I dont think its possible to say that Sci fi, art and literature cannot have had any influence on the people behind political ideas or technology at all
Oh I completely agree—certainly over millennia there have been some ideas floated which eventually crystallized into practical implementations. Plus of course hundreds or thousands as many which sank without trace.
And you're right, it's veering towards the political, so best left for elsewhere
one day someone will have a baby and it will just end up being a lot taller/shorter and smarter then the rest of us
Oh, forgot about that bit. It happens both ways. There can be sudden major surges, usually linked to environmental events. The biggest example is the Cambrian explosion
which in practice started complex life on earth almost all at once.
There are also what you mention, small incremental steps year by year or generation by generation, called 'mutation'. Someone here mentioned a good example a few days ago, the toads in Oz which are getting bigger and growing longer legs as they progress across the country. Another is when I spent some time in Florida with family, there was a thing there about their native lizard having to quickly evolve to cope with some invasive species.
Let's not get into viruses etc, many of which seem to evolve every year—eg flu, covid. Some pests quickly evolve to counter our efforts to eradicate 'em.
There also seems to be a 'natural direction' to some evolution, demonstrated by eg crabs which have evolved multiple times throughout history. It's an interesting field, with much left to discover.
Something they promoted at uni(over twenty years ago for me) is to not seperate different fields of study, but to see the integration
An early formative experience for me was Connections
, one of the BBC's outstanding non-fiction productions—still well worth a watch. As the internet fosters far easier access to info, I expect to see a lot of advancement coming out of the integration you mention.
one thing I enjoy about forums is that sometimes I do have to think, do have to formulate concepts and then go off researching new ideas
An idea isn't of value until it's been tested
causing mass extinction of all other species and consuming all of Earth's resources until only humans are left
It's worth noting that best current estimate is that over 99% of all species which have lived on earth are extinct—average lifespan 3m years if I recall correctly. So don't wring your hands too much, our planetary impact is nowhere near as important as we'd like to believe
Also noteworthy is the increase in human population, how it has always matched available resources and our ability to extract 'em. Or of course, been whacked by environmental disasters like the Indonesian eruption ~70K ago which may have reduced our pop to under 10K.
Exploration and exploitation has driven us so far, and I see no reason that'll stop.
if there are other inhabital planets out there in the cosmos, we simply don't know and the conditions that allowed life to survive on the Earth may not exist anywhere else
Mathematics makes it a certainty there's a myriad of such places. We are not some god's special one-off creation
humans will develop the spaceships, propulsion systems and tech to make long distance space travel possible, and that is a major theme in Sci Fi and an example of specualtive forethought
What's the forethought on the physical impact of such travel on human bodies? Is there anything beyond cryo?
I think I've heard that if Voyager was aimed at Proxima Centauri, it would get there in 40K years. So we've got work to do!
Problem with reaching habitable planets is they may be much too far away. So the realistic objective has to be to develop spaceships which are fully autonomous and self-sustaining for thousands of years. Would we even need planets then?
how we manage our precious resources and our precious planet
What's special about the 3rd Rock from the Sun
We're probably not far off from limitless energy, which is the fundamental resource we need. Most of the moves away from fossil fuels lead to such a conclusion.
Minerals—more than we can ever use are nearby in the solar system. Food and water should be easy, whenever we decide to make 'em a priority.
an example of the power of imagination when you think about how many variations of alien life have been shown in films, books and tv
Is "power" the right word? Maybe "susceptibility" or similar might be closer to what is. Perhaps Voltaire said it most succinctly—"if God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent Him".
Current humans have a built-in need to believe
in a higher purpose—we have far too much hubris and insecurity to accept that like every other of the tens of millions of species here, we cease to exist in any form after we die. I'll bet there have been more variations of gods than aliens invented so far
"Fun"—maybe that's the word.
Fun to use imagination to make up an alien with @Colif
's pointy head and @WoodenSaucer
's transport preference—altho wood in space, dunno about that
Or fun to imaginatively construct a god with @ZedClampet
's flowing beard and @Kaamos_Llama
Yeah, sounds good—I vote for FUN!