Currently, here's how Academia works:
Study for many, many years, so that you have the necessary background knowledge to embark on your own research. You can still do a bit of research on the side, but mostly you are a student learning the ropes. You are (usually) not paid during this step. Even if you are, it won't be much.
Do research. You can (and probably must) still do a bit of study on the side, but mostly you are a researcher contributing to new knowledge in your field. You are paid during this step.
This path is only tenable if the first step, the unpaid one, is relatively short, otherwise it becomes economically unfeasible to become an Academic.
But in Academia, we build upon past knowledge. Hence, it stands to reason that as time progresses, the time and effort needed to complete step 1 and acquire all the necessary background knowledge also increases.
It increases sloooowly, but it does increase. So my question is, what happens when the time needed to complete step 1 has increased by so much that it simply isn't feasible anymore to become an Academic? Hell, what happens when the time needed to complete step 1 increases beyond the life expectancy of humans?
Again, this happens extremely slowly, but it does happen. So does this mean that in a few hundred years, Academia will be a dying field, since nobody simply has time to learn all the background knowledge?