Survival of our species/Risks to humanity
Some potential threats to humanity:
- Emergent virulent disease – naturally occurring / engineered biological weapon / lab-experiment let loose (accidentally or maliciously). Possible at any time.
- Out of control self-replicating (accidental or malicious). Underlying technology is perhaps 15 years away*.
- Out of control artificial intelligence. Underlying technology is perhaps 20 years away*.
- . Possible at any time. Accepted in scientific community as not an 'if' but a 'when'.
- Global war with nuclear or other advanced weaponry. Possible at any time.
- . Not sure that the risks are known.
*It is impossible to accurately know when technology might actually reach this level
A note about climate change that some people may consider a threat to humanity: this is certainly something that would (and does) affect other species that do not have the means to adapt, but it would not necessarily risk our own survival. We would likely always be able to engineer environments where plants and animals that we rely on, could live. It is obviously a terrible thing to knowingly continue to alter the balance of the environment and we must do everything with in our power to reduce our impact as soon as possible, which the main concepts in this website would be capable of addressing.
It sounds a bit grim reading about these things, and most people naturally tend not to give them too much thought, but with awareness of the problems and precautionary measures, these scenarios can be mitigated to a certain extent. Colonising Space is the ultimate insurance policy for humanity, and it needs to happen before it is too late. Leaving it up to bureaucratic, ponderous government programs is not enough.