Is it really possible that Homo sapiens could go extinct in this century?
In his 2003 book Our Final Hour, the eminent British scholar Martin Rees estimated that the probability of human extinction before the year 2100 is around 50 per cent, based on the possibility of malign or accidental release of destructive technology.
Now a distinguished Australian scientist, Frank Fenner, who won awards for his work in helping eradicate the virus that causes smallpox, has predicted that the human race will be extinct within a hundred years.
He has claimed that the human race will be unable to survive a population explosion and “unbridled consumption.”
Fenner told The Australian newspaper that “Homo sapiens will become extinct, perhaps within 100 years.”
“A lot of other animals will, too,” he added.
“It’s an irreversible situation. I think it’s too late. I try not to express that because people are trying to do something, but they keep putting it off.”
Of course, people have been predicting the demise of humanity for, well, for almost as long as humanity as existed.
But is it different now? Are we entering into a new era where our very survival as a species truly could hang in the balance? Or is it all just a lot of meaningless doomsaying?
We want your opinion. Tell us whether you think nuclear war, nanotechnology, artificial superintelligence, the rise of the robots, pandemics, genetic experimentation, climate change, or even an overdue strike from a comet or an asteroid could spell the end of us before we see the year 2100.
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