For whatever reason earth has been contaminated with extreme amounts of nuclear radioactivity that cause dna changes as much as that would be possible, countries from all over the world come to an agreement where they make people to try to reproduce as much as possible in a try to save the human race as most humanity is doomed to die with cancer or similar things and this is tried to keep in the following generations.

What is the possible result of this? Do we get to see some surviving humans with radioactivity inmunity after not to many generations, along with who knows which other changes that would make them not look very human, or is humanity doomed anyway? It's to notice that caused dna changes could be as much as they could be in a good amount of people, (don't know how much it is, it would also be interesting to know), so they might contain the changes that could have happened in maybe thousands of years.

Thanks for your time.


Food could be procured by other means, like making them grow from stem cells or whatever other method, we might be able to make that food resistant to radiactivity.

I didn't know that radiation could change cells that much, as far as I know people from the Chernobyl accident which didn't die in the explosion was mostly able to reproduce, although lots of them died from cancer and a lot of their children were born with visible mutations, and it's sure the dosis of radiation they received was insanely big, so I thought there had to be a limit in the changes radiation can cause to cells. If there isn't, then we can assume the situation where most people is still able to reproduce despite their mutations.

I know too much radioactivity would cause death, but I didn't know about cell changes, my question assumes that radiactivity is enough for killing via cancer but with some time to be able to reproduce.

Changes should be in 5-6 generations, my point is that dna changes could be very big, so changes could also happen very fast.

Hope it's more clear now.

  • $\begingroup$ There's some context you may want to explore with this question. For instance, if the radiation is so high that we're not certain we will survive as a species, what does the food chain look like? We may die of starvation long before then. Also, when you say "many generations," are you talking the hundreds or thousands of generations it may take to see major beneficial mutations (meaning thousands of years), or are you wanting to see them in 2 or 3 generations, on the timespan where "countries" is a word that even has a solid meaning? $\endgroup$
    – Cort Ammon
    Aug 17, 2015 at 21:38
  • $\begingroup$ When the radiation can "cause dna changes as much as that would be possible", we're all dead instantly. With maximum change to DNA, what makes you think people will be able to reproduce? Why would we need a global consensus on breeding? $\endgroup$
    – Samuel
    Aug 17, 2015 at 21:43

1 Answer 1


Forcing breeding would be difficult if food was scarce. If I'm worried about feeding myself the last thing I want is to worry about feeding a child.

That being said, perhaps after several generations its possible evolution could kick in and humanity would adapt to this new level of radiation. It would also depend on the amount of radiation. Different level determine length of life and death and even possible survival. The use of radiation in some chemotherapy would be a good example. Its hard to say if immunity would evolve in time or if our species would die off. It would be an interesting study to see how successive generations of exposed radiation adapted (assuming they survived). Unfortunately we have only had nuclear energy for about 70 years now so its hard to say.

However you have to think about not just humans but impacts to all life. Plants, water, animals etc...

If stem cell food therapy is available maybe they have some sort of advanced biotech drug that allows for a higher tolerance of therapy.


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