Human extinction

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Lance Kennedy
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Human extinction

Postby Lance Kennedy » Sat May 14, 2016 12:38 am

The most recent New Scientist (7 May) has an item on the end of the world. They suggest that humans will go extinct in 800,000 years. The basis for this suggestion is, I think, most tenuous.

Over biological time, and on average, most species have a life time of about one million years. Human bones of 200,000 years age have been found in South Africa, which leads the authors to believe our species is 200,000 years old. Therefore we will go extinct in another 800,000 years.

I have a couple of thoughts.
1. The one million year life span of most animals is just an average. There is a species of Lingula (a lamp shell) which appears to have left fossils 500 million years ago., Maybe that species has survived 500 million years.

2. Going extinct does not mean the end. Many species die out, but also evolve into new species. Maybe it is the fate of humans to evolve into new species, perhaps many. After all, our ancestor Homo habilis arose about 2.5 million years ago. They are gone, but their descendants are pretty populous!

I predict that some people will believe that humans will die out very soon. But the evidence is against that idea. Our species has shown population increase and welfare increase over a long period. We have migrated to all parts of the world. Those are not characteristics of an unsuccessful species!

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Re: Human extinction

Postby Matthew Ellard » Sat May 14, 2016 2:22 am

It is a complex thing to think about Lance.

Modern humans did evolve 200,000 years ago. However I'm not sure if our gene pool, today, is exactly like it was 200,000 year ago, like that bunch of Neanderthals. :D

I could probably have had sex with a Neanderthal, twenty years ago, and had fertile offspring. (Thankfully, she was on the pill and I was very drunk, but it was definitely a Neanderthal) )

But in another 200,000 years? We will still think we are "humans" but I'm not sure if our gene pool will be the same species as when we started 400,000 years before that future. I'm not sure if we would still be able to have fertile offspring.

When we talk about species like Australopithecus Bosie lasting two million years, we are only guessing that it was the same species at the beginning, as at the end. There is a lot of physiological difference within that species. On the other hand there is incredible physiological difference in dogs and they are the same species.

I'm going to take the "Skeptic Fifth" and say "I don't know" in this discussion.
:D

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Re: Human extinction

Postby Lance Kennedy » Sat May 14, 2016 2:44 am

Good points, Matthew.
When we talk of evolution, it can be tricky to determine at what point a new species arises.

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Re: Human extinction

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sat May 14, 2016 3:35 am

The fact that hoomans are/will control their own evolution and their own environment makes all other comparisons: totally irrelevant.

We are all going extinct and taking most other life forms with us in the next 300 years.

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Re: Human extinction

Postby Lance Kennedy » Sat May 14, 2016 4:22 am

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:
We are all going extinct and taking most other life forms with us in the next 300 years.



Evidence?

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Re: Human extinction

Postby Flash » Sat May 14, 2016 5:42 am

Oh, we'll go extinct much sooner and take everybody except cockroaches with us.
Evidence you say?
The growing stockpile and might of nuclear weapons. The politicians controlling those weapons with smaller then usual brains (scientifically proven I swear).

In 2018 the Russians will have a nuke that can destroy the entire Eastern seaboard of North America. It's called Sarmat, carries 15 independently targeted warheads and has a range of 10 000 km and it's supposed to be good at outwitting the missile defense systems.

They also have this supersonic torpedo and a cruise missile equipped with just one huge warhead that in order to avoid destruction by the anti-missile missiles will explode far from the coast causing a radioactive tsunami that will beat anything natural we have witnessed until now plus make the coast uninhabitable and glowing for thousands of years.

The US, of course, probably has very similar weapons which surprisingly they are willing to loan to such reliable countries as Poland and Lithuania who incidentally are just itching for a war with Russia.

And then there are the idiot countries run by the hysterical dictators, aka nuts, that either have or will acquire some kind of nuclear weapons and who sooner or later will use them on their neighbors on account of ethnic and religious differences.

:shock:
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Re: Human extinction

Postby Lance Kennedy » Sat May 14, 2016 9:23 am

http://www.ploughshares.org/world-nucle ... ile-report

To Flash

I am disappointed. From you I had hoped for more. But you posted total bullsh*t.

