Stephen Kahn

Archive for January, 2015|Monthly archive page

Slow Extinction #1

In Uncategorized on January 16, 2015 at 3:25 pm

Slow Extinction.

In less than two weeks I will turn 71. As my father died at the age of 43, I am a bit surprised to find myself alive and fairly healthy, though I can feel my body breaking down slowly and I know that I will die. I have tried to prepare for death in a responsible fashion, creating a will and filling out my final medical directives (e.g.. don’t pound on my chest if I go into cardiac arrest, don’t keep me on life support if I am brain dead, etc.).

As there is some dementia in my family, I suspect there is a considerable likelihood that I will loose my mind before my physical body dies.

Just as each individual human dies, species die. We call it going extinct. Perhaps the most glamorous (to us) extinct species are the dinosaurs. We are still arguing about what wiped them out. It might have been an asteroid hitting the earth or some other phenomena. (Check Wikipedia for more information on these scientific arguments).
It is entirely possible that our species, known as homo sapiens, will go extinct in the 21st Century. A book titled THE SIXTH EXTINCTION by Elizabeth Kolbert argues that humanity will destroy itself. The destruction of our species might happen rapidly. It might occur because of a natural event such as an asteroid hitting the earth or a rampant plague such as ebola running through the entire population of the planet. It might happen because of actions we take such as engaging in nuclear warfare, or generating plagues as weapons of war. It might happen slowly by a variety of causes, though at the moment, global warming seems to top the list.

Is there anything we can do about it? Should we do anything about it?