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 Food For Thought - The Human Race.

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PostSubject: Food For Thought - The Human Race.   Food For Thought - The Human Race. EmptyTue Jan 27, 2015 7:12 pm

This evening, I have mainly been reading some work from the philosopher, Eric Dietrich. Most interesting, and definitely food-for-thought. I paraphrase a bit of his work below........

After The Humans Are Gone

Eric Dietrich looks forward to the extinction of humanity.

Recently on the History Channel, artificial intelligence (AI) was singled out, with much wringing of hands, as one of the seven possible causes of the end of human life. I will argue that this wringing of hands is quite inappropriate: the best thing that could happen to humans, and to the rest of life on planet Earth, would be for us to develop intelligent machines and then usher in our own extinction.

Humans versus the World

British astrophysicist Stephen Hawking recently asked the following question on Yahoo Answers: “In a world that is in chaos politically, socially, and environmentally, how can the human race sustain another 100 years?” The answers included: “Get rid of nuclear weapons” and “Somehow we will.” A number of people suggested thinking differently: ending bickering or fostering cooperation. Many were doubtful that we could survive another 100 years. What is the prognosis for the human race?In the long run, extinction: 99.9% of all plant and animal species that have ever lived are already extinct. While it is true that we differ from all the other species in one important way, our intelligence, we are nevertheless otherwise a species quite similar to all the rest. So simple induction implies that humanity will one day go extinct. And this is true even if nothing devastating happens. But something devastating is happening.

The background extinction rate is estimated at 2 – 4 families of species per million years. But this background extinction rate is swamped by mass extinctions. Paleontologists list five major mass extinctions over the last 600 million years: the Cretaceous-Tertiary, the End Triassic, the Permian-Triassic, the Late Devonian, and the Ordovician-Silurian. Most experts reckon that the chances are tolerably low for an external major extinction event in the immediate future... if you exclude humans. Among the new things humankind brings to the world’s table is that we ourselves are an extinction event. Many biologists believe that we are currently in the early stages of a human-caused mass extinction, already known as the Holocene extinction event. These biologists think that up to 20 percent of all living species could become extinct within 30 years. One third of amphibians are at risk in the next few years. Biologist E.O. Wilson estimated in his 2002 book The Future of Life that if the current rate of the human destruction of the biosphere continues, one-half of all species will be extinct in 100 years. So, humans are asteroids. Given how devastating we are to the planet, and how entrenched our behavior is, a moral argument can be made that we ought to extinguish ourselves – and soon.

Humans versus Humans

So humans are bad for all the other living things on the planet. We are also bad for each other, because we are bad to each other. It is possible to survey humankind and be proud, for we have accomplished great things. Art and science are two noteworthy human accomplishments. Consonant with art and science are some of the ways we treat each other. Sacrifice and heroism are two admirable human qualities that pervade human interaction. But this goodness is more than balanced by human depravity. Moral corruption infests our being. Why?

Throughout history, distinguished philosophers, theologians, and psychologists have wrestled with this question. Why are we so bad?

The Evolutionary Basis of Some Immorality

Let’s focus on the badness that ordinary humans create while behaving more or less normally. By ‘normally’ I mean that these behaviors are statistically common: they fall within the bump of the bell curve of human behaviors. I include in this set behavior such as lying, cheating, stealing, raping, murdering, assaulting, mugging, child abuse, as well as such things as discrimination on the basis of sex, race, religion, sexual preference and national origin.

How could ordinary human behavior include such things as rape, child abuse, murder, sexism, and racism? One standard answer locates the problem in us in such a way that moral discipline, perhaps enhanced by education, could fix it. For example, many claim that such bad behaviors are either learned or that the perpetrators have not learned ways of coping with the frustrations and aggravated selfishness that lead to the bad behavior. Correct education could therefore fix the problem.

Unfortunately this reply is wrong. The correct explanation is that many ordinary humans’ worst behavior has an evolutionary explanation. Consider two cases: child abuse and rape.

