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RE: starship-design: RE: Bugs again

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Kyle R. Mcallister [SMTP:stk@sunherald.infi.net]
> Sent:	Wednesday, October 14, 1998 11:27 PM
> To:	starship-design@lists.uoregon.edu
> Subject:	Re: starship-design: RE: Bugs again
>>L. Parker wrote:
> >> 
> >> Chris,
> >> 
> >> Let us hope the whole galaxy doesn't subscribe to the survival of the
> >> fittest philosophy, we may just run into another intelligent species
> which
> >> is more fit...

I would make it a fairly safe bet that the rest of the galaxy DOES subscribe
to the rule of survival of the fittest, otherwise they wouldn't have evolved
to the point where they can travel between the stars. OK, so we don't know
what alien life is like, but I'm pretty sure that it has to fight to survive
and adapt in whatever environment it lives in - just like we do. Seems
likely to be a universal constant.

>Think about this the next time you step on an ant colony that has done
>nothing to you. Picture yourself as the big type III civilization, and
>they as humans. Now on the other hand, if the ants come into your house
>and/or bite you, by all means get the raid ;)
>Lets hope that most alien civilizations would be more willing to look at
>us from a distance, rather than interfere with us in a particularly
>nasty way.
>Kyle R. Mcallister

Let us hope by all means, but please let us not count on it. As Zenon said
"better work hard to become more fit." In my mind that includes colonising
other planets so as not to put all our egss in one basket (the Earth).

To go back to the earlier point about not inadvertantly dooming other life
when we breath out our bacteria, I think that's reasonable if we can avoid
doing so:

(a) by just landing on dead planets, or using the spacestation-like habitats
that Timothy van der Linden proposed, and

(b) if we have the luxury of picking and choosing such planets.

However, what if we need to get off Earth in a hurry (pick a disaster - I'm
sure you've seen the films ;-) )? I think then that if the only planet we
could reasonably get to just had rudimentary life on it, we wouldn't care
about killing that off (inadvertantly or not) to save the human race. Hence
my "survival of the fittest" response.

Chris Walker