino, regardless of what Steve may think, that is certainly not what he said initially. Here is a direct quote:
    Given the likelihood that humans will move into space over the next few generations, making it their primary homes & not returning to the earth, evolution will make considerable changes in humans as the species adapts to space.
    Point 1: The next few generations is more than within a couple of generations.
    Point 2: Humans will leave the Earth, not humanity. i.e. Steve is stating that within one hundred years {a few generations) some humans will leave the earth permanently, to make their home in space. That is not in any way a fantastical notion. Indeed, I would suggest that anyone who thinks this will not happen (barring natural or man-made disaster) hasn't been paying attention during the last 10,000 years.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophi
    Point 2: Humans will leave the Earth, not humanity.
    Quote Originally Posted by steve
    Sooner or later, this will become abundantly clear that humanity's future does NOT lie on the earth, but in space. That is why our evolution must necessarily carry us into space.
    ...I see the word humanity in there, I believe. I suppose you'll tell me that it's out of context, but he's talking about the same topic, he hasn't yet told me that I misunderstood anything, so it seems to me he's just clarifying his original position. It certainly sounds like he means at least a majority of humans, but it's vague enough that either I could be right, or in this case he means in the more distant future that a "few" generations.

    Given the likelihood that humans will move into space over the next few generations, making it their primary homes & not returning to the earth, evolution will make considerable changes in humans as the species adapts to space.
    He's talking about humans "as a species", and about the direction of our evolution. That would at least imply a majority if he's talking about our evolution. How much sense does it usually make to talk about the evolution of a species, but really only MEAN a subset of it with no explicit reference to that fact?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Indeed, I would suggest that anyone who thinks this will not happen (barring natural or man-made disaster) hasn't been paying attention during the last 10,000 years.
    I'd be interested to know why you think this. If you answer though, please define the "this" that you think will happen within the next few generations, so there's no further confusion. If you simply mean that "some" people will live in space, I'd certainly expect that. But I suppose that will depend on what exactly you mean by some, and where you expect them to live.
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    I have split off the discussion on Man's move into space, largely taking place between Steve and Neutrino, into this separate thread. It was becoming off-topic for the one on further evolution of man, but was definitely worth continuing.

    Neutrino, I need a little while to prepare a proper reply.
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    No problem, take your time. I'd much rather someone take the time and present a convincing argument anyway - I'm looking to be convinced here, if you are in fact right. I appreciate the time you put into the post.
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    NO, again, some raise the illogical specter of the false claim, the straw man. I did NOT state humanity would leave, in bulk, the earth as our home. Just because massive volcanic eruptions or Ice Ages make the earth less habitable, does not mean most humans will leave. It means vast millions will die.

    I stated permanent human habitations in space would come about. There is a vast difference between what I wrote, and what some falsely claim I wrote.

    Frankly, I wish most would more carefully read and think about what was written in my posts. When the Euros colonized the New World, they did NOt just transport the entie populations of Espagna, France, Sverige, England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland, etc., to the New world, But tiny fractions of it. They established colonies.

    In time, those colonies did in fact become larger than the colonizing nations. This will happen to the earth over time. Human colonies in space within a few centuries will outnumber human populations on earth by thousands of times. Simply because space is all there is and the earth is so tiny and inconsequential.

    frankly, your continued use of rhetorical fallacies terribly undermines your position.

    As humanity is very likely to go into space, then the next stage of human evolution, in its most massive change since our evolution here, will be space habitats. That is hardly the transportation of vast numbers of humans off the planet.
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    Again, I turn it right back at you. Since some seem to believe that human habitation of space is quite, quite unlikely, then let them detail that, as they request others detail why we will be going into space.

    Apparently I do, but you don't have to. Or you can, but I mustn't. Rhetorical clevernesses are not appreciated. They have no bearing whatsoever on the facts of the matter.
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    Ophiolite, I appreciate your learned posts and additions here. I agree that literally there are vast 'gold mines' in space. These are the metal rich asteroids, which if their fraction of total meteor falls on the earth is any indication(again, "Rocks in Space"), are about 10% of visible rocky or dense asteroids.