Child Abuse

Here is a surprising statistic: the best predictor of whether or not a child will be abused or killed is whether or not he or she has a step-father (see Wilson and Daly, Homicide). Why should this be the case? Moral learning or lack of learning doesn’t seem to be a plausible explanation here. Evolutionary theory, however, seems to succeed where the folk theory cannot. In some male-dominated primate species (eg langurs), when a new alpha male takes over the troupe, he kills all the infants fathered by the previous alpha male. He then mates with the females in his new harem, inseminating many of them, and then they bear his children. The langur pattern is just one extreme case of a nearly ubiquitous mammalian phenomenon: males kill or refuse to care for infants that they conclude are unlikely to be their offspring. We human mammals carry this evolutionary baggage around with us.

Rape

The common explanation of rape is that it is principally about violence against women. The main implication of this view is that rape is not about sex. Many embrace this explanation simply because it seems right emotionally. But it is wrong (see for example Thornhill and Palmer, A Natural History of Rape). Most rape victims around the world are females between the ages of 16 and 22, among the prime reproductive years for females (the best reproductive years are 19-24 or so, so the overlap isn’t exact). Most rapists are in their teens through their early twenties – the age of maximum male sexual motivation. Few rape victims experience severe lasting physical injuries. On the available evidence, young women tend to resist rape more than older women. Rape is also ubiquitous in human cultures; there are no societies where rape is non-existent. Rape also exists in most other animals: in insects, birds, reptiles, amphibians, marine mammals and non-human primates. All of these facts cry out for an evolutionary explanation of rape: rape is either an adaptation or a by-product of adaptations for mating. Either way, rape is part of the human animal blue-print.

So on the best theory we’ve got, two very serious social ills – child abuse and rape – are due to our evolutionary heritage (as are several other social ills). It is a sad fact that much of our basic human psychology is built by evolution. These innate psychological capacities of ours are principally responsible for many of humanity’s darkest ills. But in short, we abuse, discriminate, and rape because we are human.

A Modest Proposal: Homo sapiens 2.0

So what can we do about the immorality humans perpetrate on each other and the thoughtless damage we do to the rest of the planet? The standard line is to simply try to educate everyone to do better – to change society. But if the current evolutionary theory about some of our most dismal behaviors is correct, such teaching either will not work, or will require draconian social measures to implement. To those who think that producing better humans through education is a live option, I say: “Great! Give it a try, what have you got to lose?” But I believe this path won’t work. So suppose we try a better path?

Humankind shouldn’t just go extinct. There are things about us worth preserving: art and science to name two. Some might think that these good parts of humanity justify our continued existence. This conclusion no doubt used to be warranted, before AI became a real possibility. But now it no longer is. If we could implement the better angels of our nature in machines, then morally we should; and then we should exit, stage left.

So let’s build a race of machines – Homo sapiens 2.0 – that incorporate only what is good about humanity, that do not feel any evolutionary tug to commit certain evils against others of their own kind, and that let the rest of the world live in peace. And then let us – the humans – exit, leaving behind a planet populated with nice machines, who, while not perfect angels, will nevertheless be a vast moral improvement over us.

One way to do this would be to implement in the machines our best moral theories, in such a way that the machines do not draw invidious distinctions for example. These best theories see morality as comprising universal truths, applying fairly to all beings. One such truth is that it is normally wrong to harm another being. (I say ‘normally’ because even in a better, machine society, it is likely there will be bad or defective machines, and these must be dealt with.)

What are the prospects for building such a race of robots? They seem moderately good to me. The theories and technologies for building a human-level robot seriously elude us at the present, but we already have, I think, the correct foundational theory – computationalism (I have argued for this many times in various places; see Dietrich, Thinking Computers and Virtual Persons, and Dietrich and Markman, Cognitive Dynamics). Assuming that computationalism is correct, then it is only a matter of time before we figure out which algorithms govern the human mind. Once we know this, we could, with careful diligence, remove at least some of the parts responsible for us behaving abominably. Then after building such a race of machines, perhaps we could bow out with some dignity – with the thought that we had finally done the best we could do.

