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Felicia Day on Colliding Galaxies!

This is very, very cool and funny (and I'm not just saying that because I think she's hot and we happen to be in the same WoW guild):



Of course, Felicia fails to point out what makes worrying about the Milky Way colliding with Andromeda in three billion years truly silly. Homo sapiens will have long-since become extinct, if not by our own hand, simply through the inexorable cycles of biological and planetary evolution. We will be long, long, long gone. To put this in perspective, the oldest ancient fossil microbe-like objects are dated to be 3.5 billion years old, just a few hundred million years younger than Earth itself. That's the timescale we're working with here.

Of course, there are the grotesquely optimistic idiots who imagine all the galaxy as our future suburban sprawl...

Comments

( 14 comments — Have your say! )
edwarddain
Oct. 27th, 2009 12:25 am (UTC)
Of course, there are the grotesquely optimistic idiots who imagine all the galaxy as our future suburban sprawl...

Only if by "grotesquely optimistic idiots" you mean "delusional to the point of an imminent psychotic break"...

Edited at 2009-10-27 12:26 am (UTC)
greygirlbeast
Oct. 27th, 2009 12:29 am (UTC)
Only if by "grotesquely optimistic idiots" you mean "delusional to the point of an imminent psychotic break"...

Bingo.

Edited at 2009-10-27 12:30 am (UTC)
dipsomaniac
Oct. 27th, 2009 12:49 am (UTC)
I loved her in Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. This was funny. Thanks for sharing.
(Deleted comment)
greygirlbeast
Oct. 27th, 2009 04:04 am (UTC)
I'm just not that altruistic, I guess.

It has nothing to do with altruism. It's just common sense.

Edited at 2009-10-27 04:04 am (UTC)
ardiril
Oct. 27th, 2009 03:47 am (UTC)
"cycles of biological ... evolution"

Surprisingly, many very intelligent people do not realize that homo sapiens could evolve into a new genus in the relatively near future, possibly as early as 200k years. This leads to some wildly speculative conversations, particularly when one tosses sexual selection into the fray. A couple joints don't hurt either.
greygirlbeast
Oct. 27th, 2009 04:07 am (UTC)

Surprisingly, many very intelligent people do not realize that homo sapiens could evolve into a new genus in the relatively near future, possibly as early as 200k years. This leads to some wildly speculative conversations, particularly when one tosses sexual selection into the fray. A couple joints don't hurt either.

Thing is, even if humanity survives long enough to speciate, even if this is not an evolutionary dead end (as I tend to think), it is beyond unlikely that any mammals, much less humans, will still exist in three billion years. Life will have perished in some cataclysm, or will have assumed forms we can only begin to imagine. There may be some other species' civilization, there may not.
ardiril
Oct. 27th, 2009 10:20 am (UTC)
Your comment brought on a strong urge to listen to Disintegration.
slothman
Oct. 27th, 2009 06:18 am (UTC)
Delightful!

I think there’s a chance we might have some form of descendants around in 3 billion years, but if so, they would be unrecognizable to us now. Given that the galaxy is not already someone else’s suburb, I doubt we would ever attain galactic sprawl; too few people would ever want to move beyond significant speed-of-light lag from the rest of civilization. Being mere light-hours away would be the boondocks and meditation retreats of a solar system.

My own theory is that there are civilizations all over the place, but we can’t tell they’re present. Any mature civilization will have used up all of their electromagnetic communications bandwidth at maximal efficiency, and maximally compressed information is indistinguishable from noise. While our radio and television signals radiating across the universe are currently intelligible, that’s just because of our crude technology; less than 200 years from the development of radio, we’ll look like just another stellar noise source.
greygirlbeast
Oct. 27th, 2009 02:59 pm (UTC)

I don't think you grasp the profundity, deep-timewise, of 3 billion years. It may be that, if humanity gets a clue, and is very lucky in the bargain, "there’s a chance we might have some form of descendants around" in 30 million years, "but if so, they would be unrecognizable to us now." But even that is extraordinarily unlikely.
slothman
Oct. 27th, 2009 05:44 pm (UTC)
I’m reasoning by analogy here: the question is whether our species ever becomes as tenacious in the galaxy as life has become on our planet. The Earth has experienced catastrophes that wiped out 90% of all species, shrugged, and kept going. I don’t think our current civilization could do that— we’re shortsightedly wrecking the only biosphere we have right now— but if we don’t annihilate ourselves in the next thousand years, we might develop that capacity. The universe is a very hostile place (Philip Plait’s Death from the Skies!: These Are the Ways the World Will End gives lots of great examples), but if we get to the point that we can adapt ourselves consciously to changing conditions, we might very well become like cosmic mildew, always coming back even after getting hosed down by a gamma-ray burster. The analogy only holds, though, if we are as willing to change as much as life does to cope with changing conditions, and that could mean leaving behind many traits we currently see as fundamental to being human.
greygirlbeast
Oct. 27th, 2009 07:43 pm (UTC)

but if we get to the point that we can adapt ourselves consciously to changing conditions, we might very well become like cosmic mildew, always coming back even after getting hosed down by a gamma-ray burster.

This is my nightmare, humans that will not become extinct, no matter what.
abbadie
Oct. 27th, 2009 06:49 pm (UTC)
Heh. This reminded me of whay back when some mexican TV channels first gave the news concerning Shoemaker-Levy. They had only left the stone-cold tone for news and adopted sensationalistic voice modulation for a couple of years right then, and they exclaimed "a gigantic comet has entered the solar system and it's on a direct collision course!!" but they failed to mention just where it was going to crash... that sent crowds milling into the churches to pray for their souls!

Ah, human ridiculousness never ceases to appall me.
elialshadowpine
Oct. 27th, 2009 07:00 pm (UTC)
You're in the same guild as Felicia? I think I'm jealous. (I might... possibly... have a wee bit of a crush on her... but who doesn't? :)
greygirlbeast
Oct. 27th, 2009 07:44 pm (UTC)

You're in the same guild as Felicia?

Yep.
( 14 comments — Have your say! )