is it even possible to think of such a thing? For paleontologist Henry Gee, yes. He analyzed the possible extinction of the human race. The article is entitled “Humans Are Doomed to Go Extinct.”. It was published in Scientific American. It says that there are factors that promote it. For example, habitat degradation. Also low genetic variation and declining fertility.
It is estimated that by 2100 the size of the world population could be smaller than it is now. The birth rate is now well below the death rate in many countries. In some of these, the population will soon be half its present value.
Homo sapiens has existed for approximately 315,000 years. Many times it dwindled to the point of almost disappearing. Thus the seeds of mankind’s ruin were sown. the present population has grown, very rapidly, from something much smaller. The result is that, as a species, it is remarkably similar. There is more genetic variation in a few groups of wild chimpanzees than in the entire human population. This low variation is not good for the future.
A world where resources are finite is also not sustainable. Sapiens are already at 25 to 40 percent of net primary productivity. That is, the organic matter that plants create from air, water and sunlight. And more and more work has to be done to maintain living standards. People postpone the possibility of having children. Thus, fertility begins to decline.
In recent decades, the quality of human sperm has declined tremendously. Stress, pollution and other factors influence this. Fewer children are being born, and at older ages.
The possible extinction of the human race is related to all this If there are fewer resources for everyone, fertility begins to decline. The birth rate falls below the death rate. With limited genetic resources, the only way is down.
“The human population is destined for collapse, and soon. To paraphrase Lehrer, if we are going to write about human extinction, we had better start writing now.” gee concludes his article.