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Science Forum

  1. 31 Jan '14 13:41
    1. Super volcano
    2. Astroid collision.
    3. Global warming.
    4. Human wars and WMD's.
    5. Sun expanding and engulfing the earth in distant future.
    6. 4 more years of Obama.

    If I left out any, feel free to add.
  2. 31 Jan '14 14:14
    1. 2. or 3.
    Most of the others may result in population reductions but would be unlikely to cause extinction.
  3. 31 Jan '14 14:32
    Originally posted by whodey
    1. Super volcano
    2. Astroid collision.
    3. Global warming.
    4. Human wars and WMD's.
    5. Sun expanding and engulfing the earth in distant future.
    6. 4 more years of Obama.

    If I left out any, feel free to add.
    7) A virus
  4. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    31 Jan '14 14:45
    Originally posted by twohybrid
    7) A virus
    An exponential growth of Republicans.
  5. 31 Jan '14 15:10
    Keep the comments rolling. Whoever is right wins 1,000,000,000,000 dollars!!
  6. 31 Jan '14 15:10 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    An exponential growth of Republicans.
    Throwing Democrats to combat the GOP is like throwing water on a greese fire.

    We are all gonna die!!!
  7. 31 Jan '14 16:46
    Originally posted by whodey
    1. Super volcano
    2. Astroid collision.
    3. Global warming.
    4. Human wars and WMD's.
    5. Sun expanding and engulfing the earth in distant future.
    6. 4 more years of Obama.

    If I left out any, feel free to add.
    1 and 3 are extremely unlikely to result in our extinction.
    2 could definitely cause us to go extinct IF we don't manage to become a properly
    space faring species before it happens. However the probability of an impact large
    enough to wipe us out is very very unlikely in any given century.
    4 is possible, but unlikely, even with nukes you have to go some to actually make
    us extinct.
    5 Humans will not last this long, that's not to say that our descendants might not still
    exist, but they wont be biological humans any more... And will not have been for billions
    of years.
    6 not going to wipe us out [or even necessarily be bad].
    7 [virus] certainly possible, but getting less likely as our medicine gets better.
    8 [Supernova] possible but no star capable of going nova will be in range over the
    next 100,000~1,000,000 years or so.

    9 Depending on how you define 'human life' my response would be evolution/transhumanism
    which will slowly or rapidly change us over time/generations to no longer be humans as we
    define them today.
  8. 31 Jan '14 17:44 / 5 edits
    I am a transhumanist that wants to become a posthuman but knows that, unless there is some truly astonishing scientific breakthroughs in genetics and biology soon, he will definitely not.

    The most likely way humans will one day all become extinct is for them to be artificially be transformed into posthumans (which I would personally also call "synthetic humans" or "syhumans" as opposed to "natural humans" ) which would be intelligent synthetic life forms that will look human and probably think a bit like humans but will definitely be a different species that will be intellectually and physically more advanced in every way.
  9. 31 Jan '14 17:51 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    9 Depending on how you define 'human life' my response would be evolution/transhumanism
    which will slowly or rapidly change us over time/generations to no longer be humans as we
    define them today.
    I am actually quite concerned about artificial intelligence. Once artificial intelligence exceeding that of humans becomes common, if we allow it to be replicated, it will start to evolve and it will evolve towards a tendency of successful self replication (as all life forms do). This may turn out to be detrimental to us.
  10. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    31 Jan '14 19:41
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I am actually quite concerned about artificial intelligence. Once artificial intelligence exceeding that of humans becomes common, if we allow it to be replicated, it will start to evolve and it will evolve towards a tendency of successful self replication (as all life forms do). This may turn out to be detrimental to us.
    I seem to recall this movie....
  11. Standard member Soothfast
    0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,
    31 Jan '14 21:49
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    1 and 3 are extremely unlikely to result in our extinction.
    2 could definitely cause us to go extinct IF we don't manage to become a properly
    space faring species before it happens. However the probability of an impact large
    enough to wipe us out is very very unlikely in any given century.
    4 is possible, but unlikely, even with nukes you have to go ...[text shortened]... wly or rapidly change us over time/generations to no longer be humans as we
    define them today.
    What? No one is mentioning alien invasion? Plus there's a nonzero probability that, one day, everyone on Earth will simultaneously decide not to have children.

