Trinity Debate 2009-2010 File Name Tournament 1

Contention One is Impacts
Extinction is inevitable in the short term absent space colonization New York Times ‘7 (John Tierney, “A Survival Imperative for Space Colonization” July 17, In 1993, J. Richard Gott III computed with scientific certainty that humanity would survive at least 5,100 more years. At the time, I took that as reason to relax, but Dr. Gott has now convinced me I was wrong. He has issued a wake-up call: To ensure our long-term survival, we need to get a colony up and running on Mars within 46 years. If you’re not awakened yet, I understand. It’s only prudent to be skeptical of people who make scientific forecasts about the end of humanity. Dr. Gott, a professor of astrophysics at Princeton, got plenty of grief after he made his original prediction in 1993. But in the ensuing 14 years, his prophetic credentials have strengthened, and not merely because humanity is still around. Dr. Gott has used his technique to successfully forecast the longevity of Broadway plays, newspapers, dogs and, most recently, the

tenure in office of hundreds of political leaders around the world. He bases predictions on just one bit of data, how long something has lasted already; and on one assumption, that there is nothing special about the particular moment that you’re observing this phenomenon. This assumption is called the Copernican Principle, after the astronomer who
assumed he wasn’t seeing the universe from a special spot in the center. Suppose you want to forecast the political longevity of the leader of a foreign country, and you know nothing about her country except that she has just finished her 39th week in power. What are the odds that she’ll leave office in her 40th week? According to the Copernican Principle, there’s nothing special about this week, so there’s only a 1-in-40 chance, or 2.5 percent, that she’s now in the final week of her tenure. It’s equally unlikely that she’s still at the very beginning of her tenure. If she were just completing the first 2.5 percent of her time in power, that would mean her remaining time would be 39 times as long as the period she’s already served — 1,521 more weeks (a little more than 29 years). So you can now confidently forecast that she will stay in power at least one more week but not as long as 1,521 weeks. The odds of your being wrong are 2.5 percent on the short end and 2.5 percent on the long end — a total of just 5 percent, which means that your forecast has an expected accuracy of 95 percent, the scientific standard for statistical significance. And you can apply this Copernican formula to lots of other phenomena by assuming they’re neither in the first 2.5 percent nor the final 2.5 percent of their life spans. Now, that range is so broad it may not seem terribly useful to you, and Dr. Gott readily concedes that his Copernican formula often is not the ideal method. The best the formula could do regarding Bill Clinton, who had been president for 127 days when the 1993 paper in Nature was published, was predict he would serve at least three more days but not more than 13.6 more years. You could have gotten a narrower range by using other information, like actuarial data from previous presidencies, or factoring in the unlikelihood that the Constitution would be changed so he could serve more than two terms. But the beauty of the Copernican formula is that it allows you to make predictions when you don’t have any other information, which is how Dr. Gott managed to predict the tenure of virtually every other nation’s leader that day in 1993 — a total of 313 leaders.

If none of those still in power stays in office beyond age 100, Dr. Gott’s accuracy rate will turn out to be almost exactly 95 percent . Some philosophers and experts in probability theory have argued that Dr. Gott is making unwarranted
deductions from past life spans, and that it is wrong to assume there is nothing special about the moment we’ve chosen to make a forecast. ( for details of the debate.) But last year two philosophers, Bradley Monton and Brian Kierland, analyzed the criticisms and concluded in an article in the Philosophical Quarterly that Dr. Gott had indeed come up with a useful tool for difficult situations — like trying to forecast doomsday without data from other planets. The Copernican formula predicts, based solely on our 200,000-year track record, that the human race is likely to survive at least 5,100 more years but not longer than 7.8 million — roughly the same prediction you’d make based on the longevity of past mammals on Earth, Dr. Gott says.

and biological conditions [4]. and to the Caribbean 8. B-l's. climate. . larger wave began 10. long term genetic effects. O. http://nutri. Center for Biological Diversity (“Overpopulation and Extinction”.Third World nuclear capability plus irresponsible. a. up from 7 percent in 1700 [5]. and you can see why scientists refer to it as a crisis unparalleled in human history. and 37 percent of fish are threatened with extinction [6]. or threshold levels. 1981 (THE CASE FOR SPACE COLONIZATION. but with no knowledge of short and long term effects. Ecological "Flip" The establishment of a very different. A study of 114 nations found that human population density predicted with 88-percent accuracy the number of endangered birds and mammals as identified by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature [1]." Predicting local extinction rates is complex due to differences in biological diversity. and 50 percent of its fresh water [5]. scales. Extinction is the most serious. . vegetation. Compare this to the natural background rate of one extinction per million species per year. and large lemurs extinct. chemical. habitat threats. SST' soon. Wilson estimates that 30. consumption patterns. from aerosol sprays. The rates. ensures that our dominance will increase. With enormous. or Germ Warfare. So where does wildlife stand today in relation to 6. We live on a human-dominated planet and the momentum of human population growth. or with such devastating consequences to its fellow earthlings. Not enough plants and invertebrates have been assessed to determine their global threat level. utterly irreversible effect of human overpopulation. Falconi. death. species distribution.500 years ago. enough room and resources for all species to live. from auto. Fifty percent of the planet’s land mass has been transformed for human use [5].000 years ago. No population of a large vertebrate animal in the history of the planet has grown that much. divert streams. The colonizationfollowed-by-extinction pattern can be seen as recently as 2. Humans’ impact has been so profound that scientists have proposed that the Holocene era be declared over and the current epoch (beginning in about 1900) be called the Anthropocene: the age when the “global environmental effects of increased human population and economic development” dominate planetary physical. Mass sterility. Atmospheric pollution. and combinations of changes occurring now are fundamentally different from those at any other time in history. kinds. to Europe and Australia 40. affecting the ozone layer. Ocean pollution. affecting earth's thermal balance. or a great nuclear holocaust due to large quantities of superweapons: B-52's. and their Russian counterparts. Our notion of sustainability and ecological footprint — indeed. or improperly prepared. invasive species. 2009 is the last date cited under the article. one of the study’s authors. Minuteman III.000 years ago. environmental equilibrium by man's exceeding an unknown pollution threshold level. Harvard biologist E. http://www.000 species per year (or three species per hour) are being driven to extinction . is human population pressure. 3. many analyses of what a sustainable human population level would look like presume that the goal is simply to keep the human race at a level where it has enough food and clean water to survive. The second. Forty percent of the planet’s land is devoted to human food production ." said Jeffrey McKee. now or later. "The density of people is a key factor in species threats. Humanity has lots of ways of killing itself or going extinct – space colonization would solve ALL of them. from industrial wastes and human sewage. cheap energy at its disposal. and nitrogen oxides from a limited nuclear war. our notion of world worth living in — presumes that humans will allow for.biologicaldiversity. could result. c. World War III . and enacted conservation measures. Weather (or climate) manipulation. The current mass extinction differs from all others in being driven by a single species rather than a planetary or galactic physical process. Biological. . And that’s without the addition of global warming impacts. to North America 12. or SST effluents. Genetic Manipulation . or genetic destruction. however. we’ll reach 8 billion by 2020 and 9 to 15 billion (likely the former) by 2050. 30 percent of amphibians. Atmospheric pollution. Physicist. Chemical. by important authorities. etc.Trinity Debate 2009-2010 File Name Tournament 2 This is because of overpopulation CBD ‘9. impulsive. More atmospheric nitrogen is now fixed by humans that all other natural processes combined [5] "[A]ll of these seemingly disparate phenomena trace to a single cause: the growing scale of the human enterprise. 12 percent of mammals. either accidentally or deliberately.html) We’re in the midst of the Earth’s sixth mass extinction crisis. the human population grew rapidly from 1 billon in 1800 to 2 billion in 1930.000 years ago as the discovery of agriculture caused a population boom and a need to plow wildlife habitats. or an ecological .com/space/ 1. Current population growth trends indicate that the number of threatened species will increase by 7 percent over the next 20 years and 14 percent by 2050. d. 4. Trident. b.000 years ago. and 6. When the human race — Homo sapiens sapiens — migrated out of Africa to the Middle East 90.8 billion people? Worldwide.A good possibility that peaceful research now taking place will evolve uncontrollable 100% lethal epidemics from man-made organisms . 2. 30 percent of its marine net primary productivity. The first wave of extinctions targeted large vertebrates hunted by hunter-gatherers. but it is severe. actions of incompetents. hippos. Humans annually absorb 42 percent of the Earth’s terrestrial net primary productivity. Mass Vaccination . together with the imperative for further economic development in most of the world. The manner of man's demise. . If the current course is not altered. 31 percent of reptiles.8 billion today. 5. 4 billion in 1975. industry. But unfortunately. The effect of reactor effluent Krypton-85. Bacteriological. Polaris. One constant. “If other species follow the same pattern as the mammals and birds .000 years ago. that fast. [3]. when humans colonized Madagascar and quickly drove elephant birds. resulting in uncontrolled epidemics.of populations with vaccines that were insufficiently researched and tested. resulting in man's extinction due to excessive worldwide radiation level or by inducing an ecological flip." [2]. The third and largest wave began in 1800 with the harnessing of fossil fuels. we are facing a serious threat to global biodiversity associated with our growing human population. 12 percent of birds. and themselves enjoy. . and maintain large herds of domestic cattle. waves of extinction soon followed. but stable. .

