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Round 2. chissler v Skyfloating: Getting rid of Star Trek: Voyager fans

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posted on Mar, 2 2008 @ 02:29 AM
The topic for this debate is "Interstellar travel using slower-than-light craft which carry many generations of passengers would be beneficial and should someday be undertaken".

chissler will be arguing the pro position and will open the debate.
Skyfloating will argue the con position.

Each debater will have one opening statement each. This will be followed by 3 alternating replies each. There will then be one closing statement each and no rebuttal.

There are no limits on the length of posts, but you may only use 1 post per turn.

Editing is strictly forbidden. For reasons of time, mod edits should not be expected except in critical situations

Opening and closing statements must not contain any images and must have no more than 3 references.

Excluding both the opening and closing statements, only two images and no more than 5 references can be included for each post. Each invidual post may contain up to 10 sentences of external source material, totaled from all external sources.
Links to multiple pages within a single domain count as 1 reference but there is a maximum of 3 individual links per reference, then further links from that domain count as a new reference. Excess quotes and excess links will be removed before judging.

The Socratic Debate Rule is in effect. Each debater may ask up to 5 questions in each post, except for in closing statements- no questions are permitted in closing statements. These questions should be clearly labeled as "Question 1, Question 2, etc.
When asked a question, a debater must give a straight forward answer in his next post. Explanations and qualifications to an answer are acceptable, but must be preceeded by a direct answer.

A new time limit policy is in effect
Each debate must post within 24 hours of the timestamp on the last post. If your opponent is late, you may post immediately without waiting for an announcement of turn forfeiture. If you are late, you may post late, unless your opponent has already posted.

Each debater is entitled to one extention of 24 hours. The request should be posted in this thread and is automatically granted- the 24 hour extention begins at the expiration of the previous deadline, not at the time of the extention request.

In the unlikely event that tardiness results in simultaneous posting by both debaters, the late post will be deleted unless it appears in its proper order in the thread.

Judging will be done by a panel of anonymous judges. After each debate is completed it will be locked and the judges will begin making their decision. One of the debate forum moderators will then make a final post announcing the winner.

posted on Mar, 2 2008 @ 08:32 AM
A formal thank you to Vagabond who works his butt off like no other to keep all of us in business here. I know it gets said a lot, but we do appreciate your efforts and they do not go unnoticed. To my opponent, good luck. (But not too much!)

Cue the music...

"Interstellar travel using slower-than-light craft which carry many generations of passengers would be beneficial and should someday be undertaken".

Our subject matter is certainly a mouthful and then some. So before we really get moving, we're going to take the time and fully explain what it is we have at hand. I'll begin by breaking down the subject matter and really pull the curtains back so we're all on the same page.

- Occurring or situated between the stars

So what we are dealing with is the simple fact that in our future we are going to be looking to the stars for our new home. It is no secret that we are depleting our resources at a whopping pace and our environment has continued to suffer. In the last handful of generations of our time, we have introduced more damage to our planet than in millions and millions of years. So is it logical to think that we can sustain life here for hundreds, thousands, or millions of years moving forward? The answer is we're going to be looking above.

Why else would we see so much money being invested into space programs?

NASA spends billions and billions of dollars on failed missions. A fraction of that could go a long way to ending poverty locally and allow children in our back yard an equal opportunity on getting an education. If you were to take all of that money, you could end poverty and world hunger internationally. The amounts of money that are spent on the space programs is definitive proof that our future is in the stars.

The subject matter that is being presented here has an overt emphasis on "slower-than-light" travel. So before we get into it too much, it should be made clear that traveling at a speed greater than that of light is not applicable whatsoever to this debate. We are here to discuss travel at speeds less than that of light.

Throughout this debate, I will examine several feasible options that I believe will be made available to us in the future. Each of these will obviously come with their pros and cons, but given what is in the cards for the place we call home today, these trips may be something that we do not even have a choice.

Some of the options that we will have available to us are:

Interstellar Travel

  • Generation Ships
  • Suspended Animation
  • Extended Human Lifespan
  • Frozen Embryos

    In 1977, Voyager 1 was shipped to space with the intentions of proving interstellar space. While it was an unmanned journey and is still en route with severely outdated technology, it allows the mind to grasp that this isn't strictly a "science fiction" subject matter. Interstellar travel is no longer a topic of fiction, and it hasn't been for sometime. Most naysayers are simply ignoring the facts and refusing to acknowledge the harsh reality that our future holds. The thought of interstellar space is not something the mind can easily grasp. But the facts speak for themselves and current trends paint a clear picture.

    Interstellar travel has been a hot issue that has been discussed and debated rather extensively. I look forward to this opportunity in both researching, posting, and refuting what my opponent has to say. The options that I believe will be available will be thoroughly examined as we progress through this debate.

    As defined by NASA, we are two major breakthroughs away from being able to successfully manage interstellar travel journeys.

  • A method of propulsion able to reach the maximum speed which it is possible to attain
  • A new method of on-board energy production which would power those devices.

    Given the rapid pace we have been producing new and improved technologies, I don't think it's any stretch of the imagination to think that these are options that will be available someday. If anyone wants to stand in opposition of this fact, one only needs to look to yesterday to see how clear these facts are. Where we were only a generation or two ago compared to today is unthinkable. So to consider where we might be in another generation or two, these assessments of interstellar travel are not much of a stretch.

    So with that, I will turn the floor over to my opponent and we'll get this shindig rolling.

  • posted on Mar, 2 2008 @ 02:13 PM
    I thank the Vagabond for choosing a "topic of the Future" allowing us to examine it decades before it becomes an issue.

    The fascination of space travel is deeply ingrained into our generations psyche, fueled by star trek, star wars and the desire for progress, freedom and discovery. What may come as a surprise to my opponent is that I am all for interstellar travel and exploring the many new worlds out there and I firmly believe we will do that for the very reasons my debate opponent kindly showed in his opening post.

    I however do not believe these travels should be undertaken by the means my opponent offers. My opponent has the opinion that humanity "should conduct interstellar travel using slower than light craft carrying many generations" and that this is "beneficial". It is my opinion that only interplanetary travel should be done using slow craft and that interstellar travel should be carried out using faster means.

    My opponents attempt to re-define the debate topic has failed.

    Dear Judges of this debate,

    Chissler, my esteemed opponent, smugly rests in the antiquated space-travel concept of the 19th Century (which lasted until up to around the sci-fi movies of the 1950s). Back then sci-fi authors could mostly only imagine travel from one place to another in a linear and sluggish fashion - below light speed. Do you know how long it would take to travel that way from one star to the next? Voyager 1, which is currently travelling below lightspeed, would take 72 000 years to reach the closest star (Proxima Centauri). Do you see how ridiculous it is what my opponent is suggesting here?

