Time to Colonize the Moon or Mars? Hawking Suggests It

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Barry
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Time to Colonize the Moon or Mars? Hawking Suggests It

Post by Barry » Tue Jun 13, 2006 9:25 am

Hawking says humans must go into space
By SYLVIA HUI, Associated Press Writer

HONG KONG - The survival of the human race depends on its ability to find new homes elsewhere in the universe because there's an increasing risk that a disaster will destroy the Earth, world-renowned scientist Stephen Hawking said Tuesday.


The British astrophysicist told a news conference in Hong Kong that humans could have a permanent base on the moon in 20 years and a colony on Mars in the next 40 years.

"We won't find anywhere as nice as Earth unless we go to another star system," added Hawking, who arrived to a rock star's welcome Monday. Tickets for his lecture planned for Wednesday were sold out.

He added that if humans can avoid killing themselves in the next 100 years, they should have space settlements that can continue without support from Earth.

"It is important for the human race to spread out into space for the survival of the species," Hawking said. "Life on Earth is at the ever-increasing risk of being wiped out by a disaster, such as sudden global warming, nuclear war, a genetically engineered virus or other dangers we have not yet thought of."

The 64-year-old scientist — author of the global best seller "A Brief History of Time" — is wheelchair-bound and communicates with the help of a computer because he suffers from a neurological disorder called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS.

Hawking said he's teaming up with his daughter to write a children's book about the universe, aimed at the same age range as the Harry Potter books.

"It is a story for children, which explains the wonders of the universe," his daughter, Lucy, added.

They didn't provide other details.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

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http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

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Post by Ralph » Tue Jun 13, 2006 9:40 am

Mars would make a great site for a Club Med.
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Post by jbuck919 » Tue Jun 13, 2006 9:41 am

The late Carl Sagan, not Hawking's equal as a theoretical scientist but no slouch and certainly his equal if not better as a popularizer, made the same points. All I can say is, unless they're keeping some kind of secret, we don't have a clue about energy sources adequate to colonize beyond our own planet. There is also an assumption that our species has some destiny to immortality collectively, even if it is denied to us individually. That's a debatable point right there. Finally, Hawking seems to be following the old line that we may wipe ourselves out. I am not the one to predict that this would never happen, but the only certain method of extinction would be natural forces over which we have no control, i.e., an extinction event. That is not a matter of if but when, but the time scales involved are so enormous that I don't see any pressing need to spend boodles chasing after the chimera of trips to the stars.

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Post by Barry » Tue Jun 13, 2006 9:45 am

I don't know how realistic it is, but it may not be a bad idea to start thinking about it. Suppose 50 or 75 years from now scientists can predict with relative certainty that we're six months away from being hit by a meteor large enough to wipe out most life on Earth. It might be nice to have a place to send some people.

And actually, that scenario is another good reason for developing nuclear defense in space. The technology that the Soviets and many on the left complain is expanding the arms race into space could wind up saving all of our lives some day.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

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Post by Corlyss_D » Tue Jun 13, 2006 1:35 pm

Barry Z wrote:I don't know how realistic it is, but it may not be a bad idea to start thinking about it.
It's completely unrealistic until they solve the energy problem to get folks to these distant places and they solve the atmosphere problem on a large scale.
Suppose 50 or 75 years from now scientists can predict with relative certainty that we're six months away from being hit by a meteor large enough to wipe out most life on Earth.
How is this any different from the religious folk who claim that the end is near? I'm betting on the probabilities, i.e., the persistence of the earth and the problems thereon. One can argue that one of the reasons for the "little Renaissance" in the 12th Century, besides the "global warming" that put and end to the extended cold period that lasted several hundred years, was the fact that it dawned on the Christians that if the Savior hadn't shown up in 1100 years, he probably wasn't gonna come tomorrow, so they could start planning for the future on earth instead of in the afterlife.

