One day, there will come a time where humans will no longer walk the planet. A morbid thought, I know, but a realistic one. We face extinction at some point and every day that we live we are just racing faster toward that inevitable end. Scientists have theorized about how it will happen and when it will happen and here is a compendium of some of the more likely theories.
1.) Artificial Intelligence – 20 Years
Humans are making computers stronger, faster, and more powerful every day. But when will it become too powerful? Some scientists say that we are heading that way currently and since robots lack emotion and comprehension, they may see humans as imperfect creatures and try to eradicate us. We may not be powerful enough to stop them especially if they are intelligent enough to correct damages to themselves.
2.) Nuclear War – 10-50 Years
It seems like every single day there is a threat for Nuclear War from some country. That makes this extinction theory incredibly plausible and likely. Unfortunately, we have no idea when this will happen as it could happen at seemingly any moment. All it takes is one push of a button and it could wipe out WAY more people than anyone could have expected. If it doesn’t, some form of retaliation will likely involve another nuclear bomb.
3.) Animal Extinction – 100 Years
Recently, many leading scientists have proposed that we are currently heading towards the 6th Mass Extinction in history. Not talking about humans yet, but large animals. With more and more animals becoming endangered and many others already having died off, we are facing many repercussions if these animals were to exit. Without the population of large predators roaming the earth, disease carrying rodents that were feasted on will roam the earth passing their diseases on to humans at an exponential rate. Additionally, without the existence of large animals, there will be less food on the earth for humans to consume, thus making our food supply scarcer. No food = no humans.
4.) Black Holes – Any Day
The likelihood of an external Black Hole swallowing the Earth whole is slim, but an internal force could supply all we need for a worldwide collapse into nothingness. Researchers in Switzerland have been toying around with a piece of scientific wonderment called the Large Hadron Super Collider, which can theoretically recreate some of the events that caused The Big Bang. Another theory is that this machinery could potentially create a Black Hole and suck the planet into oblivion.
5.) Global Warming – 100 Years
This has been the hot (pun) topic for the past couple of years now. There are many skeptics, but scientists insist that the effects of global warming are real and have the evidence to support their claim. The ice caps are melting, which could wipe out a lot of arctic wildlife and raise sea levels to make some cities uninhabitable. Along with the global meltdown, the increased temperatures could make some land masses uninhabitable as well, all that needs to happen is a very minute increase in temperature and we are well on our way to accomplishing that nefarious goal.
6.) Aliens – Any Day
Hey, you never know! This is the attitude taken by many pro-alien life scientists. In a hundreds of billions of galaxy in the universe, the universe itself is so expansive and seemingly endless, it seems that the possibility of alien life HAS to exist somewhere. If life does exist elsewhere and they are advanced enough to travel to our planet, imagine how advanced their weapon technology could be. Some scientists are beginning to hope that we really are alone in the universe because if we aren’t, it could spell the end of humanity as we know it.
7.) Pandemics – Any Day
Diseases pop up out of nowhere and who is to say that one won’t pop up tomorrow? It is hard to pinpoint and predict where disease may come from, but once we have it and are infected, it could be a problem. Especially since viruses are constantly mutating and adapting to make sure they live on and destroy us from the inside out. There has been an increase in anti-biotic resistant diseases in the world which is mighty dangerous to go along with potential man made viruses. Scientists are constantly experimenting with, creating, and destroying new diseases every day. If one were to escape the lab, who knows if we will be able to survive it.
8.) Degenerating DNA – 6,000 Years
DNA is the blueprint for all human life. What happens when our blueprint starts to falter? We get wiped out. Unfortunately, this is happening currently. Our bodies are significantly weaker and more prone to disease than we previously were. Our reliance on medical technology has made our bodies soft and vulnerable and there is nothing we can do about it. You see, we currently are carrying thousands of genetic mutation in our DNA and each generation we create more. These mutations aren’t the cool kind that make you like Wolverine or Spider-Man, quite the opposite actually. Our bodies are more prone than ever to become infected with cancer and other fatal diseases.
9.) Nanotechnology – 10-500 Years
Nanotechnology could be hailed as the savior of modern medicine. Or it could cause the downfall of us all. While this seems to be the future of modern medicine, as with artificial intelligence, these robotics could see humans as innately imperfect, destroying us from the inside out. Additionally, nanotechnology is incredibly hard to regulate currently since there is limited advances in terms of these molecular and atomic sized (potential) nuisances.
10.) Overpopulation – 100 Years
What many scientists believe is our biggest problem is overpopulation. Some theorize that humanity could become extinct within 100 years because of this problem. Overpopulation could be seen as the catalyst for many of the above potential human extinction theories. Our population has doubled in the past 35 years and we keep growing which could lead to a drain of resources, food, and plant life which can lead to war.