So recently in class we talked about how we can define humans as species and how society creates races due to social inequality. This NatGeo article I found was extremely interesting to me because it begins with how we are defined as human. We as humans are naturally curious to figure out our future and the author went on a mission to see what the future of human evolution will be. The author describes 4 predictions of the evolution of humans.
The first prediction is that humans are not evolving at all! The hypothesis is that humans have already evolved to the maximum. Since technology is advancing at such a rapid rate and medicine is getting more efficient, humans with traits that would have been selected against for by natural selection are now not affected by natural selection. In class we briefly talked about how we are avoiding natural selection with the use of eye glasses. Humans would have evolved to have better vision if the ones without perfect vision were selected against. Also gene pool isolation is supposed to be involved in evolution. We as humans have contact with the whole world and not one area is isolated from the rest. This definitely decreases the chances of evolution in humans.
The second prediction is that we are evolving and will forever evolve. We may not see this in our lifetime but sexual selection is greatly impacting the human race. A study shows that women that are shorter and stouter are producing more children, on average, than taller thinner women. This could greatly shift how women look. We are also plagued by the rapid evolution of microbial life. Since their lifetimes are so short, selection can occur rather fast. We see this now a day with all of the new strains of flu, that gets more and more potent. Humans may be wiped out due to a “super bug” but this could also change our immune system and allow us to be more resilient to microbes. This evolution of humans is very minute but it will help us survive.
The third, and most interesting, hypothesis is that humans will achieve electronic immortality. With the theory of transhumanism we will control our own evolution and become fully electronic. This theme and others, such as robotics, genetically engineering, and machine intelligence, all related directly to the evolution of humans. If we could emulate the universe in a computer, we would be able to take everyone and their personality and put them in a world in which they life forever (kind of like the Matrix).
The last hypothesis is that humans will keep jumping from planet to planet. They will go into different galaxies and repopulation a multitude of planets. Humans from planet Earth with evolve due to the environmental pressures that they will face.
What is the future of the human race? I hope it is a combination of the last 3 hypotheses. While evolving on earth, humans can perfect digital and electronic life and move colonies to distant planets.