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> 50 years of Americans in Space, ...as Posted by Vomit
Beck
post Jul 25 2011, 08:40 PM
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QUOTE(idecline @ Jul 25 2011, 12:57 AM) *
Awww...come on Beck...get with the 'program'...slap the label 'progress' on anything and it justifies man's actions....even if it is 'pie in the sky' literally..... wink.gif

Pointing big rockets and firing them into the sky...what a peaceful diversion for scientists who can't launch any missiles that 'blow-up' anymore....and look at our 'progress' ....we can't even get a man past the moon and they can't survive without toting up thousands of pounds of 'camping' gear.....

Let's keep our eyes to the sky...so we can ignore the problems here on Earth....Yay... blink.gif

Precisely. We turn living stuff into dead stuff and call that 'economic progress'. Frustrating to think about.

QUOTE(Sovolis @ Jul 25 2011, 07:50 AM) *
Not really; our primary goal is knowledge and solutions to earth problems. The only resource that would be beneficial to mine from a foreign body within the solar system is helium3. Every other resource humans are aware of would net negative profit beyond the cost of retrieving it from space. In other words; the costs out weigh the benefits. Helium3 is different because it is the best material we are aware of for fusion energy. It produces energy in such a large scale that we would net positive energy even after accounting for the massive amount of energy needed to put the equipment into space and fly it to the moon and back again, it allows for fusion at significantly lower temperatures, and it emits less nutrinos that damage the shielding on fusion power plants. Having to replace that shielding every 5-7 years instead of every 2-4 years. Until another manned mission to the moon can bring back more geological samples we can not make many more strides in fusion power because helium3 doesn't exist naturally on earth. Fusion power is the only solution to pollution and problems with fossil fuels that doesn't require a cocktail of energy solutions. The byproduct of helium3 fusion is a higher element (I believe nitrogen but know it isn't anything higher then iron on the periodic table), so pollution isn't an issue with fusion power.

Mining Mars or any other body is just stupid given our current technological state. It would literally be a hole in space that we would be dumping money into (unless we are going there for helium3 but every planet with a magnetic field doesn't have helium3). Until space elevator/space pier/sky hook technology is developed mining materials other than helium3 will be too expensive. When we have one of these technologies or another way to put payloads and personnel into space at a fraction of the energy then we would be able to explore the possibility of utilizing the other resources available in space.
You both have a rather cynical attitude about space exploration/colonization, but your attitude isn't grounded in the cutting edge of science and technology. Scientists aren't looking to space to exploit the resources available on other worlds and "screw up" or pollute those worlds. Science is looking to space to find the solutions to the pollution and other problems we have here on earth. They are looking to fix the ways we have "screwed up" our "mother planet".

We can not send people to reside on any body other than the moon for an extended period of time without developing a technology that allows us to put payloads and personnel into space at a fraction of the current energy costs. Even if we had fusion power across the globe we still couldn't colonize other worlds without the technologies I mentioned. Getting into space with our current technology requires a massive amount of energy, but it must also be explosive energy.

Even if the technology was developed; we have little to worry about what Beck suggests concerning exploitation of other worlds because an extended stay would require a large amount of self-sufficiency. This self-sufficiency will require pollution to be kept to a minimum or we run the risk of losing the sustainability of the colony. Pollution solutions would be one of the highest priorities to developing space colony technologies. There are also planets and moons that we can effectively rule out for colonization due to the impossibility of conditions or lack of a compelling reason to set up a colony. Venus is a good example of a planet that may never be colonizable simply due to the extreme pressures at the surface and corrosive quality of the atmosphere. Currently any payload we put on the surface of Venus would be crushed under the atmospheric pressure and eroded away by the corrosive gasses in the atmosphere. Jupiter is a good example of a planet that will never be colonized. The conditions are so extreme that we will never be able to develope technologies to overcome those conditions; the same can be said about Mercury. Mercury also doesn't have a compelling reason for colonization. The Jovian moon Io is another example of a location that we will never be able to colonize. The volcanic activity is too big a hurdle to overcome. Most of space is like this; in fact most of the universe is a hostile environment that wants to kill us. The technologies to overcome these environments are the technologies that will create solutions to the problems we face today.

The real question isn't "Do we want to potentially 'screw up' these other worlds?", but "Why shouldn't we exploit these worlds for the resources available?". Everything we know about the solar system tells us that these worlds are lifeless wastelands, and we are aware of the bodies that have the best odds of us finding life. What reason is there to protect a lifeless wasteland? If life is found on Europa or Enceladus do you think that people are going to ignore that for the betterment of humankind? I guess that depends on how complex the life is, but I am skeptical that harm would be done. Europa and Enceladus are far and away the best candidates in the solar system to find life, and neither of them have a compelling reason to set up a colony. They only have compelling reasons for study and that study can be done with unmanned probes and satillites.

Our future lies in space simply because the challenges of space exploration/colonization has the best odds of providing solutions to the problems we face today. Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist and Director of the Haydon Planetarium, was asked what project he would want NASA to work on if they were allowed a budget so small that they could only do one project at a given time. His answer was that he would move to the country that took space study seriously. When asked why he said because that country would enjoy the highest standard of living, would be finding solutions to the problems we face today, and would be moving into the future instead of taking a step backward.

The scientists may have better goals, but unfortunately the politicians have more control over what NASA does or what the gathered scientific data is used for. And I wouldn't call them 'lifeless wastelands', as we do not know that for sure. Plus, beauty is within the eye of the beholder - what we call a lifeless wasteland, 'others' might call home. In short, I don't trust man. Like when the first atomic bomb was made, and then what it was used for. Kenneth Bainbridge, the director of the Trinity Test, immediateley after the explosion, remarked "Now we are all sons of *****es."


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idecline
post Jul 26 2011, 08:41 AM
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QUOTE(Sovolis @ Jul 25 2011, 09:50 AM) *
Not really; our primary goal is knowledge and solutions to earth problems. The only resource that would be beneficial to mine from a foreign body within the solar system is helium3. Every other resource humans are aware of would net negative profit beyond the cost of retrieving it from space. In other words; the costs out weigh the benefits. Helium3 is different because it is the best material we are aware of for fusion energy. It produces energy in such a large scale that we would net positive energy even after accounting for the massive amount of energy needed to put the equipment into space and fly it to the moon and back again, it allows for fusion at significantly lower temperatures, and it emits less nutrinos that damage the shielding on fusion power plants. Having to replace that shielding every 5-7 years instead of every 2-4 years. Until another manned mission to the moon can bring back more geological samples we can not make many more strides in fusion power because helium3 doesn't exist naturally on earth. Fusion power is the only solution to pollution and problems with fossil fuels that doesn't require a cocktail of energy solutions. The byproduct of helium3 fusion is a higher element (I believe nitrogen but know it isn't anything higher then iron on the periodic table), so pollution isn't an issue with fusion power.

Mining Mars or any other body is just stupid given our current technological state. It would literally be a hole in space that we would be dumping money into (unless we are going there for helium3 but every planet with a magnetic field doesn't have helium3). Until space elevator/space pier/sky hook technology is developed mining materials other than helium3 will be too expensive. When we have one of these technologies or another way to put payloads and personnel into space at a fraction of the energy then we would be able to explore the possibility of utilizing the other resources available in space.
You both have a rather cynical attitude about space exploration/colonization, but your attitude isn't grounded in the cutting edge of science and technology. Scientists aren't looking to space to exploit the resources available on other worlds and "screw up" or pollute those worlds. Science is looking to space to find the solutions to the pollution and other problems we have here on earth. They are looking to fix the ways we have "screwed up" our "mother planet".

[edit] Most of space is like this; in fact most of the universe is a hostile environment that wants to kill us.