    Mining the Sky goes into these issues in quite some detail, and shows how and why mining the sky can be such a lucrative affair.

    I agree with your post that establishing permanent space habitats does not mean we will transport off earth most of the human population. Frankly, in the case of colonization, it's always a tiny fraction which initially populates the first permanent colonies. This will be true in space.

    However, it's also likely true, that within a number of centuries, as in the case of England, Spain & Portugal, the population of the colonies will greatly outnumber the original colonizing states, because space is so unlimittedly vast, compared to the earth in size and resources.

    What is of concern to me is that the posts AGAINST space colonization, simply refuse to deal with the largesse in space, the vast size and resources there, and the technological capacity of humans to exploit those resources and spaces. One reads a constant pessimistic opposition to space living and habitation, but reads of not a single, scientific reference which credibly shows it's impossible or unlikely. One sees a refusal to treat the facts, & simply a hand waving, arm chair dismissal of them. This suggests an approach which is far less than intellectually supportable.

    One agrees that it's expensive, but so was Apollo and so was the Iran/Iraq war, and the recent war in Iraq. I suspect if the US and allies committed to space, as much of those resources which they detached from their economies to invade Iraq, to create sustainable, permanent habitats in space, we'd be a good ways there. already.

    Again, it's not the lack of technologies, nor resources, nor organization, which keeps us out of space. It's the lack of will, of vision, and of a concern for our survival as a species.

    As Tsiolkovsky wrote, the pioneer of space travel, the earth is the womb of the human race. And we cannot stay in the womb forever.
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve
    I stated permanent human habitations in space would come about. There is a vast difference between what I wrote, and what some falsely claim I wrote.
    Then a simple correction is all that is required. Your original statements could easily be interpreted either way, ESPECIALLY given the context of the original thread - HUMAN EVOLUTION. If I misunderstand your post, then simply correct me. Insults and condescening remarks don't help.

    When the Euros colonized the New World, they did NOt just transport the entie populations of Espagna, France, Sverige, England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland, etc., to the New world, But tiny fractions of it. They established colonies.
    Yes, but your comments were in the context of 1) human evolution and 2) civilization ending impacts, so your analogy is far from useful. It it really so unreasonable to think, given the context of proccesses and events that affect the vast majority of, if not the entire population, that you were talking about humanity in whole? Or at least in large part? Come on now.
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve
    What is of concern to me is that the posts AGAINST space colonization, simply refuse to deal with the largesse in space, the vast size and resources there, and the technological capacity of humans to exploit those resources and spaces.
    See, to me, it's your posts that aren't getting the vastness - and hostility - of space, even within the solar system. Ignoring the question of resources, I could agree with some inner solar system space travel. As far as habitation, it seems that it would be extremely difficult. Without an atmosphere like earth's to protect us from meteoroids and radiation, how and where could it be accomplished on anything but an insignificantly small scale?
    If you are talking about anything beyond the inner solar system, I'd like to know exactly what kind of propulsion technology is even theoretically possible that makes it seem anywhere in the ballpark of realistic.
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    I don't want to turn this back to the evolution topic, since we just split the thread awy from that, but......

    Speciation occurs when groups are geographically isolated. Space provides the opportunity for some pretty good isolation. In short, I don't think Steve was talking about the whole human race evolving dramatically, anymore than he was talking about the whole human race leaving the planet. Right Steve? But the small colonies that would form 'out there', in a different environment, would have a lot of evolutionary pressure on them.

    Back to the main topic - I'll post my organised thoughts later.
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    I was thinking that might be the case, but if it were, I'd think in a thread about the future of human evolution that he'd at least mention speciation. But, since he didn't, I again come back to thinking that he was talking about humanity as a whole (or at least a large majority).
    But, you are right, no need to get back on evolution - it's simply one reason why I thought he was talking about humanity as a whole/majority.
    If you (steve) meant a smaller subset of humanity, you meant a smaller subset of humanity, period. My mistake if I misread; your mistake if you are saying you meant something other than you said (or implied)
    But anyway, long car trip for me now. Bleh. Back later
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    Sorry to jump in late here, but I think one point that could also be discussed is the question of where we are going to get the energy needed to send people into space and construct space colonies... while ensuring that we do not bankrupt the world economy.

