Thursday, July 28, 2011

...it will not be humans...

"I'd like to widen people's awareness of the tremendous timespan lying ahead -- for our planet, and for life itself. Most educated people are aware that we're the outcome of nearly 4bn years of Darwinian selection, but many tend to think that humans are somehow the culmination. Our sun, however, is less than halfway through its lifespan. Six billion years from now, it will not be humans who watch the sun's demise. Any creatures that then exist will be as different from us as we are from bacteria or amoebae."
Martin Rees, cosmologist and astrophysicist (b. 1942)

4 comments:

  1. Very true. We're evolving even now, in this environment we've haphazardly shaped.

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  2. With that length of time they might not even be descended from humans, or from any life now on Earth.

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  3. @Trey: But the environment does not remain haphazard indefinitely, nor does the process eternally proceed by blind chance...

    We have reached a point where we are directly influencing this process by our individual and collective choices. That is something that will escalate as we refine our technologies and our technologies further reshape our cultures. It's an intriguing feedback loop of interactions and adaptations.

    @Porky: 'They' may well consider themselves to be descended from everything and everyone who has gone before, human and otherwise. Some will make distinctions, but in the end, how much of 'us' do we really pass along, and how much more is bacterial, mitochondrial, or other than just the coiled strands of DNA?

    Six billion years sounds like quite a bit, but consider that is only along one particular linear expression of time. When multiple such sequences begin to abut and impinge, even overlap or interpenetrate one another, then things get even more complex and interesting.

    Riskail occupies a Confluence. The Twelve Great Houses we've mentioned previously, like in the Harquo post, each occupy or derive from a particular singular universum or sequence. It all comes together in the Confluence, and not just twelve rivers, or twelve series of worlds or twelve meta-cultures. But that's something to deal with later on, after we've laid some more foundational groundwork.

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  4. I wonder. :) Might be anything. Or might be still humans, just too different from us. Radiation can't change you into something too different. Meh, it's all theories!

    ___
    call Nepal

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