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Show ALL Forums  > Science/philosophy  > Is man doomed?      Home login  
Joined: 12/27/2005
Msg: 20
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Is man doomed?Page 1 of 5    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
About 60 million years ago, it's presumed that an asteroid hit the earth and caused a major extinction and killed off the dinosaurs.
It's entirely possible that humans may be the agent of the next great extinction on Earth.
However, I also think that if you could go back in time 100,000 years and talk to a Neanderthal sitting on a rock, the first thing he would say is, " The whole worlds going to hell ".
The year 2107 will be more different from 2007 than 2007 is from 1907.
But, a lot of things will still be the same.
If we are still around 100 years from now, people will still be saying, " The whole worlds going to hell ".
 MR. Sensitivity
Joined: 2/17/2007
Msg: 36
Melting ice caps? (plural)
Posted: 4/24/2007 6:17:36 PM
This is way to "heady" of a conversation for me.... but there is one thing I do wonder about. The ice caps are melting here on earth, right? Per Algore, it's a man made problem. question is, why are the ice caps on Mars melting? ....from those lunar modules that landed there a few years back? Call me curious?
Joined: 1/16/2007
Msg: 38
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Is man doomed?
Posted: 4/25/2007 6:39:58 AM
In regards to 2035

Actually it is 2012 and is based on the Mayan calendar.
It is the end of the world or actually the end of thier calendar which constitutes the end of an age (era) so the world as it is now. Not the end of all humanity.
An age is approx. 2030 some odds years and runs backwards to the Zodiac, we are coming out of the age of Pisces (check out the symbol fish ) and into the age of Aquarius, a more humanitarian age. This will definatly shake the world.
You can see the symbols of the past --fish, prior to that bull (Taurus) so on.
While it may shift some beliefs in the dogma of religion it may actually bring us closer to a higher power and a better place to live. Try to think positive and play nice.
Joined: 8/29/2006
Msg: 40
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Is man doomed?
Posted: 4/25/2007 11:33:24 AM
Step back a few more steps if you really want to see the big picture. Yes, we humans affect our environment just like all living things do. Yes, we seek to promote our species just like all living things do. Its a natural part of evolution. I find it quaint that people see some "nice" in nature while the reality is at fight for survival and domination. Plants seek to dominate their neighboring plants and kill then when they can through starving them of light, water, and nutrients and many even resort to poisens. Animals kill each other, sometimes it seems out of no reason other than sport. Humans are not much different except we care....then we kill for the same reasons. I remember as a kid, the prairies were open tracts of desolate land starving for water without a landmark in sight. Dry climate animals such as horned lizzards could be found, and played with, everywhere. The only cattle egrets were on nature programs on TV. Fire ants were unheard of. Now the trees are in the way of seeing the prairie and when you can see it, there are trees scattered everywhere on the horizon next man made ponds. The buffalo were gone many years before I was born but their impact on the environment was devastating and is slowly being erased. We killed them in our own efforts to dominate and subdue the indians but I would question which was more damaging, us or the buffalo. Most of the horned lizzards were gone shortly after the cattle egrets arrived even in areas not yet occupied by fire ants. Cattle egrets are protected even though they seem to be devestating to stands of trees, urban parks etc.

I figure if we are doomed, it is evolution in some form. How much of that evolution will be "natural" and how much we influence it ourselves is the real question. Our society seems to favor the least capable humans having high birth rates while the brightest have the lowest birth rates. That wreaks havok on the natural process of evolution. In the mean time, technology may allow us to significantly improve our offspring with some investment. Does that mean a branching in the human species in the future based on "economic" survival of the fittest in a world of limited resources?
Joined: 1/17/2007
Msg: 44
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Is man doomed?
Posted: 4/25/2007 4:41:47 PM
Nah, we're not doomed to extinction. We're doomed to put up with ourselves for quite a while yet.

A friend of mine used to race dirt bikes on wooded courses. (I forget the name of that style of racing) One of his cardinal rules was: look at a tree, hit a tree. In other words, if you focus on obstacles, they'll leap right in front of you. Focus on the path to success, on the other hand....

It really seems like as a species we take ten steps forward and nine steps back. We DO end up further along, but it's awfully easy to only focus on those nine backward steps.

Yup, we've messed up the planet in a lot of ways. Yup, there are tough times ahead. But we're also an incredibly persistent, adaptable, innovative and stubborn species who save our best efforts for when we're most challenged. Here in the U.S. we haven't been challenged in quite a while. We've grown intellectually and physically fat and lazy, leaving us poorly prepared for a survival-of-the-fittest scenario that's sure to come.