Sorry i edited some of your post for brevity.....

Please read "Sun In A Bottle" by Charles Seife.....

We are not going to make Fusion work...maybe not ever...it is too dangerous..Neutrons and Neutrinos are deadly....it cannot be controlled properly and came from bomb technology antway...who needs it...We do nort fix problems with technology..we only create more

I have taken Berkeley Honors Physics course..I know my Quantum Physics quite well..thank you....and the space program is a joke..designed and controlled by policians and military minds ( blink.gif ). The idea of what you are saying is logical and sound...but it is not practical or morally correct...we don't have 'dominion' over planet Earth or any other part of the Universe...mans arrogance is his downfall and to believe we have the right or ability to live off-planet is absurd...let's clean house on Earth before we go 'outside'...hey we know less about the deep ocean 'space' on Earth than we do about 'outer-space'.... dry.gif


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Sovolis
post Jul 26 2011, 12:21 PM
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QUOTE(Beck @ Jul 25 2011, 08:40 PM) *
The scientists may have better goals, but unfortunately the politicians have more control over what NASA does or what the gathered scientific data is used for.


Politicians don't have the control you think they have. The legislature gives NASA thier budget. Aside from a few recommendations that is about the extent of it. NASA decides what that budget is used for. I work in government and watch this dance of division in government play out on a daily basis. Furthermore, NASA contracts out to private industry for almost everything. No one is telling Northrup Grumman or Boeing what to do with the advancements and technology they develop for NASA. The patents for those technologies belong to those companies for them to do what they want with them.

QUOTE
And I wouldn't call them 'lifeless wastelands', as we do not know that for sure.


Actually we do know that for sure about the other three terrestrial planets, our moon, the proto-planet Pluto, and most of the other moons in the solar system. We can say with certainty that those bodies do not have life on them. They may have had life at one time, but it is long since dead and fossilised. We are also almost totally certain that the three gas giants also don't have life on them, but we can't be 100% sure of those (just about 99.999% or >). The moons Europa and Enceladus, and other moons like them may have life, but that is a huge "may". For all intents and purposes; the solar system is largely a lifeless wasteland.

QUOTE
Plus, beauty is within the eye of the beholder - what we call a lifeless wasteland, 'others' might call home.


Are you suggesting using a subjective qualifier to determining whether we should colonize potentially colonizable worlds? Who makes the decision that a planet or moon is too "beautiful" to colonize?

QUOTE
In short, I don't trust man.


It really is disheartening seeing such a cynical attitude in someone so young, but I have to ask; are you suggesting that because you don't trust humankind that we should scrap the space program? Do you see nothing good coming out of science and technology? Are you a luddite?

QUOTE
Like when the first atomic bomb was made, and then what it was used for. Kenneth Bainbridge, the director of the Trinity Test, immediateley after the explosion, remarked "Now we are all sons of *****es."


Comparing the atomic bomb to the space program is an apples to oranges comparison.

QUOTE(idecline @ Jul 26 2011, 08:41 AM) *
Sorry i edited some of your post for brevity.....

Please read "Sun In A Bottle" by Charles Seife.....

We are not going to make Fusion work...maybe not ever...it is too dangerous..Neutrons and Neutrinos are deadly....it cannot be controlled properly and came from bomb technology antway...who needs it...We do nort fix problems with technology..we only create more


Neutrons and neutrinos are no more dangerous than any other kind of radiation. Exposure amounts and durations are what are important. We all are pelted by neutrons and neutrinos from our sun in small amounts on a daily basis. Fusion power is magnatudes safer than fission power, yet much of the world gets at least a portion of thier energy from fission power plants. Our biggest developement problem with fusion power is the temperature at which fusion is possible. Heat is the reason a fusion plant can only be run for a fraction of a second before needing to be shut down. Fusion power also isn't from bomb technology; I think you have fusion confused with fission.

I never said technology solves problems; technology is merely a tool that we can use to impliment solutions or create problems. Technology doesn't "create more" problems; the way technology is used creates problems. Fission power is great example of that. Fission power is one of the safest and cleanest energy sources we have when utilized properly, but when it is utilized incorrectly or without foresight into the conditions and/or geography it is being utilized in there can be major problems.

QUOTE
I have taken Berkeley Honors Physics course..I know my Quantum Physics quite well..thank you..


I was unaware that I was insulting your intelligence; I apologize.

QUOTE
..and the space program is a joke.


A joke that has contributed vast amounts to the ease and survivability of our lifestyle; more than many other scientific endevours. Looks like the joke is on us.

QUOTE
.designed and controlled by policians and military minds ( blink.gif ).


As I said to Beck; politicians play less of a role than you imply. They make the budget and give recommendations. NASA decides what to do with that budget and contracts most of the work out to private companies. No one told Boeing or Grumman what to do with the aeronautics they developed for the Lunar Modual. The patents belong to those companies. Demand in the market is what dictated to those private companies how to use those technologies. Politicians also change for year to year, decade to decade. Politicians are merely people. Those people can be changed and influenced.

The military is largely not involved in the space program anymore, because the Apollo program did a good job of showing that space isn't a practical location for most military applications. Spy and communication satillites are about the extent of military application at our current technological level. The military isn't interested in whether or not liquid water existed on Mars at one time or another. The vast majority of NASA projects have been exploration and scientific missions with little to no military applications.

QUOTE
The idea of what you are saying is logical and sound...but it is not practical or morally correct...we don't have 'dominion' over planet Earth or any other part of the Universe...mans arrogance is his downfall and to believe we have the right or ability to live off-planet is absurd...let's clean house on Earth before we go 'outside'...hey we know less about the deep ocean 'space' on Earth than we do about 'outer-space'.... dry.gif


I never said we had "dominion" over planet Earth or any other part of the universe. To believe we don't have the right or ability to live off-planet is equally absurd. The point I was making is that there is no compelling reason for us not to "go out amongst the star". If there is a compelling reason what is it? Is that reason objective or subjective? There is knowledge to be gained by going out into the solar system, and the journey will provide knowledge to solve many of the problems we face here on Earth. To suggest that we shouldn't persue that endevour because we "need to clean house...before we go outside" doesn't make logical sense. We can do both at the same time, and the potential that one could help the other (and most likely would) exists.

EDIT-I am not a technophile. I do not praise the benefits of science and technology while being blind to the weaknesses and horrors of science and technology. Nor do I believe that technology will solve our every problem, but I refuse to believe that the methods and devices that have allowed us to increase the life expectancy rate and lower the infant mortality rate (among other benefits) are somehow inherently evil. Science and technology are tools for us to use; for good or bad. It is up to all of us to ensure that those tools are being used in a way that benefits the common good.

This post has been edited by Sovolis: Jul 26 2011, 01:14 PM


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QUOTE(Apologistnky @ Nov 4 2010, 10:57 PM) *
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Beck
post Jul 26 2011, 09:05 PM
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QUOTE(Sovolis @ Jul 26 2011, 10:21 AM) *
Politicians don't have the control you think they have. The legislature gives NASA thier budget. Aside from a few recommendations that is about the extent of it. NASA decides what that budget is used for. I work in government and watch this dance of division in government play out on a daily basis. Furthermore, NASA contracts out to private industry for almost everything. No one is telling Northrup Grumman or Boeing what to do with the advancements and technology they develop for NASA. The patents for those technologies belong to those companies for them to do what they want with them.
Actually we do know that for sure about the other three terrestrial planets, our moon, the proto-planet Pluto, and most of the other moons in the solar system. We can say with certainty that those bodies do not have life on them. They may have had life at one time, but it is long since dead and fossilised. We are also almost totally certain that the three gas giants also don't have life on them, but we can't be 100% sure of those (just about 99.999% or >). The moons Europa and Enceladus, and other moons like them may have life, but that is a huge "may". For all intents and purposes; the solar system is largely a lifeless wasteland.

