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Author Topic: What will humans look like in the future?  (Read 13235 times)

Allan Scahill

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What will humans look like in the future?
« on: 30/10/2009 09:30:02 »
Allan Scahill  asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Hi:

Based on what humans have evolved from and how we have developed over the millennia, can anthropologists surmise or guess what we may look like in 100,000 years or more?

Will we be taller, have larger heads or are there any other interesting changes in store for the human race?

Allan Scahill
Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada

What do you think?


 

Offline Don_1

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What will humans look like in the future?
« Reply #1 on: 30/10/2009 10:19:52 »
I think something like this:


Sorry, but I do not share your optimism on Man's existence. If we have not destroyed ourselves with bullets and bombs, then we will have probably run out of space and/or food and/or water and/or clean breathable air, or just buggered it all up beyond our ability to put it right again. Or, of course, we may have been annihilated by the 2012 disaster, as predicted by the end of the Mayan calendar.

Should we last that long, however, I'm not so sure that we will be much different from today. With a little genetic engineering, we could be modelled on today's ideal.

If we do survive and don't interfere, then it might be a different story. Perhaps our head will become more inverted pear shaped, to accommodate a larger brain. That does not necessarily mean we will use it to its full capacity though.

Other changes would be dependant upon our bodily requirements in such a technologically advanced world. I think you will need to get an accurate forecast of technological advance before you can predict our body changes.
 

Offline Nizzle

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What will humans look like in the future?
« Reply #2 on: 30/10/2009 12:23:59 »
Our heads will not be able to expand in size before our female specimen's birth canal widens.

As of now, our heads are already at their maximum size, proven by the fact that our skull only grows to a close after we're born, because if it happened before we were born, our heads wouldn't be able to pass the birth canal.

On a philosophical note: Babies are truly 'open-minded' and as we get older, we get more and more close-minded ;)
 

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What will humans look like in the future?
« Reply #3 on: 30/10/2009 12:57:55 »
Ah yes!!! Of course you are quite right Nizzle. How remis of me to overlook this point.

To increase the size of the birth canal might mean a general increase in the body size in the region of the hips, so we might find women would need to be shaped less like this:


and more like this:
 

Offline LeeE

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What will humans look like in the future?
« Reply #4 on: 30/10/2009 17:45:23 »
Actually, we could end up with larger heads.  It would just mean that they'd have to get bigger than they currently do after we've been born.  Remember that the whole idea of evolution is based upon change, so you can't really base what will happen in the future on what is the case now i.e. that head size can only increase by a limited amount.

As survival factors have become less important in our largely protected society, success in breeding, and therefore passing on your genes, is based more upon attractiveness (and also to a degree, the acquisition of power and money) than anything else, so people in the future will most probably just tend to be more 'attractive'.  However, people's ideas about what is 'attractive' is very subjective and subject to change, so there may not be any overall long term trend of change.  Another consequence of our protected society is that enhanced intelligence, which might result in a larger brain, isn't much a of a positive breeding factor anymore and may actually act against it; many people of average intelligence fear superior intelligence precisely because they lack the intelligence to understand what the more intelligent are saying or doing.

Body hair clearly seems to be on its way out, although I doubt it will disappear entirely because some people will still like and perpetuate it.  Similarly, teeth are likely to degenerate as we eat more and more processed food and they may end up being of little practical use and are only retained for decorative purposes, once again, because we find them attractive.

Actually, I don't think there will be any typical or characteristic appearance in the distant future because people will be able to change their appearance pretty much as they want, probably due to a combination of temporary cosmetic surgery and intentional genetic self-modification i.e. we'll eventually genetically modify ourselves so that we'll be able change our appearance and grow taller or shorter, fatter or thinner, or even change our facial features and skin colour at will.  Not instantly of course, but most probably over the course of days to weeks.
« Last Edit: 30/10/2009 17:51:58 by LeeE »
 

Offline Nizzle

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What will humans look like in the future?
« Reply #5 on: 02/11/2009 13:01:53 »
...and therefore passing on your genes, is based more upon attractiveness (and also to a degree, the acquisition of power and money) than anything else, so people in the future will most probably just tend to be more 'attractive'...

Sperm banks might counter this argument ;)
 

Offline LeeE

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What will humans look like in the future?
« Reply #6 on: 03/11/2009 10:20:49 »
...and therefore passing on your genes, is based more upon attractiveness (and also to a degree, the acquisition of power and money) than anything else, so people in the future will most probably just tend to be more 'attractive'...

Sperm banks might counter this argument ;)

Only if the majority of people decide to stop having sex, and I can't see that happening any time soon.
 

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What will humans look like in the future?
« Reply #6 on: 03/11/2009 10:20:49 »

 

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