Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by Saint, Apr 5, 2015.
Will humans become smarter or sillier in the next 10000 years?
If evolution is true.
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A better question is will humans still be around 10,000 years from now and if so, in what form? I think the likely answer is, or at least preferred answer, is yes. Humans will still exist, but will exist as cyborgs. The line between man and machine will become blended. And as man learns how to manipulate his genetic code, man could become biologically immortal like our fellow earthling, the Turritopsis nutricula, the immortal jellyfish.
And the next question is, what will human social structures look like? How will resources be allocated? How will decisions be made? Is a Borg collective in our future? Will democracy or tyranny be in our future? Will folks like the Kochs decide everyone else is a waste of resources and do away with the 99% when technology renders human labor essentially worthless? Will our technology decide 100% of us are obsolete and act accordingly? Our technology will bring about tremendous changes in how resources are allocated and in our social structures. Most people have no clue what awaits us in the coming decades and centuries. Humanity will need to radically recreate social structures to accommodate new technologies. It will be a strange, a very strange, new world.
Without any need to invoke evolution, it is my recent experience that humans will become a great deal sillier, but that you will not require a wait of 10,000 years in which to see it.
That's a very long time. The Sahara was a green paradise that long ago.
Evolution as conceived by Darwin originally had no preferred direction other than environmentally imposed ones, HOWEVER, it is very true that when our neocortex became capable of modeling the behaviors of each other (as well as anything else which interests us in nature), things changed miraculously, and for the most part, for the better. At that point, we ceased being reptiles (or at least, stopped behaving that way after our adolescence), and began acting as though a few of us had a genuine interest in the collective values of a civilized society. At least, some of us have.
This trend is likely not only to continue but to elaborate in the internet age. At least, I hope it does. It would be a better managed world that could get along without the wasteful practice of war, but no doubt not all of the choices that will need to be made for the survival of ourselves and the limited resources of this planet will be pleasant ones. For one thing, we are going to have to come to terms with the stresses we put on ourselves and our environment from overpopulation that makes us plunder more and more of our precious energy / food resources, and this will need to be done quickly if we don't wish to face a choice between starvation or cannibalism. Evolution could care less; don't blame natural selection for a choice we force on ourselves. That choice would be good news for people with sharp teeth, not much flesh on their bones, and who were nasty tasting to begin with. Silly? You bet it is.
What would be 'silly' would be to trash everything we have thus far been able to accomplish, because our collective will to stop the compulsions of those reptiles determined to destroy it is not strong enough. The reptiles had their shot, and are now extinct. Don't let them have another chance, or else the next asteroid with Earth's name on it will most certainly show them again how foolish that choice of destiny is.
The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.
It depends on the relativity between our qualia, subjective ,objective indifferences versus the hypothetical objective social structure of a future race (assuming they are human, post human,etc)
It also depends on comparisons ,for instance what if their idea which is (subjective) is different from our idea of what silly is?
What if they are so advanced their silliness is mistaken for seriousness by us
they may think faster or social communication is different maybe they all look the same but see each other differently like a form of biological augmented reality were they see custom made avatars that are seen as representations of themselves or personality but outside this they all look alike and this influences subjectivity and expression for them yet we do not see them as they see each other.
The above could also influence culture, traditions, ritualistic behaviors (assuming they have this) from or view this to also might be seen as silly yet is serious to them and not a available to our experiencesite which influence our assumptions of them, so to them we could seem silly.
Self-guided evolution that's no longer exclusively biological will take over long before then. I honestly don't know what archailect gods would be interested in or what their relationship would be with any baseline humans still lingering around. I assume the latter might either be religiously or ideologically oriented in their spurning of enhancement or technology-assisted apotheosis, with a repugnance for worshiping that future instantiation of natural deities and their version of afterlife / ascension (if any is offered).
There's also the possibility of some microphysical machines becoming feral and "randomly" developing into all sorts of planetary and space-inhabiting "wildlife". Which then overwhelms the self-guided trend and its products; and most certainly any surviving ordinary humans which the nanotech or picotech "wilderness" would lack either higher consciousness or a morality for caring less about.
Richard Dawkins: “Certainly. It’s highly plausible that in the universe there are God-like creatures. [But it’s] very important to understand that these Gods came into being by an explicable scientific progression of incremental evolution.”
Ten thousand years is a long time for some animals, such as dogs, who become sexually mature within one year. In the last 10,000 years, dogs have passed through 10,000 generations. That's plenty of generations for mutations to appear, and for natural selection to "choose" the ones that increase the survivability of the species.
However, it's also enough time for unnatural selection to occur. Dogs have not been mating randomly since they became members of our tribes. We have chosen the ones that have:
A weak alpha instinct. This allows them to form large packs without fighting constantly for dominance. It also allows them to let a human be the leader of the pack. Both of these changes were advantageous to humans.
A smaller brain. Brain tissue requires an enormous intake of protein for support, requiring the animal to eat a diet with lots of meat. Dogs have to eat our garbage, which has a lot of vegetable matter. Smaller brains can be supported by this diet.
Neoteny--a word that means "the survival of traits associated with infancy, into adulthood." Adult humans have some of this, for example, the ability to digest milk. In the past only babies could do that, because the only "milk" they got was from their mother. As we developed dairy farming, the ability to digest milk in adulthood was a survival advantage. For dogs, a survival advantage is to simply be playful and look cute. So adult dogs chase sticks, bark, wag their tails, and do several other things that wolves only do as pups. This makes us regard them as "charming."
Humans will also continue to experience unnatural selection. People who are not comfortable in large groups (such as a city) will act in antisocial ways. Many will end up in prison, where they cannot mate and spread their genes. The same is true of people who insist on being leaders. In a modern society, most people are not leaders. Considering the impending change in climate, future humans will probably also have an advantage if they can tolerate higher temperatures without needing expensive air conditioning appliances. The future will require more technical skill, and most of the menial jobs like cooking and cleaning will be automated, so intelligent people will probably survive better than stupid ones.
All of this will happen within the framework of evolution. But it's important to understand that both natural and unnatural selection are included within this framework. We have been tampering with the DNA of bacteria for almost a century, in our laboratories. We've also been doing it with our animals, not just dogs. Not to mention plants!
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