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This is the end: Team of experts say humanity faces extinction
Yahoo! News ^ | Thu, May 2, 2013 | Eric Pfeiffer

Posted on 05/05/2013 7:59:36 PM PDT by presidio9

The crazy man walking down the city street holding a sign that reads “The end is near” might just have a point.

A team of mathematicians, philosophers and scientists at Oxford University’s Future of Humanity Institute say there is ever-increasing evidence that the human race’s reliance on technology could, in fact, lead to its demise.

The group has a forthcoming paper entitled “Existential Risk Prevention as Global Priority,” arguing that we face a real risk to our own existence. And not a slow demise in some distant, theoretical future. The end could come as soon as the next century.

"There is a great race on between humanity’s technological powers and our wisdom to use those powers well," institute director Nick Bostrom told MSN. "I’m worried that the former will pull too far ahead."

There’s something about the end of the world that we just can’t shake. Even with the paranoia of 2012 Mayan prophecies behind us, people still remain fascinated by the potential for an extinction-level event. And popular culture is happy to indulge in our anxiety. This year alone, two major comedy films are set to debut (“The World’s End” and “This is the End”), which take a humorous look at the end-of-the-world scenarios.

For its part, NASA released a series of answers in 2012 to frequently asked questions about the end of the world.

Interestingly, Bostrom writes that well-known threats, such as asteroids, supervolanic eruptions and earthquakes are not likely to threaten humanity in the near future. Even a nuclear explosion isn’t likely to wipe out the entire population; enough people could survive to rebuild society.

“Empirical impact distributions and scientific models suggest that the likelihood of extinction because of these kinds of risk is extremely small on a time scale of a century or so,”

(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: existentialrisk
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1 posted on 05/05/2013 7:59:36 PM PDT by presidio9
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To: presidio9
Existential Risk Prevention as Global Priority
2 posted on 05/05/2013 8:00:53 PM PDT by presidio9 (Islam is as Islam does.)
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To: presidio9

can I collect my 72 virgins before these experts end the world for us?


3 posted on 05/05/2013 8:01:46 PM PDT by faithhopecharity (()
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To: presidio9
Only the strong survive.

Unless there is a total world ending disaster man will live on.

4 posted on 05/05/2013 8:02:31 PM PDT by A CA Guy ( God Bless America, God Bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: presidio9

We’re all gonna die! Some day.


5 posted on 05/05/2013 8:02:38 PM PDT by married21
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To: presidio9
does this mean they will stop whining about globull warming now???
6 posted on 05/05/2013 8:06:38 PM PDT by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: presidio9

As of right now, there are still humans on the planet who do not wet themselves and become hysterical when the lights go out and they can’t recharge their cell phone. A country boy can survive.


7 posted on 05/05/2013 8:07:58 PM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (America is the root cause of violent crime in Mexico. - Barack Hussein Obama Jr.)
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To: presidio9
Kasey Chambers - We're All Gonna Die Someday
8 posted on 05/05/2013 8:08:08 PM PDT by Liberty Valance (Keep a simple manner for a happy life :o)
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To: presidio9

this is the biggest pile of idiot scientist steaming hoo-haa that I have ever seen. have we no better use for our taxpayer dollars?


9 posted on 05/05/2013 8:08:17 PM PDT by Psiman (PS I am not a crackpot)
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To: Chode
Funny thing happened on the way to global warming
10 posted on 05/05/2013 8:08:18 PM PDT by presidio9 (Islam is as Islam does.)
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To: presidio9

Just get it over with...


11 posted on 05/05/2013 8:12:39 PM PDT by moovova
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To: FlingWingFlyer

“A country boy can survive.”

and maybe that’s for the best.


12 posted on 05/05/2013 8:12:48 PM PDT by Ouchthatonehurt ("When you're going through hell, keep going." - Sir Winston Churchill)
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To: faithhopecharity
can I collect my 72 virgins before these experts end the world for us?

I'll trade you 72 virgins for several highly enthusiastic ex-virgins.....

13 posted on 05/05/2013 8:13:37 PM PDT by ChildOfThe60s (If you can remember the 60s.....you weren't really there)
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To: ChildOfThe60s

sorry, but when they’re done visiting here they are all worn out...