But there are smart, visionary leaders to be found all over the globe, and when the future looks darkest, their stars will shine and lead the way into our next stage of existence. At least that's how I see it, but I'm a focus-on-success kinda guy, even if I define success quite differently than most.

There are so many ways that humans collectively resemble late stage adolescents nearing adulthood. Just as a teen thinks their parents are incredibly stupid, then not too many years later discovers how wise those same parents are, we've deceived ourselves into thinking we were above nature, not a part of it, and needn't concern ourselves with our impacts on the planet. But parents being parents and the planet being the planet, soon enough mother nature and father time will welcome us back into the fold as we rediscover the benefits of living in harmony with all the other plants and critters here.

The tsunami and Katrina gave us a glimpse of how fragile our way of life is. I do believe those were just hints of the challenges yet to come. It's hard telling which will be the big hammer - famine, disease, climate change, water shortages or something else or a combination. It's really gonna hurt, but we really do need a true crisis to sink out teeth into to take the next giant step forward.

That's my take,

 MR. Sensitivity
Joined: 2/17/2007
Msg: 47
Melting ice caps? (plural)
Posted: 4/26/2007 6:42:27 PM
You got it right dude...there's more than one scientist that believes that...

I'm what I would call an; I realize resources are finite and that we have to be good stewards of the environment, but I also think the global warming scare is political.

And as Forrest said........."that's all I know about that"......
Joined: 1/17/2007
Msg: 51
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Is man doomed?
Posted: 4/26/2007 9:18:37 PM
Jesu peets. You are totally delusional in your understanding of ecological mechanics if you truly believe that "Mother Nature" will win out and "take us poor misguided humans back into the fold".

Hmm, just reading between the lines here, but I believe I detect a voice of dissent.

Actually, we were once 'in the fold', back in our hunter/gatherer days. It was the emergence and ultimate dominance of our agrarian culture that got us started down the path of destruction you refer to, which happened, I believe, in the land now known as Iraq, whatever special significance that may have.

Not that I'm advocating a reversion to the stone age, but I do think we have the capacity to apply our many lessons learned to craft a better future where we become responsible stewards of the planet.

Realistically, there are any number of potential outcomes awaiting us. We could descend into chaos, with isolated pockets of humanity struggling to eke out a miserable existence in a ravaged world. We could apply all our technological expertise, accumulated knowledge, and some revised values to start down the path toward the harmonious existence I described. While I think it's vital to understand all the perils and pitfalls ahead and how much responsibility we bear for them, if we don't focus on the path, all we have left is perils and pitfalls.

It might work. It might not. But if we don't make the effort, if we can't envision a future where we live off of the planet's interest rather than its principal, then all we're left with are future prospects that range from bleak to bleaker to non-existent, and I'm just not ready to accept that prognosis.

One big advantage we have is our ability to share knowledge through the same unprecedented communication capacity that lets you and I debate from opposite sides of the continent.

Yes, we've lost a lot of species, marine and otherwise. We agree that things will get worse before they can get better, and that it's our own fault. Where we appear to part ways is my belief that somewhere on the other side things CAN get better.

Delusional or not, I'm quite certain 'mother nature' will win. I only hope she'll let us play on the winning team. Part of my philosophy is based on logic, part on faith in the better parts of human nature becoming dominant as part of our own evolution. No question we've got our work cut out for us. I'd just rather roll up my sleeves and get started on that work than toss in the towel.

You do us all an important service, Sombient, with your frequent well-researched reality checks. The service I try to offer is whatever small part I can play in helping to visualize and create a better reality. If that reality is ever going to happen, it'll take people like you AND people like me to get us there.

Joined: 1/17/2007
Msg: 59
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Is man doomed?
Posted: 4/27/2007 6:14:08 PM

Yup, you understood my point (goats, sheep and other domesticated grazing animals in the ME are thought to be responsible for overgrazing, soil erosion and desertification within once fertile regions of the ME and throughout Africa. Have you any evidence that man can reverse this process, on a landscape scale?

Nope, there's no going back. Barring some Jurassic Park technological advances, we can't bring extinct species to life, and we've destroyed and washed into the oceans many thousands of years worth of fertile topsoil. Even today the tonnage of eroded topsoil exiting the U.S. down our waterways exceeds the tonnage of ALL of our intentional exports. We've only got five percent left of the soil that covered our country when it first became a country. We're not a desert yet but we're not all that far from it.

