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Astrobiologists Worry About Imperialistic Consequences of Space Exploration

Astrobiologists Worry About Imperialistic Consequences of Space Exploration

“How should human settlements on other planets be governed?”

It was only a matter of time before this came up as an issue. Do you look forward to the politicization of space exploration?

The College Fix reports:

Astrobiologists concerned about imperialistic consequences of galactic exploration

To whom do other planets belong? Who should benefit or profit from their resources? How should human settlements on other planets be governed? What duty might humans have to life on other planets, even if it is microbial?

In his new book “Sovereign Mars: Transforming Our Values through Space Settlement,” as well as in writings that have appeared in both academic and popular outlets, astrobiologist Jacob Haqq-Misra has thought about many of these questions quite deeply.

“They’re probably some topics that we think about in astrobiology that are really unique … that raise some philosophical questions that you wouldn’t get in other scientific disciplines,” said Haqq-Misra, an astrobiologist at the Blue Marble Space Institute of Science, in a telephone interview with The College Fix.

As distant, hypothetical, or fantastical as some of these questions might initially seem, Haqq-Misra noted, SpaceX and NASA in the United States, as well as the governments of the United Arab Emirates and China, have all set their sights on Mars.

Although Haqq-Misra said he does not believe he has definitive answers to these kinds of questions that may grow more contentious as sustained human activity on Mars edges closer to becoming a reality, he said he thinks “it would be really great if we kept talking about [these matters] before we’re standing on Mars.”

He said because some subset of these and other questions considered by those in his field are going to have societal implications, they are also going to lead to some amount of activism.

Rooted in DEI ideology and an anti-colonialist framework, much of this activism is carried out in the popular press among well-credentialed academics who emphasize the supposed need to rethink the language of their fields and make vocal exhortations to decolonize space.


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Oh brother.

There’s nothing new about this. It has been common for years for academics in fields related to space to say, for example, that we must not colonize other planets because of the unfortunate consequences of colonization for Native Americans.

They never explain why we should worry about the consequences of anything for non-existent Martians. It is taken for granted that humans are evil and should only observe the universe through telescopes and robot probes but should never visit it in person.

Because we’re so evil.

Wouldn’t that solve everything.

Oh, come on. Science fiction has been dealing with this exact question for almost a century now. Almost anything that can be written about the subject has been written, every point of view argued, every contingency provided for. And it’s still going on. If these academics are seriously interested in the question, let them familiarize themselves with the extant literature. I’ll be waiting for them in 10 or 15 years.