On 12/26/2011 1:37 PM, John Clark wrote:
On Mon, Dec 26, 2011 at 1:09 PM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net <mailto:meeke...@verizon.net>> wrote


    "I don't think Dyson spheres are possible."


What law of physics do they violate?

Stability.


    "You seem to be hypothesizing an ET who is superhuman."


Good heavens, well of course I'm hypothesizing an ET who is superhuman! Technology has only been on this planet for a few thousand years, imagine is if had been a few billion. What with genetic engineering and smart computers in just a century (probably much less) the most intelligent species on Earth will be superhuman, or there won't be a intelligent species at all.

    "Or more likely he is just too far away"


Interstellar distances are only a problem on a human timescale, and I'm not talking about humans.

    " his species didn't last long enough."


Maybe, but what killed them off?

Pollution, war, depletion of resources, climate change, gamma ray bursts, meteorite impact,... The same things that killed off almost all large species on Earth.


    "It seems doubtful whether our civilization will be able to get past oil 
depletion"


We have the technology right now to build Thorium fission reactors that could give us far more energy than oil ever could.

But do we have the will?

And even if our civilization dies a new one would spring up almost immediately, a few thousand years at most.

It would have a hard time industrializing without coal and oil - which aren't going to be renewed in a few thousand years.


"and global warming."

I'm far from convinced that global warming is even a bad thing, the climate on Earth is always changing. I have no reason to think the exact temperature the Earth is at now is the perfect temperature for human beings.

But there's good reason to think that 3degC hotter would be a very bad thing and I don't think a Venusian runaway can be ruled out.

Brent

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