    Modern science, inspired by modern sci-fi is dreaming up more comfortable and interesting ways to bridge the distances. Here are some terms that come to mind...

    * Stargates: Jump from one place to the next in the blink of an eye.

    * Wormholes: Began in the 60s as sci-fi and is now seriously being considered by science as a way to pop up at the other side of the galaxy within minutes.

    * Lightspeed & Above-Lightspeed-Travel: In combination with altering the molecular structure of the body, this too, will be a viable option.

    * Teleportation (Beam me there!): Disintegrating the body and re-materializing at another place.

    * Hyperspace-Travel: Another term to describe bridging distances way beyond the snail-train Chissler dreams of.

    * Consciousness-Projection: The most leading edge sci-fi philosophers (as well as a few tibetan monks who scoff at our "moon landing" saying "Weve been travelling to the moon since thousands of years with our energy body!") dont believe in any sort of ship or device used. The theory is that Consciousness or the soul or the "energy body" can traverse space literally in "no-time" as the soul is an aspect of self existing beyond time and space. It is in this sense that terms such as "vacation-incarnation" (visiting another planet and taking on a new body there) and "to be a walk-in" (possessing a body as a soul that is alien to the planet) are used. Admittedly these concepts are way beyond the ability of most people to think, but our brightest minds are considering every possibility.

    This debate is basically horse-carriages vs. jets. The only ways to conduct interstellar travel the way my opponent suggests is by either putting bodies into hybernation (for a long sleep akin to death or coma) or in building a displaced society that has no home other than the limited (read: claustrophobic) starship where they live and die for many generations.

    So, no...the idea of slower-than-light interstellar travel is no good because there are much better options already being considered.

    posted on Mar, 3 2008 @ 06:14 AM
    Between classes all day and then work all evening, it's a physical impossibility for me to have my reply up within the 24 hour window. So I am making use of my 24 hour extension.

    Thank you.

    posted on Mar, 3 2008 @ 10:52 PM
    Let's tighten these dancing shoes.

    Rebuttal #1

    Greetings to our readers and judges. I shall begin my first rebuttal with a response to my opponents opening statement, further my own side of the argument, and then conclude with several direct questions to my opponent.

    Originally posted by Skyfloating
    Chissler, my esteemed opponent, smugly rests in the antiquated space-travel concept of the 19th Century (which lasted until up to around the sci-fi movies of the 1950s).

    My "antiquated" concept for space travel is hardly antiquated. At the pace we are depleting our resources and destroying our ecosystem, we are going to be forced to make tough decisions sooner rather than later. Unfortunately, these decisions may come before we are sitting comfortably on top of proven technology that would allow us to move forward with ease. While it seems my opponent chooses to rely on "wormholes", I'll go with something that has a greater chance at survival.

    When the day comes that we are forced to leave this planet behind, no matter where we go or how we get there, it is going to be the darkest day that our race has ever known. What we fear is the unknown, and what is a greater unknown than space? This will be a dark day for our race and it is almost a guarantee that this day will come.

    My opponent chooses to fault me for not having the answers, and relying on "antiquated" space concepts. Well I humbly ask him what the answer is? Are we to look elsewhere in our solar system for home? Mars? Where? Are any of the options within interplanetary travel ideal? Is the thought of living on the face of Mars any more optimistic than a Generation ship? No, it's not. But we'll touch on this point as I move forward.

    The following is a list of what my opponent has suggested as alternatives for interstellar space travel:

  • Star gates
  • Worm holes
  • Above light speed travel
  • Teleportation
  • Hyperspace Travel
  • Consciousness Protection

    By merely suggesting this list my opponent has clearly demonstrated that interplanetary space travel is hardly the answer. This implies that he is in agreement that interstellar travel IS the answer, however he relies on the fact that we do not have the means of doing so at a pace that we would hope. So are we to expect that we as a human race, the dominant species of this planet, are going to simply settle for a less than ideal living arrangement on a planet that none of us want? No, that's not how we operate. We will do what is necessary, which is going to be interstellar space travel, and we will do so with the best technology we have been afforded.

    Originally posted by Skyfloating
    This debate is basically horse-carriages vs. jets.

    This would be an accurate assessment if the jets you pose actually existed. We both agree that interstellar space travel is the ideal outcome for the longterm success of our race. The difference is that I fully understand the sacrifices that we may be forced to make in order to attain this longterm success, and these are decisions we are going to be forced to make because the technology my opponent suggests will not be readily available when the day comes that this planet is no longer livable.

    What choice do we have?

    Originally posted by Skyfloating
    So, no...the idea of slower-than-light interstellar travel is no good because there are much better options already being considered.

    These options are being considered. Considered. None of these are feasible. What I have suggested are feasible options to assure our longevity, and you have responded with "considerations" based on technology that we are nowhere near solving.


    I will now move forward with some detailed information of how exactly I would propose a successful interstellar space mission, and assure the longevity of our kind.

    Generation Ships

    This is a concept that may not be ideal for some that consider it, but I ask those that believe this what an ideal situation would be when we are forced to leave this planet behind? Nothing that we propose is going to be an ideal situation, so unfortunately we're going to have to make the best of what we have. With that in mind, let us examine what exactly a generation ship is.

    A "Generation Ship" is a starship that would travel enormous distances at a speed less than that of light. It would be the home to at least hundreds of individuals on a interstellar space mission, hoping to assure longevity of the human race. On this travel, generations would come and go and the stories of our travel would live on with our children and grand children. Scary, I agree; but pose a situation that isn't. The ship itself would be completely self-sustaining and be properly equipped to provide the basic needs of all of it's guests. I will not present myself in a naive manner and lead my esteemed readers to believe that I do not understand the negatives that come with such an option, but I once again ask our readers to understand that any and all options are going to come with great negatives.

    But the ultimate goal in such a mission would be to guarantee the survival of our race. As grim as it appears, this is a feasible option that we could have at our disposal in the near future if it were so required.

    Suspended Animation

    This is another option that we have available to us today and could be utilized if it were so necessary. What I refer to when I speak of "suspended animation" is the slowing of our natural lives, while preventing termination. If we were to adapt "suspended animation", it would combat the need for a "generation ship". While the need still exists to have a crew that would be utilized for generations, the required manpower would be much less. This is an option that hasn't been tested for any extended period of time, but it's clearly an option that we're closer to finding a resolution on than a "stargate" or "wormhole".


