With globalization taking over the planet, slowly, I cannot help but wonder about the future of the human species.
Since humans don't really follow natural selection anymore, in the sense of survival skills, it seems impossible to determine which types of traits that would develop and be more useful for future generations. (ie: brain size, height, etc)
When you look at which groups of people are having more children, it's almost impossible to tell. The majority of people in the developed world having kids have probably 2 maybe 3 at the most. Some outliers having more.
So say in 2 million years, and assume that humanity hasn't been wiped out or anything, how would we see the human species, is it damn near impossible? Is it more than possible for humanity to divulge into 2 or more different species?
Anybody an evolutionary biologist student or grad, anthropologist, can weigh in on this?
Genetic engineering will make natural selection irrelevant very soon. IOW, the traits that predominate will be those we consider desirable to have, not those that result in having more offspring.
Makes sense. So do you believe culture can influence physiological changes in humanity? I believe even somebody who seems dumb, can be educated just as well as another healthy person.
Do you believe genetic engineering will keep modern humans modern humans? By that I mean, when you eliminate genetic diversity, then there's no room for improvement. Wouldn't lasting genetic engineering eventually stagnate the gene pool?
After 2 million years you will have...
>Homo sapien sapiens
>Homo sapien automatons (bottleneck through technological singularity)
>Homo sapien cosmonauts (bottleneck through space colonization)
This is the thing no one gets. Intelligence is in no way totally influenced by genetics. The environment people are raised and educated in probably has more to do with how many children people have than anything else. The poor uneducated masses have been having the most kids throughout human history.
>Intelligence is in no way totally influenced by genetics.
Even though I wouldn't go that far, the idea that dumb people are going to outbreed smart people is simplistic. It's a bit like saying straight people are going to outbreed gay people.
Ever read up on the Red Queen theory of evolution? Some anthropologists suspect brain size was just an ornament selected by the female in male partners. In fact we are already freaks as far as mammals go in regard to gestation and dependence on parents, this is because if our heads were any bigger at birth - the female cervix would need to enlarge but it can't anymore because she wouldn't be able to walk.
Also, I think it was Dawkins or someone saying humans have finished evolving for now, at least until a die off because the base population is too large for any mutations to slip through in a meaningful way.
>Since humans don't really follow natural selection anymore, in the sense of survival skills,
We still have natural selection. What has changed are the skills necessary for survival.
I have to disagree. No matter how good or bad you are at living life most people live long enough these days to reproduce, even those physically and mentally handicapped.
Natural selection in this day and age perhaps effects how much more successful one person can be than the next (given you determine success based on money earned, goals achieved, etc over a persons lifetime)
See, that's the issue with humanity, is that pretty everybody who has a healthy reproductive system is capable of having children. Hell, Africa is the "youngest" continent on the planet. With the average being 18 years old in its population of 811 million. Also seen as one of the most dangerous continents on the planet, the population is actually suppose to see an increase in population over the next 100 years, instead of a decline such as in most other continents. This is despite having one of the highest mortality rates in the world. Maybe this is due to culture?
While everyone in the world is capable of having children, however not every child is going to be provisioned with equal resources. Africa is likely going to see a population increase due to the rest of the world providing technology and medical care which will enable increased child survival and decreased mortality throughout the population.
Natural selection still acts on the population, just not as strongly as before, and mainly on those who get childhood diseases or reproductive disorders etc.