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genjix
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February 12, 2011, 04:03:56 AM
 #21

Yeah adapting our environnement is cool.  But there is a limit to that.  We don't live in deserts on earth.  We don't even live on water, although we technicaly could, I guess.  There is just no benefit in doing so.

There ARE fringe people who live in the sea and in deserts!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00rrd81/Human_Planet_Oceans_Into_the_Blue/
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00rrd85/Human_Planet_Deserts_Life_in_the_Furnace/

(worth watching those documentaries btw- one of the best documentaries I've ever seen)

- Nomads who navigate by means of sand dunes in the Sahara for 2 weeks to find tiny water wells.
- Men digging 10m underground linking km's of tunnels to get flowing water.
- People who live on boats their whole lives. Some boys even have eyes more adapted to see underwater than on land.
- A man that hunts deep underwater for up to 5 mins.

Now tell me that the human race isn't the best race and capable of anything!

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dingus
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February 12, 2011, 04:17:54 AM
 #22

Let me make something clear: there is no designing going on. You are the result of millions upon millions of years of trial and error. Possibly, in millions of years from now, humans will have evolved into being capable of living on Mars or other planets with no type of life supporting technology (like we are able to here on Earth, breathing oxygen and such). What's stopping evolution from enabling us to live in space, with no space suit or anything?

Well, maybe the fact that those millions of years of evolution you describe all occured ON EARTH !

Evolution is a gradual process.  Going and flourishing suddenly out of earth in a totally different environnement is something that has just never been done.

Also, evolution is contingent.  You see only what has succeeded.  For one success, many failures.  So there is no reason why humans should succeed in everything they try to achieve.

Seriously, you can try to go and live on Mars if you want, I don't mind if you do that by your own means.   But I will try my best to prevent you from funding this crazyness with tax money.

What is so crazy about wanting to move to Mars? Even Stephen Hawking said the future of humanity lies in colonizing new planets. You don't really think humans can continue to destroy Earth while at the same time increasing in population size forever, do you? At some point, we will have to move to other planets or , for example, that ice moon of Saturn or whatever planet it is a moon of. Starting the development of the means to get to those planets as soon as possible, I think, would benefit mankind as a whole much more than waiting until we are bursting at the seams here on Earth to start the process.

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kiba
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February 12, 2011, 04:20:24 AM
 #23

What is so crazy about wanting to move to Mars? Even Stephen Hawking said the future of humanity lies in colonizing new planets. You don't really think humans can continue to destroy Earth while at the same time increasing in population size forever, do you? At some point, we will have to move to other planets or , for example, that ice moon of Saturn or whatever planet it is a moon of. Starting the development of the means to get to those planets as soon as possible, I think, would benefit mankind as a whole much more than waiting until we are bursting at the seams here on Earth to start the process.

How we're destroying the earth?

The earth can support much more than 6 billion human beings in my opinion. We just need moar nuclear reactors!

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February 12, 2011, 04:31:03 AM
 #24

What is so crazy about wanting to move to Mars? Even Stephen Hawking said the future of humanity lies in colonizing new planets. You don't really think humans can continue to destroy Earth while at the same time increasing in population size forever, do you? At some point, we will have to move to other planets or , for example, that ice moon of Saturn or whatever planet it is a moon of. Starting the development of the means to get to those planets as soon as possible, I think, would benefit mankind as a whole much more than waiting until we are bursting at the seams here on Earth to start the process.

How we're destroying the earth?

The earth can support much more than 6 billion human beings in my opinion. We just need moar nuclear reactors!
The giant trash island floating around in the ocean, the many land fills that will eventually need to be taken care of, nuclear waste that lasts thousands of years and must be buried underground which could leak into the water supply, I could go on... Cry

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February 12, 2011, 04:36:27 AM
 #25

The giant trash island floating around in the ocean, the many land fills that will eventually need to be taken care of, nuclear waste that lasts thousands of years and must be buried underground which could leak into the water supply, I could go on... Cry

Landfill can be valuable resource. Trash islands are a result of tragedy of the common, but one way to fix this is to have biodegradable plastics. There are proposals on way to recycle nuclear waste.

