Talk for Article "How will humanity go extinct?"

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    I feel this article underplays the extinction of humanity through climate change. We think of the impact of climate change as rising water levels affecting many, but not the whole of humanity. Prof Stephen Hawking warned ( that by 2600 the extra, cars, light, heating, air conditioning, farting cows required to provide more of humanity with the standard of living in places like China and India that Western countries already have will raise the temperature of our Planet to such levels that oceans will no longer simply rise but will evaporate, making life on Earth unsupportable.

    The international Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported earlier this month said a limit to global temperature rise of 1.3 degrees centigrade needs to achieved in the next couple of decades. Whether there is a political will to cool Prof Hawking’s dire predictions is a profound question that goes to the heart of whether humans can delay their existence.

    Edited: 2018-10-19 13:06:50 By Henry Harington (talk | contribs) + 31 Characters .. + 3% change.‎‎ (Note | Diff)

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    I’ve read another possible “End” scenario posed for what we call the Human race, and it’s mainly based on evolutionary forces. The original issue discussed was actually; “When will the Human race travel to another star?”.

    The answer that made sense to me was that beings of our lineage might eventually attempt the trip, but the genealogical differences between who we are, how we are formed, might be as major as the comparison between Homo sapiens and Homo neanderthalensis or even Homo erectus.

    I suspect that very few of my “sapiens” peers would consider themselves equals to the previous stages of our development in any more detailed manner than a general physical and behavioral difference from all other creatures present in their environments. “Would you hire a Homo Erectus”? Like that…

    Those who we evolve into might fairly be described as not us, not the beings we know today as “Human”; as disturbingly different as our progenitors might have considered us.

    So, it’s not even necessary for any kind of event to take place, for our well-known Human race to go extinct. If things keep working the way they have, the folks who land on another star’s planet won’t even much ruminate over who we really were. Except for what they remember from our images on “Wikipedia 3518”, of course…

    Edited: 2018-10-17 07:37:54 By GREGORY RUSH (talk | contribs) + 37 Characters .. + 2% change.‎‎ (Note | Diff)

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    “He argues that civilization has a 50-50 chance of making it through the 21st century” Civilisation collapsing and humanity going extinct are not the same thing. One reason why he might be giving a much greater chance of civilisation collapsing than others give for humanity going extinct is that there is a chance of a bunch of tribes surviving in the Kalahari, a sheltered mountain valley or the Amazon even if civilisation is well and truly collapsed.

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    Is it Diddymos or Didymos? Even if both spellings are correct it is better to standardise within one article.

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    I would say it is not necessarily to make explicit what NASA means.

    I don’t think is relevant to show a picture of Rachel Bronson (The executive director and publisher of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists) given that only one sentence from her is cited. For example, it would be different if the document was an interview. 🙂

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    I think you need to add credits to the images, just as with the videos.

    1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

      We’re currently putting together our copyright policies (which boils down to CC-BY-SA 4.0 as default) which should be going up by the end of the week and that’s going to include uniform policies on where and how to credit content appropriately. Our media repository needs going over with a fine tooth-comb because you’re 100% in the right here.

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    Another risk we face is of a supervolcano erupting. Yellowstone for example, but there are others. The risk in any one year is small, but a decade has ten years and a century has a hundred. Humanity might not go extinct, but what we call civilisation would be unlikely to make it. I would question whether our current civilisation would survive an event on the scale of

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    Harry – very well-sourced story.
    For just a dash of wide appeal, what about inserting a brief reference to popular culture’s most famous example of an AI device going berserk …
    HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey.
    HAL ultimately can’t reconcile his orders to keep the mission’s purpose secret, and to give the astronauts accurate information. That’s why he seems to go rogue and kill everybody.
    Building on a bit of pre-knowledge that you can assume would be shared with many of your readers can be a win-win for them and for you.
    It also helps put a picture in people’s heads, and this makes a story tasty.


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    Hi Harry, I’m having a read of your human extinction piece, at Peter’s request.
    I’m looking to make reading WT pieces essential, and also to improve the flow of the narrative.
    So I’ll be dipping in and out with various observations today.


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    Amy Bruckman

    The tag line at the top is doubled…. Should we delete one copy? 🙂

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    200,000 is 0.02% of a thousand million and Ive corrected the text, but the graphic has some errors. I suspect the original calculations may have been done against the life of the Universe rather than against just the last billion years.

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    Hi The Land. Thanks for your edits. Most I have accepted or I have merged our versions. However on the point of facts such as the lifespan of the median mammalian species, which was changed to the typical mammal species, I have changed because median has a specific mathematical meaning, and typical doesn’t, so it changes the fact.

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      Chris Keating

      Great – glad they were helpful.

      Re median – yes, it does change the facts, but how many of the audience will know a median is? Most publications don’t differentiate between different kinds of averages, for exactly that reason. 🙂

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