due to: a. Giant solar flares The Ottawa Citizen 2k /December 30.”. Hopefully these deleterious effects will only add. many more. Examining the above list. e. Once the burst begins. or it might be ejected from the solar system and go hurtling to a frigid fate in deep space. Powell looks at 20 ways Armageddon could really happen. “Apocalypse how: Hollywood and doomsday cults have long envisioned the end of the world. waste disposal. Without the ozone layer. for they just may have given mankind a few more important years on Earth. and thus very unpredictable ways of ending our fragile human existence. The black hole wouldn't have to come all that close to Earth to bring ruin. Lexis/ Our galaxy is full of black holes. eliminating human life. Powell looks at 20 ways Armageddon could really happen. Corey S. more seriously. d. medical X-rays. And surely no amount of study will be able to ferret out the vast number of very subtle. and not multiply. you might think you were being stalked by cosmic paparazzi. particle accelerators. accidentally ending all human life. We might allay our fears by applying some sort of "Environmental Superposition Theorem" and thus justify addition instead of multiplication. one must be impressed with its quantity. Modern lasers. Lexis/ Gamma-ray burst If you could watch the sky with gamma-ray vision. you would see a bright flash briefly outshine everything else. or sabotage of underground or underwater radioactive waste disposal sites. Mass ingestion of vast quantities of large numbers of untested food additives.”. The bursts probably result from the merging of two collapsed stars. collapsed stellar corpses just a dozen kilometres wide. release of extremely carcinogenic plutonium. variety. “Apocalypse how: Hollywood and doomsday cults have long envisioned the end of the world. astrophysicists recently learned.Trinity Debate 2009-2010 File Name Tournament 3 flip. 6. Earth's atmosphere and magnetic field negate the . On the eve of 2001.”. Extinction happens for crazy reasons too: A. Many thanks are due chemists Molina and Rowland. etc. then vanish. causing skin cancer and. transport of fuel and waste. Corey S. just passing through the solar system would distort all of the planets' orbits. These gamma-ray bursts.. 7. On the eve of 2001. Further study should uncover many. Once a day or so.more properly known as coronal mass ejections -. Nuclear Reactors . Short or Long-Term Genetic Effects . Deterioration. both known and unknown. however. We should marvel at how the aerosol problem was predicted before there was any indication of a problem. Corey S.The present controversy centers around major accidents.000 light-years -. B. David Bennett of Notre Dame University in Indiana managed to spot two black holes recently by the way they distorted and amplified the light of ordinary. How full? Tough question. which implies the events are rare. such a double star might be almost undetectable. leakage. Gamma-ray bursts The Ottawa Citizen 2k /December 30. so we'd likely have no advance notice if one is lurking nearby . Advanced Experimentation . On the eve of 2001. and industry .farther than most of the stars you can see on a clear night -. Their gravity is so strong they swallow everything. even the light that might betray their presence. sabotage. All the gamma-ray bursts observed so far have been extremely distant. leakage. Massive irradiation from television sets. possibly initiating some catastrophe which man had no reasonable possibility of predicting.are enormous magnetic outbursts on the sun that bombard Earth with a torrent of high-speed subatomic particles. c. After would appear as bright as our sun. Above have been listed many different ways in which man can be wiped out. creating nitrogen oxides that would destroy the ozone layer. there would be no missing its fury. 8. Rogue black holes The Ottawa Citizen 2k /December 30. Also. In our ignorance we should take urgent steps to protect man's future and proceed with the colonization of space immediately .Furious competition in all fields of research. Before the cataclysmal event. Earth might get drawn into an elliptical path that would cause extreme climate swings. The potent radiation would cook the atmosphere. b. Powell looks at 20 ways Armageddon could really happen. we just don't know. but again. ultraviolet rays from the sun would reach the surface at nearly full force. C. but at a cost. At a distance of 1. Irresponsible mass vaccination or fluoridation. killing off the tiny photosynthetic plankton in the ocean that provide oxygen to the atmosphere and bolster the bottom of the food chain. originate in distant galaxies and are unfathomably powerful -as much as 10 quadrillion (a one followed by 16 zeros) times as energetic as the sun. they're called black holes for a reason. are creating effects unknown in the universe until now. more distant stars. Lexis/ Solar flares -. and subtlety. a research breakthrough could tempt a country to undertake world conquest. theft of fuel or waste by individuals or terrorist groups. Earth's atmosphere would initially protect us from most of the burst's deadly X-rays and gamma rays. “Apocalypse how: Hollywood and doomsday cults have long envisioned the end of the world. theft. Accidental or deliberate leakage from many nuclear reactors now extant or planned.

