New Mars Forums

Official discussion forum of The Mars Society and MarsNews.com

You are not logged in.

Announcement

Announcement: We've recently made changes to our user database and have removed inactive and spam users. If you can not login, please re-register.

#1 2019-11-07 18:52:22

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,310

Colonisation denial

I've featured Mars "denialists" before now...not sure about this guy... George Dvorsky.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcXZfXi_MNQ&t=88s

He defines colonisation as groups of individuals living on Mars "for the long term" - self-sustaining and self-perpetuating. Interestingly he doesn't mention procreation. I think colonisation does begin with "long term" living on Mars...but ultimately we do have to crack the problem of off-world procreation (one of the most difficult aspects of Mars colonisation).

He claims humans, as we are presently constituted genetically, cannot live long term on Mars. He doesn't deny "post-humans" (genetically modified versions of our species) could eventually colonise Mars.

I think his position is similar to that of Europeans in the early 1800s who said Europeans could never live in tropical Africa. They had a lot of good arguments on their side...travel to tropical Africa was for most Europeans, no longer genetically selected to live well in tropical regions. But of course lots of Europeans do now live long term in Africa. How come? Because they use medicine: vaccinations and various other medicines that enable them to survive. That for me is the correct analogy.

GD's knowledge of space medicine seems limited.  We have already basically solved the problem of bone and muscle loss in zero G.
It's not going to be a problem on Mars with its 0.38G. Daily exercise regimes on Mars will just be something everyone does, just as on Earth nearly everyone in advanced societies on Earth brush their teeth every day and have a shower or a bath (nearly) every day.

He then starts talking gibberish about downloading "consciousness" into a robot...no scientist has got anywhere close to even defining, explaining and observing consciousness... let alone "downloading" it to a robot, so we can continue to experience our consciousness in a robot!

I wouldn't rule out genetic modification of human beings to allow them to be able to live well on Mars at some future date.

He proposes "virtual colonisation" - using robots to do the colonisation and experience it through VR.  Feel free but it's not colonisation and doesn't provide one of the main reasons why we need to be on Mars - if there is a wipeout catastrophe on Earth e.g. an interstellar object hits it, we - as a species - will still survive. VR experience does not provide that gain.

He is on stronger ground when he addresses Musk's optimistic predictions about hundreds of thousands signing up to become colonists on Mars. He is right to say that not many people have the physical and mental attritibutes that enable them to deal with rocket launches and entry to Mars...it will be a physical and/or wealthy elite who are really going to qualify for the role of colonists.

But the discussion keeps drifting back to VR, AI and so on - yawn.

One of the very good things about Musk is that he clearly understands the dangers of AI (to the human species) and understands that it is our conscious and direct experience that we need to export to Mars, so that we can truly become inhabitants of Mars.

To reiterate: our current state of technology allows us to live safely on Mars with no greater threat to longevity than engaging in sports like mountaineering, football, boxing, sailing and motor racing or deciding to opt for a career in the military (probably far less).  People on Mars are: going to be exposed to far fewer pathogens than on Earth; they will not be tempted into drug experimentation and addiction because the opportunities won't be there; and they will have a tremendous sense of self-worth as pioneers in this huge project that will be remembered for all time.  Whether we can successful procreate on Mars (or in LMO possibly) has not yet been demonstrated. But my feeling is that we can gradually overcome the obstacles to off-world procreation and ensure healthy babies are born. We aren't at that technological level yet, but another 50 years should get us there.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

Offline

#2 2019-11-12 10:27:47

elderflower
Member
Registered: 2016-06-19
Posts: 1,149

Re: Colonisation denial

Considering the power of the sexual urges in fit, healthy humans, I doubt it will take 50 years before some settlers get pregnant!

