According the Scientific American, there are 12 events that will change everything for us. And it is highly realistic that we'll actually see these events unfold during our lifetime. What was once far-out material for science fiction is now our probable reality. Yikes!
- Cloning of a human- The process is extremely difficult, but it also seems inevitable.
- Extra dimensions-The world's biggest particle collider might uncover new slices of space.
- Extraterrestrial intelligence-How will we respond to a signal from outer space?
- Nuclear exchange-A local conflict could produce a global nightmare.
- Creation of life- Synthetic biology remakes organisms, but can it bring inanimate matter to life?
- Room-temperature superconductors-They would transform the grid-if they can exist at all.
- Machine self-awareness- What happens when robots start calling the shots?
- Polar meltdown- Move the beach chair back: rising seas will literally reshape the world.
- Pacific Earthquake-Will the overdue Big Once tear California asunder?
- Fusion energy- It would solve environmental headaches, but it remains hard to achieve.
- Asteroid Collision- An extinction-level event is unlikely, but "airbursts" could flatten a city.
- Deadly pandemic- Notwithstanding the tameness of H1N1, influenza viruses could still wipe out millions and wreak economic havoc.
Take heart though-the really important stuff, like unconditional love, will never be recreated in a lab, or destroyed by a pathogen. I hope.
For the entire article, check out Scientific American Magazine- June, 2010.