How long do you think humans will be around?

Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by Seattle, Dec 16, 2017.

  1. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    How long do you think humans will be around? The answer will be subjective of course, as it's not knowable, but you can consider some factors which are objective.

    The Sun should have a (main sequence) life of around 10 billion years. We are already 4.5 billion years along that time frame. In another 5.5 billion years or so the Sun will become a Red Giant. It will run out of hydrogen and start burning helium. It will be cooler than it currently is but it will still be very hot.

    Its diameter will increase greatly and will approach the orbit of Earth.

    If humans haven't killed each other off or otherwise extinguished themselves by then, this should do it...unless we manage to move under water. I'm not sure how long it would take for all the waters of the oceans to evaporate. Maybe some here do know?

    In about 4 billion years the Andromeda Galaxy will merge with our Milky Way Galaxy. Most stars will just pass though given the vast distances. Still, there would be the potential for that to end life on Earth as well.

    A billion or so years after the Sun becomes a Red Giant, it will burn though the helium becoming a White Dwarf, eventually cooling off and life on Earth would freeze to death at that point.

    If we have gotten a handle on fusion, it's possible that we could survive without the Sun.

    What are your predictions for how long humans will be around on Earth (as opposed to leaving Earth)?
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  3. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

    It is doubtful we will go extinct by being run over by another species although we could all get sick and die..
    Extinction will come via a big rock from outta space and there is probably little we can do about that.
    I really don't know what to list but its speculative.
    War famine weather we can manage but a big rock would be ruinous.
    About 10 mile dia would do it.
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  5. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    Kinda depends on what you would consider "humans". Would you consider our ancestors of 4 million years ago "human"? Or something that should live in a zoo or a nature preserve.
    We will, most likely continue to evolve. and 4 million years from now, some of our descendants may feel the same about us.
    How about our ancestors from a billion years ago?

    Meanwhile, our species has suffered at least 2 near extinction events(one about 70ka and another a tad over 1 million years ago) wherein our population most likely dropped below 10,000 individuals.

    Now, we have several underground shelters, some of which can house over 5,000 people(I know of 2 in this country and suspect that there are several more) with enough food and water to last over 5 years. These should allow for enough surviving people to guarantee the continuation of the species if the world were to suffer another killer asteroid.
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  7. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    I don't consider our ancestors to be human, but counter-intuitively, I do think that our descendants will continue to be human.

    We won't be the same species, biologically speaking, since our descendants will not be able to breed with current humans, but I think 'human' is more a matter of self-identity.
  8. birch Valued Senior Member

    i don't think humans will be around for long as in completely organic. i think it will be more machine/robots and AI would be and possibly should be the superpower over us in the future. I think it's because there will come a time when we will have to squarely face and admit that physical lifeforms are too fallible.

    that fallibility is not just physical but also mental as in people can't even be trusted to govern rationally or fairly, and then there is the harmful or irrational impulses and drives that overwhelm wisdom or good sense too.

    society is teeming with the evidence of our fallibility that is becoming more and more undeniable such as addiction/drugs, prejudice/hate, mental illness/disorders besides physical ailments and disease, crime, abuse, pollution, waste, ridiculous circus of politics, unfairness etc.

    why i say more 'evident' eventually is because the assumption that lifeforms evolve to become 'better' is a fallacy because the traits that cause all the evil and problems are passed on genetically as it's inherently rooted in organic life. that's a humbling realization most don't want to admit yet.

    i think, ironicly, AI, will prove to be a step-up from us, literally on an evolutionary scale and we may need to humbly in the future admit this.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2017
  9. orcot Valued Senior Member

    Stuff like CRISPR will make sure humans could procreate with pigs if need be. Considering the value of gene editing for spare organs parts, their roughly human size are mature in 6 months people have been putting pig parts in them for decades. And the techs only improving.
    That said human the human race is currently regressing. Mutations happen all the time for evolution to take place those with a edge reproduce and those with that don't leave no offspring modern science/life makes it so that people with limited faults can continue and have children but they take over their faults bad eye sight, weak hearts cancer risk etc if modern science can keep these people alive we slowly move to a time where all humans are simply in constant need for medical assistant to give birth to develop properly (especially in space). So you edit the genome but to what point? Homo sapiens sapiens? even if you limit yourself to this you could go to the cro magnon which are technically still human humans (so no neanderthaler or something) but you notice the difference in them being a whole lot bigger a whole lot stronger and having a lot more brain space 98 cu incompared to 91.32 cu in for the current average men source1 source2
    You could probably also invent your own humanoid form, but you shouldn't and it would probably become illegal very fast.

