Monday, October 21, 2019

Did Time Start at the Big Bang?

Is Time Travel Impossible?

I still have a problem with "space-time" as a unified thing. This leads to conclusions like time didn't exist before the Big Bang, which I find highly questionable. However, Special Relativity depends upon it. In order for space-time to not exist, we would need a completely different model of the universe.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Quotation of the day

In this age of political hysteria, we must all educate ourselves on the facts – the actual science. Unfortunately, there seems to be a total lack of awareness about important issues that scientists like myself – who aren't paid by research grants – are concerned about.

Instead, climate science is being used as a political weapon, and the voices of scientists like me are being ignored or even vilified. I was under the impression that in the United States, all voices and arguments should be heard. Climate science is not settled science. If it was, why would there be a continuous flow of money to research it? For example, is AOC aware that in the fossil fuel era, in spite of a four-fold increase in population, deaths have plummeted?


Perhaps we should pause and consider why none of the global warming models from two decades ago have come to fruition. Perhaps we should slow down and think about the consequences of allowing our adversaries to supply the world with cheap energy, because one thing is for sure – wind farms and solar panels won't get the job done.

The objective reader should examine all sides of the climate debate and should ask himself: Are the consequences of acting hastily worse than not acting at all? I think many are skeptical of rushing forward. We must rein in the political hysteria and fear-mongering that is driving the climate change agenda.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

A Sound of Thunder

The 2005 "A Sound of Thunder" was an interesting time travel science fiction movie, although the special effects were kind of crappy. I like the movie, but I suspect that it would look dated.

The premise of the movie is that if you time travel back to the time of the dinosaurs and make one tiny little change then you will completely alter the present in horrible ways.

However, I don't buy this premise. The natural forces that alter this world over tens of millions of years aren't going to care didly squat what you did 70 million years ago. That is like saying if I were to spit into the Missippi River at Minneapolis Minnesota that it would cause a flood in New Orleans Louisianna.


Monday, September 30, 2019


The next to last sentence in this video is a hoot.

The Zipf Mystery

This is really interesting, for the mathematical or the inquisitive.

"The way one of my teachers explained the 80 20 thing: 80% of the noise in a classroom is caused by 20% of the students."

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Which Way Is Down?

This has some interesting explanation of Relativity.

I have some problem with the concept of "Spacetime" because that leads to conclusions like time didn't exist before the Big Bang.

The Special Theory of Relativity is a great model for making predictions in the universe, but maybe, and that is a big maybe, another theory could also make accurate predictions.

Fwd: Asteroids and earth life

Asteroid dust may have triggered massive explosion of life on Earth 466 million years ago

Nearly half a billion years ago, there was a huge explosion of species development on Earth, causing the biodiversity of animals to increase dramatically -- but the true cause of that event has remained a mystery.

In a new paper published on Wednesday in Science Advances, scientists show that the event's onset coincided with the largest documented asteroid breakup in the asteroid belt over the past two billion years.

That breakup, which was triggered by a collision with another asteroid or comet, would have spread enormous amounts of dust throughout the solar system.

"The blocking effect of this dust could have partly stopped sunlight from reaching the Earth – leading to cooler temperatures," the study's co-author Birger Schmitz, a professor of nuclear physics at Lund University, writes in The Conversation. "We know that this involved the climate changing from being more or less homogeneous to becoming divided into climate zones – from Arctic conditions at the poles to tropical conditions at the equator. The high diversity among invertebrates, including green algae, primitive fish, cephalopods and corals, came as an adaptation to the new climate."

Schmitz and his colleagues also studied the distribution of very fine-grained, extremely tiny dust in the sediment, determining its extraterrestrial origin by discovering helium and other substances inside the sediments.

"Our results clearly show that enormous amounts of fine-grained dust reached Earth shortly after the breakup," writes Schmitz.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

The Brachistochrone

The Physics of this is really interesting.

M&M's - Wikipedia

The candy-coated chocolate concept was inspired by a method used to allow soldiers to carry chocolate in warm climates without it melting.