Offline

#3 2019-11-12 13:35:03

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,310

Re: Colonisation denial

I think the jury is still out on whether mammalian foetuses can develop to full term normally in zero or low  G. Pregnancy might risk abnormal development, until we learn a lot more about what is going on. But yes I am sure if there is a mile high club there will a Mars coupling club before too long, though I don't think anyone's done it on the ISS yet...

https://www.popsci.com/mammal-embryos-c … -in-space/

elderflower wrote:

Considering the power of the sexual urges in fit, healthy humans, I doubt it will take 50 years before some settlers get pregnant!


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

Offline

#4 2019-11-14 06:46:35

elderflower
Member
Registered: 2016-06-19
Posts: 1,149

Re: Colonisation denial

Well there are plenty of mammals living in a weightless environment for their entire lives. They get pregnant and have live young. Whales and Sirenia never get out of the water, unless something goes drastically wrong and then they usually die.
The human foetus develops in an amniotic fluid filled sac like those of all other placental mammals and so are in a weightless environment until birth. A baby which presents in normal orientation at birth has exactly the same development as one that has a breech presentation (upside down), although the breach baby is at greater risk of complications during the process. All this indicates to me that gravity during pregnancy would play a minor role, if any, in determining the foetus' development so that pregnancy on Mars would proceed pretty much as normal.
After babies are born gravity becomes important for further development and animal studies should be carried out at Mars' gravity to determine whether the reduced gravity is truly damaging to infant mammals. Now where did I put that reduced gravity simulating satellite?

Offline

#5 2019-11-14 08:05:27

tahanson43206
Member
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 1,609

Re: Colonisation denial

For elderflower re #4

The force of Earth's gravity is pulling quietly and steadily on every atom going into the "construction" of a foetus, whatever the circumstances of the mother's environment may be.

Your hypothesis, that gravity does NOT play a roll in how living creatures assemble themselves, will be tested.  I'd much prefer that the testing be done before humans take on the first experiment to see what happens.

This topic "Colonisation denial" is as good a place as any for forum contributors to post reports of any experiments which may already have been done to see what happens when plants or small animals are grown from gestation in microgravity. 

(th)

Offline

#6 2019-11-14 17:50:05

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 17,327

Re: Colonisation denial

Not to meantion the cycle for a woman is matching the lunar orbit time...

Online

#7 2019-11-14 18:51:17

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,310

Re: Colonisation denial

There's no real connection with the lunar cycle, so nothing to prevent procreation on Mars from that point of view:

https://helloclue.com/articles/cycle-a- … nstruation

Quite interesting to see that the menstrual cycle varies hugely in mammals - between 4 and 60 days:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menstruation_(mammal)

SpaceNut wrote:

Not to meantion the cycle for a woman is matching the lunar orbit time...


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

Offline

#8 2019-11-15 05:15:57

tahanson43206
Member
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 1,609

Re: Colonisation denial

For Louis re #7

Your assertion about the female menstrual cycle invites the suggestion that you seek out a woman with knowledge on the subject to participate in the forum.

The archive contains posts by the occasional female member, but the Mars settlement undertaking is going to happen with full participation of both sexes.

From my perspective, it is past time for this forum to include female participants.

(th)

Offline

#9 2019-11-15 07:26:49

Terraformer
Member
From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,160
Website

Re: Colonisation denial

elderflower,

Experiments involving pregnant mammals in freefall have already been done - http://curious.astro.cornell.edu/physic … termediate

Huh. I remember the results being a lot worse than that.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

Offline

#10 2019-11-15 12:08:27

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,310

Re: Colonisation denial

I don't know what you're on about. I was quoting articles referencing scientific research.  If you know of scientific research referencing a causal or regulatory connection between lunar orbit and female menstruation, you ought to link to it. I've no dog in this fight, to quote an old saying.

tahanson43206 wrote:

For Louis re #7

Your assertion about the female menstrual cycle invites the suggestion that you seek out a woman with knowledge on the subject to participate in the forum.

The archive contains posts by the occasional female member, but the Mars settlement undertaking is going to happen with full participation of both sexes.

From my perspective, it is past time for this forum to include female participants.

