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(New Scientist)   Imagine Earth without people   ( newscientist.com) divider line
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27979 clicks; posted to Main » on 12 Oct 2006 at 8:12 AM (11 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



206 Comments     (+0 »)
 
 
2006-10-12 06:06:39 AM  
aaahh...less cancer.
 
2006-10-12 06:08:43 AM  
Aaahh...Utopia.
 
2006-10-12 06:11:38 AM  
[image from travellerspoint.com too old to be available]
 
2006-10-12 06:11:54 AM  
The most value-laden tripe I've read all day. From the term 'dominant' in the first sentence, to this gem:

The sad truth is, once the humans get out of the picture, the outlook starts to get a lot better," says John Orrock, a conservation biologist at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis in Santa Barbara, California.

'Domination' and 'better' are social constructions, especially silly when discussing the fate of teh earth.

This article is nothing more than conservation biologist emo angst. FOAD glasses boy.
 
2006-10-12 06:13:20 AM  
Living life in peace.....

Wait! No people???
 
2006-10-12 06:16:03 AM  
Ewww, can you imagine all of the bacteria? What a terrible world it would be without Lysol.
 
2006-10-12 06:16:04 AM  
No Hell below us?

/I think it was John Lennons Birthday yesterday... I for one miss him still.
 
2006-10-12 06:18:29 AM  
In just a few thousand years we have swallowed up more than a third of the planet's land for our cities, farmland and pastures.


That mean the animals are still ahead!
 
2006-10-12 06:21:42 AM  
Who will run the Fark servers?

[image from uploadfile.info too old to be available]
 
2006-10-12 06:59:13 AM  
Alien visitors coming to Earth 100,000 years hence will find no obvious signs that an advanced civilisation ever lived here.
Yet if the aliens had good enough scientific tools they could still find a few hints of our presence.


One can only hope, seeing as they've mastered intergalactic space travel and all.

That's probably on the checklist of things to bring with them:
- Food
- Fuel
- Scientific tools

They will probably be most puzzled by how a society of 6 billion just one day disappeared all at once. We should leave a note.
 
2006-10-12 08:12:56 AM  
cool article

so is there a date when this will happen because i'm sick of waiting!
 
2006-10-12 08:16:00 AM  
Imagine Earth without people

I wonder if you can...

/RIP John
//died on my second birthday
 
2006-10-12 08:16:20 AM  
Imagine a world without all of these alarmist environmental wackos trying to scare people into buying hemp pants and mopeds!
 
2006-10-12 08:18:57 AM  
Mr Programmer July 2012.

The Olduvai cliff will begin and permanent blackouts will occur worldwide, according to "The Peak of World Oil Production and the Road To The Olduvai Gorge" by Richard C. Duncan.

Terence McKenna's Novelty Theory claims that time is a fractal wave of increasing novelty that ends abruptly in 2012.

December 21 - End of the great cycle of the Maya calendar's Long Count and a 26,000 year planetary cycle in the Aztec calendar, and thus the end of this Baktun (the end of the cycle is dated December 22 or December 23 by some calculations).

According to the 1997 book The Bible Code a meteor, asteroid or comet will collide with the Earth. Some believe this means the world will end. This event was supposedly prophesized by John the Evangelist as Wormwood in the Book of Revelation.

Tibetan Monks specialising in remote viewing predict that divine extra-terrestrials will intervene at a point where the world's governments are about to deploy weapons of mass destruction. Adding to this, the Tibetan Monks say that the world is not ready to be destroyed and that our Earth is blessed and being saved continuously from all kinds of hazards that Mankind is not even aware of.

The Prophecy of the Popes, attributed to Saint Malachy, speculated that Pope Benedict XVI would reign during the beginning of the tribulation which Jesus spoke of, and sometime later a future pope described in the prophecy as "Peter the Roman", the last in this prophetic list, would appear, bringing as a result the destruction of the city of Rome and the Last Judgement. . It is possible that Benedict XVI and Peter the Roman are the same person, according to some interpretations.

Charismatic Korean religious leader Sun Myung Moon is talking extensively about the End of Restoration in 2012, and beginning of a New Sinless Time for Mankind.

Some postulate that a Galactic SuperWave (A galactic superwave is a large quantity of gamma rays which are released at somewhat regular intervals from a Pulsar) will strike the Earth around the 2012 time frame, as discussed by Dr. Paul LaViolette. Also see Dr. Paul LaViolette bio, and Insight.
 
2006-10-12 08:19:36 AM  
Since the humans killed the dinosaurs, I guess it will be up to our mongoose pals to avenge their death and kill all the humans.

/got nothing
 
2006-10-12 08:20:27 AM  
InflatableJesus make sure on that note to tell them to find my DNA and bring me back in one of those cool reanimatizors.
 
2006-10-12 08:20:29 AM  
Xerxes99

You keep focusing on environmental wackos today. Did one of them pee in your cheerioes this morning or what?
 
2006-10-12 08:20:35 AM  
Imagine what the earth would be like without us on it right now, oh right the earth would have plunged into another ice age and most of the world would be covered in ice.
/hurray for global warming.
//Boo alarmist environmental wackos
 
2006-10-12 08:21:16 AM  
In a perfect world, We'd live in peace and love and harmony with each oither and the world, but then, in a perfect world, Yoko would have taken the bullet.
 
2006-10-12 08:23:36 AM  
SarahBellum

I came in here to say something witty, but I don't think I can top that. Even so, it's way too early.
 
2006-10-12 08:24:17 AM  
if it means tom arnold has to go too , it's a sacrifice i'm willing to take
 
2006-10-12 08:24:37 AM  
I'd rather imagine an Earth without all the people I don't like.
 
2006-10-12 08:24:49 AM  
hokiebuckeye: I guess it will be up to our mongoose pals to avenge their death and kill all the humans.

And thus the birth of what will eventually come to be known as the holiday "Weasel-stomping Day".
 
2006-10-12 08:25:21 AM  
In a perfect world, Yoko would have never been conceived.
 
2006-10-12 08:25:54 AM  
Girlfriend in a Coma - this article is a total rip-off of Douglas Coupland's book...

/on sale at Amazon for only 4 bucks!
 
2006-10-12 08:26:49 AM  
Humanity - an Inconvenient Species.
 
2006-10-12 08:26:55 AM  
What good would all this "utopia" do, if there were no humans on earth to enjoy it? We are just as much a part of nature as any other animal. Why some humans do not believe this, is beyond me. Why some humans hope for their own demise so nature can flourish, I cannot comprehend. I fear most of these people with this attitude have no connection with nature at all, but live in a fantasy world.
 
2006-10-12 08:28:34 AM  
In a world without people, I'd have no one to stop me from taking it over! Mwhahahaha!
Wait, I'm people.
Dangit, yet another wrench in my plans for world domination.
 
2006-10-12 08:29:10 AM  
ArcadianRefugee: And thus the birth of what will eventually come to be known as the holiday "Weasel-stomping Day".

That was a most disturbing Robot Chicken skit.
 
2006-10-12 08:29:10 AM  
No humans?

Omg thats racist against... everyone....
 
