From From the Trees to the Stars

We can think of the Universe abstractly as a giant experiment in which the goal is to acquire as much Knowledge as possible; to

There are a number of factors that have permitted Humanity to reach its current sophistication -

  • Favourable starting conditions:
    • The Earth is positioned relative to the Sun such that water exists primarily in its liquid form and oxygen as gas, both of which enable organic chemistry to take place more readily
    • The force of gravity on Earth allows animal-sized creatures to be bio-mechanically feasible
    • The Earth has on its surface an abundance of atomic elements suitable for forming complex organic molecules and molecular systems
    • The proportion of the surface covered with land masses and the distribution of those areas
  • Fortunate coincidences:
    • Perhaps Life actually spontaneously reacted itself into existence in the primordial soup of pre-historic Earth, or maybe it arrived here by comet in some primitive form and simply carried on evolving once it arrived.
    • Geological and Geographical changes have been disastrous for other species, but so far have had broadly positive effects for us on the whole

Regardless, Evolution, geology and the occasional meteor impact have inadvertently conspired to form an elaborate Eco-system of interdependent organisms out of which Humanity evolved.

If any one of the starting conditions had been absent or any of those fortunate coincidences had not occurred, then it is very likely that modern humans would not have evolved at all. Or, if we had, perhaps we would not have advanced beyond stone age technology.

The very longest term that Humanity can survive on Earth is the estimated X million years until the Sun turning into a Red Giant makes the planet uninhabitable. Between now and then

In order for us to continue to progress beyond where we are now, the following must happen:

  • We must not wipe ourselves out in war
  • We must not die of a plague
  • We must not get hit by a meteor or comet of any significant size
  • We must preserve the habitability of the Earth as long as possible to enable ourselves time to develop the technology to leave
  • We must manage the natural resources of the Earth so that there are sufficient to develop and power the technology required to leave
  • We must evacuate the Earth before it becomes uninhabitable, due to any of the following:
    • Extreme climate change
    • Unsurvivable pollution

Given how incredibly improbable the circumstances are that brought us to this point and how