    Another key point in my opponent's case is that it would take 72,000 years to reach our logical destination, Proxima Centauri. To commit to such a journey would be quite the pill to swallow. That I can certainly agree with. But what if I were to tell you that an unmanned mission could be done within a century? Granted this is not a manned mission, but it is a huge step and empirical evidence that this number that my opponent has quoted is grossly inflated.

    I direct our readers to the following, Project Longshot.

    Yes.. an interstellar space mission to Proxima Centauri in 100 years!

    That changes things a little bit, doesn't it?

    My opponent has openly agreed that he feels interstellar space travel is the answer. His words...

    Originally posted by Skyfloating
    What may come as a surprise to my opponent is that I am all for interstellar travel and exploring the many new worlds out there and I firmly believe we will do that for the very reasons my debate opponent kindly showed in his opening post.

    But he stands in opposition of this because such a mission would take 72,000 years! Given the information, albeit an unmanned mission, this number has been severely under minded. If this concept has been tangible for over a decade, it certainly opens the door to endless possibilities of successful interstellar space travel missions.

    Socratic Approach

  • (1) Do you honestly believe that a "stargate" or "wormhole" will be utilized when our race is forced to depart Earth?
  • (2) You have backed interplanetary travel, so I am asking you what planet you propose we utilize as our new home?
  • (3) Whether it is interplanetary or interstellar travel, do you honestly believe that our race will ever find the success elsewhere as it has seen with our current living arrangements?


    To conclude my first rebuttal, I ask our readers to weigh in on exactly what is being said. My opponent is relying on matters of fiction; while in agreement with me that interstellar space travel is the answer. Well I accept the fact that he is in agreement with me on where the answer is, but I have offered tangible evidence that these missions are feasible and they are the answer.

    When it comes to the continuity of the human race, settling for anything other than the best is not an option. We have both agreed that interstellar is where the answer lies.

    I have presented facts, he relies on fiction.

    The floor is yours.

  • posted on Mar, 4 2008 @ 05:08 AM
    Slow interstellar travel vs. fast interstellar travel

    The title of this post is to remind everyone what the debate topic is.

    My opponent starts out by painting a picture of doom and gloom, saying we will have to leave our planet very soon. He then suggests that we will need interstellar travel to find a new home. He asks: "Are we to look elsewhere in our solar system for home?" suggesting that living on Mars is neither desirable nor feasible. I guess we can forgive my opponent for not being aware of NASAs most realistic brainchild:

    Terraforming Mars

    I neednt say more on the feasibility of interplanetary travel. My opponents argument "We need interstellar travel to find a new home" is hereby disproven.

    In my first post I pointed out that this is a horse-carriage vs. jets debate to which my opponent replied "This would be a correct assesment if jets actually existed". To which I reply: They laughed at Jules Verne too!
    The reader will notice that in his opening post my opponent was trying to appeal to the readers imagination, asking him to consider that sci-fi will become reality. Now he´s trying to slam on the brakes of imagination. He then clearly says that the list of travel options I provide are pure fiction and therefore not worth proposing. I was hoping he would fall into this trap I laid for him. A quick glance at the contemporary Encyclopedia disproves this claim:

    The Encyclopedia on Interstellar Travel

    In this article my suggestions surrounding wormholes, teleportation (stargates) and lightspeed travel are listed along with the options my opponent options scientists are taking seriously as a reality, not as fiction.

    Just how seriously these are taken, you can read on NASAs website on

    Breakthrough Propulsion Physics

    Enough said.

    Next my opponent introduces "Project Longshot" with which we are supposedly able to reach the next star within 100 years. What my opponent tries to play down is that this project was designed as an unmanned probe mission...something one might easily overlook if reading too quickly.

    And on to my opponents socratic questions:

    Chissler: "Do you honestly believe that a "stargate" or "wormhole" will be utilized when our race is forced to depart earth?"

    Skyfloatings Reponse: If we were forced to depart earth I think we would first look at Mars as our next destination. There is no interstellar travel required for that, so we would neither require your means, nor mine.

    Chissler: "You have backed interplanetary travel so I am asking you what planet do you propose we utilize as our new home?"

    Skyfloatings Response: Terraformed Mars.

    Chissler: "Whether it is interplanetary or interstellar travel, do you honestly believe our race will ever find success anywhere as it has seen with our current living arrangements?

    Skyfloatings Response: I dont know, but I certainly hope so. On a side-note I will say that I dont think the possible death of earth is the only motivation to reach for the stars. The search for more, for the better, for going beyond known limits is just as good a motivation.

    Socratic Questions to my opponent

    1. Am I correct in assuming that you agree with the following general statement: "Yesterdays science-fiction is tommorows reality"?

    2. Are you seriously suggesting that the government (NASA) invests Billions in studying "fiction" (such as warp-drive)?

    3. What is more beneficial (psychololigically and physically healthy), living on terraformed Mars or living in a spaceship from generation to generation?

    Thank you.

    posted on Mar, 4 2008 @ 12:40 PM

    Rebuttal #2

    I will adapt the same approach with this reply as my previous. I shall begin with a direct rebuttal of my opponent's previous post, directly answer his questions, and then move forward with my own presentation and offer up some more of my own questions. Thank you.

    * Stretches *

    Originally posted by Skyfloating
    My opponent starts out by painting a picture of doom and gloom, saying we will have to leave our planet very soon.

    Define "very soon".

    If we were to take our earth's existence and break it down into a 24 hour window, everything since the Renaissance would have occurred in the last second of the day. The last second! So when you jump ahead to the last two generations and consider the damage we have done to our planet, we have destroyed this planet in less than half a second. It has stood the test of time for millions of years, but it hasn't stood more than a couple generations with us. How long can we maintain this?

    "Very soon" isn't going to be our generation or the next, but this isn't a matter of fiction in and of itself.

    Originally posted by Skyfloating
    What my opponent tries to play down is that this project was designed as an unmanned probe mission...something one might easily overlook if reading too quickly.

    It's laughable that you would stick your foot in your mouth so blatantly. If you hadn't read my own post so quickly, you would have seen that I clearly said that it was an unmanned mission. You would have also read that I said that albeit an unmanned mission, it drastically cuts your inflated number of 72,000 years to 100 years. So if nothing else, this project opens the door to endless possibilities surrounding interstellar space travel.

    Rocks.. glass houses... you know the rest. Rather than being so quick to take your jabs, maybe take the time to actually read the debate that we're having.

    Another point that I would like to emphasize is your sneaky attempt to include "wormholes" and "stargates" in the same group as Generation ships and other examples that I have provided.

    Your words...

    Originally posted by Skyfloating
    In this article my suggestions surrounding wormholes, teleportation (stargates) and lightspeed travel are listed along with the options my opponent options scientists are taking seriously as a reality, not as fiction.


