After residing for numerous years, akin to numerous individuals, I have pondered upon the veracity of our continued evolution despite the validity of Darwin’s theory of evolution. With the remarkable advancements in technology, why do human beings still grapple with trivial physical ailments such as the appendix, wisdom teeth, myopia, allergies, inflammation, uterus, and others that afflict the mortal vessel?
In truth, we undergo perpetual evolution, albeit at a languid pace, akin to an ant meandering from Beijing to Buenos Aires, imperceptible to our senses.
A study conducted by the genetics team at the University of Chicago revealed that humans possess approximately 250 genes subject to positive selection (i.e., genes impacted by the external milieu that engender effective adaptation to the environment). Furthermore, a striking 9% of human genes are presently undergoing rapid evolution, signifying the incessant renewal of the human physique. Though our brief lifespans preclude witnessing the remarkable evolution of our kind, we may still dare to conjure visions of our future progeny.
Stature of two meters
Human height has witnessed a remarkable surge over the past two centuries. British osteopath Gary Train prognosticates that owing to continuous advancements in human nourishment and medical science, in a millennium’s time, the height of every individual shall range between 1.82 meters and 2.13 meters. Presently, the average American stands 2.54 centimeters taller than their 1960 counterparts, while denizens of industrial nations have grown an average of 10 centimeters in the past 150 years. Hence, humanity shall experience a vertical ascent in the future.
A millennium ago, individuals afflicted with congenital diabetes or misaligned wisdom teeth would have perished agonizingly. However, the current progress in human medical technology has disrupted the natural course of selection.
Regrettably, due to an excessive reliance on medicine, the resilience of our inherent immune systems is waning, rendering us increasingly susceptible to maladies. Moreover, although future medical advancements will assuredly conquer cancer, the genes responsible for causing this affliction shall proliferate and permeate the human gene pool, rendering cancer as commonplace as the common cold.
In the course of transitioning from apes to humans, we have shed most of our bodily hair, for we no longer necessitate prolonged exposure to the elements. With the advent of sophisticated thermal insulation garments and intelligent air-conditioning systems, our bodies no longer labor tirelessly to regulate a constant temperature. The raison d’être of hair lies solely in attracting potential partners. Consequently, it is plausible to envision a future wherein humanity shall experience an accelerated rate of baldness, ultimately embracing a hairless existence. At that juncture, baldness may be deemed as aesthetically pleasing.
Present trends foreshadow a future wherein fetal heads shall grow increasingly voluminous.
From a million years ago until a century prior, women possessing narrow pelvises and fetuses with disproportionately large heads met their demise due to dystocia, while women endowed with ample pelvises survived, perpetuating their genes. Consequently, the number of women with diminutive pelvises dwindled, thereby completing a cycle of evolutionary refinement. This process may endure for hundreds of thousands of years, if not longer. Naturally, men incline towards prospective female partners boasting ample bosoms and generous posteriors, indicative of an evolutionary preference shaped by historical circumstances.
Nonetheless, modern medicine has disrupted this evolutionary trajectory. Cesarean sections and biopharmaceutical interventions have allowed genes that would have otherwise been eradicated to persist. According to birth data spanning the past half-century, the global incidence of fetal cephalopelvic disproportion has risen from 3% in the 1960s to 3.3% at present, exhibiting a growth rate of 10% to 20%.
Given the escalating prevalence of cesarean deliveries, individuals harboring the cranial enlargement gene are more prone to exhibiting enlarged heads in adulthood, thereby perpetuating the cycle. Consequently, the heads of subsequent generations shall continue to expand, heightening the likelihood of cesarean sections. Ultimately, a scenario may arise wherein humans can no longer experience natural childbirth and must resort exclusively to cesarean deliveries.
In the forthcoming era, humans shall evolve into beings possessing three or four toes. Prior to assuming an upright gait, our toes served as appendages for grasping and clinging. During that era, our toes were elongated and wielded the same functionality and sensitivity as our hands. It was only after humans adopted an upright posture and ceased crawling that our toes gradually diminished to their present dimensions. Among the five toes, the big toe assumes paramount importance as it facilitates balance. Conversely, our little toes have become vestigial, their significance only realized when they suffer the agony of ill-fitting footwear or collisions with furniture legs.
In the future, the phenomenon of globalization shall accelerate exponentially, leading to significant amalgamation of human races andthe potential emergence of a more homogeneous global population. As populations intermingle and gene flow increases, genetic diversity may decrease, potentially impacting the pace and trajectory of human evolution.
Additionally, advancements in technology, particularly in fields such as genetic engineering and artificial intelligence, may introduce a new dimension to human evolution. Humans may gain the ability to enhance their physical and cognitive capabilities through genetic modifications or the integration of technology with the human body. This could lead to the emergence of “transhuman” beings with augmented abilities beyond those of traditional humans.
The future of human evolution is uncertain and influenced by various factors, including technological advancements, environmental changes, and social dynamics. As we continue to explore and reshape our world, our species will inevitably undergo further transformations, whether through natural selection or deliberate human intervention. Only time will reveal the intricacies of our future evolutionary path.