posted on Jan, 9 2009 @ 10:09 PM
I doubt that large groups of human beings will ever live on another planet. I could be wrong, but I just don't see it happening. Space is really,
really big, and we are very small and weak.
As it is, we only live on about 25 percent of Earth. We already could live at the tops of mountains, or on the bottom of the sea. Those locations
are even easier to live in than on some distant planet. So why don't we?
Because it's really expensive, money and energy wise, for people to live someplace we're not designed for. Look at Antarctica. Even with plenty of
breathable air and water, living there is such a constant challenge and so energy expensive that only a few people can do it.
And it's nice to dream about finding an Earth-like planet we can just "step into," as if it were our own. But if it was that much like Earth, it
would have its own ecosystem that we probably wouldn't fit into.
Also, if you think about it, if you just want to go someplace that's just like Earth, why not just stay on Earth? Enjoy what we have here. How much
of the world have you experienced? Have you experienced all that Earth has to offer? Probably not. Nobody has.
If we did manage to find another Earth, it would take us thousands of years to get there, or thousands of years for us to figure out how to get there
sooner. Either way, we're talking thousands of years, and frankly, we're probably not going to last that long. Not because we're evil or
something, but because we're clever. We're basically a transitional species.
In a thousand years or so, we'll have pretty complete control over our own genetics, and our species will modify and adapt itself into so many
different shapes and sizes and colors (because we love to modify our bodies, just ask the tattoo guy next to you) that plain old human beings will
likely be a minority, or extinct. A thousand years is just a fraction of an instant in cosmic terms.
We will also drive ourselves to extinction by continuing to create smarter and faster artificial intelligences. Not because we're evil. Because
we're clever. Not too far into the future, we'll be making machines that are essentially alive, or at least so close to it you can't tell the
difference. They'll be our offspring, in a way. The next step in our evolution. And we'll be gone. Live fast, die young. That's our motto.
And it is our artificial children who will possibly colonize distant planets, not us. They'll first go to the planets in our solar system. Who
cares if there's no air or water? They don't need it. And if they want to go far, far away, they can simply flip their "off" switch and time
themselves to wake up after the thousands or tens of thousands of years it would take to get to where they want to go. Just wake up, power up the old
batteries and away they go.
Human beings, though? Not likely. We'll establish a few small colonies in our solar system. Not with billions of people on them. Maybe we'll set
up shop at Proxima Centauri, if there's anyplace to hang our hats there. But that will be about the extent of it.