    Besides that, I think gene therapy will start to be used on those we send into space. Either that, or it might just be that we have the same situation we had with the New World; i.e. we send the people we don't want into space, and the ones that survive become the ones who become successful colonizers of other planets. That's the core idea behind micro-evolution: the genes in a given group vary, and the ones with the best genes are more likely to survive and, therefore, pass on their genes.
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    Sorry to jump in late here, too.

    "Laboratory Mike"

    Sorry to jump in late here, but I think one point that could also be discussed is the question of where we are going to get the energy needed to send people into space and construct space colonies... while ensuring that we do not bankrupt the world economy.
    The energy of sending people into space is going to be no big deal. At the very least we can use solar energy to decompose water and make rocket fuel. While in space there are many different methods we have right now and many we're still developing. But we'd have the energy.

    The world economy is fiction. It doesn't really exist. We have to believe in money in order for it to not be meaningless. However, the limited amounts of resources on Earth are real (the amount of iron, the amount of water) which would be no big deal if we weren't taking these resources off of the Earth (where they can be recycled). The only thing we need to concern ourselves with is having enough resources, so we will have to develop methods of mining and refining resources for construction in space. This is difficult, but very far from impossible.

    Developing methods in order for leaving Earth successfully and comfortably should be the number one priority of our species, we only have one house and we're trashing it, and we know it will burn down eventually.
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    Quote Originally Posted by silkworm
    Sorry to jump in late here, too.

    "Laboratory Mike"

    Sorry to jump in late here, but I think one point that could also be discussed is the question of where we are going to get the energy needed to send people into space and construct space colonies... while ensuring that we do not bankrupt the world economy.
    The energy of sending people into space is going to be no big deal. At the very least we can use solar energy to decompose water and make rocket fuel. While in space there are many different methods we have right now and many we're still developing. But we'd have the energy.
    In my case, I am one of the many engineers trying to make that energy "no big deal." Currently, there are no such sources. I know that sounds pessimistic, but finding a plentiful energy source is in fact a very big deal, and will need to be overcome before we can implement an inexpensive, large-scale space program. It could happen, but there are certain barriers that we haven't removed yet. I personally think that nuclear fuel would be a highly significant possibility. Improvements to the ramjet engine might also be enough for us to use current technology as a means of getting more people and more material into space.

    The world economy is fiction. It doesn't really exist. We have to believe in money in order for it to not be meaningless. However, the limited amounts of resources on Earth are real (the amount of iron, the amount of water) which would be no big deal if we weren't taking these resources off of the Earth (where they can be recycled). The only thing we need to concern ourselves with is having enough resources, so we will have to develop methods of mining and refining resources for construction in space. This is difficult, but very far from impossible.
    Let me rephrase "world economy." Availability of resources is a better term. The thing is, going into space just isn't going to happen if the average man can't afford to live. This is part of the reason the space program is limited now. This is also why novel space travel companies are vying to implement a low-cost space vehicle. I think SpaceX is trying to build a ten million dollar (the combined annual salary of about 275-300 US Americans) rocket that can launch 1,400 pounds of payload, which is one tenth of the next-cheapest rocket. These are the guys we need to watch, because if there's going to be a form of space travel, then a focus on "cheap, easy, and mass-producible" machines will be the ticket. For example, if it cost $50,000 US to leave life here and set up a new life on another planet, a lot of people could do it, since we're talking the equivalent of 1-3 years worth of work for the average Western person. The economic benefits might also raise the availble wealth on Earth for those in poorer nations as well, and thus enable even more people to go. However, as I said above our best shot is the ten million dollar rocket (plus the cost of everything else needed!, which most people couldn't afford to go on because we're talking bout the equivalent of several lifetimes of work to repay being able to go. Once again, we're looking at where we can get enough energy to send someone so far away.

