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What is the next stage in human evolution ?

Posted on Friday, 12 July, 2013 | Comment icon 46 comments | News tip by: Still Waters


Image credit: CC 2.0 possan

 
What changes are we likely to see in the future as humans adapt to the pressures of modern life ?

Scientists have long pondered over how humans will evolve over time. With there being no known example of a more advanced form of biped we can only speculate as to what changes our species will undergo. Some of the more unusual predictions for natural evolutionary developments include skin that changes color like a chameleon, selective hearing, flexible skeletons and even octopus-like tentacles in place of fingers.

One popular theory is that our natural evolution has actually reached its peak already and that any changes we undergo will be due to genetic manipulation. Transhumanists believe that the future of mankind lies in the use of technology to enhance our minds and bodies to make up stronger and more intelligent.

"What will become of humans as we evolve under the selective pressures of our modern lives and technology? If we adapt to some of the more bizarre elements of the present, humans could undergo some surreal changes."

  View: Full article

 Source: Guardian Unlimited


  Discuss: View comments (46)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #37 Posted by Dragonwind on 18 July, 2013, 8:42
Our evolution has accelerated in the past 10,000 years due to agricultural and industrial revolutions but it's not the technology that drives it, it is the resulting expansion of population. When there is a large population there is more diversity, more chances of genetic mutations, gene flow and opportunities for those successful alleles to be positively selected. You could have the most incredible technologies but without a large population actual biological evolution won't accelerate much.
Comment icon #38 Posted by Glorfindel on 20 July, 2013, 19:31
Our evolution has accelerated in the past 10,000 years due to agricultural and industrial revolutions but it's not the technology that drives it, it is the resulting expansion of population. When there is a large population there is more diversity, more chances of genetic mutations, gene flow and opportunities for those successful alleles to be positively selected. You could have the most incredible technologies but without a large population actual biological evolution won't accelerate much. I would have to disagree, a larger population may create more diversity, but it also makes the isolati... [More]
Comment icon #39 Posted by shrooma on 20 July, 2013, 23:08
alelle? isn't that a jewish airline?! :-)
Comment icon #40 Posted by Zaphod222 on 21 July, 2013, 4:12
We've evolved to the point where we're smart enough to be a danger to ourselves as a species, so hopefully the next step will take us out of that phase and make us truly intelligent. In order for that to happen, the truly intelligent would have to outbreed the truly stupid. But they donīt. In fact, the opposite is the case. Wake up, pal. Evolution does not work by imagining something fancy, it works simply by reproduction.
Comment icon #41 Posted by Zaphod222 on 21 July, 2013, 4:16
Our evolution has accelerated in the past 10,000 years Hold it right there. Evolution does not "accelerate" or "slow down", it simply is. It is a concept. And it happens over a really, really, friggin long time. 10,000 years is really not much in evolutionary terms. Somehow I get the feeling that while most people do believe in evolution, a lot of them have are bit confused about what evolution actually means...
Comment icon #42 Posted by trancelikestate on 21 July, 2013, 11:05
they forgot to mention an option i think is much more likely: we will just "become one" with machines. Self-induced evolutionary process, if you will.... I think we will create machines smarter than us then die out ourselves. These machines will be our next step of evolution. They will be able to travel the stars and will look back at their existence and see us as their ancestors who came before them.
Comment icon #43 Posted by MysticStrummer on 21 July, 2013, 14:38
In order for that to happen, the truly intelligent would have to outbreed the truly stupid. But they donīt. In fact, the opposite is the case. Wake up, pal. Evolution does not work by imagining something fancy, it works simply by reproduction. Oh yeah, I'm well aware of that. I personally don't have much hope for humans. The next stage of our evolution is likely to come about because of a screw up, maybe the pollution I mentioned, that forces us to adapt to new conditions. The movie Idiocracy seems more prophetic every year, especially the beginning where it talks about the stupid breeding muc... [More]
Comment icon #44 Posted by Seeker79 on 21 July, 2013, 16:00
It would seem that the writer of that article doesn't really get how evolution works. Selective pressures only occur and take hold if it effects how many sexually mature children you have. I'm sure there are others, but the selective pressures I see are moderate intelligent people opting to have less children. These moderate intelligent traits are an evolutionary dead end. People that don't seem to have any planning capabilities or are whimsical in disregard to consequences seem to have more kids. Another pressure I can see is that female fertility will become more erratic and Maybe even resis... [More]
Comment icon #45 Posted by Jacques Terreur on 22 July, 2013, 4:42
I think we will create machines smarter than us then die out ourselves. These machines will be our next step of evolution. They will be able to travel the stars and will look back at their existence and see us as their ancestors who came before them. possible....! that is SO Nietzsche-like: humanity transforms itself into super-humanity, and in the end, the creation overcomes the creator! still sounds more plausible than humans turning into color-changers, though.....
Comment icon #46 Posted by Zaphod222 on 22 July, 2013, 5:36
It also seems that the tendency to maintain religious ties and traditions has a positive selection. I have not look up any statistics, but I'd bet a monkeys butt that people that are more religious have more children on average. Some religions, absolutely! But it totally depends on the religion. On the other end of the extreme was the "Heaven`s Gate" religion, which was against sex to such a degree that many male members actually castrated themselves. They were certainly not going to outbreed the atheists or the Mormons. The Mormons have a built mechanism in their religion to ensure their move... [More]


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