2006-10-12 08:29:25 AM  
InflatableJesus: They will probably be most puzzled by how a society of 6 billion just one day disappeared all at once. We should leave a note.

A 100k year postit note?

I can barely get mine to stick for an hour...
 
2006-10-12 08:30:14 AM  
we suck
 
2006-10-12 08:31:00 AM  
Xerxes99: Imagine a world without all of these alarmist environmental wackos trying to scare people into buying hemp pants and mopeds!

The world would probably look like New Jersey.
 
2006-10-12 08:31:42 AM  
h3lx [Total Fark]
In a perfect world, Yoko would have never been conceived.

I'm with SarahBellum on this one. She would've been conceived to take the bullet for John.
 
2006-10-12 08:32:28 AM  
I imagine that I'll have another Diet Mountain Dew, go about my day, and later in some private moment, consider how lucky I am to be on this planet, in this time, in the country I call home, in the relatively comfortable circumstances my income allows.

This world would not so much be better off without us here as be different. Yeah, we keep a messy house, but our species on the whole is doing ok, and I like to think that this Universe (if not the planet) is better off for us being here.

Perhaps some day we'll run into another species out there (points up) that will say so. We have the potential, if we'll cut the self doubt bullshiat and stop staring at our shoes.

--h
 
2006-10-12 08:34:48 AM  
best of all would be no pointy-headed science magazine writers.
 
2006-10-12 08:36:04 AM  
Yeah...can we just imagine a world w/o Socialists, Communists, and whackjob Libs?
 
2006-10-12 08:36:04 AM  
"This was a Pizza Hut;now it's all covered with daisies"

/(Nothing But)Flowers by Talking Heads
 
2006-10-12 08:38:36 AM  
Well no. But fundy crazy is the reason this species will not live past this millenium quite probable this century alive.
 
2006-10-12 08:38:42 AM  
If I am to imagine earth without people as requested, my first step will be to determine what I am in this imaginary imagined world.

Thus, since I can't be a person, I imagine that I'm a horny baboon looking for redassed baboons. That's all the world is, moment to moment, looking for food and fertile redassed baboons.
 
2006-10-12 08:40:13 AM  
If humans became extinct on earth then a giant squid would write this same article about his species on his blog, half a million years later. ;)
 
2006-10-12 08:41:38 AM  
szymke: Girlfriend in a Coma - this article is a total rip-off of Douglas Coupland's book...

That's serious.
 
2006-10-12 08:43:32 AM  
Shouldn't this be a photoshop theme?
 
2006-10-12 08:43:51 AM  
what is a "civilisation" ?
 
2006-10-12 08:45:41 AM  
[image from home.earthlink.net too old to be available]
 
2006-10-12 08:47:18 AM  
Don't tell me what to do smitty.
 
2006-10-12 08:47:38 AM  
Why get rid of everybody? Why not just the people we don't like? That'd give us some breathing room.
 
2006-10-12 08:47:50 AM  
Imagine people without earth.
 
2006-10-12 08:47:55 AM  
What kind of eco-twinkie crap is this? Pfffft. Any article that uses the phrase 'light-polluted' instantly loses me.
 
2006-10-12 08:48:13 AM  
If earth were unable to impart all the things she gives us to live, wouldn't earths value as a planet drop to uselessness?

Earth needs us as much as we need her, this theory is a ridiculous clamoring from yet another over the edge environmentalist.
 
2006-10-12 08:48:39 AM  
Isn't the point of lunar and martian colonization so that we can imagine the Earth without people?

/Life isn't all flowers and sausages.
 
2006-10-12 08:48:58 AM  
"If man disappears tomorrow, do you expect to see herds of poodles roaming the plains?"

[image from valleyviewdogs.com too old to be available]
 
2006-10-12 08:50:33 AM  
No humans = perfect world. Come join the voluntary human extinction movement! It's a little slower than sudden mass transportation to...elsewhere...but we'll get to the same point eventually.

Or just start working on that engineered plague. Join a doomsday cult, and put an end to homo sapiens. Same result, only faster.
 
2006-10-12 08:51:07 AM  
This is part of a plot by PETA to kill us all.
 
2006-10-12 08:51:08 AM  
 
2006-10-12 08:51:19 AM  
I've often wondered: If there was a technological civilization on Earth millions of years ago, would any evidence have survived of their presence?
 
2006-10-12 08:51:21 AM  
I'd rather imagine the world with environmentally conscious/responsible people. I've got no problems with humanity in general (ok I do, but I don't wish for extinction because of it), I just wish the vast majority weren't uncaring slobs when it comes to the planet.

Bob: Hey George, what should we do with this toxic waste?
George: I don't know, go dump it in the Butte.
*years pass with lots of waste being dumped in the Butte*
Reporter: So what have you done to try and clean up the Butte?
State/City Official: We've turned it into a tourist attraction.

/I wish that was sarcasm
 
2006-10-12 08:52:43 AM  
From the article: By some estimates, we now commandeer 40 per cent of all its productivity.

So who commandeers the other 60%? Are there some areas where animals are involved in square-foot gardening?
 
2006-10-12 08:53:11 AM  
eating the burgers without the buns and skipping the fries.

A messy aftermath? what the hell is wrong with cooking up a patty, and toss a few veges together, cheaper, same result or better.

I can't see how picking out bits and peices equates to "eating McDonalds" as such.
 
2006-10-12 08:53:25 AM  
Hiro P.
Isn't the point of lunar and martian colonization so that we can imagine the Earth without people?

Colonization isn't about getting everyone off of Earth. It's about spreading the species to places to prevent extinction.
 
2006-10-12 08:55:05 AM  
crawlspace: What kind of eco-twinkie crap is this? Pfffft. Any article that uses the phrase 'light-polluted' instantly loses me.

crawlspace is not a (check all that apply):

[_] Underwater welder
[_] Senator from Pennsylvania
[_] Philatelist
[_] NOC CIA Agent
[_] Construction worker
[_] Motorcycle cop
[_] Indian Chief
[_] Cowboy
[_] Leather biker
[X] Astronomer
 
2006-10-12 08:55:09 AM  
doh wrong thread
scales back on the vodak.
 
2006-10-12 08:56:00 AM  
"If another intelligent species ever evolves on the Earth - and that is by no means certain, given how long life flourished before we came along - it may well have no inkling that we were ever here save for a few peculiar fossils and ossified (lithified?) relics."

Please note that the information in the article shows conclusively that we cannot ever know if "another intelligent species" evolved before "we came along."

There is no way to know if some species of dinosaur did indeed evolve into an "intelligent" animal, and went throught the same progression we are following. And, BTW, there is also no reason to believe that industrial civilization is open-ended. I favor the bell curve analogy, myself.
 
2006-10-12 08:57:31 AM  
tshauk

Earth needs us as much as we need her

Please be kidding.
 
2006-10-12 08:57:50 AM  
The Icelander: Colonization isn't about getting everyone off of Earth. It's about spreading the species to places to prevent extinction.

Tomato, Tomato

/Sounded better in my head.
//Good point though Icelander.
 
2006-10-12 08:58:57 AM  
Oh please, the crab people would just fark it up too.
 
