The elaboration on the possible external threats to the humanity and generally-recognized self-threat have been made in the former two chapters. These menaces will be summarized in this Chapter to get a clear understanding of the most crucial factors that threatening the survival of mankind as a whole, and grope for a solution.
External threats is an objective reality which has nothing to do with human nature and social system; no matter if we want it, and how we choose to face it, we have to inevitably bear the whole shoot. However, the self-threat of human race is totally different, and by large extent determined by the human nature, the related social system, the history and other various aspects. Exactly for this reason, we are forced to study the very nature of humanity and main social systems before summarizing the threats ahead, only by which can we really identified all factors that possibly endanger the existence of the mankind in a profound way.
Section I Re-recognition of the External Threats
After the foregoing analysis, we might as well look at the external threat from a new higher state, even focus on road to the future of mankind from outside the threat to obtain a conclusion that benefit our future choice.
1. Accepting the Accidental Events
We know nobody can escape from some external threats like diseases, the death will sooner or later fall to every one, and ultimately we must composedly accept it. But the individual death has no influence on the survival of the whole; on the contrary, the mankind will not be able to survive long if there is no death. Because the unrestricted increase of population will exterminate the mankind by the lack of clothes and food sooner or later.
The acceptance of individual death of mankind is a common sense, even though the most of us don’t want or fear for death, we have to take the fact that we will naturally die for aging and ailing. Even so, all men with normal state of mind can not accept the drop scene of overall extinction, and as human beings, we regard the value of human survival as a whole much higher than everything else.
We are clear by the former explanation, during all kinds of external threats of which many touch on the overall existence of mankind, such as black hole swallowing, the menace of micro-black hole and antimatter planet, star collision, independent planetary collision, outbreak of close supernova, end of universe, evolution of the Sun into Red giant, collision of big asteroids, alien intrusion and degradation of the human genome, etc. Any of the above falling on us would absolutely unquestionably lead to the doom of mankind, then, will the doomsday finally come?
There are now only two external forces imperiled the overall existence of mankind being identified as sooner or later coming to us and beyond the capacity of current science and technology: one is the end of universe, the other is the evolution of the Sun into Red Giant.
According to the known theoretical cosmology, the end of universe will finally come true, but it is a matter of thousands of billions years away from us in the future.
At present, we are beyond the capacity of addressing the end of universe that exterminates the mankind, although many futurists came up with all kinds of solutions to cope with it, they are all stop at the stage of scientific fancy which lack of reliable scientific basis in practice, therefore, it is better to leave the questions to our children of wisdom.
And the evolution of the Sun into Red giant is happening late enough in 5 billion years. Although we are not able to prevent such threats today or even in the long expectable future, we can pray for the future mankind maybe in 5 million years of much higher intelligence, through long development and evolution, the mankind will be capable of keeping distance from the Red giant and building a new home in other safe spaces of the universe.
In fact, before the Sun evolving into the Red Giant, there are still two menaces that probably endanger the survival of mankind as a whole but we have been ready to defend against, one is Earth-colliding big asteroids, the other is the degradation of the human genome. But we have been ready to defend against them. An asteroid that can destroy the humanity by striking the Earth is likely to occur in hundreds of millions years, then, with more progress of our capacity in astronomical observation, we can precisely forecast such catastrophe, and little progress of our technology of nuclear, space and missile delivery, we can intercept or defuse the collision of celestial bodies through other ways.
There is great chance for the devolution of human genome as well. After long-term propagation, the devolution of the crucial organs of human body is unavoidable, which will lead to the unsustainable survive of the mankind. This will perhaps happen in millions or tens of millions of years, or even hundreds of millions of years, but sooner or later fall on us. However, the current genetic engineering technique is ready for the prospect of reconstruction of human genome, which can vitalize the human species that has survived for hundreds of millions of years if the devolution really happens. As we can see, our future is extremely optimistic.
However, the mankind facing with no unpreventable risks that endangers the external force of the overall survival right before the Sun turning into Red Giant, this analysis is concluded after excluding the black hole swallowing, collision of fixed stars and independent planets, threats of micro black hole and anti-matter planets, and alien intrusion. The reason of banishing the series of threatening factors is they are either pure academic speculation without sound practical proof, or objective reality with extremely small probability to come true. In over thousands of billions of years, they can be ignored by human beings who should move from the Earth in 5 billion years.
But the foresaid once in thousands of billions of years or more is concluded from probability analysis, no matter how small the chance is, it can not be exterminated and maybe exactly fall on us tomorrow or next year, this is the character of probability law. Therefore, even though we can give a very confirmed inference that it almost completely impossible, but we can say it is absolutely out of the question. As long as the probability greater than zero, things once in thousands of billions of years maybe realize coincidentally and perfectly in front of our eyes.
The above mentioned risky external factors are simply impossible to prevent and avoid with today’s science and technology or in the predictable long time in the future. But if the catastrophe comes to us by extremely coincidence the only thing we can do is to accept the facts.
And in turn, it is absolutely unnecessary for us to prevent the almost impossible external threat through large-scale research and investment with enormous manpower, materials and money. Because the threat we are talking about those with tiny theoretical possibility, before the Sun turning into Red giant, the mankind has a great of deal to accomplish, and do not have to go to war for things that hardly happen to us at the waste of money and labor. Moreover, even with enormous power we employed, it is can be basically confirmed that there is no way to fundamentally prevent the threats. Thus the only choice left for us is to confront this most difficult problem with the small probability calmly.
