exploring predictive insights generating precise predictions formulating predictive insights mapping accurate understanding calculating definitive estimations mapping the future aggregating calibrated predictions crowdsourcing predictive forecasts mapping intelligent predictions exploring calibrated contingencies computing predictive insights generating definitive contingencies delivering predictive wisdom composing intelligent understanding


Metaculus Help: Spread the word

If you like Metaculus, tell your friends! Share this question via Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit.

When will the last member of our species, homo sapiens, be born?

The scientific definition of "species" is surprisingly complicated.

As this November 2017 article from Science News explains:

At first glance, “species” is a basic vocabulary word schoolchildren can ace on a test by reciting something close to: a group of living things that create fertile offspring when mating with each other but not when mating with outsiders. Ask scientists who devote careers to designating those species, however, and there’s no typical answer. Scientists do not agree.

For the sake of this question, though, let's just go with this definition from Berkeley: "a group of individuals that actually or potentially interbreed in nature."

Evolution marches on relentlessly. We homo sapiens – even armed with our technology and collective stored-and-shared wisdom--are not immune to this ceaseless force. At some point, our descendants will be so physically different from us – due to natural selection, human-engineered tinkering or both – that they would be properly classified as a different species. This Scientific American article explores some of the key ideas behind this question.

And of course, we might well kill ourselves off, replace ourselves with AIs, etc.

How many years from now will the last member of homo sapiens be born?

We'll consider the people the future creatures will succeed or fail to interbreed with as early 21st C humans, and this must be possible without technical intervention. The people must exist IRL, i.e. not be simulated beings, uploads, etc. As usual we contemplate beings in the same universe, branch of the wavefunction, etc., as the server running the copy of Metaculus the question sits on.


Metaculus help: Predicting

Predictions are the heart of Metaculus. Predicting is how you contribute to the wisdom of the crowd, and how you earn points and build up your personal Metaculus track record.

The basics of predicting are very simple: move the slider to best match the likelihood of the outcome, and click predict. You can predict as often as you want, and you're encouraged to change your mind when new information becomes available.

The displayed score is split into current points and total points. Current points show how much your prediction is worth now, whereas total points show the combined worth of all of your predictions over the lifetime of the question. The scoring details are available on the FAQ.

Note: this question resolved before its original close time. All of your predictions came after the resolution, so you did not gain (or lose) any points for it.

Note: this question resolved before its original close time. You earned points up until the question resolution, but not afterwards.

This question is not yet open for predictions.

Thanks for predicting!

Your prediction has been recorded anonymously.

Want to track your predictions, earn points, and hone your forecasting skills? Create an account today!

Track your predictions
Continue exploring the site

Community Stats

Metaculus help: Community Stats

Use the community stats to get a better sense of the community consensus (or lack thereof) for this question. Sometimes people have wildly different ideas about the likely outcomes, and sometimes people are in close agreement. There are even times when the community seems very certain of uncertainty, like when everyone agrees that event is only 50% likely to happen.

When you make a prediction, check the community stats to see where you land. If your prediction is an outlier, might there be something you're overlooking that others have seen? Or do you have special insight that others are lacking? Either way, it might be a good idea to join the discussion in the comments.

Embed this question

You can use the below code snippet to embed this question on your own webpage. Feel free to change the height and width to suit your needs.