worked with NASA.Trinity Debate 2009-2010 File Name Tournament 4 potentially lethal effects of ordinary flares. technology. ex-physics professor at the California State University. these particles would strike Earth's atmosphere. Currently. 2). Magnetic field reverse The Ottawa Citizen 2k /December 30. Powell looks at 20 ways Armageddon could really happen. Within a few hours. sunlike stars can brighten briefly by up to a factor of 20. and therefore the next Maslow Window (2015 – 2025) is of inestimable importance .g. the last 200 years of macroeconomic and macrohistorical experience teach that long-term trends in the economy. the magnetic field deflects particle storms and cosmic rays from the sun. technological. the strength of our magnetic field has decreased about five per cent in the past century. a superflare on the sun could fry Earth and begin disintegrating the ozone layer (see No. Also. Weizmann postdoctoral fellow at Caltech. many creatures navigate by magnetic reckoning. . then gradually reappears with the north and south poles flipped.000 years ago. Without magnetic protection. A magnetic reversal might cause serious ecological mischief. Bradley Schaefer of Yale University found evidence that some perfectly normal-looking. the most important issue for humanity’s future – within the next 5 – 10 years — is to resume the large-scale human expansion into space by achieving self-sufficient colonies (e. The key timeframe is within the next five years—otherwise space ventures will collapse Cordell ‘8 PhD planetary and space physics. in an age when global positioning systems have made compasses obsolete? Well. and society will not be favorable again for human expansion until about 2071. Indeed. This is especially sobering because attempting to estimate the geopolitical. The last such reversal was 780. This is serious business because such opportunities are not continuously available . Mr. Why worry. as well as even more energetic subatomic particles from deep space. “Apocalypse how: Hollywood and doomsday cults have long envisioned the end of the world. But while looking through old astronomical records. and/or economic state of the world that far into the future is essentially impossible . Corey S. Schaefer believes these stellar flickers are caused by superflares millions of times more powerful than their common cousins. eroding the already beleaguered ozone layer (see No. Worse. on the Moon) before 2025. Lexis/ Every few hundred thousand years Earth's magnetic field dwindles almost to nothing for perhaps a century. "Nasa programs and MEPs" Error! Hyperlink reference not valid.”. unless we breakout into space by 2025. 5). On the eve of 2001. so we may be overdue. . D. May 11 08 (Bruce.

Trinity Debate 2009-2010 File Name Tournament 5 .

html] The White House is reluctant openly to acknowledge its intention to militarize space. not only by military satellites. n165 Because there is no current bar against The weaponization of space is inevitable because it is in every nation's best interest to weaponize space. Our aff would cement American space power . states: "US Air Force counter-space operations are the ways and means by which the air force achieves and maintains space superiority. n169 they are not a long-term solution because the incentive to defect will always Under bluntly.A. Quinn J. n167 No matter what action is taken by other nations. n170 Finally. n159 3. land targets . n166 somewhat. n162 As the United States moves forward with its 2006 Space Policy. The USAF acknowledges that the militarization of space is a prime objective. and therefore considered "peaceful. and we're going to fight into space." In May 2005." n156 The United States has interpreted self-defense as including not only defense of a nation's people. Candidate 2010. every single nation is enticed by the benefit of being the first to weaponize space. Lexis] The United States justified its 2006 Space Policy on grounds that space has become a critical component of its economy n153 and national security. n172 it behooves every nation to weaponize as soon as possible to "stay ahead of the curve.from space. the then head directed energy and hit-to-kill mechanisms. Air Force Doctrine 2004. Space superiority is our day-to-day mission." Secretary of the Air Force Peter B Teets. their placement in orbit will have the effect of weaponizing space. n155 It is undisputed that a critical component of United States self. This scenario is a classic prisoner's dilemma. The alternative would be a sudden discovery that one nation had secretly weaponized space. a threat on United States' space assets could justifiably result in the weaponization of space. n157 Under the 2006 Space Policy. The Outer Space Treaty is on the Cusp of Failing The increasing dependence on space for self-defense has naturally brought the fear of weaponization of space to the forefront of the debate. n168 Although non-armament treaties can rectify the situation dual-use weapons. airplanes. n158 It seems improbable that a policy with the stated goals of sustaining an advantage in space and "denying similar capabilities to others" is compatible with the Outer Space Treaty and reserving space for the benefit of all peoples. 2008. Mar 10. n174 It is also in the best interests of every nation for a measured introduction of weapons to space by opposing nations at approximately the same time. Summer. 475.dominant military force. 17 Minn. space has already been weaponized in so much as it is crucial to the military [*494] operations of all developed nations. n160 The modern understanding of "peaceful" is "non-aggressive. leaving other countries no choice but to follow in step./M.B. the 2006 Space Policy Given the inevitability of the weaponization of space. the New York Times quoted General Lance Lord. space will be further weaponized.[*493] defense is dependent on "space force enhancements. as revealing." as permitted under Article 2(4) of the United Nations Charter. but by destructive weapons. but it is our destiny.1 on "Counterspace Operations". In of the Space Command.D. n176 Countries already perceive US militarization Smith 7 [Jack Smith “The militarization of outer space” Asia Times." In declared are paving the road of 21st-century warfare. University of Minnesota Law School and Carlson School of Management. but defense of a nation's property. n163 While no state wants to be the first to openly weaponize space. Space supremacy is our vision for the future. many are investing in dual-use technology. n171 weaponizing space. published in August 2004 (and available online). discussing America's intentions in space. J. but the USAF in particular has been quite frank. n161 Consequently. it would be ensuring it could not be similarly exploited. n154 The United Nations Charter recognizes that self-defense is an inherent right of all states. “Note: The New Age of Space Law: The Outer Space Treaty and the Weaponization of Space” Minnesota Journal of International Law. "Space superiority is not our birthright. That's why the US has development programs in 1996." but retain potent offensive capabilities. but there is only one way . another head of the Space Command. We will engage terrestrial targets some day . "We Document 2-2. General Joseph W Ashy.ships." He did not explain how space superiority is obtained. 2007. was quoted as saying: "We're going to fight from space.Trinity Debate 2009-2010 File Name Tournament 6 Contention Two: The United Space of America Space weaponization is inevitable Quinn 8 [Adam G. Space superiority provides freedom to attack as well as freedom from attack. http://www. n164 Dual-use technologies are weapons designed for defensive action." n173 Even if a nation chooses not to aggressively restrict other nations from also expressly [*495] prohibits agreeing to arms control restrictions that impair United States objectives. Int'l L. n175 The former is likely to create an international tension while the later is likely to spark a new Cold War.

