Jump to content

Scientists Believe Humans Will One Day Colonize the Universe


EdEarl
 Share

Recommended Posts

From: SciTechDaily

 

A new paper by Dr Stuart Armstrong and Dr Anders Sandberg from Oxford University’s Future of Humanity Institute (FHI) attempts to answer these questions. To be published in the August/September edition of the journal Acta Astronautica, the paper takes as its starting point the Fermi paradox – the discrepancy between the likelihood of intelligent alien life existing and the absence of observational evidence for such an existence.

 

 

Dr Sandberg adds: “Almost any answer to the Fermi paradox gives rise to something uncomfortable.

 

 

... it would be feasible to construct a Dyson sphere, which would capture the energy of the sun and power a wave of intergalactic colonization.

 

If it is so easy, why hasn't someone done it such that we would know about it. Sandberg thinks the reason is that intelligent life in the universe is very rare. Perhaps the chances of an Earth sized planet in the right orbit around a star, with a large moon to stabilize its rotation, is a very unlikely event, and it is required for an intelligent life form to develop technology. Most of the alternatives are poor outcomes for humanity.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Once you start cannibalizing the asteroids and even the planets in your system for the materials to build a Dyson sphere, you need to start thinking about how to get to the next available set of resources. I think building the Dyson sphere is what would "power a wave of intergalactic colonization", not the completed sphere itself.

 

Considering the time and expense of building an entire sphere, I think it's more likely we'd start a ringworld that would never get built into a complete sphere (but would still put out incredible amounts of power) because there are simply too many available planets which would be cheaper to colonize (even though they may not be ideal). This all assumes we don't come up with a mega-technological leap in space transportation in the very near future.

 

But at some point, there will be another technological leap, another substance like gunpowder or gasoline or uranium discovered, another process like fusion that will help us travel further faster. In all of this, we have to learn to get along better within our own species and keep ourselves alive long enough to reach out far enough to encounter another intelligent species. Certainly possible, but when you figure how relatively short a time we've been capable of scanning for intelligent life, it's not very probable that we'd have found some by now.

 

It's a very big galaxy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let's just spread ourselves (humanity) widely enough so that bombings and other catastrophies will not be the end of humanity as a whole. Once we are multi-planetary and have both undergound and space colonies, and maybe Noah's ark-like expeditions to other stallar pletary systems, then, I think we can be certain of the survival of the human race and the proliferation of some Earth life in our galaxy. But the first hump of protecting our ultimate survival might be the most difficult one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sometime between now and our colonizing the Universe, I'd expect the AGI Singularity event to occur, which will have unknowable effects on humanity. Five people witnessed the first Wright Brother's flights in 1903, the first on December 14, 1903. None of them could have expected that 44 years later, on October 14, 1947, that man would fly fly faster than the speed of sound in a rocket plane, and that just 23 years later in 1970 Jumbo Jets would carry nearly 500 people across oceans in hours.

 

The robots that result from the singularity may destroy us, pamper us, or ignore us. Since they can be built without the need for oxygen, they will be free to adventure into space, and they may claim the universe. Perhaps a race of AGI robots made by another civilization already controls the universe, and they will ignore us until we create the singularity and produce their own kind. They may be the reason we have not heard from another civilization.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sometime between now and our colonizing the Universe, I'd expect the AGI Singularity event to occur, which will have unknowable effects on humanity. Five people witnessed the first Wright Brother's flights in 1903, the first on December 14, 1903. None of them could have expected that 44 years later, on October 14, 1947, that man would fly fly faster than the speed of sound in a rocket plane, and that just 23 years later in 1970 Jumbo Jets would carry nearly 500 people across oceans in hours.

 

The robots that result from the singularity may destroy us, pamper us, or ignore us. Since they can be built without the need for oxygen, they will be free to adventure into space, and they may claim the universe. Perhaps a race of AGI robots made by another civilization already controls the universe, and they will ignore us until we create the singularity and produce their own kind. They may be the reason we have not heard from another civilization.

 

Yeah, someday robots that have a type of artificail intelligence and who can reproduce themselves, might someday become a threat to humanity as in many sci-fi movies. Until then I expect robots will be our servents in our quest to find and develop other worlds for humanity .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also think that at some point, we will start colonizing our solar system, and then the next stars, until we spread out throughout the galaxy. I don't see why we'd need any new propulsion technology though. We do need to start mining some asteroids though. Sure, it would take ages to travel to any star with our current technology, but then again, the colonization of new continents from Europe wasn't done in a day either.

 

The biggest threat to humanity is definitely humans. Even if we would spread out through the stars, I have no doubt that petty bickering will still cause war and death, because people will always want to own what someone else has, and there will always be more potential leaders than we need.

