Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

Mothership Question #2

Late is better than never, as they say, and so it is with this new feature, Ask a Science Blogger. This week’s question was late, arriving yesterday, but here it is;

Question: Will the “human” race be around in 100 years?

Um, YES. Even if The Rapture does occur, there still will be people on Earth since someone has to take care of the christians’ pets that were so thoughtlessly abandoned.

But I do wonder if the human race will still exist 1000 or 10,000 or 100,000 years from now? I think that’s open to debate, particularly considering our tendency towards self-destruction and especially as the projected length of time into the future increases.

I am very curious to know if you think that modern society will survive, even for 1000 years? Personally, I think that is unlikely. I expect that our descendents will be worse off than we are today due to the combined effects of environmental destruction, depletion of many natural resources, overpopulation, increasing religious dogmatism and the aftereffects of the growing educational, nutritional and financial disparities.


  1. #1 bigdumbchimp
    May 16, 2006

    Yes we will be here, but we will have evolved into highly honed eating machines and will have devices that sit in front of something we will call “couches” that bring us all information and entertainment we will ever need. The worker humans will be forced into slaving at places that will be known as “Dominos” and will bring sustenance in the form of baked bread and tomato concoctions with gallon containers of sweet liquids. Most of the race will never need to leave their homes (nor will they be able to) because of these inventions. However there will be those who decide to leave the comfort of their homes. They will need to be clothed in the baggiest of clothing to protect themselves from the fashion police and will always have a device that plays some form of noise through tiny devices placed within their ears. And to top it all off, we will refer to each other only as “bitch” and “dude”. No names will be needed in this highly motivated form of human.

  2. #2 CanuckRob
    May 16, 2006

    In a 100 years humans will be around but our civilization may not be. (excluidng big catastrophe like dinosaur killer astroid impact). More likely is massive die off caused by pandemic disease and/or climate change. If it knocks us back enough the complex,highly technical “western” socities will collapse due the lack of trained and appropriately educated people. If the “rapture” occurs we would have a much better chance of survival becouse most of the badly educated, anti-science and anti-humanists would be gone and the rest of us could solve our problems and turn Earth into a paradise.

  3. #3 biosparite
    May 17, 2006

    Arthur Koestler as he got older and more disillusioned wrote a long rumination titled THE GHOST IN THE MACHINE. One of his theses was that man is an volutionary “mistake” because of the coupling of high mental function with the reptilian hindbrain. A Koestlerian analysis of the the 100-year question would be ultimately grounded on whether advancing scientific knowledge of matter and energy gins up weapons of so destructive a nature that we cannot anticipate it. Try to explain the H-bomb to a reasonably well-educated American or Brit of 1906 (or, in the case of American godbags educated at Christian colleges, 2006,heh,heh) given that Rutherford would not discover the existence of the atomic nucleus for another four years. Such weapons in the hands of a future George Bush or a fundamentalist Muslim would greatly reduce the liklihood of human survival at any kind of respectable level of civilization. Wanna bet the priests and shamans would waste no time taking power in a post-apocalyptic world? Sorry, folks,I am working on my least favorite litigation right now, a case involving a family fight over the estate of a deceased, and my negativity has seeped into this exercise. Didn’t BLEAK HOUSE end with the courthouse and all the generations of filings in JARNDYCE v. JARNDYCE burning down?

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