An Objection to Homo sapiens 2.0: Weinberg’s Problem

I have received several objections to this proposal over the last few years. None work. Here I want to rebut a new objection.

As mentioned, we should design our replacement machines so they do not draw invidious distinctions, for these distinctions lie at the heart of our immorality. The machines will view themselves and all the rest of the life on planet Earth with equal favor. The best way to accomplish this is to create the machines as thoroughgoing scientific materialists. But, so the objection goes, the consequences of this are severe. It is not that the machines are merely scientific materialists; but rather, the problem is with the special way in which they became scientific materialists. This objection argues that the machines have a special epistemic status, and because of this status, nothing will awe or impress them: they will have no moral or spiritual fire to guide and inspire them. Lacking this, they will neither wonder nor explore, hence they will create neither art nor science. They will wind up being moral engineers – perhaps building better and better versions of themselves, keeping this up until they have engineered a race of serene Buddhas, at which point they might reasonably stop. But such a world, the objection concludes, is worse than our current world, since it lacks inspiration and wonder, art and science. So we shouldn’t build our machine replacements.

This objection is not the claim that our replacements will lack awe and wonder because they are machines. The objection grants that the machines will have the capacity for full inner lives, cognitively, emotionally, and phenomenologically. They will have desires, concerns, hope, cares, and beliefs. The problem is their special epistemic status. In our effort to keep from them from drawing invidious distinctions (ie ethnic, religious, etc), we will see to it that they will inherit from us a purely scientific worldview – a world of scientific reasons, causes laws and probabilities. The machines’ worldview is therefore rootless: it is not rooted, as ours is, in awe and mystery, in reverence and wonder. Their scientific worldview is not hard-won, it is a gift. The sun will never be Helios or Ra to them: it’s a large fusion reaction. Thunder is not the mighty Thor striking his magic hammer, Mjölnir; it is an acoustic shock wave caused by lightning rapidly heating and hence expanding the air. Love won’t make their world go round, inertia will; and ‘make’ will have to be written in scare-quotes. The machines will know who their creators were, and how flawed they (ie we) were, so they won’t be in awe of us: they may pity us, while regarding us with some appreciation, since we (finally) did the right thing. The machines’ existence won’t even strike them as a fluke, as ours does now to many. Instead, their existence will seem to them to be the next logical step. They will see themselves exactly as I have argued that they are – the rational, best alternative.

With such a hard-nosed view of their world and their place in it, the machines won’t feel any angst, nor awe and wonder. Lacking these states (it is not that they can’t feel awe and wonder, it is that they don’t), they will not be driven to do art and science. They will not take risks. Since they can’t be cowards, they won’t be heroes. Something incalculably important will be lost, therefore, if we replace ourselves with these machines. No matter how good they are, no matter how much better for the other life on planet Earth, if we engineer these creatures and then embrace our own extinction, we will be extinguishing something profound, beautiful, and important.

What makes this objection interesting and powerful is that it is really a version of what I call ‘Weinberg’s Problem’. In the closing lines of his 1977 book The First Three Minutes, the physicist Stephen Weinberg famously said: “The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless.” Being pointless and being unable to produce awe and wonder go hand in hand. Weinberg’s Problem is our problem, of course; but the machines will have it in spades because of their rootless scientific materialism, which makes their pointlessness far more thoroughgoing than ours.

