Humanity has moved forward in all technological ways; we are able to cure diseases, create usable energy, and travel the world and beyond. With all these advances, I would argue that, unless humans evolved to the point beyond humanity, that we are our greatest enemy and that our downfall will be the fault of our own.

As humanity evolved, we inherited the ability to learn from our environments and ancestors, through which generations of thinkers have continually moved the technological world forward. We understand to an extent, the world we live on and the bodies we possess, and we can manipulate both to our advantage. With this scientific revolution comes incredible risk. The Holocene Extinction, the 6th massive extinction on the planet, is thought to be an ongoing event. This extinction is argued to be the result of human activity. Despite predictions and study of the 6th massive extinction, little noticeable effects have been done to remedy this current event.

Since the technological revolution began, humanity has been pumping harmful bioproducts of fossil-fuel consumption into the air. We have been slowly poisoning the atmosphere at increasingly unnatural rates. Because of climate change and simultaneous over-hunting, ecosystems are altering and dying off completely. Humanity has relied on vegetation, livestock, and fresh water for basic sustenance. If humans keep altering the global ecological systems as we have been, humanity will need to adapt or create an alternative source to necessary resources to survive.

A second possible cause of human extinction is human violence. The most notably violent even in human history was in the 1940’s when scientists developed the Atomic bomb. In 1945, over 100,000 were directly killed following two nuclear detonations. It has been 73 years since that deployment and nuclear technology has become more advanced. If an atomic bomb was dropped today, there is no telling how many people would die in the aftermath (though some estimate, depending on strength, location, and amount, millions of people would die, some estimated up to half a billion deaths).

Lastly, I believe that biological warfare or virus could be responsible for humanities demise. We have cured diseases and learned to make medicine to make time on this planet easier for the ill. With the medical revolution has come with advanced germs which can develop immunities to current medicines.


If humans were to be wiped out completely from this planet, and not to have simply evolved onto the next stage in our evolutionary track, we will be our own downfall. We have become so civilized and technologically advanced that there are potential destructive forces at work already.

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Replies to This Discussion

I definitely agree that humanity as a whole still faces many obstacles, and the potential for extinction still very much remains. With increased technology comes increased ways in which we can kill and destroy everything living thing on Earth. In fact, I don't see these threats being lessened at all within the next hundred years, and find it hard to imagine any future world in which these risks ever decrease. It seems humanity would need to reach a post-biological or even "immortal" state where the potential of death is no longer an issue. However, this seems like such a far distant future that humanity may become extinct before we can ever reach it.


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