View Full Version here: : Interstellar Travel Challenge
17-06-2011, 12:18 PM
This thread is spawned from the Antimatter thread.
It seems worthy of its own thread (independent from discussions on Antimatter), so here goes ..
My post from the antimatter thread
The Carl's comments:
17-06-2011, 12:23 PM
It seems DARPA held a workshop in Northern California on January 11-12, 2011. They produced a whitepaper (http://www.100yss.org/pdf/100YSS_January_Synopsis.pdf) to kick this whole thing off.
Here is a quote from the paper:
Carl Sagan wannabes ? :question:
17-06-2011, 12:45 PM
There is a lot of extraneous discussions at these conferences, but I suppose they have to fill the time in with something....much of it will be important, but more longer term. They have to build the things first before they start to really consider the implications of going out there, simply because all the philosophising will not prepare them for what they'll eventually find. There'll always be curve balls and spanners thrown into the works:)
Can't do too much without the means to get you there....like wanting to goto Canada for a holiday but only being able to walk there.
17-06-2011, 12:49 PM
It's not just the getting there is it?
You have to get back as well!
If you drop to a planet surface, you have to be able to get back into orbit. This is a BIG undertaking.
The Outcasts TV prog may give you an insight into the fact that no matter where we end up, we'll take our problems and foibles with us as well as a our viruses and bacteria
17-06-2011, 12:53 PM
Jennifer, if they can fly across light years of space to land on a planet somewhere, I think the problem of getting back up into space will be a moot point. Unless they have a disaster and the ship gets wrecked, or damaged beyond repair. Then it's a case of send out a distress call and wait. Or try to survive on the new planet.
Wherever we go, we will be who we are....bugs and all:)
17-06-2011, 01:07 PM
well - even star trek had problems with impulse drive - but could get into hyperdrive no worrries
17-06-2011, 01:13 PM
Not always....Scotty sometimes had problems with the main engines, and despite Kirk's insistence, as Scotty would say "yer cannae change the laws of physics!!!":):P
Or as Spock would say..."Fascinating...or...The chances of us fixing the main engines in time to get home for dinner are 1 in 200000, Captain.":):P
Its disapointing we haven't really done much to get people off earth for so long. When you look at the technology used in Apollo versus what's available now you'd have to think when we do get our act into gear we'll have the benefit of a whole lot more engingeering and IT know-how though. Everytime I find myself in a "won't happen in my lifetime mood" I think back on how much life has changed in the last 10-20 years. I hope we at least get out into the asteroids soon so we dont' have all our eggs in this wonderful basket (Earth) :)
17-06-2011, 03:39 PM
The problem, Rob, is the political will, and hence, the money to fund these projects. They're too busy wasting money killing other people and fighting unnecessary wars to bother with anything else. Too busy lining the pockets of their business mates and themselves.
17-06-2011, 08:18 PM
The concept is sound but only limited to whether we can survive or our destruction.
17-06-2011, 10:33 PM
Another website on this: http://www.centauri-dreams.org/
18-06-2011, 12:23 AM
That's up to us...and I don't mean the politicians or the military-industrial sector. They're only in it for themselves and what power/influence/wealth they can get. It's up to the people. If we want change, then we will be the ones to make the change. The others will either change or they won't, in which case we will have a problem. But not one that's insurmountable.
That's the only way we can move forward.
18-06-2011, 12:24 AM
It's not a bad site.
18-06-2011, 04:48 AM
I must admit the 5 key points ( to me ) are good points ( even the last one).
It covers questions I would like answered or further investigated!
I hope this 'project' gets the kick,funding, support etc etc like the " by the end of the decade we will have a man on the moon".
Yes I know its not like the "old times" now , but maybe.... just maybe!
18-06-2011, 11:03 AM
The obvious offshoot of this would be technological advances over the 100 years. Maybe some tech that won't destroy ourselves.
20-06-2011, 07:45 AM
Here is my jaundiced view.
• Human survival:
We are not even looking after the one home we have Spaceship Earth. To try to establish another as a backup would take huge resources and is a complete fools errand. It is also a plausible excuse for ruining the only home we have.
• Contact with other life: Remote sensing is the safe way to go. Interstellar distances are just too vast. Just hope 'they' do not come here as 'they' would be millions of years ahead of us. Ask the Aboriginal, Indian, African etc what happens when a more advanced mob turn up.
Also see time travel. If time travel was possible we would be inundated with tourists as would the ancient Romans and Greeks and ....!
• Evolution of the human species: Genetic manipulation may allow humans to withstand the long interstellar journeys. We could also modify people to survive extreme environments. Any volunteers? Is this life as we know it Jim?
• Scientific discovery: What could we achieve in interstellar space we cannot do locally? You would certainly find out what loneliness is!
• Belief and faith: This one is rather spurious. If we cannot find an Omnipresent All Knowing God on Earth we are unlikely to find him/her residing in a basement on a planet orbiting Alpha Centauri along with the Unicorn and the pink fluffy pussycat or any other figment of superstitious stone age minds. You may find the plans for the new hyperspace freeway though!
20-06-2011, 07:53 AM
Bear Grylls !! (Man vs Wild) …. the true alpha-male !!
He's already half-way there !!
… or maybe Hulk Hogan (??) … nah … he's all broken down following his illustrious wrestling career (and failed marriages).
I don't have any possible answers to the rest of your questions though, Bert.
Cheers & Rgds
20-06-2011, 08:03 AM
Craig I was thinking more along the lines of the ability to hibernate like bears. There are some animals and plants that can withstand freezing by producing their own cryoprotectants to stop ice crystal formation. This would allow very long journeys as long as the freezers could be powered. Even nuclear derived power would fade over the times needed.
We have reached Jupiter, time to drink our own urine!
20-06-2011, 08:07 AM
I was close to the mark by suggesting Bear Grylls then !
(Bears hibernate, can withstand freezing temperatures, survives by consuming anything with calorific value, recycles his own urine … that's a pretty good match for the requirements ! … )
20-06-2011, 08:21 AM
The way molecular biology is advancing we could send a machine that would just assemble all the DNA and RNA etc from materials at any new planet it found and start off a new ecosystem.
All life on Earth is just information stored in complex molecules.
20-06-2011, 10:13 AM
They have cures for that, you know:)
The fools errand is keeping on the path that we've been going down for the last 100 or so years. It would only be a plausible excuse to ruin our own home if we allow it to continue, and allow the same people to continue running the show. It's also best not to put all one's eggs in the one basket. This planet isn't as cosy as we would like to think.