I’m not saying their science won’t have unanswered questions. They will inherit our science, and ours is crawling with questions. That’s not the issue. The issue is the world-view involved. In our noble effort to give them only what is best about us, and to not give them the wherewithal to do bad or evil acts either to the rest of life or to each other, we will be constrained to offer only what is rational, what is known, what can be counted on. The machines won’t understand everything that happens, but they will think that everything that happens happens either for some reason (using a variant of Leibniz’s ‘Principle of Sufficient Reason’) or because of the relevant statistical likelihood, which is a kind of reason. Nor will they have an answer to every question. But because of their worldview, they will either dismiss such unanswered questions, or patiently seek to answer them. Yet they will never experience majesty and grandeur in the world of ideas because none of the remaining scientific problems they have to solve will strike them as deep. They won’t have any sort of spiritual, mysterious sense of what deep is. They will merely note that some problems are harder than others, and that some, when solved, lead to solutions of many other problems. This is the extent of their notion of ‘deep’. So, lacking any sense of grandeur in their view of life and the world, they create no art and no profound science. They while away their lives being good and being good stewards. Yet this brave new world hardly seems to be enough justification for us to commit species-cide.

Reply – Attacking Weinberg’s Problem Head On

There are several things to say to this Weinbergian objection. There are first the tiny, whiny things to complain about: a) It assumes too tight a connection between scientific materialism and lacking awe and wonder; b) It assumes too tight a connection between feeling awe and wonder and experiencing meaning; c) It assumes too tight a connection between being inspired by awe and wonder and doing science and art. But the very fact that Weinberg’s Problem is an increasing problem for us as our science advances, indicates that scientific materialism itself conflicts with meaningfulness and with being awed and inspired. The machines are ensnared in Weinberg’s Problem because of the systematically-programmed rootless nature of their knowledge and worldview. But we will one day be just as ensnared as they. Whether we replace ourselves by the machines or not, Weinberg’s Problem looms on the horizon for any intelligent entities.

The best way to attack Weinberg’s problem is head on. It isn’t true that none of the scientific or mathematical problems they work on will strike them as deep. They will not be able to avoid developing a stance of profundity toward the universe they will inhabit. The machines perhaps won’t marvel at a sunrise (which they will call an ‘earth-rotate’); but the universe is filled with other things that that they can marvel at. There are rock solid facts and problems about our world that are positively shocking, and these facts are fully capable of inspiring awe and wonder even if one is a hard-bitten scientific materialist. In fact, we ourselves have been doing a good job of ignoring these problems, but I think it is time to face up to them.

Many of these problems are actually well known. They are the problems of philosophy. Why does dualism seem true? Why is consciousness impossible to explain reductively? Why are there subjective points of view? Where does our sense of self and freewill come from? Why is selfhood so strongly felt but vanishes when science (ie scientific materialism) goes looking for it? What is the nature of being?... of morality? It is not so much the specifics of philosophy’s problems, it is their intractability, their immortality, that is puzzling. Early in the twenty-first century, Aristotle and Plato are still our philosophical colleagues. In no other field is this true. Aristotle, a genius polymath and seminal scientist, is not today the colleague of any biologist, physicist nor geologist. In these areas his theories were very wrong – not even in the ballpark. But in philosophy, if his office were down the hall, we’d go talk to him regularly. Our replacement machines will know this, since they will know the history of our philosophy.

They will also be conscious. And their consciousnesses will strike them as ‘not logically supervenient on the physical’. Yet they might well suppose that consciousness is supervenient on the physical, as many philosophers do. They will be therefore be stuck with the complete inexplicability of consciousness.

The machines will be far more moral than we. But they still won’t know the answer to this question: Is the moral a function of ends, or is it inherent in actions, in deeds? Like Aristotle, both Kant and Mill are still our philosophical colleagues, and they will be the machines’ colleagues as well.

Finally, the machines will also have, and be able to switch between, subjective and objective points of view. And this fact will be as paradoxical to them as it is to us. Then they will see a stark truth: switching between the subjective and objective creates the very problems of philosophy they grapple with. (For more on this, see Thomas Nagel, The View From Nowhere)

Once seen, the machines will locate versions of this paradox in mathematics, logic and physics. It is not too much to suppose that at this point some of the machines will begin to wonder: “Why are all these problems so intractable? What’s going on?” Such wondering can turn to wonder.

Pablo Picasso once said: “Computers are useless, all they can give you are answers.” But Picasso was wrong. Our replacement machines will ponder deep questions – questions that will cause them to wonder with awe at the nature of the universe and their place in it – questions that cause them to become philosophers. And from there, everything is possible – except of course, answers.


