Time for humanity to say goodbye

Written in response to a friend asking how much longer humanity has. I said about a century before we are a minor species struggling to avoid extinction, then followed up with:

“I genuinely think that the level of technological ability that we have, combined with our intellectual and reasoning powers – let’s just call it “intelligence” as a shorthand – is an indicator of a species’ evolutionary dead end. Not just for us, but anywhere and everywhere in the universe. 

Species reach this level of intelligence but lack – woefully in our case – the emotional maturity to control and use their intelligence correctly means that they self-destruct incredibly quickly. 

There are millions of species on this planet that have existed perfectly happily for tens or hundreds of millions of years. It took a bloody great asteroid to end the dinosaurs’ hundreds of millions of years reign. None of them preyed on themselves like we do. 

We pop up about four million years ago and here we are, just ten minutes later in evolutionary terms, about to wipe ourselves out. We’re not just an evolutionary dead end but a pitifully short-lived species. 

For a long time, we’ve wondered why we haven’t detected alien radio waves. That’s why. Everyone else nearby is either dead already or hasn’t reached our stage of evolution. 

The intelligent life detection window is very very much smaller than we think it is and intelligent life far rarer and much shorter-lived too.

Having both intelligence *and* the ability to usefully control it is incredibly rare.

Nature always rejects its failed evolutionary experiments. Always. It has to, that’s how evolution works.

That’s us.”

About Paul Harper
These posts represent the collected thought of Paul Harper. Usually rants, occasionally lucid, always easily ignored. Read, don't read, your call!

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