Interstellar distances are only too vast for our own, presently, primitive technology. Just because we can't do it doesn't mean that others can't. Why would they necessarily be millions of years ahead of us...that is fallacious. We haven't a clue at what we'll have in 50 or 100 years, let alone any longer span of time. As for the "noble savage gets rolled over by the more advanced culture" business...that's an even bigger one. You are trying to equate alien cultures with the same motives and actions as Earth humans of earlier centuries. We have no idea what the motivations of an alien culture would be, so we have no way to tell what would happen. The only thing we can control (and rather poorly at that) is our own reactions. If our society did collapse, it would be entirely our own fault, no one else's. What we need to do is to grow up.
As for time travel...we have no idea of what restrictions maybe put on being able to do so. There maybe strict conditions for traveling back through time to more primitive cultures, in many advanced societies. I would suggest that, if, and when we develop the technology ourselves, we limit the means of travel back as well. Through law, if need be, for the protection of those less advanced societies.
What would be the need to do so, if we can travel with ease anywhere we wanted to. Your premise precludes any ability to travel FTL. Like I said earlier, we have no idea of what future technology will bring. All options are open. Genetic manipulation will occur regardless, as will the natural evolution of the species.
That is being rather parochial. We would be no more lonely out in interstellar space than what we are already here. The whole point of going out there is to see what's there, to explore all the possibilities of existence, to make sure that we're not lonely....even if that means it's just us and our colonies. It's also to learn about ourselves and our place here.
I agree wholeheartedly with that, although we may find other ways through our explorations.
Oh, and if you want to know, God...or at least the group of students that claim to be God, live in the basement of a house on 18 Scorpii. The whole religion/faith thing on this planet was actually a college fratboy prank that went horribly wrong. They're sorry now that it went pear shaped and they want to make reparations. Or, at least, the college they attend has made sure that appropriate academic disciplinary actions have been taking against those students involved:):P:P
20-06-2011, 11:21 AM
Is it just my interpretation, or are you indeed dispensing with every known Law of Physics when you speculate a mere one century into the future ?
For me to accept your speculations, I seem to have to suspend recognition of the evidence that the Laws of Physics may actually be independent of undisturbed time, over a period of a mere 100 years !
It seems that your speculations of the future, give rise to physical conditions which do not exist in the present, (nor do they recognise that such conditions have existed in our extrapolations backwards, for some 13.7 billion years).
Am I reading the basis of your speculations, as per your intentions ?
I mean .. FTL hasn't been known to be possible for any known matter, for at least 13.7 billion years, eh ? On this basis, I would say a case needs to be presented, with some semblance of physical reality/theory that our perceptions extrapolated from the past, may not recognise something which has been overlooked (or not recognised) by Science.
I seek some semblance of credibility stemming from the physical universe, in order to understand your visions of the future. Scientific speculation still requires some physical reality underpinning it .. especially when bidding for funding.
20-06-2011, 12:03 PM
I'm not suspending anything with my statement, Craig. But neither do I think, as you seem to think, that the laws of physics are somehow inviolate, that whatever progress we might make over the next 50, 100, 200, 1000 years might not (and probably will) see them change (even completely). If you can't accept that might occur then that is your paradigm. Yet, in a previous post, you were willing to go with the idea that the laws of physics were up for grabs, so to speak. I think history is a great teacher in this regard. Otherwise, GR/SR and many other theories may not have come about. Actually, we'd still be living in caves, so to speak. However, their present day efficacy doesn't mean they'll hold true in the future.
As for FTL, I think you need to go back and take a good look at the theory. Most science, Craig, starts off as speculation and fantasy. Most of our present cherished notions would've been scoffed at 50 to 100 years ago. Einstein was scoffed at for some time because very few initially understood his theories. Quantum theory was scoffed at because they had no empirical evidence...it was all just speculation. Same with string/M theory, supersymmetry, parallel universes, higher dimensions and a lot of things far weirder than FTL. Yet they spend billions studying these things. If we had to justify studying science on the basis of some idea of having some "physical reality" (whatever that is) underpinning it, we would get nowhere. That would be just as restrictive as making some theory akin to inviolate law (which has happened to GR/SR). That is religious in its intention and scope.
20-06-2011, 12:34 PM
I don't think the Laws of Physics are 'inviolate' at all. A 'Law' is a phenomenon that has been observed many times, and no contrary examples found, that it is accepted as a universal phenomenon .. but that doesn't mean that exceptions don't exist. By the same token, if these exceptions are found in the future, this doesn't necessarily rule out everything which the Law has already explained to date, either.
I think in the previous post, was it the one about the Uncertainty Principle ? .. not sure (??)
but in this, they have developed a way to make momentum and distance measurements such that the present interpretation of the 'Principle' is still valid. Principles are precepts anyway, so rewording them shouldn't be a problem either.
I think my point is there are limits to which we'd have to constrain our thinking when looking only 100 years in the future. Regardless of whether these limits are right or not in 50 or 100 years time, (who would ever know this in the present, anyway), funding is only ever justified in today's terms and today's known environments. I think this is what Bert was addressing, and I think he's being very realistic.
So where would you draw the line between science and pseudoscience when it comes to the speculation/fantasy stage ?
Why is not speculation/fantasy not pseudoscience, especially when bidding for funding ?
I'm not out to have a go at you specifically here, either
I'm actually very interested to see the final bids in this 'competition'.
I reckon it'll be a good eye-opener for us all !
20-06-2011, 01:39 PM
Do you know what science we will know 100 years into the future?? I don't either. That's why any progress we will make might change our views completely. Have a look at what we knew 100 years ago compared to now. Go back another 100 years and compare. Another 100. Exceptions don't necessarily rule everything out, but the chances of complete change are not neglible and the further into the future you go the greater the chance for change.
The limits are only self imposed. So is any funding, but most funding in any case is based on the economic cycle and the whims of politicians.
In the speculation/fantasy stage, the line between what could be called "the science" and the "pseudoscience" is very blurred in any case. It all depends on where your knowledge stands at that particular moment. It's only through further research and evidence that the lines start to become clearer. But there will always be a boundary between them where they blend....on the "cutting edge" so to speak. Although, it's more like a spectrum of light with a gradual gradation between the colours.
All science, to various degrees, is pseudoscience when it comes to funding and given most politicians complete lack of scientific understanding, it might as well be all fantasy and/or fiction.
