We Could Be Nearing The Endgame For The Human Species
I believe we are facing threats as a species right now that we are completely unprepared for. The reason we are unprepared is a serious lack of critical thinking and scientific literacy. I fear that this more than anything else will result in the death of our entire species. We are suffering from an “I read it on the internet therefore it must be true” mindset, while also suffering from a crushing rise of illiteracy among the masses.
People believe everything they read without critically evaluating it (due to lack of education and scientific literacy). This leads to the internalisation of false beliefs and ideals, leading to severe polarisation, and spread of deadly misinformation. A growing number of believers in Flat Earth Theory, the anti-vax movement, anti-climate change beliefs are just a few of the examples.
Lack of scientific and empirical literacy will always breed masses that go against the status quo. It will lead to rise of dictators who take power by force (sometimes with misguided good intentions) or election of individuals to the positions of power that don’t give due attention to the most pressing problems facing our species as a whole. That’s what is happening in the world; look around you if you don’t believe me.
As a species we’re at a paradoxical epoch since even with food production at an all-time high, more people are dying hungry. Even with medicines available to combat pretty much everything short of accidental death, people are dying due to lack of medication and treatment for the most basic of diseases. Even with many tools of peacekeeping, we’re constantly at war all over the globe. The more our tools have evolved, the less cohesive our society seems to have become.
I fear all that humanity has created thus far, all the fragile structure and order we have imposed on nature, will come unglued. As a consequence, our civilisation will fall apart. It is a legitimate fear considering that our fossil fuels are diminishing and we are unprepared to handle a loss of our transportation frameworks en masse.
Very few governments in the world have actually proceeded to replace their deadly fossil fuel dependency. The Oilpocalypse is almost here and we are woefully underprepared.
We’re under constant threat of catastrophic extinction that we’re totally not prepared for, such as supervolcano eruptions and meteorite strikes. Yes, we have minds that are thinking of solutions to these world-ending problems, but we don’t yet have any concrete solutions for anything. We’re mostly relying on luck and the assumption that it’s not an “Our Generation” problem but a “Next Generation” problem.
We’re developing technologies that we might have no control over, like Artificial Intelligence. Even though laws have been passed and debates are going on, we have no tools to disengage a singularity event once it actually happens.
The abundance of nuclear weapons in the world and unstable governments and leaderships that have control over the said weapons; the loss of (possibly greater than) 50% of our planet’s biodiversity that is essential to sustain natural order due to mankind’s influence and proliferation; these are just a few of the incidents threatening humanity at large, that a majority of humans alive today are blissfully unaware of.
There are brilliant minds all over the world that could be better used solving these problems, but might never be aware of their own potential because they were not informed and their capacities were not correctly directed – a failure of both our educational systems and our society at large.
The doomsday clock inches ever closer to midnight for our species, yet we care more about the lives of celebrities and consuming/telling stories. Our children are at a high risk of inheriting a blighted earth that no longer supports human life.
I request everyone reading that we all must do at least our part to promote critical thinking and literacy if you agree that we need to wake up from our self-centered dreams and ideals and think of solutions as a species for our continued survival.
Let us collectively do our efforts to leave behind a viable earth for our children and our species at large.