The Future of Human Evolution Mary Pham Anthropology 01 Summer 2007 Introduction Upon studying evolution (especially studying our ancestors and primate relatives) in our class, a question popped up in my mindвЂ¦ What will happen to the future of the human species??? (i.e. Will we still survive? Branch off into different species? Become extinct???) Ladies and gentleman, today I will offer to you several hypotheses proposed by evolutionary theorists on the future of our human species. An Overview: Six Hypotheses In the future, the human race may: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Become two sub-species Become survivalists, creating many different species that will be able to cope with doomsday Depend on genetic modification to improve our intelligence and physique Become less diverse, more homogenous as a whole Assimilate machinery to ourselves and become cyborgs Become an alien species suited to space travel Hypothesis #1: Humans Split into Two Sub-Species пЃ¬ Evolutionary theorist Oliver Curry expects a genetic upper class and a dimwitted underclass to emerge. пЃ¬ Humans will become more choosier about their sexual partners пЃ¬ Upper-class: Slim, intelligent, attractive пЃ¬ Underclass: Ugly, dim-witted, goblin-like Hypothesis #1: Other Changes пЃ¬ Humans will evolve between 6ft and 7ft tall пЃ¬ Life-spans will have extended to 120 years пЃ¬ Social skills (e.g. interacting with others) could be lost. пЃ¬ Chins would recede, as a result of having to chew less on processed food. From thisвЂ¦to this? Hypothesis #2: Playing evolution with genetic modification пЃ¬ пЃ¬ We will be genetically modified to become a smarter, stronger species We already have been wrestling with real-world aspects of future human development пЃ¬ пЃ¬ пЃ¬ Stem-cell research Implantation of biocompatible computer chips We are making ourselves virtually extinction-proof by bending Earth's flora and fauna to our will. DNA and drugs enhance intellect and physique. Hypothesis #3: Survivalistians Many different species will cope with Doomsday пЃ¬ Humans will no longer threatened by predators their own size пЃ¬ Different populations develop in isolation over many thousands of generations, separate species would emerge. пЃ¬ Humans will survive in different ways, both through genetics and medicine пЃ¬ For example, that virus-resistant strain of post-humans might eventually thrive in the wake of a global bioterror crisis пЃ¬ Less hardy humans would find themselves quarantined in the worldвЂ™s safe havens. Protective brow and skin layer contribute to "radiation hardening." Hypothesis #4: Unihumans Blending Together as One пЃ¬ Cultural diversity, is fading as human society becomes more interconnected globally пЃ¬ пЃ¬ пЃ¬ Already seen now by decline of linguistic diversity People become much more homogenous Races will вЂњblendвЂќ Skin tones blend. Larger eyes are associated with greater "domestication." Hypothesis #5: Cyborgs Man vs. MachineвЂ¦or Man + Machine? пЃ¬ Some experts worry that artificial intelligence may outpace Homo sapiensвЂ™ natural smarts. пЃ¬ Or perhaps weвЂ™ll join with them. We could become part-robot ourselves пЃ¬ пЃ¬ WeвЂ™re already making assimilated machinery пЃ¬ Prosthetic limbs пЃ¬ Mechanical hearts пЃ¬ Artificial retinas. Why couldnвЂ™t brain augmentation be added to the list? Cyborg: Hardware enhances humans. Eventually the devices look more elegant. Hypothesis #6: Turning into an alien race пЃ¬ If humans survive long enough, people may have to spread out to new planets. пЃ¬ SETI Institute has proposed several ways to get to outer space and survive пЃ¬ Build a big ark: Build a spaceship big enough to carry an entire civilization to the destination star system. пЃ¬ Go to warp speed: Somehow we discover a wormhole or find a way to travel at relativistic speeds. пЃ¬ Enter the Astrans: Humans are genetically engineered to tolerate ultra long-term hibernation aboard robotic ships. Body hair just gets in the way during interstellar trips. In ConclusionвЂ¦ There are so many different possibilities for the future of our human race. Although there are different hypotheses that have been conjured up by experts in leading fields of social and biological sciences, it can be reasonably presumed that the progression humankind will not stop. We will certainly continue to evolve naturally in small ways, but our technologyвЂ”in genetics, in artificial intelligence, in aeronautical travel, in medicineвЂ”may exert the greatest influence on how we will evolve. I have presented to you six of the many hypotheses out there in regards to the future of human evolution. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Splitting into two sub-species Becoming survivialists Genetically modifying our intelligence and physique Becoming less diverse, more homogenous Assimilating machinery to ourselves Becoming an alien species suited to space travel I hope my presentation enlightened you to different ideas about the future of our evolution. Works Cited пЃ¬ Boyle, Alan. вЂњHuman evolution at the crossroads.вЂќ MSNBC. (2005) 16 July 2007 <http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7103668/>. пЃ¬ BBC News. вЂњHuman species may split in two.вЂќ (2006) 19 July 2007 <http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/6057734.stm>. пЃ¬ Scientific American. вЂњThe Future of Human Evolution.вЂќ (2001) 19 July 2007 <http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articleID=0002BA8D8222-1C70-84A9809EC588EF21>.