Some pseudoscience is just science waiting to be discovered, but most of the pseudoscience we do see these days can be reasonably dismissed using what we know now, and can reasonably speculate as to what may be known in the near future. Like the EU, for instance. It doesn't take a new scientific paradigm to show where it's at fault. In order for that to change, they would have to come up with incontrovertible evidence to the contrary that was not only observable but also concurred with their theories and superseded present theory...meaning a better explanation for what we see occurring. So far, they have failed miserably in all departments.
20-06-2011, 07:30 PM
I must strongly disagree with this statement.
The evolution in general prefers aggressive species - they have advantage over other, less aggressive and capable to protect or claim their living space and territory.
As a result, humans are what they are, aggressive and seeking control even over other, human "tribes" (read: nations cultures etc).
To me it is quite obvious that evolution on other inhabited planets will result in very similar (if not much worse) behaviour of successful species.
So, I fully agree with Dr. Hawking opinion on the issue. Better be safe than sorry.
20-06-2011, 08:27 PM
Hmm .. I think the process of Natural Selection results in the selection for those traits which result in the survival of a species for the ultimate purpose of achieving propagation through reproduction.
Aggression may be one such trait in a specific resource constricted, over-populated and thus, competitive environment, but there could easily be other environments and behaviours, which provide no dominance for aggressive species (eg: symbiosis, etc).
Also, certain traits detached from their native environments can quickly result in any competitive advantage completely disappearing, thereby resulting in the demise of that species. The encounter between an alien species and an Earth-originating species could go either way as far as I can imagine .. and then it depends on what environment the encounter occurs in. Neither humans nor aliens might survive.
In an inconceivably large universe (with similarly large starting conditions/permutations), Evolution itself, may also look chaotic and thus unpredictable.
20-06-2011, 10:19 PM
I wonder if there was a similar species to us living below the surface of Mars and they sat on large oil reserves how things may develope.
All life seems determined to rule territory to protect their energy. (food) so outcomes would turn on their use of the oil...
Given the implications that we may create reality(hinted at by quantum mechanics or folk who draw a long bow re uncertainly.) should we even be thinking about the posibilities for fear we create our alien senerios.
I often wonder if our species with follow the Startrek dream at some point in the distant future....at some point I guess we have to leave. .if we last we will have to leave.
21-06-2011, 07:44 AM
Here ya go Bojan
this one mixes it all up and turns a common understanding of aggression/competitive behaviour in Evolution, on its ear (I had to read it a few times to get how it works .. its all news to me as well)
Bacteria develop restraint for survival in a rock-paper-scissors community (http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-06-bacteria-restraint-survival-rock-paper-scissors.html)
and the caveat
So, from this, it looks like maybe my idea of living symbiotically amongst other species, would only work where migration is limited (by lack of inter-stellar travel capability). By staying put here on Earth, (as Bert suggests), we may actually improve our longevity !! If we intend to travel, we need to 'bulk-up' and get super aggro ! :mad2:
Very interesting, eh ?
21-06-2011, 10:17 AM
I think you'll find, Bojan, that in the academic literature, the species who survive the longest and flourish are those that actually cooperate with one another, both within species and interspecies. This whole competition and survival of the species thing is a holdover of 19th and early 20th Century thinking for the most part. Yes, species do compete for resources, but if you really look in nature most species have specific niches which they occupy and only rarely do they actually compete openly with one another. Otherwise, nothing, or very little, would survive.
The world is far more complex than "dog eat dog", which is what's being implied.
Human aggressiveness has little to do with our innate natures and more to do with social conditioning. Yes, we can be aggressive, just like any other creature, but for the most part we're a rather cooperative species. If we weren't, we would've wiped ourselves out. Truly aggressive species don't last long. They either wipe themselves out or run into someone bigger and uglier than they are that does the job for them.
21-06-2011, 10:24 AM
That's in a rather restricted community/environment within a rather primitive species that interacts on a very basic level with everything surrounding it. Applying it to more advanced communities and species organisations (except on the most base level) would be erroneous. There interactions between individuals and groups at this level is far more complex.
21-06-2011, 11:13 AM
Carl, maybe you are right.
Still, here on Earth (humans are not included in this assessment - I believe that we, as a species, are currently in conflict with our environment (the indicator/proof for this statement is our current exponential population growth, and the levelling is nowhere in sight at the moment) we have a fine balance between predators and their food.
Obviously, the number of top predators is limited (by food supply - if they eat too much and/or there are too many of them the balance will be compromised and the automatic correction action takes place - predators die of hunger and the new balance is re-established (not necessarily the same one, new species may become part of the new picture.
So what will become of human race is still unknown, because as Craig mentioned, this is a chaotic process in it's core.
However, if we are constrained on Earth or to Solar System (maybe because the interstellar travel is not possible as such or simply too expensive) the scenario mentioned earlier (cooperation between humans) will be the only option for survival ... even after first instabilities due to new colonies across Solar System (new independent states formation... and whatever else may happen... possibilities are endless)
BUT.. if interstellar travel IS possible (however, Fermi paradox possibly suggests otherwise) we may be in trouble if we initiate (intentionally or not) the Contact.
Anyway, all this is VERY complex problem/issue.. a lot of food for thought :thumbsup:
21-06-2011, 11:41 AM
If we're as aggressive as some people think, maybe it's the aliens who might be in trouble if we go out there, not us. Would you want a species who treats itself and it's environment like we do, because of the sociopolitical-economic systems we presently have in place, going around out in your neck of the woods either intentionally or unintentionally throwing its weight around?? You would be better off quarantining a species like this until one of two things happened...they wiped themselves out, or they learnt to grow up. We're neither as backward nor as harmless as some people might think. We have no idea what our presence might do to some civilisations or to the balance of governance within the galaxy. For all we know, at present, we maybe considered a dangerous species or one that needs to be kept in check until we grow up or ship out, so to speak. That doesn't mean to say there aren't worse species out there, or that some may even be exploiting us at present for their own benefit and we mostly don't know about it, or dismiss it as silly fantasy. In all truth, we don't know what's happening and for all we know that maybe part of the quarantine.
Then you have to take the corollary of all that. We maybe being quarantined, not to protect anyone else out there, but for our own good. We may not be ready yet to move about freely in interstellar space, not because we're dangerous or anything, but because we maybe in danger or not ready to do so. We maybe too fractious a society to handle being confronted by a more belligerent spacefaring species. We maybe belligerent ourselves, but there maybe bigger dogs on the block, so to speak, that we're not yet ready to confront. We may need to grow up first before we're able as a society to move about out there in confidence. In confronting those bigger dogs like we are at present, we might trigger all sorts of trouble that could drag everyone into that trouble. Better to have us in a mature enough position, both technologically and as a society, where the nasties out there would think twice about trying anything. The quarantine might be being put in place by those societies who have our best interests at heart but are in a position to keep us from doing harm to anyone or have harm done to us by others.
