Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sound Off 02-24-09

People of many stripes--religious fundamentalists, environmentalists, atheists, etc.--feel that humanity is on the pathway to destruction or extinction. Today's question relates to these sentiments.

Today's question: Is humanity on the brink of extinction? How much longer does humanity have, and what will be the reason for the end of humanity?

Obviously, there are no right answers; share what you think is reasonable or what resonates with your gut.

13 comments:

  1. It doesn't effect my answer but what definition of humanity did you have in mind with the question?

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  2. I think the idea that "the end is nigh" is ingrained in the human psyche. I've only lived for only about 39 years and I can think of several end-of-the-world/end-of-civilization scenarios that people have feared in my lifetime: nuclear war, comet hale-bopp, the Y2K bug, and now global warming. Every culture and generation seems to fear its own time of tribulation; it's human nature. One would do better to ask oneself what the survival value of an end-is-nigh phenotype is.

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  3. >One would do better to ask oneself what the survival value of an end-is-nigh phenotype is.

    The value? I dunno. Seems like some people feel it's their job to usher such events into reality. For that reason, I sometimes feel like something cataclysmic will happen.

    I worry about nuclear war. Technology is growing and is projected to grow exponentially. This will make it easier for advanced weapons to find themselves into common people's hands.

    But in honesty, I hope Zee and Philosobot are right.

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  4. Yes, I try to be optimistic, but I fear that industrialized society will collapse based on the loss of cheap fossil fuels. Or, like Uruk projects, there are many who seem bent on producing the necessary prerequisites for cataclysm. I point to the Evangelical support of Israel as an example of destructive apocalyptic fervor.

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  5. Uruk wrote: "Seems like some people feel it's their job to usher such events into reality."

    Well, yeah, we can be awfully self-destructive. But even in the worst case scenarios, I think we humans are cockroachy enough to survive and re-build.

    Scrip: surely you can concoct a survival value for the end-is-nigh phenotype. Hypothesize, damn you!

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  6. survival benefit: mass reproduction--eat and drink for tomorrow we die.

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  7. "survival benefit: mass reproduction"

    Okay, so the benefit of mass reproduction requires the perceived threat of extinction. Therefore, we need to maintain a threat to our existence in order to maintain our existence. ;)

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  8. no, the benefit does not require the perceived threat of mass extinction, but mass extinction does fit nicely as a socio-biological impetus.

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  9. It might require the perceived threat of extinction if the phenotype is triggered epigenetically. Seriously.

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  10. epigentically, yes, that is what my point was. but reproductive prudence might also be the result of the fear of apocalypse. consider paul's pro-celibacy advise in i cor 7

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  11. Deep Fried Pizza

    Important adaptation for our survival?

    or

    The Seventh Seal has been broken?

    Quote from the article: "I like deep-fried pizza because it's crispy all over but soft inside, like a French fry. I sprinkle it with a little powdered sugar. That's good, too."

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  12. "Important adaptation for our survival?

    or

    The Seventh Seal has been broken?"

    I don't know about any of that but my mouth is watering after seeing the video and reading the article. I might have to take a road trip to Pennsylvania.

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