2006-10-12 08:59:25 AM  
citizen905: Why get rid of everybody? Why not just the people we don't like? That'd give us some breathing room.

Or lebensraum.

It's too bad we as a civilization keep persecuting people with such brilliant ideas.
 
2006-10-12 09:02:32 AM  
Would it still have chocolate?

/important things first!
 
2006-10-12 09:05:15 AM  
About TFA: Can you say mental masturbation?

So, I guess now we're paying scientists to play the "what if" game?
 
2006-10-12 09:05:32 AM  
Funny. I can imagine Earth without a certain few people right now and it gives me a nice, evil smile thinking about it.

/You know who you are.
 
2006-10-12 09:05:35 AM  
They will probably be most puzzled by how a society of 6 billion just one day disappeared all at once. We should leave a note.

croatoan?

/needs me farky and farkit
 
2006-10-12 09:05:49 AM  
imagine whirled peas
 
2006-10-12 09:06:50 AM  
Rufus_T_Firefly: So, I guess now we're paying scientists to play the "what if" game?

Only if you have a subscription to New Scientist.
 
2006-10-12 09:09:31 AM  
This article is such complete monkeyspunk that I decline to dignify it with comment.

/Except this one
 
2006-10-12 09:10:53 AM  
Skleenar: In my defense: sarcasm doesn't transmit well over the tubes
 
2006-10-12 09:11:30 AM  
Imagine it just without the black people!
 
2006-10-12 09:11:54 AM  
...And my html skills are on the fritz!
 
2006-10-12 09:15:07 AM  
Great article!

I don't think that the author in any way *wants* this to happen. He's just pointing out what impact people are having on the environment, and on how healthy/strong the environment is (ie it restores itself to some self sustaining state fairly quickly).
 
2006-10-12 09:17:27 AM  
MugzyBrown:
[image from myspace-018.vo.llnwd.net too old to be available]
 
2006-10-12 09:23:26 AM  
Not to threadjack, but this discussion reminded me of something.

Wasn't there a book years ago where the plot went like this:
Space aliens come. They're freindly.
They say "We'll totally hook you up with our technology (energy, no pollution, medicine, all that Star Trek stuff) under ONE CONDITION:
Give us all your black people.

Aliens won't say why they want them. Earth as a short time to decide.

Any farkers remember that one?
 
2006-10-12 09:23:51 AM  
The Icelander
I've often wondered: If there was a technological civilization on Earth millions of years ago, would any evidence have survived of their presence?

Dick Clark.
 
2006-10-12 09:24:40 AM  
"PLASTIC"

\love George Carlin!!
 
2006-10-12 09:25:34 AM  
what a stupid article. cut diamonds will last that long easy. as will many tougher plastics.
 
2006-10-12 09:26:05 AM  
Imagine that all the people on Earth - all 6.5 billion of us and counting - could be spirited away tomorrow, transported to a re-education camp in a far-off galaxy.

Hey, no need to get carried away. I know of a little place down in Cuba that's been working out well so far...
 
2006-10-12 09:26:14 AM  
haha ^is stupid
 
2006-10-12 09:26:30 AM  
Listen get rid of all the lawyers, politicians, dictators, terrorists, actors, hillbillies, leprachauns, all of michigan, and Joe Theisman (worst play-by-play ever). This will bring the balance back to our delicate eco-system.


/We can keep the hot female actors
//Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, Jennifer Anniston you can stay.
 
2006-10-12 09:26:35 AM  
The Icelander

Fingerprints of the gods -- Amazon.

Check it out. It's an interesting theory, but I'm not sure I believe it all.
 
2006-10-12 09:27:38 AM  
ha...not you fighting-newfie: my earlier comment was dumb.
 
2006-10-12 09:29:05 AM  
I'd watch the movie. Teach the makers of Microcosmos and Winged Migration some computer animation and let 'em go.
 
2006-10-12 09:31:10 AM  
Why would anyone be upset or offended by this article? All it does is examine the physical processes by which the effects and artifacts of industrial civilization would be erased, if all human industrial and agricultural activity ceased. So, the buildings are crumbling at Pripyat and vegetation is taking over the city. I think that's interesting. In fact, the rapidity with which the ecosystem is recovering should be encouraging to those who love nature for itself, and satisfactory for those who think that "environmentalism" is a type of hysteria.

Does the very idea that large-scale human activities could cease at some point offend or disturb certain persons that much? Why would an anti-environmentalist care? After all, the anti-environmentalist perspective is intrinsically selfish in that it disregards future generations. Why would anyone who holds this viewpoint care if humans cease to exist in 50 or 100 years? To simultaneously be selfish and supposedly concerned for future generations is an amazingly neurotic attitude, verging on mental illness.
 
2006-10-12 09:31:27 AM  
I'm worried some future asshole Joel Babbit type is going to put self-healing mylar billboards in space. Even after we're gone, the spam will remain.
 
2006-10-12 09:31:30 AM  
FauxNews

Imagine people without earth.

[image from img99.imageshack.us too old to be available]
 
2006-10-12 09:33:57 AM  
That was a good read. Enjoyed it.
 
2006-10-12 09:42:18 AM  
Makes you wonder if an intelligent species has already arisen a least once, reached its peak, and left the earth to colonize other planets, abandoning the earth in the process millions (or a bilion) years ago?
 
2006-10-12 09:42:30 AM  
Meh, national Geographic did a better,longer, and more involved look at the same thing about a year ago to lazy to lookup the volume #. Thats what google is for!
 
2006-10-12 09:48:50 AM  
On the map of light pollution, does anyone else think it's artificially dark in and around the Mid East? Wouldn't Israel be registering at least something?
 
2006-10-12 09:49:20 AM  
crawlspace: What kind of eco-twinkie crap is this? Pfffft. Any article that uses the phrase 'light-polluted' instantly loses me.

Go to any city on the east coast and look up at the sky at midnight, when it is "clear" out. Now go to Tucson, AZ, and repeat. When you are done, you will understand what light pollution really is. A blight on the beauty that is the original all-night show, something we humans with our technology should not be over-looking.

/Rarely use my telescope any more, because I can't see squat under a Duval County sky.
 
2006-10-12 09:53:41 AM  
The Icelander

I thought colonization is about spread of the virus "human". I subscripbe to that virus theory because, well, because we are a virus...

/pbththththththbbbbtp (that's a rasberry)
 
2006-10-12 10:01:07 AM  
Just another sign that real, serious environmentalists are suicidal, self-loathing psychos. Anyone that advocates the destruction of humanity is sick in the head. Anyone who thinks it would be "better" if humanity died out needs some serious medication.

Things like "good" and "better" are value judgements and only have meaning in respect to a sentient being capable of making value judgements. Therefore, nothing can be "good" that is not good to a judging, sentient human being. All of humanity dying cannot therefore be good in any sense because good only has meaning in reference to people, and that certainly wouldn't be good for people.
 
2006-10-12 10:01:15 AM  
Every. Damn. Day.
 
2006-10-12 10:03:16 AM  
Hmmm, I always stopped at imagining Earth with no George Bush. I never thought to go the next step and get rid of everyone.
 
2006-10-12 10:05:06 AM  
So let me get this right: We're going to go down in a blaze of glory?
 
