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Site of the Day: 12 Events That Will Change Everything

This is a special rich-media presentation of the feature, "12 Events That Will Change Everything," which appears in the June 2010 issue of Scientific American.

What dramatic new events are in store for humanity? Here we contemplate 12 possibilities and rate their likelihood of happening by 2050. Some will no doubt bring to mind long-standing dystopian visions: extinction-causing asteroid collisions, war-waging intelligent machines, Frankenstein’s monster. Yet the best thinking today suggests that many events will not unfold as expected. In fact, a scenario could be seen as sobering and disappointing to one person and curious and uplifting to another. One thing is certain: they all have the power to forever reshape how we think about ourselves and how we live our lives…  Watch Interactive Presentation