General Question

RareDenver's avatar

Do you think some form of humanity will outlive this planet?

Asked by RareDenver (13089 points ) December 22nd, 2011

Or are we and our descendents doomed to die with this planet and it’s average star?

Let’s hear your reasons for thinking we shall or shall not outlive the Earth.

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24 Answers

digitalimpression's avatar

Mankind is far too self-destructive to outlive the earth.

philosopher's avatar

I think based on current research humanity will be able to navigate Space before our Universe becomes to cold to survive in. I think before that day comes another Genius like Einstein will proof the Multiverse Theory and humanity will step into an alternate Universe.
What holds humanity back from more worthwhile research is ignorance, greed and wars. If Science and logic can overcome greed and; ignorance humanity will surivive.

fordest's avatar

I think it depends on whether or not we have warning. Mankind is far too self-preserving and inventive to not find a way to survive.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Ive thought about this a lot actually. It all really depends upon how quickly we get space bound and if we even have the resources and the cooperation to achieve something like that. I don’t think this planet will sustain human life for much longer so it really is IMO a race to space to save the human race yay rhyming :P

marinelife's avatar

Yes, mankind is very adaptable above all. It will spread through the universe.

talljasperman's avatar

I think both will go at the same time…but whatever survives will be in an alien zoo.

CWOTUS's avatar

This reminds me of a good old joke.

A kid was halfway sleeping through an astronomy class. During the lecture the professor explained how old the Universe was, and how old the Sun and Earth were. Later he mentioned in an offhand way that “in several billion years the Sun will burn out, and wipe out Earth as it does.”

The student bolted upright in his seat and demanded that the professor repeat what he had just said.

“In several billion years the Sun will burn out and take the near planets in the Solar System as it goes, including Earth,” said the professor.

“Whew,” said the obviously relieved student. “I thought you said ‘several million’ years.”

YoBob's avatar

Yep, we have already taken our first baby steps towards making self-sustaining colonies on places other than our cozy blue marble. I would not be surprised if within most of our lifetimes we see a permanently manned moon base (ore even tourist attraction) as well as the first steps towards colonizing Mars.

flutherother's avatar

We have billions of years to come up with a plan to escape the death of our star. I have no doubt it could be done if we were sensible about it. But since when has Man been sensible? We are busy destroying our planet, fencing ourselves in with space junk and killing each other. Our civilization could be extinguished in the next 100 years if we are not careful.

whitetigress's avatar

In my opinion humans greatest strength is knowing. Since we know the star will eventually expand and devour Earth, I’m sure there will be a project in the future that requires humans quality strength in “harvesting” or “cultivating” a new planet somewhere. They’re already studying what “blue and green” bacteria can do in large doses if applied to say, Mars at a high volume and large rate. They are trying to find out if enough oxygen could be naturally made and be sustained. Think of humans as a virus and a planet as a cell. Why can’t we high jack a planet and call it our own. After all its in our nature is it not?

JLeslie's avatar

I tend to think we won’t. But, it’s just a guess.

gasman's avatar

It could go either way: If humanity survives for a few more billion years, when the sun goes red giant, then we will certainly have colonized other worlds by then. Unfortunately humanity might not survive for even another few centuries.

The longevity of a technological civilization is the most difficult parameter to estimate in the Drake equation. It’s highly plausible that we will destroy ourselves (runaway global warming, nuclear winter, irreversible pollution, synthesis of lethal viruses, etc.) long before Earth itself vanishes.

ragingloli's avatar

I am a great optimist, so I will say, no, there will not.

Linda_Owl's avatar

Highly doubtful considering the rate at which we are currently destroying our environment.

whitetigress's avatar

@Linda_Owl And you know what the problem is? All these Christians claiming NOTW. Okay I get that someone is “not of this world.” But that message is spread and seems like an excuse to grab huge SUV’s slap that sticker across it have 4 children and not inform them that actually, EARTH IS OUR HOME! Jeez just because someone is not of this world doesn’t mean that earth is our home. I’m so sick of mis informing propaganda!!!

ETpro's avatar

I dropped my crystal ball way back when I was in the crib. It hasn’t ever worked since, but what do I think? I think that it’s true that Jesus was right in Matthew 5:5 when he told us that the meek ”...shall inherit the kingdom of earth”, I also think that the wise will move on.

Now that may be in current human bodies enhanced to last nearly indefinitely, or it amy be as human consciousness transferred to very advanced machines. But yes, I think we will not only survive, I think we eill continue to evolve.

Boogabooga1's avatar

I think some particle that contains our DNA will outlive mother earth.
In some way or another that DNA will bond with another life form and in theory we will live on.

If somehow the USA gets swallowed by an Epic Tsunami/flood etc. I believe that the rest of humanity may just have a chance of survival.

LostInParadise's avatar

It would be a monumental challenge. The closest stars are about 100 light years away, and there are physical reasons why we would not be able to travel anywhere close to the speed of light. Still I can conceive of a roobotized version of humanity being able to travel the distance and establish life on some distant planet.

everephebe's avatar

Well some form yes, because the atoms that constitute you and I, and the rest of humanity, will remain in this universe for quite some time. :D

tedd's avatar

No.

Mankind will evolve so completely out of existence, just as life on our planet will evolve into something so completely alien to us that we would never recognize it….. long before the planet Earth comes to an end.

gondwanalon's avatar

This reminds me of a novel by Arthur C. Clarke called “The Songs of a Distant Earth”. It is very well written and really draws you into the aspect a small human population sent from Earth to faraway planet called “Thalassa” covered almost entirely of water. There were actually two groups of humans sent there many years apart using different technologies that were available. It is interesting how the two human populations interacted as well as with the deep sea monsters. Check it out.

mattbrowne's avatar

Yes, I’m pretty sure. Space travel will become a reality for the same reason homo sapiens left Africa. The drive is built into our genes.

vicviod's avatar

Yes, humanity will outlive earth.

Think about it. In seventy years we went from horse drawn carts to missions to the moon, and we probably have a few centuries to develop a means of interstellar space travel. I do not believe global warming or a nuclear war will destroy humankind. We may be shortsighted at times but when confronted with imminent catastrophes we always manage to pull ourselves together. Look at the hole in the ozone layer in the late 20th century.

The fact that the human race can pull itself together pushes back the day that planet earth will be incapable of supporting human life. We probably have another few centuries, maybe a thousand years before a super volcano erupts or an asteroid hits. If we’re lucky, we may have a couple thousand years. I think that’s more than enough time to develop a ramjet fusion engine, or something similar, that can take us to distant stars.

And finding planets that can support life won’t be a problem. There are billions of stars in the universe, many having several planets orbiting them. There is bound to be some planets that have the right conditions to support life. NASA and other space agencies are finding new planets every week. They have already found a few candidates that may be able to support life as we know it.

If we are truly incapable of finding other planets that can support life, we can always terraform planets. Some planets may be so close to what we need that only a little tweaking will to the trick.

Humans have their options open. I think they are perfectly capable of expanding throughout the galaxy, the universe, and maybe eventually other universes.

Both time and our own ingenuity are on our side.

RareDenver's avatar

@gondwanalon just ordered the book from Amazon, looks good. Might even buy the Mike Oldfield album of the same name too.

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