    Developing methods in order for leaving Earth successfully and comfortably should be the number one priority of our species, we only have one house and we're trashing it, and we know it will burn down eventually.
    Not that I too greatly disagree, but there a lot of people who feel that we should have our act together here before we go elsewhere. And the world's governemnts will listen to them just as much as you, if not even more. However, I'm not saying it won't happen. I'm just saying we don't have what we need yet; perhaps your interest in this subject will lead you to more study in this area... Maybe you can help us engineers find the things we need to get space travel closer to reality, if you are not doing so already...
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    Neutrino disputes Steve's contention we will be colonizing space in a few generations. So, Neurtino and I think it will probably take longer, but I am surprised by Neutrino's position, apparently, that it is also unneeded and even undesirable.

    For one thing, we are exposed here on Earth to severe weather changes and impacts which could blot out the sun for years and crash our numbers back down to a few. But even before that happens (again! it appears to have happened once about 73,000 years ago), we are approaching the biological curve crest here on this limited space we call Earth.

    We have to keep expanding as a species or suffer a severe population crash. To say it is too expensive is like saying it was too expensive for the Polynesians to spread out across the vast Pacific Ocean and colonize all the little islands in it or for Europeans to colonize the New World. We do not yet have the technology needed nor can we afford it now. But that does not mean it won't happen.

    On the subject of civilizations, like ours, collapsing, the only reason social scientists tend to claim civilizations do not rise and fall is that they were unable to figure out why they did during almost a century of effort. So, they adopted the word "culture" as a substitute for "civilization" (as well as for "religion" and for "society"!). That solved their problem! That word change came almost a half century ago and put an end to all such effort (and embarrassment over failing!). There is a lot of rationalizing going on in the social sciences. Does anyone dispute that?

    I think Steve's initial remarks about solving our muscle and bone-density and problem when in space were a little inaccurate. We are not really evolving any more, biologically. We will not evolve into space beings, biologically. We are the same species as we were almost 200,000 years ago. This is the latest social science data. We will have to depend upon genetic manipulating---which we are actively doing.

    Ideal with this more at http://humanpurpose.simplenet.com
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    Quote Originally Posted by charles brough
    I am surprised by Neutrino's position, apparently, that it is also unneeded and even undesirable
    Hey I'm just as surprised as you, since that's not my position.
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    my apologies! I meant to write "Steve."
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    It's likely that humans ARE evolving. There was an article in Nature, which reported changes in the SNP's, chunks of genes. These showed, over about the last 50K years, a 7% change. That's an extremely fast evolution. On par with what's been seen over the last 500K years of primate evolution leading to the present species.

    So, Yes, we are evolving as a species and very likely at a very rapid rate, compared to most large animals. Techno developments will drive biological evolution. And further biological evolution gives rise to more kinds of cultural and techno evolution. The vast change in human literacy in the last 500 years is just such a one. About 200 years ago, the majoriy of people could not read or write. 500 years ago, very few could. Currently in developed nations a literacy rate of >90% is the norm.

    So there's one very real brain change right there.

    Regarding "Mining the Sky' some (not yourself) refuse to address the issues. The road to space is clearly open. To imply that we don't have the resources, the energy, talent or technologies to go into space is simply not true. The problem is psychological and cultural like most human limits.

    Neut's constant claim that it's too expensive to go into space is marked by an absolute lack of data or refs to support it. then he plays a rhetorical game by claiming I must prove he's wrong. That's not the case. The data are there. Just that he doesn't much care to look at it, as it'd weaken his position.
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    Steve, the inference of the social sciences is as you claim, that we are still evolving. One reason for this is that social scientists have not been able to come up with a viable explanation that explains the vast cultural heritage we have accumulated and which enables us to survive in such numbers on this earth.

    But resorting to the evolution explanation is just a variation of the "White Man's Burden" idea. Surely, you are not saying that people in smaller societies who are just now entering world society---such as the people of New Guinea---are therefore biologically unable to become like us without also going thru the same "more extensive" biological evolution? In other words, you are in effect saying that the problems black people are having in the West is racial rather than social.

    I think there is enough evidence available showing that a baby taken randomly from any more primitive culture, if brought up in a modern family's home, will turn out to be much the same as the other children in the household.

