Every day, a new species of animal or plant is added to the Red List, which is a list of species that are on the verge of extinction. Extinction occurs when a species or group of plants or animals becomes extinct.
All living things, like dinosaurs and many other species that came before and after them, die at some point (except cockroaches, but we’re not sure how they did it!). It’s the circle of life, as Mufasa says in the classic animated film The Lion King.
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This raises the intriguing question of whether humans will become extinct. In a nutshell, humans will become extinct. The real questions, however, are when and how we will become extinct.
When will it end?
First and foremost, humans are not going away anytime soon. The human race’s extinction is at least a few hundred million years away. Some say it will take a few hundred years, while others say it will take another 7 billion years, but the general consensus appears to be that we are not on the verge of extinction. However, factors such as accelerating climate change and population growth could cause these estimates to shift.
Humans, like dinosaurs, are extremely vulnerable creatures. We’re big and hot-blooded, and we rely on our surroundings to survive. Unlike many reptiles and insects, we cannot survive for long periods of time without food, water, or heat. But humans have one advantage over dinosaurs and most other animals: adaptability.
Humans adapt to environmental changes much faster than any other animal. Animals modify their DNA to adapt to changing environments over time. It may take several generations for this to become apparent. We use intelligence to understand the changes around us and adapt to them, sometimes within minutes. So, while we are vulnerable, we are also strong and adaptable, which is why extinction may take more than an ice age.
Another reason for our long extinction is that there are so many of us. Humans are one of the world’s most dispersed species, having colonized every continent and explored nearly every inch of the globe.
Even in the event of an apocalyptic event, such as a world war or a pandemic, there would be enough of us left to repopulate the Earth.
How will it end?
Now comes the exciting part: how will it all end? There are numerous scenarios that could lead to human extinction, and they are all equally likely.
According to one theory, it could be an asteroid similar to the one that wiped out the dinosaurs. And, while many asteroids have threatened the Earth over the years, NASA has provided us with a defense against them. Another possibility is war and nuclear destruction, but these are subject to many variables.
There is, however, hope. Many scientists are working on long-term solutions to our current and future problems. While Homo sapiens may become extinct, we may evolve and become the next step in human evolution.
What do you think the human race will look like in a thousand years? Tell us in the comments.