2006-10-12 10:07:06 AM  
"2006-10-12 08:47:55 AM crawlspace

What kind of eco-twinkie crap is this? Pfffft. Any article that uses the phrase 'light-polluted' instantly loses me. "


Well then I might suggest that you have never seen the difference between the sky in the city, and the sky out in West Texas. You can't seriously be suggesting that there is no such thing, can you? If you want to get all hear-no evil, etc. that your business, but it exists.


/betting that your a shrubie
//boy its fun to watch you guys implode
///not a second too soon...
 
2006-10-12 10:08:03 AM  
The ultimate left wing enviro fantasy.
 
2006-10-12 10:09:09 AM  
thenateman

Ok, let's say we accept what you say and call 'domination' and 'better' social constructions. Using your logic we cannot use anything rooted in social conceptualisation for analysis. Since language is a vehicle used to share conceptual understanding of the world (which is based on a social understanding anyway because even if you say an aspect of though used in language arises internally in isolation this would eventually become conceptualised on a wider scale) This basically disregards any use of language at all, which leaves us with what? Do we just not analyze anything? What kind of 'analysis' can we 'resolve' is we have no 'tools' with which to 'do' 'it' becuase everything, at some level, is socially constructed (This is because even that which is 'real' becomes, to us, 'real with socially constructed implications'). Have you ever actually thought about what is left when we remove the human conceptual understanding of the world? And think about this, does labelling something as 'socially constructed' somehow minimize how real it is if the notion of 'real' (or false for that matter) is itself socially constructed? If you have a way of shutting out social constructions from the resolution of mental processes with an external world then I'm all ears.
 
2006-10-12 10:12:09 AM  
Fiscal Hermit Crab

I 'like' the way you 'write'
It's 'very' 'good'

'apostrophes are the new slashies!
/not really
 
2006-10-12 10:12:14 AM  
Tentacle

FauxNews

Imagine people without earth.

I think you mean:
[image from img237.imageshack.us too old to be available]
 
2006-10-12 10:13:09 AM  
citizen905: Why get rid of everybody? Why not just the people we don't like? That'd give us some breathing room.

I hope that you realize that would mean:

1)most of the United States population, by it's own people.
2)then, for most of the other countried of the world, they'd also would pick getting rid of the rest of the US.

you sure you'd wanna go that route?
 
2006-10-12 10:14:59 AM  
I believe Bill Waters said it best in his comic strip Calvin & Hobbes "The one species who's extinction would benefit the planet the most is man" I also favor "The surest sign that there is intelligent life elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us yet"
 
2006-10-12 10:16:48 AM  
Imagine the world without beavers making their stupid dams everywhere. Humans aren't the only ones modifying the environment to suit their purposes.
 
2006-10-12 10:17:36 AM  
Just another sign that real, serious environmentalists are suicidal, self-loathing psychos. Anyone that advocates the destruction of humanity is sick in the head. Anyone who thinks it would be "better" if humanity died out needs some serious medication.

I refer you to the Cold War, sir, for your "psychos advocating the destruction of humanity." Remember MAD? Now wipe that spittle from the corner of your mouth.

Environmentalists are misanthropes, to be sure, but it's hard to take the environment seriously and not come away with the impression that people suck.
 
2006-10-12 10:21:20 AM  
lollyadverb

haha, yeah I was trying to emphasise the notion of language as a chain of individual concepts by 'doing' 'this' but it probably didn't work very well. But, come on, don't you ever get frustrated when people just call something 'socially constructed' and think that somehow ends all argument? Its high time someone stood up for structuralism! come on everybody, who's with me?

/please don't pick on me for equating qualified social constructionism with structuralism
 
2006-10-12 10:21:24 AM  
karooble, you're my new big damn hero.

Unavailable for comment.

/it was the first thing that came to my mind, I swear!
 
2006-10-12 10:22:34 AM  
This reminds of one time I was listening to Rush L( had to, boss used to listen to it-- made me laugh), and he was stating how he was sure that animals DIDN'T HAVE FEELINGS, and couldn't really THINK. Now, I always hate it when people personify their pets actions, but I was astounded. Having grown up on a farm in Minnesota, I had ample interaction with a number of different animals throughout, I can tell you without any doubt, they do have feelings and they can think. Whether its quantifiable as human type thought, I can't say. But to deny they do is foolish. I guess my point in this is that why is it always these self described conservatives who de-cry any attempt to regulate the impact that people are making on the planet. Why are they always denying the implicit connection that we have with the planet and with other species?? Shouldn't someone who is conservative, by their very nature "conserve"? Would they not hedge their bets, until they knew for sure, ONE WAY OR ANOTHER?? Or would they just laugh at you for trying to understand exactly what is going on, assault you with ad hominem attacks ( little more than a variance of "hey you big dummy!"), and continue to blithely walk into the unknown. Come on, a least stick to your own self-professed ideology, even if you seem to be ignorant of its tenets.

/fo' real
 
2006-10-12 10:22:37 AM  
Imagine the world without beavers making their stupid dams everywhere. Humans aren't the only ones modifying the environment to suit their purposes.

You realize the only reason there's beavers all over the north is there's no wolves, right?
 
2006-10-12 10:22:38 AM  
Cato

It's a thought experiment you self-righteous twit. Calm down, breath a little and unbunch your panties.
 
2006-10-12 10:23:12 AM  
"On the map of light pollution, does anyone else think it's artificially dark in and around the Mid East? Wouldn't Israel be registering at least something?"

Too cheap to turn the lights on.
 
2006-10-12 10:29:26 AM  
Cool article.
It's always interesting to take a look at the 'what ifs' in science.
 
2006-10-12 10:29:29 AM  
Fiscal Hermit Crab

/please don't pick on me for equating qualified social constructionism with structuralism


Stop! You're bringing up bad memories of my childhood when all the kids at the playground would pick on me for equating qualified social constructionism with structuralism.

/still have no idea what you're talking about
//and I'm a pretty bright guy.
 
2006-10-12 10:30:13 AM  
... and not one mention of Derrick Jensen. Not one.
 
2006-10-12 10:30:43 AM  
chiaroscuro: Too cheap to turn the lights on.

People still make jokes about the Jews? Brilliant!
 
2006-10-12 10:31:12 AM  
So who will fight for the animal's freedums? 4 legs good 2 legs bad!!!
 
2006-10-12 10:35:42 AM  
I do, every day.

/humans suck
 
2006-10-12 10:36:39 AM  
[image from doylenewyork.com too old to be available]
 
2006-10-12 10:37:05 AM  
c0dem0nkey

People still make jokes about the Jews?

This is Fark, we make about everyone and everything.
 
2006-10-12 10:38:34 AM  
Since the humans killed the dinosaurs, I guess it will be up to our mongoose pals to avenge their death and kill all the humans.

The Flintstones ruined your brain.
 
2006-10-12 10:39:10 AM  
Damn it all.

This is Fark, we make about fun of everyone and everything.

Fixed that for me.

/I need more coffee
//sweet delicious coffee
 
2006-10-12 10:41:17 AM  
Sorry, that's 4 legs good 2 legs better.
 
