Humanity’s “moral obligation” to Seed The Universe With Life According to Some Douchey Scientiest
It is inevitable that at some point, all life on earth will perish. I’m not talking about humanity’s near inevitable path of self destruction, but the more Doctor Who end of time scenario. No, not the one where crazy time lords replicate themselves and take over the earth, but the one where the helium builds up in the Sun’s core, and hydrogen fusion will move to higher levels in the Sun. This will more strongly heat the outer layers of the Sun causing them to expand. The Sun will eventually expand to swallow Earth and possibly even Mars. At the same time the core will contract raising the temperature until helium fuses to produce Carbon. The Helium will be burned up fairly quickly. Once it is gone, the core will begin to collapse down to a white dwarf and the outer layers will relatively quietly separate from the core and move outward to form a planetary nebula. In other words: total earth destruction.
However, Michael Mautner, a research Professor of Chemistry at Virginia Commonwealth University who thinks morality and science mix, has postulated that it is not only possible, but a human moral imperative to make sure that organic life spreads to the rest of the universe.
“We have a moral obligation to plan for the propagation of life, and even the transfer of human life to other solar systems which can be transformed via microbial activity, thereby preparing these worlds to develop and sustain complex life,” Mautner explained to PhysOrg.com. “Securing that future for life can give our human existence a cosmic purpose.”
It’s manifest destiny baby! In SPACE! And as with all “moral” arguments, there couldn’t possibly be an argument against it right? Oh wait, I think the mac-daddy of all hypothetical space travel, Gene Roddenberry might disagree. In Star Trek the Prime Directive (based on the real life concept of Westphalian sovereignty) stated that humanity should never interfere with developing life or civilizations.
What if we catapulted plants and bacteria into space, only to wipe out the natural existing life on a planet outside of our solar system? Intergalactic small pox, anyone?
~ by K. Ritcheson on February 11, 2010.