It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

The Volutionary Cusp and Destruction of Mankind

page: 1
0

log in

join
share:

posted on Mar, 14 2006 @ 02:03 PM
link   
Mods, I wasn't sure where this idea belonged, so please feel free to move it to a more appropriate section.

A friend and I were having a discussion about extra-terrestrials, evolution, and the end of mankind. Our question was, would mankind survive long enough to colonize other planets, or would we destroy ourselves first, via war, polution, overpopulation, or any of the other many ways we could bring an end to everything we know.

During the course of our discussion, we began to explore the speed at which technology is increasing. During the pre-industrial revolution era, technological advances, as well as discovery in mathematics and other sciences, were a very slow, very gradual process. But now, we are unlocking the secrets of the human genome. We are begining to understand the basic building blocks of the universe, and in my opinion, getting ever closer to the unification theory (the various string theories seems to hold a lot of promise in my mind). We've cloned animals, harnessed nuclear energy, and made many miraculous scientific breakthroughs. Things that used to be science fiction, are now common place. Things that were experimental and cutting edge sciences to one generation, are now taught in high school chemistry classes to the next. And the rate of technological advance is only increasing.

Which brings us to my theory. In thirty or forty years, humankind will have discovered more science and technology than we could begin to imagine, given our present rate of discovery. And along with that idea comes the knowledge that in a high school chemistry class thirty years from now, high school students will have the capacity and knowledge to create nuclear weapons. Or at the very least, some equally destructive equivelent to them (be it dark matter bombs, or something we haven't even thought about yet).

So the Evolutionary Cusp, that we as human beings will have to overcome, is the desire to destroy the world, and others. The majority of people alive obviously do not wish to see harm come to others, but there are quite a few people who would. Sure, there aren't many serial killers, given the entire wolrd population, but the problem is that there are serial killers, and with the technology at hand to destroy hundreds of thousands of people, there can be no doubt that humankind will eventually destroy itself.

So what will need to happen for humankind to survive, is one of two things.

#1 - We must evolve beyond the social deviants who wish to destroy and hurt others. In other words, whatever chemical imbalances and societal pressures that cause such behaviour must be eliminated.

#2 - We must colonize other planets. Many other planets. So many planets that the desctruction of one or two of them would not cause the extinction of mankind.

That being said, do I think it is feasable for either of these things to happen in time for humans to survive?

Sadly, I do not.

The evidence I have for you, is that we have yet to come across the signs of intellegent life elswhere in the universe. If the universe has existed in some form or another indefinitely, which most sceintists believe it has, then given that infinite amount of time, the universe should be entirely populated and overrun by a species of creature that was capable of interstellar travel and colonization. But we don't see this. And I take that to be evidence that no other species of creature as come through this evolutionary cusp in tact. Perhaps many different forms of life have come to the same point of evolution that we have, only to fail, and destroy themselves.

Anyway, that's my theory, and I wanted to hear what some greater minds than mine thought about it.




posted on Mar, 14 2006 @ 02:37 PM
link   
I think, therefore I am. That is the fate of mankind.



posted on Mar, 14 2006 @ 02:45 PM
link   
Hey frosty, I agree with your idea.

I read a Times article explaining how there was an increase in the number of child deaths due to overdose after the introduction of safety caps on medicines. It also highlighted that as cars get safer people have more risky driving styles and are less likey to wear seat belts. I can't find a website to show this, but trust me, I have a good memory for little facts out of articles.

Humans crave danger.



posted on Mar, 14 2006 @ 08:15 PM
link   
I think that we are probably due for a dark ages bump that seems to happen fairly regularly and slow down the rapid development cycle and allow our emotional/moral development to try to catch up with our technical development. You can see the seeds of this backward movement forming with the popularity of fundamentalist political and social values that emphasize religion and religious beliefs over science fact. If these "fundamentalist" trends become strong political influences as seem to be happening in the united states and in the Islamic countries (eg Taliban and Shia (sp) religious law) you will see a downtrend in the amount of money and emphasis given to science advancement.

