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Space Historian Sees Cyborgs in Our Future
Space.com ^ | 15 February 2007 | Leonard David

Posted on 02/15/2007 7:41:09 AM PST by jmcenanly

Albuquerque, N.M. – Fifty years after the dawn of the space age, hundreds of people have flown into space. A dozen of those left their boot marks on the Moon’s surface, and several nations now are planning to send astronauts back to the Moon and then beyond. So you would think the expansion of humanity ever deeper into the Cosmos is a sure bet.

But the notion that human explorers are destined to become an interstellar species is far from a sure thing as far as Roger Launius is concerned.

More likely, humans, and the machines they use to explore space, are going to evolve together in ways that are hard to predict at this early stage in the opening of the space frontier, said Launius, an eminent space historian and chair for the Division of Space History at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington.

Multi-Planet Species

Speaking to a crowd of space professionals at the Space Technology and Applications International Forum (STAIF 2007) in Albuquerque Feb. 14, Launius said humans are destined to become a multi-planetary species, but that word may take on a whole new meaning as time evolves.

Given that there will be the first child born on the Moon, as well as Mars, will that person be a Homo sapien, he asked. Could the differences of gravity, radiation exposure mean those children would be unable to return to Earth?

“I think that’s problematic,” Launius said, and in some respects might this be an evolutionary road not unlike that taken by amphibian creatures that departed their water world to become land creatures.

“There is the possibility of the evolution of human species into something different,” Launius said.

(Excerpt) Read more at space.com ...


TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: future; space
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Considering our continued and increasing dependence on interconnected databases, some of us, like the soldier shown here, may be there already.


1 posted on 02/15/2007 7:41:13 AM PST by jmcenanly
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To: jmcenanly
>Space Historian Sees Cyborgs in Our Future

See androids fighting Brad and Janet

2 posted on 02/15/2007 7:43:03 AM PST by theFIRMbss
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To: cyborg

Ping.


3 posted on 02/15/2007 7:43:35 AM PST by Graybeard58 (Remember and pray for SSgt. Matt Maupin - MIA/POW- Iraq since 04/09/04)
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To: jmcenanly
“There is the possibility of the evolution of human species into something different,” Launius said.

Yes, I've read Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Trilogy, too. ;)

4 posted on 02/15/2007 7:44:17 AM PST by Mr. Jeeves ("When the government is invasive, the people are wanting." -- Tao Te Ching)
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To: theFIRMbss

5 posted on 02/15/2007 7:45:42 AM PST by billorites (freepo ergo sum)
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To: theFIRMbss

Resistance is futile....you shall be assimilated

6 posted on 02/15/2007 7:47:29 AM PST by Vaquero ("An armed society is a polite society" Robert A. Heinlein)
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To: theFIRMbss

7 posted on 02/15/2007 7:48:02 AM PST by billorites (freepo ergo sum)
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To: Mr. Jeeves
Or Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land.
8 posted on 02/15/2007 7:51:46 AM PST by Squawk 8888 (Is human activity causing the warming trend on Mars?)
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To: jmcenanly
YOUR MOVE CREEP!!!
9 posted on 02/15/2007 7:51:54 AM PST by Trueblackman (Terrorism and Liberalism never sleep and neither do I)
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To: jmcenanly

I'm glad I won't be here.


10 posted on 02/15/2007 7:53:34 AM PST by beethovenfan (If Islam is the solution, the "problem" must be freedom.)
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To: jmcenanly

"Would you like plasma with your nanobites?"

11 posted on 02/15/2007 7:54:53 AM PST by Enterprise (Drop pork bombs on the Islamofascist wankers. Praise the Lord and pass the hammunition.)
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To: Squawk 8888; Mr. Jeeves
>Or Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land

My favorite book
about attempting to mix
men with machines is:


12 posted on 02/15/2007 7:55:04 AM PST by theFIRMbss
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To: jmcenanly

Aww, come on! Where are the Jeri Ryan pixs?


13 posted on 02/15/2007 7:56:47 AM PST by Lee'sGhost (Crom! Non-Sequitur = Pee Wee Herman.)
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To: jmcenanly
Cyborgs in our future? Given the advances in robotics over just the last decade, the integration of machine and man will easily occur within our lifetimes. Unsurprisingly, most of the applications of this technology, at least at the beginning, will be of a military nature.
14 posted on 02/15/2007 7:57:13 AM PST by Gantz (Th4+'5 th3 +h30ry, 4nyw4yz.)
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To: jmcenanly

15 posted on 02/15/2007 8:02:08 AM PST by PBRSTREETGANG
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To: theFIRMbss

Thanks for the tip- I liked the two Crichton novels I've read so far (State of Fear, Airframe).


16 posted on 02/15/2007 8:04:10 AM PST by Squawk 8888 (Is human activity causing the warming trend on Mars?)
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To: jmcenanly

17 posted on 02/15/2007 8:06:50 AM PST by freedomson (Tagline comment removed by moderator)
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To: jmcenanly
We have the technology....