The study examined the possibilities of establishing military aerospace forces with Orion ships and these were conceived as: 1) a low altititude force (2-hour. Gordon Mitchell.Trinity Debate 2009-2010 File Name Tournament 7 Dyson ‘2 Science Historian and Son of Freeman Dyson. However. intermediating between the physicists who saw Orion as a way to visit Mars and the generals who saw Orion as a way to counter the Soviets on Earth. by taking the decision to commit violence out of human hands and endowing computers with authority to make war. initiated Air Force QORs (Qualitative Operational Requirements) for a “Strategic Aerospace Vehicle. which have many sophisticated components that all depend on each other's flawless performance. “He’d have been the first man on board. So long as such a disinclination to grapple with the nation’s rock-bottom security needs in space persists and the nation continues to adhere to an ambivalent military space strategy. Book excerpt. with the spectre of split-second attacks creating incentives to rig orbiting Death Stars with automated 'hair trigger' devices.isisuk. Donance M. Don Prickett. It is chilling to contemplate the possible effects of a space war. Military implications of the Orion Vehicle appeared in July of 1959 and Air Force Capt.” says Prickett. explains: 'If you want to intercept something in space. Dr. “It was a wide-open discussion on potential.” Space warfare makes nuclear war inevitable Mitchell. Robert M. http://www.” and a “Strategic Space Command Post” with Orion in mind. Yale sociologist Charles Perrow has analyzed 'complexly interactive. space will remain only a supporting enabler of terrestrial operations. Worse yet. Mixson and Pricket saw Orion as a way to sustain the type of creative fast-moving effort that the proliferation of peacetime bureaucracy was bringing to an end.make-digital. Col..000-mile orbits). Calif.. et al 1 (Dr. Jasper Welch. this interlocking complexity makes it impossible to foresee all the different ways such systems could fail. 2) a moderate altitude force (24-hour orbits). Power. who was one of the original three scientists who worked on Project Orion (George. Bowman. Capt. In theory.” a “Strategic Earth Orbital Base. “largely the work of Mixson. The dizzying speed of space warfare would introduce intense 'use or lose' pressure into strategic calculations. Washington. 152-153] These facts have invariably made all calls for space force application initiatives and. Peery. who had succeeded Gen. according to a declassified Air Force summary. “Mastering The Ultimate High Ground” RAND Project Air Force. for even more relatively benign space control measures. Maj.” says his partner. 1. Lew Allen.demon. Thomas S. As Perrow explains. this automation would enhance survivability of vulnerable space weapon platforms . Delegation of Canada to the UN Conference on Disarmament. “And Power of course didn’t have any problem knowing what to do with 6 July. and what we were going to do with it when we got it. The report recommended that the Air Force formally establish a requirement for the Orion vehicle in order to prevent the ‘disastrous consequences’ of an enemy first. military planners could sow insidious seeds of accidental conflict. such interceptors can also be used as orbiting 'Death Stars'. Dyson. “Missile Defence: Trans-Atlantic Diplomacy at a Crossroads”. As Marc Vidricaire. http://www. Col. Prickett flew out to General Atomic with Mixson for a briefing with the general.J. and La Jolla. Taylor. Mixson stepped in to fill the gap. ISIS Briefing on Ballistic Missile Defence.” Ineffective space control encourages adversaries to attack first Lambeth 3 [Benjamin S. given the system characteristics.Lambeth. tightly coupled' industrial systems such as space weapons. “Project Orion: Deep Space Force”. and First Lt. '[t]he odd term "normal accident" is meant to signal that. According to retired Lt. Mixson shuttled back and forth between Albuquerque. aided by Dr. capable of sending munitions hurtling through the Earth's atmosphere. as long as steps toward acquiring effective defensive and offensive space control capabilities continue to be held in check by political irresolution and popular indifference. “Mixson and Pricket were fed up with the Air Force system and Orion was a way to put a burr under the Air Force saddle blanket. multiple and unexpected interactions of failures are inevitable'. 2003.” explains Orion’s lead experimentalist. Kevin J. Ayotte and David Cram Helwich are Teaching Fellows in the Department of Communications at the University of Pittsburgh.” Gen. William Whittaker. 'even a tiny projectile reentering from space strikes the earth with such high velocity that it can do .C. D.html) The interlocking nature of offense and defense in military space technology stems from the inherent 'dual capability' of spaceborne weapon components .36 Deployment of space weapons with pre-delegated authority to fire death rays or unleash killer projectiles would likely make war itself inevitable. you could use the same capability to target something on land'. 35 To the extent that ballistic missile interceptors based in space can knock out enemy missiles in mid-flight. given the susceptibility of such systems to 'normal accidents'. Curtis LeMay as SAC’s commander in chief. by association. both provocative and polarizing. and 3) a deep space force (the Moon and beyond). the nation will run an increasing risk of being caught by surprise someday as a result of its space vulnerabilities being exploited by a hostile party—whether or not in a notional “space Pearl Harbor. No. Brian Dunne. According to Perrow. Associate Professor of Communication and Director of Debate at the University of Pittsburgh. D.