The possibilities are infinite.
21-06-2011, 05:55 PM
It is even more complex than we all think. We are an integral part of our biosphere. Without it we would atrophy as a species.
All human life ultimately relies on other life from plants down to the microscopic life all around us. The web of symbiosis not fully understood.
If we could transplant say a thousand chosen humans to another 'inhabitable' planet they would die eventually as not all the organisms that they rely on for good health went as well.
There is nothing wrong with conjecture. In my opinion it is a distraction from the damage we are ALL doing to our Spaceship Earth.
We have nowhere to go. Better we look after the life support systems at home before we try to emulate them for a four hundred thousand year journey.
Even if we had the technolgy to freeze/unfreeze a complete human. Would you like to wake up after hundreds if not thousands of years of accumulated radiation and watch your body once thawed out show all the effects of a massive lethal radiation dose.
The people who had their bodies frozen and even more macabre just their heads are all going to have this problem. Just do the numbers of the background radiation we all live in let alone in outer space. Our repair systems can cope with these low levels in real time but not cumulative.
A last thought. Even if time travel were possible how would you navigate spatially. The Earth rotates goes around the Sun goes around the Galaxy is moving etc. Where were you even ten minutes ago relative to the 'fixed' Quasars.
21-06-2011, 06:10 PM
I reckon without question, the way to go is to send frozen ova and sperm on the journey. All some kind of robotic device would have to do is.. 'the deed'.
Bingo … instant humans on the other side of some big trip !
Oh .. a bit of water and food wouldn't go astray, either. Send plant/protein DNA or their reproductive bits & pieces along as well .. and a mini habitat. If it all dies as Bert says, well … at least I've fulfilled by end of the deal with DARPA .. I'll happily hand over sustaining life at the other end to someone else.
I actually wouldn't mind betting we've already sent microorganisms elsewhere in the Solar System unintentionally already. Whether they've survived or not remains to be seen.
PS: This is intended as a 'light-hearted' post … the real quest is a lot more difficult as everyone says ...
21-06-2011, 08:02 PM
Better still, DNA information should be recorded on some sort of memory device... Hard disk or something like this ;)
21-06-2011, 08:30 PM
I was thinking about this also, but I think there's a lot more to making (or reconstituting) a life-form than having the DNA sequence at hand. There's all this protein making 'machinery' one needs to do all that transcription and translation stuff
all this comes in a neat little package called a 'cell'.
Seems to me the smallest unit that would give the biggest bang-for-the-buck (and overcome the need for a heap of complex sub-molecular machinery), would be a cell .. if this is so, then the best cells to send would be ones that can reproduce the whole organism.
How you educate the end product as it grows up so it knows how the hell it got there and what its mission was .. well
Marlon Brando and his wife worked out how to do it for Christopher Reeve in Superman, I think. ;)
(What a silly thought exercise this one is
21-06-2011, 08:36 PM
Well, computer again.. or robot.
And why not simply send a robots, instead mucking around with living cells ;) ?
They carry such enormous quantities of useless information anyway..
22-06-2011, 07:47 AM
I'm afraid that proposal wouldn't be met with open arms bojan
(remember we're pitching for big bucks here .. gotta satisfy the bureacrats .. ;) )
From the workshop paper
Robots are pretty boring nowadays .. :sadeyes:
No pure robotic missions !! ..
That kind defines the target environment for us, eh .. ?
Bert's question about navigation has got me challenged, also !
How do ya do that at close to c ?
22-06-2011, 09:58 AM
I still like Clarke's ideas from "Rendezvous with Rama" (first one of a trilogy) a lot ....
Well, it's certainly not an easy task.. especially if time travel is involved (as Bert suggested) ;)
22-06-2011, 10:08 AM
So what does space look like at 0.99c ?
Ya got aberration firstly .. so all stars appear to be in the direction you're travelling, yeah ? (All scrunched up together .. little/no separation between them). The whole universe looks like its coming from one point ahead of you, eh ?
Then you have doppler shifting, so red stars appear closer to blue, blue go to X or gamma ray wavelengths. So some stars would get closer to human eye sensitive wavelengths .. some would disappear as they move beyond visible wavelengths .. (Need radiation shielding/screens !)
So, it looks like we also need a nifty wideband (variable sensitivity) telescope with us with really high resolving power (to separate those scrunched together stars)
And all that's even before we've started thinking about relativistic effects !
22-06-2011, 10:24 AM
I'm not feeling so good today, so I won't ramble on too much here with a really long reply...only to say this, you lot are barking up the wrong tree. You have little imagination. You're assuming that we will never be able to break the speed of light barrier and you're talking about the same old boring ways of getting around that have been gone over again and again. All this talk about sending generations ships, DNA carriers etc etc. Won't work and for many of the reasons that you've stated here. Won't work unless you can come up with a way to basically make the information that is being carried immortal. Either totally incorruptible digital or quantum storage systems (for DNA code storage), or you have immortal (or close to immortal) passengers on the generation ships. You also have to have perfect replication of the DNA at the end of the trip if you use the first method. If you use actual DNA, you then have the problems of the storage, plus the degradation of the DNA over time as well as protection from mutation, damage etc etc. If you send people, to make it viable, you're going to have to enormously extend the lifespans of the people onboard, unless you want all sorts of problems occurring with people of normal lifespans living in a confined space for many millenia. The consequences of fooling around with their genetics and their medical condition to create occupants that live for, say, 1000-10000 years are an even greater unknown than sending just DNA in any form. The technology to be able to do this is even further beyond our present understanding than actually designing a workable FTL drive.
If you're going to restrict yourselves that this level, you might as well send robots and forget about it. You'll never explore the galaxy yourselves and will have to do it by proxy. Even there, you'll have problems with the longevity of your equipment...whether they're macroscale robotic craft or nanobots. If they're nanobots, you may have the chance of self-replication built into the design, but then you have the problems of data storage, redundancy, swarm cohesion etc, and even the replication itself.
Ultimately, if your going down the paths you're traveling for ways to get about, you might as well just sit put where we are and forget about interstellar travel. Unless you develop methods of circumventing the light speed barrier (spacetime warp fields, wormholes etc etc), you will not be able to travel to the stars. Unless, of course, you can come up with some "paranormal" way of projecting your consciousness to anywhere at any time.
