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Dolores1984 comments on [Link] Reddit, help me find some peace I'm dying young - Less Wrong

22 Post author: Konkvistador 18 August 2012 03:17PM

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Comment author: Dolores1984 22 August 2012 02:32:27AM *  2 points [-]

Flying pigs might not necessarily violate the laws of physics either. That's not a good argument in favour of the claim that it will be eventually possible to create flying pigs.

For the record, it will one day be perfectly possible to create flying pigs, and it will probably be done as an art project, when the science of bio-engineering is sufficiently well understood. It's probably possible now, in fact,, if there were a substantial R&D push, and you allowed biomechanical augmentation.

EDIT: I'm right. If you bolt a jet engine and a pair of glider wings onto the skeleton of a pig, the animal will fly. And you can definitely splice enough genes to give a pig hollow bones and functional wings. The latter's just quite a bit harder than the former. Doesn't mean it won't be done, eventually.

Comment author: V_V 22 August 2012 09:37:37AM 0 points [-]

If you bolt a jet engine and a pair of glider wings onto the skeleton of a pig, the animal will fly.

If you load a pig in the cargo hold of a Boeing 747, the animal will fly, but I meant biologically flying pigs.

While I can't prove they are physically impossible, I don't assign a significant probability to the claim that they will be eventually created.

Comment author: Dolores1984 22 August 2012 05:04:21PM -1 points [-]

I think that's unreasonably pessimistic without an upper bound on time limit. In any case, there's substantially less interest in an art project like that than there is in, say, bringing people back from the dead.

Comment author: V_V 22 August 2012 06:51:07PM -1 points [-]

The claim I was considering is flying pigs being technologically possible at some time in the future, not they being actually made (which is less likely).

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 22 August 2012 05:13:17AM 0 points [-]

If you want an animal the size of an adult pig to fly under its own power, it's going to be a very challenging problem.

Comment author: Alicorn 22 August 2012 05:18:03AM 0 points [-]

Are there any naturally occurring vertebrates that can fly as juveniles but lose the power as adults? Do we have reason to believe that there are early or flightless birds that passed through a stage like that? Because that would be interesting.

Comment author: Dolores1984 22 August 2012 06:39:38AM -2 points [-]

'Under its own power' was not specified as part of the problem. But even under those conditions, a piglet is not dramatically larger than the big fruit bats. It could be done, mechanically. Actually getting that terrifying clusterfuck of a genome to work would be quite a challenge, but I have little doubt someone will do it eventually.