Everett C. the status quo. hundreds of billions of dollars. or transportation budgets.” 9-14-05. The tens (likely hundreds) of billions of dollars needed to develop. Space weapons in particular will be very. Immediately we see that the impact on the budget of significant increases in space weapons will be decreases in funding for combat aircraft. Ramifications for the most critical current function of the army. They might oppose US interests with asymmetric balancing. occupation. and deploy a minimal space weapons system with the capacity to engage a few targets around the world could displace a half a dozen or more aircraft carrier battle groups. entire aircraft procurement programs (such as the F-22). So long as America is the state most likely to acquire a breakthrough technology in this area. it is not hard to imagine that any nation subjected to space weapon attack would retaliate with maximum force. Such an event would be disconcerting to nations that accept the current international order (including the venerable institutions of trade. But such an outcome is less threatening than any other state doing so. finance. http://www. at minimum. It is a simple cliché but a powerful one. This creates a dilemma for both pro and anti-space weaponization camps. But what if an enemy of democratic liberalism should suddenly acquire the means to place quickly and cheaply multiple weapons into orbit? The advantages gained from controlling the high ground of space would accrue to it as surely as to any liberal state. and space weapons in particular. it is unlikely that any other state or group of states would find it rational to counter in kind.S. it is concern for the unanticipated arrival of technology X that initially motivates my own preference for a policy advocating immediate deployment of space weapons. As leader of the current system. On the other hand. and unstoppable retaliation.pdf) Indeed. Military Transformation and Weapons in Space. 37 In the same Star Wars technology touted as a quintessential tool of peace. including use of nuclear. or housing. the argument that the unilateral deployment of space weapons will precipitate a disastrous arms race is misplaced. test. even to states working towards its demise. save graciously decide to step aside.. An accidental war sparked by a computer glitch in space could plunge the world into the most destructive military conflict ever seen. my concern is limited to the problem of letting technology take us where it will. if not all. Although there is obvious opposition to the current international balance of power. To be sure. The entry cost to provide the infrastructure necessary is too high. defence analyst David Langford sees one of the most destabilizing offensive imagines dead cities of microwave-grilled people'. one that would assist in extending the current period of American hegemony well into the future. The tremendous effort in time and resources would be worse than wasted. So long as the US does not employ its power arbitrarily. The action would be a challenge to the status quo. With the downsizing of traditional weapons to accommodate heightened space expenditures. Placement of weapons in space by the United States would be perceived correctly as an attempt at continuing American hegemony. but at all weapons. and readilycounter preliminary effortsto displace it. Most states. perhaps far more compelling reason that space weaponization will in time be less threatening to the international system than without it. As . It is an even more difficult dilemma for those who oppose weapons in general. depending on how aggressively America uses its new power. There is another. This is a mighty task. would opt not to counter US deployments in %20Military%20Transform%20&%20Space. with the weaponizing state at the top. biological. navy. They offer no advantage if the target set they also offer no advantage in the mission of territorial occupation. Space advocates must sell their ideas to fellow pro-weapons groups by making the case that the advantages they provide outweigh the capabilities foregone. The years of investment it would take to achieve a minimal counter-force capability—essentially from scratch—would provide more than ample time for the US to entrench itself in space. there is also a sense that it is at least tolerable to the majority of states. One of the more cacophonous refrains against weapons procurement of any kind is that the money needed to purchase them is better spent elsewhere. the situation would be bearable initially and grudgingly accepted over time. It comes from military budgets. the US could do no less than engage in a perhaps ruinous space arms race. in light of the noend-in-sight occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. the surface battle fleet.Trinity Debate 2009-2010 File Name Tournament 8 enormous damage — even more than would be done by a nuclear weapon of the same size!'. And so the question should not be directed at particular weapons. the ability of the US to do all three will wane significantly. an attempt by any other state to dominate space would be part of an effort to break the land-sea-air dominance of the United States in preparation for a new international order. the more likely a potential opponent could seize low-earth orbit before America could respond. and control of foreign territory. very expensive. But weapons are offensive by their very nature. space weapons proponents must advocate reduction of these capabilities in favor of a system that will have no direct potential to do so Hence. This rationality does not dispute the fact that US deployment of weapons in outer space would represent the addition of a potent new military capacity. This would clearly be threatening. but the likelihood of a hemorrhaging arms race in space should the US deploy weapons there—at least for the next few years—is extremely remote. space considered is not global. and several heavy armored divisions. Are there not a thousand uses that are more beneficial for the money? But funding for weapons does not come directly from education. measured. The longer the US dithers on its responsibilities. Professor of Comparative Military Studies at the US Air Force’s School of Advanced Air and Space Studies. This is a tough sell for supporters of a strong military. A continuation of it is thus minimally acceptable. and the concomitant loss of military power from the denial of space to our already-dependent military force could cause the immediate demise of the extant international system. And America would respond … finally. not a perpetuation of it. weapons ever conceived: 'One Space primacy is prevents challengers Dolman 5. They deter violence by the omnipresent threat of precise. “U. At a time when many are calling for increased capability to pacify and police foreign lands. and ground forces. But would another state? If America were to weaponize space today.38 Given this unique potential for destruction. and law that operate within it) and intolerable to the US. and America must expect severe condemnation and increased competition in peripheral areas.e-parl. and/or chemical weapons. and marines are profound—pacification.

This option would complement the system currently being deployed but afford superior coverage at less cost than expanding the number of GMD sites beyond those already planned in the United States and in Europe. with military force if necessary. and Threats are increasing at a pace that may not give the United States the luxury of lengthy timelines to develop and deploy a missile defense against them. unstoppable. biological. and did so in a way that was perceived as tough. which are extending the sophistication of their strategic • arsenals in terms of warhead accuracy. and has severely restricted its own capacity to do so. Should the US use its advantage to police the heavens (assuming the entire cost on its own). global layered missile defense system.pdf) The proliferation of ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their possession by growing numbers of adversaries. Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis (A Space and Security. the world of sovereign states will recognize that the US does not threaten self-determination internally. This force would be precise. A global layered defense capability is necessary to counter these threats.ifpa. such an action would serve to discourage competing states from fielding opposing systems. countermeasures. its civilian population and deployed military forces. while the US is unchallenged in space. need for precision to allay the low volume of fire. over time its control of LEO could be viewed as a global asset and a public good. or nuclear attacks. but is in a poor position to challenge its sovereignty. Moreover. if the US were willing to deploy and use a military space force that maintained effective control of space. Strategic competitors. though it challenges any attempts to intervene militarily in the politics of others. A Net Assessment. Without as well as its security. not more. in effect expending a small amount of violence as needed to prevent a greater conflagration in the future. The limited requirement for collateral damage. IFPA ‘9. http://www. A state employing offensive deterrence through space- weapons can punish a transgressor state. Whether or not the United States sovereignty at risk. the likelihood of a future war in space is remote.Trinity Debate 2009-2010 File Name Tournament 9 such. The US will maintain its position of hegemony desires to be a good neighbor is not necessary to an opposing state’s calculation of survival. Russia and China. and allow unhindered peaceful use of space by any and all nations for economic and scientific development. would do much to stabilize the international system and prevent an arms race is space. non-arbitrary. January. and delivery systems. This threat encompasses: States such as North Korea and Iran which are working hard to acquire (or already possess) WMD • and the means to deliver them. they are far less threatening to the international environment than any combination of weapons employed in their stead. Moreover. The operational deployment of space weapons would increase that capacity by providing for nearly instantaneous force projection worldwide.Much in the manner that the British maintained control of the high and tremendous cost of space weapons will guarantee they are used only for high value. Seizing the initiative and securing low-Earth orbit now. enforcing international norms of innocent passage and property rights . fear of a spacedominant American military will subside. and friends and allies. radiological. The transgressor state is less likely to succumb to the security dilemma if it perceives its national survival is not at risk. and efficient. America will maintain the capacity to influence decisions and events beyond its borders. and the world will not be threatened by the specter of a future American empire. From low-Earth orbit (LEO). pose a serious and growing threat to the United States. the US must forego some of its ability to intervene directly in other states because its capacity to do so will have been diminished in the budgetary tradeoffs required. Why would a state expend the effort to compete in space with a superpower that has the extraordinary advantage of holding securely the highest ground at the top of the gravity well? So long as the controlling state demonstrates a capacity and a will to use force to defend its position. or to readily engage and destroy terrestrial ASAT capacity. the enhanced ability to deny any attempt by another nation to place military assets in space. Terrorist groups. which are making concerted efforts to obtain WMD that would enable them to • conduct chemical. Near-term options exist for developing viable space-based defenses within the next decade resulting in a comprehensive. makes the possibility of large scale space war and or military space races less likely. ranging from traditional strategic competitors to terrorist organizations. US Space domination is key to a global missile defense which solves the launch of every weapon of mass destruction. Transformation of the American military assures that the intentions of current and future leaders will have but a minor role to play in international affairs. the tremendous expense of space weapons inhibits their indiscriminate use.the US could prepare outer space for a long-overdue burst of economic expansion. and deadly. a layered defense makes the countermeasures available to the offensive systems much less effective . Furthermore. time sensitive targets. Over time. Layered defenses provide multiple opportunities to destroy attacking missiles in all three phases of flight from any direction regardless of their geographic starting point. At the same time.

