The Instigator
Smikes
Pro (for)
Winning
5 Points
The Contender
AbandonedSpring
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Our Future Is NOT In Space

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Smikes
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/19/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 603 times Debate No: 63540
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (1)

 

Smikes

Pro

Many progressives seem to cling to this belief that we will certainly - beyond a shadow of a doubt - colonize other planets in the future. And by "colonize," I specifically mean establishing self-sustaining colonies of *people* on other planets (or moons, for that matter). But personally, I have a hard time believing it. Here's why I'm so skeptical...

1.) Building a life-sustaining base on Mars is practically impossible.

Forget flying to the moon. That was a piece of cake! Try building a *base* on the moon. As far as engineering projects go, this project is several magnitudes greater in difficulty than merely flying to the moon.

Why am I so confident that we'll fail? Because every time we've tried doing it on Earth, we've failed miserably. See for yourself. Watch it and weep for the future of humanity: http://www.ted.com...

But wait, haven't we made progress since Biosphere 2? Isn't SpaceX working on a new Martian base for their Mars One mission that's going to enable colonists to live there? Haha! Think again. Experts from MIT say that the SpaceX base would kill all the colonists in less than 68 days: http://time.com...

2.) Some really, really weird stuff happens in space.

We don't understand outer space very well. We didn't evolve in outer space (as far as we know), and we certainly aren't adapted for outer space. Rules that we take for granted down here on the Earth don't apply in space. For example, everything that goes up into space with the astronauts needs to be specially designed to accommodate the fact that there is no gravity, and contrary to the layman's intuition, there is no sound in space. Additionally, due to the absence of gravity, astronauts need to constantly exercise in order to maintain their musculature.

Despite constantly training their muscles, however, it appears that astronauts' hearts are still prone to shrinking and withering into spherical little balls: http://io9.com...

Even as of just this past year, we're still discovering new ways that extended periods of time in space mess with the human body in unexpected ways. Now, apparently, we're learning that it might be ruining astronauts' immune systems: http://www.space.com...;

And I can't seem to find it, but I thought it might be worth mentioning anyhow that, a few years ago, I remember reading in the news that it was recently discovered that male astronauts' brains - but not female astronauts' brains - show shrinkage in a particular area. I thought that was pretty strange. Sorry I can't find it though.

Importantly, notice that we're now trying to send ordinary citizens to colonize other planets. Perhaps a hyperhealthy astronaut is able to train and prepare for these physiological conditions aboard a space shuttle, but what about the average person? Would they even survive the flight to Mars?

3.) Climate change or a nuclear event will kill us all before we get there.

We may be tempted to fantasize that space colonization is our Plan B that's going to ensure humanity survives any sort of catastrophic event on Earth. But really, it's the other way around: We're working against the clock.

I'm not particularly well educated on the subject of climate change and would prefer not to go too far down that tangent, but all I know is that the climate scientists have never seemed to be particularly optimistic to me. But even if you aren't willing to grant the threat of climate change, then just consider how easy it is to sneak a nuclear warhead into the United States: You would just need to hide it in a bale of marijuana.

Oh wait a minute, you wouldn't need to sneak one in after all. You could easily just steal one of our own... assuming we don't accidentally detonate it ourselves: http://youtu.be...

And in case you're still skeptical of the forecoming nuclear apocalypse, here's a nuclear terrorism expert who has had access to classified information and who has dedicated an ungodly amount of time to thinking about this problem. And yet his only message for the lay public is get ready for it:
http://www.ted.com...

Yeah, we're basically all going to die. And Earth is destined to be our burial ground.
AbandonedSpring

Con

As Pro, all I have to prove is that our future is in space.

I will start of by defining future: "time that is to be or come hereafter."

This applies to the situation because it shows that the world as a whole has made many advancements in technology, and for the most part, the majority of the world is at least interested in space.

Ever since the "space race" the world has been in a scramble to see things that we can't see without visiting a place in space. Our future is in space because of the things we can learn from space.
We seem to take for granted all the things we have been given because of our thirst for knowledge of space. As we have dreamed to achieve all of the mysteries of space, we now have CAT scans, something that is vital to us as a people. NASA also perfected water purification. Making water cleaner for everyone. The things we have learned from space shows us that yes, our future is in space.

Thank you, I now stand ready for rebuttals.
Debate Round No. 1
Smikes

Pro

I assume you read my opening thesis argument. To reiterate: We are debating whether humanity will successfully colonize other planets/moons with human citizens and establish self-sustaining bases there.

We have indeed learned many things from space, and many of us are, indeed, enamored with space. But do we really possess the collective motivation and resources necessary to get us there and to keep us there?