The limitations on NASA's budget is the control I'm referring to. Limiting their budget limits what NASA is able to do, and what they choose to do.

And I must disagree again with your statement on many of the other planets and moons not having any life and/or being wastelands. Some of those places may have different circumstances under which life can thrive than here. Perhaps the life has not or cannot be seen or measured with our current technology just yet, I don't know for sure. But for anyone to claim that they do without solid & thorough examination & study is a fallacy.
QUOTE
Are you suggesting using a subjective qualifier to determining whether we should colonize potentially colonizable worlds? Who makes the decision that a planet or moon is too "beautiful" to colonize?

That's not my point - what I am trying to convey is that there is a point at which we must stop and question our own actions. Most people don't like to do this.
QUOTE
It really is disheartening seeing such a cynical attitude in someone so young, but I have to ask; are you suggesting that because you don't trust humankind that we should scrap the space program? Do you see nothing good coming out of science and technology? Are you a luddite?

Please do not play the "age card" on me. When people do this, it makes me feel that people don't want to have an intelligent conversation because of my age; as if they think I'm naive and immature and it stops everything.

And I'm not a cynic, I'm just trying to look at this as realisticly(?) as possible. You have to try to look at the whole situation from a different perspective - from a non-human perspective. It's very difficult to see the beast when you're inside of it.

QUOTE
Comparing the atomic bomb to the space program is an apples to oranges comparison.

Fair enough. But my point still stands, the outcome is not always positive like most people are led to believe.

QUOTE
A joke that has contributed vast amounts to the ease and survivability of our lifestyle; more than many other scientific endevours. Looks like the joke is on us.

Here's the problem with the common deception of technology's "benefits" on humans:
Attached Image
Medical advancements since the 1950s have increased our lifespans, and generalled altered the course of our body's genes over the past 60 years. Not to sound cynical, but as a result of antibiotics and antidotes, the lack of disease killing off enough humans to achieve a balance in the human population has resulted in a population explosion ever since. This is where I say "Just because we can, doesn't mean we should." People live longer, sickness gets cured; that's the biased perspective most people have and is why they form their opinions on why medical advancements and technolgy are good. They don't see the other side of it, particularly long-term. We're actually becoming much weaker, with dissolving immune systems, inventing & using technology to solve our "problems" like the inconveniences of physical excerise or any body movement whatsoever. Remote controls, automobiles, elevators/escalators, and more that allow us to move less and less. We're becoming those people in the Wall-E movie, pardon the reference. Disease is a necessary evil IMHO. We're a very unhealthy species, most especially in industrialized countries.

QUOTE
I never said we had "dominion" over planet Earth or any other part of the universe. To believe we don't have the right or ability to live off-planet is equally absurd. The point I was making is that there is no compelling reason for us not to "go out amongst the star". If there is a compelling reason what is it? Is that reason objective or subjective? There is knowledge to be gained by going out into the solar system, and the journey will provide knowledge to solve many of the problems we face here on Earth. To suggest that we shouldn't persue that endevour because we "need to clean house...before we go outside" doesn't make logical sense. We can do both at the same time, and the potential that one could help the other (and most likely would) exists.

I'm glad that you did not say we had dominion over Earth and everything else....because there is a large amount of people who do believe that, some even on this forum, and I'm relieved to know that you're smarter than that. smile.gif

But I agree with idecline's statement. I understand man's natural curiosity, but it's self-destructive.


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*Beginning December 5th, 2014 (new location, Central Murrieta).

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Sovolis
post Jul 27 2011, 09:16 AM
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QUOTE(Beck @ Jul 26 2011, 09:05 PM) *
The limitations on NASA's budget is the control I'm referring to. Limiting their budget limits what NASA is able to do, and what they choose to do.


Then on this point we agree. Limiting NASA's budget is controlling NASA and the projects they are able to do. However, I think we disagree on what each of us would like to see done with NASA. I would love to see them get the budget they need to do real cutting edge science.

QUOTE
And I must disagree again with your statement on many of the other planets and moons not having any life and/or being wastelands. Some of those places may have different circumstances under which life can thrive than here. Perhaps the life has not or cannot be seen or measured with our current technology just yet, I don't know for sure. But for anyone to claim that they do without solid & thorough examination & study is a fallacy.


It's not a fallacy at all if we take scientific knowns and unknowns into account, at least for biological life. If we are talking about non-biological life then all bets are off.

We know that all biological life on this planet is comprised of 4 of the 5 most common elements in the universe (helium is inert) and those element exist in life in roughly the same percentages that they exist in the universe. That fact compounded with the observations we have made concerning the lack of biological life in the solar system and the conditions based on physics and chemistry that make it easy for life to thrive here give us very high odds that this planet is the most likely planet to have biological life. We know the conditions for life may exist on a number of moons such as Europa and Enceladus, but it would be paradigm shifting for us to find biological life on a planet with the conditions of the other bodies in the universe. It would be such a paradigm shift and be so far opposed to what we understand in science that we can say with almost complete certainty that it won't happen. Could it happen? In science nothing is completely certain, but the understanding that biological life will not be found on the planets that don't exhibit conditions we have identified can be accepted with complete confidence. Scientists look at odds and probabilities, and the odds and probabilities are overwhelmingly in favor of the solar system being largely devoid of biological life. Microbial life has by far the best odds and those odds are still relative long shots.

QUOTE
That's not my point - what I am trying to convey is that there is a point at which we must stop and question our own actions. Most people don't like to do this.


I have been hearing sentiments similar to this since the movie Jurrasic Park came out and Jeff Goldbloom's character said "Sometimes we are so concerned with what we can do that we don't take a second to consider whether we should do it" (that quote may not be exact). The reality is that scientists ask themselves these questions all the time. Science is about questioning and providing answers; why would they not ask questions about all possible outcomes? Will they miss important questions from time to time? Yes. Have they missed important questions in the past? Of course; they are human after all, but that doesn't mean we should stop our quest for knowledge. Scientists do in fact question thier own actions and those of thier colleagues.

QUOTE
Please do not play the "age card" on me. When people do this, it makes me feel that people don't want to have an intelligent conversation because of my age; as if they think I'm naive and immature and it stops everything.


I was not saying I didn't want to have an intelligent conversation with you, nor do I think you are naive or immature. I have read enough conversations you have been involved in and had a number with you to know that you have a brain that works. I don't recall having as cynical an attitude about something when I was young and I have become increasingly cynical about certain things the older I get. It is disheartening to me to see an attitude akin to giving up on humankind in someone so young because I don't recall being like that nor have I experianced it in anyone else that is young. Perhaps you don't mean it in the way it has come off in text, but it does seem like your distrust of humankind extends that far.

QUOTE
And I'm not a cynic, I'm just trying to look at this as realisticly(?) as possible. You have to try to look at the whole situation from a different perspective - from a non-human perspective. It's very difficult to see the beast when you're inside of it.


Looking at it realistically would take into account all the good and bad of space exploration/colonization. It also includes understanding the science involved. When all things are measured; I believe (and I would be willing to bet the scientific community agrees) that space exploration will provide more good than bad to humankind. I could make a philosophical arguement that humans and incapable of looking at anything from a non-human perspective, but I don't like dealing with subjectives and won't make that arguement. I will argue that looking at it from a non-human perspective is self defeating. We need to take our own self interests into account, so a human perspective is necessary. That doesn't mean that we shouldn't take all consequences into account. We should always strive to see all angles and account for all possible outcomes. This is difficult at times, but some of our greatest accomplishments and advancements have come from our mistakes.

