• Question: Hi! When do you think that modern day 'humans' will die out, and why???

    Asked by mimi317 to Davie, Gemma, James P, James V, Nuala on 2 Jul 2012.
    • Photo: James Pope

      James Pope answered on 2 Jul 2012:

      Hi mimi317,

      Well modern day humans, Home Sapians are about 200,000 years old and normally, you’d expect a species to last a couple of million years, if you look at previous big life on this planet.

      However, we are the first species to alter this planet (changing the land through farming, deforestation and building; climate change; mining), so this may have an impact on how long we are able to survive. However we are the first species to use tools and invent complex structures, so who knows what we can achieve?

      Ultimately, we don’t know, but at a bare minimum, I’d expect at least 10,000 years out of us, certainly more than that though!

    • Photo: James Verdon

      James Verdon answered on 2 Jul 2012:

      Hi mimi,
      It’s really impossible to know. The most likely things to wipe us out are a new disease that is highly contagious and fatal, or an asteroid impact. It’s impossible to predict when these things might happen, so I don’t think we know when the human race will go extinct. Given our intelligence and adaptability, I’d like to think we’d be able to survive whatever the planet throws at us.

    • Photo: Nuala Carson

      Nuala Carson answered on 6 Jul 2012:

      Hey mimi317,

      This is a pretty complicated question, as there are so many things you need to account for. Probably not for a very long time, but that really depends on our ability to regulate the planet, and adapt to changing conditions. As James Verdon said, the most likely cause to kill the human race would have to be something pretty major, like an asteroid, or a new disease that is highly contagious, resistant to our antibiotics and fatal – so lets just hope one of those doesn’t develop!