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Ultimate fate of Earth

earth far future humanity

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#1
Jakob

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Just something I've been thinking of. In the very distant future, what will Earth by like, and how will it be regarded as humanity? My thoughts:

 

  • In a hundred years, we will have begun to expand across the Solar System, but obviously the Earth will be the main center of human activity, far more than other locations combined.
  • In a thousand years, humans will have spread out among the stars, hundreds of light years in every direction. There will have been enough time for entire human cultures and civilizations to rise and fall without ever seeing Earth. Enough time for colonies to send out colonization waves of their own, and for those colonies to colonize further. As countless billions leave for other planets and stars, fewer people remain in the cradle of humanity, and those who do tend to minimize their footprint. Thus the Earth becomes a bizarre juxtaposition of centuries-old ruins and hyper-advanced ultratechnology cities. Yet barring some disaster, Old Earth will still be a shining jewel in the crown of humanity, and one of its most important centers of economic, cultural, and political power. But it will not be alone. There will be other well-established civilizations, on other planets and in nearby star systems, with enough power to give Old Earth cultures a run for their money. A gradual, but at times uncomfortable, power shift is occurring as the distribution of power becomes less and less centered on Earth.
  • In ten thousand years, humans will have spread out across a large part of the galaxy. Old Earth will no longer be a shining jewel, but a fading star, with its grandest days behind it. Newer power centers, places that have also been inhabited for a "mere" several thousand years, have taken its place, and cultural mixing with various alien societies has taken the place further out of the limelight. Old Earth is now an average middle power, remarkable for its historical significance, but little else. Plenty of people still remain there, but Old Earth is a strange combination of nature preserve and holy land, attracting pilgrims from hundreds of different religions, as well as human and human-derived Luddites, and historians and archaeologists seeking the rarest and most ancient discoveries of all. And possibly the occasional curious alien from an allied species.
  • In the even more remote future, perhaps Old Earth will lose almost all significance and simply be a historical footnote, little more important to human civilizations at large than some cave in East Africa with a few old hominid bones.

 

What do you think?


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#2
Frizz

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If our civilisation survives the century i imagine that eventually Earth will become a preserved eden of biodiversity and human history. Completely deindustrialised and largely depopulated.

Essentially a museum planet.

I can very much imagine a terraformed Mars becoming a Coruscant and capital in a few thousand years or so.
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#3
Erowind

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If we solve ageing I look forward to seeing your Asimovlike future Jakob. Otherwise I guess I'll settle for dreaming about being young enough to go to the colonies on Europa circa 2100. Think about that for a minute folks, even without anti ageing tech nearly everyone here has a good shot at 2100. Exercise and healthy choices go a long way, I'm talking riding your bike at 102 long way. 

 


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#4
Sciencerocks

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Probably burnt to a crisp.

 

Humans, well, it is yet to be seen if we get off this planet...Lets just say that America is going to be a little slow over the next 4 years on doing that.



#5
Maximus

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  • In the even more remote future, perhaps Old Earth will lose almost all significance and simply be a historical footnote, little more important to human civilizations at large than some cave in East Africa with a few old hominid bones.

 

I've never thought about it this way, but it actually makes a lot of sense; a million years is more than enough for humanity to branch into hundreds of species, especially given the diverse range of conditions we would face throughout the galaxy. Even assuming that humans become a long-lived/immortal species, so much history would have gone on during the intervening years, that Earth would only have the same significance as Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley, and the Yellow River Basin have to us. Those were the cradle of civilization, Earth as whole will be the cradle of space-faring civilization.

 

On another note, I know you're not very big on transhumanism or AI, but technology will have a great impact on who we are as a species. Yes, we still behave much the same as we did 2000 years ago, but I would say that this is due to the fact that our society has not yet come into contact with advanced technologies. We are on the threshold of a massive reshaping of society due to things like AI, and life-extension. There really is no telling where this will take us, but it seems very unlikely that humanity and civilization will stay exactly the same throughout this transition.


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#6
Erowind

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  • In the even more remote future, perhaps Old Earth will lose almost all significance and simply be a historical footnote, little more important to human civilizations at large than some cave in East Africa with a few old hominid bones.

 

I've never thought about it this way, but it actually makes a lot of sense; a million years is more than enough for humanity to branch into hundreds of species, especially given the diverse range of conditions we would face throughout the galaxy. Even assuming that humans become a long-lived/immortal species, so much history would have gone on during the intervening years, that Earth would only have the same significance as Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley, and the Yellow River Basin have to us. Those were the cradle of civilization, Earth as whole will be the cradle of space-faring civilization.

 

 

If we achieve biological imortality cuold you imagine what it would be like to meet an ancient earthling on your travels that is over a million years old? Knowing the people on this forum I wouldin't be suprised if that ancient being is one of us one day.


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#7
nomad

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Just something I've been thinking of. In the very distant future, what will Earth by like, and how will it be regarded as humanity? My thoughts:

 

  • In a hundred years, we will have begun to expand across the Solar System, but obviously the Earth will be the main center of human activity, far more than other locations combined.

I'd say more like 500, but the rest is probably dead on.


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#8
Infinite

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Very enjoyable read Jakob, I would agree with most of it.

 

If we are talking of the physical planet Earth, I would echo what others have said above in that it will evolve into a museum of humanity, a popular spot to revisit the cradle that rose the greatness that has spread through the galaxy. 

 

But following a highly convincing trend of Dataism that I'm certain will take shape in human society in some shape or form, more and more resources will be allocated to computing power to make decisions, govern, predict, analyse and facilitate the descendant of homo sapiens. So the surface of Earth maybe be rendered a museum, but the lower crust and upper mantle of the Earth could very possibly be converted to large-scale computers.


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