Today, I want to gaze into a quantum crystal ball and predict possible futures for mankind, all of which remain possible until the probability wave collapses into out reality. I’m not talking about next week, next month, next year, or even next century (I hope).
This is about humanity’s endgame. I want to talk in terms of what interstellar anthropologists might one day say about our species.
That said, here are my 5 possible outcomes for all of mankind:
Extinction – We don’t make it. Humans manage to start a nuclear war, unleash a bio-toxin, or turn the biosphere into an oven. Or, we could be victims of an ELE (Extinction Level Event) such as a meteor, gamma burst, alien visitation, etc. In any event, humanity will be gone.
Equilibrium – Humanity has long struggled with exponential population growth. Habitat destruction, housing shortages, food shortages, environmental changes… all due to there being an ever-growing number of humans. But what if we solved that? If humans managed to come to an equilibrium state, we could live harmoniously at a stable population indefinitely.
Colonization – Star Trek time. Humans break the faster-than-light barrier (or become patient enough for generation ships) and set off into the galaxy. The rush to new worlds mirrors the colonial era of the western hemisphere (possibly even imperialism regarding native cultures we might find). The population boom continues ad infinitum.
Evolution – Whether humans become cyborgs, AI, beings of pure energy, or genetic paragons, humanity solves all its current problems by becoming something new. Food shortages won’t matter to robots. Diseases will fail to take hold of impervious immune systems. Housing won’t be a problem if we become a cloud of energized gasses floating in the void.
Cyclical Apocalypse – Maybe ancient Atlantis was more advanced than we are now. Maybe our descendants will live in caves and hunt with spears. Through any number of possible scenarios, humanity could doom itself to repeat history by overextending and crashing back to primitive technological levels. How many times might we try before we get it right and manage something from the list of 2-4? But still, we persist and stave off extinction.
For the record: yeah, I do sit around and think about this sort of thing.
So what do YOU think? Do you have a pick from my list or a better notion of your own? Let me know.
Cast your vote in the comments or participate in the poll and discussion predicting Humanity’s Fate on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/authorjsmorin/posts/2796149170511336