(th)


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

Offline

#11 2019-11-15 14:10:02

tahanson43206
Member
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 1,609

Re: Colonisation denial

For Louis re #10

You just ** think ** you don't have a dog in the fight << grin >>

By posting as you did, you most certainly invite the observation that you are a male commenting upon something that is VERY significant to half the population.

I hope you will follow up by enlisting a knowledgeable female who can rescue you from this (I'm assuming inadvertent) faux pas.

(th)

Offline

#12 2019-11-15 15:49:07

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,310

Re: Colonisation denial

I note you were unable to find any link to scientific research suggesting there is a causal or regulatory link between lunar cycles and menstrual cycles in homo sapiens.

If you think that only men are allowed to comment on male physiology and only women are allowed to comment on female physiology, that's your look-out, not mine. I think you'll find there are plenty of male gynaecologists and plenty of female experts in the male hormone system.


tahanson43206 wrote:

For Louis re #10

You just ** think ** you don't have a dog in the fight << grin >>

By posting as you did, you most certainly invite the observation that you are a male commenting upon something that is VERY significant to half the population.

I hope you will follow up by enlisting a knowledgeable female who can rescue you from this (I'm assuming inadvertent) faux pas.

(th)


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

Offline

#13 2019-11-15 16:40:28

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 17,327

Re: Colonisation denial

The menstral cycle ranges from 21 days to 35 days with the moon orbit taking 28. Since its several days for release to furtilization its pretty close to me. Since we can not remove the moon one will need to wait until we are nowhere near one...

Online

#14 2019-11-15 18:53:02

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,310

Re: Colonisation denial

You haven't explained why humans would be the only species with a menstrual cycle near the lunar cycle in duration (other mammals vary wildly from 4 to 60 days). The statistical average for women is half a day off the lunar cycle, so there isn't even true synchronising in any case. Humans have a tendency to relate lots of think to the lunar cycle - farmers used to be influenced as to when they sowed certain crops because they believed there were causal or regulatory links, but there are not. Lovers feel a connection between their love and the moon. It's just the sort of thing that humans do. We are story-tellers and connectors. We also used to believe thunder was the anger of the gods but no one takes that seriously now.

SpaceNut wrote:

The menstral cycle ranges from 21 days to 35 days with the moon orbit taking 28. Since its several days for release to furtilization its pretty close to me. Since we can not remove the moon one will need to wait until we are nowhere near one...


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

Offline

#15 2019-11-15 19:50:19

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 17,327

Re: Colonisation denial

I thought that he was bowling...oh well... the point in the topic is we do not know how well and to what degree of deformity or not, man will have as we reach for the stars.
So we can be risk adverted or we can go for it and hope for the best....This is the same issue for AG which we have seen there is an issue which must be resolved.

Online

#16 2019-11-15 20:23:59

tahanson43206
Member
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 1,609

Re: Colonisation denial

For SpaceNut re #6

As a reminder, YOU were the one who got Louis started on his extraordinary track << grin >>

Since Louis appears unwilling to enlist a woman to consider the issue you raised, I'd like to invite you to consider how an appropriate person, or set of people, might be brought into the discussion.  While Louis appears (to my eye at least) to have gone off into NeverNeverLand, the issue ought to be of interest to everyone.

My guess (uneducated to be sure) is that there most surely MUST have been evolutionary influences that led to the (roughly monthly) cycle, those influences may have occurred thousands of years ago, and once the pattern was set, perhaps whatever factors were at work may be safely removed.

(th)

Offline

#17 2019-11-16 05:58:52

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,310

Re: Colonisation denial

It's hardly "extraordinary" - if, as SpaceNut seemed to suggest, there was some real regulatory connection between the female menstrual cycle and the lunar cycle, then obviously that would pose huge difficulties for normal procreation.