    Have you failed, once again, to actually read the material at hand? You have faulted me already for not taking the time to read, but it was obvious that I had and it was you that had not. And now once again you have failed to truly read the material that you have chosen to link.

    The category that "wormholes" and "stargates" are included in is labeled as, Further speculative methods. The category that I have provided is titled as Methods for slow manned missions. So you have attempted to pass off speculative material as legitimate, as your own citations indicate; mean while overlooking that none of the citations I have provided are listed as such.

    So once again I am forced to ask, have you actually done any reading? On this page or any of the material you have linked?

    Answers to Questions

    1. "Yesterday's science fiction is tomorrows reality" is an accurate statement in some senses. Not everything is going to be a reality, but some are. For instance, only a generation or two ago it was fictional to think of space travel. Today it is a reality. I see where you are going with this and I love that you're going to run with this tidbit. Good luck, I'll be waiting.

    2. I am not suggesting anything. I am stating that NASA is investing billions of dollars into our future. I also stating that NASA is wasting a lot of the money they spend and are grossly overspending.

    3. The question is immense with subjectivity and thus a bit of a moot point. However, I will provide my honest opinion on the matter. On a spaceship, we operate in a controlled and closed environment where we can easily maintain and sustain. So if we were shipping out tomorrow and I had to make a decision, I'd be buying a ticket for the ship. I feel my health would be easier to maintain in a closed environment, rather than facing the unknowns of a foreign planet.


    I will now move forward with the rest of my own presentation to further prove that Interstellar travel using slower-than-light craft which carry many generations of passengers would be beneficial and should someday be undertaken.

    Extended Human Lifespan

    This is another feasible option that we have at our disposal if looking to engage in interstellar space travel at speeds less than that of light. A major criticism of these missions are the length of time and the need for generations of dedicated staff to oversee the process. Well by extending the life span of the occupants, the need for further generations would be drastically diminished. And is there a more ideal situation to present this concept in a closed and controlled environment that the space ship would afford? This is a logical approach to a grim situation, and the specifics surrounding it are almost perfect.

    The ability to extend the human lifespan is summarized with engineered negligible senescence. It focuses on the prevention and/or reversal of the aging process in our own cellular make up.

    I now direct our reader's attention to the following text below, retrieved from a link provided by my esteemed opponent.

    Geoffery A. Landis, of NASA's Glenn Research Center, says that a laser-powered interstellar sail ship could possibly be launched within 50 years, utilizing new methods of space travel. "I think that ultimately we're going to do it, it's just a question of when and who," Landis said in an interview. Rockets are too slow to send humans on interstellar missions. Instead, he envisions interstellar craft with gigantic sails, propelled by laser light to about one tenth the speed of light. It would take such a ship about 43 years to reach Alpha Centauri, if it passed through the system. Slowing down to stop at Alpha Centauri could increase the trip to 100 years.

    Bolding Mine

  • NASA Research

    Will my opponent continue to stand by his number of 72,000 years?

    I have provided material that empirically proves that NASA's own firmly believe that interstellar space travel is capable at speeds less than that of light, that will not require generations and generations. Now I have provided much material that covers both aspects, but doing otherwise would severely restrict the approach that I have adapted. But it must be made painstakingly clear that these missions are feasible and the journeys will not take the length of time that my opponent has cited.


    What else is there to say? The facts speak for themselves. While my opponent relies on "speculative measures", I am responding with simple facts that clearly refute what he is trying to say. Rather than trying to refute interstellar travel, he began this debate cheerleading for it. But in the same breath he states that interplanetary travel is in our future. But in his next breath he goes on to tell us why interstellar travel is the answer but he needs to be done at speeds greater than that of light.

    Well what exactly is he trying to tell us? Is it interplanetary? Or is it interstellar? Interstellar at speeds greater than that of light? To be honest, I'm not really sure if my opponent has actually figured that one out yet.

    What I do know is that I have provided much material that he has not yet even attempted to refute. I have shown that interstellar travel at speeds less than that of light are feasible and they are not a means of fiction. I have also shown several measures that we could adapt if the mission was going to be an extended one.

    As I've stated previously, I rely on facts while you are dancing with fiction.


    Socratic Approach

  • (1) In your opinion, how long until we are forced to leave this planet behind?

    I feel my opponent has provided next to nothing of his own as a presentation, so I see no reason to ask any further questions. I will await his next response and then move forward with my final rebuttal.

    Thank you.

  • posted on Mar, 4 2008 @ 05:28 PM
    Knockout rebuttal

    My opponents position as per debate topic:

    "Interstellar travel using slower-than-light craft which carry many generations of passengers would be beneficial and should someday be undertaken".

    My con-position:

    "For interplanetary travel slower-than-light craft is ok, for interstellar travel it is not".

    Those scientists who have dedicated their life to the research of interstellar travel tend to agree with me:

    It has been argued, that unless an interstellar mission can be completed in less than 50 years, it probably should not be started at all. Instead, the money should be invested in designing a better propulsion system. This is because a slow spacecraft would probably be passed by another mission sent later with more advanced propulsion.
    Source: Yoji Kondo: Interstellar Travel and Multi-generation Spaceships, p. 31

    So much for my opponents proposals which take several thousand years and at best 100 years (a figure only pertaining to the very closest star, btw)...this however does not pertain to generational ships which, according to science, are forecast to be much slower than unmanned craft. This is why the government is investing into researching better propulsion systems (as already proven in my last post). By the time those slowpokes finally reach their destination, we will have invented something better. Concerning the so-called "sleeper" ships my opponent recommends: How are these supposed to be beneficial if the humans in them arent actually "living" as we understand it (instead they are sleeping), much less enjoying their trip. And as my opponent faults my methods as "fiction", lets see what the encyclopedia has to say about sleeper-ships:

    As there is currently no known technology that allows for long-term suspended animation of humans, the term is usually only found in science fiction.

    This shows that my opponent cant be applying the label "fiction" to my methods and "reality" to his. Talk about double-standards.

    In his last post my opponent answered one of my socratic questions by saying that he thinks interstellar travel would be more healthy than travelling to and living on Mars. My rebuttal in this quote:

    The main difficulty of interstellar travel is the vast distances that have to be covered and therefore the time it takes with most realistic propulsion methods - from decades to millennia. Hence an interstellar ship would be much more severely exposed to the hazards found in interplanetary travel, including hard vacuum, radiation, weightlessness, and micrometeoroids. The long travel times make it difficult to design manned missions, and make economic justification of any interstellar mission nearly impossible, since benefits that do not become available for decades or longer have a present value close to zero.