14 posted on 05/05/2013 8:15:06 PM PDT by faithhopecharity (()
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To: presidio9

Liberals think the world is going to end because they know what is coming with Benghazi. They want it to end.


15 posted on 05/05/2013 8:16:08 PM PDT by Linda Frances (Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness)
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To: presidio9

What Me Worry?? I’ll be dead by then.


16 posted on 05/05/2013 8:16:54 PM PDT by wetgundog (" Extremism in the Defense of Liberty is no Vice")
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To: presidio9

“A team of mathematicians, philosophers and scientists at Oxford University’s Future of Humanity Institute say there is ever-increasing evidence that the human race’s reliance on technology could, in fact, lead to its demise.”

Great, now philosophers are in on the research grant gravy train. My kid is a philosophy major. I’ll have to suggest he consider graduate studies in the ontology of extinction- sounds like there’s money in it.


17 posted on 05/05/2013 8:19:12 PM PDT by Ouchthatonehurt ("When you're going through hell, keep going." - Sir Winston Churchill)
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To: presidio9

Only three things tend to cause species extinction.

Being so limited in their range that they become incapable of adaptation. A massive catastrophe. And finally, the most common is that a better version takes over their ecological niche.

The only almost successful mutation to humans in written history are the almost forgotten “hedgehog brothers”, a group of five brothers who were stronger, faster, and smarter than most people, and were distinguished by having extraordinarily rough skin from their knees to their navel, and thus their nickname.

Had they reproduced, their offspring would have very possibly supplanted ordinary humans unless they had been exterminated early. However, their fatal flaw was their skin, which made it extremely difficult for them to reproduce without injuring the woman.

Importantly, when a superior type enters a niche, the existing occupant species declines, and can even be said, “gives up” in the face of competition. They lose their will to compete. A phenomenon not very well understood.

A good question is would people react the same way? If a “homo superior” came along, would everyone just give up?


18 posted on 05/05/2013 8:21:37 PM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy (Best WoT news at rantburg.com)
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To: presidio9
LOLOLOL!!!!
19 posted on 05/05/2013 8:24:04 PM PDT by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: A CA Guy

I have plenty of kerosine for the lamps and plenty of books I haven’t read yet, ammo locker is full up, cleaning gear has been restocked and hand sausage grinder has been lubed; I am in good shape. I will have a bumper crop out of the mixed orchard this year and the garden produces faster than I can can it. Bringer on.


20 posted on 05/05/2013 8:30:58 PM PDT by 5th MEB (Progressives in the open; --- FIRE FOR EFFECT!!)
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

I’ve never seen this. Are there articles on these Hedgehog brothers?


21 posted on 05/05/2013 8:31:38 PM PDT by ConservativeMan55
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To: presidio9

Predictions in the ‘70’s said we all should have starved to death by now.


22 posted on 05/05/2013 8:33:45 PM PDT by Retired Chemist
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

Nah,only the prog/libs would give up; the rest of us would either interbreed with them or kill them


23 posted on 05/05/2013 8:35:24 PM PDT by 5th MEB (Progressives in the open; --- FIRE FOR EFFECT!!)
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To: presidio9

Yea, low-techs!


24 posted on 05/05/2013 8:56:51 PM PDT by familyop (We Baby Boomers are croaking in an avalanche of rotten politics smelled around the planet.)
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To: presidio9
A team of mathematicians, philosophers and scientists at Oxford University’s Future of Humanity Institute say there is ever-increasing evidence that the human race’s reliance on technology could, in fact, lead to its demise.

What a worthless sentence! If it is to be believed, then the human race’s reliance on technology could, in fact, lead to its deliverance.

25 posted on 05/05/2013 8:58:32 PM PDT by higgmeister ( In the Shadow of The Big Chicken!)
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

They have not, yet.


26 posted on 05/05/2013 9:01:43 PM PDT by RedHeeler
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To: Psiman
"this is the biggest pile of idiot scientist steaming hoo-haa that I have ever seen. have we no better use for our taxpayer dollars?"

