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This week on TestTube Plus, Trace explores human evolution. In the first episode, he looked back on the evolution of our species and how we became human, then he discussed how race fits into all of this, why Europeans and Asians evolved differently, and the amazing story of the Otzi Ice Man. In this final episode of the series, Trace wonders where evolution might be taking us.
Humans have been evolving over the last 30,000 years and today--even though we understand the process of natural selection and evolution--it doesn't mean we're going to stop evolving. It's just going to be happening differently. If humans start living in space, being able to survive the radioactive cosmic rays would provide a huge evolutionary advantage. Some futurists predict humans will need to start living underwater, which will mean we won't have as much exposure to the sun. It's possible that future underwater-dwelling humans would be more pale and maybe grow bigger eyes to adapt to the low-light environment.
Most likely, future human evolution will not be fueled by random mutations, but though genetic engineering. (Check out last week's episodes of TestTube Plus on genetics if you haven't already). As humans struggle to address issues like global warming and overpopulation, maybe "hacking" our genes will give us the ability to deal with them in ways we couldn't imagine. Where do you think human evolution will take us in the next thousand years ... ten thousand years ... million years? Let us know in the comments down below.
TestTube Plus is built for enthusiastic science fans seeking out comprehensive conversations on the geeky topics they love. Host Trace Dominguez digs beyond the usual scope to deliver details, developments and opinions on advanced topics like genetics, AI, and Mars exploration. TestTube Plus will also be available as a podcast-stay tuned for more info!
How Many People Can Earth Support? (Live Science)
"The late-18th century philosopher Thomas Malthus wrote these ominous words in an essay on what he saw as the dire future of humanity. Humans' unquenchable urge to reproduce, Malthus argued, would ultimately lead us to overpopulate the planet, eat up all its resources and die in a mass famine."
No, this is not what our stupid faces will look like in 100,000 years (i09)
"An artist has partnered with a computational geneticist to illustrate what our faces might look like in the far future. Apparently we're all going to become anime characters."
No, Humans Have Not Stopped Evolving (Scientific American)
"Many people argue that our technological advancement-our ability to defy and control nature-has made humans exempt from natural selection and that human evolution has effectively ceased. There is no "survival of the fittest," the argument goes, if just about everyone survives into old age. This notion is more than just a stray thought in the public consciousness."