During World War II, the candies were exclusively sold to the military

Monday, September 16, 2019

Stable Climate

We are fortunate to live in a geologically stable period. In 535 AD, a supervolcano blew away one island in the Philipines creating an 18-month nuclear winter world wide. However, that's small potatoes compared to what this planet has been through. We have enjoyed about 12,000 years of relative comfort after the last period of glaciation. This brief warm period is predicted to go away in another 10,000 years. The further you go back in time, the more extreme some of the events have been, including at least five mass extinctions. One of these was caused by an asteroid strike and another may have been caused by a deadly gamma-ray burst from space. Twice, the planet has frozen solid, covered in a mile or more of ice worldwide. In the very early days of planet Earth, a Mars-sized object hit the Earth scooping out enough material to create the moon.  


Saturday, September 7, 2019

What Will We Miss?

This is a very interesting video.

It would seem impossible for humans to survive billions of year.  If we have any descendants billions of years from now, then they would be dramatically different in form and function.  They would also have to survive many worldwide extinction events.

Due to plate tectonics coming to an end, the Earth is predicted to be cold, dry and dead in 500 million years.  Maybe our more advanced descendants, if they are still around, will find a way to terraform the planet  

I think that machine intelligence will eventually replace biological intelligence.  I see this happening through our own actions as we slowly modify ourselves.  I think that the beginnings of this will start in our lifetimes.

Here is another very interesting video from the same source, called "Last Words."

Best wishes,

John Coffey

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Standing still

You may think that you are standing still. You are on the surface of a planet rotating at a thousand miles per hour. (Here in Columbus, Indiana at a latitude of 39.2 degrees, we are only moving at 803.6 MPH.) The Earth orbits the sun at 67,000 miles per hour or 18.6 miles per second. (This changes slightly because the Earth's orbit is not exactly circular, but elliptical. Since the Earth is the closest to the sun on January 3rd, the perihelion, that is when it would have the most velocity. Since it is the farthest from the sun on July 4th, the aphelion, that is when it would be moving the slowest.)

Our entire solar system orbits the center of the Milky Way Galaxy at 514,000 miles per hour or 143 miles per second. This is roughly 1/1300 the speed of light. Still, it takes 230 million years to travel all the way around the galaxy.

The universe is expanding. Most of the galaxies are moving away from each other. The Milky Way Galaxy, which you are a part of, is moving at 1.3 million miles per hour or 361 miles per second. This is roughly 1/515 the speed of light.


End of Space – Creating a Prison for Humanity

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Fwd: Better motor

From: utahtrout 

they claim that its motor, the Linear Labs Hunstable Electric Turbine (HET) will perform so much better than conventional motors that electric cars with these motors can eliminate any sort of gearboxes, expect 10 percent more range from a given battery size, while providing more power and torque for a given size of motor.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Renewable Energy is a Scam

Fwd: Mosquitos change everything

How Mosquitoes Changed Everything

They slaughtered our ancestors and derailed our history. And they're not finished with us yet.

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: John Coffey <>
Date: Tue, Aug 7, 2018 at 8:43 PM
Subject: Let's Kill All The Mosquitoes! No, really.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Why I believe in UFOs, and you should too... | Ben Mezrich | TEDxBeaconStreet

I'm extremely skeptical.  There is a real lack of evidence.  

The distances between stars are so vast that the energy requirements for interstellar travel are by our standards almost infinite.  The cost of the moon program in modern dollars was around a hundred billion dollars.  Sending little robots to Mars costs several billion dollars.  Any kind of interstellar program would cost at least a trillion dollars.  It is not about money.  It is about resources required, either by us or by another civilization, which are enormous.

There are also practical considerations.  Space is very radioactive making it impractical for travel.  It takes a great deal of effort to keep humans alive in space.  Also, anything moving faster than 1% the speed of light is in danger of being obliterated by a grain of sand that happens to be in the way.  At 10% the speed of light, the super thin interstellar gasses, although almost non-existent, are enough to create considerable resistance.  I have heard that it would difficult to go any faster than this.

For this reason, if I were designing an interstellar craft, I would make it shaped like a giant needle with it being very thin.  I don't know if this is practical.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

If the universe is only 14 billion years old, how can it be 92 billion light years wide?

There was a time when parts of the universe were moving away from other parts of the universe faster than the speed of light. That time is right now. The point is space itself is expanding everywhere at a very rapid rate. It was even more in the very early universe, during a period called super inflation. Then it settled down to something reasonable, but because of Dark Energy, the expansion will become greater over time.

