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Goofy: We're 3 million years past the "sell by" date, and I'm seeing increasing evidence of it every day.

True. I am sometimes amazed that we managed to avoid nuclear war with the USSR for more than 50 years, which war would have been the equivalent of a mass extinction. With that possibility receding, we are noticing things like global warming, mass destruction of the biosphere on earth, over-fishing, over-farming, and over using the earth's resources in many arenas.

Then sometimes I wonder ... what if we did trip some mechanism which led to the near extinction of the human race? Let's say 99.9% wiped out. There would still be a lot of people around. I mean 0.1% of 6 billion is still 6 million people, far more than needed to function in communities. What if we took away 99.9% of the other living creatures? We might even completely exterminate half (of more) of all species and still have a viable ecosystem, maybe not very similar to what we have now, but viable. Would the surviving humans learn from past mistakes, or would they retreat into superstition and mystery? Planet of the apes? Or what?

Sometimes I even wonder what if we exterminate all the human race? So long as we don't exterminate all life on earth (and I think that is beyond our ability at this time), I wonder what the earth might look like in one million years, or ten million. How long would there be any vestige of the proud achievements of the human race? Would future archaeologists find evidence of a past civilization, or would the elements completely erase our cities, our highways, dams, and the large projects of which we may be proud? Would small items survive for the attention of the future? Things like jewelry, like porcelain, and a few other things may be harder to destroy completely.

In short, I wonder if the loss of the human race would be an unmitigated disaster to anyone except us?

... Oh, and have a nice day, all!
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