In the grand scheme of things... 17 replies

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N88TR

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#11 10 years ago

Secret too the universe? That kind of question makes me very angry. I had hoped you were smarter to ask such a hollow question. The universe isn't like a fucking lock you can pick and there's some treasure "inside." Life is what it is, science can explain much, there are still mysteries but we are a very young civilization, earth, and there is much time to learn much much more.




Sh0wdowN

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#12 10 years ago

Transmission;4670528From our perspective, and from the perspective of the individual, we are important yes, but that is because, coming from the general individual, we are the best that nature has yet to give out. I'm talking about the grand scale of things. Taking into account how big our Galaxy is (let alone the Universe itself), we're so small and insignificant.[/quote] Certainly, but such is the case with everything. Every other living lifeform out there is equally insignificant compared to the vastness of infinity. This isn't something exclusive to humanity. One death is insignificant to the death of millions. One piece of candy is insignificant to a nice manburger. Bottom line, what's the point of proclaiming insignificance, as this isn't exactly something new. It's not an epiphany. Everything is insignificant compared to it. I fail to see the relevance of it applied only to describe humanity's insignificance.

Transmission;4670528You'll have to excuse the science fiction element here, but please go with it for a moment. I don't know if you watch it, but a science fiction show called Stargate has an ancient race known as the Asgard. At some point in their past, their stopped reproducing. This wasn't a virus or anything, it was just they're species was getting very old, and nature (as it were) wouldn't let them continue. To save themselves, they went about cloning, and saved their 'conciousness' to computers, which would then be inputted into cloned body. In the end, the Clones got old too, and due to their re-creation (after re-creation) they became frail and eventually, useless. The race died. What is the possability, that at some point, we (Humans) simply wont be able to reproduce? This would either lead to our extinction, or we'd turn to cloning (or maybe robotics). Either way, we'd at some point hit an 'end'.

I'd say that's very much a demise of fantasy. If you are not aware, evolution basically precludes this. Certainly, a mutation could arise that would have such implications, but a mutation is one of the many paths humans can take, and therefore not all humans will take it. The ones who suffer from the mutation will die out, and the rest will remain to repopulate. Even if it's a consistently recurring mutation, think about the statistical probability, and it's not something that will wipe us out.

To illustrate this with an example, and I'll be fairly generous. Of all the people born in a year, 5% of them cannot reproduce because of this mutation. However, the remaining 95% can, and will produce enough to cover up the loss of 5%, and more in terms of total population. Therefore it might slow down the growth of human population, but not to a complete halt. [quote=Transmission;4670528]The way I see your comment, is that you believe there wont be many diseases on other planets. I ask why not? If you think of Earth, if you go to various other countries, they have diseases that cannot be found elsewhere on the planet (hence why if you go to some countries, you've given injections before hand).

I didn't say diseases on other planets, I said on planets without atmospheres. Development of compact machinery that convert carbon dioxide to oxygen more efficiently than trees would indubitably be required, but once achieved, then the places humanity could live would be innumerable. And if the possibility of accelerating and creating an artificial atmosphere was realistic, that would most probably be what we'd do.

Most planets wouldn't have atmospheres, which is essentially the requirement for life, and therefore there won't be new diseases, as every atmosphere-less (in lack of a better word) planet would be like a clean slate.

Finding a planet with an atmosphere would definitely carry the probability of entirely new diseases, but then you need to consider that viruses and things like that might've been developed to attack an entirely different cell structure, and humans might therefore be immune to some. But then it'd have adverse side-effects for the wildlife there due to the bacterias we'd bring, and whatnot.




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#13 10 years ago

We're small, not insignificant. Small is objective, it's a measurement of scale. Significance is completely subjective. Only an individual can decide significance.




Sh0wdowN

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#14 10 years ago
Afterburner;4670601We're small, not insignificant. Small is objective, it's a measurement of scale. Significance is completely subjective. Only an individual can decide significance.

