The 7 Most Devastating Things Mankind Could Discover


Nuclear weapons, evolution, the fact that
earth is not the centre of the universe – these are all things which, for one reason or another,
shook up the way we perceived ourselves and our world. But what inventions and discoveries might
we make in the future that could have such an effect? And might these things lead to the end of
the human race? Well let us speculate wildly and take an educated
guess, with our list of the seven most devastating things mankind could discover. Number 7: Immortality It may seem like the
realm of science fiction, but as humans make ever more progress in the fields of genetic
engineering and nanotechnology, the possibility of immortal humans grows by the day. If you can remove the threat of disease by
tweaking our genes, and if you can cure tumours and ailments at a cellular level through the
use of nano-bots, we could potentially extend our lives indefinitely. Obviously us fleshy meat-bags would still
be at risk of dying from cool explosions or being eaten by an especially hungry bunch
of racoons, but this too could be eliminated if we can figure out how to transfer human
consciousness. Such a situation would then lead to Earth
becoming massively overpopulated, so we’d need to colonise other planets unless we’re
willing to get real chummy with each other. And this scenario is considered unlikely,
because far from being friendly, immortal humans will probably become reckless, jaded,
lazy or potentially psychotic due the monotony of never-ending existence, and the muddled
sense of identity which would come with holding memories over hundreds or thousands of years. Obviously this may not come to pass anytime
soon, but we are on the way there for sure, a fact demonstrated by the number of countries
today struggling with the effects of an ageing population. Some scientists believe that the first person
to live to 150 has already been born, and that most millennials will last beyond 100
years at least. This will inevitably put a strain on resources,
but longer-lasting humans also slow down social progress too. The death of ideas comes with death of those
who hold them, so causes which promote equality and diversity may take even longer to take
effect. And if you were to ask those who voted against
Donald Trump and Brexit, whose opponents were both overwhelmingly of a younger demographic,
you may say we’re seeing the effects of long-life humans already. Number 6: Unbeatable Bacteria
When the first antibiotic Penicillin was discovered in 1928 by Alexander Fleming it was heralded
as a game-changer, as without such treatments a simple infection could prove deadly to even
the strongest human beings. And now thanks to Mr Fleming’s poor approach
to laboratory hygiene, we use these antimicrobial drugs to help us out when we’ve got a dodgy
kidney, an infected wound or when we’ve bumped uglies with the local town ho. But this scattergun approach to the use of
antibiotics has one gigantic downside, as it has directly contributed to the development
of super-resistant bacteria. In January of this year a Nevada woman died
of one such strain, the ominously named Phantom Menace bacteria, and so far we’ve yet to find
any antibiotics which can touch this deadly organism. If this situation continues and we cannot
find a cure, humanity might be under serious threat of extinction. At the very least it could lead to a worldwide
health catastrophe and the mass shutdown of global travel and industries. Although thankfully, the strain that killed
that poor Nevada woman spreads rapidly and faster than we ever thought possible, so…wait,
that’s not a good thing is it. Oh my. Number 5: The Multiverse Hey don’t worry about
super bacteria or ever-lasting humans, because none of that matters. In fact nothing matters, not your life, not
your dog, your relationship, the planet Earth, the Sun the stars and all the geese who ever
lived. It’s all irrelevant, if we discover the multiverse. The term multiverse describes the theory that
our universe is just one of an infinite number of realities, and if this is true then it
would have some pretty devastating effects on the fragile human ego. If an infinite number of universes exist,
then that means an infinite number of copies of you also exist, and an infinite number
of them are more successful, more handsome and better at skeeball than you are or ever
will be. Everything you have done, can do or will ever
do has already been done, is being done right now, and will be done again in the future. There’s no point to anything, so you may as
well just take a load off and crack open the beer and Cheetos. Number 4: We Were Created On the 28th of February
1953 James Watson of the USA and Francis Crick of England discovered the double-helix structure
of DNA. The fact that this came exactly two weeks
after Valentine’s Day immediately makes me suspicious as to whose DNA they were analysing
and for what nefarious purpose, but I digress. Watson and Crick’s work identified the two
distinct strands which make up DNA’s structure, along with their endless assortment of chemical
patterns which inform what flavour of human we’ll become. But some people believe that DNA’s structure
seems eerily mathematical, that such an information-based system looks like it was intelligently designed. So what if we discovered that was true? What if we found undeniable proof that human