QUOTE
Fair enough. But my point still stands, the outcome is not always positive like most people are led to believe.


To believe that the outcome is always positive would be naive, but to believe we can't overcome the challenges we place for ourselves and most that are out of our control (I believe) is equally naive.

QUOTE
Here's the problem with the common deception of technology's "benefits" on humans:
Attached Image
Medical advancements since the 1950s have increased our lifespans, and generalled altered the course of our body's genes over the past 60 years. Not to sound cynical, but as a result of antibiotics and antidotes, the lack of disease killing off enough humans to achieve a balance in the human population has resulted in a population explosion ever since. This is where I say "Just because we can, doesn't mean we should." People live longer, sickness gets cured; that's the biased perspective most people have and is why they form their opinions on why medical advancements and technolgy are good. They don't see the other side of it, particularly long-term.


Over population is a huge problem, but do you think it is an unsolvable problem? Should we stop extending life spans and saving lives because of overpopulation? Should medical science come to a stand still because people keep having children and living longer? In my opinion education and social legislation are a better solution to the problem of overpopulation. An arguement can certainly be made that education and social legislation are the moral solutions. As a small scale (relatively speaking) experiment China has made strides in controlling population problems while still enjoying the benefits of modern medicine.

QUOTE
We're actually becoming much weaker, with dissolving immune systems, inventing & using technology to solve our "problems" like the inconveniences of physical excerise or any body movement whatsoever. Remote controls, automobiles, elevators/escalators, and more that allow us to move less and less. We're becoming those people in the Wall-E movie, pardon the reference. Disease is a necessary evil IMHO. We're a very unhealthy species, most especially in industrialized countries.


No, we are not becoming weaker. All studies show that the western world has become stronger and more resiliant due to modern medicine. Antibiotics don't fight bacteria for you, but help your immune system get strong and fight the bacteria. Vaccines use your immune systems own processes to develop a line of defence against infections. People may become lazy because they live in comfort not previously afforded to them due to modern technology, but being lazy is still a choice. Modern technology is not the cause of thier laziness. They have the choice to sit on the couch, watch TV and eat chips or go excersize for twenty minutes.

QUOTE
I'm glad that you did not say we had dominion over Earth and everything else....because there is a large amount of people who do believe that, some even on this forum, and I'm relieved to know that you're smarter than that. smile.gif


I'm an atheist; divine providence doesn't sit well with me.

QUOTE
But I agree with idecline's statement. I understand man's natural curiosity, but it's self-destructive.


Natural curiosity isn't self-destructive; the actions taken in pursuit or because of natural curiosity have the potential to be self-destructive. You're placing a causal quality to curiosity that doesn't exist outside of proverb (curiosity killed the cat). Natural curiosity is just natural curiosity. The actions we take to satisfy that curiosity are what can potentially be destructive. Was the curiosity the thing that killed the cat, or were the actions the cat took to satisfy that curiosity what killed him/her?

This post has been edited by Sovolis: Jul 27 2011, 09:25 AM


--------------------
QUOTE(Apologistnky @ Nov 4 2010, 10:57 PM) *
A squirrel cannot carry the rabies virus... but has no trouble carrying the AK-47 assault rifle or the M72 Light Anti-tank weapon ( LAWS rocket)!! :unsure: :lol:
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Beck
post Jul 31 2011, 01:38 AM
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QUOTE
I have been hearing sentiments similar to this since the movie Jurrasic Park came out and Jeff Goldbloom's character said "Sometimes we are so concerned with what we can do that we don't take a second to consider whether we should do it" (that quote may not be exact). The reality is that scientists ask themselves these questions all the time. Science is about questioning and providing answers; why would they not ask questions about all possible outcomes? Will they miss important questions from time to time? Yes. Have they missed important questions in the past? Of course; they are human after all, but that doesn't mean we should stop our quest for knowledge. Scientists do in fact question thier own actions and those of thier colleagues.

I'm not so sure about that, or at least scientists lack a long-term benefits & consequences way of thinking these things through.
QUOTE
I was not saying I didn't want to have an intelligent conversation with you, nor do I think you are naive or immature. I have read enough conversations you have been involved in and had a number with you to know that you have a brain that works. I don't recall having as cynical an attitude about something when I was young and I have become increasingly cynical about certain things the older I get. It is disheartening to me to see an attitude akin to giving up on humankind in someone so young because I don't recall being like that nor have I experianced it in anyone else that is young. Perhaps you don't mean it in the way it has come off in text, but it does seem like your distrust of humankind extends that far.

I haven't given up on mankind entirely. Like I said earlier, there is the potential for both great good and great evil in all beings. But I believe that we are fooling ourselves with the technology we develop.
QUOTE
Looking at it realistically would take into account all the good and bad of space exploration/colonization. It also includes understanding the science involved. When all things are measured; I believe (and I would be willing to bet the scientific community agrees) that space exploration will provide more good than bad to humankind. I could make a philosophical arguement that humans and incapable of looking at anything from a non-human perspective, but I don't like dealing with subjectives and won't make that arguement. I will argue that looking at it from a non-human perspective is self defeating. We need to take our own self interests into account, so a human perspective is necessary. That doesn't mean that we shouldn't take all consequences into account. We should always strive to see all angles and account for all possible outcomes. This is difficult at times, but some of our greatest accomplishments and advancements have come from our mistakes.

But that's the problem, our self-interests develop a bias. By a non-human perspective, I mean looking at this almost from a God-like perspective (I'm Agnostic). And you can make the point that some of our greatest accomplishments and advancements come from our mistakes, but not our flaws. With the technology we have, we are continually trying to correct our flaws or qualities that make us human, with the mindset that we have the potential to solve all of our problems with technology, but this is not true. It's a harsh reality that people hate to face, hence why most won't accept it.
QUOTE
To believe that the outcome is always positive would be naive, but to believe we can't overcome the challenges we place for ourselves and most that are out of our control (I believe) is equally naive.

But....don't you see? Out of our control. We can't control that issue, an example would be world hunger. Some people (if not very many) believe that this is a problem that we can solve. As nice as the optimism is, that is not the reality. I'm not trying to bring everybody down, but come on....over 6.7 billion people and counting.....
QUOTE
Over population is a huge problem, but do you think it is an unsolvable problem? Should we stop extending life spans and saving lives because of overpopulation? Should medical science come to a stand still because people keep having children and living longer? In my opinion education and social legislation are a better solution to the problem of overpopulation. An arguement can certainly be made that education and social legislation are the moral solutions. As a small scale (relatively speaking) experiment China has made strides in controlling population problems while still enjoying the benefits of modern medicine.

Again....you're looking at this from one side and not the other. Or, to put it more clearly, you're taking the benefits while ignoring or downplaying the consequences. Those four things you mentioned - extending life spans, saving lives, people having children and living longer - all greatly contribute to overpopulation. I'm not saying those are horrible, but they disrupt what would otherwise be a natural population balance, like in most other species. And I like what China has been doing, but as you know, socialism is not very popular around the world, especially here in the US. We all know how that goes. It's a real shame that people generally look at population control as a terrible thing. And religion plays a major part in this, but I'm not going into that area right now.....
QUOTE
No, we are not becoming weaker. All studies show that the western world has become stronger and more resiliant due to modern medicine. Antibiotics don't fight bacteria for you, but help your immune system get strong and fight the bacteria. Vaccines use your immune systems own processes to develop a line of defence against infections. People may become lazy because they live in comfort not previously afforded to them due to modern technology, but being lazy is still a choice. Modern technology is not the cause of thier laziness. They have the choice to sit on the couch, watch TV and eat chips or go excersize for twenty minutes.

