History of the Universe

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Future of Humanity

I believe this story shows several trends for life. The most obvious is that life evolves. When you consider how long life has been on Earth, how many different forms it has been through, and how recently people have appeared, it seems inevitable that people will evolve into other forms of life, however much they may struggle to stay as they are now.

One major force driving evolution has been changes in methods of reproduction. We have seen how the appearance of methods of reproducing without the need for surface water, for example, led both plants and animals into new environments. The domination of mammals today is due to their improved reproduction over reptiles.

With test-tube babies and genetic engineering we will probably see a new wave of evolution. Genetic engineers will be able to control the evolution of people and of other forms of life For the first time in world history, life will be able to control its own evolution.

Another trend we have seen is for cells in plants and animals to live and work more closely together and to become more specialized. The organisation of people into larger and larger groups (villages, towns, cities, countries, regional groups) with the consequent invention of the rule of law, of government, of democracy and of the United Nations seem to me to be part of that trend. But we will never effectively manage our tiny fragile planet properly while the world consists of hundreds of totally sovereign nation states. I only hope that eventually nations will learn how to trust each other, to get rid of their weapons of war, to share their sovereignty and create an effective form of global governance. Because the alternative is mutual destruction.

Just as dinosaurs were replaced by the more efficient mammals, so it seems likely that organic life will be replaced by more efficient computers, especially in the biologically unwelcoming environment of space.

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History of the Universe eBook
History of the Universe eBook
Only £5.99

Written by Wyken Seagrave
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