Off-Topic Discussion > The Classics

Let me............... Tel-e-port you!

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General Battuta:

--- Quote ---Humans are the most adaptive creatures known. We've colonised all four corners of the world and live for periods of time outside in orbit above the planet. There's no reason that humans won't spread across the known galaxy if it becomes both technologically possible and economically viable.
--- End quote ---

Ah, but the point is that we're very narrowly adapted to a very rare set of environmental conditions and we've only been around for a very, very, very, very, very small period of time. We're talking a blink here.

If you just measure success by 'how long you stick around', the dinosaurs are still outplaying us tremendously.

I'll quote myself:

--- Quote ---Something much more rapacious and much more adaptive would probably do a lot better (something that needn't haul around a bubble of its absurd niche environment.)
--- End quote ---

We're far from optimized for galactic domination. I'm sure there are designs out there that can do everything we can do, but do it better, and then do a lot more on top of it.

Saying that 'we're the most adaptive species known' is both silly (every other species we know is a product of the same environment) and dubious (cockroaches will probably survive a lot of things that we, as a species, couldn't.)

--- Quote from: Colonol Dekker on October 29, 2009, 03:31:27 pm ---We can't live anywhere unless we duplicate optimal conditions. Don't believe me? Sleep in your garden naked and don't go back inside for a week.

--- End quote ---

Precisely! To get anything done, we have to drag a little chunk of our stupid home with us. Whereas Bob the Post-Singularity Xenomorph is a perfect, immortal machine, endlessly adaptable, at home in every environment from the cold of interstellar space to the accretion disk of a black hole. If it's got matter, and it's got energy (and arguably only one of the two is neessary) s/he/it can eat it and make more of itself!

The E:
Hmm. Okay then, what about the 70+ % of the Earth's surface that are completely uninhabitable? What about environments that do not have a Nitrogen/Oxygen/CO2 atmosphere at the right ambient pressure?
Remember, to survive, we need an atmosphere that has certain minimum and maximum criteria in terms of gases allowed. We need liquid water. We need an ambient temperature in a certain, rather narrow range. We need Gravity to be near or around 1g. We need radiation shielding. And then, of course, we need something to eat as well.

So, our adaptiveness stops when considering other planets in our solar system, or even a large range of environments on our own planet.

Recreating an environment that allows all those conditions indefinitely from scratch is a non-trivial exercise (as several large-scale experiments in the 90s proved).
For the very same reason, Space Colonisation is highly unlikely.

Black Wolf:

--- Quote from: Colonol Dekker on October 29, 2009, 03:31:27 pm ---We can't live anywhere unless we duplicate optimal conditions. Don't believe me? Sleep in your garden naked and don't go back inside for a week.

--- End quote ---

I could do that - hell, the aboriginals did that for 40000 years. We don't all live in frozen wastelands you know :p

And what's with the hate-on for humanity here recently? We can and do live on all sorts of weird environments that most of us would consider uninhabitable, from the arctic to the sahara. They're not ideal, but we can live there. We have long term presences in Antarctica which could turn into permanant residences if there was a reason to make it so - only power would be a concern (and even that would only be six months of the year - full time solar for the rest) - otherwise, with enough impetus and enough associated funding, we could have a self sustaining antarctic settlement - something the often vaunted cockroach can not do (there are no cockroaches in antarctica).

In fact, the reasons we don't live in some of the ****tier places in the world is almost entirely because there're nicer places to live - it's not that we couldn;t do it, just that we don't have a good enough reason to. And as for the 70% of the world that's uninhabitable, tell that to the people who live and work on those massive ocean liners - relatively minor modifications - I'm mostly thinking about food supply and again, power - and you could have something completely self sustaining where someone could live for years at a time without ever needing to go onto dry land. But again, why bother when there are perfectly good places to live already on the land? Now granted, these examples still have the atmosphere, gravity, ozone layer and magnetic fields and whatnot, but I can guarantee you that if we found some way to move around at a reasonable speed and the only planets we found were as cold as Antarctica or covered with an ocean, we'd eventually find a way to colonize them. If the past 10000 years of human civilization (and the 50000+ year African diaspora) has proven anything it's that we can do anything we set our minds to as a species.

General Battuta:
Not a hate-on at all. Humanity is adaptable and amazing. But we need to keep our perspective here; we have no evidence that we're doing particularly well in the long-run, or that our highly cognitive strategy necessarily leads to a survival advantage.

Colonol Dekker:
Early survival was based on factors like passed on knowledge and pre-established success. Like hunting routines and sheltered domicile. Even birds use nests. Imagine if a dozen people were miraculously beamed halfway across the galaxy to another slightly less habitable environment.........with zero support.

What would the odds be?

by the way, i'm not hating Humanity just being objective in expressing a viewpoint :)


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