    5,5 billion years is ridiculously long also note that if humanity would go digital time could be subjective and you would experience many more (or less) years in a digital body. It's also the only way tourism to somplace like mars becomes manageble acclerating at 1 g (this means you would feel a normal gravity on a space ship because of acceleration would mean you need roughly 1 week to reach mars (this would be time consuming and very expensive if you go digital you can move at the speed of light and be there depending on circumstances in 4 to 24 minutes.

    whilst it seems inpossible to move fasther then the speed of light to universe did experience rapid inflation in wich it expanded many times fasther then the speed of light this time period in poorly understood. Then their is (quantum) entangled particles it's true that you can not send information this way but ther might be something in the underlaying mechanics that does make it possible.
    Sometimes I think that the fasther then light arguments are the same of the atom 2500 years ago. That by it's name means uncuttable. But here we are 2500 years later and we call the scientist from them philosophers and cutting and pasting those atoms all the time. 5,5 billion years is so absurdly long that you can not exclude any technological advancement.

    all of the answers assuming the multiverse theorey is true with infinite universes there have always been and there will Always be humans.
    If you mean purely biological we have Always changed our enviroment and ourselfs to suit our enviroment would a cavemen consider us human? writing has given us the ability to pass on knowledge even afther we are dead. Whe have Always been more then flesh.
  10. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    That falls outside the definition of species.
    A biological species is generally defined as a group that will breed true without artificial manipulation.
  11. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    2500 years ago, they did not have the scientific method and experimental confirmation of the things they were studying.
    They guessed what atoms are made of, and they had no way of testing (falsifying) their assumptions. And they did not form mathematical, predictive models of those assumptions that they could then test to see if they held up.

    In our exploration of nature, we have made an advance, not merely quantitatively, but qualitatively.
  12. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

    Two hundred million years ago we were small rats. Two hundred million years from now, who knows.
    gebobs and sideshowbob like this.
  13. orcot Valued Senior Member

    primitive times it was Eratosthenes of cyrene that calculated the circumference of the earth. That was in 276 BC[1] – c. 195/194 BC so a bid over 2100 years ago. My is that he would qualify as a scientist today. That said we are far from all knowing. Today it seems that every question answered brings to more questions. But we can not assume that this will go on forever it's like Columbus going that far west and discovering a new world only for Vasco da game going that absurdly east and discovering new land it was only in 1522 that magellan (actual elcano becaus magellan got eaten) that they truelly discovered that the world is round. Up until that point some must have tought the world could be infinitly large. I think we are at that point in science. This infinite sea of thing to know will end somwhere. It might take 100's of year to get a vague outline and many more to discover everything. But eventuealy we will discover it.
    wiki says: A species is often defined as the largest group of organisms in which two individuals can produce fertile offspring, typically by sexual reproduction. While this definition is often adequate, when looked at more closely it is problematic. So close enough to make that a point of view. Humans have the tendencies to stress and break down definitions. But to return to the Original idea I do have 2 points.
    1 humans will have the ability to procreate even if they are sepperated by many years and lived on sepperate planets
    2 humans will eventually need artificial help in procreating even under normal conditions. We simply no longer filter out bad genes. So if it doesn't kill us but makes us weaker we fix the problems. We've already lost 10% of our brain capacity trough this since the cro magnon phase and yet we are arguible smarther but this is probably because of society education and specialization. Eventually it would be advisable to fix the underlying genetic problems but to what point. Doing it artificialy will probably not leave you with a superman race but a submisive worker class. If you base your genetics on real ancient humans remember that important people of back them where probably self made or royalty one class favors sociopaths the other inbreeding.
    further space might provide enviroments where even healthy humans could not breed healthy offspring
  14. orcot Valued Senior Member

    weird double post when I tried to change some spelling
  15. River Ape Valued Senior Member

    The chief design fault in humans is the size of the head relative to the birth canal, making childbirth painful and sometimes dangerous. To overcome this defect, we can therefore expect over future millennia: [1] women to get wider, [2] heads to get longer and narrower. Research has shown that men prefer women with round smiley faces, but this may well be because such women tend to be broader hipped than women with horsey faces. This preference might appear to act against heads getting longer and narrower. However, let us suppose that women prefer men with long heads and high foreheads giving them the appearance of superior intelligence and therefore being a good bet for procreational purposes. Such men in any case tend to be taller, a well researched area of sexual preference.

