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Marzshox

Star-ship Earth

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I would like to expand on a topic that I originally wrote about in the Objectivismonline Chat room. The topic of human evolution and survival. 

You may or may not be aware, but our sun (like many stars) eventually will burn out after a period of initial expansion in which the Earth will be consumed by the expanding and dying star.

Most scientist's today realize that such an event is far off (5 billion years from now) and due to the very long length of time in which this will eventually occur, there is no immediate need to prepare for such an event.

When scientists grapple with the inevitable result of the expanding sun, usually they are thinking in modern terms. In other words, they are looking through the lens of our current time period and our current capabilities. Leaving the Earth in spaceships seems like the logical consensus (instead of burning up with our planet.)

However, what variables do our current scientists leave out of the "equation" (for retaining life)?

For one, the advances in technology alone over the next "billions" of years, would surely provide us with more options and technical abilities that we simply can not fathom as this time.

Imagine trying to restore a famous painting or maintain an ancient building that has historical significance. People go to great lengths to keep our past alive!

Now imagine, 5 billion years of that history, and it is all on the Earth. It seems that keeping the Earth safe would be a priority.

What I propose we do is simple. Move the Earth. Move it out of orbit of the sun. Technology in 5 billion years likely will be able to help us move cosmic bodies, and also construct artificial atmospheres and heat without the need of a sun to provide sustenance.

We are far off from worrying about doomsday. If we can get our heads in the game now, and work toward a goal of maintaining Earth at all costs, we'll be ready when the time comes!

I don't mean attach big rocket boosters to our planet. I mean, future scientists working toward a way to sustain our planetary home!

Please advise if you have an alternative solution or idea worth sharing. Cheers.

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Posted (edited)

Just to put this in perspective:

1 billion years is 1000 million years.

1 billion years ago no multicellular organisms existed (800 million is the estimate for when they arrived).

Mammals evolved into man over 65 million years (if we give them a start of about when the dinosaurs met their end)

Man split from other primates about 8 million years ago, when our common ancestor with the Chimpanzees lived.

Civilization is at most 12000 years old

The Industrial revolution and the renaissance are on the order of only 250 years old.

 

5 billion years is long enough for something as advanced as Man to evolve from a single celled animal 6 times.  Potentially you could destroy every multicellular organism on the planet, and something like man could emerge in 800 million years, you could do it again, and again ... all before the sun eats Earth.

If instead you chose only to kill off all advanced mammals (including man), conceivably it could take 65 million years to produce man or something equivalent.  So that could happen 77 times, over.  You could kill them all off, 77 times, right down to say rats.

If instead we killed off Mankind, its possible something as sophisticated as man could evolve from primates 625 times.

If we left man alive and only destroyed civilization, every trace of it, it could reappear almost 420 thousand times.  Finally we could reduce man to the pre-industrial pre-renaissance era a whopping 20 Million times.

Certainly there is no guarantee that if these catastrophic events occurred things would come back in the same time, then again sometimes it could be faster rather than slower...

 

On a more positive note, if there are no such catastrophes, Man will likely be capable of interstellar travel in less than 500 years.  Assuming we start making journeys then, we could:

Travel to and back from the nearest star system Alpha Centauri (about 4 light years away) - a total of 50 Million times (going at only ten percent the speed of light...)

Travel to and back from the interesting TRAPPIST-1 planetary system (about 40 light years away) - a total of 5 Million times

Travel to and back from the nearest star cluster Hyades (about 140 light years away) - about 1.4 million times

Go around the circumference of the Galaxy (about 300,000 light years) - about 666 times

Go to the Andromeda Galaxy and BACK again, 80 times IF it stayed at its current distance of 2.4 million light years. (speaking of which, since the Andromeda Galaxy is actually on a collision course with the Milky Way in 4 billion years... this number is a fiction... )

All of these assume we only achieve 10 percent the speed of light... which is VERY modest.

AND Who knows what we shall FIND or MAKE out there over the vast spans of space and time...

 

 

1.   Since taking truly catastrophic negative action of unimaginable magnitudes, including destruction of civilization, mankind, and even all forms of higher life, hardly directly ensures any outcome (positive or negative) 5 billion years from now, it makes little sense to argue that taking any token positive "action" now, could have any predictable result in 5 billion years.

2.   Since interstellar travel may be somewhat normal (assuming a positive future)  it is very possible many worlds having fully formed biospheres will exist in 5 billion years, in which case Earth might no longer be "central" to humanity or life.

 

 

 

Edited by StrictlyLogical
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6 hours ago, Marzshox said:

What I propose we do is simple. Move the Earth. Move it out of orbit of the sun. Technology in 5 billion years likely will be able to help us move cosmic bodies, and also construct artificial atmospheres and heat without the need of a sun to provide sustenance.

Or, they could bring some other sun nearer. 

But, why live on these poorly designed planets. They could make nice planets with just the right mix of terrain that humans and other aliens like. And, medicine would have ensured that humans and aliens can live in the same ecosystem: even if we're breathing carbon dioxide. And, since orbiting a single sun gets to be a bore, they could make an alternative, and have these new "Earths" roam all over the galaxy.

In a billion years, anything is on the table: except a free-market in healthcare ;)

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