There are just over 15,000 nuclear warheads in the world today. That is less than half there were at their peak in the cold war. Numbers of warheads are dropping, not rising. I suggest, Flash, you do research rather than spouting off without engaging your brain.

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Re: Human extinction

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sat May 14, 2016 8:47 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:
bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:
We are all going extinct and taking most other life forms with us in the next 300 years.



Evidence?

Sea level keeps going up. There are 15 other "trending" events but the sea level is one that everyone can actually see.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tren ... 0-2013.png

You already KNOW this, but like the scientists we rely on, we give it slight attention..... which ironically but more so casually: the very cause of our extinction: not paying attention to what we know. Its enough to:
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Re: Human extinction

Postby Lance Kennedy » Sat May 14, 2016 8:52 pm

Bobbo

That is not evidence for non survival.

Humans have already adapted to every major terrestrial environment, from Inuits in the North to Tuareg desert dwellers. There are even people in Indonesia who live in villages on stilts out over the sea. The idea that we will not be able to adapt to a mere rise in sea level of a meter or two is laughable!

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Re: Human extinction

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sat May 14, 2016 9:03 pm

Yes we have. But the trend and the science say we won't. Its HERE AND NOW. Not one million years into the future for some unspecified and unknowable general statistic.

Do the Science of AGW. Image
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Re: Human extinction

Postby Lance Kennedy » Sat May 14, 2016 9:08 pm

Bobbo

Wake up.

Sea level rise is not an extinction event. It is an inconvenience, yes. But it will inundate less than 5% of the world's land area. Even that small amount it affects can be adapted to. The Dutch have built dikes for centuries. So can the rest of the world.

I asked for evidence to support your view that humans will go extinct within 300 years. That is not it.

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Re: Human extinction

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sat May 14, 2016 9:12 pm

It is evidence of the concomitant if not first responses to the extinction event.

TAKING PLACE NOW!!!!
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Re: Human extinction

Postby Lance Kennedy » Sat May 14, 2016 9:22 pm

Bobbo

Try again.

Sea level rose 80 metres at the end of the last glaciation period, and our stone age ancestors lived through it perfectly well. A rise of a metre or two today is not a threat to survival.

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Re: Human extinction

Postby OlegTheBatty » Sat May 14, 2016 9:49 pm

300 years may be too long. There is a reasonable chance that our species will have gengineered itself into something else by then. There may be massive squawks about the morality of genetically engineering humans, but that will not stop it.

Or a multiplicity of something elses.
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Re: Human extinction

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sat May 14, 2016 9:50 pm

Image
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Re: Human extinction

Postby Lance Kennedy » Sat May 14, 2016 10:55 pm

Oleg

Good point. Genetic engineering will, sooner or later, be used on humans. Your suggestion may be correct. However, that is not extinction.

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Re: Human extinction

Postby Gord » Sun May 15, 2016 1:52 am

If I had a GeneCo™ Gengineering Machine handy, I would make a lot of little Gords with extra enhancements spliced into them so they could do the chores around here. And maybe a few for eatin'. Those ones would taste like chicken and have extra legs, 'cause I like the legs best.

/me imagines it

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Re: Human extinction

Postby scrmbldggs » Sun May 15, 2016 3:57 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:...

To Flash

I am disappointed. From you I had hoped for more...

Flash wrote:...smaller then usual brains...

It was this, wasn't it? :senile:
.

Lard, save me from your followers.

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Re: Human extinction

Postby psychiatry is a scam » Sun May 15, 2016 5:23 am

Flash wrote:Oh, we'll go extinct much sooner and take everybody except cockroaches with us.
Evidence you say?
The growing stockpile and might of nuclear weapons. The politicians controlling those weapons with smaller then usual brains (scientifically proven I swear).

In 2018 the Russians will have a nuke that can destroy the entire Eastern seaboard of North America. It's called Sarmat, carries 15 independently targeted warheads and has a range of 10 000 km and it's supposed to be good at outwitting the missile defense systems.

They also have this supersonic torpedo and a cruise missile equipped with just one huge warhead that in order to avoid destruction by the anti-missile missiles will explode far from the coast causing a radioactive tsunami that will beat anything natural we have witnessed until now plus make the coast uninhabitable and glowing for thousands of years.