    10) A burrito fart from Rush Limbaugh directed at the center of the Earth.
  12. 31 Jan '14 22:08
    "In fact, we are in the midst of the Sixth Great Extinction, an event characterized by the loss of between 17,000 and 100,000 species each year."

    "In fact, this extinction is almost exclusively human driven.

    There are many contributing factors to the Sixth Great Extinction; today, destruction of habitat, introduction of alien species and pollution claim the most species. Extinctions are also caused by overexploitation of species for consumption, collection and trade, agricultural monoculture, human-induced climate change, nitrogen loss in soil and oceanic acidification as a result of a warming climate, and urbanization leading to sedimentation and soil erosion. Growing human populations have led to increased demand for natural resources, and with a current world population of more than seven billion people, our demands, many of which require environmentally damaging practices to fulfill, will continue to grow."

    "By failing to recognize the importance of biodiversity, we may be assuring the demise of our own human species, as well as the destruction of most other species on Earth. We need biodiversity."

    http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2012/03/28/the-sixth-great-extinction-a-silent-extermination/
  13. Standard member wolfgang59
    Infidel
    01 Feb '14 07:26
    Isnt there a threat from oscillating poles and the subsequent degradation of the Van Allen belt?

    (Off the top of my head and not googled ... I'll do that tomorrow ... goodnight)
  14. 01 Feb '14 09:48 / 11 edits
    Originally posted by JS357
    "In fact, we are in the midst of the Sixth Great Extinction, an event characterized by the loss of between 17,000 and 100,000 species each year."

    "In fact, this extinction is almost exclusively human driven.

    There are many contributing factors to the Sixth Great Extinction; today, destruction of habitat, introduction of alien species and pollution claim ...[text shortened]... //newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2012/03/28/the-sixth-great-extinction-a-silent-extermination/
    I think that the statement:

    "By failing to recognize the importance of biodiversity, we may be assuring the demise of our own human species, "

    Is just pure nonsense.
    “biodiversity” simply refers to the totally arbitrary number of species there exists and whether we have an arbitrary 'high' number of them is totally irrelevant to our survival. It isn't biodiversity that we 'need' for survival but rather those species that directly or indirectly help us survive. You could “destroy” a huge amount of “biodiversity” by making a million species of nematodes on the ocean floor extinct but that may have absolutely no effect on your species and certainly wouldn't assure “the demise of our own human species”!

    On the other hand, if we selectively eliminate just the few of the most common tree species by cutting them down, we could have a big problem because, for example, of the extra CO2 that would be released into the atmosphere. And yet that would not have much effect on “biodiversity” because the overwhelming majority of species are not the most common tree species nor depend on them for their survival.

    But we can reduce “biodiversity” much more by eliminating all the rarer species of tree and all the creatures that depend on them but with less impact on the environment as far as human survival is concerned -so “biodiversity” is irrelevant here, only “survival dependencies” are relevant. Mere “biodiversity” may or may not be relevant to OTHER things, but NOT to human survival. In purely practical terms, mere “biodiversity” is just an arbitrary statistical number.

    The total extinction of the panda would be tragic but how could it lead to or in anyway contribute to the extinction of the human species?

    Who here agrees?
  15. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    01 Feb '14 12:38
    Originally posted by humy
    I think that the statement:

    "By failing to recognize the importance of biodiversity, we may be assuring the demise of our own human species, "

    Is just pure nonsense.
    “biodiversity” simply refers to the totally arbitrary number of species there exists and whether we have an arbitrary 'high' number of them is totally irrelevant to our survival. It isn't b ...[text shortened]... d it lead to or in anyway contribute to the extinction of the human species?

    Who here agrees?
    The fact is, the human race was almost wiped out before it got started. It is said humans dwindled down to maybe 100 or so at one point in our history which has been born out by analysis of our DNA, showing much less diversity than other primates.

    We already came very close to extinction.

    But of course now we have technology not even dreamed of back 100,000 years ago and have the means to stop almost all the threats of past pre tech civilizations.

    One thing we as a race cannot combat is volcanism. If a giant volcano or series of volcano's spewed all at once, it could be just as bad as a large asteroid hit.

    We can theoretically deflect large asteroids but volcano's? Not a chance.