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Old 02-23-2015, 03:52 PM
 
436 posts, read 420,704 times
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Bear with me. This is basically a sci-fi premise, so obviously there's a bit of suspension of belief...

But let's say humans were going to take a fresh planet that had zero life on it, and transfer the "good" life forms from Earth to it. Good not in the absolute sense, but ones that were good or neutral to humanity - i.e. all the beneficial plants and animals without, say... disease-bearing ticks, poison ivy, that sort of thing. (Maybe even no snakes - one can only hope lol.) Not all dangerous animals would be excluded - there would be predators, of course, because you need to keep the population down, and of course specimens from every aspect of the food chain, from tiny creatures to larger ones. But say, instead of transplanting huge populations of mosquitos that birds feed on, maybe they would instead introduce birds that fed on other bugs that were not a nuisance to humans.

So... could this be done? Is Earth's ecosystem so perfectly balanced that it can't survive any other way? And would species start evolving right away into forms that were again not beneficial to humans? For example, let's say all the berry bushes and fruit trees and mushrooms transplanted to the new planet were able to be eaten by most humans. (Never mind allergies.) Would they, within a few generations, develop some sort of poison as a defense mechanism? Or would the animals, say, adapt so that species that were not harmful to humans before, become so?
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Old 02-24-2015, 06:24 AM
 
Location: Type 0.73 Kardashev
11,110 posts, read 9,804,566 times
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The word for what you describe is 'terraformation'. It is, of course, a hypothetical concept.
Terraforming - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The hurdles seem to be scale and cost, as opposed to any actual theoretical barriers.

I think it more likely that simple life could be introduced to an alien body, and then allowed to do what life does - adapt to conditions. After all, ecosystems are dynamic and never static, even here in Earth.
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Old 02-24-2015, 09:14 AM
 
15,446 posts, read 21,341,511 times
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The Sci-Fi Channel could probably do something with that plot like a movie called Terra-Helling.

This planet certainly would not be a place I would care to inhabit at least until "life" reworked the man-made mediocrity into something with character and challenge.
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Old 02-24-2015, 11:16 AM
 
Location: Cape Cod
24,461 posts, read 17,203,514 times
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I think it could be done but what to include or leave out. The life on earth is crazy and so diverse. For most things if one thing was taken away they could still continue on but possibly altered in some way.

You mention leaving ticks out. I agree they are nasty little buggers and what purpose do they actually serve? I used to think like that until I read that a blood filled tick provides a tasty nutrient rich snack for a bird. I never thought of that.
How about mosquitos? There are many creatures that rely on them as a food source.

Even bacteria and fungus is important to the balance of nature.

Evolution is amazing in the adaptions it has created in creatures. Creating a new world wouldn't be easy but I know that world would be a better place without the virus plague that is humans.
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Old 02-24-2015, 12:57 PM
bjh
 
60,055 posts, read 30,368,879 times
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If the conditions were right for anything transferred to survive, evolution would carry on as it has here without regard to what one species - humans - considers beneficial or not harmful. The world does not revolve around us. Usually that's a pun.
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Old 02-26-2015, 10:20 AM
 
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A world like that would probably survive if the one species was excluded - humans.
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