I’m a big fan of the “hard” science fiction genre – sci fi that attempts to visualize what life will be like in the distant future, by extrapolating from current scientific knowledge. Authors like Greg Egan, Richard Morgan, Alastair Reynolds, and Neal Stephenson.
I love the following quote by Martin Rees, the Astronomer Royal and professor of cosmology, and astrophysics at the University of Cambridge:
“I’d like to widen people’s awareness of the tremendous timespan lying ahead — for our planet, and for life itself. Most educated people are aware that we’re the outcome of nearly 4bn years of Darwinian selection, but many tend to think that humans are somehow the culmination. Our sun, however, is less than halfway through its lifespan. It will not be humans who watch the sun’s demise, 6bn years from now. Any creatures that exist then will be as different from us as we are from bacteria or amoebae.”
Wow! Think how complex we are now, and consider that homo sapiens probably evolved about 2 million years ago, and I think that we are evolving at a faster rate now than we ever have in the past. Also we are evolving ourselves, with body modifications, brain modifications, and tools. I find it hard to imagine what we are going to be like in 1000 years, let alone 6 billion years!