Looking at the wikipedia timeline of human evolution humans evolved 2.5 million years ago and it took them roughly 2.3 million years to become homo sapien.

Lets rewind 220 million years and lets implement humans at that stage as the alpha mammal.

How far would humans be in technology, today, at our current veolcity?

Estimated 200.000 years from signs of advanced intelligence to spacefaring.

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    $\begingroup$ What? And how would we know. We're not there yet... $\endgroup$
    – Durakken
    Aug 12, 2016 at 8:27
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    $\begingroup$ The question cannot be answered. You are asking us to predict 200 000 years of development. We cannot even predict the upcoming 20 years. $\endgroup$
    – MichaelK
    Aug 12, 2016 at 8:37
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    $\begingroup$ @MichaelKarnerfors he asks to predict not 200 000years but 217.7 millions years.(why 220 milions, is that from 220Volt's?) 200 000 it took from first mitochondrial Eve and y-Adam $\endgroup$
    – MolbOrg
    Aug 12, 2016 at 9:25
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    $\begingroup$ 220 million years ago the first mammals appeared on the earth. $\endgroup$ Aug 12, 2016 at 9:28
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    $\begingroup$ @Magic-Mouse tnx for pointing out, have missed that moment $\endgroup$
    – MolbOrg
    Aug 12, 2016 at 11:47

3 Answers 3


If by alpha animal you mean something along the lines of lions, tigers and bears, i.e. being bodily superior to all other wildlife in the vicinity, i have the impression that the answer might be a whole lot different from what one would expect.

Typically (i assume), this question conjures up visions of vast and extravagant cities in space, gleaming silvery sports spaceships, ultra-hightech toys all over the place...


Being the bossiest creature around results in the exact opposite. Humanity has evolved into this creating (and nature-destroying) and tech-dependent species exactly because your typical human is weak and in constant danger of dying from practically everything if you take away all the fancy toys. So people evolved to use their brains where their arms were not strong enough, and come up with more interesting solutions to everyday problems.

An apex predator, on the other hand, just takes what he needs, and sleeps once he had it.

So, if humanity, 220 million years ago, had been the apex predator, chances are we would still be exactly that: furry hunting apes, who never even learned to use sticks, because they never had to learn.

Evolution can be equally bitchy and boring.

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    $\begingroup$ Well, the question actually says alpha mammal, so I suppose that reptiles could fulfil the selective role of eating humans that don't co-operate and get smart. Mid-Triassic, so there are pterosaurs and proto-dinosaurs kicking around. You don't want to meet a Postosuchus in a dark alley. I'd hope that a sufficiently determined bunch of humans could eventually invent agriculture even though there's no flowering plants, and from then on it's just speculating 200+ million years of human technology, not really any different from asking where we'll be in 200 million years :-) $\endgroup$ Aug 12, 2016 at 12:34


There is a huge probability that humans will eradicate themselves before moving into the sci-fi realm. It is also possible for a catastrophe to wipe humanity. Even if we manage to survive, it is probable that we wouldn't be very far from now.

It is also possible for us to get better and thrive. But I will leave that to another answer.

  • $\begingroup$ Yep, pretty much it. Humans can easily survive the ashes of an apocalypse but not the apocalypse itself. $\endgroup$
    – Charon
    Aug 12, 2016 at 10:37

At the moment, any answer will be fantasy and speculation, if I understood correctly about 220 millions of years: Lets rewind 220 million years and lets implement humans at that stage as the alpha mammal.

One of big pieces of puzzle is Space and we are not in space at the moment, but that might change our priorities in civilization development, and as we on WB I can freely say, if we discover possible presence of hostile aliens as example, it might greatly shift our perception of what we have to do.

That stupid question is there live on mars, titan, or on any rock in space which we have observed atm - which(question) is discussed each time to create public hype, for glory and money.

But answer on that question is vital to be able think about live and its destiny and what might happen on such large timescale.

Yesterday someone shared that link to me, and I wish do the same: Dr. Robert Zubrin with a brilliant answer to "Why Should We Go To Mars?".

Second important moment of Space is that we do not understand its practically possibilities for us. What can be done, what have sense to do, why it is better this way and not another way.

One of its kind, there is channel on youtube Isaac Arthur - I would recommend to watch, it is about space and some space capabilities.

We can't say at the moment what will happen, but we can say what will not happen.

Our style of live will change in less then 40000-6000 years in case of noFTL and few 1000 years more in case with FTL, just because of energy constrains. Some thoughts about that in my answer to Q What would come first, the colonization of the solar system or interstellar colonization?

And this is another main flaw of prediction something over 200 millions of years. There is almost no difference in asking about 10k years in future or 200kk years of development, and no ways to foresee that, no examples and not enough knowledge.

But as you asking, I strongly recommend take look at links I have provided, specially on youtube.

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    $\begingroup$ I am sorry but I am downvoting this answer because I found it utterly confusing, bordering on word-salad. $\endgroup$
    – MichaelK
    Aug 12, 2016 at 11:22
  • $\begingroup$ @MichaelKarnerfors no problem. Key for reading is - there is no future beyond +10000 year timeline. (I do not mean it, but this is the key to decrypt). I googled about utterly confusing and word-salad so probably I understand what you mean and would my answer be in my native language, I would not ask for more, but as it is not, I'm wondering if its my bad english the reason. Answer to OP's question is first sentence, the rest is about some cherry piked reasons, and interesting (my opinion) thoughts about possible future beyond today. $\endgroup$
    – MolbOrg
    Aug 12, 2016 at 11:43

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