The essence and origins of life. What is it? Yes, we can define characteristics that differentiated the living from the non-living. The building blocks of life are still not the same as a simple virus. Do you think new forms of life "become living" these days?. Do you think that the conditions to form new life simply do not exist anymore? Evolution can not even begin until something (still yet unknown to us) happens first. Do you think we will ever discover the recipe?

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I don't think we will ever get further than Mars, and even then only to explore it, not to set up any kind of permanent encampment there. It's just too dangerous a place. If we did set up so some researchers or workers (miners?) were to stay for long periods, they'd have to spend it underground because of the danger of gamma rays. It'd be like living in antarctica during winter where you spend most of the time indoors, only going out bundled in bulky protective clothing. Only, it'd be worse...

The Manned Mars mission is now being discussed as a one-way deal.

Making it a colonization deal instead of round trips.

The major expense is escaping the planet with all that life support weight, a one-way trip means you don't have the cost of a launch off the Martian surface.  No need to carry extra launch system and fuel, turn all that excess weight into stuff to build a colony with.

Once a successful colony is established all you need to do is send supply drones (no need for life support).

It's a more practical plan, it's just a one-way trip for the people.

......................................................

There is no reason not to send all the materials for the colony up first.

Not exactly what people mean by "colonizing," though. So, I wonder who is willing to sign up for a one-way trip, never to be physically present with their family ever again.

A penal colony, perhaps. A kind of Devil's Island in space.

They already have volunteer astronauts for the job.

One of the few gaps left in in the question 'where do we come from' (guess we better just buy into religion since there's something we don't fully understand yet, eh?)

I do believe this one is only a matter of time, some scientist in a lab will create life and 'find the recipe'

One interesting thing that might be under considered, is that the Earth had a lot of time, before we came along, to get 'life' right.

While a modern day scientist might get lucky finding the 'recipe', given generations of experiments and insights, it would seem that without this information/insights his search could take a while. Much of 'life' seems to have a 'self-assembly' preference for structure, but is still dependent upon initial conditions. Setting up the experiments, 'just right', could still involve the search in a rather large decision space.

I am optimistic, and hopeful, but what happens to 'humans' when we obtain this new tool/science?

** the secret is no secret

,,,the living is only a species of the dead...a very rare species -- Nietzsche

@Max Stirner:

 

'..the secret is no secret..'

So is it 'Very easy to do?'

It is unclear if Nietzsche is very helpful on this subject..

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