(This is really more of a blog, but I am posting it here so the replies can be easier to follow, for those interested.) 

We all know that the human body isn't perfect. 
It is clear that we are still in development from natural selection instead of being the finished product of intentional design. 
When we look at the negative impact humanity orchestrates, I can't help but think that maybe homo sapiens are going to be yet another pruned branch; a dead end. Really, there are only two ways for us to go.
In a few billion more years, we will have either developed into something unrecognizable (unlikely, given our urges for self destruction.) Or we are going to have wiped out our own species, and probable quite a few more that were unfortunate enough to share a planet with us. Sad? Yes. Catastrophic? No. 
Let's face it. We have scientific evidence that the planet has been rebooting itself systematically long before we started to slime across its surface. How many dinosaurs are roaming over the great plains? How many extinctions on the small scale as well as the planetary took place long before we mastered fire? 
It would take the total destruction of every single bug, bacteria, virus and well....EVERYTHING..and then, still...
The cosmos will still continue to spin, which means that whatever environment created the potential for universal life will still exist, and eventually start all over again. Existence as we know it is such a temporary thing. Survival of any species, let alone ours depends on the rules of simplicity. 
Humanity is anything but simple. 
The only thing that gives us an 'edge' in the over all predator/prey struggle is our ability to think and reason. 
It seems that our logical mind is always at war with our base urges. We know we need to consume less, conserve more and reverse our environmentally destructive path to survive in this little window of reality. 
But we don't. 
And we won't. 

Why? 

There is no deity to blame for this failed blueprint. We don't have any omnipotent 'plan' for our future.
It is in our very genes to act out this play....but why?
At what point did we evolve into what we are now? 
What was the turning point in our development that wrote the screen play for this monumental fuck up that we have since become?

I would say that it comes down to procreation. 

When we gradually developed pleasurable sex, our species as we know it ended. 
We started down the irreversible path of destroying ourselves and everything around us. 

Take a look at other animals. How many of them actually enjoy the act of intercourse? How many gain physical pleasure from it? 

This is my theory. Feel free to pick it apart at will. 

<b>When the mating urge becomes linked to pleasure instead of reproduction, a hedonistic species arises. </b>


In some species, this is nothing more than the promise of reproduction and continuation of the line.. 
In ours, it has lead to over population and the lack of the ability to weigh costs and benefits in the long term. 
Immediate pleasure supersedes future security.
Wait. No. Not just security, but future SURVIVAL. 

We have adapted to go for immediate pleasure without weighing the future cost. 
Procreation was the start. 
We had sex because it felt good to rub our wet bits together, not because we wanted to risk agony and possible death for the continuation of our species. 

We had sex because it felt good, despite the fact that the tribe couldn't really handle another member. 

There is a correlation with environmental knowledge, too. 
We eat what tastes yummy, despite the fact that it's literally killing our world. 
We drive cars three miles to work and then complain when the air quality falls and our allergies and asthma act up. 
Instead of asking 'where does it stop?' 
I'm wondering where it started. 

Thoughts? Opinions? 





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Aw, sorry, just a moment of distraction. Won't happen again.
Great point about greed; I didn't even think about that in this context, but the maxim applies very well.

Kind of, but not exactly. Your birth rate analogy works in early industrial societies but post industrial nations do not suffer from high birth rates. In fact they suffer from birth rates below the rate of total mortality resulting in stable or shrinking populations maintained only on immigration.

 

Total fertility (not including infant mortality)

US: 2.06 children born/woman

Canada: 1.58 children born/woman

UK: 1.91 children born/woman

Germany: 1.41 children born/woman

France: 1.96 children born/woman

Australia: 1.78 children born/woman

New Zealand: 2.08 children born/woman

China: 1.54 children born/woman

Hear, hear, Shine!

Bonobos, one of our closest living relatives, enjoys sex as much, if not more, than we do. I think sex is a piece of the puzzle, but not the whole thing. Tool use allowed us to get more meat in our diets, and the invention of cooking allowed us to get more nutrients from food. These advances allowed the brain to really bloom (brains require 20 times the number of calories per gram to function than does muscle). And of course sex insured that this newly evolved most powerful brain in the world always had something to think about.
And of course sex insured that this newly evolved most powerful brain in the world always had something to think about.

When God created Adam, just after adding the brain and penis parts, he allegedly said: "Crap! I didn't give this creature enough blood for these organs to function together!"
And they call that intelligent design!
I just coined a new acronym: IBSD - Intelligent But Sloppy Design.

You can also decipher it in a much less charitable way: ID is full of BS.
Evolution screwed us, and we screwed right back. We've been screwing each other for a couple billion years now. And it keeps getting better! What we need to do is start having protected sex, as a species. Then, if we are lucky, we can screw for a couple more billion years. Can you imagine how much fun life would be if we would just take ownership of this?
Then, if we are lucky, we can screw for a couple more billion years.

On a side note, I was watching something on NatGeo the other day about the realignment of the continents into one supercontinent and the perilous implications for complex life. Apparently, this is supposed to happen only 250 million years from now and will render the Earth virtually inhabitable for anything other than bacteria.

Here's a link to the show: End of Eden. The two-part series was called "Clash of the Continents." Because I have not studied geology to any extent, I'm not sure how accurate it is; however, NatGeo seems to be much more accurate than, say, the sensationalist apocalyptica which plagues stations like the "History" Channel. (Really? Another two-hour production devoted to 2012 nonsense? How is that beneficial to the true and accurate study of history? Sigh.)

Anyways, it was interesting and definitely worth a watch. It puts things in perspective that although our sun may have billions of years left, conditions on this planet are still very subject to changes which could cause our extinction much, much sooner.

Although, I guess this just begs the question if we would have developed technology sufficient to create artificial habitats by the time the earth becomes uninhabitable for human life.
I saw that series as well. It was pretty depressing, as it seems this may be a likely outcome. But 250 million years is still a long time, and some scientists are always going on about terraforming Mars. If any scientists really think Mars is doable, they should be able to figure out how to maintain a habitat on earth before the creation of the new supercontinent.

I think the real challenge will be for humanity to last beyond the next 50-100 years and an environmental collapse of our own making.
250 millions is indeed a very long time. We're a very special species, but I'm not sure we're special enough to survive that long.

By the way, treble or quadruple this number, and the sun will be ~15% more luminous than it is now. That means, hot enough to completely wipe out both our atmosphere and our hydrosphere - and that, contrary to the 'Clash of the Continents' hypothesis, is not speculation: it will happen billions of years before the sun evolves into a red giant. I don't know if our future is to screw for a couple more billions years, but what I know is it probably won't happen on a dessicated Earth.

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