    No matter from which angle we look at it, my opponent is wrong. His proposal is neither economically viable, nor is it the center-focus of more modern science (see: advanced propulsion research), nor is it necessary (see: Terraforming Mars).

    Reponse to my opponents other points:

    His socratic question is: "In your opinion, how long until we are forced to leave this planet behind?".

    My honest answer: I dont know. Is it germaine to the title of this debate? Not directly. This is not a debate on environmental issues. I dont know if we will ever be forced off this planet. And if so, I have shown that the next stop is with all probability Mars and not some distant and unfamiliar star!

    My opponent continues to pound on the 72 000 year vs. the 100 year question, implying that I did not read that he talked about "Project Longshot" as an unmanned mission. As any reader/judge of this debate can see, I never said he didnt mention that. I said he downplayed the fact that the 100 year distance pertains to unmanned craft. Why is this important to the debate? Because huge, chunky "generational ships" are forecasted to be slower. But even if reaching the very closest star within 100 years were possible...I´ve already shown what many scientists think about travels lasting more than 50 years: By then we´ll have something better. Thats why we absolutely must look at more advanced means of interstellar travel rather than staying stuck in chisslers 1950s sci-fi bubble. And if we find its not viable yet, we must look at our neighbour Mars and work in Terraforming it.

    In answering another one of my socratic questions my opponent has conceded that yesterdays science-fiction is tommorows reality (Notice opponent has meanwhile toned down to trying to pass my methods as "speculative" rather than "fiction" and his own methods as "reality". As we have seen earlier, his own theories are just as much oscillating between sci-fi and science as mine. In fact my proposed idea of terraforming is even closer to current feasibility than his interstellar travel).

    A new method my opponent brings up is "Extended Life Span". While this is well-meant it does not change the hazards of interstellar travel pointed out earlier and it would seem to enhance the boredom of extremely long trips rather than be "beneficial".

    For his rebuttal he says that "It must be made painstakingly clear that NASA thinks these approaches are feasible" - as if Im denying this. But this I am not denying. I am saying there are better ways to go about space-travel and survival-beyond-earth. I´ll say it again: Interplanetary slow travel yes, interstellar slow travel no. For interstellar travel we should wait another 50 years to come up with something more powerful. In the meantime, lets conquer Mars! My opponents nonsensical rhetoric ("Whats it going to be, interplanetary or interstellar?") will not deceive the readers and judges.

    In closing I would like to, again, offer something for the eye of the reader. Not to prove any point (I think I have already proven my point at length), but as a reward for reading this far. A forecast view of what terraformed Mars would look like from 13000 km height.

    posted on Mar, 5 2008 @ 12:13 PM

    Insert a Pseudo-Witty Title Here...

    There is much in my opponent's previous reply that I will be addressing head on, but we'll take our time and tackle it when the time is right. But something that we will address right now is a major oversight in his rebuttal's and something he continues to rely on heavily. So when we expose this oversight for what it is, we will all sit back and watch how he comes back for his second knockout rebuttal.

    The following statement truly emphasizes what I will be addressing...

    Originally posted by Skyfloating
    By the time those slowpokes finally reach their destination, we will have invented something better.

    My opponent has continuously failed to look at the topic at hand in a holistic manner. He allows for variables that are not applicable whatsoever. When the time comes that we are leaving this planet, for whatever reason, our abilities and manpower are going to be severely depleted. Keeping in mind that the journeys that I have proposed will take less than a single generation and if these ships are sent into space, we're not going to be able to sit back on our asses and create better technology. If we had the ability to be creating bigger and better, why would we be even sending ships into space? So when the time comes that our race parts ways with this earth that we have called home so for many generations, it will be because we had no other choice. We are not going to part ways with this planet if we can still live here. Why would we?

    So my opponent's flawed assertion that we will be sending ships out and still sitting back creating better technology is so off it's mark that I am confused to the extent that I am not really sure what he is thinking. Why would he possibly think that generations would be sent into space while others stayed behind to perfect the approach?

    Another key point that my opponent continuously overlooks is the simple fact that when this day comes, whatever our approach is, it is going to be terrible. As I have stated previously, it will be the darkest day known to man. So the individuals that are alive during these days are going to be forced to make great sacrifices to assure the longevity of the human race. Sacrifices will be made and they will be necessary. There are no two ways about this. My opponent tries to paint a picture where no sacrifices are necessary. And then he also tries to say that he's not presenting a case of fiction.

    We will be uprooting our civilization, tearing families apart, working with no economy, and saying goodbye to everything that we have known since time has begun. Think of all of the wonders of the world that we will never see again. Yet my opponent tries to paint this transition as seamless. As the reader and as a judge, do not let him get away with this.

    Some of the details I have presented are not shots out of the ball park or feats of perfection. Unlike my opponent, I will be honest with the material I present and the future that we all share. Can either of us state that a manned interstellar space mission or a civilian mission to Mars is going to be air tight with all variables considered? No, we can not. So we are left with a complex equation that we must approach in an honest manner if we are going to live on.


    Terraforming... ?

    My opponent is sly, very sly. He provides links and displays images that he hopes to invoke knee-jerk responses from our readers and judges. But at the end of the day, facts are facts and all of the fiction, smoke screens, and lights that you try to use.. the truth remains. My opponent has posted an image of what Mars would look like if we were to move forward with terraforming its' surface. Well let's take a moment to take a closer look at Terraforming.

    The terraforming (literally, "Earth-shaping") of a planet, moon, or other body is the hypothetical process of deliberately modifying its atmosphere, temperature, surface topography or ecology to be similar to those of Earth in order to make it habitable by humans.

    Bolding Mine


    This is a hypothetical process. Hypothetical.. as in the belief of a concept without evidence. As in... fiction!

    Another simple fact from the same link that my opponent continues to overlook.

    Humans currently do not possess the technological or economic means to terraform another planet or moon.

    Are we beginning to see this for what it really is? Generation ships at speeds less than that of light is not a perfect scenario, but it is realistic. If it comes down to the extinction of the human race or a generation ship, what are you going to decide? Necessary sacrifices must be made in order to assure the longevity of our race. My opponent mocks my proposals that are empirically feasible, and proposes concepts that have been empirically proven to be fiction. When it is all said it done, we need to consider options that we can actually utilize and not something that sounds or looks pretty. I present facts while my opponent presents smoke screens and light shows. It looks and sounds pretty, but it's not realistic.

    My opponent has put all of his eggs in one basket. His only song and dance for this evening is the terraforming of Mars. For the sake of discussion, I am asking you to fathom a ballpark figure for how long it would take to terraform the surface of Mars and how much it would cost. The numbers are absolutely catastrophic.

