Thursday, September 17, 2009

Transhumanism & the Acceleration of Human Evolution

Ran across this LA Times story talking about an anthropologist who has determined that the pace of human evolution has accelerated in the last 30,000 years based on studying human genetic data.

The article merely refers to a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences without a citation. I visited Professor Hawk's website and the PNAC website and the only thing I could find were references to his 2007 article.

Hawks' blog post, Why Accelerated Adaptive Evolution is Faster Evolution, is interesting on this score.

This reinforces the transhumanist viewpoint to my mind. Humanity is evolving at a tremendous and if we are to survive the current crises facing us, we must get our shit together in a hurry and evolve intellectually and emotionally as well as through genetics.


Stephen said...

My question has always been this... If we are evolving and evolving rapidly - what are we evolving into?

Safety Neal (USA) said...

That's an interesting question. Evolution responds to our environment, so I think we can anticipate people developing tolerances to pollution... but other than that it's more speculative. Kurt Vonnegut's novel Galapagos has humans devolve into something similar to dolphins.

In Nancy Kress' novel, Beggars in Spain embryos are bio-engineered to never sleep and have great intelligence.

Many novels suggest different adaptations to zero gravity as we explore space, but that's even more speculative.