General Question

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

What is next for humans? Evolution question.

Asked by SquirrelEStuff (9171points) August 13th, 2008

If you are down with the theory that humans evolved from apes, what is going to be the next big evolutionary change for humans?

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23 Answers

lefteh's avatar

As cool as built-in jetpacks would be, we’re probably not going to be facing much in the upcoming years.

As Dr. C. George Boeree writes:
“What’s next for Homo sapiens? It seems unlikely that we will be doing too much dramatic evolving, because we are no longer hidden away in isolated ecological niches where mutations have a chance to make their play for survival. Instead, we should move into a phase where we become increasing homogeneous (pardon the pun) as all our different lines of descent begin to intermingle as they have never done before. Only a few features that strongly contribute to success in life—like intelligence—are likely to continue to evolve.”

trumi's avatar

Please let the intelligence evolve! Has everyone seen Idiocracy?

McBean's avatar

I wish we would lose those damn funny bones and the ability to hiccup!

shilolo's avatar

The greatest evolutionary pressures will likely be related to climate change and infectious diseases. For example, if a massive avian flu pandemic wipes out a quarter to half of the world’s population, the survivors will have had some protective traits selected. Likewise, hotter temperatures (and more sun) may eventually select for darker skin (at minimum).

shilolo's avatar

@McBean. Fortunately, the funny bone is not a bone, but the ulnar nerve. You need that nerve to move your fingers and wrist. Also, hiccuping is a byproduct of the vagus nerve and the diaphragm working, so you wouldn’t want to lose those activities either.

Indy318's avatar

With the eventual advent of genetic engineering and selective conception, I believe the human race will ultimatley spilt into a more advanced species. I’m not saying people will superpowers but instead a near perfect specimen that will behold the highest degree of human evolution (i.e. fitness, immunity to ailment, and extraordinary intelligence). This seperation will most likely be de facto, not de jure because a cultural superiority will arise from the perfects. Hopefully research into genetics is halted before such a scenerio presents itself in the future.

aisyna's avatar

i love idiocracy and i think humans will stop having wisdome teeth

kevbo's avatar

@trumi, I just watched it this evening. I freakin’ love that movie.

What I was going to say echoes Indy. This idea that we’ll split into a segment of beautiful, tall people and a segment of trolls.

Randy's avatar

@trumi, Good call throwing that out there. It’s one of my favorites and as soon as I saw it the first time, I had to run out and buy it.

AstroChuck's avatar

We no longer really have to evolve much. Generally creatures evolve to better survive in their surroundings. We now adapt our surroundings to suit our needs.
The next step for us is likely extinction.

buster's avatar

The polar icecaps are going to melt and flood the earth so we better evolve some gills if we want to live through that shit.

Randy's avatar

OH NO! There’s shit in the polar icecaps? I’m not into living in shit, so hopefully I’m gone by then. ;P

LKidKyle1985's avatar

I think technology will change the abilities of humans long before evolution gets a chance.

joeysefika's avatar

Maybe freakin’ laser beams on our heads….

McBean's avatar

Thank you, shilolo. It was said in jest.

shrubbery's avatar

I agree with Indy and Kevbo, I think that genetic engineering will be available for those who can afford it and they will become the ‘perfect’ people, and then there will be the poor and working class who will not have access to this. I think perhaps H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine is a good projection of this idea.

seVen's avatar

I hope that it’s open mind to creation science.

Hobbes's avatar

I agree with lefteh and shilolo that our biological evolution will largely be slowed or halted, with selective pressures mainly being caused by global warming and by quickly evolving diseases.

However, I think that as genetic engineering and computer technologies continue to develop, we will begin taking evolution into our own hands. While such technologies would probably only be available to the rich at first, I think the effects of self-modification would be so deep and far-reaching that it’s impossible to predict exactly what we will eventually become.

marinelife's avatar

Perhaps after we go from bluetooth to techno implants, we will evolve our own bio-interface with our technology.

AstroChuck's avatar

Resistance is futile.

Judi's avatar

I heard one time it was going to be a 6th finger. I heard it about 30 years ago.

Judi's avatar

great for guitar players and fluther addicts.

jvgr's avatar

If their is a god involved, and it is a merciful god, it will surely be to replace our antiquated long term memory with flash memory that clears itself when we go to sleep.

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