I bet everyone starts their day with a good morning message in some random wats app group or be it any social media they are part of ! Today I happened to see an interesting early morning forward message where a research group had predicted human evolution in 2100. They went one step ahead and designed a 3D model based on their ideas on how human beings might look. It’s a typical forward message with neither links to research paper nor references of any facts about other theories. Obviously not convincing for me! But still as much as a person’s wild imagination can go, the article went on and on. The cherry on top is a bald head woman picture ( 3D model) with abnormal features, was definitely inspired by Sci-Fi Hollywood movies!! The prediction went like this – the skull will be thickened as the brain is protected from radiation, brain will shrink, eyelids will be bigger – screen time obviously , stooped back, elbows at 90 degrees, so on! All features targeting the bad effects of smartphone usage ! And no wonder the members of the group geared up and started discussing about how much we should be worried about it and so on and so forth !
May be this could be real predictions with data or could be mere imagination! No idea,
But the question that pops in my mind is ,every year we change our smart phones as new technology sweeps in. The size / shape/ resolution keeps changing but even in 2100 we will have smart phones and laptop screens same as now and our external body adapts to change? Is that what the prediction refers to?
The next question, is our evolution so fast that in 80 years we will drastically change? So did humans looked different in 1900s? Whatever! If every 100 years Human beings changed features and colours and adapt to surroundings- I bet we would have many interesting species on earth and many subjects to research and certify! I read somewhere, that in the last 10000 years is when adults became lactose intolerant by domesticating farm animals and in the very recent years, statistics show average height of human beings has increased by just 10cm! It took million years to pass down strong traits even in less populated isolated communities in the past! Just imagine now!!
Well, obviously, it is a forward message and some important jargons will make it attractive for readers – Data Analytics, Predictions, research study from top notch universities, Harvard or Stanford to be precise! But no link to the article, survey ever!! I am not saying that links cannot be faked but at least it makes it more reliable! Even if it is a research or survey, at what circumstances it was done, how many samples were taken, what are the real outcomes, what was not clear and left open for future discussions etc are never revealed in such random articles!
Anyways the idea of such messages/ news is to kindle some interest to read, forward the message and make it viral! On the positive note, this wats app forward message did its duty. It did trigger my interest to write a blog and hunt more information on evolution!
I am not a scientist, but just got curious to know how evolution will really happen. My interest is not just about external human feature adaptations but also Human intelligence which is undergoing a massive change! So it is fair to call it more as a technological evolution rather than just biological!
Well, if its technological, will our descendants live in space with muscle bound cyborgs? Or like in movies will they digitize their consciousness? Electronic immortals – Matrix effect !
Once I started grazing through this topic there are many interesting controversial theories to ponder about ! Some scientists believe humans are becoming less brainy and more neurotic; others see signs of growing intelligence and decreasing robustness. There are others who see evidence of us having reached a standstill. All base their arguments on the same tenets of Natural Selection.
Few major theories which scientists have spoken in detail and which caught my attention are as below! Don’t ask me where the link to the article is 🙂 but it’s pretty easy google search!
One sect says “human evolution is dead” – A set of anthropologists believe genetic mutations or Natural Selection happen in small isolated population. Since the advent of settled life, human population exploded and spread enormously across the globe and they are unprecedentedly mobile. Which means Darwin’s theory lost its power, survival of the fittest to spear head evolution is not true anymore. Medical science has helped even the weakest to live and pass down their genes! So, there won’t be any remarkable evolution due to marginalisation of Natural selection!
So, we are not going to see any changes – apart from ones we deliberately introduce ourselves. We would start to bio-engineer people, by introducing genes into their bodies to make them live stronger, longer and smarter!!
Well now another strong theory says “Humans will evolve “ – Other set of interesting scientists who come up with evolution ideas using technology! True, Parents will get to select the DNAs for their child! So, physically attractive, smarter, energetic breed would be technologically created. In fact, with lot more new epidemics, stronger, immune system will also be a result in our descendants – they might have AIDS and EBOLA virus but will be undeterred by that! Though Natural selection lost its power, my understanding is artificial selection will bring all positive effects in human race – Designer Babies! Analogy to this is, how weaker docile wolves became dogs, completely domesticated. Now we can have thousands of artificially selected breeds, specifically bred for certain activities!
The next amusing topic, especially for Hollywood directors is “TransHumanism “- Cloning, genetic enhancement, body implants, robotics, artificial intelligence and nanotechnology few names to throw at! One example is remembering names will be difficult with many human interactions. This specific memory part of the brain could be improved by implanting which is responsible to remember names and faces ! This will make implants mandatory to create trans humanism. By the way, my friends know why I am keen about this name remembering chip 🙂
Basically brains can be scanned neuron by neuron and transfer one’s minds to computers – creating electronic immortality! It is so unnatural and quite scary, but it seems very possible!
There are many such theories about evolution. My point is these are just predictions based on some data! It may or may not happen. None of this will happen in a day or even in 100 years!! Our immediate descendants may be much more technocratic than us and their average life span will increase for sure! But about the physical appearance there are no concrete theories to prove there will be modification or adaptation!
Let’s not try to win or unwrap nature with our limited Darwinism knowledge, just by reading coffee table books and forward messages!!! Even palaeontologists and anthropologists who has spent days and years on such research has widely different views and debate on the outcome ! No one can say for certain what the future is going to be. Until we find concrete answers, we can watch some good Hollywood non-human, trans humanism movies and amaze at the director’s creative abilities!