    The initial cost of such projects as planetary terraforming would be gigantic, and the infrastructure of such an enterprise would have to be built from scratch. Such technology is not yet developed, let alone financially feasible

    So even as unrealistic as this concept is considering the time, effort, and cost... is this an actual long term resolution? Could we inhabit the planet for the rest of time? When we move forward with this transition, we are obviously going to be in it for the long haul. With that in mind, I ask our readers and judges to consider the fact that it is entirely possible that after all of the terraforming of Mars' surface, it would return to it's current state and be completely unlivable for our race.

    It is possible that over geological timescales—tens or hundreds of millions of years—Mars could lose its water and atmosphere again, possibly to the same processes that reduced it to its current state.

    Knowing what we know, is this the basket that you would want to put all of your eggs in? I wouldn't dare consider relying on this for a single debate let alone the continuity of the human race. So not only is this concept completely unrealistic, it goes against logic.

    Now this is something that we may not all agree with, but I for one overtly object to the terraforming of another planet. What if our planet was invaded by another race and they tried to terraform our own, thus making it inhabitable. If in the future this concept does become a reality, are we not wiping out entire civilizations by terraforming the whole planet? Would we mourn the billions of men, women, and children that would be eradicated in the terraforming of Earth just as much as we would those that we might be killing in this process?

    All things considered, I for one would rather take the time and search for a planet that is habitable today and possibly unoccupied, or at least not consumed; rather than adjusting the habitats of whole civilizations.


    Socratic Approach

  • (1) Do you believe that terraforming another planet is an ethical dilemma?
  • (2) How do you respond to the fact that it is a possibility that after terraforming Mars, it would resort back to its' current state and deemed inhabitable for the human race?
  • (3) If we had to leave Earth tomorrow, would you prefer an interplanetary mission to Mars or a generation ship to Proxima Centauri.
  • (4) If Mars is currently habited by civilizations that we are unaware of, would you prefer we eradicate this civilization in order to take the planet for our own satisfaction; or look for another planet?

    Thank you.

  • posted on Mar, 5 2008 @ 03:51 PM
    Introducing Paraterraforming

    A quick deconstruction of my opponents points before moving on to more interesting things:

    * He presupposes that the sole motivation of reaching for the stars are disastrous circumstances on earth. But our space programs did not grow out of desperation but out of pioneer spirit. No doubt, catastrophe must be factored in, but its not the only driving force. Our first plans for space travel (1950s) were made in a time of economic growth and general optimism. The Star Trek of the 60s showed us a healthy planet earth from which we deploy spaceships to discover new worlds. Why does my opponent attempt to narrow it down? So that he can argue „We will have to leave quickly and soon with a generational craft!“ My opponents assertion that we will engage in interstellar travel because „we have no choice“ (his words) is wrong. We´ve already been space travelling and we have had a choice about it.

    * Next my opponent denies that it is beneficial to study better technology and better propulsion systems so that our space travel does not take thousands of years but only decades. Why does he deny that its beneficial? In order to fit the narrow definition of his narrow side that „generational craft“ are beneficial. Nobody in his right mind will deny that looking at better ways to space travel is beneficial...unless they are desperately trying to win a debate.

    * He then continues with his usual tactic of calling all of my methods fiction – now even including terraforming (which is already well underway btw! Source) – and labelling his „generational ship“ as more feasible and realistic. Double-standards again. This is what our contemporaries have to say about generational ships:

    A generation ship is a hypothetical starship that travels across great distances between stars at a speed much slower than that of light

    So...there you have it. My opponent faults me for using the hypothetical solution of terraforming while offering a hypothetical scenario himself. And, according to this article its not even known if people could survive in a generational ship yet.

    * After that he again pounds on the topic of „the extinction of the human race“. Its time to remind my opponent that the debate topic is not „What space travel means should we use in case of extinction?“

    * He then says that I put all my eggs in one basket: Terraforming of Mars...hoping that the reader might not notice that Ive offered entire lists of proposals.

    * He then continues to point out that after being terraformed, Mars could turn back to an unlivable state (albeit after hundreds of millions of years!). The question we have to ask ourselves is: Is this not true of any planet we might or might not find at Alpha Centauri or whatever extremely distant star we are supposed to be heading towards???? The honest answer is: We dont know. But we DO KNOW something about Mars. Besides: Why should we care what will happen in a hundred million years if we find a home for now? When you move into a house here on earth, do you worry about what will happen to it in a hundred million years??????

    To my opponents claim that habitating mars is completely unrealistic, lets remember that it all starts with one seed: We´ve already sent craft there. Its feasible to build a first small colony there, with a few buildings. I think progressive ATS-readers will just love this website:

    The most silly claim my opponent makes is that terraforming Mars would involve destroying another race of beings. Ridiculous not because I dont believe in the possibility extraterrestrials, ridiculous because Terraforming Projects are carried out in the assumption of transforming barren, uninhabited planets into livable ones, not genocide and destruction. Having discovered Mars to not (or no longer) be inhabited but instead barren, projects of terraforming began.

    Answers to Chisslers Socratic Questions

    1.Do you believe that terraforming another planet is an ethical dilemma?

    Making a barren and uninhabited desert nice, watery and green is ethically sound. A big YES!!!

    2.How do you respond to the fact that it is a possibility, that after terraforming Mars, it would resort back to its current state and deemed inhabitable for the human race.

    According to your source this might be expected within millions to hundreds of millions of years. By the time your generation ships finally arrive somewhere, my people would have to start packing their bags and leaving Mars.
    So I so no problem here.

    3.If we had to leave earth tommorow, would you prefer an interplanetary mission to Mars or a generational ship to Proxima Centauri?

    I would prefer going somewhere a little familiar (Mars) than spending the rest of my lifein a chunky and crowded ship headed for the completely unknown. Your option would be hazardous. Whatever survival skills are to be learned on that ship could also be learned on Mars. But if we indeed have to venture out to other stars, I would prefer faster and more comfortable means. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to drive this point home once more.

    4.If Mars is currently habitated by civilizations that we are unaware of, would you prefer we eradicate this civilization in order to take the planet for our own satisfaction; or look for another planet?

    Of course I wouldnt suggest wiping out another civilization for our own satisfaction. But thats not what is being suggested by the science of terraforming, and you know it.

    One more blow that I saved for this post (I laid the trap, waiting for my opponent to try to debunk Terraforming):


    Also known as the "worldhouse" concept, or domes in smaller versions, paraterraforming involves the construction of a habitable enclosure on a planet which eventually grows to encompass most of the planet's usable area. The enclosure would consist of a transparent roof held one or more kilometers above the surface, pressurized with a breathable atmosphere, and anchored with tension towers and cables at regular intervals. Proponents claim worldhouses can be constructed with technology known since the 1960s.