As for navigation....think!!!. Yes, the stars do move about the galaxy. But you workout how far they move in any one given moment and then you'll have your answer to your navigational problems. It's not traveling at c, or faster, that is the problem. It's creating the starmaps in the first place. The changes in position are easy to map, once you have the template maps drawn up. It's just a matter of accounting for the stars true space velocities and their vectors of travel. Simple 4D mathematics.
22-06-2011, 10:36 AM
Ahhh ya see Carl
this is the engineering phase ! I think you missed the brainstorming party !
We've only got a few weeks to come up with something that sounds reasonable
...can you tell us how we do FTL in like, say, the next 5 minutes
we have dealines here y'know
the project schedule just can't wait !!
C'mon get a move on
no excuses !! .. Drop and give me twenty !!
22-06-2011, 10:36 AM
I agree this is not a problem, scientist already know where most of the star a going and you you never travel far that it would take a 100 years to get there.
We need to manage the environment on Earth 1 first before trying to live on an artificial environment for longer than we have technologically live on this planet.
22-06-2011, 10:42 AM
… We'll have to give this guy the sack !!
... He's not a team playa !!
… We're trying to design a spaceship that'll allow us to cover 4 lightyears and that can be built within 100 years !
.. Now where's my Human Resources rep when I need 'em ??
PS: I'm just havin' fun here Malcolm… don't take me seriously .. :)
22-06-2011, 10:51 AM
None taken enjoy some banter sometime :)
22-06-2011, 10:51 AM
The way I feel at present, if I drop, I'll be flat out getting back up again:):P
Are you going to submit a proposal to DARPA??:):P:P
Sounds like you guys are:):P
22-06-2011, 10:56 AM
Yep .. we're going to use your name because of your heavy input into it all ..
I mean, FTL is the core of our proposal
and it requires heavy 'renormalisation' !!!
drop and give me another twenty .. this time remove ya clothing, swim that frozen lake and prepare to drink you own urine !! (It very medicinal y'know).
22-06-2011, 11:02 AM
I'll have to go spec the rubber bands I need for the propulsion units. Might have to wait a week or two:P
22-06-2011, 11:06 AM
I'll categorically deny any involvement in this, since it's doomed to failure right form the start:):P
I don't do "Bare" Grylls routines (pardon the pun) :):P
22-06-2011, 11:28 AM
Bringing this back on track again (apologies for my outburst .. gotta get Carl when he's down, eh ?) .. what bugs me is that the fastest Ultra-High energy cosmic ray detected was travelling at something like 0.99c and it is believed to most likely be a proton .. to give some feel for it ...
.. so if a proton can achieve these velocities .. then its currently not impossible for matter to achieve sufficient speed to make the trip feasible.
22-06-2011, 11:41 AM
Yes, possible, but not feasible using present technology or any extrapolation of it. To propel a craft weighing one ton to the same speed would require more energy than the entire US uses in several thousand years. Well, at least that's the theory and what the maths tells you.
22-06-2011, 12:08 PM
I think once a speed can be attain how much energy does it require to stay at the same speed. From what I understand not a lot.
The Plasma rocket which I believe should be ready for testing soon can already predict a trip to Mars lowered to approx 39 days. A leap forward in technology. http://www.voanews.com/english/news/science-technology/Former-Astronaut-Develops-Powerful-Rocket-123960664.html
These kind of leaps could make near Light Speed possible in the 100years or so.
22-06-2011, 12:26 PM
Here's a snippet .. the EU folk are working towards a presentation/bid to DARPA on this.
.. Interstellar Birkeland current propulsion, Energetic Neutral Atoms as craft propulsion, ion thrust from double layers
the list goes on
(So much for my thoughts about science-based speculation).
22-06-2011, 12:33 PM
No, not a lot to keep it at a certain speed, but it's the acceleration to that speed which takes up the energy. Accelerate at 1g for a year and you'll get upto that speed (even faster), but to sustain 1g acceleration for a whole year takes a lot of fuel, no matter what rocket type you use.
But that's the stupidity of it all....they're still thinking inside their limited little boxes. Using rockets. They can't seem to get themselves out of their box, almost like they have some mental block to leap beyond the boundaries of their confined and limited ideas.
Yes, the new ion thrusters that ANU and the US group have come up with are very good and they should be space tested asap. 39 days to Mars is much better than what they've been talking about. However, the idiots at NASA and such are still holding onto the old technologies like they're sacred relics and can't be replaced. It's like having an F35 to go into battle against a SU37, but you can't use it because we must use Spitfires as we used them in WW2 and they worked.
22-06-2011, 12:36 PM
ANU (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helicon_Double_Layer_Thruster) and Ad Astra Rocket Co (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Variable_Specific_Impulse_Magnetopl asma_Rocket) have beaten them to it:):P
22-06-2011, 12:39 PM
Apart from that, are they proposing we ride the equivalent of their "interstellar lightening bolt" to get around the stars??. The only thing that's going to happen here is that lightening bolts will strike them on their behinds:):P
22-06-2011, 12:49 PM
Go Time Team! ;) You wouldn't have to navigate. Just a limitation on how far you could go back so you're still within the Milky Way, as it rotates and is moved by local gravitational forces. Breadth of the MW might be accommodating but the thickness is a worry - but I refuse to let that get in the way of a fight of fancy! :screwy:
In effect, wind time back till a suitable planet/system occupies the space in the vicinity of where Earth is now. Parsec or two'll do! :lol: Ignore the expansion of the Universe as all parts are expanding equally (is your starship smaller when it materialises?). If at the end you still need to travel a fair way, stop off a few times for the odd gravitational slingshot from serendipitously passing bodies to build up the speed. You'd hit the ground running and be there by dinner time. Provided you didn't materialise next to an outbursting nova, or in the line of a GRB or have a sputtering comet sitting on the starship bridge, or.... :P
Anyway, rubbish aside, an interesting discussion guys, lots of good points! :thumbsup: But I don't see a lot of discussion about the social aspects of maintaining a seed colony in some sort of order and purpose in close confines for perhaps millenia (other than freezing everyone for the duration, or taking the bits). Do you think it would it be possible?
22-06-2011, 12:55 PM
The Alcubierre drive !! (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcubierre_drive)
22-06-2011, 01:20 PM
How may Space Arks (or is that Space Arcs;)) are we going to have to build.