That is all - now going back to my Spicy hot pepperoni and Stella Artois.
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zyph

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PostSubject: Re: Food For Thought - The Human Race.   Food For Thought - The Human Race. EmptyTue Jan 27, 2015 7:16 pm

If that is paraphrasing Ork......I wouln't like to see your version of.....War & Peace.
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PostSubject: Re: Food For Thought - The Human Race.   Food For Thought - The Human Race. EmptyTue Jan 27, 2015 7:31 pm

reads like a green sam match report !!!! Basketball
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Les Miserable

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PostSubject: Re: Food For Thought - The Human Race.   Food For Thought - The Human Race. EmptyTue Jan 27, 2015 7:32 pm

Or a jabba the gut sermon.
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PostSubject: Re: Food For Thought - The Human Race.   Food For Thought - The Human Race. EmptyTue Jan 27, 2015 7:34 pm

Umm, yeh, twas a bit long. Have a read though - there's some salient points made. I find this guy's work most interesting. Not everyone's cup of tea, but hey ho, points that need addressing sooner or later.
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PostSubject: Re: Food For Thought - The Human Race.   Food For Thought - The Human Race. EmptyTue Jan 27, 2015 7:40 pm

Orkwood T Watt wrote:
Umm, yeh, twas a bit long. Have a read though - there's some salient points made. I find this guy's work most interesting. Not everyone's cup of tea, but hey ho, points that need addressing sooner or later.




If I can't get to sleep tonight.......I might give it a go......... tumbleweed .
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VillageGreen

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PostSubject: Re: Food For Thought - The Human Race.   Food For Thought - The Human Race. EmptyWed Jan 28, 2015 9:54 pm

There are a many ways that could see the human race wiped out [or see numbers rapidly decreased] in years to come.

I have listed six possibles below.

1) Climate change: Climate change is a threat to humanity and i believe that the ''point of no return'' the scientists once spoke of has been breached. We are witnessing many a ''Day After Tomorrow'' incidents right now and i feel that it is too late to change this. Things will get much worse than we are seeing now.

2) Water Shortages: It is believed that water shortages will increase as the years go by and this will create tension between countries, that in turn will lead to war. The ever growing population of the planet will not be able to cope with the lack of water.

3) Food Shortages: As with water shortages, this will be a major issue.

4) Virus [or illness]: The human race could be decimated by a virus [or illness] that has no cure and which would sweep through nations at ease and will. The latest Ebola outbreaks confirm this.

5) Nuclear War: Nuclear weapons will not be got rid of in a hurry and with global tensions at an all time high, it could only be a matter of time before these horrendous weapons get used in anger. This scenario is apt for 1, 2 and 3.

6) Natural Disaster Events: There are many natural disaster events that could plunge the planet backwards. The human race has no control over this.

How long have the human race got left on this planet, that is hard to say. Is it decades, is it centuries.


Last edited by VillageGreen on Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:39 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Food For Thought - The Human Race.   Food For Thought - The Human Race. EmptyWed Jan 28, 2015 10:48 pm

Blimey VG.....is it being cheerful that keeps you going....... :Suicide:
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PostSubject: Re: Food For Thought - The Human Race.   Food For Thought - The Human Race. EmptyThu Jan 29, 2015 12:45 am

VillageGreen wrote:
There are a many ways that could see the human race wiped out in years to come.

I have listed six possibles below.

1) Climate change: Climate change is a threat to humanity and i believe that the ''point of no return'' the scientists once spoke of has been breached. We are witnessing many a ''Day After Tomorrow'' incidents right now and i feel that it is too late to change this. Things will get much worse than we are seeing now.

2) Water Shortages: It is believed that water shortages will increase as the years go by and this will create tension between countries, that in turn will lead to war. The ever growing population of the planet will not be able to cope with the lack of water.

3) Food Shortages: As with water shortages, this will be a major issue.