This video explains and clarifies what we mean by the visible universe and the microwave background radiation. However, it takes some effort to understand it.

Friday, June 14, 2019

The Green New Deal, explained

It fails to mention that we have only gone up one degree since 1880. The change in the CO2 level has on average been less than 1 part per million per year, and the temperature change on average has been less than 1/100th of a degree per year.
It fails to mention that predictions used to be in the 6 to 12-degree range, and that it was predicted that the polar ice caps would melt when we got to 5 degrees. Now they are saying that an extra 1 to 1.5 degrees over what we have now are a problem. It fails to mention that we will be out of most fossil fuels by the year 2100. It fails to mention that over the long history of the earth the CO2 level in the atmosphere declined so drastically that we were running out of atmospheric CO2. During the last period of glaciation, the level dropped to 180 PPM, which is dangerously close to the level where all the terrestrial plants die. It fails to mention the benefits we have gotten from CO2, such as increased crop yields. It fails to mention that there are methods for taking CO2 out of the atmosphere, such as Iron Fertilization. However, I don't think that we need to. We are predicted to reach 800 PPM CO2 level by the year 2100 which is roughly when our fossil fuels will run out.  
It fails to mention that we will have practical nuclear fusion by 2050, if not much sooner.

HBOs Chernobyl: BUSTED!

I find it appalling that a popular drama would so distort the science.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

How Far Are The Nearest Stars?

When this guy goes on his road trip, the first thing I thought was that it looked like Salt Lake City.

Speaking of Idaho, I took one trip to the relatively small town of Pocatello to play in a chess tournament.  It was 172 miles away.  I love Salt Lake City, but it is hundreds of miles away from other major cities.  Las Vegas is 420 miles away.  Denver is 520 miles, and so is Reno Nevada. Boise is 340 miles.

Does the Sun have a magnetic North and South pole? — Astroquizzical

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Drag racing

In a restaurant they had Drag Racing on a TV. The racer obtained 205 MPH in 6 seconds. I did some math and got 1.55 horizontal G forces, which is amazing. The net G force combined with the earth's gravity is close to 2.

It is my understanding that some electric vehicles can do better.

Best wishes,

John Coffey

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Range of human radio broadcast.

Not the square, but the blue dot. 

I have heard that our radio broadcasts are too weak to extend even that far.

This is about three times the diameter of "Known Space", which is the area explored by humans in a fictional series of great science fiction novels by Larry Niven and others.  However, at least five different advanced species exist in "Known Space."

My point is that you could have a vast empire just in the area of the blue dot.

BTW, our galaxy has so much mass that there are a couple of smaller galaxies that orbit it in the same way planets orbit the sun.

Flat Earth: What Makes REAL Science?

What If We Detonated All Nuclear Bombs at Once?

Saturday, March 9, 2019

The Verge: The US Air Force’s jet-powered robotic wingman is like something out of a video game

The need for pilots are diminishing.

The US Air Force's jet-powered robotic wingman is like something out of a video game
The Verge

The XQ-58A Valkyrie is designed to operate as a 'loyal wingman' Read the full story

Monday, March 4, 2019

How plastic from clothing gets into seafood

I am wondering how long it takes plastics to break down?  I always thought that anything organic small enough would be broken down by bacteria.

Also, some chemicals used to make plastics are carcinogenic.

I have seen in the past how ships would dump their garbage at sea, and I wonder if this is still a common practice?

Why parrots can talk like humans

Sunday, March 3, 2019

The future of humanity

I see a danger to the future existence of the human race, and it is the kind of thing that people should think about and prepare for now. Sometime in the next 50 years machines will be smarter than people. There are major technical hurdles to overcome, such as the inevitable end of Moore's Law, which probably mean that it is not right around the corner or even within the next couple of decades, but it will happen, and easily within this century. And if for some reason it does happen within the next couple of decades then that means the results will be upon us that much sooner.

We can predict what will happen next and follow it to its logical conclusion, which is a future without people.

As machines become smarter, people will become increasingly reliant on technology. We can see that already with smartphones, which only have been with us for barely over a decade. Eventually machines will do all the heavy mental work, which will make our lives easier, but also make us more dependent.