beings were someone else’s creation, be it a god, a race of extra-terrestrials or even
more advanced versions of ourselves? What if we found something in our bodies or
in the world around us which confirmed that we were built for a purpose, or that we’re
living inside a dream or simulation, as we’ve covered in some of our recent videos? Could the human race cope with the knowledge
that we are nothing more than someone’s science fair project? That we’re merely the plaything of an intelligent
organism? Ooh, sounds kinda hot. But it could also destroy the entire fabric
of society and render every one of man’s achievements entirely meaningless leading to an orgy of
complete anarchy and self-destruction, and that…that still sounds pretty fun. The trouble with this entry, though, is that
such a discovery might not even need to be true. If humanity became convinced that we were
artificially created, even if it was false, that could be enough to finish us off. Number 3: Nothing You may think that the discovery
of extra-terrestrial life should be on this list, but it’s not, because while finding
out that aliens exist would be undeniably world changing, it’d be more devastating if
we found out we were completely and utterly alone. Take religion for example. Pope Francis has been quoted as saying that
the discovery of alien life is completely compatible with Christianity, and that he
would even baptise extra-terrestrials if they came to the Vatican. But are Christianity and indeed all religious
beliefs compatible with the idea of an endless, barren void? If there are no intelligent creators, no advanced
race of super beings or gods, if there is no life anywhere else other than what we have
on planet Earth, how does that change the human psyche? And even if we do find life, what if it is
nothing but microbial? What if we found out that we are the sole
conscious presence amongst the vast expanse of the universe, and we will be for a long
time, or all time. How do you deal with such brutal isolation? Number 2: Artificial Consciousness There are
a bazillion movies and books which deal with the concept of artificial intelligence, i.e.
the development of a machine which can think, learn and act on a
level equal to or greater than human beings. But is it really artificial intelligence we
should be worried about, or must we instead be concerned about the discovery of artificial
consciousness? Rather than simulating awareness and perception
and passing it off as intelligence, what if we were to discover that full-blown consciousness
can be created, that we can generate it using some kind of technological procedure? Some people believe this is a distinct possibility,
for why should organic brains be the only structure capable of creating and experiencing
such a thing? Why not silicon-based electronic devices? Why can’t my toaster one day feel what it’s
like to be romantically rejected, maybe by the blender? In a world where machines can feel as we do,
where they have desires and relationships just as valid as our own, how do we cope with
our role as creators? What devastating effects on our morals, religions
and everyday lives would this have? Humans have not yet begun to fully comprehend
how consciousness works, nor why it exists, so we can’t say for certain that creating
an artificial form of consciousness is impossible. However, slowly but surely, we are inching
towards an understanding of the human mind. And if one day we do figure out how to create
consciousness, that’ll be the day we realise humans, animals, and life itself is not so
special after all. Number 1: Plants Feel Pain There are few smells
on Earth as pleasant as that of freshly cut grass, until you realise this is the scent
of pure fear and agony. The smell we detect from a recently mown lawn
is actually a chemical distress signal equivalent to a creature screaming out in pain, and it
is used to attract nearby life-forms to come to its aid. But this isn’t the only example of plant-life
guffing out a smell when they’re being chowed down upon.Researchers at Germany’s University
of Bonn used a laser-powered microphone to detect the release of gases from plants when
they are injured or cut, and they found that cucumbers scream when they’re sick, and flowers
let out a whine when pruned of their leaves. Some argue that the lack of a brain means
that plant life cannot feel pain, but we can’t be sure that this is definitely the case. Plants already exhibit intelligent behaviour
without having an identifiable brain-like component, as trees have been observed communicating
to each other when one comes under insect attack. So can you imagine how traumatic it would
be if we could definitively prove that trees and plants feel pain when we eat cut and eat
them? What the hell can we eat without hurting something? Rocks? Dirt? But what about the microbes on the surface? Can they feel pain too? Should we just eat nothing and starve? Or should
we say to hell with it and gobble up everything in sight? Yeah, that sounds fun. Let’s do that. So that’s our list, and if you wanna see a
few examples of why some of these things may come to pass, take a look at our recent video
on the most amazing discoveries of 2016.

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