Will die out soon ?

  1. When our environment get more poluted, will all life on earth die out then ?
    How long does it take a certain kind of species to adapt themselves to new changes of environment, for example human beings ? Thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Don't worry, the pollution is already over the hill. Air and water are starting to get cleaner in some places. It's incredible how life can survive major catastrophes. There have been seven great mass extinctions discovered (used to be five), most around the time of massive almost continent big vulcanic activities (Siberian Traps, Deccan traps) as well as major meteorite impact (bolides) near simultaneously. Imagine the pollution that would have given.

    But after the extinctions of many of the species, life just resumed everyday business and continued the evolution.
  4. Thank you, Andre.
  5. DaveC426913

    DaveC426913 16,534
    Gold Member

    Humans don't even have the honour of being the first on the planet to flirt with extinction of life on the planet by self-pollution.

    Primordial Earth had life that was unlike what we have today. It did not use oxygen to fuel its metabolism, but instead used methane. It expelled oxygen as a poisonous waste.

    But this early life was so successful at propogating itself that it polluted its own atmosphere with oxygen to the point where it almost completely died off.

    It was't until a new type of life came along that could withstand the poisonous oxygen - and even use it as a fuel source - that life as we know it today was able to take hold.

    Almost all life today is of this "second generation" type. The only remnants of the earlier type are some anaerobic algae and bacteria (such as gangrene).

    Heart-warming thought, isn't it?
  6. That's very true, Dave. Humans can't really destroy all life, no matter how much pollution, deforestation, global warming, and so on we create. Life is much too tough for that. What we're really doing is making the Earth less hospitable for the creatures like us, just like those first bacteria to produce oxygen did. That's probably why the species most related to us have suffered the most- like apes, large mammals, and vertebrates overall. I don't think humans will drive ourselves to extinction, at least not for a long time, but we could be paving the way for another form of life to become predominant over our kind. Hopefully it won't come to that, but I wonder what the "second generation" of life would be that would come after us.
  7. Maybe we wouldn't drive all life to be extinct, but we could certainly set it back and remove substantial amounts of our population in the process.
  8. Humans have technology, technology is good for 3 things:
    1) Making people happier
    2) Keeping people alive
    3) Increasing life span

    As technology develops, usually with increasing speed, all three of those things go up.

    Also, with developments of new power sources, such as nuclear fission and fusion, the amount of pollution released will go down.
  9. Pengwuino

    Pengwuino 6,942
    Gold Member

    Ive always thought that since humans have free will (no im not talken about the philosophical type) over our environment, if the problem starts getting really bad and people are noticably dieing from it... I think we would completely do a 180 and reduce levels and figure out ways to fix it all. When you think about it, the #1 and #2 problems with human created pollution are money and comfort. Since both of those concepts are human-creations, theres nothing stopping us from saying "ok, money is officially nullified" or something on that line (obviously, full nullification makes no sense) that would allow as much resources as necessary to go towards fixing the problem (God knows how many trees can be planted when money is no object and people are dieing left and right.... or on a far more conservative timeline... who knows how many sources of dirty pollution can be stopped that couldnt be stopped before because it cost way too much). We could also start rationing things although this would probably be far less helpful then the first thing (not that its nto helpful... but imagine how helpful the 1st idea would be). I mean really... i dont see us killing ourselves off by a man-made problem where its created and not stopped because of money and comfort.
  10. No, its not true. I myself live in a dog cave, and work 6 hours/day, i feel happy. Old monkeys with polished teeth can make people like me laugh. Especially shows they perform in the flea markets. I think pollution caused by humans is a serious problem that should be considered and the fact is that humans have already taken it very seriously.
    As some people mentioned, I too am in a complete agreement that pollution affects a lot our health, not to kill us immediately but to only change our life(style) from this to that. Which styles are suited will be considered as prominent features as a parameter in the development process, and that they show themselves in different regions of the the planet Earth.
  11. DaveC426913

    DaveC426913 16,534
    Gold Member

    I like this, although I think it's needlessly wordy.

    #3 is really a special case of #2.
    #2 is really a special case of #1.
  12. No technological advancement has ever been made that did not in some way help people become lazier.
    Perhaps thats our ultimate goal.
  13. As long as the sun does not burn out, lifewill probally maintain itself. Over the past years (millions) the earth must have suffered many horrible things, and life is still around :smile:

    although the damange which humans cause are not that of nature. :eek:
    Last edited: May 31, 2005
  14. Phobos

    Phobos 1,982
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    And dirtier in others...
    Countries like the US have made great improvements in pollution control/cleanup over the past few decades (although there's a tough balance with continued industrial growth). But other countries which are now becoming more industrialized are starting down the same path of uncontrolled pollution.

    But of course I agree that pollution won't end all life on Earth. But it may end some life (e.g., species with a narrow range sitting at the end-pipe of an industrial facility). IMO, humans will likely face continual cycles of environmental degradation and improvement from our actions.
  15. Phobos

    Phobos 1,982
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Humans are unnatural? :wink:
  16. What is a dog cave?
  17. I think its highly unlikely we could kill all life on earth. After all, bacteria have existed for 3.5 billion years as opposed to a mere 100,000 for humans and 4 million for hominids. It probably wouldn't be too hard to wipe out humans though. 99.9% of all species that have ever existed are now extinct. Extinction seems to be the norm, survival is the exception. Average duration of a species is only 1 - 10 million years.
  18. Humans commit war crimes against all natural laws.

  19. We can kill all life, however its easier to kill the human race first, one would be to release biowarafre in vaccinations, or spray nanoparticles in the air. As we continue to destory all biodiversity all life will eventually die, many days far away from today, scientific research that has been done over many years suggests that as we kill biodiversity we will ultimately suffer more each decade as our climate systems and eco-systems are increasingly threatened, the decline of biodivesity and huge losses of life has multiplied thousands of times over since chemical and biotech giants came onto the scene.

    Our ancient rainforests are still being raped and killed everyday to make way for biotech or pharma crops around the globe.
  20. Pengwuino

    Pengwuino 6,942
    Gold Member

    ...... are you saying we are violating various laws of physics? That dang Bush! Damn him for violating the special theory of relativity!
  21. Pengwuino

    Pengwuino 6,942
    Gold Member

    And oddly enough, at least in hte US, we've been given many conveniences but are far busier then we were decades ago before we had those technologies.
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