Take Me Home
The Human Future
The Human FutureNothing lasts forever, even cold November Rain.
So sang Guns N' Roses, but were they right?
It seems certain that, whatever happens, humans will not be around in hundreds of millions of years time. This is because all animals evolve, and so if we manage to destroy ourselves or by destroyed, at best it will be human ancestors who are alive then, just like we can trace our lineage back and back to ultimately the first creatures on the land if you go far enough back.
It is possible humans will still be 'creatable', for instance in the laboratory, if either relean human cells have been stored and preserved for that length of time or the genetic code both fully stored and somehow reproduceable via advanced technology sufficient to create new instances of homo sapiens. However, to all intents and purposes it seems that we will have been replaced either through evolution, advanced technology or a combination of both, and perhaps not even too far into the future either.
To see a world in a grain of sand, And a heaven in a wild flower, Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, And eternity in an hour.
These are the words of William Blake, and if you could indeed hold infinity in the palm of your hand, and have a quick look down at some time in the distant future, what would you see?
We have suggested above that humanity as we would readily recognise it will not be in the picture. It may be a race of organic creatures, or it could be that silicon chips and non-organic computer-based lifeforms are king. Perhaps a hybrid of organic and non-organic matter rules the roost in that future era. But how would this happen?
Could the classic sci-fi horror story of the machines rebelling against humans happen? Speculation is fun, however the most interesting thing of all is that the reality will surely be even more bizarre, stranger and interesting than we can even think to imagine at the present moment.
Vast amounts of time, staggering technology and scientific advance, coupled with the possibility of travelling huge distances through the universe, and possible interaction with other lifeforms could all have profound effects. Colonies visiting different worlds and travelling through the galaxy could evolve over time into totally different species, that if they were to come back together millions of years later would be alien to each other in many extents!
The fact that technology may be used to speed-up changes in future lifeforms through genetic engineering and more extreme ways still means that the future of humanity is genuinely shrouded in mystery. However, whatever our 'destiny' may be, we won't be homo sapiens forever!