We're using our bodies less to do much of anything at all, so yes, we are becoming weaker. Antibiotics and vaccines don't work with our immune systems, they work in place of them. Our immune systems don't really have to do anything other than give the order for the antibiotics and vaccines to do all the work for them. We're not far at this point in time from merging our minds with microchips. We've already done that to other parts of our bodies (robotic arms, etc).
QUOTE
Natural curiosity isn't self-destructive; the actions taken in pursuit or because of natural curiosity have the potential to be self-destructive. You're placing a causal quality to curiosity that doesn't exist outside of proverb (curiosity killed the cat). Natural curiosity is just natural curiosity. The actions we take to satisfy that curiosity are what can potentially be destructive. Was the curiosity the thing that killed the cat, or were the actions the cat took to satisfy that curiosity what killed him/her?

Fair enough, but you're cherry-picking here. Man's natural curiosity leads him to self-destructiveness. Not very different from what I said, they both ultimately mean the exact same thing.


--------------------
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idecline
post Jul 31 2011, 05:45 AM
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QUOTE(Sovolis @ Jul 26 2011, 12:21 PM) *
Politicians don't have the control you think they have. The legislature gives NASA thier budget. Aside from a few recommendations that is about the extent of it. NASA decides what that budget is used for. I work in government and watch this dance of division in government play out on a daily basis. Furthermore, NASA contracts out to private industry for almost everything. No one is telling Northrup Grumman or Boeing what to do with the advancements and technology they develop for NASA. The patents for those technologies belong to those companies for them to do what they want with them.
Actually we do know that for sure about the other three terrestrial planets, our moon, the proto-planet Pluto, and most of the other moons in the solar system. We can say with certainty that those bodies do not have life on them. They may have had life at one time, but it is long since dead and fossilised. We are also almost totally certain that the three gas giants also don't have life on them, but we can't be 100% sure of those (just about 99.999% or >). The moons Europa and Enceladus, and other moons like them may have life, but that is a huge "may". For all intents and purposes; the solar system is largely a lifeless wasteland.


Yes ....but like Beck said.. We may be unaware of 'other' types of life...our ideas of life are limited by our conception of 'life' and our innate bias. Our own 'life form' is so encompassing that we are genetically unaware of the conception of beings that we might consider ethereal yet they could be as alive as us. We do not have full-spectrum vision (for example) so we must use devices to 'see' outside the areas of human perception. But as we know from weather measurements and forecasting...that the Universe is a lot more complex and unpredictable than we realize. Perhaps there are many more gaps in our understanding than we even realize... blink.gif
QUOTE
Are you suggesting using a subjective qualifier to determining whether we should colonize potentially colonizable worlds? Who makes the decision that a planet or moon is too "beautiful" to colonize?
The simple fact that we are not genetically designed to live on these other 'worlds'....plain and simple...if you need 'artifice' then it is simply an 'exploration'...How many natives (Human) are there of Antarctica ?

QUOTE
It really is disheartening seeing such a cynical attitude in someone so young, but I have to ask; are you suggesting that because you don't trust humankind that we should scrap the space program? Do you see nothing good coming out of science and technology? Are you a luddite?
I am not young...so a cynical attitude is expected....No...I just have thought about it a long time....
Luddite...? Well... Some people explore Outer-Space and some explore innerspace...Who's is to say what is a valid pursuit?

QUOTE
Comparing the atomic bomb to the space program is an apples to oranges comparison.
Neutrons and neutrinos are no more dangerous than any other kind of radiation. Exposure amounts and durations are what are important. We all are pelted by neutrons and neutrinos from our sun in small amounts on a daily basis. Fusion power is magnatudes safer than fission power, yet much of the world gets at least a portion of thier energy from fission power plants. Our biggest developement problem with fusion power is the temperature at which fusion is possible. Heat is the reason a fusion plant can only be run for a fraction of a second before needing to be shut down. Fusion power also isn't from bomb technology; I think you have fusion confused with fission.


Wrong...very wrong.

Thermo-nuclear bombs utilize Fusion power as the main force of their detonation...the "Atom-bomb" is a tiny little 'fuse' (fission) that ignites the Giant 'fire' of the Fusion reaction...that is how we developed "Mega-tons" as a term for Nuclear weapons...they are not the 'Little Boys' of our decimation of Hiroshima...they are much more powerful...

QUOTE
I never said technology solves problems; technology is merely a tool that we can use to impliment solutions or create problems. Technology doesn't "create more" problems; the way technology is used creates problems. Fission power is great example of that. Fission power is one of the safest and cleanest energy sources we have when utilized properly, but when it is utilized incorrectly or without foresight into the conditions and/or geography it is being utilized in there can be major problems.


Fission may 'burn' clean....but the 'ashes' are a real pain in the 'ash'.....

QUOTE
I was unaware that I was insulting your intelligence; I apologize.


Not at all...to be insulted is a mis-perception on the insulted parties part....you need to read up on the actual 'science' of fusion...not the hype....(Book... rolleyes.gif ...previous post...read it)

QUOTE
A joke that has contributed vast amounts to the ease and survivability of our lifestyle; more than many other scientific endevours. Looks like the joke is on us.[


If ease is mans goal then America wins.....we have 'technologized' ourselves into 'Rolly-Polly Weebles'.


Both you and Beck have shown highly intelligent argumentation's about the validity of Space Travel....that is also up to the individual...I prefer to think in 'grounded' terms...this is our 'Terra' and to even go onto our Oceans is taking one's life into peril....for we are not sea-creatures anymore than we are 'space-creatures' ....So these journeys are not destinational journeys, but journeys of exploration or science or wealth accumulation but not of permanence ...for we cannot live for extended times off of 'Terra" without complete 'artifice'...thus are we truly 'alive' in 'space' or are we 'encapsulated' in a 'technologically created' environment that is perilious...for the Universe is not necessarily 'benign'...


--------------------
Perception is everything

"If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there". ~ Lewis Carroll


"A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving" ~ Lao Tzu
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idecline
post Jul 31 2011, 06:30 AM
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QUOTE(Sovolis @ Jul 27 2011, 09:16 AM) *
If we are talking about non-biological life then all bets are off.


Ding...ding...ding...we have a winner! What we don't know can kill us....

QUOTE
I'm an atheist; divine providence doesn't sit well with me.


Science and cosmology are no different than spiritual interpretations of the Universe....
They both have their uses for mans psyche and need to seek....yet Quantum Physics is now linking the two 'views' of the world as being intertwined...The phenomenon of 'Entanglement' of the atomic scale creates a whole new 'view' of the Universe...

(I agree with a distaste of organized religions...yet being of a group (atheists) creates the same separations of understanding and 'community' that all earthlings share.


QUOTE
Was the curiosity the thing that killed the cat, or were the actions the cat took to satisfy that curiosity what killed him/her?


Another Physics answer...since you are a 'scientific' seeker.....Schrodinger's Cat? Heard of it?

Is was a 'mind-experiment' created to show the duality of atomic behavior...the idea of 'super-position' is hard to wrap ones mind around...but if you can it actually solves the inequities of basic realities of perceived order to the way the Universe operates...Things can be in two states of being at one time..In the thought experiment the cat would be in a state of either alive or dead at the same time...and the outcome is unknown until the box is opened...this has already been proven by Lasers and other devices which utilize the actual ability for light to behave as both a particle and a wave...at the same time....

It is the 'observer' (us) that makes something 'collapse' and therefore choose a state to be observed in...
The Philosophical ramifications of this knowledge are 'mind-bending'.......

