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LuckyGuy's avatar

Evolution is a continous process. How are humans evolving and what will we be like in 10,000 years?

Asked by LuckyGuy (29126 points ) October 16th, 2010

Evolution is a continuous process that moves at a glacial pace whether we notice it or not. With advances in medicine, economics, and infrastructure there are no longer such strong “survival of the fittest” pressures. Diseases or conditions that used to kill off the weak or infirm are no longer doing so.

Is the Idiocracy Future i.e., dumbing down to the lowest levels, really what’s in store for us? Or will we evolve into something better than we are today? What will humans be like in 1000 or 10,000 years?

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34 Answers

lloydbird's avatar

99996 years ago, we will have got our sheeit together.

seazen's avatar

We only have about 50–100 years to clean up the mess we’ve made – otherwise it’ll be too hot, or frozen over – or the hole in the ozone will be… you know… I’m not optimistic… but because I have kids – I’m hoping their generation will get off their ipods and iphones, and get their act together in time. Me, I’m saving up for a spacesuit.

ucme's avatar

Maybe we’ll reach a plateau & wind up regressing, ugh ugh!! It’s a theory….okay not a very good one, but a theory nontheless!

lemming's avatar

I read somewhere years ago that a new species could result from the rich genetically engineering their offspring in the future, making a new super human species, leaving the rest of us behind. But I’m optomistic, I’m sure it’ll sort itself out. You shouldn’t be so worried…guy :D

LuckyGuy's avatar

@seazen If the ozone hole gets larger wouldn’t we evolve into something with more melanin or would science develop a pill to provide internal SPF in our skin?
If it gets too hot, would engineers simply make bigger A/C units?

LuckyGuy's avatar

@lemming There is something to be said for the video link I provided above.
When I drive through the poor and uneducated area of downtown I see lots of kids – kids with kids- 30 year olds with grandchildren. Mathematically it does not take many generation to wipe out a trait that has even a small reproductive disadvantage (e.g. “Let’s wait 5 years until I finish grad school and we have a house.” vs. “I’m gonna bang the whole cheerleading team.”)

flutherother's avatar

Man has been evolving at incredible speed in recent centuries in terms of social organisation and technology. Unfortunately this evolution is taking us rapidly to the brink of a rather ugly precipice like a souped up motor car driven by a four year old who cannot see over the bonnet. So that doesn’t look good.

The evolution of Man as a species is another matter. We will either gain in intelligence and develop new abilities such as telepathy and the power to foresee the future or the intelligence we have will be reduced generation by generation until we are forced to climb back into the trees. (if there are any trees left.)

PS the video was hilarious!!

phoebusg's avatar

Biologically we haven’t changed much in the last 10K years, and I don’t expect us to change much in the next 10K. Culturally – and behaviorally—if we exist in 10K years from now. I hope we would have changed into a people that share and live on the earth responsibly and peacefully.

seazen's avatar

I’ll have what he’s having.

lemming's avatar

I think this idea boils down to whether or not everyone should be allowed to reproduce as much as they want, despite genetics, or resources. Maybe we’‘ll go like China and only allow one child per couple, but then the strongest still wouldn’t be reproducing as much as they would in the natural world. To be honest it kinda annoys me sometimes to see young girls with no money and no clue of whats going on pushing a buggy.

Judi's avatar

I think we’re devolving right now. Look at the tea party.

TexasDude's avatar

We will have giant dicks, spoon-like fingers, poor daylight vision (but excellent nightvision), and we will be short and fat.

seazen's avatar

You just described George Costanza and most NY lawyers. And he was in the pool. There was shrinkage. It’s natural.

TexasDude's avatar

Oh god, I lol’d hard.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard We’ll only get giant dicks if women select for that trait when making reproductive decisions. They have the power.
But you knew that already.

TexasDude's avatar

@worriedguy, well, I actually got this from some article by a bunch of biologists, so I’m sure they have some reason for the giant dick thing in mind.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

With genetic engineering, nanotechnology, advances in medicine and drugs, plus the social structures we have in place, there’s no telling.