This 2 steps backward effect will effectively slow down scientific development to the point that our morality may be able to develop equal to the technical advancement--but I wouldn't count on it. I too see us eliminating ourselves through sheer stupidity by war or mismanagement of finite resources.



posted on Mar, 15 2006 @ 02:05 PM
link   
I'm not sure I share your negative view of the future. For one, I disagree with your following statement:




And along with that idea comes the knowledge that in a high school chemistry class thirty years from now, high school students will have the capacity and knowledge to create nuclear weapons. Or at the very least, some equally destructive equivelent to them (be it dark matter bombs, or something we haven't even thought about yet).


For one, electricity has been around for more than a hundred years, we've studied it in school, yet I doubt that 80-90% of high school students would know how to harness it, let alone create electricity from scratch.
Second; high school students already have resources to be able to create dangerous (though not on the level of a nuclear bomb) home-made bombs. Studying/learning about something doesn't equal to being able to use that knowledge/put it into practice. I bet kids 20 years from now will not be very much smarter than kids of today (unless of course by then we'll be able to download information into our brains, and even then, it would be highly irresponsible of educators to provide students with such information). They'll receive better/updated information, but nothing that would help them become as destructive as you predict.

Who knows what will come in five, ten, or even fourty years from now. I certainly don't think it will be as dark as your theory suggests.
Wars are always a possibility. That's just part of our nature. Maybe technology will help speed up war, or maybe help to even prevent it (just like the threat of having a nuclear bomb keeps the many nations at bay today).
Frankly I think mankind is more at peace today than it ever was, and maybe it will continue that trend.
Who knows, maybe future technology will be able to detect psychopaths even before they are born, and we will be able to correct the chemical imbalance that may cause them to become violent. What if new babies begin to be given implants or chemicals to keep them from becoming excesively hostile? What if such problems can be corrected even before they are born? What if psychopaths/murderers born today can be corrected with a chip implant tomorrow? Technology can help us in many directions,....to have better/more destructive weapons, and to be more peaceful. I won't make any predictions, because I have no idea what is around the corner. We'll just have to sit back and watch, or participate in making it happen.


[edit on 15-3-2006 by 2manyquestions]

[edit on 15-3-2006 by 2manyquestions]



posted on Mar, 15 2006 @ 07:11 PM
link   

Originally posted by Garden Spider
Mods, I wasn't sure where this idea belonged, so please feel free to move it to a more appropriate section.

A friend and I were having a discussion about extra-terrestrials, evolution, and the end of mankind. Our question was, would mankind survive long enough to colonize other planets, or would we destroy ourselves first, via war, polution, overpopulation, or any of the other many ways we could bring an end to everything we know.

During the course of our discussion, we began to explore the speed at which technology is increasing. During the pre-industrial revolution era, technological advances, as well as discovery in mathematics and other sciences, were a very slow, very gradual process. But now, we are unlocking the secrets of the human genome. We are begining to understand the basic building blocks of the universe, and in my opinion, getting ever closer to the unification theory (the various string theories seems to hold a lot of promise in my mind). We've cloned animals, harnessed nuclear energy, and made many miraculous scientific breakthroughs. Things that used to be science fiction, are now common place. Things that were experimental and cutting edge sciences to one generation, are now taught in high school chemistry classes to the next. And the rate of technological advance is only increasing.

Which brings us to my theory. In thirty or forty years, humankind will have discovered more science and technology than we could begin to imagine, given our present rate of discovery. And along with that idea comes the knowledge that in a high school chemistry class thirty years from now, high school students will have the capacity and knowledge to create nuclear weapons. Or at the very least, some equally destructive equivelent to them (be it dark matter bombs, or something we haven't even thought about yet).

So the Evolutionary Cusp, that we as human beings will have to overcome, is the desire to destroy the world, and others. The majority of people alive obviously do not wish to see harm come to others, but there are quite a few people who would. Sure, there aren't many serial killers, given the entire wolrd population, but the problem is that there are serial killers, and with the technology at hand to destroy hundreds of thousands of people, there can be no doubt that humankind will eventually destroy itself.

So what will need to happen for humankind to survive, is one of two things.

#1 - We must evolve beyond the social deviants who wish to destroy and hurt others. In other words, whatever chemical imbalances and societal pressures that cause such behaviour must be eliminated.

