Science: Outward Bound

By day Dandridge MacFarlan Cole, 39, is a respected high-level engineer in the Missiles and Space Vehicle Department of the General Electric Co. On his own time, Engineer Cole worries about the future of the human species—which he regards as very chancy, indeed. Last week at a meeting of the American Astronautical Society in Dallas, Cole argued that the best hope for humanity is to desert the earth entirely, and offered his own way-out plan for making the escape.

One reason for Cole's bearishness about earth is what he calls the "biodetonation": the explosive...

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