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Minh Do
  • Minh Do
  • Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) (Sgn
  • Vietnam

Director of Marketing Communications, An Giang University

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What would the next Homo Sapiens look like? What kinds of characteristics would they have?

Homo Sapiens Idaltu (the subspecies) is dated to be 160,000 years old and Homo Sapiens Sapiens (the subspecies) reached full behavioral modernity 50,000 years ago. Homo Sapiens (the species) arrived on the evolutionary scene about 200,000 years ago. Doesn't that mean that we've been due for another evolution for quite sometime now? Or have we already evolved and didn't even notice? Or have we been preventing our own evolution via medicine and technological enhancements? Or have those enhancements really done the opposite? Enhanced our evolution? Either way, what are the characteristics of this new subspecies that could already be here today or will show its face in the centuries to come?

In other words, what do scientists, philosophers, and you think is the natural evolutionary step in our own species? Especially given this new human-built environment that we have been constructing for the past millenia.

Topics: evolution

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    Mar 31 2011: I think you may be missing a subtle point about evolution. As a process evolution is about informational storage. It accomplishes that via random mutation and natural selection. The reason man has become the dominant force on earth is that we were the first species to evolve to "self"-selection and complex, high density data storage. There are no longer any processes that could place a biological imperative on our species that we would have a need to "naturally-select" for. That's why homo sapien means "wise/thinking man".

    I suppose you could make an argument that the development of modern medicine was an evolutionarily significant point worthy of a new name and machine integration into our biology will be another but aside from looking more attractive I doubt you're going to see a new kind of man.
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      Apr 1 2011: Point taken about biology, but you don't think that our brains still have some evolving to do?
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        Apr 8 2011: In a vacuum, yes. But my point is that they will never experience the evolutionary pressures required to evolve because there are quicker working processes in place that will impact the human brain first.

        To put it another way, lets assume that the human brain is required to evolve in a way that makes us better at X (pick your topic, math, understanding one another,resistant to disease, etc.). Is it more likely that we will achieve that goal through natural selection or through some combination of genetic engineering, gene therapy, organic technology, artificial bio-mimicry technological integration with our bodies or the invention of a computer that can think out the math, understand the scanned person or kill the disease?

        We may very well experience radical changes greater than any change put on us by darwinian forces but it's not going to be a "natural" process. Having said that I don't think you'll see any change to us visually as you often do in other types of evolution. I think that self-selecting to a different and more "alien" body would be anathema to the average person. The result then will be seen more as a cultural shift than an evolutionary one.

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