Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Evolving Ourselves

I was reading an article on BBC about the impact of technology on human evolution. Basically, we know that changes to the environment drive biological adaptation and evolution. But humans have found non-biological ways to adapt more quickly, and without the cruelty of death associated with natural evolution. An example given in the article is that while polar bears evolved blubber to insulate themselves from the cold, humans used tools to kill the polar bear and use its fur for insulation.

Now we are not only using technology to deal with to our environments, we are using technology to both adapt ourselves and our environment. How will this drive human evolution in the future? Here is an interesting excerpt:

"Technology may have limited the impact of evolutionary forces such as predation and disease, but that does not mean humans have stopped evolving.

Far from it, in a world of globalisation, rapidly advancing medical and genetic science and the increasing power of individuals to determine their own life choices, more powerful forces may come into play.

The direction of our future evolution is likely to be driven as much by us as by nature. It may be less dependent on how the world changes us, but ever more so on our growing ability to change the world."


Roger Paul said...

Good point, and with that power comes a great deal of responsibility about how we use it.

Roger Paul said...

Oops, that was me, Sandy who made that comment. I didn't realize it was Roger's ID.