“On Earth it’s done, colonizing space will save humanity!”

When some advocate abandoning capitalism to save humanity, others praise the conquest of space. A headlong chase that is anything but realistic.

Will the conquest of space save humanity or capitalism? Drawing: the solar system, by Daniel Felipe, OpenClipArt.

First letter AHave you ever discussed with someone who believes that the future of humanity is through stationing on an exoplanet? Me yes, and it scared me! There are people who actually believe that space exploration is the solution to the climate crisis. The person in question was a student of the École Normale Supérieure, he explained to me that as “on Earth, it’s screwed up”, you must consider leaving to ensure the survival of humanity. So said the late brilliant scientist Stephen Hawking.

We see more and more seemingly rational people talking about colonizing Mars. But the Red Planet, although its atmosphere contains traces of steam and there is ice on or below its surface, remains a large dry and icy rock where liquid water cannot exist.

A 40 YEAR INTERSTELLAR JOURNEY

The conquest of space 4.0, beyond our solar system, was the theme of a multi-part program recently broadcast on Arte: The Interstellar Odyssey. We see starry-eyed passionate scientists describing all the enormous challenges to be faced in sending a spacecraft to an exoplanet, but they are quite realistic and do not evoke a manned journey.

The nearest apparently habitable exoplanet is Proxima Centauri b, located at a distance of about four light years. So if, after a phase of progressive acceleration of one year, we reached 1/10 the speed of light, we would reach the exoplanet in forty years. It is clear that at this speed it would be fatal to cross the path of the smallest stone, or else the ship must be of a sturdiness still unknown today. There are plenty of other unique technical challenges to solve, not the least of which is having to routinely dominate nuclear fusion, the only way to save the ship from having to load tons of fuel needed for the ship’s power.

Conquest of space, Proxima Centauri f
Artist’s impression of Proxima Centauri b, in the background Proxima Centauri. Wikipedia.

So it’s far from dream to reality! And we realize that when we hear about the latest project from the most holy NASA, a manned return trip to the Moon in 2024-25. And it kind of goes back fifty years, at least symbolically. The British newspaper The Guardian has just released the restored images of the moon journeys in the 1970s.

Noting that science and technology are advancing by leaps and bounds in all fields is one thing, claiming that we will one day be able to go beyond the limits imposed on us by physical science itself is another. In this regard, we must be wary of inductive reasoning. Unlike deductive reasoning, which is based on known premises and must provide proof at each step, inductive reasoning proceeds analogically from observations to derive conclusions about future things.

BELIEVE IN PEOPLE

For example, it means to say that since during the last two hundred years mankind has made significant scientific and technical progress, achieved things that were unthinkable in the past, it will be the same in the future. Two hundred years from now, we can hope that we will have been able to meet challenges that we can hardly imagine today.

But this kind of inductive reasoning does not really belong to the field of science, but rather to the will of dreams and omnipotence. Would it not be a kind of faith in man, in his science and his techniques? It would not be so embarrassing if it did not in practice consist of a headless rush that does not want to recognize its limits, and in the refusal to see the consequences of this desire for the omnipotence of humanity (well, no all humanity, especiallygay consumer western).

FANTASY

Also, have you noticed that the same applies to the conquest of space as it does to the fight against aging? Here we move forward a little in space, we identify some aging factors that we think we can fight and jump against, we already imagine ourselves immortal and on an exoplanet!

So yes to science, but let’s resist the infantile will of all power, it is science that is destroying our environment.

> Read also: Nemo point or the dark side of space conquest


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