18 posted on 02/15/2007 8:06:58 AM PST by Joe 6-pack (Voted Free Republic's Most Eligible Bachelor: 2006. Love them Diebold machines.)
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To: beethovenfan
I'm glad I won't be here.

A person with a cochlear implant, that brings sound from an external sources, converts it into electrical impulses, and transmits it directly into the cochlea of the ear could rightly be termed a cyborg. Many people now have these devices, most notably this guy.


19 posted on 02/15/2007 8:09:13 AM PST by jmcenanly (Do not handicap your children by making their lives easy. -- Robert A. Heinlein)
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To: jmcenanly

20 posted on 02/15/2007 8:14:27 AM PST by PBRSTREETGANG
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To: freedomson

I, for one, welcome our new cyborg overlords if they look like Caprica Six... Or Grace Park. Either one will do.


21 posted on 02/15/2007 8:14:48 AM PST by roostercashews
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To: Lee'sGhost

22 posted on 02/15/2007 8:17:51 AM PST by Enterprise (Drop pork bombs on the Islamofascist wankers. Praise the Lord and pass the hammunition.)
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To: Enterprise

There was a time that I would have made the usual snide remarks, such as her real name is Two of Thirty Six, she has Borg implants, or any number of musings on her assimilation techniques. I'm far too mature for that now, though.


23 posted on 02/15/2007 8:21:50 AM PST by Squawk 8888 (Is human activity causing the warming trend on Mars?)
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To: roostercashews


24 posted on 02/15/2007 8:21:53 AM PST by Enterprise (Drop pork bombs on the Islamofascist wankers. Praise the Lord and pass the hammunition.)
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To: Squawk 8888
I would have nominated her to be the cantaloupe queen.
25 posted on 02/15/2007 8:25:18 AM PST by Enterprise (Drop pork bombs on the Islamofascist wankers. Praise the Lord and pass the hammunition.)
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To: jmcenanly

26 posted on 02/15/2007 8:25:33 AM PST by VRWCmember (Everyone is entitled to my opinion.)
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To: Enterprise

You just made my day.


27 posted on 02/15/2007 8:27:33 AM PST by roostercashews
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To: Enterprise

Personally I think the one on the bottom (in combat gear) is hotter than the skanky looking one on top. (Dang I sure hope the one on top isn't your wife or daughter or sister after I just called her skanky looking.)


28 posted on 02/15/2007 8:28:52 AM PST by VRWCmember (Everyone is entitled to my opinion.)
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To: Petronski; cyborg
I know Petronski is a space cadet, but I did not know he was a space historian!

( runs like heck) :o)

29 posted on 02/15/2007 8:30:18 AM PST by tiredoflaundry (Where did I park my car????? Oh no!)
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To: beethovenfan

You're already there. Artificial hips, cochlear implants, artificial limbs with a rudimentary sense of touch, pacemakers. Cyborgs haven't really been "the future" for a while.


30 posted on 02/15/2007 8:30:18 AM PST by discostu (Feed her some hungry reggae, she'll love you twice)
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To: VRWCmember
("Dang I sure hope the one on top isn't your wife or daughter or sister after I just called her skanky looking.)"

Oh, I don't think that's going to happen in this lifetime. :^)

31 posted on 02/15/2007 8:31:28 AM PST by Enterprise (Drop pork bombs on the Islamofascist wankers. Praise the Lord and pass the hammunition.)
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To: Enterprise

32 posted on 02/15/2007 8:31:57 AM PST by PBRSTREETGANG
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To: jmcenanly
Could the differences of gravity, radiation exposure mean those children would be unable to return to Earth?

That depends. Are we talking Cosmic rays or Gamma rays.
These things make a difference. ...


33 posted on 02/15/2007 8:32:54 AM PST by Tanniker Smith (For the children and the flowers are my sisters and my brothers . . .)
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To: Lee'sGhost

34 posted on 02/15/2007 8:47:16 AM PST by jmcenanly (Do not handicap your children by making their lives easy. -- Robert A. Heinlein)
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To: jmcenanly
Good morning.
"Many people now have these devices..."

My heart beats at a low normal rate because of a device implanted in my chest with two leads embedded into the heart muscle and I've got other devices to make up for the damage done to my ears by exposure to too much noise when I was young.

My late friend had the pacemaker, two artificial knees and one artificial shoulder, along with hearing aids, glasses and replacement teeth. He was still functioning until the day he dropped. I would say he came close to being a cyborg.

Michael Frazier
35 posted on 02/15/2007 8:47:21 AM PST by brazzaville (no surrender no retreat, well, maybe retreat's ok)
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To: tiredoflaundry; Graybeard58; Petronski

Well I know when he starts offering me beer, I get a little suspicious of his motives :D


36 posted on 02/15/2007 8:50:35 AM PST by cyborg (No I don't miss the single life at all.)
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To: discostu
Right now, such technologies are in their infancy. Mere shadows of the faculties they replace.

Where things will get interesting is when the replacements exceed the capabilities of the originals, or expand our capabilities beyond anything our biology can do currently.

This Alpha Point is coming soon. I, for one, am looking forward to it.

Yes, the potential for abuse is there. So? Because some people abuse driving cars, should we outlaw automobiles? Same difference here.