(p.s.- If you feel that you have become 'cynical' please look up "Quantum Physics", or "Neils Bohr", or "Max Planck" or...any of the pioneers in realizing that the Universe operates on the 'quantum' level...steps of energy...platforms of stability...that 'shift' to new configurations....spontaneously.( Einstein had a problem with that...his 'God would not play 'dice' with the Universe)..The Universe is far more complex than our tiny brains can ever hope to fully understand...that is what is hopeful...) IMHO.... laugh.gif

This post has been edited by idecline: Jul 31 2011, 06:49 AM


--------------------
Perception is everything

"If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there". ~ Lewis Carroll


"A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving" ~ Lao Tzu
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Sovolis
post Aug 1 2011, 11:52 AM
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I think we are begining to come to some understanding, but I think there are a few more arguments and clearifications I need to make.

QUOTE(Beck @ Jul 31 2011, 01:38 AM) *
I'm not so sure about that, or at least scientists lack a long-term benefits & consequences way of thinking these things through.


I think we can safely assume that there are scientists that lack a long-term benefits and consequences way of thinking. But science has it's foundation in philosophy and philosophy courses are still required electives for most science degrees at universities around the world. Scientists tend to be highly critical thinkers. I don't understand a belief that scientists would abandon critical thinking in the face of discovery. I will give an example of the type of scientist I am defending in my reply to idecline.

QUOTE
I haven't given up on mankind entirely. Like I said earlier, there is the potential for both great good and great evil in all beings. But I believe that we are fooling ourselves with the technology we develop.


I am glad to hear you haven't given up on humanity. I tend to be an optimist as far as humanity is concerned, but I have to stress again that technology is just a tool. If you will allow me a poor analogy; a hammer is technology. A hammer has a certain potential for good or evil, but it requires the user to fulfill that potential.

QUOTE
But that's the problem, our self-interests develop a bias. By a non-human perspective, I mean looking at this almost from a God-like perspective (I'm Agnostic). And you can make the point that some of our greatest accomplishments and advancements come from our mistakes, but not our flaws. With the technology we have, we are continually trying to correct our flaws or qualities that make us human, with the mindset that we have the potential to solve all of our problems with technology, but this is not true. It's a harsh reality that people hate to face, hence why most won't accept it.


Give me an example of how we are trying to correct our flaws or qualities that make us human. I don't understand the argument you are making and don't see this to be the case.

QUOTE
But....don't you see? Out of our control. We can't control that issue, an example would be world hunger. Some people (if not very many) believe that this is a problem that we can solve. As nice as the optimism is, that is not the reality. I'm not trying to bring everybody down, but come on....over 6.7 billion people and counting.....


Just because a challenge is out of our control doesn't mean we can't overcome that challenge. Hunger may or may not be a problem we can solve, but we will never find out if we don't try. If history is any indication hunger should be solvable. Read Denialism How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives by Michael Specter. Pay close attention to the chapter entitled The Organic Fetish. Micheal Specter gives a very good historical account of genetically modified organisms(GMO) and how they have save billions from starvation. He also gives a great account of what a GMO actually is and how the science behind them works. I also want you to answer this question: Should we stop pursuing life saving science and solutions because of over population? Should we allow people to die when we have the capability of preventing those deaths?

QUOTE
Again....you're looking at this from one side and not the other. Or, to put it more clearly, you're taking the benefits while ignoring or downplaying the consequences. Those four things you mentioned - extending life spans, saving lives, people having children and living longer - all greatly contribute to overpopulation. I'm not saying those are horrible, but they disrupt what would otherwise be a natural population balance, like in most other species. And I like what China has been doing, but as you know, socialism is not very popular around the world, especially here in the US. We all know how that goes. It's a real shame that people generally look at population control as a terrible thing. And religion plays a major part in this, but I'm not going into that area right now.....


I am not seeing it from one side and not the other; I recognize that the other side causes a lot of death and suffering. I hear from my "hippie" friends all the time that we should "return to a simpler lifestyle". Some of them take it to the extreme of hunter/gatherer lifestyle. None of them have been to places like Africa or the Amazon where not only is the common cold a life threatening event, but a simple scratch can become infected and cause death. Yes over population is a problem, but I refuse to trade modern medicine to solve over population when we have education and social legislation as tools to potentially solve that problem. I am not concerned with peoples incorret labeling of social legislation as socialism (socialism is the government owning the means of production i.e. industry). Thier ignorance is thier problem. If those last two statements are examples of my cynicism than my hope of finding solutions to our problems (including overpopulation, hunger, pollution, etc.) through science, technology, legislation, and compassion is an example of my optimism in humankind. I don't believe these or any other problem is unsolvable; regardless of whether the solution come from science and technology or otherwise. Science has the best track record for finding solutions to the problems we face.

QUOTE
We're using our bodies less to do much of anything at all, so yes, we are becoming weaker. Antibiotics and vaccines don't work with our immune systems, they work in place of them. Our immune systems don't really have to do anything other than give the order for the antibiotics and vaccines to do all the work for them. We're not far at this point in time from merging our minds with microchips. We've already done that to other parts of our bodies (robotic arms, etc).


While antibiotics attack bacteria and do much of the work for our immune systems our immune system doesn't shut down and stop working. Antibiotics are also cheap and easy to produce. Vaccines, on the other hand, don't do the work for us. When we catch a virus our immune system gets to work fighting that virus. Either we die (game over) or we live and have the anti-bodies to fight future infections of the same virus. Theoretically we should never get that infection again; natural innoculation. A vaccine is intentional and controlled exposure to a sample of a virus in a state (live or dead) or small enough sample that will allow our immune systems natural processes take over and build anti-bodies. The vaccine doesn't attack anything; our immune system still has to do all the work. Vaccines literally make our immune system stronger; forced innoculation. There are certainly outliers where vaccine receivers get sick or suffer side effects from the vaccine. Sometimes these cases result in death, but the odds of this happening for most vaccines is very slim. It is a minor risk for the vast majority of the population.

QUOTE
Fair enough, but you're cherry-picking here. Man's natural curiosity leads him to self-destructiveness. Not very different from what I said, they both ultimately mean the exact same thing.


I'm not the one cherry-picking. I admit that the actions taken can lead to self destruction, yet you seem to think that it can only lead to self distruction. Natural curiosity has as much potential for greatness as it does destruction.


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QUOTE(Apologistnky @ Nov 4 2010, 10:57 PM) *
A squirrel cannot carry the rabies virus... but has no trouble carrying the AK-47 assault rifle or the M72 Light Anti-tank weapon ( LAWS rocket)!! :unsure: :lol:
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Sovolis
post Aug 1 2011, 02:36 PM
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QUOTE(idecline @ Jul 31 2011, 05:45 AM) *
Yes ....but like Beck said.. We may be unaware of 'other' types of life...our ideas of life are limited by our conception of 'life' and our innate bias. Our own 'life form' is so encompassing that we are genetically unaware of the conception of beings that we might consider ethereal yet they could be as alive as us. We do not have full-spectrum vision (for example) so we must use devices to 'see' outside the areas of human perception. But as we know from weather measurements and forecasting...that the Universe is a lot more complex and unpredictable than we realize. Perhaps there are many more gaps in our understanding than we even realize... blink.gif


Being unaware of 'other' types of life is what science would call a known unknown. We know that we may be uaware of an unknown lifeform. How does this make a compelling argument to halt space exploration or scientific advancement? Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson once said that our understanding of the universe is extremely deep, but the entirety of that understanding accounts for about 4% of the entirety of the universe. I don't know how he came to that number but the point is that regardless of how far we have come we are aware that in relative terms we know next to nothing. Those that stand on the edges of our understanding (scientists) are well aware of that which we do not know. I think we can safely say that there are many more gaps in our understanding than we even realize, but does that mean we should stop pursuing a better understanding?