phase most efficiently conducted by components deployed in space. In addition. Boost interception has the added advantage that the missile’s payload may. and has not released any of its warheads or countermeasures which would complicate interception in subsequent phases. presents a readily identifiable target (bright rocket plume).Trinity Debate 2009-2010 File Name Tournament 10 than would be the case if interdiction was only possible in one (or two) phase(s) of the missile’s flight. depending on how early interdiction occurs. a space-based boost-phase defense could always be on station on a world-wide basis. are particularly desirable because a missile is most vulnerable during this segment since it is relatively slow moving. . This situation could deter the launching state if it is confronted with the likelihood of serious damage to its own territory. fall back on the attacking nation. Boost phase intercepts. unfettered by sovereignty issues of overflight and operations on another nation’s territory. depending on the number of assets deployed.

Basically we are going to do Project Orion. knock yourself out. . A-spec. so we’re just not going to debate T. I don’t know what the final plan text will look like because it’s too early in the year and I haven’t researched topicality. Or something like that.Trinity Debate 2009-2010 File Name Tournament 11 Plantext: The United States federal government should utilize nuclear based propulsion systems to develop space colonies.

One Orion launch might be all thats necessary to kick off a new age . The need for high power densities for space missions favors nuclear energy sources. Without divulging classified information that would undoubtedly result in a long jail sentence. There is no guarantee that other technologies such as fusion propulsion. Plasma.300 years. Dyson first presented the Orion concept and then asked the reader to consider a massive spacecraft that would be constructed in orbit. This was a heady moment for interstellar enthusiasts.spacedaily. and electrical nuclear propulsion systems have problems with the constraint of the need of containment of a heated gas. No counterplan will solve space Ragheb ‘9. and some researchers are still coming up with new approaches to nuclear pulse propulsion. the founder of NuclearSpace (Wayne. a nuclear-bomb-powered ship could reach up to 10 per cent of the speed of light. The aim was to come up with a design for rapid interplanetary travel. Dyson projected that the world might be up to this task in the twentysecond century. allowing a journey to the nearest star in about 40 years. https://netfiles. Solid core nuclear thermal. Matter/antimatter has low propulsion efficiency and a prohibitive cost of the possible production and storage methods . but he was able to demonstrate that the crossing to Alpha Centauri (the nearest star system at about 40 trillion kilometers or 4. But analysts under-appreciated the political difficulty of convincing powerful governments to productively dispose of their dangerous toys. December. Also.html) Why worry about bold new tasks when life in the west is relatively comfortable and so many problems exist down here which need solving? What Orion can do is put unimaginably massive payloads into space at low cost. Theoretically. Associate Professor of Nuclear. What a wonderful thing to do with all the world’s H-bombs ! Although the economics of constructing the huge ship and transporting it and its fuel charges into orbit is daunting. Living off the land in Space. Fusion must await the demonstration of a system possessing sufficient energy gains for commercial and space applications . Beamed energy would require tremendous investments in ground and space based infrastructure. but there were concerns about fallout if it was launched in the atmosphere as planned. no matter how effective the shielding! Solves interstellar travel within 40 years because it only requires existing technology New scientist ‘9 (Michael Marshall. thousands of human migrants could depart for the nearest stars. Using basic principles and unclassified nuclear data. Nuclear pulse propulsion was studied seriously by the US government's military technology agency DARPA. gas core. The last frontier is after all an endless ocean of positive particulate radiation. Dimensions of such an interstellar Orion would be in the kilometer range (Figure 6.3 light-years from ours) would take %20and%20Plasma%20Space%20Propulsion. Despite these worries. We would still need to develop a reusable launch vehicle but it would only need enough fuel to reach orbit. http://www. “Engage the x drive: Ten ways to traverse deep space”. with heavy radiation shielding to protect the passengers. not destroy construction and fuel processing industries in space would ensure that abundant fuel stops in the form of space stations would exist for return journeys. he demonstrated that the USA and the USSR thermonuclear arsenal s could be utilized to expand humanity. Space Daily. Only nuclear pulse propulsion can solve for the infrastructure to colonize space Smith ‘3. pg 69-70 In that article. External pulse systems possess higher temperature limits and lower inert masses and circumvent that limitation. which restricts its specific impulse values. Using Orions propelled by thermonuclear detonations. and Radiological Engineering (Magdi. some realized that the mental health of a straship’s crew would not be favored by a one-megaton nuclear blast igniting less than a kilometer away every few seconds. “Nuclear Pulse and Plasma Space Propulsion”.uiuc. It seemed workable. under the code name Project Orion. matter antimatter and beamed-energy sails that are under study will be available during the first half of the twenty-first century. The project was eventually dropped in the 1960s when the first nuclear test bans came into force. We could then mine asteroids and build fleets of Orions off Earth where environmental impact studies would be of no concern. Our newly aquired mining. Dyson could not pin down the performance of his huge ships.1). “The Case for Orion”. the Orion design remains one that could be built using existing technology. and was built to be a giant shock absorber. Like the Starship Enterprise we would never in all likelyhood try to land Orions on Earth.pdf) This technology is immediately available for space missions. They would act as interplanetary ferries. Unparalleled access to space means we can lift the industrial infrastructure necessary to start using natural space resources for the first time. The design DARPA came up with was huge even by today's standards.Trinity Debate 2009-2010 File Name Tournament 12 Contention Three is Solvency Thermonuclear weapons should be utilized for nuclear propulsion Matloff ‘7. Physics professor at the New York City College of Technology and consultant for NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center (Gregory.

If you are an enthusiast. conquest and colonization. a senior research scientist at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder. Book Review. Perhaps one of the best arguments for allowing nuclear power to increase our foothold in space is provided by Daniel Durda. It would be a fine way of disposing of unwanted nuclear material. " he said. Colorado. But apparently not. something like the Orion is probably the only way to go. There was a time once when we were all about exploration. This can be done on the Orion by adjusting the yield of the bombs and the mass of the propellant . NASA would build it if they had the nukes Bernstein ‘2.Trinity Debate 2009-2010 File Name Tournament 13 of spaceexploration. by two-day UPS. Nothing. More exactly it is defined to be the exhaust velocity of the propellant divided by the gravitational acceleration. American Journal of Physics) Is there a future for the Orion? This depends on what you feel about manned space travel. This seems finally to have dawned on NASA. . "The worst scenario I can think of is a multi-kilometer-diameter. We can now be defined as a civilization that focuses on internal problems that will or can never be completely solved. You want to tune this to the needs of the mission. "There is absolutely nothing we could do about it at this point in time. the human condition. you can get unmanned vehicles to Mars with a chemical rocket—but not people. Survival should be a strong motivator for us even if our exploratory urge has diminished. and George reports that they are once again looking into Orion-type vehicles that might be assembled in space—perhaps in collaboration with the Russians. which is a measure of the time it takes a particular quantity of fuel to generate a specific amount of thrust. so that mass and energy are economized. There is something touching about this: UPS and Orion. “Project Orion: The True Story of the Atomic Spaceship”." You have only to look at the pockmarked moon to realise we can and do occasionally get hit by large bodies. As we know. George found himself in the odd position of sending NASA 1759 pages of copied reports. George assumed that they would have collected our old GA reports to study. You can see this from what is called the specific impulse. Professor Emeritus at the Stevens Institute of Technology (Jeremy. long-period comet discovered several months out on an impact trajectory as it is entering the innersolar system.

