[LMB] Terraforming and gengineering

Elin B elbju at yahoo.se
Mon May 14 14:15:42 BST 2012

Beatrice Otter wrote:
Subject: Re: [LMB] Terraforming and gengineering

"Elin B" <elbju at yahoo.se> wrote
>> OK, since it's so quiet I'll post a question that I suspect may be rather
>> stupid: given Enrique's redesigning of butter bugs to be compatible with
>> native Barrayaran biology, could similar things be done to humans in the
>> Vorkosiverse? The Cetagandans particularly come to mind. If the Cetagandan
>> empire were to stumble upon a new livable planet and decide to colonise
>> it, would they be able to engineer colonists whose bodies are more
>> compatible with the alien planet's biology than those of normal humans?

>Sure they could.  Why would they want to?  Remember, population density in
>the Vorkosiverse is very low.  For most planets, we are talking in the
>millions, not billions.  And new, easily-colonized worlds are regularly
>being discovered.  So, aside from special situations like Komarr which was
>colonized early on before people realized just how many good
>human-friendly planets there are out there, and which has the wormholes to
>induce people to stay, there is no economic or social pressure to get
>people to do something so drastic as modify their children's bodies that
>much just to make it easier to live on a particular plane.  If it is that
>hostile, just find another one.

Oh, I wasn't even thinking the planet would have to be terribly hostile. But even the most human-friendly,
Earth-similar planets still have an alien biology, don't they? The soil at least needs to be terraformed before 
humans can use it for growing human-compatible food, as the soil of Barrayar has largely been. Or so I have understood it, at least...?
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