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EVOLUTION IN HUMAN RACE WILL CONTINUE BUTTHIS WAY

Introduction
This tiny essay tries to show a handful of possibilities that our present knowledge on scientific
evolutive processes inherent to the development of species in nature, including the creation of
new species (according to the definition we may consider of that term), allow us to definitely
predict.
Description of basic scenario
First, it must be stated that, as usually in complex sciences, dealing mainly with fuzzy and
eclectic problems where an exceedingly great number of factors may have a direct or indirect
influence, it is very difficult to foresee a comprehensive nor exact future scenario for human
evolution. Having said that, the following schematic processes may be suggested:
1. A globalisation process is ongoing, with the expansion of human population to all Earth
systems, and the corresponding high degree of human mixing (interbreed). That will
have two main effects, namely:

- (1) A higher genetic and phenotypic homogeneity advancing towards the mono-
ethnicity.
- (2) A decrease of genetic-drift driven changes.

2. A wider and deeper implementation of medical and technological advances. The main
effect will be:
- (3) Less and lighter natural selection forces acting on the population

3. Greater contamination, new pollutants being constantly thrown to the environment.
- (4) Big changes in environmental and ecological conditions.
Points 2 and 3 will decrease genetic variation as a side consequence, while points 1 (due to
higher gene flow, and a greater gene recombination rate) and 4 (due to the possibility to an
increased mutation rate) will increase genetic variation. Those factors will then have to be
taken into account in order to make a prediction, as we will see in the concluding part.
Apart from those above, there always exists the possibility of a mass extinction (full human
species extinction?) in case of a non-controlled massive human intervention (wars, nuclear
bombs, massive contamination or other).
Finally, the possibility of an allotropic speciation (by means of a geographical separation)
seems far away, reduced to the colonisation of other planets and not likely to occur very soon.
The only posible speciation chance seems the man-made on-purpose speciation driven by a
drastic change in social/political conditions with the separation in two (or more) main classes,
those in power, accessing to all scientific and technological implements, and those not allowed
to get to them. That would imply a very big social and economic nightmare for the well
established political structures, not considered here due to the present real situation, when
the expansion of similar democratic government structures are on the way to all regions of the
world as the normal ongoing process (with some exceptions, of course).
Further predictable changes
Within that scenario, together with the actual conditions existing today, the following
phenotypic changes (corresponding to genetic variations fixed in the genome) are most
probable to happen (in opinion of the author):
- Somehow weakened inmune systems ( as a result of too many medical advances,
many preventive measures taken)
- Muscular and skeletal forces weakened (as a result of using advanced labour and
working tools)
- An overall increase in human tallness (due to a better, more complete alimentation)
- Overall hairloss (living undercover, not needed anymore)
- Brain, cognitive capacities increased, perhaps even its volume (this will be subject to
the remaining natural and also artificial selection processes)
- Overall teeth diminished in size (due to a wider use of pre-processed foods)
- Perhaps disappearance of the little toes (not used nor needed anymore, humans wont
climb trees)
- Widespread use of Bionics (apply technological tools replacing or enhancing human
limbs or organs, directly on the human body)
- Use of genetics manipulation:
1. Pre-conception (manipulation of reproductive chromosomes).
2. Pre-birth (manipulation of foetus genomic conditions)
3. Post-birth (stem cells organ reconstruction, cure of genetic diseases)
General considerations
Based on the conditions explained above, the main principles that may conform the way by
which human evolution might reasonably evolve are:
1. Depending on the limits that elementary factors numbered 1, 2, 3 and 4 above, are
allowed to reach, so genetic variation will be. The more genetic variation the greater
evolutive changes, while the less genetic variation the less evolutive changes. Not
knowing in advance what those limits might be, it is very unconcrete and difficult to
afford a real prediction, taking into account that those factors depend directly on how
social developments happen in the near future. That is to say, if society goes more
egalitarian and rational (ecological), maybe evolution will slow down if not come to a
complete halt (gene shuffling and recombination will always occur). However, if
society goes towards the divisin into two or more very distanced classes, accessing
each of them to different living conditions, evolution will continue its normal way,
even maybe accelerating its changing processes. So, evolution is bound to continue
either way.

2. The rest of specified changes, the phenotypic and genetic physical appearance and
also the changes upon human cognitive abilities and overall intelligence, are predicted
based upon actual conditions in the present, those can also vary if some profound
living or environmental conditions sudddenly occur, taking new, unexpected,
directions for change.

3. Any societal and cultural changes, updates to the way human relationships that are
implemented in their various levels of aggregation (family, big family, neighbourhood,
city, regin, country and global), that may come, would have a definite impact on
earth systems, therefore forcing also direct changes to internal individual structures by
means of the standard evolutionary processes. It is then a circular process, same as it
has been dominating human evolution since the very starting at least of genus homo.
This one element is, by far, the most important source of changes to influence future
human evolution. First, it was genotype, then its derived phenotype, then it was
sociocultural aggregation of human beings into superstructures with a progressive
impact into the surrounding environment. Cultural and technological enormous
advances will increasingly influence the human species physical and cognitive
evolution as a whole.
Final conclusive ideas
Existing data provide some hints in order to advance that evolution, as predicted by the full
processed inherent to the scientific theory, well tested and proved for the past, also well
tested for some present cases such as in the microbiology field, will continue affecting the
human species at least in the short and medium terms, having considerable influence in how
our genes will conform the general build-up of our physical characters.
What turns out to be of great importance, not negligible at all, is to take into account that
human social, economic and political decisions are the core factory of the surrounding
conditions acting upon evolutive processes, as expressed in the descriptive part of this small
essay. So, decisive action is to be taken by all social actors in order to impulse corrective and
preventive measures that block undesirable environmental situations that could provoke the
end of human evolution, even the final extinction of the human species because of our own
uncontrolled forces.

Final Statement

Humans have been a very special species since the beginning. In other species evolution, a
constant adaptation to the environmental conditions have ocurred by means of natural
selection, via the fixing of fittest mutations into their genome, but their own influence on the
environment have always been very light and circumscribed to the normal ecological ups and
downs. So, drastic environmental changes have produced till five nearly full life extinctions
(that we know of). The difference lies in that humans have conversely reached an inmense
ability to influence and change nature and environment in a massive way.
That implies the enormous importance that human actions have for their own future. We must
take every posible precaution to avoid destroying the planet we live in, so that our own
ecological future is ensured. From now as the starting platform, human evolution will
continue in the short and mid terms. In the far, distant future, everything depends on chance,
so, who really knows?
SOURCES
Coursera MOOC: Introduction to genetics and evolution, Duke University, Dr. Mohammed
NOOR
Evolution in, BIOLOGY, Second course on Environmental Sciences Degree, Universidad
Nacional a Distancia, SPAIN (Distance National University)
Open2Study MOOC: Becoming Human, McQuarie University
Open2Study MOOC: The Human body as a machine, Flinders University
Richard Dawkins: Climbing Mount Improbable
futurehumanevolution.com (http://original.futurehumanevolution.com/), the website of
human evolution (some featured articles)
Personal, very personal, ideas.