2. Determining a Reasonable Period of Early Warning
As some of major external force that threatening our survival and well-being is destined to fall on us, we ought to have the issues of precaution taken into consideration. And because the external attack only occurred at a specific time point, it is obviously unreasonable to consistently consume enormous resources on earth to guard against a collision come up every hundreds of thousands years or tens of millions of years, even every billions of years. Moreover, to prepare for something in the unforeseeable future would torpify human thoughts, which lay advert effects on the effective implementation of precaution measures.
Therefore, to prevent the crucial external menace that endangers the being and happiness of mankind, a reasonable and secure early warning period should be determined for the institution and implementation of effective precaution and countermeasures in a scientific and rational time.
It should be emphasized that the early-warning period must be reasonable and safe. For example, the evolution of Sun into Red giant in 5 billion years is a clear and realizing external threat which related to the overall human survival. To address such a danger, 1 billion years of early-warning period should be set aside.
It is decided according to the integrated adjustment from the extension of scientific measures and capacity we have today. (Maybe many years later, the judgment will be adjusted with the further development of scientific technology).Because the only solution for us to survive the threat under today’s scientific and technologic circumstances is to leave for other stars; or establish huge universe living space; or push the earth to the vicinity of a new safe fixed star. However, the above designs are beyond the capacity of today’s science and technology, further research is required to complete them or put forth better programs, and achievements by numerous scientists as groundwork, the height and depth of the science and technology is far exceed the present level. Therefore, to complete the task, hundreds of millions of years must set apart till the science and technology get ready.
At the same time, there can not be any mishap when it comes to the survival of humanity as a whole, so the early-warning period should be as sufficient as possible. And the Sun will have become instable a period before turning into Red giant in 5 billion years, regularly presented some “troubles” which will be a big mishap for the earth ecology. We cannot choose to leave the solar system exactly when the sun evolves into Red Giant, but long before it happens, we should leave in its stable combustion period. Actually the 5 billion years we mentioned is not a 100% precise estimation, enough time must be set aside for error judgment; otherwise catastrophe will befall the mankind.
But other threats needs no such a long-term early-warning period. As a matter of fact we have been closely observing the asteroids or comets that may hit the Earth, only dozens of years of early-warning period is enough to solve the problem. For with current scientific and technical methods, through several decades of preparation, a effective set of solution can be worked out and implemented, for example, sending nuclear bomb to minor bodies through spaceship, changing the orbit of minor bodies-they are perhaps very reasonable schemes. And the implementation cost only decades, even ten plus years actually.
Early-earning period reserved to address genic degradation should be started when there is obvious sign. The human gene degradation won't suddenly occur to the whole group, taking mankind as survey object, it is bound to happen firstly from individuals or particular groups. It is a slow and gradual process, not a violent degeneracy that perishes the mankind at once. So we still have time to fix for such threats.
At present we have had a better command of gene reengineering techniques, it can be accurately and easily put into operation with further advancement; and the deep-going implementation of the human genome plan can soon precisely extract the knowledge of the internal structure of all human genes and their genetic information; plus we can still make progress based on the existing clone technique, artificial insemination, gene refrigeration and preservation technique. Based on the above realities, it is reasonable to set the early-warning period when there is obvious sign of gene degeneration.
Longer early-warning period should be left previously to cope with the disappearance of terrestrial magnetism of which the specific time can’t be truly forecasted. Of course, the disappearance of terrestrial magnetism is less harmful than the Red Giant and minor bodies collapsing Earth, as well as human gene degeneration. And the damage is indirect, so maybe a relatively small investment is enough for the corresponding precautions, but the early-warning period should be spared more than adequate.
A reasonable and secure early-warning period is decided to guarantee the necessary demand of survival and well being of the mankind, either too long or too short counts against the realization of the value of human subsistence and happiness.
3. Reflection upon the far-reaching principle
The two principles of the entire research basis in the book is introduced in Chapter 2, namely “Maximum value principle” and “Far-reaching principle”, the latter one refers to our vision of research should be as broad as possible in space and as long as possible in time. Thus, we set the space that involved the entire universe, and time span from the beginning to the end of universe.
According to the conclusions from former study, we can see that there will be no inescapable external factors that jeopardize the subsistence of the entire human race in 5 billion years, and those with actual threat can be prevented with slight progress of present scientific and technological measures. This tells us, the mankind can absolutely, within several billions of years, spend more time and energy on our actual interest with peace and calm in mind, for if we invested too much on the external threat that seem light years away, we will be the alarmists who waste money and power to ruin the realization of human value.
At the same time, the confirmation of the conclusion pointed out particularly to us that there is still time for us to live free from worry for billions of years even with external scare out there; the main attention on the study of external factors that affect the human existence can be distracted to the self-threat of mankind.
With the foresaid conclusions and collection of our thoughts of the far-reaching principle, we found that to set such a long time and broad space for the study is neither for what we are going to do in the future billions of years, nor what we explore to the deepest part to the universe for, but exclude things we don’t intentionally to do, and finally set feet on the level of reality with billions of years and broad universe as reference and mirror: what we should do for the world in which we are living today and in the near future? And what kind of possible realistic problems we should carefully cope with? The conclusions obtained through the above methods are truly profound, scientific and complete.