Planet of The Apes
Our Rusuk Blog writer Sergey

There’s a book by Sir Arthur Clarke, called Childhood’s End. It was first released in 1954 and has, over the years, become a true sci-fi classic. The story’s literally about the end of humanity as we know it. A tremendously impressive book…

As to my vision of what lies in the future for all of us, I can’t rule out such a possibility chartered by Clarke: some external power, in his case, a mighty E.T. race, meddles in our business and completely transforms humanity, putting an end to its existence. 

Unlike Sir Arthur, I am on the sunny side of the street in this regard. I’ve read other sci-fi books, as it is still my passion, of a much better future for humans. We may spread out to outer space and, at least, colonize our Solar System. Going beyond contradicts contemporary understanding of physics as our further space travels are limited by the speed of light. 

Arthur C. Clarke Book Cover

But we will see, as science moves on, a development of our understanding of the Universe in all its might. Just several hundred years ago, we knew that Earth was the centre of everything. Now we know that the speed of light barrier is unbreakable. 

God only knows what will we know in a hundred years. 

There are some species on Mother-Earth who live for millions of years, like scorpions, staying unchanged from the evolutionary point of view. Well, we’re not scorpions but, in the long run, we will survive if we will be constantly changing. Not physically, but mentally. The scorpions just stuck on the great evolutionary stairway for ever. Let us not stumble and fall down from it, like setting the world on fire of global nuclear war because this is still a possibility for years to come.

If you don’t evolve, you have no chance to survive in the long run. I guess this is the law of evolution: adaptation is everything. 

This is how I see it: if we keep our minds flexible and fresh, the human race will last for millennia to come, constantly evolving and still keeping our basic features. The world  and the future, time and space are all built in. We are a Universe within. I truly believe our future is limited only by our mind. 

How long will humans last?

Roger Bara

To put it brusquely, not very long, not very long at all. We are condemned eventually to non-existence.

Assuming that the few mad dictator tyrants presiding over powerful nations don’t fry us all in a nuclear holocaust, I still feel our species on this planet is already in a time-limited mode.

I’m not going to go into the science, because all that is readily available in abundance on zillions of sites, but Habitat Destruction is the major cause of species extinctions. Homer Sapiens (!) are extremely good at this type of destruction. In fact, we are quite splendid at it.

See if you can get your head around this: the amount of CO2 emissions which will be produced by 195 major fossil fuel projects currently being worked is 646 gigatons. What a lot of gigatons, I hear you snigger. That figure is 146 gigatons more than the entire carbon budget available if we are to have a chance of avoiding catastrophic global heating. 

Henry Gee
Henry Gee

Yes, we may be the most efficient users of available resources, but habitat destruction will have an insidious effect on eco-systems.

Henry Gee is a paleontologist, and evolutionary biologist, so I think we can agree he knows a tad more about the subject than little old me. He reckons we’ve been around for some 315,000 years, but for most of that time, our species was so rare that it’s already come close to extinction. That, sadly for us, has sown the seeds of humanity’s doom: the current population has grown, very rapidly, from something much smaller. The result is that, as a species, we are just so very samey. 

Do you know there is more genetic variation in a few troupes of wild chimpanzees than in the entire human population? The ever-happy Mr. Gee reminds us that lack of genetic variation is never good for species survival. Yes, we are doomed. In fact, you could say we are already a dead species walking. 

How long will humans last?

Photograph of Dean Lewis

I have given this question a little thought and it turns out the US Government has too. They say the climate change will most likely lead to war. There are areas of the world that are marginal now that will not be able to grow any food at all. This will create a desperate migration and some governments will resort to violence to feed their populations.

In the past, wars didn’t threaten the continued existence of humanity. I will argue that they will soon. Not only is the nuclear genie out of the bottle, he appears to prefer second tier nations. Pakistan, North Korea, and Iran are nations that have or will join the nuclear club but don’t appear to have major economies. 

Mankind is in the middle of a dark valley; we have the ability to kill ourselves but do not yet have the ability to collect the resources of the Solar System. What I mean by that is that most future wars will be started over resources. Old school imperialism is seeing its last gasp… Ukraine has perhaps ended that entire era. I don’t see a Pope ordering wars in Holy Lands ever again. On the other hand, the world will fight over resources. Oil, rare earths, fresh water, and food come to mind as things over which we may fight.

Moon Titan
Titan – moon of Saturn

Wars are outrageously expensive. A war cost trillions of dollars and thousands of lives. To mine an asteroid is also expensive, but that cost is measures in millions without the loss of life. Going to war will not make sense in the future.

Once we are out in the Solar System in big numbers, we can have all the gold we want. Water? Yeah, there are piles of the stuff. And we don’t need to fight over land anymore… there are over 150 moons & thousands of asteroids, help yourself. For example: The moon Titan is bigger than Mercury and has liquid methane oceans. Methane is the major component in natural gas. Hello?

So, if you ask me how long humans will last, and Roger did, I say if we can get through the next fifty years we will most likely last forever.