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February 12, 2011, 04:41:36 AM
 #26

The giant trash island floating around in the ocean, the many land fills that will eventually need to be taken care of, nuclear waste that lasts thousands of years and must be buried underground which could leak into the water supply, I could go on... Cry

Landfill can be valuable resource. Trash islands are a result of tragedy of the common, but one way to fix this is to have biodegradable plastics. There are proposals on way to recycle nuclear waste.

State an example of how landfills can be a resource. You cannot fix the problem of the trash island by creating even more plastic, biodegradable or not. It will float on until we go out and somehow clean it up.

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kiba
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February 12, 2011, 04:46:51 AM
 #27

State an example of how landfills can be a resource. You cannot fix the problem of the trash island by creating even more plastic, biodegradable or not. It will float on until we go out and somehow clean it up.
The problem with plastics is that they enter the food chain as poison. I was proposing we should make them harmless. My solution is to merely change the type of plastic, not increase the amount of trash thrown into the ocean.

Landfill can be used to create methane gas.

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February 12, 2011, 04:50:46 AM
 #28

The giant trash island floating around in the ocean, the many land fills that will eventually need to be taken care of, nuclear waste that lasts thousands of years and must be buried underground which could leak into the water supply, I could go on... Cry

Landfill can be valuable resource. Trash islands are a result of tragedy of the common, but one way to fix this is to have biodegradable plastics. There are proposals on way to recycle nuclear waste.

State an example of how landfills can be a resource. You cannot fix the problem of the trash island by creating even more plastic, biodegradable or not. It will float on until we go out and somehow clean it up.
The problem with plastics is that they enter the food chain as poison. I was proposing we should make them harmless. My solution is to merely change the type of plastic, not increase the amount of trash thrown into the ocean.

Landfill can be used to create methane gas.
Yes, creating new plastics that are not harmful is definitely a step forward. But, what about all the plastic out there now that is harmful? It degrades over hundreds, possibly thousands of years. We are stuck with it. It does get into the food chain and because of that, we most likely have trace amounts of BP-A in our blood. There's no plastic on Mars......yet.

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grondilu
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February 12, 2011, 04:52:34 AM
 #29

What is so crazy about wanting to move to Mars? Even Stephen Hawking said the future of humanity lies in colonizing new planets. You don't really think humans can continue to destroy Earth while at the same time increasing in population size forever, do you?

Human population won't increase forever.    We're not rabbits, and we have contraception.  Developped countries have shown than when women have the choice of the number for their offspring, they make less children than what is necessary for renewing generations (2.1 children).  Overpopulation is only a short term problem.  We should rather fear the demographic crash that will follow.

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At some point, we will have to move to other planets or , for example, that ice moon of Saturn or whatever planet it is a moon of. Starting the development of the means to get to those planets as soon as possible, I think, would benefit mankind as a whole much more than waiting until we are bursting at the seams here on Earth to start the process.

This is just science fiction.

It is also a weird point of view.   You're advocating for a goal that you will never witness.  Who does that?

Why should I wake up in the morning and go to work in order to finance something that only humans in several centuries will enjoy?  This is a ridiculously huge social abnegation.  Just as silly as an ant which sacrfices itself for its queen.   I dare say that I'm not as silly as an ant.

If you want to work for mankind, I advise you at least do it for present mankind, not for the mankind of a very hypothetical distant future.
kiba
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February 12, 2011, 04:53:15 AM
 #30

Yes, creating new plastics that are not harmful is definitely a step forward. But, what about all the plastic out there now that is harmful? It degrades over hundreds, possibly thousands of years. We are stuck with it. It does get into the food chain and because of that, we most likely have trace amounts of BP-A in our blood. There's no plastic on Mars......yet.