He's considering humanity's impact upon the universe. That's not subjective. Personal significance can only be decided, but that's irrelevant here. Think of it as comparing something finite with infinity. It is insignificant.




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#15 10 years ago

Significance isn't a measure of size, it's a measure of importance, and it is up to the individual to decide what is important. An alien might not think Earth or humans are significant, if there is a God he might very well not think that, if the Universe itself has some strange sentience it might not be significant, and even to some humans it might not be, but to the wide majority of people on Earth it is, and that is the only thing that counts.

Earth is just really, really small in comparison to the universe. That has nothing to do with it's importance or significance.




N88TR

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#16 10 years ago

Size doesn't matter?

lol




Mr. Pedantic

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#17 10 years ago
What is the possability, that at some point, we (Humans) simply wont be able to reproduce? This would either lead to our extinction, or we'd turn to cloning (or maybe robotics). Either way, we'd at some point hit an 'end'.

I agree with showdown on this, it seems sort of fantastic that a race could just stop reproducing. A mutation like this would certainly not last very long in the gene pool.

Earth is just really, really small in comparison to the universe. That has nothing to do with it's importance or significance.

Everything is small in comparison to the universe. So, the size factor may be just as irrelevant as the significance factor.

Development of compact machinery that convert carbon dioxide to oxygen more efficiently than trees would indubitably be required, but once achieved, then the places humanity could live would be innumerable.

As far as we can tell, that seems impossible. Indeed, without the help of enzymes, it's practically impossible to convert CO2 back to oxygen full stop. And even those enzymes rely on a large source of energy to do this, as well as the fact they are relatively fragile: you'd have to have radiation and thermal shielding for them, because even body heat might actually render them useless.

Most planets wouldn't have atmospheres, which is essentially the requirement for life, and therefore there won't be new diseases, as every atmosphere-less (in lack of a better word) planet would be like a clean slate.

I would think that any planet large enough to provide sufficient gravity for unaided human life, and is sufficiently far enough away from its parent star to be cool enough to support life, will also be able to hold an atmosphere too.




Sh0wdowN

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#18 10 years ago

Afterburner;4670613Significance isn't a measure of size, it's a measure of importance, and it is up to the individual to decide what is important. An alien might not think Earth or humans are significant, if there is a God he might very well not think that, if the Universe itself has some strange sentience it might not be significant, and even to some humans it might not be, but to the wide majority of people on Earth it is, and that is the only thing that counts.

Earth is just really, really small in comparison to the universe. That has nothing to do with it's importance or significance.[/quote] It is a matter of semantics, which you fail to understand. He's not talking about significance in the same sense you're talking about significance. He's talking about it in the sense of magnitude of impact upon the universe, and thus everything becomes irrelevant. The importance of humanity relative to the universe makes it insignificant. Relative to you, or other humans, then yes, it is significant. Stop being a nitpicker.

Mr. PedanticAs far as we can tell, that seems impossible. Indeed, without the help of enzymes, it's practically impossible to convert CO2 back to oxygen full stop. And even those enzymes rely on a large source of energy to do this, as well as the fact they are relatively fragile: you'd have to have radiation and thermal shielding for them, because even body heat might actually render them useless.

Yes.

.. And what? This wasn't focal to my point regarding interstellar colonization. It was merely something I threw out there to give an example of potential technological advances that would allow it. If you want to be technical about it, then there's no use, as we don't have any technology allowing for it at the moment, so we can't really discuss anything regarding the future without conjecture. [quote=Mr. Pedantic] I would think that any planet large enough to provide sufficient gravity for unaided human life, and is sufficiently far enough away from its parent star to be cool enough to support life, will also be able to hold an atmosphere too.

Yes.

.. And what? I fail to see the relevence to that and what I said, as you bring up something completely different. He asked why I didn't think we'd be infected by new bacterias/viruses or whatnot from colonizing new planets, and I answered that most of what we've seen so far doesn't have an atmosphere, which is a requirement for life, so if we were to colonize anything we've seen so far, it'd be a planet/asteroid without an atmosphere.




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