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End of Human Race?


Topaz

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On that list, only #3, 2, and 1 pose any actual risk of ending the human race. And #2 wouldn't really be the end of the human race since the newly created species that replaces humans, would, in essence, be a product of the human civilization and its logical continuation. Not that that's a likely scenario, since human modification/augmentation is something that will be gradual, has already begun, and there will never be a point that is universally recognized as "before this we were humans but now we are not".

#8 is another contender but it is extremely unlikely that ANY disease could wipe out 100% of the population. Diseases evolve so that they themselves can survive, and a disease that destroys 100% of the hosts it infects soon finds itself extinct as well, hence there is no evolutionary reason for a 100% fatal 100% contagious disease. Although such a thing could be engineered, but one would hope that the creators of such a disease would have some method to keep (at least) themselves from becoming its victims, thus at least some portion of humanity would survive.

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I found this article and wondered what everyone thinks of it. Here`s the top ten events that may end the human race. http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/yahoocanada/101027/canada/top10_events_that_may_end_the_human_race

most of them wouldn't end the human race.

And oil crash would be catastrophic, many would die, but it couldn't kill everyone. Cyberterrorism also likely wouldn't be humanity-destroying.

A super disease/virus, or anything that would block out the sun (meteor, massive nuclear war etc.) are the best bets i think.

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Near-by gamma ray burst.

While possible, very unlikely, since a candidate system for a GRB that close would not have escaped detection. Every single star in our galaxy that is massive enough to collapse into a black hole and create a GRB has been detected and cataloged (not hard, since these are the brightest stars). Keep in mind that a GRB, to be dangerous, would have to not only be close, but also be pointed at the Earth (the star's north-south axis oriented so its projection passes within a few degrees of the Earth). But yes, of all the dangers out there that could potentially cause extinction of the human race, a properly oriented nearby GRB would be the most inescapable.

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I believe we already mentioned Betelgeuse in another thread...yes...not very likely...but boy, oh boy if a blast IS heading our way...sayonara. Betelgeuse you showed was several degrees off and only some cosmic event during its eventual supernova would point a pole right at our Solar System.

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I believe we already mentioned Betelgeuse in another thread...yes...not very likely...but boy, oh boy if a blast IS heading our way...sayonara. Betelgeuse you showed was several degrees off and only some cosmic event during its eventual supernova would point a pole right at our Solar System.

Yep. Plus, by the time Betelgeuse goes, we'll probably be living inside a protective Dysonsphere anyway.

Honestly, I'd love to see a nearby supernova. Most supernovas do not result in a GRB by the way. Having the light of two Suns for a few days or weeks would be quite the event.

Edited by Bonam
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Yep. Plus, by the time Betelgeuse goes, we'll probably be living inside a protective Dysonsphere anyway.

Honestly, I'd love to see a nearby supernova. Most supernovas do not result in a GRB by the way. Having the light of two Suns for a few days or weeks would be quite the event.

Of course, we get hit by GRB every day from wayyyyyyyyy far away...

Roger that re: a supernova...last one close by was what? Before 1000AD? We're due, I guess.

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A large comet doing over 30km per sec is by far the biggest 'common*' threat to Earth since they come out of nowhere in highly eliptic orbits. The Oort cloud is full of them. By the time we notice it coming it might be too late. NEO asteroids tend to have fairly similar orbits to us and although impact would be nasty, it would be a much slower speeds which might save our butts. Luckily, the Solar System's gas giants act as shields to many potential comet threats, sweeping them up with their large gravity wells.

*In a geological time sense.

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most of them wouldn't end the human race.

And oil crash would be catastrophic, many would die, but it couldn't kill everyone. Cyberterrorism also likely wouldn't be humanity-destroying.

A super disease/virus, or anything that would block out the sun (meteor, massive nuclear war etc.) are the best bets i think.

meteor, comet, mega volcanoes those are sure things and quite likely extinction events for us as well...

extreme global warming maybe a total extinction or 99.999%...pandemic could be a 99.999% fatal because of our advanced civilization, the most primitive culture(close to nature)are most likely to survive, the post pandemic world could cause more fatalities than the pandemic...

good point about the oil crash, if there isn't a viable alternative fuel 10's of millions could die in N America...if it wasn't for the trucking industry bringing in fresh produce daily Canadian cities would starve, we have about a two week supply of food at any one time, should those trucks stop rolling it'll go bad very quickly...the same result could come about with a severe pandemic the entire distribution system could come to a standstill...the more advanced we become the more precarious our survival, being a self sufficient farmer sounds rather appealing, maybe it's time to turn those grassed areas into gardens again and relearn how to preserve food...

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yup...ultimately regardless what the cause of the shortage, we are totally unprepared to deal with a disruption of our food supply...unless you still live in a low tech agrarian society you're screwed...

I am ready and set for such an outcome, as well as my children. The problem is that 80% of the city people would die a slow starvation death while standing in the middle of a corn field. They haven't a clue.

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I am ready and set for such an outcome, as well as my children. The problem is that 80% of the city people would die a slow starvation death while standing in the middle of a corn field. They haven't a clue.

well your problem will city people going to the country looking for food, they'll likely be armed and desperate...and there will be millions of them...what are your odds of keeping all that food to yourself and staying alive? slim to none...
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well your problem will city people going to the country looking for food, they'll likely be armed and desperate...and there will be millions of them...what are your odds of keeping all that food to yourself and staying alive? slim to none...

Just gotta get far enough away from the cities. If a civilization ending event ever happens, first order of business for me would be to get as far away as possible from all the desperate hungry refugees. Waiting in a giant mass of people for aid is a recipe for disaster. Better to look after yourself. Even with "millions" of people looking for food, a few days hike out into the wilderness and you're safe and on your own (or with your group of people). 99% of people can't walk that far, nor would they even get it in their brains to try. Long as you aren't trapped in an island city (i.e. Montreal) it wouldn't be too hard to escape the hungry masses.

You can easily stuff enough provisions for a few weeks or even a month or two in your pack. Bonus points if you have the foresight to establish a few caches of additional supplies at locations in the back-country known only to yourself. Don't rely on gps to find them, presumably that system would no longer be functional. And, after you've gotten far enough away so other people aren't around, you can live off the land in most (southern) parts of Canada without too much trouble, provided you have the right gear/tools.

Then again, I did a three week hiking trip this summer where we covered just under 400km, so this advice probably doesn't apply to most people.

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well your problem will city people going to the country looking for food, they'll likely be armed and desperate...and there will be millions of them...what are your odds of keeping all that food to yourself and staying alive? slim to none...

Quote good in my favour. It isn't food I'm hoarding (although we do have our cache), it is knowledge. Like I said most people would die of starvation in a field of cow corn.

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And, after you've gotten far enough away so other people aren't around, you can live off the land in most (southern) parts of Canada without too much trouble, provided you have the right gear/tools.

Funny thing is there is enough to eat in the backyards of most suburban homes if you have the knowledge. As well things that most people wouldn't touch (like stinging nettle) can be eaten. You just have to know where to find it and how to identify it.

Guns are useless as prolonged hunting weapons because they need replenishment of ammunition. With most city folks poor shots how long to you think it would take for them to run out? So, yes survival skills are a good thing but unless you are willing to go into hunter-gatherer mode and spend the rest of your life on the move, understanding that agriculture can be viable in the middle of the forest is a much better arrangement. Plus there is no competition for the same food sources, which will quickly run out with urban pressures on it.

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