Thoughts on our past…and our future…

Humans, as depicted on a Pioneer plaque, are o...

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I’m reading “The Last Human,” an awesome book I recently picked up at the local library on humanity’s ancestors and relations going back an estimated seven million years, 22 separate species in all, and none of these distinguished peeps are around any more.

Gone. Deleted. Extinct. Kaput. All your hominids are now belonging to us…

The title of the book is, I think, accurate and quite possibly prophetic, and I strongly suspect that if we don’t start taking better care or ourselves, each other, and the world environment we need to exist, we will be the last humans.

Think about this for a bit: There have been times in the past, even within the last 100,000 years, that multiple human species lived not only in the same era, but in some cases in the same locale as well.

The fact that we are alone as far as human species go, and are in the process of making even the surviving great ape species in Africa and island Asia extinct as well, speaks volumes about our intolerance of competition with “Those other peeps not like us.™”

This is not an attitude I find useful in the long-term and seems in part to be very much a manifestation of our tribalistic evolutionary baggage that could get us all killed fighting amongst ourselves over somebody’s stupid, dogmatic, ideological dislikes.

I mentioned before that our future looks bright if we don’t kill ourselves off to soon, but though this could just be an example of the Clustering Illusion in statistical probability, given the current political and world events of the past couple of years, my confidence isn’t helped much.

I’m very much concerned about the outcome of this, and our future as a species when we seem determined to bring about our own extinction, through war, environmental inaction, and sometimes disastrously mistaken social policies.

One thought on “Thoughts on our past…and our future…

  1. In the longterm, yeah, humans will be gone, though I am not troubled about it. The sun is going to expand eventually and crisp us — and we have no where to go. So we’re going to be extinct for cert.
    In the meantime, I do think we should try to limit our suffering, a lot of which is of the unnecessary kind. The problems you list do indeed promise pointless agony, however, I don’t think any of them will kill us all off completely — there are just too many of us, scattered far and wide.
    To kill us all is not impossible: 1) something massive to bring down the numbers and also decrease the variety of traits, combined with 2) something new that can focus on the relatively homogenous genotype of the survivors.
    And then there’s Galactus.


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