    Please note that success with paraterraforming or a domed environment has already been achieved with the U.S. Base at the South Pole of the Antarctica.

    Socratic Questions to Chissler

    1. Do you really think that venturing into the possibly hazardous unknown with generational ships for the rest of your life is better than trying to build a new home on nearby and somewhat-familiar Mars?

    2. Do you finally admit that generational ships are also hypothetical?

    Thank you for this debate which I am really enjoying.

    posted on Mar, 5 2008 @ 05:21 PM

    It has been fun!

    Readers, judges, and my astute opponent, the time has come where we are forced to slowly wrap this puppy up. I wish we didn't have to and I wish we could continue to surge forward. But rules and rules and let's begin with a summation of what has transpired over the course of this debate.

    My opponent and I have stood strong throughout this debate. Neither of us have wavered in our stances and for every jab we took, we fired two back. I commend my opponent and I tip my glass in respect. Regardless of the outcome, this was a battle worth fighting.

    Enough of that though, the gloves are still tied tight for one more round.


    My opponent has relied very heavily on backhanded comments, dry wit, and by emphasizing that he is correct and I am wrong. The kicker is though, just because you say it does not make it so. My opponent can sit there all day stating, "I'm right and your wrong!" all day.. and it does not make it so. As a reader and a judge of this debate, please consider how many times my opponent has actually stated "He is wrong!" without actually trying to prove me wrong. It is his opinion to which he is entitled to. But here in the debate forum of, we are held to a higher standard. Asserting that your opponent is wrong, adamantly or not, it will not suffice.

    Another key mistake that my opponent has made is his over emphasis on what I have had to say. While important to refute my statements, it is more important to rely on your own. Here in the debate forum, it is necessary at times to simply run your own race. My opponent has spent the whole debate trying to refute what I have to say and barely presenting anything of his own. Other than terraforming Mars or Paraterraforming, what has he actually provided? My opponent seems to believe that he has set some deadly trap and has possibly won this debate, but has he really? He will say he has, but he has tried to make a lot of bold statements thus far without merit.. so are you going to allow him to skate with this?

    At this point, I would like to provide a list of everything that I have provided thus far as a means of interstellar travel at speeds less than that of light.

  • Generation Ships: opinions aside, we must look at the facts. This is a legitimate means of moving forward with the human race. My opponent has recently attempted to slander this as hypothetical, but he is merely regurgitating what I have said about his own. His response is the equivalence of a schoolyard argument that goes as, "I know you are, but what am I?" I have empirically proven that his assertions are matters of fiction and hypothetical, so with an emphasis on his originality, he has regurgitated the same. See this for what it really is.

  • Suspended Animation: This is another approach that can be a reality if we so chose. It is not an ideal situation, but it would diminish many of the criticisms found on a generation ship.

  • Extended Human Lifespan: a concept that I have provided much material on and have explained indepth how it will operate. Reversing the aging process in our cellular make up could also make a generation ship more ideal, as the number of transitions among generations would be severely diminished. Is this perfect? No, but it does minimize the sacrifice. And as I have stated all along, my honest approach to this issue should be recognized rather than trying to slander facts with ridiculous fiction.

  • Project Longshot: a concept developed by NASA that empirically proves that an interstellar space mission will not take the 72,000 years that my opponent originally introduced. Please note how strong my opponent emphasized this early but quickly ditched all references of it. His gross exaggerations were uncovered and he has apparently chosen to choose another path of fiction. Project Longshot is an unmanned mission, but it is a large first step down a path that will allow for interstellar space missions at speeds less than that of light, that won't take thousands or even hundreds of years.

  • Voyager 1: the first journey into space to prove that interstellar space travel is feasible, that was initiated over thirty years ago. Similar crafts were Pioneer 10, Pioneer 11, New Horizons, and Voyager 2.


    I will not sit here and shed light on how little my opponent has offered in substance, as his case stands on its' own. But I would like to address his shoddy tactics in this debate forum and hope that our readers and judges will hold him accountable.

    In any structured debate, it acts like a court room. Winners and losers are decided strictly on what is said right here and now. If you take the time to look through our debate, you will notice that I have taken the time to summarize my citations, provide personal opinion, and link all references. My opponent has chosen the easy route and simply links a citation and tells you the reader to go elsewhere. That can not stand. I can not provide a link to an article and ask you to go read the article to prove my case. I should be expected to pull the necessary material out of that article and put it in my own words to strengthen my own case. To be respected as a debater, one would expect an individual to adapt these measures. Too often my opponent simply provided a link to some material and never once discussed it. "See this" or "See there" is not strengthening his case. Upon reading this I am sure he will attempt to maneuver with the luxury of having the last words, but these futile attempts should be just that. A little late, in my opinion.

    My opponent has also chosen to provide citations with no links. He cites a self-appointed science fiction writer, but does not give his opponent or his readers the luxury of a link to review the material. My opponent is a respectable member and will always be granted the benefit of the doubt. However, in a structured tournament, I would think that we would look for higher expectations upon its' participants.

    In summation, this isn't a case of what you believe or what you agree with. It is a debate on who presented the better argument. Even if you disagree with what I am saying, I have presented more factual material and have approached my side of the debate with varying approaches and concepts. My opponent has not. He has provided links with no commentary or referenced material without even citing it.

    My opponent's adamant responses that the red pen is blue does not change the fact that the pen is red.

    Socratic Approach

    1. Yes, I honestly do. On a ship we are operating in a controlled environment where we can work towards continuing our race. To operate in an environment that we can not control, too much time will be spent on maintaining our own lives rather than working towards continuing our race. The short-term and long-term success of our race depends on being able to reproduce. In a controlled environment, this ability is guaranteed. On the surface of Mars, you really don't know what is going to happen. So while neither are the route I would want to go (I would much rather stay put) I see leaving in generational ships as the clear cut winner to guarantee the success of our race. A "Noah's Ark" in space if you will.

    2. No, I do not. Are space crafts hypothetical? No. A generational ship is nothing more than a bigger space craft. Could we have one created tomorrow? No. But considering the long-term success of our race, creating a space craft is a lot more realistic than terraforming a whole planet, that will ultimately resort back to it's current state, or relying on your fictional "wormholes" and or "stargates".


    In Conclusion

    I would like to thank the readers, our judges, and most importantly my opponent. Without all of you, none of this would be possible.. or any fun. I have really enjoyed this. Whether you are judging this contest or just reading attentively, I hope you have taken the time to see fact from fiction and acknowledge my opponents approach for what it is. I have refuted what he has presented and he has made no effort to respond. He just moves on to his next point and hopes that I don't nail that concept to the wall.