You briefly mentioned NASA and alluded to all the great work they've done for us. But the truth is, the United States is no longer invested in NASA. NASA consistently received about 1% of the federal budget during the space race in the 60's. Nowadays, they don't even reach half a percentage. We're talking thousands of millions of dollars less funding. The NIH and NSF budgets for scientific research are following a similar trend. The US hardly cares about science anymore, let alone space.

Space was the dream of the 60's. But the 60's are gone, man.
AbandonedSpring

Con

I am not going to jump straight into rebuttals, seeing as to how you know my entire argument, inside and out.

"I assume you read my opening thesis argument. To reiterate: We are debating whether humanity will successfully colonize other planets/moons with human citizens and establish self-sustaining bases there."

I did read your thesis, but at the end of the day, all a thesis is is an opinion. In this case, an opinion of the topic, which is "Our Future Is NOT In Space", in which I supplied clear reasons why our future IS in space.

"We have indeed learned many things from space, and many of us are, indeed, enamored with space. But do we really possess the collective motivation and resources necessary to get us there and to keep us there?"

Yes, NASA put us there, and yes, NASA is keeping us there. I say 'keeping' because NASA still has technology of ours still in space.

"You briefly mentioned NASA and alluded to all the great work they've done for us. But the truth is, the United States is no longer invested in NASA. NASA consistently received about 1% of the federal budget during the space race in the 60's. Nowadays, they don't even reach half a percentage. We're talking thousands of millions of dollars less funding. The NIH and NSF budgets for scientific research are following a similar trend. The US hardly cares about science anymore, let alone space."

Federal funding is great, but so are donations from the public. You better believe if it comes down to another cold war, then funding and donations would kick back up.

Ultimately, this topic is ridiculous, seeing as to how our future has been in space for some years not, and will continue to stay that way for many more to come.

Thanks you, I have finished speaking.
Debate Round No. 2
Smikes

Pro

Thus far, your argument has failed to distinguish between exploration and colonization. My thesis deals specifically with the latter.

I'm not denying that we've sent people into space, and I'm certainly not disputing that we still have technology in space. In my original argument, I made the distinction between merely flying to the moon and actually building a colonizable base on the moon. I rambled on about this for a few lines there haha. I'm sure you remember this.

And what about people who are still in space? The mere fact that we are able to keep astronauts alive on the ISS for short periods at a time is hardly evidence that we're prepared to settle entire communities of people on Martian bases for the remaining duration of their lives.

You said, "I am not going to jump straight into rebuttals, seeing as to how you know my entire argument, inside and out."

-_- Well that's decidedly convenient. So if I understand correctly, you are going to offer rebuttals to my original argument but only after I've depleted my allotted 3 rounds? I also have literally no idea why you said, "seeing as to how you know my entire argument, inside and out." What's that supposed to mean? Did I offend you?

In conclusion...
A debate thesis may just be an opinion, but some opinions are better justified than others. We do, in fact, have available data from which to form an educated opinion on this issue. And when it comes to colonizing other planets, the data doesn't look so great. We now know, for example, that even if building a extraterrestrial base is theoretically possible, the path to getting there is hardly straightforward. The successful completion of such a project is not merely a matter of time and money. We've learned from Biosphere 2 that it requires years of cross-talk between a wide array of disciplines in the engineering and physical sciences just to solve a simple problem like oxygen containment. Moreover, suprising new challenges seem to pop-up every time an astronaut returns from space. First their muscles fail, then their immune systems fail... what next? Space can be highly unpredictable. Once we think we've figured it out, our scientists and engineers are suddenly overwhelmed with a surprising new challenge. And, of course, what about the problem of time? The truth is, we don't have nearly as much time as we'd like. Climate change and nuclear terrorism are imminent threats to the survival of humanity, and there's no reason to believe we can colonize other planets before these threats become a reality.

At the very least, surely everyone can agree on this: We must, as our first and foremost priority, care for this delicate planet and civilization that we have here on Earth. For all we know, Earth may be all we'll ever have. So let's face the challenges and difficulties we have here, and let's not hedge all our bets on sci-fi fantasies when the problems here at home are ever mounting.

Thank you, and thank you AbandonedSpring for taking the time to debate this with me. I hope we will be able to debate on better terms next time :)
AbandonedSpring

Con

"I'm not denying that we've sent people into space, and I'm certainly not disputing that we still have technology in space. In my original argument, I made the distinction between merely flying to the moon and actually building a colonizable base on the moon. I rambled on about this for a few lines there haha. I'm sure you remember this."

