Dan Fabulich wrote:
> Well, on some level, it's trivially contingent: we have enough nuclear
> weaponry to destroy all human life on earth umpteen times, etc..
It would be more accurate to say we could bomb every major city - although even that is misleading, because most modern cities are too spread out to be destroyed by any reasonable number of small bombs. To actually be able to destroy our civilization we would have to build much bigger bombs, and deploy a lot more of them. Even then there would be survivors in rural areas, and it probably wouldn't take more than a few hundred years for them to rebuild.
We might be able to completely eradicate ourselves using nuclear weapons, but figuring out a way to do it would take a lot of R&D on dirty, ultra-high-yield devices that wouldn't be good for anything else. While possible in principle, that seems like a wildly unlikely scenario at this point.
Billy Brown, MCSE+I