We use bioengineering to fix whatever damage occurs. If we can go to mars, we can fix problems on earth too.

kiba
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February 12, 2011, 04:57:11 AM
 #31


Why should I wake up in the morning and go to work in order to finance something that only humans in several centuries will enjoy?  This is a ridiculously huge social abnegation.  Just as silly as an ant which sacrfices itself for its queen.   I dare say that I'm not as silly as an ant.

Several century? Naw. All it requires is the judicious use of nuclear power plants and we have all the energy we need to launch colonization effort. Then it's mostly an engineering challenge.

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February 12, 2011, 05:01:37 AM
 #32

Several century? Naw. All it requires is the judicious use of nuclear power plants and we have all the energy we need to launch colonization effort. Then it's mostly an engineering challenge.

Then I guess it can be privately funded, right?  If so, I have no problem with it.  I may even buy a few shareholdings.
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February 12, 2011, 05:05:12 AM
 #33

Then I guess it can be privately founded, right?  If so, I have no problem with it.  I may even buy a few shareholdings.


Problem to building nuclear power plants is mostly political. If is done, energy cost is much cheaper. That also mean manufacturing costs are cheaper. That translate to cheaper everything, making space flight much more feasible.

Also, you can buy a share in SpaceX, a space firm that's making rocket launcher cheaper and regular. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SpaceX

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February 12, 2011, 05:07:08 AM
 #34

What is so crazy about wanting to move to Mars? Even Stephen Hawking said the future of humanity lies in colonizing new planets. You don't really think humans can continue to destroy Earth while at the same time increasing in population size forever, do you?

Human population won't increase forever.    We're not rabbits, and we have contraception.  Developped countries have shown than when women have the choice of the number for their offspring, they make less children than what is necessary for renewing generations (2.1 children).  Overpopulation is only a short term problem.  We should rather fear the demographic crash that will follow.

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At some point, we will have to move to other planets or , for example, that ice moon of Saturn or whatever planet it is a moon of. Starting the development of the means to get to those planets as soon as possible, I think, would benefit mankind as a whole much more than waiting until we are bursting at the seams here on Earth to start the process.

This is just science fiction.

It is also a weird point of view.   You're advocating for a goal that you will never witness.  Who does that?

Why should I wake up in the morning and go to work in order to finance something that only humans in several centuries will enjoy?  This is a ridiculously huge social abnegation.  Just as silly as an ant which sacrfices itself for its queen.   I dare say that I'm not as silly as an ant.

If you want to work for mankind, I advise you at least do it for present mankind, not for the mankind of a very hypothetical distant future.

It is not a weird point of view. It is a logical point of view. When medicine reaches a point where we live much longer than we do now, overpopulation will eventually occur, even when limiting offspring. When food sources and energy sources become abundant for everyone, not just those who are born into the right time and place, there will be overpopulation. Why does living on another planet = fiction? Look at the device you are using to communicate with me at this moment. 1/100000th of that computing power took us to the moon. People now have ocular and auditory implants. Today's science fiction = tomorrow's reality.

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kiba
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February 12, 2011, 05:11:07 AM
 #35

It is not a weird point of view. It is a logical point of view. When medicine reaches a point where we live much longer than we do now, overpopulation will eventually occur, even when limiting offspring. When food sources and energy sources become abundant for everyone, not just those who are born into the right time and place, there will be overpopulation. Why does living on another planet = fiction? Look at the device you are using to communicate with me at this moment. 1/100000th of that computing power took us to the moon. People now have ocular and auditory implants. Today's science fiction = tomorrow's reality.

My personal guess is that the earth can support at least a trillion human beings. If it become too much, just use the sun.

Also, we can build more efficient bodies for ourselves, making it easier for earth support more trillion human beings. Colonization of Mars is unnecessary. By the time we need to, we have all the technological means to do so or we just end up building a dyson sphere.

