Myth-free space advocacy part I-The myth of innate exploratory and migratory urges
Schwartz, James S. J.
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Schwartz, James S. J. 2017. Myth-free space advocacy part I-The myth of innate exploratory and migratory urges. Acta Astronautica, vol. 137, August 2017:pp 450-460
This paper discusses the "myth" that we have an innate drive to explore or to migrate into space. Three interpretations of the claim are considered. According to the "mystical interpretation," it is part of our "destiny" as humans to explore and migrate into space. Such a claim has no rational basis and should play no role in rationally- or evidence-based space advocacy. According to the "cultural interpretation," exploration and migration are essential features of human culture and society. These are not universal features because there are cultures and societies that have not encouraged exploration and migration. Moreover, the cultures that have explored have seldom conducted exploration for its own sake. According to the "biological interpretation" there is a psychological or genetic basis for exploration or migration. While there is limited genetic evidence for such a claim, that evidence suggests that genes associated with exploratory behavior were selected for subsequent to migration, making it unlikely that these genes played a role in causing migration. In none of these senses is it clearly true that we have an innate drive to explore or migrate into space; and even if we did it would be fallacious to argue that the existence of such a drive justified spaceflight activities.
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