29 October 2007

The future of human evolution, in the media

I've been seeing this topic come up over and over again lately in various places. The idea that humans are "de-evolving" or that:

"The human race will one day split into two separate species, an attractive, intelligent ruling elite and an underclass of dim-witted, ugly goblin-like creatures, according to a top scientist."
(from the Daily Mail)

This "top scientist" is actually evolutionary theorist Oliver Curry from the London School of Economics. Yes, Economics!

Both Boing Boing and Bad Science mention this story. Follow the link to Bad Science if you want to read the press release and see the predictions for humans 1,000, 10,000, and 100,000 years from now.

(If all of that weren't sensational enough, this was a commissioned report for a TV station.)

Well, that's the latest incarnation of this idea, but I've seen it lots of other places recently, see them below the fold...

Right now I'm reading "The Gum Thief" the latest novel by Douglas Coupland (author of Generation X). In it, one of the characters mentions this as well:

"I read in a newspaper last week about this scientist who claims that the human race will, over the upcoming millennia, split into two distinct species. One will be a superhuman race, the other, Gollum-like hunch-backed retards."

The "de-evolution" of the human race is the whole premise to an actually really funny movie, Idiocracy.

And finally, Korn, an American metal band, of all people have a song about this as well.

I worry about so called "science" stories like this, but at the same time, it does get people talking about evolution which is a start. But if Dr. Curry thinks that humans will still be around and kicking on Earth in 100,000 years, he should probably spend more time thinking about global warming and the impending oil apocalypse.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Nice Blog . I don't really know a lot about Human Anatomy study or art, but that's just my 2 cents. Really great job though, Krudman! Keep up the good work!