22-06-2011, 01:21 PM
I didn't explicitly state the social consequences in my post but it was one of the major concerns I intimated at. Given our present state of social development etc, is it possible....one word....NO....and I discussed your other options (various methods....freezing, taking "the bits"). If you had a group of very long lived, civilised and socially responsible travelers....YES, possibly. Then it would depend on the circumstance they found themselves in at any one time in their voyage.
22-06-2011, 01:37 PM
Perhaps none ! They may do it for themselves ..!!..
Unfortunately, I think they're just out for the funding … no real intentions of (re)building 'The Ar(c)k' !
22-06-2011, 01:47 PM
I don't think these problems would be insurmountable, once you've cracked the propulsion nut. (Ie: I'm still backing frozen ova/sperm, myself).
Social consequences ?
don't worry 'bout 'em .. if the newborns are brought up thinking it was normal for 'em to be shot off in a spacecraft, in-vitro'd and then tasked with settling one of your 'exo-inhabitables', then there wouldn't be any really tough social problems !
22-06-2011, 01:49 PM
They should get funding from fellow desirables such as telephone sanitisers, hairdressers, management consultants, and documentary film producers.:thumbsup:
22-06-2011, 01:57 PM
Its a little unfortunate that perhaps, as Carl asserts, this may actually be one specific case where pseudoscientific thinking may actually win the dash-for-cash !
22-06-2011, 02:06 PM
You forgot used car salesmen, telemarketers, FOX News presenters and late night TV show hosts:):P
22-06-2011, 02:09 PM
Yet pseudoscientists always complain about the lack of funding.
22-06-2011, 02:20 PM
I wonder why that is, for the most part;)
22-06-2011, 02:21 PM
Well …. they haven't won it yet …
Its hard to imagine a rational bid winning the $0.5 mill though.
I'm fascinated to see what ultimately comes of this .. perhaps its a ploy to send all pseudoscientists bankrupt !
22-06-2011, 02:23 PM
Might just be a bit of "throw away" money to waste at the end of the actual study. Give the plebs something to aim for and keep the kooks quiet:)
22-06-2011, 02:27 PM
I have a feeling this is more of an exercise to look for any ideas, no matter how left of field they are. If they work or not, it doesn't matter.
22-06-2011, 02:53 PM
They say they are "collecting and gathering data to identify the business model needed to develop and mature a technology portfolio that will enable long-distance manned space flight a century from now".
They're also after the spinoffs: "Technology ranging from robotics to the Internet have been spinoff results of innovative cutting edge research such as propulsion, energy storage and transfer, etc."
The Symposium/Conference Agenda is scheduled for Sept 30 - October 2nd 2011 and will be split into the following streams:
Time-Distance Solutions [propulsion, time/space manipulation and/or dilation, near speed of light navigation, faster than light navigation, observations and sensing at near speed of light or faster than light]
Education, Social, Economic and Legal Considerations [education as a mission, who goes, who stays, to profit or not, economies in space, communications back to earth, political ramifications, round-trip legacy investments and assets left behind]
Philosophical, and Religious Considerations [why go to the stars, moral and ethical issues, implications of finding habitable worlds, implications of finding life elsewhere, implications of being left behind]
Biology and Space Medicine [physiology in space, psychology in space, human life suspension (e.g., cryogenic), medical facilities and capabilities in space, on-scene (end of journey) spawning from genetic material]
Habitats and Environmental Science [to have gravity or not, space and radiation effects, environmental toxins, energy collection and use, agriculture, self-supporting environments, optimal habitat sizing]
Destinations [criteria for destination selection, what do you take, how many destinations and missions, probes versus journeys of faith]
Communication of the Vision [storytelling as a means of inspiration, linkage between incentives, payback and investment, use of movies, television and books to popularize long term research and long term journeys]
Its all set
everything we've rambled on about here, is covered by these focus areas ..
22-06-2011, 03:34 PM
Why don't we set off millions of iron nickel vessels with very primitive bacteria that could survive a long journey and radiation to randomly seed the Galaxy.
It's been done before! Hasn't it?
22-06-2011, 03:41 PM
Iron-nickel vessels, eh ? Hmm .. maybe …
Forget the dirty snowballs though .. there are lots of articles floating round at the moment about water spouts being produced by stars .. (that comet story is starting to look a bit jaded).
22-06-2011, 04:56 PM
Panspermia....nothing wrong with that. If that was the case in general, given the enormous numbers of Sunlike stars in the galaxy, let alone the entire universe, with all things being equal there's probably billions of planets with humanoid entities running around on them in the universe and millions in each galaxy....if they all evolved from the same distributed protoplasm.
One way to spread you kind throughout the galaxy...launch the basics and see what a few million/billion years will do:):)
22-06-2011, 05:46 PM
"Why don't we set off millions of iron nickel vessels with very primitive bacteria that could survive a long journey and radiation to randomly seed the Galaxy."
Wha..... umm, and why would you BOTHER ? :shrug:
22-06-2011, 11:24 PM
I could think of many reasons why you'd bother doing that...too many, in fact. But I'll give one good reason...what if life was scarce in this universe, in any universe. But the places where life could flourish were many. Why not identify those places capable of supporting life and then seed our kind there. Spread life throughout the universe and let it evolve. But keep an eye on proceedings. If we were the only truly intelligent and technologically advanced species in this particular universe, then we would be duty bound so to speak to be its caretakers. The same could be said for any such species in any particular universe.
The point being is this...even if life was super abundant and we were the least advanced society of the lot, we should still treat the universe with the same reverence as if it was in the condition I previously talked about.
23-06-2011, 09:34 AM
I see it as bit like leaving goats and pigs on far flung islands so next time you return there is plenty to eat apart from coconuts.
We can only make use of molecules that have the same chirality (hand) as ourselves for our nutrition.
So sending bacteria out to seed the galaxy is and was a good idea. Let us hope we are not dinner for a more ancient mob than us. With seven billion of us now they would not go hungry.
Even today there are bacteria that live in solid granite and divide about once a century. They would be good candidates for this journey as would some of the extremophiles.
I can just see my/our very far future decendant on a far flung planet tucking into something that evolved from these bacteria.
23-06-2011, 09:48 AM
A Macquarie Bank manager would probably die of laughter if you mention this to him as a reason for financing the project :lol::lol::lol::lol:
That budget money has to be spent if you want to see it again next year.
Without some currently unimaginable breakthrough in physics, there is effectively zero prospect of practical interstellar transportation.
Just do the math.
