Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Recently, I watched a very intriguing Vsauce video on Human Extinction. I thought it would relate very well to what we have been discussing in class regarding big mass extinction events. The video raises an interesting question - will human extinction be anthorpogenic (result of human action) or caused by a big catastrophic event? The Global Catastrophic Risks Survey conducted by Oxford University's Future of Humanity Institute predicts that the risk of extinction before the year 2100 is 19%. At a first glance, that may not seem too big. However, that is almost 1/5 of a chance that the human race may die out by the next century.
The Doomsday argument theorizes that human extinction soon is probable. It is based off the concept that everyone has a birth number and that birth number is a random sampling of everyone born. This doesn't take into account big threats to the human race or how humans can overcome those threats. The biggest point this argument brings home is that human extinction soon is probable. The Fermi Paradox raises an interesting question - if intelligent beings are capable of living for billions of years, then where are they? We have not yet discovered intelligent life. This could mean that extinction level threat events are too common for intelligent life to catch up.
The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement (VHEM) has a rather dark approach to all of this information, that we, as a human race, should all just die out. They believe that humans are a negative influence on Earth and always will be. In fact, they go so far as to say we have a moral obligation to stop reproducing and fade away. Despite all of this negative information in favor of the future of the human race, we still stand a good chance of surviving. I have linked the video for more information.

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