Posted on Tuesday, September 09, 2014
By Kadri

Emigrating Beyond Earth by Cameron M. Smith and Evan T. Davies

Human Adaptation and Space Colonization

Going into this book I had certain expectations inspired by the book's subtitle, hoping to find out what kind of challenges humans might face on other planets or the Moon and how humankind might go about colonizing space.

However the book has so much more to offer and to go through before the reader gets to the space colonization part, as the book starts with anthropology, history of humans colonizing Earth and reasons why we shouldn't "keep all our eggs in the same basket" and have only one blue planet as the place where humans can live.

The reasons given for space colonization are quite interesting and are inspired more by necessity rather than curiosity and a sense of adventure. So one can read about how its inevitable that humankind will either colonize space or go extinct.

In addition to the reasons, what was very interesting was a look at how humans might evolve on a different astronomical body and why a colony on Mars might be more self-sufficient and over-all more successful than one on the Moon.

Although there are several books dealing with this same topic, this specific book looks at it from a really different angle and doesn't focus on the necessary technology and the available resources on other planets, but rather on the human aspect - how might the human culture change or stay the same depending on how far from Earth the colony is? Would colonies in the Earth-Sun Lagrangian points be a good idea and what could they be used for?

I think reading this book would be a good introduction to the idea of space colonization for those who otherwise might consider it as an utopian idea while reading about the technologies necessary for transporting hundreds of people to distant locations in the Solar System and possibly terraforming a planet. "Emigrating Beyond Earth" shows it all more in a way that's easily understandable and logical without too much previous knowledge.

In a way if compared to something more down to Earth like the Global warming - when most books would be about the science behind climate change, what happens if current in the oceans change and how to combat it through international cooperation, then this book would be showing how and when Global warming would start to affect the general public's life.

This book brings a difficult topic closer to the reader and because of the way it introduces the topic might and should find a wider audience.

But then again the more technically minded reader might find the long look into the way that Homo Sapiens Sapiens has evolved into the species it is that has established at least some living-places on all of the continents and in Near-Earth Orbit and how they went about colonizing islands with the example of some Indonesian islands quite distracting as one might lose sight of the actual topic that probably inspired the reader to pick the book up in the first place.


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