Depending on how much this exercise costs in terms of % of GDP, I think we have better uses for the money. NASA can dream, tho'.
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Post by Ralph » Tue Jun 13, 2006 1:43 pm

Woe onto ye nonbelievers. The End IS at hand. :twisted:
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Barry
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Post by Barry » Tue Jun 13, 2006 3:06 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:
Suppose 50 or 75 years from now scientists can predict with relative certainty that we're six months away from being hit by a meteor large enough to wipe out most life on Earth.
How is this any different from the religious folk who claim that the end is near?
I'd hardly compare being able to accurately predict a few months in advance that Earth is going to be hit by a large asteroid that is likely to wipe out a high percentage of life on the planet based on whatever scientific and mathematical measurements are available to a religious claim that the end is near.
One is based on faith; the other on science and math.

I realize we don't know how likely it is that such an impact will happen even in the next few thousand years, and I'm not suggesting we suddenly pour huge amounts of money that we don't have into colonizing the Moon and Mars. It's just not an idea that should be dismissed out of hand as something that the scientific community should at least start to think about for the long term.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

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Post by jbuck919 » Tue Jun 13, 2006 3:35 pm

Barry Z wrote:
Corlyss_D wrote:
Suppose 50 or 75 years from now scientists can predict with relative certainty that we're six months away from being hit by a meteor large enough to wipe out most life on Earth.
How is this any different from the religious folk who claim that the end is near?
I'd hardly compare being able to accurately predict a few months in advance that Earth is going to be hit by a large asteroid that is likely to wipe out a high percentage of life on the planet based on whatever scientific and mathematical measurements are available to a religious claim that the end is near.
One is based on faith; the other on science and math.

I realize we don't know how likely it is that such an impact will happen even in the next few thousand years, and I'm not suggesting we suddenly pour huge amounts of money that we don't have into colonizing the Moon and Mars. It's just not an idea that should be dismissed out of hand as something that the scientific community should at least start to think about for the long term.
I can't disagree with that in pricnple. But we haven't the slightest idea how to get a human expedition even to Mars and back safely. Harnessing fossil fuels and mastering the atom seem child's play in comparison to the challenge that awaits. There is also the consideration that the more science becomes aware of possibilities, the more it also becomes aware of limitations.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Post by BWV 1080 » Tue Jun 13, 2006 4:25 pm

Sending people into space is a waste of resources.

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Post by dulcinea » Tue Jun 13, 2006 6:32 pm

BWV 1080 wrote:Sending people into space is a waste of resources.
Puerto Rico, Liechtenstein, Monaco and other similar geographic entities would certainly appreciate the chance to vastly enlarge their territories. The USA was not that large back in 1776.
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Post by Teresa B » Tue Jun 13, 2006 7:04 pm

What, haven't you guys read physicist Frank Tippler's "The Science of Immortality" in which he 'splains quite clearly how we will ALL survive as virtual beings in the far, far future?

We will build a "Von Neumann self-replicating machine" that will carry all the code necessary to replicate itself and eventually populate the universe with all this stored information which is how to virtually create everyone who has ever been alive (I'm not sure how we'll deal with pets, etc). There will be a Big Crunch, or Omega Point, and then we will all be re-created! We will have no consciousness in the very long time period between our individual demise and our "resurrection." It'll be like a millisecond to us.

There, problem solved. (Brushes chalkdust off hands)
8)
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Post by Ralph » Tue Jun 13, 2006 8:43 pm

Teresa B wrote:What, haven't you guys read physicist Frank Tippler's "The Science of Immortality" in which he 'splains quite clearly how we will ALL survive as virtual beings in the far, far future?

We will build a "Von Neumann self-replicating machine" that will carry all the code necessary to replicate itself and eventually populate the universe with all this stored information which is how to virtually create everyone who has ever been alive (I'm not sure how we'll deal with pets, etc). There will be a Big Crunch, or Omega Point, and then we will all be re-created! We will have no consciousness in the very long time period between our individual demise and our "resurrection." It'll be like a millisecond to us.

There, problem solved. (Brushes chalkdust off hands)
8)
Teresa
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Post by BWV 1080 » Tue Jun 13, 2006 9:21 pm

dulcinea wrote:
BWV 1080 wrote:Sending people into space is a waste of resources.
Puerto Rico, Liechtenstein, Monaco and other similar geographic entities would certainly appreciate the chance to vastly enlarge their territories. The USA was not that large back in 1776.
Personally I have claimed ownership of the lesser magellanic cloud, so actually I have the largest empire of anyone on the planet.

