Fair point. Species based solipsism strikes again.Mark1955 wrote: ↑December 29th, 2018, 7:40 amWell that would be useful to humans and our fellow traveller species, dogs, farm animals etc. but it might be highly deleterious to the species that would thrive post the asteroid arrival. If the dinosaurs were destroyed by an asteroid then the lack of that asteroid might have prevented the rise of the mammals.
I guess it depends on the asteroid size, trajectory and impact site. The objects large enough to wipe out all complex life will probably be too large for us to shift with practically foreseeable technology anyway. If anyone can, the Chinese might find a way, not being hamstrung (like some nations) by large anti-science movements, well, as long as what they build doesn't break down from cut corners in manufacturing!
Humanity is not exactly a slick act. The whole time we've flown by the seat of our pants, pretending to know what we are doing. It's unchartered waters. There's not even a precedent for us, which I think is why we dream of meeting intelligent aliens. We are a bit like abandoned children hoping their parents will show up a lead the way (I have long felt that deities are father figures for fathers who feel they needed support in their responsibilities).
What do we do with our superpowers? There's an idea of going to space but it's pretty clear that any person genetically engineered enough to live in space can't live here. It seems much further away than the problems at home which will take our attention. It looks to me that the Earth's surface is in in the midst of a transformation. I am reminded of the solar system's formation. At first the space around the Sun was rich with matter but gradually large planets bullied and destroyed nearly all of it, just leaving these large areas of complexity amongst barrenness. That seems to be the direction we are going in.
But how do giant cities surrounded by desert survive? Perhaps they'll be like the Trantorians of Asimov's Foundations series, where they live off foods generated from fungi and microbes? What of mental health? A world without animals and few plants? We are not evolved for that. Being constantly surrounded by human minds without the respite of simpler animal minds looks like a recipe for rampant neuroses. I suspect people will turn to intelligent machines for respite.
Really, though, no matter which way I slice or dice it, the future keeps looking like one for intelligent machines more than for intelligent biology, even with genetic engineering.