Living on Earth is like putting all your eggs in one basket. An asteroid could vaporize us like the dinosaurs. The Sun itself will expand and make Earth uninhabitable in another billion years. So, as Space X founder. Elon Musk says we need to settle other planets “to safeguard the existence of humanity if something catastrophic were to happen.”
The late physicist Stephen Hawking wanted us to go about it quickly because, he thought, 100 years is all we had left to move out. Other ‘experts who wish to humans to spread across space say doing so will ensure our species is never wiped out. Astrobiologist Milan Cirkovic says settling in the cluster Virgo would let 10 billion trillion trillion trillion humans exist every 100 years. That’s because we will have vast resources available for use.
However, Phil Torres, author of ‘Morality, Foresight, and Human Flourishing. An Introduction to Existential Risks’, writes in Nautilus that settling other planets and solar systems could hasten our destruction. “The probability of the annihilation of the human race might increase in a colonized universe rather than fall.”
Torres’ view is based on evolutionary biology and international relations theory. He says, as we colonize distinct environments, children will develop traits that are different from the parent population. Some may become tall and solid, and others may create superhuman knowledge ” similarly as species that relocate to another island will develop unexpected characteristics in comparison to their parent species.” Gradually, developmental weights “will yield new types of life.”
While natural evolution will do its job, people settling on different planets will also use technology to “modify and enhance our bodies and brains…The result could be beings with completely. novel cognitive architectures (or mental abilities), emotional repertoires, physical capabilities, lifespans, and so on.” In a few thousand years, our descendants might bear no resemblance to their far-removed cousins. They will differ in not only physical and mental capabilities but also ideology.
“Space-bouncing populaces will make their very own societies, dialects, governments, political establishments, religions, advancements, ceremonies, standards, perspectives, etc.,” says Torres.
Because they will no longer understand each other’s behavior, intentions, motivations, and decisions, communication will be impossible. Without connection, there will be no trust, and without faith, these competing populations will aim for each other’s destruction.
The same problems arose on Earth whenever different cultures came in contact for the first time, but gradually we found ways to resolve these conflicts peacefully through government and international agencies like the United Nations.
Couldn’t we do that at the intergalactic level? No, says Torres, because the distances separating us would be unimaginable. Nobody will accept a system that takes forever to resolve disputes. !If you call the police about a robbery and they don’t show up for three weeks, then what’s the point of living in that society?”
Besides, as humans go on multiplying’, And spreading, we would have billions of settlements. There would be too many conflicts to resolve at any time. So, there might be war, maybe many simultaneous wars. But the weapons of .those future generations might make nuclear weapons look like toys: “An array of exceptionally powerful super-weapons that we can’t currently imagine.”
There will also be anarchists and cults who could “weaponize a particle accelerator to destroy the universe.” Perhaps, it would be best if humans stayed on Earth.