We humans are hardwired with various cognitive biases (too numerous to list here) that enhanced our chances of survival on the savannah eons ago but now seem to be maladaptive. For instance, our tendency to form ingroups and outgroups, as well as our vehement threat responses, have led, on the scale permitted by “civilization,” to horrible wars, genocides, and the very real possibility of our causing our own extinction.
Many philosophers as well as scientists postulate that our very intelligence is a threat to our survival, to the extent that it may even be maladaptive: a thinking species’ minds will evolve faster than its bodies, resulting, in our case, in a reptile core brain fighting with a primate outer brain for dominance. This may mean that unless we somehow become even more intelligent than we are, specifically: we are able to recognize our cognitive biases and overcome them, our self-destruction is inevitable: certainly, we’ve barely dodged several bullets already.
On the other hand, an optimist would say that since we have, in fact, muddled through so far, that bodes well for our future survival, and the behavioral relics of primate cognitive biases can be overcome, albeit slowly (racism, for example).
Many science fiction writers have made this almost a trope, in that aliens that encounter humankind react to us with horror and disgust (and often an urge to wipe us out, as in Clarke/Baxter’s recent trilogy or the movie, “Prometheus”). We are, to them, like a three-year-old child with a machine gun; we lack the sophistication to properly use the cognitive abilties we possess.
I’m wondering, therefore, what the cognoscienti here think about this: is our doom inevitable, do we have a fighting chance but we’re definitely in trouble, or do we have a future of peace and prosperity in store?
Note that since we’re talking about the future of humanity in a speculative context, I require no citations in your answers (sorry, I just couldn’t resist).