The accomplishments of the human race are unrivaled and we are still progressing at an exponential rate. It seems only logical that as our technological capabilities improve, and we begin to exhaust resources and harm our home here on Earth, that we move outwards towards the stars, the first stop being the moon. Humans evolution and advancement is thought to have started some 200,000 years ago, however the life forms from which the first proto-humans evolved had been evolving for millions of years before that. This time scale is completely incomprehensible to us. But, if we imagine just as far into the future, as we expand out towards space, some very interesting futures could possibly be conceived. This Lunar Elevator is the key to interplanetary colonization. Imagine that we have constructed an elevator on the moon, to the specs we have described in our models. This would allow a fully fueled rocket to take off from space to go to mars, which would only take 3 weeks, as opposed to 8 months for a rocket that took off from Earth. Once a rocket is sent to mars, a Martian Elevator system could be constructed, or one on one of the moons of mars, and a planetary hopping network could begin to be established. There are at least 5 other moons or planets in our solar system alone that are thought to be habitable. If we imagine the human race expanding its boarders to such an extent that we are existing on different plants, moons and on different sides of the solar system, you introduce the possibility of human speciation to take place. Each location has a unique environment that will guide the gene selections of populations that have moved there to reside. Now, let’s allow ourselves to imagine this type of inter-planetary existence for the human race to run its course along a time scale similar to that of our evolutionary past. This type of scenario suggests the possibility of inter-planetary republics of distinct species of humanoid, all descending from us, Homo Sapiens. This could look remarkably similar to the way that science fiction has portrayed the interaction of different alien species in communal space areas. My mind goes to the Mos Eisley Cantina from Star Wars, or various episodes of Dr. Who, when many humanoid species meet up in a communal area and coexist.
This is the future we could be potentiating if human progression is allowed to run its course for the time scale required for such technological development and evolutionary speciation. It does seem logical to suggest that if humans continue to progress as they have, for as long as they have, this is the future that may come about. But what would prevent this from happening? To put it very blunt and very blatant, there are two possible means by which human progression is halted, both involve the extinction of the human race. One possibility is that some form of cosmic catastrophe takes place, such as the sun going super-nova, or a planet size asteroid hitting the Earth, however this has been and forever will be a possibility that humanity both faces and can do nothing about. The other possibility of human extinction which is very much up to our control, is that we condemn the human race to extinction, a possibility that has never been more of a threat to humanity than right now. Through nuclear war, or extreme man-caused climate change, we have more than enough capability to destroy our own home and our own species. Human’s are resilient as hell and may reverse climate change, or take refuge on the moon (using some kind of lunar elevator perhaps?), and as long as we can stay safe from ourselves, the human race will colonize the solar system.
-Jeremy Wain Hirschberg