The "team" was at Oxford University. And you may be relieved to know, that Oxford University is in England.


27 posted on 05/05/2013 9:01:55 PM PDT by familyop (We Baby Boomers are croaking in an avalanche of rotten politics smelled around the planet.)
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To: presidio9

Man will find a way until some BFR ends it all.


28 posted on 05/05/2013 9:06:45 PM PDT by Mike Darancette (Plan "B" is now Plan "A")
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy
You forgot about the Monsters



Monsters from the Id


29 posted on 05/05/2013 9:22:18 PM PDT by shibumi (Cover it with gas and set it on fire.)
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To: faithhopecharity

72 virgin males, or females, or a mix of both? :-P


30 posted on 05/05/2013 9:23:35 PM PDT by Lockbar (The guy that fires the last bullet gets to write the history books,)
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To: presidio9

Well, it happened to the krell on Forbidden Planet, right?


31 posted on 05/05/2013 9:25:04 PM PDT by Mouton (108th MI Group.....68-71)
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To: presidio9

Most evolutionary branches end in extinction. What makes us think we are “the ones”? Like neanderthal, maybe we’re just another failed branch of our species. Because we make airplanes and computers, we’re exempt? Really?


32 posted on 05/05/2013 9:46:01 PM PDT by Spok
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy
There is an insidious evil that could actually kill off our species. It is called, the city.

John B. Calhoun had a series of experiments with rats which gave a lot of insight into species extinction. He set a population of rats up with all the food, water, and security they ever wanted, but only a limited amount of space. Once they filled the space, their behavior changed and became very anti-social, in ways that are like humans today. The end result of every colony was collapse and extinction, even though they never ran out of food.

We are performing this experiment on ourselves on a massive scale. Countries all over the world, such as China, are building mega cities that cram millions of people together in tight living spaces. Yet the cities are designed just like Calhoun's experiments. Already human behavior is beginning to replicate the rats, and our birth rate is collapsing around the world. Japan is leading this demographic, they will become extinct in 900 years at present rates of childbirth.

33 posted on 05/05/2013 10:40:26 PM PDT by Vince Ferrer
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To: Vince Ferrer; yefragetuwrabrumuy
Japan is leading this demographic, they will become extinct in 900 years at present rates of childbirth.

Um, your model suggests that the population will decrease to some supportable magnitude and then stabilize, not that they will become extinct.

34 posted on 05/05/2013 10:47:12 PM PDT by presidio9 (Islam is as Islam does.)
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To: familyop; Psiman
Paragraph 5:

For its part, NASA released a series of answers in 2012 to frequently asked questions about the end of the world.

What is it with Yahoo! News and their obsession with 1-sentence paragraphs anyway?

35 posted on 05/05/2013 10:51:28 PM PDT by presidio9 (Islam is as Islam does.)
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To: presidio9
Um, your model suggests that the population will decrease to some supportable magnitude and then stabilize, not that they will become extinct.

That is a reasonable, natural belief, but Calhoun's experiments all ended in extinction despite the fact that they had food and water. Even given Calhoun's experiments, it is hard to predict actual extinction, because that is just extrapolating that the present trends will continue forever, and they almost never do.

Population clock shows Japan faces extinction in 1000 years

36 posted on 05/05/2013 10:54:49 PM PDT by Vince Ferrer
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To: presidio9

It’s nuts like these that are ensuring the demise of Great Britain.


37 posted on 05/05/2013 10:58:54 PM PDT by MadMax, the Grinning Reaper
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To: Lockbar

I had visions of a beautiful young raquel welch x 72, please. Thank you. I’ll wait right here.


38 posted on 05/05/2013 11:43:33 PM PDT by faithhopecharity (()
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To: Vince Ferrer

Humans aren’t rats. If you read the crime reports, you’ll see humans are roaches. Roaches will survive a nuclear winter.


39 posted on 05/05/2013 11:46:36 PM PDT by VanShuyten ("a shadow...draped nobly in the folds of a gorgeous eloquence.")
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To: presidio9

Re-title:

“Group Without Faith Believes God Not In Control”

or maybe

“Group Playing At God Loses Faith In Mankind”

or maybe

“Two Half-Wits Make A Quarter Wit - And A Group of Them Concludes Yet Another New Study”
(That there is funny, I don’t care who you are!)


