Here is another interesting article from Scientific American. In summary it considers whether human evolution has stopped, which is an interesting topic. All of us Sci-Fi writers imagine future worlds and many of our stories are about humanity in the distant future. Of course there are the stories about us developing huge brains or becoming ethereal in some sense. But what can it mean to the Sci-Fi community if we stop evolving?
The article talks about the historical mechanisms of evolution where populations that are separated will develop different characteristics and those that provide advantages are eventually spread to the other isolated populations.
In our modern world where we account for (and hopefully accept) people with differences and because of the travel and general homogeneous mix of the world population the pressures and mechanisms for evolution are less effective.
The article did mention that the greatest likely impact is the growth of the African population and over time it will spread and integrate with the world which will likely cause future generation’s skin to darken. Wow; that should shake up some people.
If someone writes about humanity 5,000 years from now they may want to think about what they will look like. Or they might take the path described by neuroscientist Joe. Z. Tsien.
“Could it be that 5,000 years from now, we will be able to download our minds onto computers, travel to distant worlds and live forever in the network?” ––neuroscientist Joe. Z. Tsien of Georgia Regents University in “The Memory Code” [Scientific American, July 2007]
Ray Jay Perreault