#2 - We must colonize other planets. Many other planets. So many planets that the desctruction of one or two of them would not cause the extinction of mankind.

That being said, do I think it is feasable for either of these things to happen in time for humans to survive?

Sadly, I do not.

The evidence I have for you, is that we have yet to come across the signs of intellegent life elswhere in the universe. If the universe has existed in some form or another indefinitely, which most sceintists believe it has, then given that infinite amount of time, the universe should be entirely populated and overrun by a species of creature that was capable of interstellar travel and colonization. But we don't see this. And I take that to be evidence that no other species of creature as come through this evolutionary cusp in tact. Perhaps many different forms of life have come to the same point of evolution that we have, only to fail, and destroy themselves.

Anyway, that's my theory, and I wanted to hear what some greater minds than mine thought about it.


Well,the fact that we all know how to make a Hiroshima-type bullet bomb does not mean we have the resources to do it.After all,we all own knives ,know how to make a knife,but no one has produced knives at home


Besides,colonizing other planets is a great idea.Please name a few that you'll like to live on:Mars?Venus?Moon?
Not even the death roll convincts will not go to live there.We still have Siberia,which is a great place when compared to Mars:

Better temperatures,air,living stock,vegetation,water.Still,it;s deserted

Travelling to other star systems is a different matter:Bear in mind that Earth is 8 light-minutes away from Sun,while Sun is 4 and half light-years away from Alpha Centauri.

So,if it takes our flying saucers one,two days to reach Mars,they will need centuries to reach alpha Centauri.Jump engines need not to pass through nice mini-black holes or other friendly space phenomenon ,like antimatter.

Also,population problem will NOT be solved by colonisation: we are 7 bln people on Earth,let's be optimistic and say that we may...take 100 people onto another planet,we are still 7 bln people on Earth after that.

If we will travel to Alpha Centauri ,we may see that
1.its a double-star system,too hot for life
2.it's perfect for alien life,unfortunately not for humans
3.the days are too hot and the nights too cold due to the 2 stars
4.there are deadly diseases on the surface of the biological planets
5.there are not basic materials to start civilisation
il,iron,coal,etc
6.it's already colonised by 100 aliens in a village and protected by a battle station on top of it
7.we colonise it,make contact with aliens later,which learn about our true violent nature and decide to wipe us out

So sending a colonisation ship there without building some form of protection for the colonists,while keeping Earth at peace ,it's suicide for colonists and for us,people of Earth.
It may cost us all the financial resources of Earth to mount such an expedition and risk everything if we are discovered

But we are gonna do it.



posted on Mar, 16 2006 @ 12:03 PM
link   
Thanks all for your input.

However, 2manyquestions, while you make some interesting points, I still tend to fall on the less than optimistic side of things. The biggest piece of evidence I can give you, is Columbine. There, you had a group of disaffected kids, who, using the technology that even forty years prior had been unheard of (making explosives at home), wreaked havoc on their school. Now imagine for a moment, they could have feasibly made a nuclear weapon, or some equivalent thereof. What would have stopped them from doing so?

And I think that's the fundamental problem we run into, as our technology increases. Sure, the majority of people don't want to hurt others, and have a live and let live philosophy. But it's the few deviants that owrry me, and if we live ina world were technology is so prevalent and widespread, that one deviant is capable of killing thousands, or millions of people my themselves, I'd say we're in a lot of trouble.

And while it is true that the rate of technological advance has varied throughout history, never before have we seen anything like what we've seen during the last century. The scientific revolution has been faster and more powerful that we could ever have imagined, and it certainly shows no sign of slowing.



posted on Mar, 16 2006 @ 05:49 PM
link   

Originally posted by Garden Spider
Thanks all for your input.

However, 2manyquestions, while you make some interesting points, I still tend to fall on the less than optimistic side of things. The biggest piece of evidence I can give you, is Columbine. There, you had a group of disaffected kids, who, using the technology that even forty years prior had been unheard of (making explosives at home), wreaked havoc on their school. Now imagine for a moment, they could have feasibly made a nuclear weapon, or some equivalent thereof. What would have stopped them from doing so?


