Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Micah Hanks talks Evolution @ Mysterious Universe

Photo courtesy of sporkinthedrawer.typepad.com

“If you read science fiction you might think that humans in the future will be slender, short, bald, with big heads and big eyes that sort of the stereotype that you get from the comic books,” Kaku said, (not the obvious reference to popular “Gray Aliens” that are prolific throughout abductee lore). However, when it comes to how humans will adapt and change, Kaku suggests there may be less change than we might expect, since humans are a product of our surroundings.
“In the old days, when we lived in the forests, there was enormous selection and pressures placed on us to develop a large brain, to understand how to use tools, to run, to be able to navigate, to survive in the forests. Enormous pressures on us because if you were not fit to live in the forest, you died.” True, there aren’t the sorts of pressures on humans that forged us into what we are today, as a result of our continuing adaptation. Hence, as Kaku says, “gross evolution, that is, evolution that will give us big brains, big eyes, bald heads and little bodies, that kind of gross evolution is pretty much gone.”
So in other words, we aren’t going to evolve into the sorts of “aliens” that we see buzzing around in flying saucers (scratch the “visitors from the future” hypothesis).
But perhaps there are in fact pressures on humankind today that are evolving and shaping us. While Kaku suggests that manipulation of humankind through genetic engineering may be a possibility a good ways down the road, the kinds of evolution taking place among the human species today may not be outwardly visible, like Kaku notes. Nonetheless, there could be potentials being crafted through the advancement of technology that will fundamentally restructure the way we think, act, and evolve, especially in terms of brain function and intelligence.

Read the rest here.

1 comment:

Rich said...

Well, I believe humanity (and probably just about everything else) is evolving. Basically, change is inevitable, at least as it all appears to us (time and motion and indeed EVERYTHING may actually be more like an illusion, but ok whatever).

So where are we going as part of this illusion? Wherever "the universe" says to go...of course.

Maybe someday we'll be able to mostly or fully replicate a human mind and basically be able to upload ourselves into some sort of electronic existence (a la The Matrix). We'll be much better at replicating environments in like only 40 or 50 years. It is replicating specific human minds, now that is a real trick.

I don't know though about actually uploading ourselves to some electronic environment, because essentially we would need to be copied into that place....while the old self still lives here and well dies. Yeah, not so sure one could REALLY escape one's body and live, though I'll leave just a tad wiggle room for this. I don't think the world is so kind for all the heaven, etc, etc, etc stuff and needing to keep any of us alive or really anything alive.

If it needed to, then maybe it does, BUT what about the bacteria in my gut...does it need them to carry on with their life?

Does it need a plan to carry on with their life?

How about a mosquito? A snail? A snake? A lizard? A cat? A dog? Coral? Sea sponges? A monkey? A sloth? How about ticks? How about turtles? Whales? Sharks?

I don't know, our minds seem to be generally more complex so we like to complicate things and make up our own stories (rules, customs, etc, etc) of the world....when the only true story that matters, in the end, is the story of THE WHOLE WORLD (whatever this all may be)....