Making Aliens

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A. Andreadis (2013), JBIS, 66, pp.269-274

Refcode: 2013.66.269
Keywords: Long-generation starships, extrasolar planets, terraforming, genetic engineering, speciation

During the next few decades, the decisions we make will determine the future of our biosphere and our species. In this context, space exploration will literally answer a question that has preoccupied us ever since we became self-aware: What is going to happen to us? Reaching and inhabiting other planets is often considered an extension of human exploration and occupation of Earth but the analogy is useful only as a metaphor. Whatever the extremes of Earth, we can live almost everywhere on it because we started and evolved here. Given the vagaries of chance in every event of planetmaking, we will never find an Earth twin. To live under strange skies will require courage, ingenuity and stamina but above all, it will require a hard look at our assumptions, including what it means to be human.

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