    Perhaps you are aware of the history of ferrel children, those who were brought up in the wild, sometimes by other animals. Such people are very primitive and never develop into normal citizens. They missed key elements in our environment. But they are biologically the same.

    If we were still evolving biologically, it would have to be by natural selection and where is this ruthless process going on? The poor have many more children than the educated. We separate congenital twins. We incubate premature birth babies. We repair congenital heart defects and such people grow up and have children. Yet, if you look at the work of anthropologists, you find that the lives of people in primitive societies are as full and complicated as is ours. Some of their languages are even more complex. Children have an immense amount of information that they need to absorb, just as with us.

    All the changes you report can be explained socially. Certainly, societies evolve. There is such a thing as social evolution. Just how much smarter do you really think we are from the Ancient Greeks? Or how about the Mongols? These "primitive" disadvantaged people built up a way that enabled their SMALLER armies to battle and win over the most sophisticated armies then on Earth. They conquered Islam at its peak and China also at its peak. They exploited the technology of those they conquered and used it against the enemy. In short order they were firing rockets and exploding ordinance against the Chinese.

    Do you have to resort to "reverse evolution" when you look at how Greek society declined and the difficulty we are having in running Earth now? I wonder, hasn't the rate of literacy in the US reversed and in decline? Fewer students are becoming scientists and engineers. Why did Islam and India civilizations slide down relative to the rest of the world eight to tend centuries ago? Biological evolution cannot explain these things.

    In fact, there is very little evidence that we are physiologically, biologically and motivationally changed at all from what we emerged as almost 200,000 years ago. We have remained so static, biologically, that we remain the same species all that time.

    It is "cultures" (societies) that evolve.

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    Quote Originally Posted by steve
    Neut's constant claim that it's too expensive to go into space is marked by an absolute lack of data or refs to support it. then he plays a rhetorical game by claiming I must prove he's wrong. That's not the case. The data are there. Just that he doesn't much care to look at it, as it'd weaken his position
    Why don't you quote where I asked you to disprove me? I have a feeling you can't. Instead, what I really asked was for support for YOUR position that's a little bit more solid than a popular science book. There's books like that about all manner of subjects, many of them sport all kinds of calculations, and some of them, at best, must be taken with a giant grain of salt. They aren't really great support on their own. In fact, I read a book called "Doomsday Asteroid" which talks about some of the very same things you were (asteroid mining in particular). That doesn't mean I'm convinced, because I take those books for what they are.
    AND, far from demanding you disprove my position, I've said if that's the best support you have that's WELL AND GOOD with me. I don't care if you don't have anything better. It's just far from an ironclad, or even particularly convincing, case. You are under no obligation to further support it as far as I'm concerned - just don't expect me to agree with you.
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    Technically we are able to go into space, no problem. It is only a fear of the unknown that is preventing "full throttle" dedication to this goal.

    Not to mention what a change would bring an awareness that "our kind" now lives on two and not on just one planet. And all sorts of technologies would ben needed to support those societies, which would bring progres and new development.. Eg. constant evolution.
    Want to have unlimited power? Dont stop learning and u'll have it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Katulus
    Technically we are able to go into space, no problem. It is only a fear of the unknown that is preventing "full throttle" dedication to this goal.

    Not to mention what a change would bring an awareness that "our kind" now lives on two and not on just one planet. And all sorts of technologies would ben needed to support those societies, which would bring progres and new development.. Eg. constant evolution.
    Do you think fear is the reason why NASA is underfunded? I read that some rich people are willing to spend millions to go into space. I read that private enterprise is building space ships to accommodate them. Of course, I suppose there are millions of people who do not want to leave the Earth, and you are right there, but apparently the people who do realize that mankind must eventually expand out into space or become cramped, over-crowded and suffer retrogression are too few and do not have enough influence on public opinion.

    But really, just getting out into space is not the issue. We already do that. The issue is building colonies out in the rest of our solar system and, eventually, out further into our galexy. This is where much better tecknology will be needed. Indeed, it might actually be necessary to climatize Mars or one of the moons. That could take centuries.

    Even so, the biggest problem is not technology or fear. It is apathy. We have become absorbed with personal gain, shopping. We have become hedonistic. We do not look to the future or care about the long term.