And since we will be so dependent on the machines, we will start incorporating them into us. This will evolve over time until we are no longer purely human, but human machine hybrids. Perhaps when your biological brain dies, the machine part of you will be able to continue with all your memories intact. Maybe it would have an artificial body or maybe it will exist in a virtual world. It is likely that some would prefer to live in a virtual world where they can do more things than they could in the real world. Taken to the eventual extreme, our descendants would no longer bother with biological bodies and prefer to exist as machine intelligences either in the real world or in virtual ones.

The evolutionary pressure will be against purely biological people. Having machines incorporated into you will make you more productive, competitive, and increase your quality of life.

The future I describe might be long distant, but if it is not the future we want for the human race then we should start thinking about it now. Maybe we could have a Pure Human movement that would prohibit the merging of machine intelligence with human intelligence? This could be roughly analogous to the current legal ban on human cloning, because we very likely have the technology right now to clone humans, but countries ban it because they are uneasy about the implications of where that might take us.

However, we might not be able to prevent it. Linking machines with human intelligence is likely to happen in such small steps that we will easily adjust to it. It is sort of happening already with our dependence on computers. It could also start as a series of military applications where having the most effective soldiers determines who wins the wars. And once the genie is out of the bottle, we will never get it back in.

Best wishes,

John Coffey

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Re: CBS News: Grand Canyon tourists reportedly exposed for years to radiation

Grand Canyon tourists reportedly exposed for years to radiation
CBS News
A safety manager for the park says the exposure came from uranium rocks stored in buckets Read the full story

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Climate change argument on Facebook

* My Facebook comment.
The numbers are not very impressive.  Since 1880, which is the measure most people use, on average the CO2 level has gone up less than 1 part per million per year and the temperature has gone up less than 1/100th of a degree celsius per year.  You could argue that since about 1970 things have accelerated a little, but a little less than double.  The temperature went up on average of 0.016 degrees celsius pear year.  It is going take a very long time to reach the five degrees needed to melt the polar ice caps, which are according to every source going to take 5,000 years to melt.  Meanwhile we will be out of most fossil fuels by the year 2100 and coal will be gone by the 2150.  The only thing that will save us from running out of energy will be nuclear fusion, which fortunately is not that far off.

Three years ago I wrote this:

The amount of carbon on planet Earth by definition remains pretty much the same. Man has been burning fossil fuels, which puts carbon into the atmosphere. Where did the carbon in the fossil fuels come from? It mostly came from plants and bacteria that got buried underground due to geological processes. Over millions of years natural processes turned the plants and bacteria into fossil fuels. Where did the plants and bacteria get their carbon from? They got it from the atmosphere. The carbon that we are now putting into the atmosphere originally came from the atmosphere.

To better understand this, we have to understand the complete history of atmospheric carbon dioxide on planet Earth. The original earth atmosphere was an amazing 43% carbon dioxide compared with the roughly .04% that we have now. That original atmosphere had so much pressure that it could crush a man flat. About 2.5 billion years ago, cyanobacteria began using photosynthesis to convert carbon dioxide into free oxygen, which lead to the creation of our oxygen rich "third atmosphere" 2.3 billion years ago. At that time the carbon dioxide levels were about 7,000 parts per million, but it went into a somewhat steady but uneven decline because geological processes would sequester carbon underground. The decline was uneven because as part of the "carbon dioxide cycle", sometimes geological processes like volcanoes would cause massive amounts of carbon dioxide to be released back into the atmosphere.

Thirty million years ago during the Oligocene Epoch, the average temperature of the earth was about 7 degrees Celsius warmer than it is now. There was no ice on the poles, but the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was in rapid decline during this epoch. About 23 million years ago, at the beginning of the Neogene period, ice began to form on the poles. About ten million years ago, a series of intermittent ice ages began that continue to this day. I found one source that said that we are still technically in an ice age because we still have ice at the poles.

These ice ages helped create human evolution. The ice ages caused Africa to dry up which lead to some deforestation. This forced some arboreal (tree dwelling) apes to venture onto land. About 7 million years ago, the first apes that could comfortably walk upright appeared. They had evolved a new type of pelvis that allowed upright locomotion, which is about three times more efficient when trying to cross land.

