It’s time for another Creative Challenge. Here’s the deal. You are in command of a once-in-a-generation expedition to take settlers to another world, a habitable planet orbiting a relatively nearby star. It’s an enormously expensive undertaking, and your ship may be the only one that ever gets to that world, so you have to choose the settlers carefully.
Of course you want the best advice about genetic diversity, because you don’t want a world full of inbred idiots with various genetic disorders. But do you need to have people from every diverse population on Earth? You can’t do that, because there’s countervailing issue — your passengers may be the only ones who ever get to the new world. They’ll need to work and live together. They’ll have to speak the same language and have the same basic values. It would be suicidal to have potentially hostile factions in your small population, so they have to be culturally homogeneous
But you can work that out. Japan, for example, is essentially all Japanese, but they’re not a bunch of inbreds. That’s also true for much smaller countries, like Iceland. You can have cultural homogeneity without worrying too much about genetic diversity.
A bigger problem is getting people who possess all the knowledge and skills that the new world will require. You’ll need scientists and engineers, and people who know agriculture and building construction. Of course you’ll need physicians. The list is long, but space aboard your ship is limited. You can’t take experts in every discipline.
Your task, dear reader, is to make sure that the available berths on your ship are not wasted on people with unnecessary or undesirable training. Our question to you is: What would you leave out? Obviously, no sane expedition would include creation scientists. But what else doesn’t qualify?
Your Curmudgeon wouldn’t waste space on theologians or sociologists. Nor would we have room for experts in some of the numerous contemporary topics found in liberal arts schools, like any of the varieties of so-called critical studies. But we want to hear from you. What would you leave out?
The form of today’s challenge is that you must tell us, with reasonable brevity:
You know the rules: A successful entry should be self-explanatory. You may enter the contest as many times as you wish, but you must avoid profanity, vulgarity, childish anatomical analogies, etc. Also, avoid slanderous statements about individuals. Feel free to comment on the entries submitted by others — with praise, criticism, or whatever — but you must do so tastefully.
There may not be a winner of this contest, but if there is, your Curmudgeon will decide, and whenever we get around to it we’ll announce who the winner is. There is no tangible prize — as always in life’s great challenges, the accomplishment is its own reward. We now throw open the comments section, dear reader. Go for it!
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