by Alex Vikoulov
“We may have different religions, different coloured skin, but we all belong to one human race.” -Kofi Annan
The entire human race can be envisaged as one large, interconnected entity, stretching across time and space. If you could assume the God’s eye view of mankind outside of space-time, you would not only see a hundred billion or so disconnected individuals but a humanity that is more like a massive body, or perhaps a neural network, with a hundred billion cells commensurate with the total number of neurons in the human brain.
PART I. TIMESCAPE: OBJECTIVE vs. SUBJECTIVE YEARS
With the invention of language, “modern” Homo sapiens (people who were more or less like us) first appeared on the planet about 50,000 years ago. Since then, approximately 109 billion members of our species have ever been born, according to estimates by Population Reference Bureau (PRB). The current global population of about 7.8 billion represents about 7 percent of the total number of humans who have ever lived.
This demographic research provides a host of quantifiable properties of the human species as a whole and led me to intriguing conclusions that I would like to share with you here. After perusing the PRB’s demographic dataset, I decided to refine some of its parameters by interpreting and further visualizing the data via graphs and diagrams.
As I mentioned earlier, according to PRB, it is estimated that the total number of members of our species ever lived is roughly 109 billion people. One would think that the majority of this totality lived a long time ago and may represent prehistoric men and women but actually that is not the case.
This is an overview of world population as of mid-2019:
For simplicity sake, if we assume that the average life expectancy of all Homo sapiens ever lived is about 45 years of age, then that would give us about 5 trillion subjective years in our worldline. This number would constitute the 'Timescape' of Homo sapiens up to the present.
Average age of all living people is about 30 years that would give us approximately 231 billion subjective years which may be regarded as a repository of living "organic" memories.
We are a truly networked species, seemingly wired for civilization. An astonishing conclusion I came up with while analyzing the research data was that the overwhelming majority (nearly 98%, Figure.2) of representatives of our species were born in civilized societies.
Figure.2: World population in billions, with estimated range of future population after 2020 based on "high" and "low" scenarios. Data from the United Nations projections in 2019
In 1 A.D. world population was about 300 million people and the total number of “modern” humans ever born at that point was about 47 bln. 163 mln. which is close to 43% of the total number of people ever lived.
The following diagram (Figure.3) shows that most of us as a species (57%) were born after the birth of Jesus Christ which is marked as the A.D. era in our historical calendar, also known as 'Gregorian Calendar'.
What other insights can be extracted from the demographic research?
Roughly 11% of all people ever lived were born after 1900 A.D. In subjective years, the effect of the ever-growing and longer-living population would be even more pronounced, as seen in the following two pie graphs (Figure.4, 5).
Figures .4 & 5. Distributions before/after 1900
If we factor in a double life expectancy, again for simplicity sake, for those born after the industrial revolution, then it would be shown in the chart (Figure.5) which is roughly a quarter of the total: 1.2 trillion subjective years. In this sense, the Timescape of Homo sapiens would be distributed as ¼ “industrial” and ¾ “pre-industrial.”
PART II. EXPONENTIAL PEDIGREE: WHY EVERYONE IS ROYALTY... KIND OF
In today’s world, we are not only incredibly interconnected but also closely interrelated. In 1999, the Yale statistician Joseph Chang showed that if you go back far enough – say, 32 generations, or 900 years – you'd find that everyone alive today is descended from a single individual in the past. We might have an analog of “six degrees of separation” in genealogy (let's call it '33 gens of separation' here to avoid confusion). As Chang wrote in his study: “Our findings suggest a remarkable proposition: No matter the languages we speak or the color of our skin, we share ancestors who planted rice on the banks of the Yangtze, who first domesticated horses on the steppes of the Ukraine, who hunted giant sloths in the forests of North and South America, and who laboured to build the Great Pyramid of Khufu.”
This 'Exponential Pedigree' can be clearly seen on the following diagram (Figure.6).
Around 1100 A.D., the total number of your ancestors was equal to world population at that time. Around 800 A.D., due to exponential pedigree, the total number of your ancestors exceeded the total number of people ever lived. Multiple lineages coalesce and converge on a single common ancestor, if you go back far enough.
