This paper takes part in the series essay competition of “great science” of Recordunkown.
As we all know, there is no eternal thing in this world. Everything in the universe has its own destiny. Even powerful stars will come to the end of life in 10 billion years. Even scientists believe that the universe is also a life span, and there will be a day of destruction.
The powerful celestial bodies in the universe can not achieve eternity, so will the intelligent civilization of human beings continue? Many people may think that human beings are different from those celestial bodies and low-level life. As a rare intelligent life, human beings can rely on wisdom to continuously develop science and technology. As long as the power of science and technology continues to advance, we can live with the universe, and one day even surpass the universe and become an eternal civilization.
Is this kind of cognition correct? In fact, when we think about it carefully, we all think it’s impossible. Human beings are just like ants in front of the universe. It’s really too small. Although we are intelligent civilization and constantly developing science and technology, will time and various rules give us enough time to be strong?
Many scientists believe that human civilization can not exist forever, and we will come to an end one day in the future. If mankind has a day of extinction, how will it end? In this regard, scientists put forward three ultimate conjectures.
1、 Ending in a nuclear war
What is the most powerful weapon in the era of science and technology? I believe many friends will answer that it is nuclear weapons. That’s right. Since Einstein put forward the mass energy equation, scientists have taken it as a guide to start the exploration of nuclear energy.
It has to be said that scientists are crazy, and soon made a major breakthrough in the research of nuclear energy, and thus produced destructive nuclear weapons. The terrible power of nuclear weapons was recognized by people in the late World War II. Since then, human beings have really known the power of this ultimate weapon.
In the following years, scientists have been studying and exploring more efficient applications of nuclear energy, and the power of nuclear weapons is also growing. Nuclear energy has opened a new door for mankind. If it is applied well, it can let mankind enter a new energy era.
Unfortunately, in the direction of exploring nuclear energy, human beings tend to pay more attention to its force value, so they constantly update their powerful nuclear weapons. Whether it is atomic bomb or hydrogen bomb, with the deepening of human understanding of nuclear energy, the future power and destruction will be more and more terrible.
Many people may say that the study of nuclear weapons is more of a deterrent than an easy use. It is true that people all over the world know that human beings can not easily use nuclear weapons, otherwise it will lead to the end of human civilization.
Under normal circumstances, mankind will not use nuclear weapons, but what if there is a third world war in the future? You know, there is a belligerent gene in human bones. Since ancient times, there has never been a cessation of war within human beings. Even now in the era of peace, small-scale conflicts are still staged in some places.
Whether it is for resources or for other things, the contradictions within human beings have never stopped. When this contradiction intensifies to a certain extent, a new world war will break out and fall into a world war. When a country is facing extinction, who will remember the warning that nuclear weapons cannot be used easily?
At that time, the war has made human beings lose their sense. As long as one country uses nuclear weapons, then a worldwide nuclear war will break out. With the quantity and powerful power of human nuclear weapons, although it can not explode the earth, it is still no problem to exterminate life on the earth. In particular, human resistance to nuclear radiation is very weak. After the nuclear war, it will be human beings who will disappear first.
2、 It ends with an asteroid impact
For asteroid impact, I believe we all know the dinosaur extinction 65 million years ago. 65 million years ago, there was a glorious biological age on earth – the age of dinosaurs. At that time, dinosaurs spread all over the world, with a large number, and they were the absolute overlord of the earth at that time.
Dinosaurs have lived on the earth for 160 million years. If everything goes according to the normal evolution, perhaps one day, one of the dinosaurs will be able to evolve towards wisdom, thus giving birth to dinosaur civilization. Unfortunately, an asteroid with a diameter of 10 kilometers hit the earth, ending all the possibilities of dinosaurs.
There are many asteroids in the solar system. There are at least 100000 asteroids in the asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars. The number of asteroids in the Kuiper belt on the edge of the solar system is too large to be counted. Even in the earth’s low earth orbit, there are also many asteroids.
An asteroid with a diameter of 10 kilometers is only a small one in the solar system. There are many asteroids much larger than it. Any asteroid hitting the earth may bring new mass extinction to the earth. Although the probability of asteroid hitting the earth is very low, no one can guarantee that the disaster 65 million years ago will not happen again.
Some people may say that with the continuous progress of human science and technology, we will have the ability to intercept asteroids in the future, and we will not worry about the threat of asteroid impact. Is that really the case? Although from the perspective of science and technology, as long as our scientific and technological strength is strong enough, asteroids can’t threaten human beings, but the development of science and technology is slow. It takes a long time for human beings to develop to the point where we can intercept any asteroid.
For some asteroids with smaller diameters, we do have the ability to intercept them in the future. However, for those asteroids with a particularly large diameter, ordinary means of interception are not good at all. For example, an asteroid with a diameter of more than 100 kilometers can not be intercepted by human nuclear weapons.
If a huge asteroid hits the earth in the future, the only hope of mankind is to escape into space. If we can’t, the only thing waiting for human beings is destruction. To escape into space, we need to have the ability of interstellar navigation, which can’t be achieved by simple technology.
The threat of asteroid impact on the earth always exists. It may not happen for a long time in the future, or it may be staged tomorrow. If human civilization is coming to an end in the future, the most likely extraterrestrial crisis may be asteroid impact.
3、 The end of alien civilization invasion
Although human beings have not found any extraterrestrial civilization until now, from the perspective of the universe, scientists believe that there is no doubt about the existence of extraterrestrial civilization. The reason why human beings can’t search for alien civilization now is that our scientific and technological strength is limited, we don’t have the ability of interstellar navigation, and we can’t explore other galaxies.
If alien civilization exists, then at the age of 13.8 billion years, intelligent civilization will be born at different time points. Human civilization has only developed to its present scientific and technological strength in about 5000 years. How strong will a civilization that was born tens of thousands or even hundreds of millions of years ago be? This is a terrible answer that we can’t imagine.
Hawking once said that alien civilization is not necessarily friendly, and some scientists have also proposed the dark forest law of the universe. If all of these are true, then it may be very common for civilizations in the universe to plunder and colonize each other. Once the existence of the earth is discovered by alien civilizations, it may bring devastating disasters to the earth and human beings, thus bringing the end of human civilization.
The above three conjectures are just one part of many possibilities for the end of human civilization. In fact, there are other things that may threaten human beings in the future, such as the threat of artificial intelligence. In the disaster of the universe, not only asteroid impact and alien civilization invasion, supernova explosion or possible black hole can bring human destruction.