That’s the question posed by the people at Seed magazine to their stable of science bloggers. And it’s the sort of question that appeals to a science fiction nut and futurist such as myself, so I find it interesting to see what real scientists make of a question like this.
Of course, being serious scientists, not all of them are keen on answering obvious and potentially facile questions. Hence some of them have bucked the issue (quite within their remit to do so, I might add) here (in classic solipsit mode), here (in a dismissive ‘the question sucks and is not scientific’ mode), and here (in the ‘that was obvious, next question’ mode). These people have real jobs to do, and I get the impression their publishers don’t quite understand the drives of the people they have working for them, ie, getting on with more serious matters pertinant to their specialisations.
However, there are a couple of more involved and meaty replies. The first of these (from PZ Myers) is a realist viewpoint with a bit of optimism thrown in; later on he turns the mode around totally and asks for readers to supply more pertinent and relevent questions. The second is from Razib at Gene Expression, who comes out with an answer that wouldn’t sit out of place at a gathering of futurists…someone give Ray Kurzweil his email address, quickly!
So what about you, VCTB readers? (And yes, I know you exist, I can see you in my stats!) Where do you see the human race in 100 years time? There’s a comments button just below here, so use the damn thing – this is Web2.0, dont’cha know! Optimistically, I see us starting to colonise the solar system properly, mining for resources and exploring the potential of what being human (or post-human) really means. Pessimistically…well, if there are any trees left, I figure we’ll learn to climb them again pretty quickly.
Some more of the Seed sciencebloggers have chimed in by this point: Dr. Free-ride takes the humanist viewpoint and waxes a little philosophical, Orac is busy with stressful meatspace tasks and decides to pretty much ignore the question (I get the feeling there’s a lack of enthusiasm for the attempts at meme-production by their employers), and Dave ‘Cognitive Daily’ Munger brings the ideas of his profession to bear and argues that the problem lies in defining what ‘human’ means, and what it will mean in a hundred years.
I sometimes wish I’d
actually bothered attending my lectures payed more attention at university, then maybe I could be hanging out and discussing stuff like this on my lunchbreaks with hard-thinking science types. Ah hell, you can’t look backwards. I may not have focus, but I have a broad pallette of general knowledge with a scientific flavour. That’s gonna have to do for now!