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Posted by Harvey on July 7, 2003 19:08:59 UTC

Aurino,

. I have told you a very simple fact, which is that our current science does not know how to make objects travel fast enough to get anywhere in space beyond our solar system.

That's my point: current science. I'm not talking about current science, I'm talking about the possibility that physics will continue to advance far beyond where it is today. In such a possible future, the ability to travel near luminal or superluminal speeds (or jumps) cannot be rejected as impossible.

There are all sorts of issues, relativity being just one of them. For instance, even if speed were not a problem, it still takes two centuries for a roundtrip to the planet you mentioned. Warp drives, wormholes, and other speculative notions do not in any way solve the problem that the length of the trip is not shortened for the people who stay on earth.

I don't think that is necessarily a fact Aurino. The concept of warping space or 'jumping' space from one place to another (or making millions of mini-jumps) might prevent the kind of earth aging as you suggest. Again, why do we need to guess where science cannot take us and label it as fact? The future is difficult to predict with any degree of accuracy, especially future science.

Now why in the world would anyone spend money on a project whose outcome not even their great-grandchildren would be able to witness?

Well, it may indeed come to that - I don't know. But, I see no reason to insisting on restrictions to distant space travel that may eventually be settled with technology.

You, as far as I can tell, see science as a source of inspiration, as some sort of divine knowledge which allows you to dream of things you will never achieve in your lifetime, but would like to.

I don't think too much of the distant future. Some, but not a lot. I think it's a coin toss on whether we'll be more advanced in 2525 or far regressed from the aftermath of nuclear wars and/or the release of other WMDs. I simply do not want to say what can and cannot be done, especially since our current physics is so inadequate with key issues of the problem (e.g., quantum gravity is an unsolved issue, superluminal technology possibilities are just now starting to opening up, etc).

I have nothing against dreaming, so I'll try not to stand in your way anymore. I have dreams myself, but they are quite down to earth

That's fine, just don't take your current circumstances here on earth and decide the limits of science based on them.

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