    It does bother me as I hope it bothers you. At my website, I look into this aspect the most and I think there exists a solution.

    cb http://humanpurpose.simplenet.com
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    Charles that's bull. It's not racial or anything like that at all. Most people realize the difrerence among humans are far, far more cultural than genetic.

    What you're doing is creating a straw man of things which I never wrote, never support, and cannot be derived logically from what I wrote.

    I simply wrote that human beings were very likely evolving very rapidly as a species. I never once mentioned race or anything else. You did. I did not.

    The SNP data are not race sensitive, but species specific. The SNP's apply not to some groups of people, not to some races, but to humanity as a whole.

    I rather resent the racist implications you are trying to foist upon this discussion of human evolution. And resent your illogical overinterpretations very deeply.

    I presented the SNP's data. That is totally race neutral. I also pointed out that reading was very widely required in order to create a society which was technologically advanced, as compared to societies in Western Europe from centuries ago, which were not widely literate. That is also totally racially neutral. Literacy is widely viewed as socially desirable in Western, Asian and African nations, and across all religious boundaries as well.

    Where you get your racist claims is simply from your own beliefs, not from anything I wrote. And I very greatly resent your innuendoes and insinuations. :x
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    Neut, UR just begging the question. AGain by dismissing the contents of a book which you've never read, which is written by competent experts in the area, viz. Mining the Sky, and full of many, solid easily verifiable references.

    The issue is not whether it's popular, but whether the discussion in "Mining the Sky' is a reasonably scientific appraisal of the subject.

    That is your fallacy, the one of the irrelevancy. Obviously, in this short a space one cannot summarize the detailed arguments and numerous scientific references, which you repeatedly refuse to admit, and still are ignoring, because it's too much work.

    I'd accept reasonable rejoinders to the arguments in "Mining the Sky'. Not your lazy, arm chair dismissals (by way of irrelevancies and fallacies).

    I'm not impressed by general rhetorical claims, but by specifics. I've given my references. Let's see yours.

    My general conclusion is that, desptie your claims, you're not in the slightest interested in funding space programs leading to a permanent space habitations. I've yet to see a single credible reference which supports your assertions.

    Or, you may hold your peace.
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    Wow! I am surprised that you are so touchy over what I wrote! Strange, but I see race as an intellectual issue, not an emotional one. I think that should hold true of all social science.

    I did not attack you personally. but apparently it was taken that way.
    I have nothing against you at all. In fact, I agree with much if not most of what you write, and until now, I was happy with the way you expressed it.

    I like to be challenged on the issue we have been discussing. I see it as a key issue in my half century of effort in the social sciences. I would be happy to continue with the subject here. But do not expect me to read your sources. I am not intested in how they interpret the data, and I am well aware of the data. I know about the little hereditary changes that evolve. They do not explain anything of any significance as far as what has brought us where we are in the world today in such numbers.

    In history, I believe there are periods when different races (races tend to become isolated by religion) load up and become burdened by hereditary defects because of the ease and prosperity they enjoyed for perhaps too long. This is happening now.

    I have no hesitation in using the term "race" as a visual entity in the observing of the past and the present because I personally believe society should set inter-racial marriage as a doctrinal ideal and race-hate as a moral and legal crime. Also, I believe there is no difference among the races in the biological-instinctual makeup that would limit or prevent any race from having or participating fully in the rise of a new civilization.

    I really did not read most of your two reports because I felt the emotion and did not want to get involved. Perhaps you might repeat any important material . . .

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    steve I'm sorry you accept a book written for the general public as strong scientific support, but it isn't. Saying "read the book" isn't a particularly convincing argument. Like I said, all I was asking for was some better references. If that request is "irrelevancies and arm-chair dismissals" to you, then I don't know what to say. You can't expect people to automatically agree with your assertions just because you read a book. I've read books too! I don't agree with you. If you don't want to support it further, I already said I don't really care. Stop taking things so personally. It seems like your response was basically - pull a couple logical fallacies out of a hat, then accuse me of committing them.
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    Again, you assert the false, straw man of "Mining the Sky' being a popuilar book. It's book written by experts in the field and chock full of scientific references.