2006-10-12 10:41:42 AM  
Soylent Green...is PEOPLLEEEEEEEEEE!!!
 
2006-10-12 10:43:49 AM  
If there something bad happens and there are no humans around to record it does it really - er - happen?

View the END OF THE WORLD as linked to SPOOTAGE
 
2006-10-12 10:44:36 AM  
PETA's wet dream.....
 
2006-10-12 10:46:29 AM  
If a tree falls in the forest and no one is on the planet, does it still make a sound?
 
2006-10-12 10:47:11 AM  
don't worry people we wont be around for long....
 
2006-10-12 10:48:12 AM  
It's easy if you try.
 
2006-10-12 10:51:35 AM  
Wait, no people?

Who would the Republicans have to blame then?
 
2006-10-12 10:51:40 AM  
I sometimes wonder what's worse: Going about a normal human existance, leaving an average environmental footprint... or revering this type of claptrap and not killing yourself.

Choice is yours. More pizza for me, then.
 
2006-10-12 10:52:40 AM  
2006-10-12 10:08:03 AM Lerxst2k

The ultimate left wing enviro fantasy.


Why do you right-wing sociopaths insist on destroying the planet? It's amazing how far denial of evidence, common sense and logic will go with you people.

/because you're sociopaths, duh!
 
2006-10-12 10:57:23 AM  
Pretty sure I read this two years ago.
//2 mins. for reposting.
 
2006-10-12 10:57:40 AM  
 
2006-10-12 11:02:38 AM  
Beerden suggests:
Why do you right-wing sociopaths insist on destroying the planet? It's amazing how far denial of evidence, common sense and logic will go with you people.

/because you're sociopaths, duh!


Yet another liberal corners the market on "tolerance". Remember, folks - they're the only ones who "tolerate" people.

The rest of it is so NOT over-the-top. Ding - thanks for playing; enjoy your parting gifts.
 
2006-10-12 11:03:41 AM  
see...this is a lot of things people screeching "We're killing da EAAAAAAAAAARTH" fail to note.

We're not killing the earth. We're simply effecting changes that will make it unlivable for ourselves. Millions of years ago, plants started to release a corrosive gas that damaged life forms and wiped many of them out when they breathed it. It's called "oxygen" :P

There'll still be a biomass. We may not recognise it, or be able to live on it, it may be full of mutated bacteria and gerbils with wings, but life can adapt to a whole lotta shiat. We're only screwing what we recognise as being "life".
 
2006-10-12 11:08:41 AM  
"Imagine Earth without people"



I do. Everyday. (Hovers finger over red button.)

 
2006-10-12 11:09:41 AM  
The most important thing this article touches on, is that in a million years there would be little to no evidence of us. Therefore by using incredibly circuitous and invalid reasoning, there must have been an advanced civlisation 1 million years ago.
Anyone who disagrees is a commie-nazi.
 
2006-10-12 11:13:01 AM  
biobot

are you saying that we should move...BEYOND HOPE?!?!?!

/yeah eco-anarchism
 
2006-10-12 11:14:19 AM  
lollyadverb

I don't know if it was a book. But Geogre Clinton had a short lived TV show on HBO that was a outer limits type show called comic slop and that was the theme of the first show. I can't beleive I remember this crap.
 
2006-10-12 11:18:29 AM  
lollyadverb

Ok, since I'm not sure what part didn't make sense (sorry, I don't write very clearly) I've tried to trim down what I've been saying. I don't intend to be patronising I'm just trying to be clear. Also, the way I'm using some of these definitions is probably horrible but this is fark so don't be too hard on me. So:

concept (C) = anything the mind can think of that represents a discrete object, be it social, physical or whatever
socially constructed (SC) = a concept built through social exchanges composed of language

The argument I responded to is that 'if C = SC' (such as when whats his name said 'better' = SC) therefore this minimizes its relevance to something. So, for example, someone will say Gender = SC and therefore should not be used as a meanigful category for job selection or whatever.

My argument was that simply if C = SC this does not, by definition, change anything. The grounds for this is that language basically encompasses the human conceptual understanding of 'reality'. Language basically is a chain of interacting concepts which are given meaning through social exchanges anyway. For example, if Bush calls someone a 'terrorist' he is actively constructing that concept through the associations that object has. That word is now altered because of the concept it now represents, given the new associations. So if I said that the word 'terrorist' was SC, does that change anything? No, because everything I am drawing on to even think of that question is using a chain of concepts which are given their meaning in a social context anyway.

I moved on to say that concepts, as we use the word in everyday speech, are actually all the mind really has. Concepts are merely the mind's way of partitioning the world into manageable parts. Thus, to negate concepts as SC is to negate the relevance they have to how we make sense of what our lives mean (which is itself a process of relaying concepts through associating one concept with another, eg 'success' = 'money' = 'good' etc)

Structuralism = there is an underlying structure to the world.

I was using this to say that qualifying social construction in this was does not reject it as a viable theory. by moving to a more radical interpretation of the processes underlying object construction (since structuralism seems to be associated with modernist conceptualisation such as the reality of 'progress').

How was that?
 
2006-10-12 11:36:09 AM  
Fiscal Hermit Crab

You talk purty. Unfortunatly, you suffer from an advanced case of claptrap-itis.

Structuralism = there is an underlying structure to the world.

Sadly, there isn't. Rules (i.e. physical laws), yes.
Structure is something that is an interpretation of those rules.

The universe is a random place, careening on its own.
No structure.
No guiding hand.
The fact that we exist at all to try to interpret what's going on is a happy accident.
 
2006-10-12 11:40:13 AM  
Cato
Just another sign that real, serious environmentalists are suicidal, self-loathing psychos. Anyone that advocates the destruction of humanity is sick in the head. Anyone who thinks it would be "better" if humanity died out needs some serious medication.

Where, precisely, does the article advocate the destruction of the human race?

As for better, the phrase is well-qualified. The rest of the biosphere would do better if humanity were absent, which is fairly self-evident. That neither says nor suggests that it would be morally better for us to be gone.
 
2006-10-12 11:40:20 AM  
An Earth First dream come true...
 
2006-10-12 11:41:14 AM  
The Earth needs us like bears need sweatpants
 
2006-10-12 11:47:26 AM  
...Starcraft did it better.

Anyways, first thing I thought of:

"Did the lungfish refuse to breathe air? It did not. It crept forth boldly while its brethren remained in the blackest ocean abyss, with lidless eyes forever staring at the dark, ignorant and doomed despite their eternal vigilance. Would we model ourselves on the trilobite? Are all the accomplishments of humanity fated to be nothing more than a layer of broken plastic shards thinly strewn across a fossil bed, sandwiched between the Burgess shale and an eon's worth of mud?"

Good ol' Wally.
 
2006-10-12 11:47:32 AM  
Fantastic article.

Thanks, submitter.
 
2006-10-12 11:52:11 AM  
claptrap = pretentious but insincere or empty language

awww :(

But isn't a rule a structure in and of itself? And if all the sciences boil down to physics then doesn't everything have a basic level of structure?

