What will life be like 40 years from today?

I recently returned from an appearance at the Humanity Plus Summit at Harvard where visionaries spoke of a world–only 30 years from now– which will be vastly different than the one we live in today.

Well, according to a just-released Pew Research report examining the American public’s forecast for the next 40 years, Americans see great progress in our future,  but not at the rapid pace envisioned by Ray Kurzweil and other supporters of Singularity.

I pulled the following highlights but I encourage you to read the full report.

In the next 40 years….

81% of those surveyed expect that computers will be able to carry on conversations

71% believe there will be a cure for cancer

66% say that artificial arms and legs will outperform real limbs

53% envision ordinary people traveling in space

53% say there will be a major terrorist attack on the United States involving nuclear weapons

72% anticipate that the world will face a major energy crisis

41% expect Jesus Christ to return;  46% say this will definitely or probably not happen

Despite the imminent end of the space shuttle program, “Americans by and large remain optimistic that astronauts will land on Mars in the next 40 years:”
63%  say we will send a man to Mars in the next 40 years.

50% say that by 2050 there definitely or probably will be evidence that humans are not alone in the universe
“Roughly half of Americans foresee scientists bringing an animal species back from extinction through cloning (51%), while nearly as many (47%) say this will definitely or probably not take place by 2050.”

Read the full report.