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Old 04-24-2014, 03:45 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by CaliforniaMan View Post
Honestly, with everything else there is to worry about, I just can't get up the strength to worry about asteroids too. Hemorrhoids maybe, but asteroids no.
You're right, there is nothing to worry about during our lifetimes. The odds of an asteroid turning a city into a smoking hole or causing the planet-wide deaths of most life forms during our lifetimes are infinitesimal. However, the odds of it happening between now and the extinction of homo sapiens approaches 100%.

Close passing asteroids are currently spotted a few years out, IIRC. That's not enough time to deflect them using current technology. It may be possible in the future. Until then, why not start an asteroid catalog to be handed to each subsequent generation, and, in the ultra rare possibility of finding one that will strike earth, deflect it?

ER Oct 2008 at age 54. An expat mostly settled in Thailand.
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Old 04-24-2014, 06:09 AM   #22
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I think we should set a date to revisit this issue - maybe 2114? If we have affordable tech to effectively defend against these bad boys maybe we can deploy it. If not, tune out for another century.

If, against all odds, we get whacked by a planet buster tomorrow we call all console ourselves with the thought that we couldn't have done anything about it. Maybe we can contemplate whether we have been worshipping the right god(s) as we whither away.

Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson
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Old 04-24-2014, 07:19 AM   #23
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Think of it as a rather harshly graded pass-fail exam. You either develop the language, tools, cooperation, technology, and so on to get yourselves off this rock and/or defend it from planet busters, or you fail and the next evolution gets their chance. It's a built in (somewhat random) time limit. Perhaps UFOs are full of exam proctors, curious about how we are doing and running a betting pool on whether we will make it.
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Old 04-24-2014, 11:21 AM   #24
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It's more likely that human beings will seal their own fate (nuclear war/accident, destruction of climate, depleting key resource, ....). I give human race less than 200 years to self destruct. Contradict me in 200 years .
Pura Vida
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Old 04-24-2014, 02:39 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by stepford View Post
Just to throw some fake numerical rigor into the pile let's see...

If 1500 people are injured every 150 years then that's about 10 injuries per year on average.... out of 7 billion people or about odds of 1.5 e-9 per year. Now that the "odds" have been determined to be 6 times worse it's still about 1 e-8 per year or less than 1 in a million odds of even being injured even during a very long 50 year retirement (and presumably the odds of actually being killed are far lower still).

In other words virtually any minute change you make in your life or habits will have a greater effect on your expected longevity than risk of asteroid impact.

The problem is that historical numbers over a short period just does not cut it for the real risk.... we went to see meteor crater... expensive for what it is, but it was a nice visit...

Meteor Crater - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Now, if one of these hit NYC, London, Mexico City, Tokyo etc.... well, there would be millions of dead....

Then ask the dinosaurs.... who, according to Wiki were.. "They first appeared during the Triassic period, 231.4 million years ago, and were the dominant terrestrial vertebrates for 135 million years"... much longer than man had been around.... (say 50,000 years for us).... they were basically wiped out by one meteor....

Now, I am not going to lose any sleep thinking about this.... but the small odds you state are not meaningful....

OH... just thought of something else on the falsehood of stats... remember the Concord There were so few of them that there were not that many miles on the fleet.... so they were the safest passenger plane to fly on just prior to that one crashing.... after that ONE crash, they were the least safest passenger plane to fly on.....

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