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Thread: How Long Can The Human Race Survive?

  1. #31
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    Right now our definitions of human relating to our own ancestry are shifting as we learn more about our mixed hominin background.

    How different will a line of descent have to be do be considered another species? What about "post-human" individuals who modify themselves without changing their germline heredity? Who decides where the lines are drawn?
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Superluminal View Post
    Assuming there are no natural or human made disasters, how long can we survive before evolution "takes us out?" Will we be around to witness the Sun expand off the Main Sequence and cook us? Will we evolve into something quite different or just die out?
    Here's a summary of human evolution that has been taking place over the last two million years.

    https://www.history.com/news/humans-...als-denisovans

    If I understand solar evolution correctly, said cooking is about 600 million to 800 million years, or 300 to 400 times as long, into the future. So maybe the changes to what are now humans will be 300 to 400 times as large. In fact, if we go back 600 million years into the past, my understanding is that this is about the time when we were seeing what were arguably the first animals evolving.

    So if 600 million years in the future, there are things walking around earth that are recognisably human, I would say that is an extraordinary and unprecedented case of stability in the evolution of life.
    A: "Things that are equal to the same are equal to each other"
    B: "The two sides of this triangle are things that are equal to the same"
    C: "If A and B are true, Z must be true"
    D: "If A and B and C are true, Z must be true"
    E: "If A and B and C and D are true, Z must be true"

    Therefore, Z: "The two sides of this triangle are equal to each other"

  3. #33
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    So if 600 million years in the future, there are things walking around earth that are recognisably human, I would say that is an extraordinary and unprecedented case of stability in the evolution of life.

    That's sort of what I was thinking when I made the OP. The dinosaurs ruled the world for millions of years. Yet during that, various dinosaur specie's came and went. If Chicxulub, or the Decan volcanoes hadn't happened, dinosaurs would still be roaming around, but there would be no T-Rex or triceratops.

  4. #34
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    "dinosaurs would still be roaming around, but there would be no T-Rex or triceratops."
    Dougal Dixon did a book on that.
    SHARKS (crossed out) MONGEESE (sic) WITH FRICKIN' LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Superluminal View Post
    So if 600 million years in the future, there are things walking around earth that are recognisably human, I would say that is an extraordinary and unprecedented case of stability in the evolution of life.
    I don't think anyone was claiming that there would be.

    As far as the question of when our descendants may cease to be recognizably human, that all depends on what we recognize. It's easy to forget that the homogenous single variety of H. Sapiens we have now, is a fairly recent and temporary situation. We're used to judging each other's humanity or "lack" of it by fairly superficial, minor differences. When we speciate into many varieties, who will be recognized? How will the different branches relate and conflict with each other?

    The first (claimed) gene-tweaked children have already touched off major contention around the world. What will we do when the first purple skinned neighbors move in down the street? Or when we share our universe with folks that happen to have an IQ in the thousands?
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    I don't think anyone was claiming that there would be.
    First, the quote attributed to Superluminal, is actually from me.

    Second, the quote is addressing a question asked in the OP.

    Quote Originally Posted by Superluminal View Post
    Will we be around to witness the Sun expand off the Main Sequence and cook us?
    Finally, the OP specified,

    Quote Originally Posted by Superluminal View Post
    What do the more learned folks here think?
    but I answered anyway.
    A: "Things that are equal to the same are equal to each other"
    B: "The two sides of this triangle are things that are equal to the same"
    C: "If A and B are true, Z must be true"
    D: "If A and B and C are true, Z must be true"
    E: "If A and B and C and D are true, Z must be true"

    Therefore, Z: "The two sides of this triangle are equal to each other"

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by 21st Century Schizoid Man View Post
    but I answered anyway.
    As above, so below

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    I don't think "human nature" is responsible, because there were and are both individuals and societies who do not live a dangerously and pointlessly consumptive lifestyle. Big business-as-usual as it is currently carried out is doing much more harm than good.
    My way of looking at it is perhaps a bit simplistic. I tend to agree that with 7cscb that it is human nature. But with an important caveat. We are programmed to be greedy, and we are programmed to cooperate with others. So we sort of have a mixture of competition and collaboration in our genes. And more importantly, we have complex communication skills and hence the ability (unlike other animals in general) to learn from our ancestors and store new things as culture. I don't think we're actually going through a bad period per se. Things were worse, and people were often less kind to each other, in the past. I think that in general we are getting less violent and oppressive, but of course there are bumps along the way.
    As above, so below

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    My way of looking at it is perhaps a bit simplistic. I tend to agree that with 7cscb that it is human nature. But with an important caveat. We are programmed to be greedy, and we are programmed to cooperate with others. So we sort of have a mixture of competition and collaboration in our genes. And more importantly, we have complex communication skills and hence the ability (unlike other animals in general) to learn from our ancestors and store new things as culture. I don't think we're actually going through a bad period per se. Things were worse, and people were often less kind to each other, in the past. I think that in general we are getting less violent and oppressive, but of course there are bumps along the way.
    Yes. As a whole, we're definitely better off that we were even a generation ago.

    For the record, I don't think your view is simplistic at all. We all have various personality traits and instincts that give rise to conflicting motives or desires. My view is that both acculturation and innate wants interact to produce the personality. But at the same time, they're not all we are; we do have agency and decision, we do have the ability to change our ways as individuals and as societies. It's hard, and we resist change to what we identify as part of ourselves, but when necessary we're capable of great things.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  10. #40
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    Oh, to be honest, it's scary to think. 2020 has just turned everything upside down, so let's just hope that humanity will live a long time (
    at least until 2021: rofl

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