4) Virus [or illness]: The human race could be decimated by a virus [or illness] that has no cure and which would sweep through nations at ease and will. The latest Ebola outbreaks confirm this.

5) Nuclear War: Nuclear weapons will not be got rid of in a hurry and with global tensions at an all time high, it could only be a matter of time before these horrendous weapons get used in anger. This scenario is apt for 1, 2 and 3.

6) Natural Disaster Events: There are many natural disaster events that could plunge the planet backwards. The human race has no control over this.

How long have the human race got left on this planet, that is hard to say. Is it decades, is it centuries.


Er, wouldn't those simply result in a temporary reduction in the population rather than its extermination, about the only thing which would guarantee that would be an asteroid strike or some form of massive increase in Sun activity, most everything else is survivable.
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PostSubject: Re: Food For Thought - The Human Race.   Food For Thought - The Human Race. EmptyThu Jan 29, 2015 2:39 am

People have been predicting the 'end of the world' since Adam and Eve.

It ain't gonna happen.
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PostSubject: Re: Food For Thought - The Human Race.   Food For Thought - The Human Race. EmptyThu Jan 29, 2015 7:41 am

It's exactly those kind of statements that lead me to believe we are fooked Ricks. Huge portions of the worlds population don't like where they live because it's too hard to live, economic migration it's known as. Diesel pollution is already way over safe levels in most cities yet the numbers of cars and people in our cities continue to grow and our plans are to expand on population growth with one example given that we need more young people to look after all the old people, this is a situation that obviously has to change isn't it?
We have to change our whole mindset to avert the huge crisis we are heading towards. Terrence Makenna (Tree of life food of the gods isa good read) puts it all down to the dominator culture model that we follow nowadays and argues that we should return to an animist type culture. The dominator culture leads to warfare, economic policies that result in feast or famine for neighbouring cultures and people's whilst an animist culture would put the planet first with the first question to be asked of any new project development would be, "is it good for the earth and the population of the earth?" An economic argument would come a bit further down the page. This would stop the destruction of a lot of rainforest, lead to more protection for the oceans and the natural wilderness that we have left. The dominator culture can only lead to world domination by one culture over another similar to the Christian v Islam holy war we are embroiled in at the moment, 99% of the world don't want war we are sent to war mainly to aid and abet the ego's of the next world leader that bribes his way to power in the USA.
Population levels are key to our future, ignore them and were doomed.
Good stuff Ork although you are asking a lot if you expect much debate on here with ideas like that, the sandpit where some people seem to store their heads is comfy and warm, they personally don't have any bailiffs knocking on their doors, food in the cupboards and they aren't going to rock the boat because they simply couldn't give a feck as long as the daily propaganda sheet drops on the doormat every morning and tells them it's all OK.
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PostSubject: Re: Food For Thought - The Human Race.   Food For Thought - The Human Race. EmptyThu Jan 29, 2015 7:43 am

Gotta agree with Tis. A giant asteroid strike would be the only total wipeout scenario. Good thing is it'd happen without 99.9% of us knowing it was coming, 'cos the carnage that any announcement of imminent death would bring is highly unlikely to be broadcast on Heart FM. Razz
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PostSubject: Re: Food For Thought - The Human Race.   Food For Thought - The Human Race. EmptyThu Jan 29, 2015 8:21 am

Czarcasm wrote:
Gotta agree with Tis. A giant asteroid strike would be the only total wipeout scenario. Good thing is it'd happen without 99.9% of us knowing it was coming, 'cos the carnage that any announcement of imminent death would bring is highly unlikely to be broadcast on Heart FM. Razz

I would agree with that scenario for a MASS extinction, without the asteroid though we will bumble towards it and probably achieve it in several generations time, downfall of our present civilisation is a more likely scenario, the Incas, Greeks, Romans and Egyptians all had massive civilisations and I bet non of them thought they were doomed either.
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PostSubject: Re: Food For Thought - The Human Race.   Food For Thought - The Human Race. EmptyThu Jan 29, 2015 10:47 am

Lord Tisdale wrote:
VillageGreen wrote:
There are a many ways that could see the human race wiped out in years to come.