23-06-2011, 11:27 AM
Of course he would, but then again I wouldn't expect the dullard to even understand it, or the motives behind it. All he sees is $$$ and where can I get more from. How banal, narrow minded and limited can his existence be.
23-06-2011, 11:32 AM
Of course, the money is being spent to acquire more of the same out of the financial purse from next year's budget. That's the way they work.
Who said it's not going to take time and effort. It's no pipe dream, but that doesn't mean they'll solve the problem in 100 years. Just that we don't know, now, what we will know then. So that chance is there.
The maths says whatever we want it to. It depends on who's interpreting it.
23-06-2011, 11:34 AM
.. and yet he is made of the same stuff you are
you are both intrinsically linked by evolutionary behaviours, neither of you are aware of.
Like it or not Carl
you are not a mutually exclusive being. You are part of the herd
and so is he.
23-06-2011, 11:38 AM
A slightly different tack and take on what I wrote, but essentially the same thing:)
Let us also hope we don't become dinner to the new kids on the block:P
23-06-2011, 11:51 AM
Yes, but it's at what stage of individual evolution that both of us is at that makes all the difference.
Like it or not, Craig, even in a herd of cows, not all the cows have the same spots.
23-06-2011, 11:54 AM
I'm sure James Cameron will think of something... and the governator term looks like it's coming to a close. He might do a few contract jobs in the near future. :P
23-06-2011, 12:00 PM
Yep, a clone of Big Arnie in the far distant future saves our butt from the grogans of the planet Trinity Alpha IV :):P....another film by James Cameron, director of Avatar and Titanic. Coming to theatres Sept 1:):P
You need to understand the fundamentals of the issue. This is not merely an engineering challenge. Our current understanding of physics makes it clear that this subject is as close to being a pipedream as anything else we know of.
Our current understanding of physics involved has been thoroughly tested and not found wanting.
You do not understand maths. The numbers are what the numbers must be. Artificially manipulating the numbers in an attempt to get the result you want is not only intellectually dishonest but doomed to failure.
23-06-2011, 12:34 PM
I understand the fundamental issues far better than you know. Our current understanding of physics is just that...current. Who's to say what our understanding will be in 100, 200 or 1000 years. Neither you or I know what our level of understanding of physics (or anything else for that matter) will be in the medium to long term future. The only thing we can know is that it will be different and more advanced (unless something drastic happens to us).
Our current understanding of the physics involved has only been tested to within the theoretical limits of our current understanding. It has hardly been thoroughly tested because we are not smart enough to have thoroughly tested it. Thorough testing will only come with time.
Exactly, and that is equally applicable in any case, whether it be for or against the possibility of something occurring. It's as I said....you can make the maths say or mean whatever you want. You may come up with the number "#2", but it's what that #2 means in the context of your interpretation that makes all the difference.
The number is neither honest or dishonest.
It doesn't sound that way to me. If you did you would understand that it's not a matter of hoping a lab comes up with something new. It's going to take a wholesale reconstruction of fundamental physics as we know it, and there is not even one single sound reason to suppoe that can or will happen, or even needs to.
This is just plain wrong.
The intent of the person manipulating the numbers can be honest or dishonest. One plus one equals two. If that's not the answer you want, you can't just fiddle with the equation until it doesn't. It will always equal two.
The well-understood and tested math strongly indicates that practical human interstellar travel is so unlikely as to be safely considered impossible. It's not about playing origami with the numbers, or hoping for a eureka moment.
23-06-2011, 01:12 PM
I agree with where you're coming from.
As mentioned earlier on, I reckon the best 'story' is likely to win this cash!
If, as we all know, this goal cannot be achieved, given the current state of Physics understanding we have, then how can they come up with fair criteria to judge the best entry ?
'Left-over' funding sounds about right .. use it or lose it !!
The winner will have to be best buddies with the Chairman of the Assessment Committee.
23-06-2011, 01:20 PM
I would have to agree with Carl on this, we don't know what is going to happen in the near or distant future, we can't assume that Physics, or any other applied science is at it's end. The whole issue of the beginning of the universe is all about trying to understand new physic of creation that could when fully understood allow time travel or interstellar travel, who knows!
I wouldn't want to think that my going to University was not worth it if there was no more to discover.
Discoveries always start with simple questions and the original thread is just that; a simple question that would like some answers and it may take some out of box thinking and discoveries to do this. What to say that when we get out into the interstellar space that we might be able to use what is could be more powerful energies waiting to be tapped. Just the latest discovery from Voyager suggests that Comic radiation is severely filter before getting into our solar system means there could be way more energy out there that could be used to propel craft further and faster and maybe we could use that energy to protect ourselves from that harmful radiation.
Personally a lot of the problems of space travel could be overcome by creating artificial gravity.
23-06-2011, 01:23 PM
.. and given that what you say is so, and given that it has taken humans several hundreds (if not thousands) of years to come up with the descriptive language of nature, it would appear that it would take the same amount of time to come up with some alternative.
This idea of tossing it all out the window and changing horses within a century, is pure fantasy.
Pseudoscience or science fiction
There have been many attempts at a workaround by science fiction authors. Warping space, etc. Nice fiction, but still fiction.
It's not simply that we haven't found a way to do such things yet; It's that everything we currently know says it isn't possible, and everything we currently know has been tested and confirmed. That's how and why we can say we "know" it.
The stars are too far away. The energy requirements are too great. And the speed of light is what it is, which is an almost certainly insurmountable barrier.
23-06-2011, 01:32 PM
Right !! .. And you can't assume that that its all invalid, either .. so chuck it out the door !
Who says it has to do with the 'New Physics of creation' ??
What is that stuff, anyway ???
.. Fantasy & wishful thinking !
The tooth fairy might make me a billionaire tonight, also !
23-06-2011, 01:45 PM
Actually if you read carefully, their objective is to nurture breakthrough technologies and innovations which cut across the multi-disciplines of science.
The development of paradigm shifts requires a very deep understanding of the sciences from the grass-roots upwards. Very few have this depth and breadth of knowledge in any one discipline, let alone across the board.
Anyone can think outside the dots .. its not the exclusive domain of the 'intellectually endowed'. But there's a very big difference between a leader in a given field thinking outside the dots, and a novice doing the same. The difference is what they're looking for.
Being able to sustain that mode of operation, over a period of 100 years, requires a paradigm shift in technology development business models, right up front. (Which is why their initial RFI called for exactly this …).
Even though I cynically said … "The winner will have to be best buddies with the Chairman of the Assessment Committee." There may actually be enough 'wiggle' space, or subtle flaws in theoretical assumptions in present day science, to move forward and generate the breakthroughs they're interested in.