    Where does this lead us? Well, we may expect over coming millennia to see an increasing sexual dimorphism in which women get wider and men get longer, perhaps with heads commonly of a 3:1 length to breadth ratio. Such heads would be cylindrical rather than pointy for maximum cubic capacity. Such creatures would certainly look hardly human to us whilst they would probably look back on us as being primitive "roundheads" rather than of their own advanced species.

    However it may turn out, loss of our current human characteristics will be a gradual process.
  16. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

    We just need to go with Gaea.

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  17. orcot Valued Senior Member

    whatever we will end up being I hope that they will ban this. That said given the option to room around a day in a virtual enviroment to hunt. This could possible spice things up a bid
  18. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

    I've never hunted anything that couldn't hunt me back. Anything less is just slaughtering the weak.
  19. orcot Valued Senior Member

    it honestly can be a lot of fun and it is never a bad idea to know some basic gun handeling. But say their is some sort of virtual enviroment where you truly feel completly inmersed, like you can feel the wind and the grass would you go hunting is such a enviroment? Also say you get the option to be somewhat passive and your basicly following a pre determined path more of a movie style with you in your personal lead role and you go hunting a whale on a 17th century ship or go afther a mammoth with a spear. Let's say for saftey sake that you can actual die in it and fill the water fill your lungs or get crushed between Ivory and rock but you experience it in a non traumatic way like a first person shooter with the option to yust apear again close by like agent smith in the matrix, follow incorporial or choose some other adventure? Also let's say your the animal? It could be fun to be a cat running around in a simulation of ancient Alexandria.
    I like the simulation hypothesis as it's the most realistic way to ever achieve inmortality. Computer memory and processors will probably become cheap enough in my time frame so the only real mayor invention would be a way to scan your brain. The downside on this form of minduploading would be that you go into the clinic get your mind scannend. And then you have to go back home as you would still live basicly you haven't changed yourself you yust copied yourself. Still realisticly it's the best option
  20. orcot Valued Senior Member

    A other way to look at it would be that we whether we hunt for it or not we eat a lot of meat and distancing ourself from it for every piece of meat we eat a animal did need to die. I doubt I could ever be a vegetarian but I would definitly eat lab grown meat if it means no animal needs to die. Still I do believe that pheasants that are bred for hunt have a better life then som chicken that needs to lie eggs all her live
  21. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

    Google Translate failed me.

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  22. orcot Valued Senior Member

    Most people eat meat, yesterdays turkey was once a living animal. So is todays steak. Unless you are a vegetarian something died for you each day and unless you are a vegan some animal suffered to some degree. So you could sustain yourself.
    I do not know if it's healthy to simply ignore that and be so distanced from it. But that is what any sane men does.

    The second part was abouth lab grow meat (or cultured meat)
    Basicly it's a way to get meat without involving the animal. No animal suffers because of it, no hormones need to be added to the meat and no change that you accidentaly suffocate in a bone.
    Prices have dropped around 30 000 times in the last 4 years (it's still 4 times more expensive then regular meat) link
    I think it's pretty neat and I would prefer it over the real deal for regular meals.

    The 3th part is abouth pheasants.
    It's a sort of bird people set out to hunt on. their big flashy slow and don't migrate to far from the spot you release them from. Their bred for the hunt. Compared to other poultry they actually have a change to escape and get to enjoy the wide open. Their even fed in the winter for the next hunt.

    Sorry for my bad english
  23. gmilam Valued Senior Member

    Are you sure no animal suffers? How long do you think turkeys will survive if humans do not raise them for food? Or cows? Not sure if the current versions of these animals can survive "in the wild".

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