We've created a different world, a different global ecosystem. We've set in motion processes that can't be reversed. The question before us is have we forced a future that will force our own extinction?

Part of that answer lies in the science. Our bodies physically require certain temperature ranges, certain nutrients, certain other specific conditions. Whether the changes we've wrought will keep us within our essential survival parameters is certainly open to question.

But science isn't the only part of the equation. Vorpal and I have been singing harmony on this thread. The key issue of character that she so eloquently expresses is also a critical factor in our potential to survive.

Essential as good science is, we've so altered the planet, driven so many species extinct, that there's no useful model for us to compare our odds of survival to. We're entering totally uncharted territory. We know enough to know we should be deeply worried, and not enough of us are really heeding those warnings right now. But the alarms are starting to sound, and soon enough it'll be more than dedicated scientists who recognize how dire our circumstances are.

So then what?

One option is to circle the wagons, protect our loved ones as best we can for as long as we can, and resign ourselves to our fate.

OR...we can play the cards we've dealt ourselves to the utmost best of our ability. We'll never get the same world back, but we might maybe be able to take sufficient positive action to tip the scales toward a survivable, and who knows, ultimately thrivable future. We'll have to play within the laws of nature, but there's a wide range of options we'll have to choose from, and how well we make those choices will come down to our will, our ability to collaborate, our adaptability, our creativity, our character.

I can't help but believe that clinging to perspectives such as those Vorpal and I promote like the lifeline they are will go a long way toward assuring the best future possible. We're not in ANY way dismissing the severity of our circumstances. We need all of you who know far better than us exactly what damage we've done to keep sounding the alarms, keep reminding us that our odds keep diminishing every day we stay on the same old path.

And we need to keep pushing technological advances, but we certainly can't afford to assume magical future inventions will fix everything we've broken. They won't. But the best technology we can conjure up will certainly help improve those shrinking odds.

Most important of all we need good leaders to help us re-adjust our priorites and focus on the vitally important tasks ahead. Tasks far more important than who worships which way, who violated whose arbitrary lines drawn in the sand, who utilizes which style of government. The vast majority of people aren't cut out to lead. But quite a few people recognize good leadership when they see it and gratefully follow that leadership, adding their own talents and dedication to the path laid out for them.

And while one key characteristic of those leaders will be how well they heed the scientific realities we'll all face, the MOST important characteristic will be their ability to unify us, show us the way forward, and give us hope that if we all pull together a better future awaits.

I'm hanging my hat on my faith that those leaders will emerge, and enough of us will follow to get enough of us through to the other side to keep our species going, hopefully enough wiser that we won't repeat the same lesson in self-induced catastrophe.

Joined: 2/24/2007
Msg: 67
Is man doomed?
Posted: 4/29/2007 1:19:43 AM
doesnt seem to stop you though does it?
Joined: 7/17/2005
Msg: 88
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Is man doomed?
Posted: 5/3/2007 9:09:49 PM
Yes. We're ALL gonna die. Every last one of us. Eventually.
Joined: 12/18/2006
Msg: 89
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Is man doomed?
Posted: 5/3/2007 9:28:41 PM
It has been ever thus that we have recognized

Yes. We're ALL gonna die. Every last one of us. Eventually.

but we may be the first generation to realize that many of our children or grandchildren will die without issue - unless we take some radical steps to forstall it.
Joined: 5/10/2007
Msg: 96
Is man doomed?
Posted: 5/25/2007 9:03:23 PM
I think as long as man realizes it can be doomed we will be alright. Once we begin to think we are invincible, then its time to watch out.
 zombies are chasing me
Joined: 4/5/2007
Msg: 97
Is man doomed?
Posted: 5/29/2007 1:08:14 AM

my opinions:

will we last forever..? no way

global warming..? We will survive i have no doubt. Even if it gets real bad or.. gets back to "normal" (due to our preventative efforts)

Will we last for a long time? (relative to our perspective) as in say~ maybe a few thousand years more.. as a civilization possibly, as a species probably

the things that scare me the most are

information blackouts leading to global riots/ fall of govenrments or worse..

governments gaining too much control (not a doomsday scenario but yeah..)

future society's inhabitants having access to and creating nano tech viruses that infect all humans in a few weeks time... and then simotaniously drop us all dead just like that! with no warning.

As i believe Steven hawking said (in some rephrase or another) humanity's best hope for survival is to spread to other planets and solar systems

let's hope we make it^ :)
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