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The Future Of Human Evolution Essay

1641 words - 7 pages

The Future of Human Evolution

Evolution, the science of how populations of living organisms change over
time in response to their environment, is the central unifying theme in biology
today. Evolution was first explored in its semi-modern form in Charles Darwin 's
1859 book, Origin of Species by means of Natural Selection. In this book, Darwin
laid out a strong argument for evolution. He postulated that all species have a
common ancestor from which they are descended. As populations of species moved
into new habitats and new parts of the world, they faced different environmental
conditions. Over time, these populations accumulated modifications, or
adaptations, that allowed them and their offspring to survive better in their
new environments. These modifications were the key to the evolution of new
species, and Darwin proposed natural selection or "survival of the fittest" as
the vehicle by which that change occurs. Under Natural Selection, some
individuals in a population have adaptations that allow them to survive and
more than other individuals. These adaptations become more common in the
population because of this higher reproductive success. Over time, the
characteristics of the population as a whole can change, sometimes even
resulting in the formation of a new species. Humans have survived for thousands
of years and will most like survive thousands of more. Throughout the history
of the Huminoid species man has evolved from Homo Erectus to what we today call
Homo Sapiens, or what we know today as modern man.. The topic of this paper is
what does the future have in store for the evolution of Homo Sapiens. Of course,
human beings will continue to change culturally; therefore cultural evolution
will always continue; but what of physiological evolution? The cultural
evolution of man will continue as long as man can think; after all it's the
ideas we think up that makes up our cultures. In a thousand years man might
complete a 180 degree turn culturally (not to mention physiologically) and as
seen by our fellow inhabitants of earth we would in essence be different beings.
One can say that this new culture has chosen its ideas based on Natural
Selection. One can see this in the spread of ideas in the past history of homo
sapiens, the ideas which cause man to succeed are chosen such as science and
democracy (the present growth of Islam is also worthy of mention, but would be a
paper in itself). Lamarck's fourth law, that is, ideas acquired by one
generation are passed on to the next, describes this transfer of ideas from one
generation to another.
     The question is can humans evolve (physically), that is through changes
of some sort to the general human gene pool, enough to be considered a different
species sometime in the future. The answer to this is tricky. The answer is
"yes" if there is no human intervention and "not likely" (or...

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