From BBC, Oct. 17 (our commentary to follow):
Humanity may split into two sub-species in 100,000 years’ time as predicted by HG Wells, an expert has said.
Evolutionary theorist Oliver Curry of the London School of Economics expects a genetic upper class and a dim-witted underclass to emerge.
The human race would peak in the year 3000, he said – before a decline due to dependence on technology.
People would become choosier about their sexual partners, causing humanity to divide into sub-species, he added.
The descendants of the genetic upper class would be tall, slim, healthy, attractive, intelligent, and creative and a far cry from the “underclass” humans who would have evolved into dim-witted, ugly, squat goblin-like creatures.
Race ‘ironed out’
But in the nearer future, humans will evolve in 1,000 years into giants between 6ft and 7ft tall, he predicts, while life-spans will have extended to 120 years, Dr Curry claims.
Physical appearance, driven by indicators of health, youth and fertility, will improve, he says, while men will exhibit symmetrical facial features, look athletic, and have squarer jaws, deeper voices and bigger penises.
Women, on the other hand, will develop lighter, smooth, hairless skin, large clear eyes, pert breasts, glossy hair, and even features, he adds. Racial differences will be ironed out by interbreeding, producing a uniform race of coffee-coloured people.
However, Dr Curry warns, in 10,000 years time humans may have paid a genetic price for relying on technology.
Spoiled by gadgets designed to meet their every need, they could come to resemble domesticated animals.
Social skills, such as communicating and interacting with others, could be lost, along with emotions such as love, sympathy, trust and respect. People would become less able to care for others, or perform in teams.
Physically, they would start to appear more juvenile. Chins would recede, as a result of having to chew less on processed food.
There could also be health problems caused by reliance on medicine, resulting in weak immune systems. Preventing deaths would also help to preserve the genetic defects that cause cancer.
Further into the future, sexual selection – being choosy about one’s partner – was likely to create more and more genetic inequality, said Dr Curry.
The logical outcome would be two sub-species, “gracile” and “robust” humans similar to the Eloi and Morlocks foretold by HG Wells in his 1895 novel The Time Machine.
“While science and technology have the potential to create an ideal habitat for humanity over the next millennium, there is a possibility of a monumental genetic hangover over the subsequent millennia due to an over-reliance on technology reducing our natural capacity to resist disease, or our evolved ability to get along with each other, said Dr Curry.
He carried out the report for men’s satellite TV channel Bravo.
Dr. Curry is right on the Morlocks/Eloi angle (more than a century after HG Wells), but wrong about the race of supermen in 1,000 years. There are several factors he fails to take into account. One is risk of nuclear war/ecological collapse. Another is the ongoing phenomena of racism and genocide, which provide a strong countervailing tendency to the “ironing out” of racial differences. He also fails to factor in the hypertrophy of cyberspace and ascendance of the robots, soon to be followed by the blurring of the line between biota and technology, the development of wetware, digital/neural interface, etc. Either the system will crash, and there will be neither Eloi nor supermen, but degraded subhumans, probably surviving in small pockets (if at all)—or, if the system survives long enough, the bourgeoisie will become malevolent human-machine hybrids (akin to the “greys” of UFO folklore). The proles will indeed become Morlocks, or worse—perhaps a feral sub-species to be hunted down and abducted so their DNA can be harvested for the dominant greys, whose own genetic material will start to degrade as sexual reproduction is phased out. (This would be a reversal of the order envisioned by Wells, in which the Morlocks feed on the Eloi). Or perhaps it will be more akin to The Matrix, in which the descendants of the proles will be grown in pods, mere quasi-human crops on giant DNA farms.
As we have noted before, the only alternative to these ultra-dystopic futures lies in the conquest of science and technology, as well as the means of production, by popular power, as the anarchist Peter Kropotkin expounded. What he could not have anticipated in the 19th century is that the industrial leviathan must be not only conquered but radically scaled back. The only hope for the survival of the human species as we know it with a modicum of dignity lies in popular movements for the recovery of land, autonomy and indigenous culture against the system of technocratic rule, whether in Mexico or Palestine.
At least, there may be pockets of the human “elder race” still resisting the greys in remote temporary autonmous zones 100,000 years hence…