Fred Guterl on the Fate of the Species

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Fred Guterl, executive editor of Scientific American, argues that the sixth "mass extinction event" in the planet’s history is currently under way, cause by our own inventions. In The Fate of the Species: Why the Human Race May Cause Its Own Extinction and How We Can Stop It he explores the scenarios of rising sea levels, extinction, and epidemic diseases, and then looks at how technology can help us survive.


Fred Guterl

Comments [10]


The tone of the interview makes the pronouncements suspect.
In addition, the author also chose to bury the well known link between childhood vaccinations and autism. Obviously, a man who cannot be relied upon.

Jul. 10 2012 12:42 PM

You hit the nail on the head, Leonard. Change depends on the young, because the older generation doesn't need to care---they won't be around.
Sadly, the young don't have much power. One day when they do, they'll be old and won't need to care either.

Jul. 10 2012 12:39 PM
Susan from West Village

Leonard, have you heard of reincarnation? Don't relax too soon.

Jul. 10 2012 12:35 PM
Hugh Sansom

I'm a little surprised Fred Guterl violates a basic practice of scholarly work by not giving credit to Ron Fourchier, lead author on the bird flu study that enemy-of-openness Barack Obama tried to censor.

And Guterl also omits mention of Israel's role in Stuxnet.

Two points that don't speak well to Guterl's intellectual honesty. (But any who've followed Scientific American over the years shouldn't be surprised.)

Jul. 10 2012 12:33 PM
Hugh Sansom

We now know that about 70,000 years ago, Homo sapiens did come very near to extinction. Globally, the total number of breeding pairs of humans was reduced to a few tens of thousands, maybe fewer.

Jul. 10 2012 12:28 PM
The Truth from Becky

Is anyone working on the mechanical heart? Brain? Nerve Center? That's the only way we are going to make it outta here alive!

Jul. 10 2012 12:22 PM
Micheal C from Manhattan

Interesting how western people separate themselves from the earth... I believe what we think of as "we " is not separate from the earth itself ... meaning that we are developing as the earth wants us to for good and or bad...
Life on earth is a whole and we and what we do are part of this story and its plan ...

Jul. 10 2012 12:22 PM
John A

There was a pretty heavy crash 1910-1930: A world war, an epidemic, the finance crash too (and a return to morality). Does this look like a template for 2010-2030?

Jul. 10 2012 12:20 PM

Oh God!


Jul. 10 2012 12:19 PM
oscar from ny

With never ending space out there...its discourigin to be a human in the 21st century whos only fate is the idea of us dying and letting cacoroaches rule the earth...
Ps: and god???

Jul. 10 2012 12:18 PM

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