 

With a bit of luck, we don't exterminate ourselves until we can at least get away from Earth. The further apart we get from ourselves, the smaller the chance that we wipe ourselves out in a single bang. However, if we are capable of traveling between the stars, we will also have the technology to hurl some asteroids at the planet(s) we live on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

I believe that humans can colonize the galaxy, but we won't just roam the planet. First off, we need air and vegetation. Also, we would need proper gravity. Not to mention that our bodies need a certain range of atmospheric pressure or we will scatter into atoms or be crushed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that planets will be left behind as habitats once we start building artificial habitats, cylinders or torus', can be spun to induce gravity inside them, sunlight or artificial light used to make a pseudo natural habitat and or space like mega cities inside. Once we start living in artificial worlds, planets and the potential problems of mixing eco systems will make the man made colonies preferred and moving out into the galaxy by simply colonizing the ort clouds and eventually merging into the next star system, over generations this will allow us to slowly colonize the galaxy , a few million years tops...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have said this before on similar threads but once you have people living in habitats in the oort cloud or self replicating robots traveling between stars, then natural selection will lead to those that reproduce most quickly becoming the dominant strain. Exponential growth exponential growth can make something as big as a galaxy look small quick consume all mineral resources within a dozen millenia if the speed of light did not get the way.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have said this before on similar threads but once you have people living in habitats in the oort cloud or self replicating robots traveling between stars, then natural selection will lead to those that reproduce most quickly becoming the dominant strain. Exponential growth exponential growth can make something as big as a galaxy look small quick consume all mineral resources within a dozen millenia if the speed of light did not get the way.

 

 

I am not sure that exponential growth is a defensible model, no biological growth of complex life forms is ever truly exponential... accidents of one type or another, wars, even disease and i think expansion would proceed with out all the resources of one system being used before any habitats diffused into the next star nor do i think every wave of such colonies would leave an area devoid of resources and technology could dictate what resources are used...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Exponential growth is pretty typical of all life that is introduced to a new habitat it can thrive in, until that habitat fills up. Historically the threat of war has only made people more keen to find new lands far away from old enemies to settle. Humans with good interstellar travel would be make the Milky Way look like a giant agar plate introduced to its first spore of bacteria.

 

The answer to Fermi's Paradox is a simple binary, either civilization is extremely rare. Or such civilizations never manage to escape their solar systems.

 

The future looks like Asimov, Terminator, or Mad Max but not but not Star Trek, any potential latex forheadians would have to be human descended.

Edited by Mr Monkeybat
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Exponential growth is pretty typical of all life that is introduced to a new habitat it can thrive in, until that habitat fills up. Historically the threat of war has only made people more keen to find new lands far away from old enemies to settle. Humans with good interstellar travel would be make the Milky Way look like a giant agar plate introduced to its first spore of bacteria.

 

The answer to Fermi's Paradox is a simple binary, either civilization is extremely rare. Or such civilizations never manage to escape their solar systems.

 

The future looks like Asimov, Terminator, or Mad Max but not but not Star Trek, any potential latex forheadians would have to be human descended.

 

 

Or civilizations fall and rise and we just happen to be in an area of the galaxy that is fallow at the moment, or technology quickly rises above our level and negates low tech civilizations like ours detecting them..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

Or civilizations fall and rise and we just happen to be in an area of the galaxy that is fallow at the moment, or technology quickly rises above our level and negates low tech civilizations like ours detecting them..

 

Do you mean fallow for the last 5 billion years of the solar systems geographic history, I would count that under the "extremely rare" answer to Fermi's paradox. Wouldn't your second scenario require some kind of billion year galactic dictatorship making sure that everyone stayed invisible and did not use any of the solar systems resources? And doesn't remaining invisible in a vacuum violate thermodynamics.

Edited by Mr Monkeybat
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Do you mean fallow for the last 5 billion years of the solar systems geographic history, I would count that under the "extremely rare" answer to Fermi's paradox. Wouldn't your second scenario require some kind of billion year galactic dictatorship making sure that everyone stayed invisible and did not use any of the solar systems resources? And doesn't remaining invisible in a vacuum violate thermodynamics.

 

 

If they employ technologies we have no way to detect and they live in artificial habitats how would you detect them, in my scenario such colonies would roam the galaxy ignoring planets...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The recent trip of Curiosity discovered the radiation between Earth and Mars is very high, and will require significant shielding, which will be difficult to build and transport between planets to keep people safe. I think we will be unable to make significant progress in space until we discover the singularity. may change the spacescape a bit. And, the singularity may change our perspective completely. Intelligent robots can travel through space, but large biological species find the environment challenging.

 

Whatever does inhabit interstellar space in habitats ignoring planets will have great technology, including telescopes better than Hubble. Thus, they can observe from a distance that does not allow us to detect them, yet they can know much about us. An intelligent robot would have no need for our assistance, and no reason to make contact. The same would be true of a biological species. Until we can roam interstellar space, there is no reason they would want to make contact with us.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Right so Zillions of aliens over billions of years make the exact same decision not to interfere with with the Earth and its solar system. Are they all clones or something? Made with some ultra impossibly reliable cloning process that avoids all new mutations and possible evolution. Going to exactly the same prime directive indoctrination camps. The distances between theoretical oort cloud objects are immense and made up of small lumps of mostly ice, why would the not want to make use of the more concentrated mineral resources of the asteroid belt and moons solar power included. And why do we still have long period comets if that's their primary resource. You cant just ignore exponential growth their has to be a good reason for this apparent ceiling on their population.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Biological space travelers might not want to be contaminated by our biology. Presumably intelligent robots would all come to the same conclusion, because great minds think alike, and biological travelers would be privy to the same ethos. Because of long duration comets, there must be more in the ort cloud than small lumps of ice, and the population density must be quite small, if there are any.

