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    11:15-11:35    Nick Nielsen        Conservation Ethics for Spacefaring Civilizations


Live Discussion

Chat log

11:26:43 From William Kramer : Regarding the perception that extraterrestrial resources are "limitless," Bridenstine compares space to tuna.  "We do believe we can extract and utilize the resources of the moon, just as we can extract and utilize tuna from the ocean."  That was in the Washington Post last week.  He seems to ignore that tuna make more tuna!  And that tuna fisheries are highly regulated!!


11:27:21 From Kathryn Denning : Bingo, William.


11:28:05 From Kelly Smith : Sure, nobody reasonable denies that there should be limits.  But what those limits are and how they are shaped is way more complicated than some imply


11:30:42 From Jim Schwartz : The Callicott paper Erik is talking about is in Beyond Spaceship Earth (ed. Gene Hargrove) and also reprinted in Callicott's "Beyond the Land Ethic"


11:31:20 From Carlos Santana : I agree Alan, that the debate among conservation biologists is still very much alive. I'm just suggesting that as we bring conservation bio into astrobiology, we need to do so recognizing that debate, rather than just accepting 20th century thinking as the right ideas to be importing.


11:32:53 From Jim Schwartz : Callicott reads a lot of Hume and Darwin into Leopold


11:36:23 From David DeGraff (he/him) : Even if all life in the Solar system is related, that doesn’t mean that other stars will evolve the same time of life.


11:36:56 From Kelly Smith : That might depend on what you mean by “same type” (which is what I assume you meant to type)


11:38:48 From Dan Capper : David, you are right.  But extending Leopold's land ethic to other worlds does not demand that the same type of life be found.  What is demanded on Leopold's terms is merely shared evolution, wherever that evolution leads in terms of speciation.


11:39:46 From Kelly Smith : The question is whether moral duties are generated by sharing evolution in general (or maybe evolution of the sort that produces “higher organisms like us”) or if it’s only generated by sharing an evolutionary trajectory which is much more specific.  I don’t immediately see the argument for demanding the latter...


11:41:40 From Carlos Santana : I read Leopold as saying that moral circle expands to include one's entire community, where community is defined by interdependence. Coevolution generates this sort of interdependence, but expanding the Land Ethic to other worlds could be done by appealing to interdependence generated by other means.

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