The first tool making ape that resembled modern humans, Homo habilis, arose 2.5 million years ago. It would be soon followed by Homo erectus, and then about 200,000 years ago, modern humans, Homo sapiens would arise. However, Homo sapiens almost died out. About 50,000 years ago an ice age in Europe had caused Africa to almost completely dry up. The total human population had dropped to 7,000 individuals living on the southern coast of Africa. During this period humans learned how to fish, make new tools, and create permanent dwellings. When the ice age abated, these humans with their new tools spread out to rest of the world at a pace of about a mile per year. This was the beginning of the Upper Paleolithic (Late Stone Age) period.

More ice ages would follow, and during each ice age human population would decline. It is no coincidence that all of human civilization (i.e. agriculture, use of metals) would arise during a "brief" warm period between two ice ages starting about 10,000 years ago. I have heard that no matter what we do, we will enter a new ice age in about 10,000 years from now, but I have also heard speculation that the next ice age will be delayed by global warming. This actually should be our goal, since humans have always declined during the ice ages and always prospered during the intermittent warm periods.

During the geological time period of the earth, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has been on an uneven decline and mostly disappeared. Atmospheric carbon dioxide is necessary for plant growth, and I have read that we were running dangerously low on atmospheric carbon dioxide, about 00.02%, before mankind at least temporarily reversed the trend. I just read a wikipedia article that said that atmospheric carbon dioxide will eventually get so low that all plants and animals will die off. What mankind has done is put carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere that was previously there, thus possibly delaying the next ice age. Currently the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is about 00.04%.

Carbon dioxide by itself cannot cause significant global warming. There are diminished returns. Carbon dioxide has to double again to produce the same effect as the last doubling. The effect is not linear but logarithmic. What the alarmists are worried about, and they could be correct, is positive feedback. The warming of the earth causes more water vapor to enter the atmosphere, and water vapor is a much stronger greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, thus causing more warming. If this were true, however, the last warming period around the year 2000 should caused a continuous positive feedback, a runaway greenhouse, which didn't happen. Instead temperatures went into a major decline and hit a really big low point in the year 2007.

The skeptics believe that increased cloud cover reflects sunlight back into space thus causing a negative feedback. The skeptics are not "global warming deniers", which is a pejorative phrase used by global warming theorists to make the skeptics sound like holocaust deniers. These skeptics actually believe in global warming. At least, the legitimate skeptical scientists do. They just think that global warming is happening at a rate slower than predicted by the theorists. I can point you to an article that shows that the positive feedback models have been contradicted by the actual temperature data, which in reality has been closer to the negative feedback models.

The worst case scenario is that the polar ice caps will melt. If that happens we will lose some coastlines and all of Florida due to sea level rise. However, according to what I just read, it will take 5,000 years for the polar ice caps to melt. In other words, these are processes that take a very long time to happen. In this century we are only looking at modest temperature increases. In the meantime, humans are very adaptable. We are only five to ten years away from creating the first workable prototypes of nuclear fusion. It might take 25 years for this to be practical, but at that point if we wanted to get rid of fossil fuels altogether, we could. I think that we will also see advances in solar power, which is already happening, and battery technology to store the energy created by solar. In other words, we have it within our means to avoid any possible disasters that might be coming.

Best wishes,

John Coffey

P.S. Figure 4 here is interesting:

* How people responded
Hank Mayo Gish:  gallop of nonsense by a Facebook nobody looking for attention.

Joey Jordan:  John Coffey where to begin?  Let's just begin and end with the notion that CO2 levels haven't spiked dramatically as a result of human activity and that the global temperature rise is insignificant. 

The significance of even a half a degree of warming when an additional 1,1-2,6 under the most optimistic of models. 

Hank Mayo:  Joey Jordan ...just WOW!  You took on this utter nonsense and started unpacking it.

Ralph Philips John Coffey ...Can you just stick to one lie at a time?

* My Response
People throwing out insults shows what jerks they can be.  Let's talk about facts.