 

I'm merely suggesting an alternative to all civilizations self exterminate or are exterminated by cosmic events.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Right so Zillions of aliens over billions of years make the exact same decision not to interfere with with the Earth and its solar system. Are they all clones or something? Made with some ultra impossibly reliable cloning process that avoids all new mutations and possible evolution. Going to exactly the same prime directive indoctrination camps. The distances between theoretical oort cloud objects are immense and made up of small lumps of mostly ice, why would the not want to make use of the more concentrated mineral resources of the asteroid belt and moons solar power included. And why do we still have long period comets if that's their primary resource. You cant just ignore exponential growth their has to be a good reason for this apparent ceiling on their population.

 

 

First my assertion that aliens wouldn't want planets is based in reality, we keep talking about planets that have life being colonized but to do so would require a planet that is quite a bit more than life friendly. So far no planet we have found out of the several hundred to a thousand or so planets we have found could support humans, a handful might have life but if you give it some thought a planet would have to be far more than just the right temp. I see no reason to assume a "Goldilocks" planet would be inhabitable, gravity that was much beyond earth normal's would be a problem but not insurmountable, I am sure there are reasonably close sized habitable planets, air pressure could be a problem as well as could ratio of atmospheric gasses, I am sure there are others not the least of which is our planet rife with heavy metals? Even a slight difference in the abundance of mercury would make a planet uninhabitable to humans.

 

My point is that once you realize just how perfectly we are evolved to the earth it becomes apparent that a "drake -esque" calculation must go much further than a planet be the right temp for liquid water, the variable are tremendous in number and there is no reason to expect "Earth like" to mean habitable. In fact so far the "Earth Like" planets we have found are super earths, high gravity and thick atmospheres, I know the sampling method is skewed due to smaller planets being harder to find but the variables are far more complex than temps and size.

 

The reason I suggest orbiting habitats would pursue the resources of places like the ort cloud or Kuiper belt is that while you are correct that they are mostly ice that doesn't mean they are all ice and if you live permanently on your space ship/home world the distances between the individual objects become less important since you only visit them when you need more water or metals or helium 3, deuterium, or maybe trace elements that are difficult to recycle or are slowly lost due to leakage from the habitat...

 

And yes those objects are mostly ice but they contain enough rocks and metals to be useful and rocks and metals would be a very minor component of your colony, I think advanced civilizations would be more likely to construct things out of Carbon fibers and various other non metals than use large amounts of metals.

 

The main endeavor after survival of the colony would be to make another colony, no need to visit the dangerous radiation zone near a star and if my scenario has any validity we should be looking at stars with large amounts of material orbiting them not looking for sun light stars. The type of colonies could utilize the environment around any star not just sun like stars... Fomalhaut and Vega come to mind but this approach could mean we are looking in the wrong places for life.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If human population growth was to slow down to the extent that it only doubled every century by the year 12,000 AD the weight of all those people would equal the weight of the entire Milkyway galaxy stars and all. Almost all wild west films are set within a few decades of each other because no mater how romantic they are frontiers don't last they fill in. Unless these Oort habitats happened to start somewhere nearby in during the last few centuries they will NOT be sparse. All oort cloud objects will be consumed of all usable resources, even deuterium fuel might be getting scarce. It does not matter if these habitats are made of carbon fibre there is no free carbon left, its all in habitats. As the last Oort objects are used up they would be looking for any usable resource there goes Pluto and the moons of Neptune and Saturn, lets use those methane lakes on Titan to make some more carbon fiber. The Iron in these asteroids might not be as light as carbon fiber but beggars cant be choosers. If you keep an eye on solar flares cosmic rays are a greater danger than solar radiation and much stronger outside of the Suns magnetic field in the Oort cloud.

 

A creature that builds a technical civilization would need to be a land dwelling creature in an oxygen rich atmosphere. Any Goldilocks zone planets with much less gravity than Earth or no magnetic field would likely get its atmosphere striped away, so any space faring alien would likely come from a planet very similar to Earth. Hey look at that a giant ready made habitat just exterminate any life you are allergic to and plant your own. Contrary to H.G.Wells War of the Worlds viruses and bacteria are no threat to species they are not adapted to, the more distantly related the species the harder it is to catch a zoonosis of it. Maybe the gravity on Earth is a bit low but hey jumping is fun anyway.

 

Any conservative robots would be outnumbered by faster replicating robots and be defeated in any robot-robot war. The most virulent robots will inherit the galaxy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.