37 posted on 02/15/2007 8:52:10 AM PST by Dead Corpse (Anyone who needs to be persuaded to be free, doesn't deserve to be.)
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To: cyborg

LOL!


38 posted on 02/15/2007 9:05:37 AM PST by tiredoflaundry (Where did I park my car????? Oh no!)
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To: Dead Corpse

Definitely it's still early, primarily focused on replacing failing body parts with stuff that is barely functional. But it's going to get better.

I think the first voluntary modification will be the cochlear implant. As the software that drives the thing improves it won't be long before people can get better fidelity with those than a normally functioning ear. At that point I expect people in the music industry, especially the engineering side of the music industry though some performers too, to get them so they can do their job better.

I'm with you, I'm for it. My primary negative concern is that I can see this as a major driving force behind increased socialism. As people start being able to learn via implants or improve the performance of their body there will be a big wave of people complaining that it's "not fair" overall life improvements are only available to the rich (because at first it will be, like any new inbound technology it's going to have a hefty price tag), and that's going to drive some sort of ill considered government program. It'll make job interviews interesting too, do you prefer the guy with the kickass implant that allows him to "know" absolutely everything about your industry without having learned anything or the guy that actually reads books and might not know as much but will still be able to do his job without a chip?


39 posted on 02/15/2007 9:07:58 AM PST by discostu (Feed her some hungry reggae, she'll love you twice)
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To: Enterprise

Glad to see someone has their priorities straight.

Txs.


40 posted on 02/15/2007 9:15:34 AM PST by Lee'sGhost (Crom! Non-Sequitur = Pee Wee Herman.)
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To: Squawk 8888
>I liked the two Crichton novels I've read so far (State of Fear, Airframe)

Yeah, I liked those two,
but to me Terminal Man
and Congo are GREAT.

(FYI Crichton:
There are excerpts and essays
at Crichton's website.)

41 posted on 02/15/2007 11:31:17 AM PST by theFIRMbss
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To: jmcenanly

Hmm...mebbe that's why I feel like a Z-80 guy in a multi-core 64-bit world...


42 posted on 02/15/2007 11:38:24 AM PST by Billthedrill
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To: discostu
Life isn't fair. They need to get over this fact.

If they think life is fair, have them ask a Diplodocus over how fair they think life is. Or a Dodo. Or a T-Rex.

43 posted on 02/15/2007 11:48:22 AM PST by Dead Corpse (Anyone who needs to be persuaded to be free, doesn't deserve to be.)
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To: Dead Corpse
I, for one, am looking forward to it.

Count me among those who would embrace cybernetic enhancement.

To many flaws in the original design that need improvement.
44 posted on 02/15/2007 11:55:29 AM PST by Dr.Zoidberg (Mohammedanism - Bringing you only the best of the 6th century for fourteen hundred years.)
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To: Dr.Zoidberg
I wouldn't even call them flaws really. As an organism, we work good in our environment. However, there are things I WANT to do that are currently beyond the biological means to do so.

Seeing from infrared through to ultraviolet. Hearing from 3 meter through radio frequency another. Stronger bones and muscles. More adaptable, and durable, epidermis. Disease protection. Biological immortality or life extension via repair mechanisms.

Yes. It will run against some people morals, ethics, ect... This should be their problem to worry about. Let those who want to modify themselves do so. It is none of anyone else's concern. My body is my property. Not theirs.

45 posted on 02/15/2007 12:09:33 PM PST by Dead Corpse (Anyone who needs to be persuaded to be free, doesn't deserve to be.)
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To: Dead Corpse

You know how these people are, they'll never get over it.


46 posted on 02/15/2007 12:12:35 PM PST by discostu (Feed her some hungry reggae, she'll love you twice)
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To: Trueblackman

YOUR MOVE CREEP!!!


"You're not human. You're...PRODUCT!"
47 posted on 02/15/2007 12:12:42 PM PST by NCC-1701 (PUT AN END TO ORGANIZED CRIME. ABOLISH THE IRS.)
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To: discostu

Not much they'll be able to do about it though is there? A bit like a bunch of unarmed hippies wanting to take away my firearms. If it's just me/armed vs them/unarmed... ain't a lot they can do about it.


48 posted on 02/15/2007 12:39:53 PM PST by Dead Corpse (Anyone who needs to be persuaded to be free, doesn't deserve to be.)
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To: Dead Corpse

I figure they'll probably push through something similar to the public schools, making certain types of implanted technology (especially educational) available for free. Of course much like how we have a public school/ private school eduction gap now we'll probably wind up with a welfare implant/ private implant gap. Never under estimate a socialist's ability to spend your money.


49 posted on 02/15/2007 12:49:13 PM PST by discostu (Feed her some hungry reggae, she'll love you twice)
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To: jmcenanly
humans are destined to become a multi-planetary species

What is this evolution of time thing? Got a feeling the eminent space historian is no clearer on that than on the chances of FedGov programs ever resulting in a multi-planetary species.

50 posted on 02/15/2007 12:56:55 PM PST by RightWhale (300 miles north of Big Wild Life)
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