according to spaceweather. passed relatively close to Earth. obscuring views. As for warning. a 1.and rely upon America to protect their freedoms. our aff solves asteroids Dyson ‘5. the space rocks vaporize before they can do any harm. 7. "There is a danger of an asteroid killing the Earth. Comets also are a concern. an astrobiologist at NASA's Ames Research Center in California. So far. it has the potential to be just as awful as the 6-mile-diameter rock that wiped out most life on the planet 65 million years ago. "You wouldn't know it until the sky lit up and the impact shook the Earth. February.Trinity Debate 2009-2010 File Name Tournament 14 NASA leadership is key to space exploration and modelling Loureiro ’10 Retired Uraguayan Army Major (Luis A. five asteroids. Although the chances of any single asteroid striking the globe are fairly remote. who will guide the world in peaceful space applications? Without NASA there is a void of experienced leaders well grounded in science. there are thousands of potential planet-killers lurking in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. on standby to deflect meteors or other objects that threaten Earth. A rogue asteroid could easily blindside us by coming around the sun and approaching Earth with the sun behind it. we won't be as fortunate. political. but also in deep space exploration. although both asteroids passed about 1 million miles from Earth. but you need only look to the moon to see how violent space can be. Academic Search Complete) Some Orion enthusiasts hope to bring the project back to life." Morrison said. can shine and succeed. The budget is important for any administration. The 2004 discovery of Apophis. Issue 2. 26. when governments started to get involved. scientists say. And those are small ones. Nevertheless. Scientists warn that world needs to keep an eye on asteroids”. to the astonishment of the world. Asteroid tracking was largely the role of amateur astronomers until a few years ago.spacedaily. February 27. each larger than 328 feet in diameter. What if one is coming right at us? Scientists now say we have the technology to slightly alter the path of a planet-killer. That’s bad – Asteroids cause extinction by 2036 The Columbus Dispatch ‘7 / “Astronomical odds. Other months are busier. If and when nuclear explosives are less threatening to us on the ground. In April 2004. but there are so many more asteroids that they get the most attention. cutting spending in a myriad of programs from small private activities to large public projects. When the big one hits. for example. “The Grandest Rocket Ever. is about 70 percent of the way through an effort to identify all near-Earth asteroids larger than about one-third of a mile in diameter. Researchers at the recent American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting warned that it is inevitable that an asteroid large enough to crack the atmosphere will hit the planet. there might be reasons to establish an Orion-based Deep Space Force --a small fleet of unmanned vehicles. but they will now have to continue alone or somehow partner with other countries. When it does. The pockmarked lunar surface provides a clear picture of how asteroids have rearranged terrain since the solar system formed. Traditionally..6 billion years. part of American life and by extension. who was one of the original three scientists who worked on Project Orion ( Will countries continue along the moral high ground of benefiting all mankind with the fruits of exploration and innovation or will space become a battleground for national greed and gain? Independently. But the window of opportunity that opened between the launch of Sputnik in October 1957 and the establishment of NASA in July 1958 has permanently closed.”. it is the world's hope for better space exploration and understanding. http://www. 840 potentially dangerous asteroids have been named and charted. And so does the Barringer Meteor Crater. Mike Lafferty/ About twice a year. Volume.html) Since I live abroad you may think it not appropriate for me to comment on these programs. most countries around the world wait for a signal from America . Is prestige important? Not only is prestige important. In the United States. So we can track them.not only in LEO. Science Historian and Son of Freeman Dyson. NASA's budget has been "redirected" to simple LEO applications and some inexpensive research programs .200-foot-diameter asteroid . Until now. we might have a few weeks. Could a new window open up? Perhaps. There were close encounters on Feb. 1 and Feb. from the time of early explorations of the universe to today's highly advanced technological achievements. Can this be true? This is the agency that has contributed most to America's prestige with its innovative and extraordinary achievements in space. NASA. it is part of the American tradition. countries pursuing space programs have not competed against America or against each other. As a consequence of the international financial crisis many countries around the world have decided to drastically reduce their budgets. an asteroid smashes into Earth's atmosphere with the force of a Hiroshima-size atomic blast. Or none at all. an impact site that spans nearly a mile in northern Arizona. stationed in high orbit under international control. economic and military interests . we are approaching a new era in which space will be exploited by private. America's preeminence lights the free world and provides hope and support that other nations.the scientific and technological leader ." said David Morrison. too. NASA is much more than an American tradition and patrimonial treasure. “The Free World is Losing NASA’s Space Leadership”. Erosion and geologic forces have softened or eliminated most signs of impacts on Earth over the past 4. and a crater site in Ohio's Adams County that is 5 miles in diameter. Without NASA's leadership. The closeness of a "close encounter" is relative.