For example, we could (potentially, anyway) engineer a few super-humans, free of the various diseases that plague us now, with superior intelligence, strength, whatever. It wouldn’t take many breeding pairs (assuming heritability of the modified genetics) to branch off in relative isolation (at least breeding isolation) to create a new species. Or we could species-wide make a conscious decision to not do that at all.

But since our evolution can be self-directed, there’s no reason to think that it’s inevitable that we will evolve, biologically. Over larger populations, we do seem to be evolving, at least statistically, into “less” than we once were (as a species). That is, as our economies improve (which they generally do over time, notwithstanding little blips such as the past few years) and our health care and delivery systems along with that, as well as our abilities to cure or at least put into remission various diseases that prevent offspring from reaching sexual maturity and producing offspring, we have more and more “culls” (to use a term that may be offensive, but is still accurate) that would never have survived in the wild—or even in our own frontier days—but actually thrive now.

So who knows? We could be supermen, or we could be weakened idiots, or anywhere in between.

seazen's avatar

As I get older, I’ve noticed that most vaginas have gotten bigger. Maybe that’s why. Just saying.

genkan's avatar

As more countries are developing and obesity is becoming an epidemic, I think we’ll be more adapted to a sedentary life. This means we will be able to process a high-fat, low dietary fibre diet.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@genkan That’s a great idea! For that trait to develop, obese individuals would have to die off before producing offspring. Today, I don’t see that. It seems they have just as much chance at reproduction as non-obese.

@seazen “Is it in yet?”

seazen's avatar

Exactly. I get that all the time. But then, I swim a lot.

TexasDude's avatar

Ah, I found it. It has huge balls, not a dick, like I had originally thought, and it is really fucking ugly. Kill it with fire.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@seazen The high salt concentration, while offering buoyancy, no doubt acts as a desiccant.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard That’s what I’m talkin’ about! Creative thinking! You realize that if such a creature existed, it would look back at us with similar revulsion. I am surprised the sperm delivery system is so small. I guess by then it’s all done with artificial insemination. Oh well.

Psst! Hey Glorb! Check out the Detox pouches on Grenda! Dude! They’re longer than her Spatulates! Hot!

lloydbird's avatar

oops, 1 too many 9s!

FutureMemory's avatar

@seazen As I get older, I’ve noticed that most vaginas have gotten bigger.

I’m glad I’m not the only one to notice this.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@lloydbird Ohhhh… Now I get it. You give the human race more credit than it deserves.

lloydbird's avatar

@worriedguy We deserve. I like us. I’m hopeful.

ETpro's avatar

Well, @worriedguy humanity 10,000 years in the future is one thing you and I don’t have to worry about. :-)

But seriously, unless we befoul the planet to the level that we end up regressed to the stone age—which is a distinct possibility—or unless the Mayans were right about 2012—then here’s what I foresee. Human evolution will move from a glacially paced change driven by natural selection to a fast-paced change driven by technology. Full understanding of the genome, gene splicing, mapping, decoding the neural network of the brain, integration with artificial exoskeletons… Each step forward on that path will accelerate the pace of change.

Cruiser's avatar

I think the Matrix nailed it with blobs of human flesh plugged in to this Matrix. I mean look at all of us here attached to our computers now!! How far off from that Matrix reality are we really?? I give it 10 years max before we all are hard wired to the internet!! ;))

incendiary_dan's avatar

The “Stone Age” (a fictitious concept, by the way) is not regressing at all. Most hunting and gathering peoples have extremely high standards of living. Humans didn’t live this way simply for lack of “knowing any better”.

Human societies will either learn to live sustainably as contributing parts of the wider biological communty, or will die. Just like any other creature.

Plucky's avatar

I don’t think humanity will exist in 1000 years…certainly not 10 000. The only way we have an inkling of a chance is if we smarten up and take care of our planet or find a way to transport everyone to some other distant planet…and, hopefully, not destroy that one as well.

JustmeAman's avatar

If you are referring about Earth and the life here, then inside 1000 years this planet will evolve into the 4–5th dimension and the life will evolve with it and how we are now will no longer exist on this planet.

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