Interstellar Travel and Post-Humans

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The Earth has existed for forty-five million centuries —and even longer timespans lie ahead before the Sun dies. But even in this vast time-perspective, the present century is special. It is the first when humans may establish communities away from the Earth. And it is the first when they may create electronic intelligences that surpass their own all-round capabilities, and also achieve the ability to bio-engineer their progeny. In this chapter, some aspects of this transition are discussed, along with some even more speculative comments about “post-human” evolution, and the future of the universe itself.