Where would these kids get the materials/tools to make a nuclear weapon? Where would these kids get the money to fund such a project? Do we have literature that is freely accessible to the public on how to make nuclear weapons at home? I just don't think high school students would be capable to bring all these things together (money, materials, knowledge) to do something that drastic. We have terrorist groups who are far better financed, who have better connections in the world, who have a purpose for which they are willing to die,..... yet we have had no nuclear explosions in the U.S. (yet). That's what would stop a couple of high school students from from doing so.
Those two boys were mentally disturbed, or just plain stupid. Though they had plans on using explosives, they did not. They had a year to plan it all out! Had it been so easy to develop and use explosives, they would have done so. What weapon of choice did they use? Guns. Guns are accessible to just about anyone these days (and they've certainly been around for more than a hundred years), yet I don't see school shootings (on the level of Columbine) happening every day. If Columbine should serve as an example to anything, it should show parents how NOT to raise their children. Proper upbringing and diagnosing a psychological problem ahead of time can prevent instances such as Columbine. Though parents have the greatest responsibility, Technology can help. Implants used to curb excessive violent behavior is one way of helping. Steralizing people who are not yet ready to be responsible parents is another way of helping.



And I think that's the fundamental problem we run into, as our technology increases. Sure, the majority of people don't want to hurt others, and have a live and let live philosophy. But it's the few deviants that owrry me, and if we live ina world were technology is so prevalent and widespread, that one deviant is capable of killing thousands, or millions of people my themselves, I'd say we're in a lot of trouble.


There is nothing to indicate that deviants will have better access to more powerful weapons in the future. There are many, very powerful weapons available today. Even leaders of very powerful nations haven't been successful in completely wiping out an entire nation, so how do you think some "broken" high school student would be able to do so? I think your fears are unfounded, as neither you or I know where exactly our society is heading. As technology progresses, so will new laws,.... making it damn hard for anyone to be able to obtain a WMD (aside from nations' leaders, and highly funded terrorists). Our security systems, thanks to new Technology, are getting better every day.



And while it is true that the rate of technological advance has varied throughout history, never before have we seen anything like what we've seen during the last century. The scientific revolution has been faster and more powerful that we could ever have imagined, and it certainly shows no sign of slowing.


This statement is true, but this speed at which Technology is progressing doesn't neccessarily mean the end of the world is approaching. There is that possibility of course, but there is also the possibility of a bright future. I just don't see anything to indicate that the end of the world is the more likely result. I think that basing your dooms day predictions on a couple of disturbed teenagers is hardly a reliable source. We've had plenty of psychos throughout the human history, and I think technology/modern medicine can help in reducing that number in the future.

I think you're only seeing/focusing on one path in the forked road, when you should be looking/focusing elsewhere as well.
People have been predicting the end of the world since the beginning of the human race, and I bet people living two hundred (or even 50!) years ago would never have thought we would make it as far as we did. Technology is definitely not all bad.



posted on Mar, 16 2006 @ 06:06 PM
link   
Humankind is doomed, sure. But it's not going to be a result of our inherent "evil" or us doing bad things. It's going to result from our basic intelligence (which is a good thing), and our love and desire to protect our offspring and allow them to grow up in the best of all possible worlds. Nobody's going to be protesting those things anytime soon, and those are the things that will do us in.

Genetic study to cure diseases will be so successful that people will live practically forever. That will require us to place pretty strict rules on reproduction. Whether we do it or not, that will be the end of human beings as we know them. Evolution will come to a grinding halt. Not only that, but there will be groups of people who will want to genetically modify themselves to become something other than strictly human. Either way, humanity as it currently exists will be through.

Along with genetic studies, we will soon develop intelligent machines, big and small, that will help us, but also replace us. Our bodies are not really made for long space flights, but an intelligent machine can do it relatively easily. So we won't be moving on to the planets, they will. They will be our offspring and our legacy.

How long is this going to take? I say 1,000 years, give or take 250. Not very much longer for humanity. None of us will live to see it, so I guess it doesn't matter. Is it sad, is it good? Who knows? But we won't destroy ourselves because we're evil. That's just silly.



new topics

top topics



 
0

log in

join