I have listed six possibles below.

1) Climate change: Climate change is a threat to humanity and i believe that the ''point of no return'' the scientists once spoke of has been breached. We are witnessing many a ''Day After Tomorrow'' incidents right now and i feel that it is too late to change this. Things will get much worse than we are seeing now.

2) Water Shortages: It is believed that water shortages will increase as the years go by and this will create tension between countries, that in turn will lead to war. The ever growing population of the planet will not be able to cope with the lack of water.

3) Food Shortages: As with water shortages, this will be a major issue.

4) Virus [or illness]: The human race could be decimated by a virus [or illness] that has no cure and which would sweep through nations at ease and will. The latest Ebola outbreaks confirm this.

5) Nuclear War: Nuclear weapons will not be got rid of in a hurry and with global tensions at an all time high, it could only be a matter of time before these horrendous weapons get used in anger. This scenario is apt for 1, 2 and 3.

6) Natural Disaster Events: There are many natural disaster events that could plunge the planet backwards. The human race has no control over this.

How long have the human race got left on this planet, that is hard to say. Is it decades, is it centuries.


Er, wouldn't those simply result in a temporary reduction in the population rather than its extermination, about the only thing which would guarantee that would be an asteroid strike or some form of massive increase in Sun activity, most everything else is survivable.

Yes, I'd agree with that. Look at the birth rate in advanced economies like Germany, Russia and Japan. As countries develop, and as child mortality drops, the birth rate tends to plateau. I don't think the population is going to keep growing indefinitely.

Still, the fact remains that we need 1.2 Earths to keep up with current consumption. Stopping the moronic waste of food and water that goes on in developed economies would be a start.

I see the US Senate has denied that global warming is caused by humans, again. Sigh.
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VillageGreen

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PostSubject: Re: Food For Thought - The Human Race.   Food For Thought - The Human Race. EmptyThu Jan 29, 2015 12:36 pm

The Ebola virus is mutating, warn scientists.

Ebola outbreak: Virus mutating, scientists warn

Scientists tracking the Ebola outbreak in Guinea say the virus has mutated.

Researchers at the Institut Pasteur in France, which first identified the outbreak last March, are investigating whether it could have become more contagious.

They are tracking how the virus is changing and trying to establish whether it's able to jump more easily from person to person

It's not unusual for viruses to change over a period time. Ebola is an RNA virus - like HIV and influenza - which have a high rate of mutation. That makes the virus more able to adapt and raises the potential for it to become more contagious.


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PostSubject: Re: Food For Thought - The Human Race.   Food For Thought - The Human Race. EmptyThu Jan 29, 2015 12:42 pm

Lord Tisdale wrote:
VillageGreen wrote:
There are a many ways that could see the human race wiped out [or rapidly decreased] in years to come.

I have listed six possibles below.

1) Climate change: Climate change is a threat to humanity and i believe that the ''point of no return'' the scientists once spoke of has been breached. We are witnessing many a ''Day After Tomorrow'' incidents right now and i feel that it is too late to change this. Things will get much worse than we are seeing now.

2) Water Shortages: It is believed that water shortages will increase as the years go by and this will create tension between countries, that in turn will lead to war. The ever growing population of the planet will not be able to cope with the lack of water.

3) Food Shortages: As with water shortages, this will be a major issue.

4) Virus [or illness]: The human race could be decimated by a virus [or illness] that has no cure and which would sweep through nations at ease and will. The latest Ebola outbreaks confirm this.

5) Nuclear War: Nuclear weapons will not be got rid of in a hurry and with global tensions at an all time high, it could only be a matter of time before these horrendous weapons get used in anger. This scenario is apt for 1, 2 and 3.

6) Natural Disaster Events: There are many natural disaster events that could plunge the planet backwards. The human race has no control over this.

How long have the human race got left on this planet, that is hard to say. Is it decades, is it centuries.