Not that I actually think that, I really have no idea. Long ago I stopped making assertions about what the universe is when I realised I had been thinking of the universe as basically outer space. When I realised I was living in the universe right now and really had no idea what any of this was either I just let go of trying. One has to wonder though, if structure is just a by-product of the human brain, does nature individuate? Do objects exist in and of themselves anywhere other than when we give them names?
 
2006-10-12 12:04:24 PM  
I think they really missed the impact of forest/grassland fires. 5000 years ago most of the great plaines of the US would light up every 7 to 12 years and most temperate forest burned every 30-50 years. Even the glass buildings would have some trouble with that. I suspect that within the first 10-20 years most wooden and glass structures would be gone only leaving concrete and metal structures left and slowly losing ground to the kudzu and crabgrass. Smokey the bear damn you!!1!1!

/Likes humans too much to see them gone
 
2006-10-12 12:09:31 PM  
That article made me want to kick a hippy in the shins.
 
2006-10-12 12:16:56 PM  
I liked this article.

Okay, an existential question for all of you, courtesy of your local Chuck:

THE World is going to end. It's going to end quickly, and it's going to end dramatically. You have two choices. You can choose to have it end at noon on your fortieth birthday, or three days after your seventy-fifth birthday. Which do you choose?

/sorry if you're over 40 already. Pretend you're 31, like me.
 
2006-10-12 12:21:32 PM  
THE World is going to end. It's going to end quickly, and it's going to end dramatically. You have two choices. You can choose to have it end at noon on your fortieth birthday, or three days after your seventy-fifth birthday. Which do you choose?


Depends on how quickly I could arrange DDT foggers for the amazon river basin. Then there's the oil spills to plan, the nuclear waste to spread and all the CFC to pump into the upper atmosphere.
 
2006-10-12 12:25:05 PM  
I have a question for any archaeologists goofing off and reading FARK.

Relics from ancient Egypt or Sumer look pretty tatty at ~5000 years old. Stone age tools are nearly indistinguishable from odd shaped stones to the untrained eye. Just how far back could a civilization still leave behind evidence of its existence? with modern or future archaeological technology?

Suppose an intelligent race came and went 200k years ago, or was an offshoot of dinosaurs 65-230M years ago. This seems no less plausible than primates evolving into "people". Being an omnivore that raises one's young with something akin to hands seems to do the trick. Would an ice age wipe clean all artifacts?
Would changes in atmosphere evidenced in ice or soil cores be blamed on meteors or the ice ages themselves?

An old Star Trek Voyager episode explored this idea and tried really hard to make it plausible if not realistic.
 
2006-10-12 12:25:33 PM  
I'm really torn. On the one hand, gas is expensive and I'm a poor student, so I bike a lot and would like to get a hybrid to save money. On the other hand, doing so is beneficial to the environment. If only they would make a car that burned less fuel, but created the same amount of emissions. Then I'd be set.

/hates hippies
//got drunk and went on a tyrade to his roommate wednesday
///"You don't know hippies until you've hippied some of the hippies that I've hippied."
////Doesn't know how you hippy someone, but would like to find out
//slashy of doom!
 
2006-10-12 12:31:09 PM  
Should all this come about, I believe that Apes will take their rightful place as the dominant species, and the only significant trace of our existance will be a partially submerged Statue of Liberty.

Damn you ... Damn you all to hell!
 
2006-10-12 12:33:12 PM  
The truly hilarious thing in this thread is that those offended by the article actually imagine that they (or the human race in general) are important or worthwhile or are more deserving of existence on Earth than a Grizzly Bear or a mosquito or a Blue-Footed Booby. What a howler.

Guess what? You're wrong.

God didn't create the Earth for you. You aren't superior to, or even more interesting than, any other life form. You have no more value or worth than anything else, but you do have gigantic egos and a twisted perspective.

When you die or Homo sapiens goes extinct, it won't mean anything and will have no more cosmic significance than the extinction of the Dodo Bird. In fact, the persons who are offended by this article are the least rational among us, and therefore the most animalistic, the most degraded, and the least "superior" to other life forms. Ooga Booga!

What irony! Did you know that you're walking cartoons?

Hahahahahah!
 
2006-10-12 12:34:00 PM  
freudianslip84,

Hippies never put their money where their mouth is. Honda cannot give away their Insight hybrid that gets 66mpg. In 2005 they sold 666 of them, yes, 666 like the devil.

Aromatic hydrocarbons from weed and what happens when lentils get to the large intestine are way worse than me eating meat and driving pickup.
 
2006-10-12 12:43:50 PM  
I couldn't care less about the world if there's no one on it. There's no one on Mars either. What's the point of the article? If there are no people, the other parts of nature will be all that's left. Oh, great thought, there, how much are they paying you? Oh, the point was that it's better without humans? Why? Why are lush green forests and frolicking bunnies better than barren rock and acid rain? The only reason I can think of is because the former is better for us to live in!
 
2006-10-12 12:52:40 PM  
Imagine all the people
Getting the Fark out
 
2006-10-12 12:55:32 PM  
TFA was an interesting intellectual and creative exercise, but I found the tone was very old-fashioned, since it kep talking about whether things would go "back to nature" slowly, quickly, or not at all, especially in terms of introduced species.

Nature's a moving target. Invasive species have been introduced by geology and biology as well as by human intervention, and countless native species - including many of our own prototypes - have gone extinct. That's just the way she goes.

I consider myself an environmentalist, but I am no believer in natural utopias. We are part of nature, and it's up to us to use our unique intellectual capacity to find ways to live more sustainably within our naturally technological world for our own sakes, and preserve biodiversity for our own sakes, rather than imaginging a return to some kind of perfect, static, and unnatural Eden.
 
2006-10-12 12:56:06 PM  
The truly hilarious thing in this thread is that those offended by the article actually imagine that they (or the human race in general) are important or worthwhile or are more deserving of existence on Earth than a Grizzly Bear or a mosquito or a Blue-Footed Booby. What a howler.


Did it ever occur to you that God put us here to test his creation? Our reason for existence is to weed out the weak and non-viable lifeforms.
 
2006-10-12 12:56:12 PM  
These guys obviously didn't take into account the structural changes we've made to the earth via mining. Large open pit mines on the scale of the Berlkey Pit in Butte (and larger) will exist until we remove them or the world ends, and they're visible from orbit.
Also, advanced civilizations will find their metals here deposited in pockets that will be far too pure to have been naturally occuring (see used car lots & junk yards).
And then there's Anna Ni. Smith's breasts of steel which will be around for eaons.

/believes we can still pull out of this
//but only if Bush either gets smart or leaves office
///and if N.K. doesn't start WWIII
 
2006-10-12 12:57:18 PM  
(Sorry for the typos.)
 
2006-10-12 01:01:09 PM  
Fiscal Hermit Crab
Do objects exist in and of themselves anywhere other than when we give them names?

Yes. They do.

You're giving yourself and your ability of perception too much credit. Fact is, you don't matter that much. No one does.

Stuff exists because that's the way it is. Your perception, your organization of things into a structure, and your struggle to define what 'is' really don't matter.

A tree falling in the forest with no one there does make a noise. To say it doesn't because you didn't hear it, or to say things don't exist because you havn't seen them yet suggests you have a completely delusionsal view of your place in the scheme of things.
FACT: the scheme of things doesn't need you.
 
