Speciation is the Reason Why I Don’t Want to Live Forever

An overarching theme in General Biology is gaining an appreciation for the vast diversity of life. Prevailing ideas like¬†Charles Darwin’s theory of¬†evolution help explain present-day phylogeny while tracing back a long history¬†of¬†speciation, the process by which one species splits into two.

Recognizing that evolution is complex and not latter-like is essential to understanding how we have arrived at the number of¬†extant species that coexist¬†on Earth today. Present day biological diversity is a¬†product of branching phylogeny and not ladder-like steps of one thing¬†becoming another. If that were the case, we wouldn’t still have the simple sponges and microorganisms that¬†reproduce¬†today.

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In a dream I had the other night, I was selected by the US government to be a test subject frozen in a laboratory somewhere in China. I was told I would remain frozen in a dormant-stage for 20,000 years before being revived back to life.

For whatever reason, I agreed. Maybe I didn’t have a choice? I can’t remember all of the details. I think they claimed that in the future, humans¬†would live much longer lives (or possibly live forever) and this was a¬†way I could be a part of it.

After I was 17,000 years into my journey, I suddenly became conscious. Something was wrong. When I opened my eyes, I was sitting in a chamber filled with room-temperature water and there was no one around.

I couldn’t remember where I was or why I was there.¬†When I tried standing up, my legs felt like rubber. Actually, my entire body felt like rubber. I remember comparing¬†how I felt to Gumby. I spotted paperwork¬†that I read to figure out where I was. I also determined¬†that¬†the ice chamber I was¬†in must have¬†failed due to¬†technical reasons. I thawed much sooner than intended.

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I snuck out from the room I was in and tried to¬†explore the facility. I wanted answers but I couldn’t find anyone to talk to. I eventually came¬†across a report.

It turns out I couldn’t find¬†anyone because there was no one left to find. A few hundred years¬†after they froze me, a previously-harmless species of bacteria mutated into something incredibly contagious and deadly. Within a few years, it¬†wiped out everyone. Well, everyone except for me.

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Without humans there to run the planet, evolution of other species proceeded at an incredible rate. The future world was nothing like what I expected.

Even if it was just a dream, experiencing what it was like to be the only person alive was VERY WEIRD and fairly disturbing. When I left the facility, I saw a world filled with different species unlike anything alive today. Some of them were pleasant Рcreatures I wish were real. Others, not so much.

My dream ended with me foolishly sitting inside of an unfamiliar device that proceeded to launch me into outer space where I floated away into a black hole and then woke up.

From my dream, I realized 3 things.

1. I do NOT want to live forever because I do NOT want to be the last person alive.

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No thanks

2. I do NOT¬†want to live long enough to witness long-term speciation first-hand. I’d like to leave this world¬†while Homo sapiens are¬†still the dominant species.

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3. Even if I could live forever, the sun most definitely cannot.¬†I don’t know that I need to¬†be alive when the Milky-way galaxy collapses.

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LOL LOOK AT WHAT GEN BIO HAS DONE TO ME. I COMPLETELY blame this dream nightmare on the Biology Department at Rutgers. x)

I’ve spent that¬†much time memorizing¬†the “Tree of Life” for my exam on Sunday that now I’m witnessing speciation and extinction first-hand in my dreams. Bio all day, bio all night. What¬†a vivid and relevant dream. If only test-taking came this easily to me! I hope I¬†get a good grade on this exam! ūüėČ

cgmMetazoa
One Section of the Tree of Life

8 Comments

  1. Craig J Golbach

    Rocky, I actually had to take a couple hours to digest this. This was downright frightening to read. I guess I never would have really thought of this whole speculation, decision and final outcome. It makes a person ponder. I’m with you on the not wanting any part of this!

    1. Disturbing, isn’t it!? It’s scary to think of a world without people. The past few days, I’ve found myself thinking of the complete opposite idea: the possibility of life on other planets. I found a new video that I think you’d like! I’ll most likely write a post about it at some point. Stay tuned! ūüôā

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