In genetic genealogy, the 'Identical Ancestors Point' is the most recent point when any individual of a given population has exactly the same set of ancestors as any other individual. In 2004, Chang and collaborators demonstrated through simulations that the Identical Ancestors Point for all currently living humans is surprisingly recent: between 3400 and 3600 years ago, factoring in variables such as geographical isolation.
All living people share exactly the same set of ancestors from this point back, all the way to the very first single-celled organism. Thus, everyone is related to everyone else several times over and everyone is of “royal blood,” too. This means that each of us is a direct descendent of ancient pharaohs, emperors, kings and queens. Everyone is royalty, so to speak.
You are an apogee of Earthly Nature encompassing numerous generations of humans as well as preceded non-human terrestrial life, sitting atop the tree of life… and so is everyone else who lives today. We all can be regarded as archetypes for future generations as well, or perhaps a “developing pattern,” if you intend to live indefinitely long. At any rate, genetically and anthropologically speaking, we all are one humongous extended family.
For additional insights, read my new book The Cybernetic Singularity: The Syntellect Emergence coming out in January, 2021.
P.S. This article is adapted from my upcoming volume The Cybernetic Singularity: The Syntellect Emergence available now to pre-order on Amazon. Release Date: January 10, 2021.
Tags: Timescape, Homo sapiens, human race, Kofi Annan, invention of language, Population Reference Bureau, demographic research, demographic dataset, Toshiko Kaneda, Charlotte Greenbaum, Kaitlyn Patierno, World Population Data Sheet, networked species, modern humans, Jesus Christ, subjective years, life expectancy, industrial revolution, Joseph Chang, exponential pedigree, royal blood, descendent of ancient pharaohs, emperors, queens, kings, everyone is royalty, apogee of Earthly Nature, extended family, Cybernetic Singularity, Syntellect Emergence
*Image Credit: Ecstadelic Media, Shutterstock, Diagrams by Alex Vikoulov
About the Author:
Alex Vikoulov is a Russian-American futurist, evolutionary cyberneticist and philosopher of mind, CEO/Editor-in-Chief of Ecstadelic Media Group, painter, essayist, media commentator, author of "The Syntellect Hypothesis: Five Paradigms of the Mind's Evolution," "The Origins of Us: Evolutionary Emergence and The Omega Point Cosmology," "The Physics of Time: D-Theory of Time & Temporal Mechanics," "The Intelligence Supernova: Essays on Cybernetic Transhumanism, The Simulation Singularity & The Syntellect Emergence," "Theology of Digital Physics: Phenomenal Consciousness, The Cosmic Self & The Pantheistic Interpretation of Our Holographic Reality," "NOOGENESIS: Computational Biology," "TECHNOCULTURE: The Rise of Man." Self-described neo-transcendentalist, digital theologian, transhumanist singularitarian. Lives in Burlingame, California (San Francisco Bay Area). More Bio...
Author Website: www.alexvikoulov.com
The Syntellect Hypothesis: Five Paradigms of the Mind's Evolution by Alex M. Vikoulov (2020): eBook Paperback Hardcover Audiobook
The Cybernetic Singularity: The Syntellect Emergence by Alex M. Vikoulov (2021): eBook
TECHNOCULTURE: The Rise of Man by Alex M. Vikoulov (2020) eBook
NOOGENESIS: Computational Biology by Alex M. Vikoulov (2020): eBook
The Ouroboros Code: Reality's Digital Alchemy Self-Simulation Bridging Science and Spirituality by Antonin Tuynman (2019) eBook Paperback
Theology of Digital Physics: Phenomenal Consciousness, The Cosmic Self & The Pantheistic Interpretation of Our Holographic Reality by Alex M. Vikoulov (2019) eBook
The Intelligence Supernova: Essays on Cybernetic Transhumanism, The Simulation Singularity & The Syntellect Emergence by Alex M. Vikoulov (2019) eBook
The Physics of Time: D-Theory of Time & Temporal Mechanics by Alex M. Vikoulov (2019): eBook
The Origins of Us: Evolutionary Emergence and The Omega Point Cosmology by Alex M. Vikoulov (2019): eBook
More Than An Algorithm: Exploring the gap between natural evolution and digitally computed artificial intelligence by Antonin Tuynman (2019): eBook
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