Human beings are not safe
Homo sapiens has been living for at least 200,000 years, and human civilization has lasted for thousands of years. The population is increasing and the technology is more and more advanced. On this beautiful planet Earth, mankind has left an indelible “mark”.
However, it is difficult for us to expect that the earth can always become a safe haven for mankind. Think about it carefully. Compared with the 13 billion-year-old Milky Way galaxy where the Earth is located, the journey humans have traveled is really short and insignificant—the safety of mankind has not had time to experience any challenge from the universe. The extinction of dinosaurs has proved that a small meteor somewhere in the universe can toss the earth hard enough. Those large-scale high-energy “cosmic events”, such as gamma-ray storms, black hole engulfing, galaxy collisions, and the Big Bang, can destroy the Earth in minutes. In front of the giants of the universe, human beings are as humble as ants and can be easily wiped out.
Of course, it seems that the “fuse” that is most likely to lead to human extinction comes from the inside of the earth, or from human beings. The probability of the Earth encountering a “cosmic event” is actually far lower than the probability of a nuclear war or a war with biochemical weapons. Ecological destruction, environmental pollution, and ozone disappearance have brought dramatic changes in the climate, and mankind is suffering the consequences. Some emerging high-tech will also bring unexpected new dangers, such as artificial intelligence technology will produce self-replicating machine monsters, threatening human safety; super antibiotics may give birth to super bacteria, leading to an uncontrollable plague…
Scientists “fancy” predict the man-made disasters that humans will face. A single disaster may not be a concern, but they are likely to come together and erupt at the same time, bringing a fatal blow to humans. So, what is the probability of this “concurrency disaster” occurring? The Institute for the Future of Humanity at Oxford University has done research on this. Scientists first launched an extensive public opinion survey, listing various potential man-made disasters that humans may encounter in the next century, and asking the public to fill in the probability of each disaster. Then, scientists use scientific methods to set up various combinations of disasters that are sufficient to exterminate humans, and finally use statistics to calculate the probability of human extinction. The results show that if you are more optimistic, the probability of human extinction in the next century will be 9%, and if you are pessimistic, there will be 19%. If the conclusions of this study are reliable, then humans may become extinct within a few centuries.
If technology keeps developing
However, if anthropologists learn to behave well, reduce damage, and stop “death”, what will happen? Scientists believe that every mammal can survive for at least 10,000 to 20,000 years. For Homo sapiens, the most reasonable assumption is about 800,000 to 1.8 million years (about 200,000 years have passed).
However, today’s humans are already high-level Homo sapiens, numerous in number, widely distributed, and sufficient food sources. This makes human beings particularly tenacious and can adapt to almost any climate and environment on the earth. Therefore, human beings themselves are unlikely to become extinct, unless they encounter a “cosmic event”, which scientists predict that “cosmic event” will only happen once every billion years.
100 million years later? Considering that human beings are also a technological species, it is hard to imagine that humans will remain on the earth for 100 million years. Perhaps humans will use genetic engineering to transform themselves so that everyone can live for thousands of years. In this way, humans can migrate to the moon, Mars, and even travel through interstellar to places thousands of light years away. Once human beings open their branches and leaves in the universe, then human beings can obtain a huge living space and have a higher fault tolerance rate. In this case, the human species can remain stable for billions of years.
In billions of years, the sun will become a red giant. This will be the end of humanity on Earth, but it is very likely that humans have already colonized the galaxy extensively and fully. Even if the expansion of the universe has accelerated, humans can send robots to build the newly arrived planets to speed up the expansion. Under this model, the extinction of species in a certain region of the universe (such as the earth) is no longer important, because humans in other regions always carry the torch of life.
The real crisis came after trillions of years. At that time, most of the stars had burned out and the universe fell into a cold silence. Perhaps humans at that time had solved the energy problem with unexpected methods. But mankind still has to face a problem. Even if the proton is the most stable particle, it will decay and have a life span of up to 1036 years. Therefore, after 1036, matter will become extremely unstable. One day, humans will have nothing to do and nothing to use-this may be the upper limit of the life span of the human species.
But scientists hope to be more optimistic, that is, before the day of proton decay, humans have undergone tremendous changes-through random genetic mutations or deliberate engineering choices, they become a new species that can use unstable particles. Therefore, humans may never become extinct, but have become another species through evolution and technology, and live happily in the universe forever.