    And on my final note, I will emphasize one last item.

    My opponents journey here is noteworthy. His opening reply consisted of overt science fiction. Worm holes, star gates, and teleportation were all listed. After my response, none of these were ever mentioned again. His first response was completely lacking in substance of any kind. He really had a tough time finding his footing on this one and just mindlessly rambled on various subject matters, none of which were really applicable to our efforts here. It was at this point I really engaged my opponent and got in his face. I could have wandered along and let the mindless banter continue, but I chose to muddy the waters. I challenged my opponent and he answered the call. He finally offered some substance and began to stand strong. However, a fatal error was that he put all of his effort into the Terraforming of Mars. These facts were refuted and picked apart. In response to this, and in one last ditch effort to have our readers and judges believe he had a case, he presents Paraterraforming. This was too little, too late.

    What has my opponent done to refute my presentation, other than regurgitating the same facts and terms that I have utilized myself? "I'm not presenting fiction, you are!" Is that really enough to win an debate? I truly hope not.

    So one last thank you to all who have read and paid attention to our efforts.

    My opponent and I have duked it out with much emotion, but in conclusion I extend my hand in friendship.

    Thank you

  • posted on Mar, 5 2008 @ 06:34 PM
    Closing Statement

    Im a bit shaken that my opponent has wasted the larger part of his last post with personal attacks rather than countering the points I have meticulously disproven. On the other hand I understand the relief he must feel from having to argue such a narrow point of view. So I´ll forgive and forget and get straight back to topic:

    Have we learned and been convinced that Interstellar travel using slower-than-light craft which carry many generations of passengers would be beneficial and should someday be undertaken" ?

    The answer is clearly No. I have shown you why and I will now list it in summary:

    * Because slower-than-light craft such as generational ships are better suited for INTERPLANETARY travel. Or who thinks its good to enter a formula 1 racetrack with a moped?

    * Because for extreme distances such as other stars, faster, more comfortable and more state-of-the-art craft should be used (Should UFOs actually exist, do you really think they are travelling at speeds of our Voyager?)

    * Because our scientists and governments are already looking into better propulsion(and, as cited, believe these are more worth looking at than antiquated 50s sci-fi stuff). Because modern physics is dealing with light-speed and above-light-speed. Are new dreams are being made at CERN, not in a 1950s movie theater.

    * Because we are already familiar with our neighbour Mars...but we dont know what we can expect from travelling to Alpha Centauri. Humans will always chose the option that is safer. Survival is our basic driving force!

    * Because Terraforming and Paraterraforming are closer and more realistic options than interstellar travel.

    * Because hybernation/sleeping for hundreds of years does not seem like a very enjoyable option.

    * Because most of us would rather spend our life on a planet than in a ship. Judges: Imagine the world were to vote if they should spend their entire life in a ship headed to darkness, in danger of being wiped out by thousands of risk factors (comets, galactic storms, unknown dangers) or to settle and build a society on Mars, what would they elect as more beneficial?

    * Because humans tend to go crazy if they spend too long in closed spaces. Now imagine having to be in a closed space for the rest of your life...thats exactly what my opponent is trying to advertise.

    Now, in closing I would like to say that I really do believe that our debate reflects the debates our world will be having in the future. And it is entirely reasonable to believe that all of the options we´ve looked at are already being looked at by our governments and will be looked at by the public at large. If one thing has become clear throughout this debate its that space travel will indeed continue to take matter how.

    But when weighing enthusiasm and belief with common sense and healthy skepticism I think the judges of this debate will agree that slow-craft is for interplanetary-travel and the eventual colonization of neighbouring planets, and fast-craft for interstellar travel.

    I thank my opponent for a worthy debate and leave it to the judges that they neednt be told by my opponent what is and is not worthy of - nice try chissler
    - but only need read the debate.

    Thanks also to the other tough debaters of this Tournament for inspiration.

    posted on Mar, 9 2008 @ 03:16 AM
    This is absolutely painful to announce, because either way a great debater is leaving the tournament, but Skyfloating has edged out Chissler for the win, and will advance to Round 3.

    This one was almost impossible to judge. Talk about a legendary battle. The defining questions seem to be as follows:

    Do we have time to wait for more advanced technologies to come around (if they ever will), or do we need to get off this rock sooner rather than later?
    Skyfloating should have taken this point more seriously. I was convinced by Chissler that we may have to get off of this planet within the next 50-100 years, and that defeats the fact that warp drive or worm holes might manage to outrun a generation ship on its way.

    Is mars really quicker and easier, and would that address the concerns that drive us to interstellar travel?

    But what about Mars. Skyfloating's tactics on this issue were really good, and Chissler missed a trick there that allowed that point to stand. Antartica isn't a great example since it doesn't have to produce its own atmosphere or shield itself against radiation or many of the other concerns that skyfloating himself raised against generational ships. Alas that was Chissler's argument to make, not mine.

    Mars definately gets around the eco problems that Chissler raised. If Chissler had suggested something more along the lines of Firefly- a human civil war in which one system just wasn't big enough for two sides, that might have been another story.

    Neither side really deserves to lose- both sides have ideas that should be pursued and make points that might prove accurate as history unfolds, yet there can be only one.

    I've got to give it to skyfloating, just by a hair, because the mars alternative does hold at least as much water as a generational ship

    posted on Mar, 9 2008 @ 05:08 AM

    Originally posted by The Vagabond
    I've got to give it to skyfloating, just by a hair, because the mars alternative does hold at least as much water as a generational ship

    Am I wrong in thinking that this debate was decided on what was more plausible in the opinion of the judge(s), or who presented the better argument? I feel that this decision was based on what argument our judge(s) agreed with, as opposed to who truly presented the best argument.

    But alas, I respectfully accept defeat and congratulate my opponent on an effort that was deserving of victory.

    I have lost to one helluva opponent, so this pill is a little easier to swallow.

    Good luck moving forward.

    posted on Mar, 9 2008 @ 08:18 AM
    Sorry about that chissler. Having lost my last four debates, two of which I was absolutely convinced I would and should win, I know the feeling.
    What made it so exciting is that at no point we could really tell who is winning the debate. When I heard I would be debating chissler I thought "Oh no...thats gonna be hard".

    As for my real opinion on the subject, I think all of the above should be pursued. But there does seem to be evidence that if UFOs do exist then they use a hyperspace-like (way beyond lightspeed) propulsion. I didnt have the knowledge of physics to argue that, so I stuck with Mars...which you will admit is closer and more familiar than the next star.

    I look forward to a future revenge debate with you.

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