2006-10-12 01:04:56 PM  
 
2006-10-12 01:05:15 PM  
Weaver95

There is no "reason" for the existence of anything. Searching for a "reason" for reality is no different than running from a lightning bolt, or any other instinctive action taken in the interest of self-preservation. It merely represents the desire to continue to exist. That is the genesis of all superstition.
 
2006-10-12 01:14:33 PM  
Sigh. It's a pleasant fantasy, but unfortunately the rest of you assholes breed like rabbits.
 
2006-10-12 01:19:25 PM  
lollyadverb

Sorry, wasn't being clear again. I'm not doubting the notion of an object existing, actually its the compartmentalisation of the totality of existence into separated objects.

Think of it this way: what is structure? Let's use a working definition of structure as a 'thing' which can be separated into distinct 'parts' that function together to form that total thing. If there is no structure then there are no parts. If there are no parts then we cannot differentiate one thing from another because everything will then become a part of the totality of existence which we cannot break down further.

So what I'm saying is that if you negate the concept of structure then you negate the ability to say something is different from something else, you cannot sepaarate two things because it is structure (used at any level) that ascribed the criteria that allow us to say one thing is something and not another thing.
 
2006-10-12 01:24:26 PM  
And, just as an aside because this is fun and I like asides, it seems more likely that believing in objects gives too much credit to the perceptual system. I'm not saying I don't believe in the existence (as is generally defined) of objects, but what reason do we have to believe in objects that exists OUTSIDE of the reasons provided by our perceptual system? So how can we know that the percetual system is functining in a way that matches the existence of an objective reality?
 
2006-10-12 01:28:25 PM  
I would like to change "Imagine Earth without people" to "Imagine earth after the Zombie Apocalypse". It fits perfectly with the article, and it makes things so much more interesting. Plus I get to kill zombies, which is the ultimate goal of all nerds.

Beside kissing a girl.
 
2006-10-12 01:28:43 PM  
Nothing_Happens: Should all this come about, I believe that Apes will take their rightful place as the dominant species, and the only significant trace of our existance will be a partially submerged Statue of Liberty.

That might make a decent movie. No, a whole series of movies. The first one pretty good, the next 4 each progressively worse.
 
2006-10-12 01:30:55 PM  
I'd like to say I'm shocked by the number of people who seem to think its perfectly fine to shiat where you eat.

But I'm not.

It seems to fulfill some primal right-wing "Money now; fark the future" urge, part of a suite of infectious sociopathic ideas that makes up the neoconservative movement.
 
2006-10-12 01:34:44 PM  
Late to the party as usual, but the article made me think of an obscure Sara Teasdale poem Ray Bradbury used in a short story of the same name:

There Will Come Soft Rains

There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;

And frogs in the pools singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white;

Robins will wear their feathery fire,
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;

And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.

Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
If mankind perished utterly;

And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn
Would scarcely know that we were gone.

-- Sara Teasdale
 
2006-10-12 01:39:17 PM  
Pretty stupid article. The guy doesn't even mention the numerous species that would snuff it because they depend on human beings. He gripes about "introduced" species as if no bird ever ate a seed on one side of a mountain and shiat it out on the other.

Without people, the earths systems would truck along same as they do today. Species would rise, specialize, go extinct, etc. Most likely, given history, there would eventually be a large extinction event that would reduce the diversity we currently see to a fraction, at which point it'd start diversifying again.

Evolution produced humanity, just like it produced all of the other animals on this planet. By the same methods. We are part of the system, not outside of it. Simply because we've got enough neurons hooked together in a network that is complex enough to give birth to an emergent consciousness doesn't really make us all THAT special.

/stop the pollution of cockroach shiat... its everywhere!
 
2006-10-12 01:40:15 PM  
Is it okay if I just imagine the world without certain people in it? Like whack-job liberal enviromentalist assclowns?

/Ahhhhhh......
 
2006-10-12 01:42:51 PM  
They can be a great people, Kal-El, they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. For this reason above all, their capacity for good, I have sent them you... my only son.
 
2006-10-12 01:48:10 PM  
What the... I thought this was a intresting and inoffensive "what if" -article, although there have been several pretty much like this lately. But what do I find in the comments: people getting their tampon sideways about hemp-wearing environmentalist alarmist wackjobs, basing their knee-jerk on overanalysing semantics.

...oh, wait, Fark. Never mind.
 
2006-10-12 02:02:24 PM  
eh you don't really even need to imagine, just go into an urban area at 4am, you can do anything really because nobody's around (still security cameras though, and the occasional police man)

but you can walk into the middle of the street, you can do jumping jacks, dance, run, climb on shiat, yell as loud as you can, etc. it's pretty liberating really (for someone like me who lives in a downtown area)
 
2006-10-12 02:03:43 PM  
*tear* I'm gonna miss us. Before Fark I wasn't even aware we were leaving.
 
2006-10-12 02:12:12 PM  
I'm saying is that if you negate the concept of structure then you negate the ability to say something is different from something else

And this matters to the Universe, the Earth, or even the room you're sitting in ... how?

You keep going back to the idea that your method of categorizing perceptions matters to anyone but you.

it doesn't. Just be happy that you can. But none of it matters on any level beyond the philosophic. You can wonder all you want, but your wonders do not make it to the level of reality.

No you can't have a universe.
not yours.
 
2006-10-12 02:15:07 PM  
I just came into say: I broke the dam.

/because, for whatever reason, no-one had
 
2006-10-12 02:20:39 PM  
Letter to the Voluntary Extinction Movement:

I understand that you believe that humans are the most serious danger facing our planet, and you liken humans to a virus that will someday destroy the host on which it lives. Apparently you are unaware that Earth is as sentient as you are. Moreover, there is a simple procedure for communicating with Earth, who goes by the name of Gaia.
One thing I learned from this communication is that Gaia is not the lifeless rock comprising the planet: she is the collective life on the planet, including everything from the smallest microbe to the largest whale. Your concern makes it plain you suspect this already, since it's absurd to think that humans would destroy the raw material of which the object called "Earth" is composed. Rather, you are concerned that humans are an infectious virus that may destroy the biosphere, the delicate film of life that resides on the planet.
However, Gaia says that you are seriously mistaken. Humans are not a virus infecting the biosphere, but its reproductive organs.
Sure, there is some effort and cost involved in reproducing, but the alternative is the eventual extinction of all life. Surely you have noticed that there is no evidence of life elsewhere? And you do realize that all life on Earth will eventually (but inevitably) be destroyed by natural processes? How else will life spread to other planets? The only hope for the continuation of life is for humanity to spread it.
Our purpose is to spread life invasively. Yes, this stirs up the ecosystem somewhat, but this phase is negligibly brief. Using the most generous definition of "human," we have only been causing any significant ecological disruption for a few thousand years. Gaia considers anything less than fifty million years unnoticeable. No ecosystem can remain the same forever in any case, and stress that does not sterilize is actually desirable, selecting for more flexible species.
Gaia emphatically requests that you not impose your anthropomorphic moral viewpoint on others. In her words, "What consenting ecosystems do in the privacy of their own biospheres is none of your business."