This is where the cookie crumbles. By stating that we have had success in space, you prove that I am right in stating that, "Our Future IS In Space", merely because space has already taken us to the future. Several times over.

"And what about people who are still in space? The mere fact that we are able to keep astronauts alive on the ISS for short periods at a time is hardly evidence that we're prepared to settle entire communities of people on Martian bases for the remaining duration of their lives."

This argument is good and well, however it does not pertain to the topic. Us staying in space doesn't matter. All I have to do is prove that space is the future, and I have done this.

"Well that's decidedly convenient. So if I understand correctly, you are going to offer rebuttals to my original argument but only after I've depleted my allotted 3 rounds? I also have literally no idea why you said, "seeing as to how you know my entire argument, inside and out." What's that supposed to mean? Did I offend you?"

This threw me off, but after rereading it several times, I think I got it.

Of course, I spent one round explaining my ideas. Theres no reason to spend another 4,000 characters on re explaining my argument, when i have already covered every angle of it.

"A debate thesis may just be an opinion, but some opinions are better justified than others."

I agree completely! But the only opinions that are better justified, are the ones justified at all! I do not believe that gibberish that does not pertain to the topic counts as "justification".

"We've learned from Biosphere 2 that it requires years of cross-talk between a wide array of disciplines in the engineering and physical sciences just to solve a simple problem like oxygen containment."

Again, I claim irrelevancy.

"Thank you, and thank you AbandonedSpring for taking the time to debate this with me. I hope we will be able to debate on better terms next time :)"

of course! and I hope to debate again.

I will end by reaffirming my I am correct.

The topic is, "our future is NOT in space", a topic which I have proven with just a few of the technologies we have received from space. The amount of things we have learned about physics from space is incredible, and has launched us into the future.

Thank you, I am finished.
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Smikes 2 years ago
Smikes
Nothing in my argument challenges the easily agreeable fact that space exploration and colonization is worthwhile. My argument is simply that it isn't going to happen.
Posted by Atmas 2 years ago
Atmas
Also, just because something is hard to do, doesn't mean it isn't worth doing. America probably won't be the source of future explorations, but eventually it will be easier for us to go into space and stay there. Colonizing mars isn't really a colony so much as an experiment, I want to go on a one way trip just to be there. Being on a different planet would be amazing, and as far as food, we just need to improve upon 3D Printing food. Or altar our genetic code to somehow produce more of the necessary life sustaining chemicals so that we don't have to eat so much. I don't think we will truly be leaving earth as a whole colony until we have a realistic destination, such as a second earth, or a man-made space planet. See how awesome that stuff is? Most of the reasons we are even in space (as robots) is literally just to see what's really there. Not everything we do has much corporeal gain involved, sometimes it's just to increase our knowledge and do something freakin awesome.
Posted by Lukas8 2 years ago
Lukas8
As a liberal progressive I can say that: we have to colonise space. The conservative thinking is wrong because the technology is just evolving, we need to discover, but if we do nothing than we cant expect much. About finishing the man via the enviromental disaser, will not happen if we would care more for nature and try to regulate disasters with green technology. But staying on earth is too dangerous.
Posted by Atmas 2 years ago
Atmas
Ah, my mistake. Those points are far more valid :D
I think my only response would be, we have to try or risk extinction.
Posted by Smikes 2 years ago
Smikes
I don't believe you read my argument all the way through, Atmas. My point isn't that colonization is theoretically impossible. My point is that A.) the path to colonization is a winding, arduous path, not the straight path of more-time-and-money and B.) we're working against the clock, with little reason to believe that we can beat the clock.
Posted by Atmas 2 years ago
Atmas
All of Pro's assertions are based on current technology. We "progressives" know that it will take many more years before we are ready to truly colonize other places. Likely, humanity will remain in their own spaceships for a majority of the time before we manage to get to a colonizable planet. The Earth is doomed, so we must escape, otherwise if it's impossible, then let's not waste any time in ending our suffering.
Posted by Atmas 2 years ago
Atmas
All of Pro's assertions are based on current technology. We "progressives" know that it will take many more years before we are ready to truly colonize other places. Likely, humanity will remain in their own spaceships for a majority of the time before we manage to get to a colonizable planet. The Earth is doomed, so we must escape, otherwise if it's impossible, then let's not waste any time in ending our suffering.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by republicofdhar 2 years ago
republicofdhar
SmikesAbandonedSpringTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: I'm rather impressed by Pro. (S)he had the harder job here: proving that humans can never colonise other planets, not just now, but in the future as well. In my view, s(he) made several arguments that supported the contention, none of which were satisfactorily rebutted.