Only the experts in those fields are likely to identify flaws (if there are any).
23-06-2011, 01:57 PM
Did I actually say that it will happen?? No....all I have ever said is that it might happen because we don't know what we might know in 100, 200 or 1000 years. Nothing ever needs to happen...if that's the case then we should still be living in caves. We should've never invented the wheel, learned how to cultivate wild grasses and produce crops from them, build pyramids or anything else we've managed to do in the last 10000 years or so. On any number of occasions throughout history has the world view and knowledge paradigm of a society been changed or turned on its head by new ideas and paradigms that have come out of left field. It happened with Newton and with Einstein and with many others. It can and will happen again, even if you don't like it or want it to. Our present understanding on physics, or anything else for that matter, is not the paragon of understanding and/or knowledge. Nor will it be in the future, for what we might know even then.
You reply is wrong, and you know it. What did common sense and scientific knowledge before Einstein formulated SR and GR say about gravity, acceleration, force, energy etc. What did they say after the fact. Whenever a new theory or idea comes up and is proven to within reason, i.e within the limits of what is currently known or testable, the old order is either modified to take into account the new knowledge (i.e what happened with Newton's theories) or it falls by the wayside because we now know better (Geocentric vs Heliocentric world views). It will be no different with Einstein's theories or any other we may hold onto at present.
All you have done is repeated what I have said, just worded differently.
You have not negated anything I have written by what you have said there. The well understood and tested maths....according to what we know about the maths and physics at present and only to what limits we can test it at present. If you believe I am playing origami with the "numbers", so to speak, then you can be just as guilty of being narrow minded and not wanting to consider the possibilities...being too comfortable of living inside the box. Neither of us will know for certain what future knowledge will bring about. The only reasonable thing that either of us can be certain of is that both of us will most likely be rather wide of the mark. Eureka moments will occur whether we want them to or not.
23-06-2011, 02:00 PM
It probably will.
They can't, this is being done on pure speculation, but you have to start from somewhere. Don't you??:)
That's always been the case.
And they probably are:):) (After a few shots of tequila and whisky down at the local:):P)
23-06-2011, 02:17 PM
I agree, it is fiction. But it's where ideas start.
They also once said that man would never fly, or leave the bounds of the planet's gravity. It would take too much energy, it's too far, there is an insurmountable barrier blocking our way, the present state of knowledge tells us so therefore we "know". What did Lord Rutherford say about atomic fission, when they discovered the process behind it..." I cannot ever foresee any practical application for this. It will never happen". What was said about traveling into space during the early to middle 1900's, and by very knowledgeable scientists and engineers..."it will never happen". What was said about nuclear weapons before they were finally developed and tested...."either it won't work or it will consume the planet in a conflagration". Plenty of times in the past there has been instance where scientists and the present day thinking decreed inviolate that something was impossible and would never happen. That it wasn't a matter of not finding a way to do it, yet etc etc etc.
Even in your own lifetime as a scientist, you have seen some amazing stuff come up. But your own level of knowledge is limited to what you've been taught and what you believe to be the case through your own experiences as a scientist. It's the same with any scientist. But because you believe the prevailing paradigm is where it's at and is the cutting edge, you then begrudge future generations of scientists from looking outside that paradigm. You have no idea what they'll know, and as I said neither do I. So, regardless of whatever is thought of at present, we cannot know whether anything will occur in the future that will enable us to travel interstellar distances. It may or may not occur, but given time the likelihood of it occurring is the same as it not occurring.
It doesn't matter if everyone today is wrong about what will occur to enable us to travel the stars. One day, someone might be right.
The justification of hopeful people is generally based upon discrete historical examples of stalled thinking, such as Plate Tectonics, etc. Those were isolated issues of specifics, not the required complete rewriting of a scientific discipline - indeed, much of science itself.
We have a good approximation of the distance to our stellar neighbors. Thanks to Einstein, we understand how much energy is involved in traversing such distances in sensible spans of time. And Einstein also helped us to understand the effect of applying such energies and the associated velocities. Experiment after experiment validates Einstein and the concepts involved.
Some people long to wear a Starfleet uniform and boldly go where no fan has gone before, but they're up against cold hard reality. Alas.
23-06-2011, 02:22 PM
That's not what I said nor what he wrote in that line, Craig. Go and reread what I've written...carefully.
Well, we can come up with whacky ideas that won't work, but that's part of the fun. Doesn't mean I necessarily agree with them, either.
Mind you, if the tooth fairy did actually do that, you wouldn't knock it back:):P:P
As I said previously, those were examples of engineering problems in search of a technological solution. Practical interstellar flight is completely different.
Again, all engineering challenges only.
Nobody says we shouldn't think about such things. I'm saying we shouldn't pretend such things are possible. Certainly not by throwing time, money and elbow grease at them.
Many people are correct now, and they are proven correct every day, when the results of their experiments bear that out.
You can say that practical human interstellar spaceflight may happen if we just wait and hope and think about it, but you aren't necessarily correct. Most scientists - and most science - says you are incorrect.
23-06-2011, 02:43 PM
I'm not talking about specifics of stalled thinking and I am very much aware of the background of Plate Tectonics as I am a geologist. But I'm also an astrophysicist as well. I have degrees in both fields. And if you think that Plate Tectonics didn't rewrite much of the textbooks about geology, then you're seriously mistaken. It was as big for geology as relativity was for physics. I could equally say that Newton or Einstein are discreet examples of stalled thinking. Each theory has its limits, no matter what it is.
All agreed, I have no qualms about any of that. And the same was said of Newton and many other scientist's theories. But that doesn't mean that something new or a modification of the present theory won't turn up to change the equation. It's also equally possible that it won't. However, it's the height of intellectual hubris and arrogance to stand there and say that it never will.
What's wrong with dreams. More often than not, that cold and hard reality crystallises from those dreams. Even relativity.
23-06-2011, 02:53 PM
There's actually no point in continuing on with this debate as it's becoming nothing more than a circular argument. You think I'm wrong in my assumptions and I believe you're being typically closed minded. We're actually both scientists, but one of us is more willing to think laterally than the other. The best thing to do is to agree to disagree and let history be our judge. It wouldn't surprise me if both of us turn out to be wrong. Or either one of us does. Who knows. I'm not worried either way. Even if we do manage to build a warp drive, if it's in 100 years time, I won't be here to see it. That sort of technology will be for another generation.
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