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Re: starship-design: Numbers needed for Colonization
Bjorn Nilsson wrote:
> On Wed, 29 Apr 1998, Christoph Kulmann wrote:
> > Hi Bjorn,
> > >Actually I disagree with this... It's probably MUCH more easy to adapt
> > the
> > >colonists than the planet if the changes are small. For exsample with
> > >Vaccines, imunization or other "artificial" bio-medical solutions then
> > to
> > >try to change the whole microbiological Eco-system of the planet. This
> > may
> > >of course also have large social/moral/ethical concerns as well as
> > >practical problems. (For one thing, it might be inposible for "Earth"
> > >humans and "colony" humans to interact personally w/o risk of plagues.)
> > >
> First, I'm NOT a biologist so this is in kind of "laymans" terms...
> > ==> As a biologist, it seems rather strange to me how many people think
> > of colonizing a terran world with it's own biosphere. In my opinion one
> > of two things will happen:
> > 1. The alien ecosphere and the genetic/biochemical composition of it's
> > species is closely similar to ours; this is the worst case, for it means
> > that the colonists will encounter millions of microorganisms and other
> > small creatures AGAINST wich they don't have any resistancy, but FOR
> > wich they are the most ideal place to start their own colony...
> > Look at Africa for similar scenarios and remember HOW LONG it might take
> > to develope a vaccine even against a virus known in as much detail as
> > HIV.
> 1) assuming how FAST medical/biochemical reserch is going at the moment
> (IMO), I do not think that it'll be imposible somehow "give" the colonists
> some kind of resistency. There are many (Hypothetical) ways to do this,
> for example it might be posible to introduce "local" genes concerning
> Imuno systems trough genetic engineering... I'm sure there are LOTs of
> others as well... Even so, there probably WILL be setbacks and thoughout
> it's history diseases propably WILL be a large threat to the colony, BUT i
> personnaly think that the advantadges of using a "terran" world are worth
> the risks!
Bjorn and Christoph,
In this "worst case" scenario, terraforming the horribly biohazardous
planet could be accomplished through the use of orbital bombardment,
chemical, and finally biological warfare against the native ecosystem.
First, drop several 20km asteriods onto the planet over a short period.
Simultaneously alter the climate with lasers and orbital mirrors. This
alone should be enough to cause mass extinction. Next, drop as much
poison as you can into the air and waters. Finally, introduce microbes,
fungi, plankton, etc. which are engineered to destroy the last remnants
of the native lifeforms. While the result won't be _completely_
earthlike, the result should be much easier to manage. If we really
don't like the result we could simply repeat the
P.S. Personally, I am nauseated by the above proposal.