000 miles to spare. What concerns me is the proliferation. moved Morrison and other scientists to call for tracking smaller objects and initiating a plan to nudge stray asteroids into safe orbits. p. astronomers say the asteroid probably will clear Earth with 20. of the Johnson Space Center. and empirical studies of this kind. leveled trees over a 400-square-mile area and. one shows. a precise spot in space where gravitational forces could put it on a collision course. using conventional scientific arguments. knocked a man down 60 miles away. why the research in question is flawed according to the ordinary canons of good science. 1996 (Alan. In 2029. a journal like Social Textraises important questions that no scientist should ignore -. “A Physicist Experiments with cultural Studies. "It is possible to save the Earth from something like Apophis. epistemic relativism does little to further the discussion of these matters. it would produce a 40-megaton blast.Trinity Debate 2009-2010 File Name Tournament 15 that appeared headed for a collision with Earth in 2036. Melosh said everything around it would be buried beneath 20 inches of debris.. There is nothing wrong with research informed by a political commitment as long as that commitment does not blind the researcher to inconvenient facts. or (when challenged) admits their existence but downplays their practical relevance. he said.nyu. "What Apophis would do is destroy (an area the size of) England or northern California. The 10-megaton explosion obliterated herds of reindeer." Morrison said. 10-11) 3. or good history . not just of nonsense and sloppy thinking per se. There is a real world. Apophis will pass through an astronomical keyhole. The explosion would create a crater more than 2 miles wide and obliterate buildings and bridges in a 4-mile radius. professor of physics at New York University. Right now. "This is not about science. it would set off a tsunami and send enough chlorine and bromine from vaporized seawater to destroy the ozone layer. “What the Social Text Affair does and does not Prove”. Blowing the asteroid up. No matter where it strikes. A House Built on Sand: Exposing Postmodernist Myths about Science. Thus.8 Reality exists and failure to recognize that undermines their agenda Sokal. they estimate the risk of collision is about 1 in 45. there is a long and honorable tradition of sociopolitical critique of science. Now.7 percent chance that Apophis will hit Earth. said Edward Lu. http://www. causing climate changes severe enough to disrupt worldwide agriculture and threaten These critiques typically follow a standard pattern: First.” June 5. At its best." said former astronaut Russell Schweickart. I think. if conducted with due intellectual rigor. Apophis is large enough to toss enough dust into the air to cool the planet. Lu said. And if it hit the ocean. but that doesn’t mean we’re lying Sokal ’97 (Alan D.physics. about how corporate and government funding influence scientific work. an asteroid exploded in the air over remote Siberia. Jay Melosh. Then—and only then—one attempts to explain how the researchers' social prejudices (which may well have been unconscious) led them to violate these canons . the problem with such doctrines is that they are false (when not simply meaningless).questions. wouldn't work. said that if Apophis struck Earth.html) Why did I do it? While my method was satirical. reportedly. if it does. In 1908. good sociology. like in the movie Armageddon. but of a particular kind of nonsense and sloppy thinking: one that denies the existence of objective realities. for example.the utter absurdity of it all being concealed through obscure and pretentious language. But this general two-step approach is. my concern over the spread of subjectivist thinking is both intellectual and political. having good political intentions doesn't guarantee that one's analysis will constitute good science. In short. Melosh said. This is about public safety. Social Text's acceptance of my article . edited by Noretta Koertge. much contemporary academic theorizing consists precisely of attempts to blur these obvious truths -. who wants the United Nations to take the asteroid threat seriously. Of course. facts and evidence domatter." he said. Contention 4: Our Epistemology Answering the warrants of our argument is a prerequisite to winning – some science is misused. could shed useful light on the social conditions under which good science (defined normatively as the search for truths or at least approximately truths about the world) is fostered or hindered. Unfortunately. its properties are not merely social constructions. That would produce even more out-of-control rocks. Three years ago. a geophysicist at the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory. my motivation is utterly serious. 5 including antiracist critiques of anthropological pseudoscience and eugenics6 and feminist critiques of psychology and parts of medicine an biology. That is why NASA researchers and others are working to identify potential killer asteroids early. professor of physics at New York University. Intellectually.000. sound. author. scientists said there was a 2. each such critique has to stand or fall on its own merits. What sane person would contend otherwise? And yet. almost eight times larger than the most powerful nuclear bomb ever detonated.

We should recognize this as a literary criticism. Our impacts aren’t constructed until they prove it. dystopian. at the very least. Not keeping your eye on the ball. the Left has been identified with science and against obscurantism. Cognitive biases potentially affecting judgment of global risks Forthcoming in Global Catastrophic Risks. even physics becomes just another branch of Cultural Studies.meaning postmodernist literary theory -. metaphors and puns substitute for evidence and logic. then someone might criticize that novel as extreme. It’s overlooking the basics. Despite all dangers and temptations.not to mention being desirable human ends in their own right. But be very careful not to have too much fun accusing others of biases. eds. Accusing someone of conjunction fallacy leads naturally into listing the specific details that you think are burdensome and drive down the joint probability. all is rhetoric and ``language games. To quantify the annual probability of an asteroid strike in real life. If there are no factual errors. not good or bad hypotheses. intricate. Robert Pirsig said: “The world’s biggest fool can say the sun is shining. do not let the argument become about psychology .'' then knowledge of the real world is superfluous. No wonder they didn't bother to consult a physicist.carried to its logical extreme. that some fashionable sectors of the American academic Left have been getting intellectually lazy. allusions.” If you believe someone is guilty of a psychological error. Otherwise we will walk directly into the whirling helicopter blades of life. The editors of Social Textliked my article because they liked its conclusion: that ``the content and methodology of postmodern science provide powerful intellectual support for the progressive political project. not a matter of taste. If. apocalyptic. it is better to know about psychological biases than to not know. faced with any discomforting argument. If someone wrote a novel about an asteroid strike destroying modern civilization. It’s harder to abuse heuristics and biases than psychoanalysis. knowing a little psychology. moreover. Yudkowsky 6 – Eliezer Yudkowsky. That is the road that leads to becoming a sophisticated arguer – someone who. symptomatic of the author’s naive inability to deal with a complex technological society. Nor can we combat false ideas in history. finds at once a bias in it.'' They apparently felt no need to analyze the quality of the evidence. The results of my little experiment demonstrate. do not lose track of the real. If all is discourse and ``text. 2006. we can meddle in arguments where we have no technical expertise – instead sagely analyzing the psychology of the disputants . Research Fellow at the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence that has published multiple peerreviewed papers on risk assessment. The recent turn of many ``progressive'' or ``leftist'' academic humanists and social scientists toward one or another form of epistemic relativism betrays this worthy heritage and undermines the already fragile prospects for progressive social critique. Theorizing about ``the social construction of reality'' won't help us find an effective treatment for AIDS or devise strategies for preventing global warming. economics and politics if we reject the notions of truth and falsity. The one whom you must watch above all is yourself. Every true idea which discomforts you will seem to match the pattern of at least one psychological error. Garreau (2005) seems to hold that a scenario of a mind slowly increasing in capability. if facts of primary interest. We're witnessing here a profound historical volte-face. it is about good or bad novels. My own article is. not a scientific one. But that’s a technical question. we have believed that rational thought and the fearless analysis of objective reality (both natural and social) are incisive tools for combating the mystifications promoted by the powerful -. August 31. the cogency of the arguments. then demonstrate your competence by first demolishing their consequential factual errors.'' then internal logical consistency is superfluous too: a patina of theoretical sophistication serves equally well. Incomprehensibility becomes a virtue.Trinity Debate 2009-2010 File Name Tournament 16 exemplifies the intellectual arrogance of Theory -. no amount of psychologizing can tell you the exact slope of that curve. I'm angered because most (though not all) of this silliness is emanating from the self-proclaimed Left. complicated technique. . Jerry Cleaver said: “What does you in is not failure to apply some high-level. Politically. sociology. but that doesn’t make it dark out. is more mature and sophisticated than a scenario of extremely rapid intelligence increase.” Analyses should finally center on testable real-world assertions. one must study astronomy and the historical record: no amount of literary criticism can put a number on it. an extremely modest example of this well-established genre. Even so. or even the relevance of the arguments to the purported conclusion. Do not take your eye off the ball. Nick Bostrom and Milan Cirkovic. then what matters the psychology? The temptation of psychology is that. For most of the past two centuries.