    Frankly, you haven't and won't read the book, so the discussion is at an end from your standpoint. And if you won't read those two, then why would you have any reason to read or study anything else referenced here?

    The facts are, your position is simply oppositiousness.

    Ophiolite wrote a rather detailed and well referenced article about the resources to be found in space. Mining the Sky contains the means and references to those current technologies by which such a metal rich aseroid can be obtained and put into high earth orbit, presumably the L-5 or 4 points, where it'd be stable in orbit.

    You totaly ignored his demonstration of the value of asteroidal masses and resources, raising the false objection, how can they be acquired?
    Mining the Sky tells how.

    You are not discussing specifics, but simply denying reality and the facts. Why should you be given any other references, as clearly, you have ignored THREE of them already, and then ignore the facts you are ignoring them?

    Humans are going into space. We are going there because we are outgrowing the earth and realizing that our survival rests upon spreading ourselves out among the planets and then the stellar systems in the Orion spiral arm.

    Knowledge is power & we are quickly reaching a limit of what we can find around here. NO local black holes to study. No nebulae making new stellar systems. No neutron stars, and literally hundreds to thousands of other phenomena, including other living cells, which are NOT in our local space, but are out there and would tell us far, far more than we can learn from our armchairs or labs here on earth.

    That's the promise and ultimate future of our species in space.

    To paraphrase Tsiolkovsky, the fore runner of space flight and mechanics, we humans cannot stay in the womb forever. We must eventually go out into space or be stillborn.
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    Charles B., thanks for clarifying that issue. The facts of human evolution, to my knowledge brook no cultural or racial advantages to any group.

    Regarding 'social evolution' that is an misnomer. Evolution is the change in the gene population of a species. Social changes are NOT evolution, but developments. There is no relationship between biological evolution, or claims of 'social evolution'. There is no such thing as social evolution.

    Where are the genetic elements of social changes? There are none. These are cultural changes, NOT genetic ones. IN the Yugoslav region, the populations there are very much the same, but the major differences are cultural, NOT population genetics. Compared to relatively distinct root stock populations in many N. European regions, the people there, Croats, Slovenians, Bosnians, Serbs and Albanian-Kosovars have far, far more in common with each other genetically than they do with Germans.

    There is no such thing as social 'evolution'. There are technological, social and cultural developments, but that is not evolution. It's a quite different process in fact and the misnomer arises when persons who do not understand biological processes apply a perfectly good scientific concept to something which it is not.

    Some even go so far to say that so & so is 'more evolved." AGain, 1 more case where the word, evolved, a perfectly good biological term, is being misused by persons, humanities majors most of them, who have no real idea about what evolution means.

    We are NOT ungoing social evolution. We are not becoming personally 'more evolved'. Those are imposed, external changes. There is a huge difference between evolutionary effects in a species and those which are Environmental. That is the difference.

    Genetic changes in gene populations are the manifestation of existing living cells. Environmental changes, such as culture, societies and other effects are Environmental, external, NOT evolutionary. Frankly, simply it's the difference between nature and nurture.

    Granted, environment can have an effect on genomes, as has been written here regarding language. But it's environment, NOT genetic and thus NOT evolutionary.

    The word evolution has a precise biological, scientific meaning. Cultures do NOT evolve. They develop. They are environmental, NOT genetic.

    Hopefully misusing biological terms, which just confuses a scientific discussion, can be avoided.
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve
    Again, you assert the false, straw man of "Mining the Sky' being a popuilar book. It's book written by experts in the field and chock full of scientific references.
    By "popular", I mean written for the general public. It's not a peer reviewed journal article, basically. It's a book. Books make lots of claims. Books written by scientists make lots of claims. They have the leeway to do so in such a format. Maybe "Mining the Sky" is 100% accurate and not fanciful or wishful thinking in the slightest. I don't know, I haven't read it. But the point is that assertions based off what you've read in that book are NOT convincing. It's that simple.