The US, of course, probably has very similar weapons which surprisingly they are willing to loan to such reliable countries as Poland and Lithuania who incidentally are just itching for a war with Russia.

And then there are the idiot countries run by the hysterical dictators, aka nuts, that either have or will acquire some kind of nuclear weapons and who sooner or later will use them on their neighbors on account of ethnic and religious differences.

:shock:


tsar bomba 1961 Sakharov - so huge and radiation damage from this test - Sakharov began speaking out against nuclear weapons .
1961 largest explosion ever - so I agree the weapons today are probably way beyond overkill - actual numbers do not matter .
for the real minority ; there will be no justice , there will be no peace .
makes sense 2me , so it has 2be wrong .

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Re: Human extinction

Postby Flash » Sun May 15, 2016 5:25 am

scrmbldggs. Unknowingly, deceptively and otherwise in total scientific vacuum the Zika virus had been with us for much longer than we had previously thought. It caused babies with small brains to be born without much fanfare, grow up and go into politics. My point is that now, unwittingly we have politicians in power and in charge of nuclear arsenals who barely understand what the word tit means never mind the purpose of that red button in his government issued briefcase. ;)
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Re: Human extinction

Postby Flash » Sun May 15, 2016 6:14 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:
I suggest, Flash, you do research rather than spouting off without engaging your brain.

Spouting off without engaging your brain is a great way to write...anything, newspaper articles, books and of course the posts. Why? The correspondents for the great world newspapers do it all the time. It's only when you reengage your brain and read your own stuff you realize that not everything you wrote is quite as rosy as you thought before. :mrgreen:

There are just over 15,000 nuclear warheads in the world today. That is less than half there were at their peak in the cold war. Numbers of warheads are dropping, not rising.

And that's not because the world is more peaceful Lance. It's because those smaller number of weapons are cheaper and more manageable but just as effective at the destruction of the world as the old megaweapons were.

The count of nuclear weapons has dropped because Russia and America reduced the stockpile but other nations are doing everything to produce more. Pakistan is making more and it just released a bunch of tactical nuclear weapons to local commands. That means that the local commander in the field has now the authority to fire the short range missiles. This is not a movement towards peace Lance. This actually greatly increases the chances of a nuclear war in the region.

North Korea just miniaturized it's warheads and is making more. So is China. But it is Russia that is starting production of the huge warheads again for it's Shkval supersonic torpedo project among many. America, and we can't leave America out of this, is trying to put these bombs in the orbit contrary to the treaty it signed with Russia. That secret unmanned, automated shuttle goes up and down suspiciously like a clock. What do you thing Americans are doing there, installing a new true color satellite tv systems?

But it is the politicians who control those weapons that is the biggest risk factor for the nuclear war. Those are the people who do not remember the destruction and the human loss of the WWII. They are the narrow minded Imperial ideologues in the West who think they can always scare people with their fantastic weapons. Think of it this way, if Putin and the Chinese leaders didn't put the muzzle on their ideologues and hot heads we could have become the dust of the Universe long time ago. If things go like this then one day, there will be a leader in either China, North Korea, Pakistan, India or Russia who will not be able to control his super nationalists. That, as they say, will be the day.
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Re: Human extinction

Postby Lance Kennedy » Sun May 15, 2016 8:04 am

Flash wrote:And that's not because the world is more peaceful Lance. It's because those smaller number of weapons are cheaper and more manageable but just as effective at the destruction of the world as the old megaweapons were.



Actually the world is more peaceful. In the mid 20th Century, deaths in war averaged about 200,000 per year. Today, it is about 70,000. Most wars today are small scale civil wars, or ridiculous situations where the USA decides to invade someone. Either way, there is less war.

There are still morons rattling sabres, of course. Including Americans. Peace is not perfect. But the number of people fighting and dying is down, and that is the important thing.

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Re: Human extinction

Postby OlegTheBatty » Mon May 16, 2016 6:04 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:Oleg

Good point. Genetic engineering will, sooner or later, be used on humans. Your suggestion may be correct. However, that is not extinction.

That's how most species become extinct - their great great . . . great grandchildren are no longer the same species. Mass die-off types of extinctions are relatively rare.
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