40 posted on 05/06/2013 2:36:05 AM PDT by If You Want It Fixed - Fix It
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To: presidio9

We’ve already seen the movie...it’s called The Matrix.


41 posted on 05/06/2013 2:40:57 AM PDT by Night Hides Not (The Tea Party was the earthquake, and Chick Fil A the tsunami...100's of aftershocks to come.)
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To: Night Hides Not

“experts” in human extinction?

Is there a college course for that?


42 posted on 05/06/2013 2:43:34 AM PDT by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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To: presidio9

I think the end of humanity might come after people figure out how to feed a sex simulation directly into the brain that is indistinguishable from reality. And, because its a simulation, it will actually be BETTER than reality. At that point, you’re messing with basic reproductive and motivational forces.

Think guys (and many girls) sitting around all day getting their jollies while hooked up to a machine.


43 posted on 05/06/2013 3:57:15 AM PDT by rbg81
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To: faithhopecharity

Hope you like salad: it was a mis-spelling. Jihadi’s get 72 VEGANS. . . .


44 posted on 05/06/2013 3:59:34 AM PDT by Salgak (Acme Lasers presents: The Energizer Border. I **DARE** you to cross it. . . .)
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To: Vince Ferrer

Yes, but one would think that the population would start to increase again once space opened up from people dying off.

Human beings are not rats. We are much more complex. Cancer can easily be started and cured in rats, but not people.

I DO think that technology insulates us from reality in a way that is not always healthy. I don’t think we properly understand or appreciate how this. How that will play out is an open question.


45 posted on 05/06/2013 4:03:51 AM PDT by rbg81
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To: presidio9
"machines, synthetic biology, nanotechnology and artificial intelligence could become our own worst enemy, if they aren’t already, with Bostrom calling them, “threats we have no track record of surviving."

A century ago, this exact article could have been written, substituting "automobiles, electricity, oil, and the telegraph" for "machines, synthetic biology, nanotechnology and artificial intelligence". The chicken littles of the world can always find something to fear in the unknown, even if they hail from Oxford University’s Future of Humanity Institute. The unknown is unknown to them, but is science to the enlightened. Science has a track record of saving and improving humanity, not destroying it.

46 posted on 05/06/2013 4:28:48 AM PDT by norwaypinesavage (Galileo: In science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of one individual)
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To: presidio9
"There is a great race on between humanity’s technological powers and our wisdom to use those powers well,"

No doubt some Prof. Grok said pretty much the same thing back in the bronze age, when they started making the first metal swords.

47 posted on 05/06/2013 4:44:19 AM PDT by Moltke ("I am Dr. Sonderborg," he said, "and I don't want any nonsense.")
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To: ChildOfThe60s
I'll trade you 72 virgins

I'd believe 3 or 4 but 72? Come on, where did you find them?

48 posted on 05/06/2013 4:49:48 AM PDT by Hot Tabasco (This space for rent)
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To: faithhopecharity

Yes, but you have to wait until the next global caliphate shows up first.


49 posted on 05/06/2013 5:04:25 AM PDT by x_plus_one (John Ransom: truth always resides wherever brave men still have ammunition.)
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To: Chode
does this mean they will stop whining about globull warming now

Yes and no. In the paper they argue that the only thing that matters is preventing complete extinction and there are no scientifically credible sources arguing for extinction (e.g. earth turns into Venus). OTOH they point to a paper on "extreme" climate change and "extreme" uncertainty, both of which are invented. Even if "extreme" climate change is correct it will take hundreds of years (e.g. melting permafrost). The notion that uncertainty is "extreme" is utter nonsense. That is simply a product of ridiculous specualations being published and hyped that would be ignored in any other scientific field. One example (of many) is melting permafrost. Yes, it is melting, but it will take centuries to melt even if we stay in a warm Arctic pattern. The probabbility of it speeding up is close to zero. Venus-like conditions is complete fiction.

50 posted on 05/06/2013 5:30:57 AM PDT by palmer (Obama = Carter + affirmative action)
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