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RE: starship-design: Infrastructure in space [was: FTL travel...]

L. Parker writes:
 > > 	Is not oil made by compression of large amounts of
 > > organic matter?
 > Well, scientists used to believe so, but recently it has been discovered
 > through spectroscopic analysis that chemical compounds remarkably similar to
 > good old crude abound in space. While it may still be true that oil on Earth
 > originated by compressing organic matter, there is now some speculation that
 > perhaps some of it was simply trapped here during planetary formation or
 > something.
 > I should think it would be relatively easy to prove through carbon dating,
 > but I haven't seen anything on it recently.

I doubt carbon dating could prove that since it isn't effective past
something like a few tens of thousands of years, so it couldn't
distinguish oil formed from organic matter deposited a few hundred
million years ago from oil baked out of the Earth's core from stuff
deposited a few billion years ago.