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Still Waters

Future humans 'could grow webbed feet'

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Still Waters

Climate change could lead to humans growing webbed hands and feet and developing gills to adapt to living underwater, according to an academic.

Dr Matthew Skinner, a paleoanthropologist, believes humans would become fishlike to colonise aquatic communities, or 'water worlds', if sea levels rise.

http://news.sky.com/...row-webbed-feet

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Lucas Cooper Merrin

I know a few that have webed toes already!

Evolution getting confused with sweaty feet??

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spartan max2

Yes I love water. Let the transformation begin

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Dark_Grey

We're already uniquely adapted to water compared to the other great apes. So much so that human babies will instinctively hold their breath when you toss them in water (verified through extensive experimentation). I wonder why our bodies developed a close relationship with the water, considering what we evolved from..

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freetoroam

If the humans can by pass the drowning bit, I can see this happening, but its going to take a long long time and there would be an massive decrease in the population figures first.

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MissJatti

I thought we was coming out of that stage, I guess another ice age is coming back

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Calibeliever

Rapid and dramatic mutations usually occur in small and isolated groups. The human race is far too prolific right now for any of this to begin occurring soon.

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BeastieRunner

Screw webbed feet and hands. I want opposable big toes!

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Sundew

Gills? That's the dumbest thing I have ever heard of. Do whales, manatees, seals, otters, sea-lions and any other marine mammal you can think of have gills?

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highdesert50

Ummm, there are a number of highly evolved air breathing mammals, whales and dolphins come to mind, living quite successfully in an entirely aquatic setting. Greek mythology embraces Triton, the merman messenger from the sea. Therein is your evolved aquatic human ... and myth.

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barbco196

We're already uniquely adapted to water compared to the other great apes. So much so that human babies will instinctively hold their breath when you toss them in water (verified through extensive experimentation). I wonder why our bodies developed a close relationship with the water, considering what we evolved from..

Floating around in a sac of fluid for months??

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Taun

It seems as though every few years, some one says that "humans will evolve ..... due to ...." (fill in the blanks with bizarre features and the current favorite global cataclysm or social trend of the day)...

I recall reading an article by a serious scientist - back in the 60's I guess it was - that said that due to humans watching television in darkened rooms, we would evolve huge lidless eyes and be resistant

to most forms of radiation...

yeah - that happened...

Edited by Taun
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Imaginarynumber1

It seems as though every few years, some one says that "humans will evolve ..... due to ...." (fill in the blanks with bizarre features and the current favorite global cataclysm or social trend of the day)...

I recall reading an article by a serious scientist - back in the 60's I guess it was - that said that due to humans watching television in darkened rooms, we would evolve huge lidless eyes and be resistant

to most forms of radiation...

yeah - that happened...

It happened to me...

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A rather obscure Bassoon

To be honest with continuing advancements in Genetics, we may even take natural evolution out of the loop and do our own thing.

Who knows ?

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Why not

I think that scientist got ahold of some of those little square pieces of paper that you put on your tongue that I had back in the 70's and 80's. I had those same visions back then.

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ExpandMyMind

It seems as though every few years, some one says that "humans will evolve ..... due to ...." (fill in the blanks with bizarre features and the current favorite global cataclysm or social trend of the day)...

I recall reading an article by a serious scientist - back in the 60's I guess it was - that said that due to humans watching television in darkened rooms, we would evolve huge lidless eyes and be resistant

to most forms of radiation...

yeah - that happened...

Um, how fast do you think the process of evolution is? That was barely two generations ago ...

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Ell

Climate change could lead to humans growing webbed hands and feet and developing gills to adapt to living underwater, according to an academic.

Dr Matthew Skinner, a paleoanthropologist, believes humans would become fishlike to colonise aquatic communities, or 'water worlds', if sea levels rise.

http://news.sky.com/...row-webbed-feet

If only humanity could evolve to be able to make crazy and ridiculous suggestions. That would be a new and creative freedom!

Oh wait ... I suddenly realize that Dr Matthew Skinner has demonstrated that humanity already has evolved that superior intellectual ability...

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Infernal Gnu

YAY! Let's all turn into mer-people and make a home in the seven seas where there are currently 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris and counting. 269,000 tons float on the surface, while some four billion plastic microfibers per square kilometer litter the deep sea. Maybe we can eat it for the fiber.

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Zamor

And he bases this on what?

That we know that the sea level will rise and our thoughts about it will make us get gills??

Stupid!

Zam

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Vox

The only way this can happen *naturally* follows three scenarios (without genetic manipulation):

1. There would have to be a complete breakdown of society where those that are disadvantaged in respects to their environment are not able to pass on their genes onto the next generation and only those who have progressively adapted are able to do so.

2. Governments around the world implement some sort of eugenics program to allow progressively adapted individuals to pass on their genetic material whilst excluding those that will not add to the desired direction of evolution.

3. Continued inbreeding in a population that's exhibiting the desired characteristics that can somehow curtail their cumulative genetic disadvantages and survive.

To my understanding , humans, in the current status quo, are post evolutionary biological entities given that society, research and development will continue to assist those genetically disadvantaged to survive and overcome their environment and thus perpetuate their genetic material to a homogeneous, and stable, mix. This is a good thing socially but not necessarily biologically.

The way I see it only genetic manipulation will improve humankind biologically which could further be enhanced with synthetic augmentation.

Edited by Vox
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Ashyne

We won't become fishlike or evolve to live underwater, because it takes thousands of years before this planet is even close to being completely covered in water, and it takes millions of years to evolve to become naturally aquatic.

Also, in this time, we would already have colonized plenty of planets across the galaxy. Even now, humans living in primarily wet regions have built homes on stilts, or underwater domes where humans don't directly interact with an aquatic environment. Don't forget also that there will be orbiting homes around the planet when the surface is no longer habitable (which is highly unlikely as with technology, anything can be made habitable).

He also mentions "to adapt to underwater foraging for food". Humans in the modern era use deep sea fishing techniques and equipment or use submersible craft to explore. Besides, humans cannot dive deep enough without equipment due to the water pressure. All of this means there is lack of stimuli to guide natural evolution in an aquatic direction. So there is no natural need to evolve to be aquatic. In the near future, automated fishing craft will even replace humans needing to go under the water for whatever reason.

Even if the entire planet's land surface were submerged underwater, humans won't suddenly abandon their technology and decide to go au naturel and bare-bodied into the water. There would be suits to wear and underwater habitats to live in. All of this means no direct human interaction with an aquatic environment, so there is no way humans will naturally evolve to become aquatic.

Edited by Ashyne
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Calibeliever

To be honest with continuing advancements in Genetics, we may even take natural evolution out of the loop and do our own thing.

Who knows ?

That was my first thought when I read this also. We're already so close to controlling our own genetic future that it wouldn't take much of an environmental stressor for people to think that all sorts of things that we now consider crazy, are a good idea. Gills might be the least interesting of our new traits :)

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LV-426

Wings sound much more fun!

Come on "academics", use your imaginations!

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spud the mackem

With remarks like that Dr.Skinner is about as credible as a monkey reciting the Greek alphabet , what a Moron.

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BiffSplitkins

Sounds like someone has watched a bit too many Kevin Costner movies.

My ex-wife had webbed toes between her middle and 'index' toe on both feet. I thought it was pretty neat, she was always embarrassed by it. When our daughter was born, she didn't have webbed toes but she did have Ankyloglossia, that still to this day I say came from my ex's side of the family.

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