After 5 billion years the sun will die. But in as little as 1 billion years the Earth will be too hot to sustain life. All due to the Sun going along its main sequence life line. Will humans have advanced technology enough to migrate to a planet of another star? Will they perish as a result of death of the sun? Or will they have already been wiped out by an event that took place earlier?
Bigger question is who cares? That is a long time in the future. The future is where we are all going to spend the rest of eternity…so you should care. There are some major hurdles we will have to overcome… Might as well start now.
Predicting technology 5 billion years ahead, 1 billion years, or hell even next decade is beyond any measure of the speculative. When I consider how inaccurate are predictions made even in my own lifetime. So my best contribution to these questions is in the analysis of what we know right now to be true.
For an even slightly meaningful answer, I have to generalize the concept of “humans” to mean living beings that have the property we most treasure in ourselves, reason. No species on this planet has existed for even a tenth of a billion years.
The most incomprehensible thing about the Universe is that it is at all comprehensible.
The Universe almost seems to have an inbuilt property that its laws of physics are complicated enough to produce scientists without outside intervention, and yet simple enough that scientists thus produced are able to understand it without outside intervention.
Why the Universe has this astounding combination of complexity and simplicity is the deepest mystery of all, but it suggests the wild speculation that the Universe has an inbuilt tendency of developing an understanding of itself without outside intervention. A logical corollary of this speculation would be that laws of physics not yet discovered will enable generalized humans to develop the technology to propagate beyond the Solar System, both to preserve their understanding of the Universe and to communicate it to the rest of the Universe.
I believe that the next 500 years are critical in our existence as species.
If we manage to survive and not kill ourselves over stupid things like oil, money, or which imaginary deity has a bigger Johnson for another 500 years, we will have sufficiently advanced technology to harvest the energy we need without fighting over it. With time we’ll have reproducing laws like maximum 3 kids per family or something like that which will regulate our reproduction and keep the earth’s population to a manageable level.
Most people note that proto-human creatures only came into existence around one million years ago, a blink of an eye in the history of the Earth. And that “communities of humans” only began maybe ten thousand years ago. Please also note that even just 600 years ago, no human yet even realized that the Earth was round and not Flat, or that it spins on an axis rather fast every day.
As to the future, some humans seem to be far too arrogant for us to persist very long. Whether we do ourselves in by nuclear war or by terrorism or by deadly viruses, the future history of humanity may seem unlikely to last even one hundred more years.
I did a lot of calculations twelve years ago, regarding Global Warming. I found several highly respected texts by Agronomists and Botanists who all concluded that if the average temperature of the Earth rises to just 80 degrees Fahrenheit , that no plants may then be able to raise sufficient water from the soil to keep their own leaves from drying out and dying. Once all plants would die, there would no longer be any food for any animals (including us humans) to keep us from starving to death. The strict scientific calculations I did then seem to indicate that the Earth will rise to well over 80 degrees Fahrenheit by the year 2140.
Some little children alive today may still be alive in 2140 to die of starvation. We can’t let that happen.
The next critical stage is living in harmony with the very advanced A.I. that we’ll soon give birth to. After that, it’s smooth sailing. We have at least hundreds of millions of years to develop a sufficiently advance mother ship that get us to a planet which resembles earth. The thing is that we will probably not leave all at once, or head to the same planet. Instead there’s a better chance that we’ll start colonizing cosmos one planet at a time. If earth’s population at current time would be around 100.000.000 people, composed of the smartest people living nowadays, I think this would even be a process of couple of decades. Unfortunately people are stupid and close minded. It’s an astonishing fact that few million smart people can keep billions of monkeys under control.
We need some key ingredients for our species to have a smooth future:
- Religion Must Be Gone (it creates unnecessary disputes and violence. It has its good parts but it doesn’t make up for it’s bad parts)
- The cash centered economy must change. We need a redirecting of our funds and resources. We currently spend an obscene amount on stuff that has no real value
- Democracy is shit. We need that out of the picture. I’m not suggesting any dictatorship, but a highly educated individual’s vote is hundreds of times more valuable than an uneducated one’s vote (for obvious reasons).
- Creating a very smart A.I. will probably be a very good step towards our goal. There are three scenarios here.
- He finds himself way more superior than our species and sees no reason to keep us alive. This is the case when it exterminates us (a rather natural flow of events if you consider that the A.I. is conscious and therefore pretty much alive, then he is indeed the next step in the trophic chain. The fact that it was not created by evolution is irrelevant ).
- He “purges” our race based on certain criteria ( possibly the ability to make logical implications. That will be a sad day for bigots if they will still be around )
- He lives in harmony with the human race (I find this the most unlikely scenario of all )
Whatever the case of point 4 (except a of course), it will be a big step forth for human race. Point b is also tricky because we might self-destruct in the process of fighting against this A.I., but if we don’t it will still be good for the remaining specimens. That being said, I know the future looks grim, but with a combination of luck and human intellect, we can make it past the next 400–500 years and I strongly believe that things will settle into a much much peaceful state after this critical age (entitled “Age of Stupidity”).
Why is it smooth sailing from here on? Because with sufficient energy, we can travel to the end of the universe in couple of seconds. The downside is that when you do that you get very far away in space-time from the others (not only in space), and if you want to turn back, you’ll notice that eons have passed. But if that doesn’t bother you, then we can get as far as we like with sufficient energy.
Major crisis for our species when you consider future deep time will be:
- Internal Conflict. (Planetary suicide, Idiocracy)
- Death of the Sun.
- Clashing with Andromeda Galaxy.
- Death of the Universe.
Major resources of energy that we should harvest for having a chance to deal with these crisis are:
- Planetary Resources (Harvest them at their almost-full values: harvesting lightning, hurricanes, tsunamis, storms, etc… )
- Sun (Storing more than 40–50% of the sun’s radiation would provide immense energy )
- Quasar jets (The real deal. At almost every point the quasar jet has as much energy as a supernova )
If we can just hold on as a species for a few more centuries without any major incident or global disaster I believe we will have a much easier time after that point. Once our science catches up with our ever increasing need for energy the reasons for war will be greatly diminished. With an ever advancing cutting edge scientific movement driving our development we will get to the stars and beyond. If we can just hold out and support our best and brightest minds we will make our energy needs a thing of the past.
All of us live in very turbulent times. The times are tough but our resolve to do the right thing is stronger. Take heart that the powers that want to sink our society are not nearly strong enough to do so. The strength of the forces of good that want us to prosper will always prevail. After all we are still here!
Planned out right we will still be around in one form or another when the Andromeda galaxy comes a knocking.
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