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"Biological Intelligence is a Fleeting Phase in the Evolution of the Universe"

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  • derhexer@aol.com
    URL to an article in The Daily Galaxy _http://tinyurl.com/a8fuj3o_ (http://tinyurl.com/a8fuj3o) Could be an answer to the Fermi Paradox ( Where are they? ).
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 4, 2012
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      URL to an article in The Daily Galaxy
      _http://tinyurl.com/a8fuj3o_ (http://tinyurl.com/a8fuj3o)

      Could be an answer to the Fermi Paradox ("Where are they?"). Aliens have
      morphed into immortal machines that have no need to get involved with messy
      biological life.


      The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some great ideas!

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • derhexerus
      Speculation from The Daily Galaxy. This is not a few theme in science fiction. My old copy of Simak s Cosmic Engineers about long-living robot civilization
      Message 2 of 2 , Feb 11, 2013
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        Speculation from The Daily Galaxy.

        This is not a few theme in science fiction. My old copy of Simak's Cosmic
        Engineers about long-living robot civilization was from a short story in

        What is the earliest story you know of that has robots exploring the stars?


        (Madness takes its toll. Please have exact change)

        From: vlandi@...
        To: derhexer@...
        Sent: 2/10/2013 6:18:28 P.M. Eastern Standard Time
        Subj: The Daily Galaxy: News from Planet Earth & Beyond

        _The Daily Galaxy: News from Planet Earth & Beyond_


        _"Biological Intelligence is a Fleeting Phase in the Evolution of the
        Universe" (Weekend Feature)_
        Posted: 10 Feb 2013 09:25 AM PST

        The species that you and all other living human beings on this planet
        belong to is Homo sapiens. During a time of dramatic climate change 200,000
        years ago,Homo sapiens (modern humans) evolved in Africa. Is the human species
        entering another evolutionary inflection point?

        Paul Davies, a British-born theoretical physicist, cosmologist,
        astrobiologist and Director of the Beyond Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science
        and Co-Director of the Cosmology Initiative at _Arizona State University_
        3.4211111111,-111.931666667 (Arizona%20State%20University)&t=h) , says in
        his new book The Eerie Silence that any aliens exploring the universe will
        be AI-empowered machines. Not only are machines better able to endure
        extended exposure to the conditions of space, but they have the potential to
        develop intelligence far beyond the capacity of the human brain.
        "I think it very likely – in fact inevitable – that biological
        intelligence is only a transitory phenomenon, a fleeting phase in the evolution of
        the universe," Davies writes. "If we ever encounter extraterrestrial
        intelligence, I believe it is overwhelmingly likely to be post-biological in
        Before the year 2020, scientists are expected to launch intelligent space
        robots that will venture out to explore the universe for us.

        "Robotic exploration probably will always be the trail blazer for human
        exploration of far space," says Wolfgang Fink, physicist and researcher at
        Caltech. "We haven't yet landed a human being on Mars but we have a robot
        there now. In that sense, it's much easier to send a robotic explorer. When
        you can take the human out of the loop, that is becoming very exciting."

        As the growing global population continues to increase the burden on the
        Earth’s natural resources, senior curator at the _Smithsonian National Air
        and Space Museum_
        (http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=38.888333,-77.02&spn=0.01,0.01&q=38.888333,-77.02 (National%20Air%20and%20Space%20Museum)&t=h) , Roger
        Launius, thinks that we'll have to alter human biology to prepare to
        colonize space.

        In the September issue of Endeavour, Launius takes a look at the
        historical debate surrounding human colonization of the solar system. Experiments
        have shown that certain life forms can survive in space. Recently, British
        scientists found that bacteria living on rocks taken from Britain's Beer
        village were able to survive 553 days in space, on the exterior of the
        _International Space Station (ISS)_
        (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Space_Station) . The microbes returned to Earth alive, proving they could
        withstand the harsh environment.

        Humans, on the other hand, are unable to survive beyond about a minute and
        a half in space without significant technological assistance. Other than
        some quick trips to the moon and the ISS, astronauts haven’t spent too much
        time too far away from Earth. Scientists don’t know enough yet about the
        dangers of long-distance space travel on human biological systems. A one-way
        trip to Mars, for example, would take approximately six months. That means
        astronauts will be in deep space for more than a year with potentially
        life-threatening consequences.

        Launius, who calls himself a cyborg for using medical equipment to enhance
        his own life, says the difficult question is knowing where to draw the
        line in transforming human biological systems to adapt to space. Credit:
        NASA/Brittany Green

        “If it's about exploration, we're doing that very effectively with robots,”
        Launius said. “If it's about humans going somewhere, then I think the
        only purpose for it is to get off this planet and become a multi-planetary

        _Stephen Hawking_ (http://www.hawking.org.uk/) agrees: "I believe that
        the long-term future of the human race must be in space," Hawking told the
        Big Think website in August. "It will be difficult enough to avoid disaster
        on planet Earth in the next hundred years, let alone the next thousand, or
        million. The human race shouldn't have all its eggs in one basket, or on one

        If humans are to colonize other planets, Launius said it could well
        require the "next state of human evolution" to create a separate human presence
        where families will live and die on that planet. In other words, it wouldn't
        really be _Homo sapien sapiens_ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human) that
        would be living in the colonies, it could be cyborgs—a living organism with
        a mixture of organic and electromechanical parts—or in simpler terms, part
        human, part machine.

        "There are cyborgs walking about us," Launius said. "There are individuals
        who have been technologically enhanced with things such as pacemakers and
        cochlea ear implants that allow those people to have fuller lives. I would
        not be alive without technological advances."

        The possibility of using cyborgs for space travel has been the subject of
        research for at least half a century. A seminal article published in 1960
        by _Manfred Clynes_ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manfred_Clynes) and
        _Nathan Kline_ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nathan_S._Kline) titled “_Cyborgs_
        (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyborg) and Space” changed the debate, saying
        that there was a better alternative to recreating the Earth’s environment
        in space, the predominant thinking during that time. The two scientists
        compared that approach to “a fish taking a small quantity of water along with
        him to live on land.” They felt that humans should be willing to partially
        adapt to the environment to which they would be traveling.

        “Altering man’s bodily functions to meet the requirements of
        extraterrestrial environments would be more logical than providing an earthly
        environment for him in space,” Clynes and Kline wrote.

        “It does raise profound ethical, moral and perhaps even religious
        questions that haven't been seriously addressed,” Launius said. “We have a ways to
        go before that happens.”

        Some experts such as medical ethicist Grant Gillett believe that the
        danger is that we might end up producing a psychopath because we don't quite
        understand the nature of cyborgs.

        NASA, writes Lauris, still isn’t focusing much research on how to improve
        human biological systems for space exploration. Instead, its Human Research
        Program is focused on risk reduction: risks of fatigue, inadequate
        nutrition, health problems and radiation. While financial and ethical concerns may
        have held back cyborg research, Launius believes that society may have to
        engage in the cyborg debate again when space programs get closer to
        launching long-term deep space exploration missions.

        “If our objective is to become space-faring people, it's probably going to
        force you to reconsider how to reengineer humans,’ Launius said.

        The Daily Galaxy via via _astrobio.net_ (http://www.astrobio.net/)
        Image Credits:
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