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Post by Guest » Tue Jun 13, 2006 10:08 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:
Barry Z wrote:I don't know how realistic it is, but it may not be a bad idea to start thinking about it.
It's completely unrealistic until they solve the energy problem to get folks to these distant places and they solve the atmosphere problem on a large scale.


Hawking says it's plausible in 20(for the moon) to 40(for Mars) years.
His judgement about the matter inspires just a wee bit more respect in me than yours does. Or is his genius a fraud and you know better?

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Post by Corlyss_D » Tue Jun 13, 2006 11:31 pm

Barry Z wrote: I realize we don't know how likely it is that such an impact will happen even in the next few thousand years, and I'm not suggesting we suddenly pour huge amounts of money that we don't have into colonizing the Moon and Mars. It's just not an idea that should be dismissed out of hand as something that the scientific community should at least start to think about for the long term.
Thank you.
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Post by Corlyss_D » Tue Jun 13, 2006 11:38 pm

Anonymous wrote:
Corlyss_D wrote:
Barry Z wrote:I don't know how realistic it is, but it may not be a bad idea to start thinking about it.
It's completely unrealistic until they solve the energy problem to get folks to these distant places and they solve the atmosphere problem on a large scale.


Hawking says it's plausible in 20(for the moon) to 40(for Mars) years.
His judgement about the matter inspires just a wee bit more respect in me than yours does. Or is his genius a fraud and you know better?
I know better, because I follow politics.

Realistic: 1) regarding things as they are; 2) based on facts rather than ideals.

Hawking was talking maybe about whether the science imminent. I'm talking about whether the money is imminent. Just a little insight: how successful have the developed nations been at getting the money together to produce in large quantities non-fossil fuels and actually get people use alternative fuels? And that technology is nearer and the problem way more immediate than an asteroid hitting the earth.
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How to get there

Post by Agnes Selby » Wed Jun 14, 2006 3:59 am

Teresa B wrote:What, haven't you guys read physicist Frank Tippler's "The Science of Immortality" in which he 'splains quite clearly how we will ALL survive as virtual beings in the far, far future?

We will build a "Von Neumann self-replicating machine" that will carry all the code necessary to replicate itself and eventually populate the universe with all this stored information which is how to virtually create everyone who has ever been alive (I'm not sure how we'll deal with pets, etc). There will be a Big Crunch, or Omega Point, and then we will all be re-created! We will have no consciousness in the very long time period between our individual demise and our "resurrection." It'll be like a millisecond to us.

There, problem solved. (Brushes chalkdust off hands)
8)
Teresa
-------

It has already happened. This is exactly how we got here.

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Agnes.

---------------------------

Teresa B
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Post by Teresa B » Wed Jun 14, 2006 6:25 am

Ralph wrote:
Teresa B wrote:What, haven't you guys read physicist Frank Tippler's "The Science of Immortality" in which he 'splains quite clearly how we will ALL survive as virtual beings in the far, far future?

We will build a "Von Neumann self-replicating machine" that will carry all the code necessary to replicate itself and eventually populate the universe with all this stored information which is how to virtually create everyone who has ever been alive (I'm not sure how we'll deal with pets, etc). There will be a Big Crunch, or Omega Point, and then we will all be re-created! We will have no consciousness in the very long time period between our individual demise and our "resurrection." It'll be like a millisecond to us.

There, problem solved. (Brushes chalkdust off hands)
8)
Teresa
*****

Wow! Do you accept third party payment?
Yep. Come on down!
"We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad." ~ The Cheshire Cat

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Teresa B
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Re: How to get there

Post by Teresa B » Wed Jun 14, 2006 6:27 am

Agnes Selby wrote:
It has already happened. This is exactly how we got here.

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Agnes.
---------------------------
Now, why didn't Tippler think of that! :lol: :lol: :lol:
Teresa
"We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad." ~ The Cheshire Cat

Author of the novel "Creating Will"

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