I didn't deny a spike in CO2 nor did I a deny human cause.  You try to counter my claim that the rise in temperature is not significant, but you don't give any temperature data.  Here is what we know:

The temperature rise since 1880 is about 1 degree celsius.  I have seen different figures that range from .8 to 1.1, so for now I will just say 1 degree.  Over the 139 year period, that is still less than 1/100th of a degree per year.  According to what I have read, the temperature increase since 1970 has been on average 0.16 degrees per decade, or 0.016 degrees per year.

Your graph shows the current CO2 level at 400 PPM, which if correct would be an increase of 120 PPM over 139 years.  However, the last time I had checked this, we were around 408, but a google search shows it to now be 412 PPM, and the same google search shows this is 3 PPM higher than this time last year.  Although the average increase since 1880 is still about 1 PPM per year, I am concerned about whether this trend of 3 PPM increase per year will continue.  

Whether or not this is significant depends upon where you draw the endpoints of your graph.  I should point out that your graph shows that during previous periods of glaciation the CO2 level got down to 180 PPM, which is just 30 PPM above the level where all the plants die off.  Plants have been starved for CO2 and the increase that we have made has been very beneficial for crop yields.  However, if you look at the graph that I gave a link to, you will see that the the CO2 level has been in a nosedive for the last 30 million years or so.

Now somebody might say it doesn't matter what the CO2 level was 30 million years ago, we like where it is right now.  However, a lot more people die from cold than from heat.  Given a choice of living in a colder climate or a warmer climate, most people would choose a warmer climate. During the Medieval Warm Period, people were able to grow crops far further north than they could otherwise.  People talk about corn crops dying, but it just means that area where corn can be grown will be further north.  

Besides, the numbers we are talking about (so far) aren't that significant, and that's my point.  I feel like people keep moving the goalposts.  There has been much debate and disagreement over what the Climate Sensitivity to a doubling of atmospheric CO2 is.   Some people were saying it is 12 degrees, with others saying it is 5 or 6 degrees, which is still terrible because that is enough to melt the polar ice caps and all our coasts are going to get flooded.  However, if you calculate Climate Sensitivity from existing CO2 and temperature data you only get about 2.3 degrees.   The IPCC gives a predicted range of 1.5 to 4.5 claiming an average of 3.  As part of this, the IPCC accepted a paper where 20nth century data showed the Climate Sensitivity to only be about 1.5 degrees celsius.  

The reason why I think that people are moving the goalposts is not only has the IPCC over time lowered the numbers they give for Climate Sensitivity, but now people are claiming that we should be worried about the difference between 1.5 and 2 degrees celsius.  I have heard some climate scientists scoff at this, because they say that in a typical day we will see a 30 degree range and people are making a fuss over a couple of degrees.

These changes are happening at a glacial pace, excuse the pun.  Some changes will happen between now and the year 2100 and people will adapt.  Not all these changes are bad.  Slightly warmer climates will have some benefits.  

But long term, over geological time periods, the trend is much more ominous, and not for reasons you think.  We will be running out of fossil fuels in 100 years and headed for another ice age in 10,000 years.  Natural processes will continue to cause a decline in atmospheric CO2.  At some point in the long distant future will have to find a way to put CO2 back into the atmosphere to survive.

Best wishes,

John Coffey

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Fwd: China weapons tech

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: utahtrout

An unclassified report by the Defense Intelligence Agency says Beijing has made enormous military strides in recent years, thanks partly to domestic laws forcing foreign partners to divulge technical secrets in exchange for access to China's vast market.

As a result of "acquiring technology by any means available," China now is at the leading edge on a range of technologies, including with its naval designs, with medium- and intermediate-range missiles, and with hypersonic weapons -- where missiles can fly at many times the speed of sound and dodge missile-defense systems.

"The result of this multifaceted approach to technology acquisition is a PLA (People's Liberation Army) on the verge of fielding some of the most modern weapon systems in the world," states the report, entitled "China Military Power."

"In some areas, it already leads the world."

Beijing has said it will not hesitate to use force if Taipei formally declares independence, or in the case of external intervention -- including by the United States, the island's most powerful unofficial ally.

"The biggest concern is that as a lot of these technologies mature... (China) will reach a point where internally within their decision-making they will decide that using military force for a regional conflict is something that is more imminent," the official said on condition of anonymity.