Er, wouldn't those simply result in a temporary reduction in the population rather than its extermination, about the only thing which would guarantee that would be an asteroid strike or some form of massive increase in Sun activity, most everything else is survivable.



I have amended my original post to suggest rapidly decreased numbers also.

You are correct with the assumption that humans will survive any of my original possibles.

2029 is the year that a big asteroid is due to wing its way past Earth.

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However, there are many out there that scientists do not know about and these could cause damage if they came in undetected. They are the ones that the scientists fear the most. The one that flew over Russia is a classic example.

As things stand, i would say nuclear war is very a high possible, with a virus [or illness] a close second.
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Mapperley, darling

Mapperley, darling

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PostSubject: Re: Food For Thought - The Human Race.   Food For Thought - The Human Race. EmptyMon Feb 02, 2015 9:38 am

VillageGreen wrote:
The Ebola virus is mutating, warn scientists.

Ebola outbreak: Virus mutating, scientists warn

Scientists tracking the Ebola outbreak in Guinea say the virus has mutated.

Researchers at the Institut Pasteur in France, which first identified the outbreak last March, are investigating whether it could have become more contagious.

They are tracking how the virus is changing and trying to establish whether it's able to jump more easily from person to person

It's not unusual for viruses to change over a period time. Ebola is an RNA virus - like HIV and influenza - which have a high rate of mutation. That makes the virus more able to adapt and raises the potential for it to become more contagious.


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christ on a bike!

virus' mutate, its their nature. the bbc scaremonger, its their nature.

This country, yes this one we are in, has a very real food security problem. thats what will do for us in blighty, feck, there's a disease in the pet name we use for the uk.
every person responsible for food purchasing in the uk needs to change their habits, buying local and forcing the large agrobiz out of biz. smaller farms, no chemical inputs, animals suitable for the area... the list is endless.
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Greenskin

Greenskin

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PostSubject: Re: Food For Thought - The Human Race.   Food For Thought - The Human Race. EmptyMon Feb 02, 2015 9:55 am

We must find another planet in the goldilocks zone of a distant star. Apparently there is one but using the fastest transportation currently available, it would take 300,000 years to get there. Not much cop really.

We're fooked.
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PostSubject: Re: Food For Thought - The Human Race.   Food For Thought - The Human Race. EmptyMon Feb 02, 2015 6:52 pm

Mapperley, darling wrote:
VillageGreen wrote:
The Ebola virus is mutating, warn scientists.

Ebola outbreak: Virus mutating, scientists warn

Scientists tracking the Ebola outbreak in Guinea say the virus has mutated.

Researchers at the Institut Pasteur in France, which first identified the outbreak last March, are investigating whether it could have become more contagious.

They are tracking how the virus is changing and trying to establish whether it's able to jump more easily from person to person

It's not unusual for viruses to change over a period time. Ebola is an RNA virus - like HIV and influenza - which have a high rate of mutation. That makes the virus more able to adapt and raises the potential for it to become more contagious.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-31019097

christ on a bike!

virus' mutate, its their nature. the bbc scaremonger, its their nature.

This country, yes this one we are in, has a very real food security problem. thats what will do for us in blighty, feck, there's a disease in the pet name we use for the uk.
every person responsible for food purchasing in the uk needs to change their habits, buying local and forcing the large agrobiz out of biz. smaller farms, no chemical inputs, animals suitable for the area... the list is endless.

Agree a lot with farming practices, I only eat free range meat, I get a lot of shit for not eating intensively reared chicken but a vegetarian at the table won't be questioned, bit wierd that is.
The trouble is a lot of people will wax lyrical about free range chicken then bottle it and buy a cheap bird, I understand that money is tight in a lot of households but I would say buy quality and eat less meat. When we were skint I would buy a free range chicken and eat the breasts in one meal, wings, legs and thighs in another then make the carcasse and all the bones into stock and make risotto or soup. Good meat should be a treat and should be savoured as such, the American eat all you can mentality is creeping into our culture and it's not a good thing.
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