Allan Takes Aim Blog

Are we on the road to Morocco or extinction?

Posted on: 27 April 2013

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Are we on the road to Morocco or extinction?

I know many of you, like me, probably have a long list of the type of people we’d like to become extinct. Unfortunately, short of killing them with a gun or other such method, the Law of Opportunity Cost puts the price of taking such action so high that as we think about it we realise we’ll have to keep putting up with them.

So what types of people would you like to become extinct? Want to think about it? Well while you’re thinking let me say the people I think should become extinct are people who, in the course of telephone calls and e-mails seemed to me people whose extinction would make the world a better place.

You would be surprised at who they are. Most are people who think highly of themselves and delude themselves that everyone else also thinks highly of them. Let me be kind to them by saying they live in a permanent and incurable state of self – delusion.

Both the intellectually pretentious among them see themselves at the top of the social ladder as do those who suffer from a dearth of intelligence. But whatever their mental capacity they have something in common: both think themselves better than everyone else. With their egos they make me think of the long ago emperors, empresses as well as kings and queens who thought themselves divine.
Now if you think that because the 21st century has only just got under way, any talk about humans becoming extinct is a bit silly. I would have agreed with you but for reading an article “How are humans going to become extinct” on the BBC World service website. The article can be accessed at

The article is about the thoughts of a team of scientists, mathematicians and philosophers at Oxford University’s Future of Humanity Institute, investigating the possibility of human extinction. And while normally I would hesitate to argue with such a formidable team, I doubt humans will ever become extinct.

Nonetheless I think humans will disappear from the earth. On the other hand I do not think they will disappear from the universe. In my view as Man’s scientific knowledge grows and as the earth becomes less and less habitable his natural instinct to explore will take him beyond the earth’s limiting boundaries. And though it might be a long time into the future, I believe Man will evacuate earth and live on new satellite worlds of his own. He will also use these satellite worlds as staging posts from which he will explore the universe for other planets on which to settle. Effectively, Man will create a new universe.

By the time this happens Man might also have evolved into something different from his present form. In fact I see an ever expanding universe peopled by ever developing types of humans. The fact that the sun will eventually disappear will be of little import to earth as it too will disappear..

Of course what I suggest is a long way into the future, a future that, as the millenniums pass, even the best scientists, mathematicians and philosophers can only guess at. And so, just as they can only guess at what that future will be so, too, can you.
For example, millenniums into the future I think the various worlds that man goes on to create, or find, will be peopled by the use of sperm banks. Naturally as Man has changed over past millenniums so too, will sperm’s structure.

The result: just as earth is populated by people with different facial features and skin colour, so will the worlds of the future. And while I might hope that as Man’s current propensity to conquer and acquire will disappear, optimistic as I am, it seems unlikely.
However, my opinions differ from the Institute in a number of ways. While Dr Nick Bostrom the Swedish born Director of the Institute says “Pandemics and natural disasters might cause colossal and catastrophic loss of life” he believes humanity likely to survive. Such an assertion is less than positive. I contend that as Man continues to evolve, any thought of pandemics and catastrophes causing his demise grows less and less.

Dr Bostrom believes Man has entered a new kind of technological era with the capacity to threaten our future as never before. I think Dr Bostrom’s statement, these are “threats we have no track record of surviving” is wrong. Man has survived many catastrophes caused by what, at the time, was advanced technology even if today we don’t think of it as advanced technology. Indeed in the future what we today, think advanced technology will have our descendants thinking how simple we were, if ever they think of us at all.

Comments welcome


4 Responses to "Are we on the road to Morocco or extinction?"

There are of course natural disasters that could end humanity. The Yellowstone super volcano, a large asteroid impact, a gamma ray burst among others. Disease is unlikely as is the great historical killer of species, climate change. The philosophical question I find interesting that grows out of this is at what point is Man no longer Man? I wouldn’t consider an Australopithicene “Man” any more than I would think of a dog as a wolf. Man has the ability to direct his own evolution in ways barely in the realm of science fiction 40 years ago. Craig Ventnor is building machine that can synthesize completely artificial DNA and Genomes and presumably the next step is micro-organisms. The question before us should man direct his own evolution. If so how? By how much? Even if we limit it to correcting “defects” will we be wise enough to know a potentially beneficial mutation from a defect? In hindsight we understand that carriers of sickle cell anemia genes who do not manifest the disease itself receive additional protection from malaria. Would we see this in foresight as well or just eradicate the sickle cell genes from our population? Will we perhaps see Homo Sapiens as the ultimate expression of nature, or the divine, and seek to lock future generations into that mold? Or will we let evolution take it’s course, perhaps tweaking a bit here and there but remaining mostly hands off? Are we doomed to be cyborgs, integrating useful technology and eventually becoming a hive mind? A lot depends on how man advances out into the universe and it is highly unlikely that there will be one answer.

Thanks for the comment. I wrote it to make people think so hopefully I’ll get more comments. Unfortunately, I tend to get more comments sent to my e-mail because some don’t want their name to be seen in the comment section.

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