DeanaWeibel

DeanaWeibel

45p

12 comments posted · 9 followers · following 0

1 year ago @ The Space Review: essa... - The Space Review: Star... · 0 replies · 0 points

A few thoughts:
My first concern is for the ethical issues involved in even trying to gestate human fetuses in conditions of microgravity and increased exposure to radiation. If there is a high chance of injury to living tissues or growth is affected, it seems like it would be a big problem. How much has even been done on mammal gestation and birth in microgravity at this point? I did see a presentation earlier this year at the Roger That! event in Michigan on the reproduction of mice in microgravity that indicated mice embryos could be fertilized and end up where they needed to be in mice uteri without gravity, but it didn't get into embryonic or fetal development.

Also, someone mentioned that human populations on Earth have adapted to different circumstances. I'm thinking of high-altitude, low-oxygen environments, but this has mostly been done "naturally," over time, with large numbers of people reproducing and the healthiest and best adapted offspring being the ones that live to reproduce themselves. Watching a large Martian community reproduce would be an experiment in natural selection in real time... Makes me wonder about such really taboo things as genetic adjustments.

Finally, I agree with many of you that we're not really going to be able to settle very far off the planet without finding ways to create 1G (or close) living environments for ourselves. I think this has to be the first step. Examining the alternatives remains important though.

2 years ago @ The Space Review: essa... - The Space Review: When... · 0 replies · 0 points

As opposed to genuinely believing the rumor before starting to spread it...

2 years ago @ The Space Review: essa... - The Space Review: When... · 2 replies · +4 points

This sounds like a dangerous game to play...! Perhaps generations from now it will be considered historical truth and you won't be there to set things straight. The story of that poor college student reminds me of the recent public correction of Naomi Wolf, who misinterpreted the term "death recorded" in historical records (she thought it meant the person was executed, instead it meant that the person was pardoned). The real meaning derailed a lot of her argument, but there was time to fix things (and hopefully the college student learned a lot from his mistake).

One of my favorite "fake history" stories is that astronaut Sunita Williams converted to Islam while orbiting space directly over Mecca. I thought it was an interesting tale (denied by Williams) but only recently learned that there is a parallel rumor that Neil Armstrong converted to Islam. I really want to find out how these rumors start and why their so compelling... Now you've got me wondering if someone manufactured them on purpose.

4 years ago @ The Space Review: essa... - The Space Review: On s... · 0 replies · +3 points

I enjoyed this article a lot, but I wish Mr. Potter had included a bibliography. I guess I'll have to lay my hands on his book for that. Although the "Overview Effect" may not have had a huge influence on social movements, seeing the earth from space certainly seems to have been influential on individual astronauts, many of whom have written about it in detail.

4 years ago @ The Space Review: essa... - The Space Review: Spac... · 0 replies · +4 points

Religions have always been transformed by migration, so the original beliefs might not travel well but new emphases or new interpretations may help make for a better adjustment. And what is culture if not the result of shared personal beliefs?

4 years ago @ The Space Review: essa... - The Space Review: Spac... · 0 replies · +4 points

Religions change with migration, historical events, contact with other people, etc. It is interesting to look at the way a small religion in the Middle East changed over a couple of thousand years into over 22,000 sects and denominations. A Christian church run by converts to the religion in New Guinea looks very different from the Church of England as practiced in Manchester or from a Southern Baptist church in Atlanta, and the same is true for Islam, Hinduism, and other religions practiced around the world. If humans do colonize space, it would be really interesting to see how long-term living inside a spaceship (or an asteroid, or on the surface of Mars, or whatever happens) would impact human religions. We've been able to see some hints from the more religious astronauts and cosmonauts who have explored outer space closer to home and in the relatively short term.

4 years ago @ The Space Review: essa... - The Space Review: Spac... · 2 replies · +3 points

I agree with you. What we see in human societies on Earth is likely to be what we see in space. Humans are extremely adaptable and am very curious how cultures adjust in response to different living environments, including outer space.

4 years ago @ The Space Review: essa... - The Space Review: Spac... · 1 reply · +6 points

It is convention in anthropological research to use pseudonyms, but it is not always done when the person being interviewed is well known. In the case of Tom Calvin, he initially wanted me to use his real name, then changed his mind and requested that I use a pseudonym. I have respected that request.

4 years ago @ The Space Review: essa... - The Space Review: Spac... · 0 replies · +3 points

Thank you for your comments. I very much agree with you that there are many evangelical Christians who support space exploration, and quite a few work for, or have worked for, NASA.

4 years ago @ The Space Review: essa... - The Space Review: Spac... · 1 reply · +4 points

The section where I mentioned Ken Ham was my review of Joshua Ambrosius' work. I go on to discuss an interview I did with an evangelical former astronaut (and engineer) who is fully supportive of space exploration as a counter-example. My article's point was not that evangelicals don't support space exploration, but that even if some data indicate less support than from other religious groups, there are clear cases where full support exists. I do hope to interview additional evangelical scientists.