    Frankly, you haven't and won't read the book, so the discussion is at an end from your standpoint. And if you won't read those two, then why would you have any reason to read or study anything else referenced here?
    This is a completely ridiculous position to take. So if I state an opinion based off a book that *I've* read, but you haven't, will that make me right? I'll remember that for the future.

    Ophiolite wrote a rather detailed and well referenced article about the resources to be found in space. Mining the Sky contains the means and references to those current technologies by which such a metal rich aseroid can be obtained and put into high earth orbit, presumably the L-5 or 4 points, where it'd be stable in orbit.
    Super, but I've never disputed the resources found "in space". Space is pretty big, you realize. Sure, if you slap a rich asteroid down on earth, or put it in a nice local orbit, I have no doubt you could mine the hell out of it.
    But I've heard nothing from you about how many candidates there are that actually ARE potentially mineable, or what these "technologies" are that make it possible. You've asserted they exist, I'd like to know more about them. Any actual data or support? Or is "read the book" supposed to be enough?

    You totaly ignored his demonstration of the value of asteroidal masses and resources, raising the false objection, how can they be acquired?
    LOL, again - I'm not saying there aren't vast resources out there. Of course there are. And how is "How can they be acquired" anything but a perfectly legit question? It's the first question that need be asked. Let's see what your answer to that question is...

    Mining the Sky tells how.
    Super. "Read the book". You're starting to sound like a fundamentalist here.

    You are not discussing specifics, but simply denying reality and the facts. Why should you be given any other references, as clearly, you have ignored THREE of them already, and then ignore the facts you are ignoring them?
    What specifics? You haven't given me any to even evaluate, let alone dispute.

    To paraphrase Tsiolkovsky, the fore runner of space flight and mechanics, we humans cannot stay in the womb forever. We must eventually go out into space or be stillborn.
    I don't really disagree with this, or your above couple paragraphs. I just don't see it happening anytime soon. I'm sure that book you read is fabulous, but it's pretty ridiculous to basically keep coming back with "read the book" instead of explaining some of the specifics (and support for them) that the book gets into. I am basically asking for how the authors arrive at the conclusions that they arrive at (or that you state they arrive at). It's a question, not an argument.
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  47. #46  
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    Again, you assert the false, straw man of "Mining the Sky' being a popuilar book. It's book written by experts in the field and chock full of scientific references.
    I just have to add this. How is what I said a "straw man" in any way, shape, or form? It comes back to what I said in a previous post - I think you are just pulling logical fallacies out of a hat, then accusing me of committing them. Do you even know what a straw man is? First, how is saying that it's a "popular book" even an argument in the first place, and second if it IS an argument, what properties of that argument make it a straw man? I'm curious to know.
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  48. #47  
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    Steve's right. The only question in my mind is if we should
    burden our space voyagers with the tag 'human'?

    Quote Originally Posted by steve
    It's likely that humans ARE evolving. There was an article in Nature, which reported changes in the SNP's, chunks of genes. These showed, over about the last 50K years, a 7% change. That's an extremely fast evolution. On par with what's been seen over the last 500K years of primate evolution leading to the present species.

    So, Yes, we are evolving as a species and very likely at a very rapid rate, compared to most large animals. Techno developments will drive biological evolution. And further biological evolution gives rise to more kinds of cultural and techno evolution. The vast change in human literacy in the last 500 years is just such a one. About 200 years ago, the majoriy of people could not read or write. 500 years ago, very few could. Currently in developed nations a literacy rate of >90% is the norm.

    So there's one very real brain change right there.

    Regarding "Mining the Sky' some (not yourself) refuse to address the issues. The road to space is clearly open. To imply that we don't have the resources, the energy, talent or technologies to go into space is simply not true. The problem is psychological and cultural like most human limits.

    Neut's constant claim that it's too expensive to go into space is marked by an absolute lack of data or refs to support it. then he plays a rhetorical game by claiming I must prove he's wrong. That's not the case. The data are there. Just that he doesn't much care to look at it, as it'd weaken his position.
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  49. #48  
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    if we were going to space, the Japanese people that sell moon property on ebay might acually prove to be a good investment..... but hardly likely.
    I don't suffer from insanity, i enjoy every minute of it

    the road to succes is never paved or clearly marked
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