It has been estimate that, at the current rate, male fertility caused by
Y-chromosome decay will decline to 1% of its present level within 5,000
generations - roughly 125,000 years. Not exactly the day after tomorrow -
but equally, not an unimaginably long time ahead. Unless something
changes in the way we breed, women will vanish too and Homo sapiens will
disappear in the next 1-200,000 years. But is extinction inevitable?
Of course extinction is inevitable. With about 98 % of all life forms that once existed, now extinct, it's just a matter of time. But i don't worry about this, my own extinction is imminent, I i don't even worry about that.
I think if we dont kill ourselves first we will find a way to get off this earth before the sun engulfs us.
Also, I think we are in the middle of an extinction... not of the human race but of the animals that live on this earth. Species after species are slowly either become extinct or being put on the verge of extinction, all due to human actions. Human behavior is slowly but drastically changing the earths ecosystem, and since we are all linked it will ultimately lead to our demise.
I agree to a degree. We are definitely stressing the biosphere and with that fortune goes ours. However, I think we have such a unique trait that it could be the catalyst for our species avoiding extinction for a long time. Oh, sure, we will suffer much. But we have the capacity to overcome a lot and life itself has overcome far worse than mere human beings. I'm not that concerned about our prospects when it comes to a rapidly forthcoming extinction of us. However, what concerns me is the suffering we will go through and setbacks to advances in our collective knowledge and achievements.
At that time we will have reversed engineered our brain and copied it on a hard drive, us living as artificial-robotic life forms reproducing by replication, or copy-paste. The "human" specie has a high chance of going extinct in that timespan, so if you refer to us as a specie, then yes, extinction might be inevitable. If you refer to us as the totality of conectomes ( term like genome, only for neurons ) of each person and the technology that we have developed, then I think we will continue to explore the universe as artificial life forms.
If we won't be robotic life forms, then genetically engineered life form is also plausible. Still a different specie ( by definition )
Brainstorm: Imagine you were a robot that knows what you know...
That's right, technology begets technology and we have no idea the pace or direction of its development...but I wish we would do more now to change our current direction...that said, I was perplexed for a time trying to put my finger on where we went wrong as a species during our social evolution if you will...were we ever on course for Utopia? Could it have happened if we hadn't fucked it up? Were we ok during the hunter-gatherer times? Did somehow settling down in communities with domesticated plants/animals start the problems due to private ownership of property/goods that needed to be defended? Wars began and have continued since....where did we go wrong I wondered....THEN it hit me! Not a complicated answer at all, in fact, quite obvious, almost a duh! moment: things COULDN'T have been different given our brains with all its complexities...we were just being Human and it all was inevitable!
Permalink Reply by M on October 29, 2010 at 12:21pm
There have been several mass extinctions (not just the dinosaurs) over the lifespan of the planet. Earth recycling, basically. I think extinction of the human race is a definite possibility, but at the same time, we are awfully innovative (and pervasive, much like the cockroach), so maybe a few of us will manage to survive. It's hard to say for sure.
The theory that male fertility was in jeopardy due to Y-chromosome decay has been updated:
"In the Y, which originally had the same set of genes as the X, most of the X-related genes have disappeared over the last 200 million years. Until now, many biologists have assumed either that the Y chromosome was headed for eventual extinction, or that its evolutionary downslide was largely over and it has sunk into stagnation. Dr. Page’s new finding is surprising because it shows that the Y chromosome has achieved an unexpected salvation. The hallmark of the Y chromosome now turns out to be renewal and reinvigoration, once the unnecessary burden of X-related genes has been shed."
Although most scientists have regarded it as an ill-advised approach to survival, I've also had questions for sometime about the idea of a species vanishing as a result of the Y-chromosome decay due to the success of many species who have learned to survive using parthenogenesis as the primary or at least an alternate method of reproduction. And these females have apparently been doing this successfully -- without any d00ds -- for millions of years.
In any event, I still think that human extinction is inevitable -- and from the perspective of the earth's other living things -- desirable. But I don't think that human extinction will happen in terms of the species simply "disappearing," but rather by evolving into something that is "human-like."