QUOTE
The simple fact that we are not genetically designed to live on these other 'worlds'....plain and simple...if you need 'artifice' then it is simply an 'exploration'...How many natives (Human) are there of Antarctica?


I get the point you're making, but do you think we shouldn't have people in Antarctica? Does the requirement of an artificial environment to survive mean that we should stop sending people to Antarctica to study the phenomenon associated with that environment? Do you think Antarctica lack a permanent colony because of the environment, lack of a compelling reason, or both? Personally I think it is primarily because there isn't a compelling reason to establish a permanent colony, but also because of the environment. But that is my personal opinion based on little more than intuition.

QUOTE
I am not young...so a cynical attitude is expected....No...I just have thought about it a long time....
Luddite...? Well... Some people explore Outer-Space and some explore innerspace...Who's is to say what is a valid pursuit?


That was directed at Beck. While I am not a technophile; I can not abide Luddites.

QUOTE
Wrong...very wrong.

Thermo-nuclear bombs utilize Fusion power as the main force of their detonation...the "Atom-bomb" is a tiny little 'fuse' (fission) that ignites the Giant 'fire' of the Fusion reaction...that is how we developed "Mega-tons" as a term for Nuclear weapons...they are not the 'Little Boys' of our decimation of Hiroshima...they are much more powerful...


Yes, thermonuclear weapons use a fissionable material (an atom bomb not dissimillar to the 'Little Boys') to ignite fusion in Hydrogen. However, the gamma radiation (the most dangerous type of radiation, exposure amounts and durations still being important) comes from the fission reaction and is magnatudes more dangerous than the neutrons emitted by the fusion reaction. In other words, the fission portion is what creates the deadly radioactive fall out, but the fusion portion is what makes the explosion larger (by providing more energy).

This is all consistant with fusion energy being safer than fission energy. Technically neither fission nor fusion theory originated in weapons technology, but instead originated in Einstein's theory of Special Relativity (E=mc^2).

QUOTE
Fission may 'burn' clean....but the 'ashes' are a real pain in the 'ash'.....


It's all relative. Fission power when utilized properly is cleaner than oil/coal power, but dirtier than solar, hydro, or wind power.

QUOTE
Not at all...to be insulted is a mis-perception on the insulted parties part....you need to read up on the actual 'science' of fusion...not the hype....(Book... rolleyes.gif ...previous post...read it)


I intend to read the book, but it will have to wait until both my fiction and non-fiction piles get a bit smaller. I am, however, aware of the actual science of fusion. I have paid close attention to the experimentation going on at universities and am aware of thier limitations. Most of these expermental reactors use hydrogen for fusion. The by products of the reaction is neutrinos, helium, and energy in the form of heat. The problems are the neutrinos and the heat energy. The heat energy is the biggest and is the reason why the reactors can only be 'fired up' for a fraction of a second. The shielding is easily sufficient to block the neutrinos. Fusion reactors is a specific field/science that Dr. Brian Cox has mentioned may benefit from the work being done at CERN. Dr. Cox works on the Atlas detector at the Large Hadron Collider. The Atlas detector requires a cooling system that drops the temperature in and around the detector to just a few degrees above 0K. He has said that this cooling system may be the predecessor to a cooling system that will solve the heat energy problem of fusion energy. NOVA Science Now did a large portion of an episode on fusion reactors. The talked about and visited both a hydrogen reactor and the only reactor using helium3. The episode was a part of a 'return to the moon' episode.

QUOTE
If ease is mans goal then America wins.....we have 'technologized' ourselves into 'Rolly-Polly Weebles'.


You're missing the point. You called the space program a 'joke', but that 'joke' has contributed more for your benefit (and the benefit of humankind in general) than many other scientific endevours. You enjoy the benefits of the space program while calling it a 'joke'.

QUOTE
Both you and Beck have shown highly intelligent argumentation's about the validity of Space Travel....that is also up to the individual...I prefer to think in 'grounded' terms...this is our 'Terra' and to even go onto our Oceans is taking one's life into peril....for we are not sea-creatures anymore than we are 'space-creatures' ....So these journeys are not destinational journeys, but journeys of exploration or science or wealth accumulation but not of permanence ...for we cannot live for extended times off of 'Terra" without complete 'artifice'...thus are we truly 'alive' in 'space' or are we 'encapsulated' in a 'technologically created' environment that is perilious...for the Universe is not necessarily 'benign'...


You're making a philosophical argument and that is fine. In my opinion, the benefits of scientific discovery far outweigh the costs. That includes the space program.

QUOTE(idecline @ Jul 31 2011, 06:30 AM) *
Ding...ding...ding...we have a winner! What we don't know can kill us....


Of course, but what we don't know could potentially save us as well.

QUOTE
Science and cosmology are no different than spiritual interpretations of the Universe....
They both have their uses for mans psyche and need to seek....


I disagree. Scientific and cosmological interpretations of the universe are verifiable, testible, and based on evidence. Spiritual interpretations are not verifiable, not testible, and based on faith.

QUOTE
yet Quantum Physics is now linking the two 'views' of the world as being intertwined...The phenomenon of 'Entanglement' of the atomic scale creates a whole new 'view' of the Universe...


It is my understanding that the portions of String Theory, Super Gravity, and 'M' Theory that are linking the two views as intertwined has neither been tested nor verified. It is based on hypotheticals and mathimatical evidence. In fact, it is my understanding that the majority of String Theory, Super Gravity and 'M' Theory is unverified and untested. Those portions of quantum physics is highly theoretical. I understand the work being done at CERN may change much of that.

QUOTE
(I agree with a distaste of organized religions...yet being of a group (atheists) creates the same separations of understanding and 'community' that all earthlings share.


(You apparently haven't been a part of many 'atheist communities'. We tend to argue with each other as much if not more than we do the other side. Not much 'community' going on.)

QUOTE
Another Physics answer...since you are a 'scientific' seeker.....Schrodinger's Cat? Heard of it?

Is was a 'mind-experiment' created to show the duality of atomic behavior...the idea of 'super-position' is hard to wrap ones mind around...but if you can it actually solves the inequities of basic realities of perceived order to the way the Universe operates...Things can be in two states of being at one time..In the thought experiment the cat would be in a state of either alive or dead at the same time...and the outcome is unknown until the box is opened...this has already been proven by Lasers and other devices which utilize the actual ability for light to behave as both a particle and a wave...at the same time....

It is the 'observer' (us) that makes something 'collapse' and therefore choose a state to be observed in...
The Philosophical ramifications of this knowledge are 'mind-bending'.......


Schrodinger's Cat is one of my favorite thought experiments.

QUOTE
(p.s.- If you feel that you have become 'cynical' please look up "Quantum Physics", or "Neils Bohr", or "Max Planck" or...any of the pioneers in realizing that the Universe operates on the 'quantum' level...steps of energy...platforms of stability...that 'shift' to new configurations....spontaneously.( Einstein had a problem with that...his 'God would not play 'dice' with the Universe)..The Universe is far more complex than our tiny brains can ever hope to fully understand...that is what is hopeful...) IMHO.... laugh.gif


I am a big fan of Neils Bohr and Max Planck along with a number of other scientists. I understand much of quantum physics, but most of my understanding is limited to how it relates to astrophysics. When talking about nanoseconds after the big bang everything is happening on a quantum level, so a certain amount of quantum mechanics is required. I also have an understanding of the overviews of String Theory, Super Gravity, and 'M' Theory along with the Theory of Everything. I would say I have a better than laymans understanding of quantum theory, but far lacking in much more than that. It is an area of science that I hope to improve my understanding.

