[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: Sinosauropteryx filament melanosomes challenged

> eliminating the opportunity for a future industrialized civilization to
> arise.  If our civilization collapses, where will the next one get its
> oil, its metals?"

Metals are generally not consumed, they are dispersed though, and made harder 
to recover. I assume geologic processes will continue to concentrate them, as 
long as plate tectonics keeps functioning, the question of course being how 
long that will take, or if scrap heaps of this civilization will provide enough 
salvage/raw material for the next.

Future civilization would have to settle for "Steampunk" for a while, then make 
the jump to Fusion, perhaps with water mills/hydro dams, windmills/wind 
generators, and solar collectors in between.

Civilization can and did exist before petrol and coal based power.

"Early" industrial society could be exist at about the level of coal power, 
using charcoal as a substitute for actual coal.

For a while coppices were managed to provide sustainable charcoal supplies:


And of course, you could make ethanol and other liquid hyrdocarbons, but simple 
scarcity of resources suggests that it vehicles that burn it such as aircraft 
and autos would be used far less frequently.

The energy intense fertilizer production methods wouldn't be viable, and 
presumably population would have to be much lower.

If we make it to viable fusion power though, everything changes, and the Galaxy 
may be ours to inherit.

Using Fusion, a space ship with a mass ratio of less than 10 (ie ratio of 
weight loaded with propellent, vs empty) could theoretically easily achieve 
delta-Vs of 0.2C, and cross the galaxy in less than a million years.

Even accounting for stopping for a hundred years or so to found and develop a 
colony before the next ship is sent, it seems that if a species were to develop 
viable fusion power, within 5 million years it *should* be ubiquitous 
throughout the galaxy.
We've had life on earth for about 3,800 million years, and our star isn't 
 arise in this galaxy, none of them made it past their own Sun, fission power 
and petrol as their energy source.
Or there is the very low probability that in the tens of thousands of millions 
of years in the history of the stars and planets in this galaxy, we are living 
in the 5 million year window of colonization for an alien civilization.

Just as humans spread across the globe in the blink of an eye, and the geologic 
timescale is too low resolution to resolve migration patterns of a species (ie, 
its nowhere, then the next thing you know, its everywhere), the same likely 
holds true with galaxies and space faring civilization.

Space faring civilization is certainly possible, and travel at 0.1c seems 
within the realm of human achievement (within the next millennia)
No bacteria is going to be able to match that based on taking a ride on a rock 
ejected after a collision.

Human level intelligence opens up the possibility of leaving our star system 
completely, and achieving significantly faster dispersal rates.

Based on my knowledge of what is physically possible, and rough approximations, 
this galaxy is ours for the taking if we don't kill each other (or create 
superior life that disposes of us) before we get off this rock.

Tell me that any other lineage on Earth has similar chances at such, other than 
as a life form that we humans take with us.

--- On Wed, 12/8/10, David Marjanovic <david.marjanovic@gmx.at> wrote:

> From: David Marjanovic <david.marjanovic@gmx.at>
> Subject: Re: Sinosauropteryx filament melanosomes challenged
> To: "DML" <dinosaur@usc.edu>
> Date: Wednesday, December 8, 2010, 3:41 AM
> Rescued from truncation:
> =================
> Actually I do not think we are in any position to say that
> high intelligence or
> a technological civilization are adaptive triumphs for more
> than a very brief
> span of time - we seem well on the way to exceeding the
> carrying capacity of our
> environment and, perhaps, may be a very short-lived
> evolutionary experiment as
> things go.  We have been an

> for only about 200 years,
> and already seem well on the path to not only destroying
> our own resource base
> but eliminating the opportunity for a future industrialized
> civilization to
> arise.  If our civilization collapses, where will the
> next one get its oil, its
> metals?  I'm almost 64 years old and I hope our
> civilization will last out my
> lifetime, much less the rest of earth's history!  My
> money is on the bacteria.
>  Ronald Orenstein
> 1825 Shady Creek Court
> Mississauga, ON L5L 3W2
> Canada