Thankfully, since there is no such connection, that is not a barrier to successful procreation on Mars.


tahanson43206 wrote:

For SpaceNut re #6

As a reminder, YOU were the one who got Louis started on his extraordinary track << grin >>

Since Louis appears unwilling to enlist a woman to consider the issue you raised, I'd like to invite you to consider how an appropriate person, or set of people, might be brought into the discussion.  While Louis appears (to my eye at least) to have gone off into NeverNeverLand, the issue ought to be of interest to everyone.

My guess (uneducated to be sure) is that there most surely MUST have been evolutionary influences that led to the (roughly monthly) cycle, those influences may have occurred thousands of years ago, and once the pattern was set, perhaps whatever factors were at work may be safely removed.

(th)


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

Offline

#18 2019-11-16 06:19:25

tahanson43206
Member
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 1,609

Re: Colonisation denial

For SpaceNut ....

Louis appears to have no idea why his posting on the female menstrual cycle might be perceived as the height of male arrogance. 

It appears to be up to us to bring women into the discussion.  I live in a large metropolitan area, and could write a letter to the editor of the local paper, inviting a woman with a PhD in Anthropology and a woman with an MD in related fields to take on this topic.

Is there any chance you could do something similar, although the nearest large city may be some way distant?

The optimum way to approach this would be for the forum to compose a communication which would be copied by individual members and published in the local newspaper.

(th)

Offline

#19 2019-11-16 06:38:51

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,310

Re: Colonisation denial

So you're saying a woman cannot be an expert in the male hormonal system, that only the relevant gender can pronounce on such matters? That's absurd and patronising.

Anyway, why would an anthropologist have detailed knowledge about the human hormonal system?  Anthropologists also look at the use of technology within societies - doesn't make them engineers.

Have you been able to find anything from an expert scientist in the field (male or female, I don't care) that contradicts my links?

tahanson43206 wrote:

For SpaceNut ....

Louis appears to have no idea why his posting on the female menstrual cycle might be perceived as the height of male arrogance. 

It appears to be up to us to bring women into the discussion.  I live in a large metropolitan area, and could write a letter to the editor of the local paper, inviting a woman with a PhD in Anthropology and a woman with an MD in related fields to take on this topic.

Is there any chance you could do something similar, although the nearest large city may be some way distant?

The optimum way to approach this would be for the forum to compose a communication which would be copied by individual members and published in the local newspaper.

(th)


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

Offline

#20 2019-11-16 08:45:08

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 17,327

Re: Colonisation denial

Mamals not of the simular genius of man is not going to be a good comparison for whether we can or can not procrate in space or mars. Recent news of man cirulatory system running backwards is a problem for man in this manner.

The human menstrual cycle is 28 days long on average, but it can range from 21 – 35 days alsready stated.
Simular genius:
Great ape menstrual cycles appear to be more regular and generally longer compared with humans.
Orangutans cycles are approximately 29 days, gorillas 30 – 32 days, bonobos 32-35 days and chimpanzees ~37 days, though it can range from 31 – 36.7 days in this species.

Online

#21 2019-11-16 10:08:09

elderflower
Member
Registered: 2016-06-19
Posts: 1,149

Re: Colonisation denial

Terraformer. What I think is missing is an experiment at Mars gravity. It can be done on a rotating satellite convenient to Earth. I think that would be better than waiting until we are 4 or 5 months away from home before we test such critical questions. If foetal/infant development doesn't work at 0.38 g in primates any Mars colony gets much more difficult.

Offline

#22 2019-11-16 11:53:23

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,310

Re: Colonisation denial

Quite! NASA's had 50 years to get around to it...the fact they haven't shows you they have never been serious about putting humans on Mars.

elderflower wrote:

Terraformer. What I think is missing is an experiment at Mars gravity. It can be done on a rotating satellite convenient to Earth. I think that would be better than waiting until we are 4 or 5 months away from home before we test such critical questions. If foetal/infant development doesn't work at 0.38 g in primates any Mars colony gets much more difficult.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

Offline

Board footer

Powered by FluxBB