If there's an asteroid coming our way, we just use cheap rockets made by SpaceX to knock them out of the sky. Or just mine them.

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February 12, 2011, 06:01:15 AM
 #36

When medicine reaches a point where we live much longer than we do now, overpopulation will eventually occur, even when limiting offspring.  When food sources and energy sources become abundant for everyone, not just those who are born into the right time and place, there will be overpopulation.

It is not what show empirical facts.  Longevity does not compensate for decreasing natality.  This is called "Demographic transition" and so far it has never led to an increase of population.

If women make less than 2.1 children, unless people become immortal, then there is just no way this can not result in a dramatic collapse of population, possibly extinction.  It is just a pure mathematical law.  The number of fertile women will decrease geometrically, and noone can know how much it can lower until women start to decide to make more children.


Population dynamics is much more complex than you seem to think.  Things have changed since Malthus, you know.

Do you know for instance the chaotic behavior of the logistic sequence (u_{n+1} = \alpha u_n * (1 - u_n)) ??

This equation is a basic model of a demographic evolution.  Basically it states that the future population number is proportionnal to the present one (which is logic since there are more fertile women), but with a proportionnal factor that tends to decrease when this number reaches a limit (which can happen for instance when people are afraid of overpopulation, as you seem to be).
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February 12, 2011, 06:16:36 AM
 #37

When medicine reaches a point where we live much longer than we do now, overpopulation will eventually occur, even when limiting offspring.  When food sources and energy sources become abundant for everyone, not just those who are born into the right time and place, there will be overpopulation.

It is not what show empirical facts.  Longevity does not compensate for decreasing natality.  This is called "Demographic transition" and so far it has never led to an increase of population.

If women make less than 2.1 children, unless people become immortal, then there is just no way this can not result in a dramatic collapse of population, possibly extinction.  It is just a pure mathematical law.  The number of fertile women will decrease geometrically, and noone can know how much it can lower until women start to decide to make more children.


Population dynamics is much more complex than you seem to think.  Things have changed since Malthus, you know.

Do you know for instance the chaotic behavior of the logistic sequence (u_{n+1} = \alpha u_n * (1 - u_n)) ??

This equation is a basic model of a demographic evolution.  Basically it states that the future population number is proportionnal to the present one (which is logic since there are more fertile women), but with a proportionnal factor that tends to decrease when this number reaches a limit (which can happen for instance when people are afraid of overpopulation, as you seem to be).

I am not afraid of overpopulation. I am just aware of the fact it is more possible than you think. When there is an abundance of food, medicine, energy, and renewable resources, there will inevitably be an abundance of humans. By abundance in terms of resources, I mean 99% of the Earth's population can live a complete and healthy life instead of how it is today. There would be no need to kill for food or shelter. Everyone is well fed. When that is achieved, I believe there will be overpopulation because what else would you do besides have sex?

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February 12, 2011, 06:24:40 AM
 #38

I mean 99% of the Earth's population can live a complete and healthy life instead of how it is today. There would be no need to kill for food or shelter. Everyone is well fed.

No. Most of the misery on earth is the result of poor political institutions.

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I believe there will be overpopulation because what else would you do besides have sex?

Make yourself infertile so you don't have to worry about overpopulation.

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February 12, 2011, 06:29:57 AM
 #39

western population is decreasing. that's why governments import clever brown people (immigration). most growth estimates for humans place a cap. where the cap lies differs according to various risk estimates,



there's an interesting effect that newly urbanised countries shop drops in fertility and more as they become developed. many western countries are still shrinking far below 2.1 children per family which is the replacement rate.

so overpopulation is not a worry for me. esp since no government agency finds it a worry either.

also the UN predicts that famine will in a few decades disappear... currently most food shortages in the world today are the result of dictators and war.

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February 12, 2011, 06:33:30 AM
 #40

as to what else people will do:
participate in a knowledge economy where everybody gains instead of competing in a zero-sum one.

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