----------------------------------------------------

Critics say that humans have no right to radically adjust their environment to suit themselves. But isn't that exactly what the environmentalists are trying to do? They generally want the halt the "changing of the environment" by naturally occuring species that have, as part of their nature, the tendency to do just that.
For instance, they decry the spread of invasive species. But the most successful species are designed to be invasive. True, there are backwater places that accidentally cut off from competition and become unique. However, from Gaia's point of view this is an interesting, but trivial and ultimately undesirable circumstance that temporarily prevents those areas from evolving at the same pace as the rest of the planet.
 
2006-10-12 02:22:09 PM  
Weaver95

Did it ever occur to you that God put us here to test his creation? Our reason for existence is to weed out the weak and non-viable lifeforms.

Did it ever occur to you that you may need psychiatric help if you actually believe an invisible ALL-KNOWING sky wizard put you here to test his creations and weed out the weak ones, because- apparently, despite his omnipotence- he needs us to do silly little jobs for him instead of just designing things that don't need "weeding out" in the first place?

The circular logic of the theists is sometimes hard to believe. How anyone can spend their entire 80-100 years on Earth doing the spiritual equivalent of chasing their own tail is beyond me.

Good luck with that crusade against the weaker species, dude. I'll be sure to recite your question at your funeral if you're ever killed by an animal, insect, or virus, and answer with "apparently, his God made him one of those weak life forms he was always talking about."

Do they give you a fruit basket when you get to Heaven? And will you have to live in a golden house down the street from the aborted fetus ghetto?

/I'm rolling my eyes.
//If you could only hear yourself from a non-indoctrinated POV.
 
2006-10-12 02:25:54 PM  
/I'm rolling my eyes.
//If you could only hear yourself from a non-indoctrinated POV.


Oh I don't know....I seem to have nailed you pretty good.
 
2006-10-12 02:42:56 PM  
"otakucode - Pretty stupid article. The guy doesn't even mention the numerous species that would snuff it because they depend on human beings."

Now this is what I call irony ;)
 
2006-10-12 03:19:18 PM  
A world without people?

[image from i19.photobucket.com too old to be available]

Where would Coyote get all the good garbage?

Though... Not getting hunted constantly for existing would be a good thing...
 
2006-10-12 03:28:30 PM  
Imagine,

No more extinctions, because we know extinctions didn't start to happen until, we evil humans appeared. Heck if it wasn't for us the dinosaurs would still be at it.

And heck climate change would stop too, because the Earth was always the perfect tempature with no fluctuation, until we humans infested it and caused the Earth to experiance climate change.
 
2006-10-12 03:44:09 PM  
I heard the last creation of humanity to erode away if we all suddenly disppeared would be...

... The Golden Gate Bridge? Nope.

... pit mines? Get real.

... Hoover Dam? Nuh-uh.

...

would be The Great Pyramids of Giza.
 
2006-10-12 03:48:03 PM  
lollyadverb

Some research suggests the book is "Space Traders" by Derrick Bell.

-- Richard Zeien
 
2006-10-12 04:56:52 PM  
But if we're not here... why should we give a flying fark about the inspiring reclamation of everything by wheatgrass or centipedes or whatever the hell.

/Off my lawn, damned hippies.
 
2006-10-12 05:10:43 PM  
Heh, it's always funny to see someone you're arguing against in another thread who you pretty much completely agree with in this one, Blindman.
 
2006-10-12 05:26:49 PM  
 
2006-10-12 06:03:39 PM  
AdamK: eh you don't really even need to imagine, just go into an urban area at 4am, you can do anything really because nobody's around (still security cameras though, and the occasional police man)
but you can walk into the middle of the street, you can do jumping jacks, dance, run, climb on shiat, yell as loud as you can, etc. it's pretty liberating really (for someone like me who lives in a downtown area)


So you're the idiot yelling outside my window in the middle of the night!

Hey, shut the fark up, I'm trying to sleep here!

/actually I'm probably FARKing
//but if I had a job, I'd be sleeping
///maybe
 
2006-10-12 06:32:57 PM  
Taleya: We're not killing the earth. We're simply effecting changes that will make it unlivable for ourselves. Millions of years ago, plants started to release a corrosive gas that damaged life forms and wiped many of them out when they breathed it. It's called "oxygen" :P

There'll still be a biomass. We may not recognise it, or be able to live on it, it may be full of mutated bacteria and gerbils with wings, but life can adapt to a whole lotta shiat. We're only screwing what we recognise as being "life".


Well, yeah. "The end of the world" is just shorthand for "the end of the world supporting human life as we know it."

It's interesting, though, thinking about mass cataclysm of whatever variety, even if it doesn't kill every last human off (or make them leave or whatever). I'll admit, I'm a fan of "end of the world" science fiction, it's interesting thought experiments. I also like looking at modern ruins photography.

The social upheavals are interesting, also just how quickly values change around and money becomes meaningless, etc, in so many of the stories, and how quickly the power goes out, what the abandoned cities are like, how things that are a dime-a-dozen when the world is functional suddenly become items that will never be made again, and thus scarce.

All good, in a nice fat fiction story.
 
2006-10-12 06:40:26 PM  
The Icelander
I've often wondered: If there was a technological civilization on Earth millions of years ago, would any evidence have survived of their presence?

And you really think it was a meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs?
 
2006-10-12 08:05:38 PM  
It doesn't take any belief in the supernatural, or the possession of a gigantic ego to state that human beings are the most complex arrangements of matter and energy ever observed in the the known universe. That counts for something.
 
2006-10-12 08:55:12 PM  
Fascinating article. Love these "what if" scenarios. I don't know why people are getting huffed up about it, he did seem to back his shiat up.

[image from images.ciao.com too old to be available]

Guess that movie had it right...
 
2006-10-13 02:47:57 AM  
 
2006-10-13 03:13:21 AM  
Of course, Earth without humans would also be lacking in a very unique species that is capable of lots of beautiful things that will never be reproduced by dogs or cows.

That being said, I think that the point of this article is that the Earth is a beautiful and diverse place, and that we, as a species, do much to upset the natural course of things. We should notice how we affect biodiversity and try to minimize those effects. I'd love to live on a planet with more trees and more animals and less pollutants; the more we can live in synergy with the natural ecosystems of Earth, instead of trying to dominate them, the better off we will all be in the long run.
 
2006-10-13 03:49:04 AM  
PattyMcG: I heard the last creation of humanity to erode away if we all suddenly disppeared would be...

... The Golden Gate Bridge? Nope.

... pit mines? Get real.

... Hoover Dam? Nuh-uh.

...

would be The Great Pyramids of Giza.


Not even close. The gold anodized plaque and recorded disk on the Voyager probe will outlast the Pyramids, and indeed the solar system itself, by billions of years. Long after the Sun goes nova (vaporizing the Earth and likely Mars as well, as its diameter roughly matches that of Mars's orbit, and perhaps approaches that of the asteroid belt), becomes a white dwarf, and cools to a black cinder, that plaque will still be hurtling through space. If eventually intercepted by some other sapient species (extremely unlikely), it'll be the only thing available to tell them that we once existed.
 
2006-10-13 05:53:04 AM  
 
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