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Remaking Nature


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#1
Randomosaur

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Is it possible that man could use biotechnology and synthetic biology to completely remake nature as we know it? Lee M. Silver argues for this idea in his book Challenging Nature. I've personally never read it, but I have heard about it's contents.

 

http://www.amazon.co...y/dp/B001S2PR66

 

According to Silver, man could use biotechnology to remake a worldwide Garden of Eden. Diseases could be destroyed, aging stopped, mythological and extinct creatures created, deserts turned into forests, etc.

 

How plausible is this idea? Could we remake the biosphere as we know it? Or would it be too difficult to be practical?



#2
Raklian

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The only limit is the Law of Conservation of Energy. Other than that, the sky is the limit as long as we survive in the next few centuries. :)


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#3
kjaggard

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This is essentially terraforming and permaculture mixed. But might I suggest that we may better manage this by doing it elsewhere first. I would prefer that the one system we know that can sustain people not get fucked up before we have another place to resort to. And by fucked up I'm talking about slowly poisoning ourselves with plants we think are better for us but turn out to be missing something key and it's replaced with something that looks right but turns out to be lupus causing or causes rapid onset altzhiemers , or poison the soil so that nothing can grow, or any other number of things that could happen and then cover the globe in a deadly garden.

 

If you've never see Nausicca and the Valley of the Winds I recommend it, I won't spoil it but it touches on some of the ideas I mean. A world spanning toxic jungle.


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#4
WithoutCoincidence

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I suppose it could be done in the far future, when we've reached interstellar stages. I can't see this happening on Earth itself, simply because, well, it's Earth. As our home planet, it is special to us, and making it into nothing more than a garden paradise would be nice but then... where would we fit in? Hovering in the sky like gods? It's possible, but I doubt that it would ever truly be done; what would be the benefits? Why go to all the effort? So that it'll look slightly nicer? However, I can certainly see this being done to other worlds. Mars, maybe. Dead exoplanets, very likely. Maybe as the tech is improved it would be doable on Earth while still reserving a place for us. But something like this is very, very far off, even by our standards, simply because it'll take a while to find someplace we would be willing to do it.


The universe has gone from unimaginable, featureless heat to complexity and it will return in time to unimaginable, featureless cold.

-Chris Impey, How It Ends


#5
StanleyAlexander

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The timeline prediction that talks about reviving the biosphere (about 200yrs from now) after the world went to shit due to human activity isn't as far-fetched as it would seem at first glance.  Nor would we need 200 years for our technology to be mature enough to make it feasible, assuming current trends continue--admittedly a significant assumption.  We're talking about technological capability that would render completely irrelevant everything we know about the world.  I mean, we know these exponential technology trends are robust (2 world wars, the great depression, still accelerating smoothly, etc), but can they survive the massive social upheaval they will almost certainly cause?

 

Post-singularity, all bets are off.

 

So here's a bet :devil: :  If we make it through said singularity, I'd expect to see the environment renewed and regulated, as depicted in the timeline, within a century (of the singularity, not of now).

 

Or, the question of nature is rendered completely irrelevant by other, unforseen aspects of transcension.  What if we become able to travel through time at will as easily as we do through space?  Who knows.


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#6
GailG

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With the fast arising of technology these days, seems like nothing is impossible.


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