Einstein is the type of scientist that I am hoping to defend. In my opinion every scientist should aspire to be more like Einstein. Einstein had a lot of problems with scientific advancement; many of them from his own theories. He constantly questioned what scientists should and shouldn't do. He believed in a universe that was static. Not expanding, infinite and timeless, no big bang, but he recognized that his theories (Special and General Relativity) were opposed to these ideas. He knew that his theories meant he was probably wrong in his belief of a static universe. He signed a letter stating his opposition to fission research; noting the tremendous potential for distruction, despite the fact that the atomic bomb would not have been possible had it not been for his theory of Special Relativity. Without his theory we may never have come to nuclear energy and weapons.


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QUOTE(Apologistnky @ Nov 4 2010, 10:57 PM) *
A squirrel cannot carry the rabies virus... but has no trouble carrying the AK-47 assault rifle or the M72 Light Anti-tank weapon ( LAWS rocket)!! :unsure: :lol:
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Beck
post Aug 1 2011, 05:26 PM
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I think we can safely assume that there are scientists that lack a long-term benefits and consequences way of thinking. But science has it's foundation in philosophy and philosophy courses are still required electives for most science degrees at universities around the world. Scientists tend to be highly critical thinkers. I don't understand a belief that scientists would abandon critical thinking in the face of discovery. I will give an example of the type of scientist I am defending in my reply to idecline.

I don't mean they're completely abandoning thinking long-term, I only say they lack this ability in general.
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I am glad to hear you haven't given up on humanity. I tend to be an optimist as far as humanity is concerned, but I have to stress again that technology is just a tool. If you will allow me a poor analogy; a hammer is technology. A hammer has a certain potential for good or evil, but it requires the user to fulfill that potential.

Okay, but with that theory though you could also say that a stick or a rock are technology as well.
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Give me an example of how we are trying to correct our flaws or qualities that make us human. I don't understand the argument you are making and don't see this to be the case.

Humans becoming lazier in preference to having modern technology do everything for them, for instance. This goes back to what I said earlier about this. But now that I look back, I can see I effed up the wording used in my argument and confused you; my apologies.
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Just because a challenge is out of our control doesn't mean we can't overcome that challenge. Hunger may or may not be a problem we can solve, but we will never find out if we don't try. If history is any indication hunger should be solvable. Read Denialism How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives by Michael Specter. Pay close attention to the chapter entitled The Organic Fetish. Micheal Specter gives a very good historical account of genetically modified organisms(GMO) and how they have save billions from starvation. He also gives a great account of what a GMO actually is and how the science behind them works.

But world hunger would still be a problem. There are far too many people on this Earth for us to currently reach a solution for that issue. The first big step we would have to take in order to reach that goal would be dramatically downsizing our population.
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I also want you to answer this question: Should we stop pursuing life saving science and solutions because of over population? Should we allow people to die when we have the capability of preventing those deaths?

If we want to be able to have a sustainable ecosystem on Earth, one where humans are balanced with the course of nature and all other life currently on this planet, then my answer is yes. If we want to have even the faintest glimmer of hope for solving issues like world hunger, then yes. We can't honestly expect to be able to solve world problems like this with an exploding population. Again, optimism is good, and I admire the fact that you certainly have more of it than I do - but realisticly, we can't rely on the unknown of space to solve this problem. I believe there is just as much of a chance for finding solutions to our problems (curing sicknesses, etc.) in the Amazon Rainforest than in space.
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I am not seeing it from one side and not the other; I recognize that the other side causes a lot of death and suffering. I hear from my "hippie" friends all the time that we should "return to a simpler lifestyle". Some of them take it to the extreme of hunter/gatherer lifestyle. None of them have been to places like Africa or the Amazon where not only is the common cold a life threatening event, but a simple scratch can become infected and cause death. Yes over population is a problem, but I refuse to trade modern medicine to solve over population when we have education and social legislation as tools to potentially solve that problem. I am not concerned with peoples incorret labeling of social legislation as socialism (socialism is the government owning the means of production i.e. industry). Thier ignorance is thier problem. If those last two statements are examples of my cynicism than my hope of finding solutions to our problems (including overpopulation, hunger, pollution, etc.) through science, technology, legislation, and compassion is an example of my optimism in humankind. I don't believe these or any other problem is unsolvable; regardless of whether the solution come from science and technology or otherwise. Science has the best track record for finding solutions to the problems we face.

That's something I've known as well - we can't return to a more "primitive" lifestyle at this point. We have passed the point of no return. Once you have seen, touched, experienced, and lived modern technology, it immediately becomes nearly impossible to go back. You'll often find yourself starving to death or something similar, if you tried to return to 'the wild'. And I wasn't mislabeling social legislation for socialism, I was referring to socialism and it's components alone.
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While antibiotics attack bacteria and do much of the work for our immune systems our immune system doesn't shut down and stop working. Antibiotics are also cheap and easy to produce. Vaccines, on the other hand, don't do the work for us. When we catch a virus our immune system gets to work fighting that virus. Either we die (game over) or we live and have the anti-bodies to fight future infections of the same virus. Theoretically we should never get that infection again; natural innoculation. A vaccine is intentional and controlled exposure to a sample of a virus in a state (live or dead) or small enough sample that will allow our immune systems natural processes take over and build anti-bodies. The vaccine doesn't attack anything; our immune system still has to do all the work. Vaccines literally make our immune system stronger; forced innoculation. There are certainly outliers where vaccine receivers get sick or suffer side effects from the vaccine. Sometimes these cases result in death, but the odds of this happening for most vaccines is very slim. It is a minor risk for the vast majority of the population.

But the immune sytem becomes less active (in the case of antibiotics). Vaccines work differently, you are right - but this defers back to our earlier discussion about vaccines preventing disease and allowing for overpopulation.
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I'm not the one cherry-picking. I admit that the actions taken can lead to self destruction, yet you seem to think that it can only lead to self distruction. Natural curiosity has as much potential for greatness as it does destruction.

That's not what I believe, because if I did then I would be a hypocrite. I agree with your last statement.

This post has been edited by Beck: Aug 1 2011, 08:47 PM


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Temecula Seasonal Precipitation 2014-2015: 3.94" (+1.00")
Normal to-date precipitation: 2.94"
Season began July 1st, 2014.

My Seasonal Precipitation 2014-2015: 1.23"*
*Beginning December 5th, 2014 (new location, Central Murrieta).

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mmi16
post Aug 3 2011, 12:56 AM
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QUOTE(Beck @ Aug 1 2011, 06:26 PM) *
But world hunger would still be a problem. There are far too many people on this Earth for us to currently reach a solution for that issue. The first big step we would have to take in order to reach that goal would be dramatically downsizing our population.

Hunger in today's world is a political problem - not really one of supply.

The problems in the Horn of Africa are more about the political situation than the drought that has done in local agriculture. Free World surpluses can keep the world fed today. Tomorrow may end up being another question but for today famine is a political decision.


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Never too old to have a happy childhood!


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Beck
post Aug 3 2011, 03:33 AM
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QUOTE(mmi16 @ Aug 2 2011, 10:56 PM) *
Hunger in today's world is a political problem - not really one of supply.

The problems in the Horn of Africa are more about the political situation than the drought that has done in local agriculture. Free World surpluses can keep the world fed today. Tomorrow may end up being another question but for today famine is a political decision.

Not necessarily. Politics can exacerbate the problem or make it worse, but no political situation whatsoever can solve world hunger. The world cannot be fed today; it never has been nor will it ever be anytime soon. Again, I'm not trying to sound cynical or pessimistic. That is our reality, for now.


--------------------
Temecula Seasonal Precipitation 2014-2015: 3.94" (+1.00")
Normal to-date precipitation: 2.94"
Season began July 1st, 2014.

My Seasonal Precipitation 2014-2015: 1.23"*
*Beginning December 5th, 2014 (new location, Central Murrieta).

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