The future of mankind has puzzled scientists, theologians, and philosophers throughout the annals of time. Truthfully, no one can say with any level of certainty what will happen in the future, regardless of the subject matter:
- Medical advancements
- Planets, space, and the universe
- Climate change and weather
Nevertheless, opinions and predictions are as plentiful as grains of sand on a beach, some more logical than others, some based on emotion, and still others pointing to historical events or facts as the foundation for their thesis.
As observers of the past and present, men may choose to formulate their own assumptions for what the future holds, but the reality is that we tend to identify with certain individuals or philosophies, making those beliefs our own.
Who Holds the Secrets of the Future?
Many well-respected individuals and organizations have surmised what the future holds, and have even defined what actions we should all take to prepare for their predicted events.
Historical Predictions for the Future
Nostradamus is perhaps the most notable prognosticator of future events. He made his first set of quatrains (4-line predictions) in 1555, which are still being analyzed for relevance in many of today’s events. His prophecies included:
- The great London fire
- Discovery by Louis Pasteur of microbial decay and the associated advances
- Rise of Adolf Hitler
- Use and power of the atomic bomb
Many still search for meaning in his predictions that may apply to today’s events.
Secrets of the Universe
Noted scholar, cosmologist, and theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking has made the entire world aware of such universal phenomenon as black holes and the prediction that they emit levels of radiation.
Hawking, perhaps best known by the public for his best-selling book “A Brief History of Time,” predicted that humankind must find its way to a new planet within the next hundred years.
His reasoning: “With climate change, overdue asteroid strikes, epidemics and population growth, our own planet is increasingly precarious.”
Hawking also points to human aggression as a potential threat to life on planet Earth. Through unnecessary aggression and advancements in nuclear weapon technology, the threat of catastrophic nuclear war is of great concern.
Whether or not Hawking’s concerns are realistic, they certainly raise legitimate questions toward the future of mankind on our home planet.
Secrets of Future Technology
Technology experts predict both great achievements and great dangers posed by the extreme advancements in the field:
- Increased productivity for manufacturing
- Ability to detect and predict natural occurrences such as earthquakes and hurricanes, allowing advanced warning and saving lives
- Advancements in communications that keep us in touch with anyone, anywhere, anytime
- Medical technology that enables more accurate diagnoses and treatments, increasing longevity and improving the quality of life for millions
- Dependence on technology could make us so reliant on devices and automation that we lose essential skills needed for survival.
- Weapons or disasters in space could wipe out critical satellites that enable our communications infrastructure, disabling GPS systems, and disrupting financial systems and essential functions such as electrical services.
- Nanotechnology, advanced robotics, and artificial intelligence could replace the need for humans altogether. This was a premise put forth by former Sun Microsystems co-founder Bill Joy in his revealing article “Why the Future Doesn’t Need Us,” published on Wired magazine.
- The ability to intentionally produce organisms capable of generating a pandemic could be very close to reality. Placed in the wrong hands, this technology could result in the annihilation of large numbers of the population.
Politics and Security
Earth has experienced its fair share of dominating tyrants and authoritarians over the centuries:
- Benito Mussolini
- Adolf Hitler
- Kim Jong-Un
- Vladimir Putin
Such leadership takes total control of all policies and operations, furthering the leader’s own goals and vision with little regard for the impact on the populace.
With the current state of terrorism and instability among the Earth’s regions, security becomes a vital issue to citizens. Some fear that this provides an opening for political leaders to amass additional power with the promise of providing increased security and safety.
Regrettably, the downside for everyday citizens is that along with additional security may come the relinquishment of some personal privacy or even essential freedoms. Cameras and surveillance systems are already nearly everywhere you turn, whether visible or not.
Purchasing habits, internet use, and where we travel are all now readily available to those who seek the information. Through web search engine data and global positioning technology, it’s a simple matter to track our whereabouts via our cell phones. Some even willingly offer their preferences and location on social media.
How Do You Plan for the Future?
Regardless of the thoughts of highly educated individuals or prophets, as rosy or gloomy as their predictions and observations may be, there is every indication that mankind will persevere.
Homo Sapiens is a very adaptable and creative species, with the potential to work together and muddle through hard times, even catastrophic weather events, times of war, or biological disasters.
Your perception of the future of mankind is quite likely as good as that of anyone else. Plan accordingly.