Free The Future of Evolution Essay Sample
Paleontologists' assertion that humans shared the Earth with anatomically related types raises questions on whether the future beholds imminent evolution. It portends a contemplation of the aftermath of human beings, who once shared the Earth with Neanderthals, Homo erectus, and dwarf hominids. Current trends point out the credible efforts of human beings in bending the flora and fauna to suit their lifestyle as a key element in determining the future evolution, which is strongly linked to natural selection. Nature no longer dictates the modifications of humanity, nor does it have a chance to exclude even the 'weakest' of genes from reproducing. With nature's contribution as the trigger for evolution minimal, genetic modification and machine blending have recouped the scene, probably endangering naturally born humans.
Reliance on primitive, unconscious life and, biological evolution portends a clear cut species direction, one that is extrapolated by reason, language, mind and consciousness. All this expound the evolution arena, and lent great detail into the evolution process and prospects. Recent cultural and technological advancement equal the strides achieved through biological development, illustrating the acceleration in progress of humanity. Whereas evolution is traced back to ancient times, the last hundred years of vast improvement on life-span, agricultural productivity, scientific research and innovation coupled with exquisite societal organization provide an impetus for cross examination of future trends. Hinged on this recent past are unprecedented strides in complexity, level of knowledge, consciousness and, coordination; trends likely to impact on future prospects of evolution. Through these costerning revelations, the conglomeration of imprudent assessment begets numerous paths which might shape humanity in times to come.
Isolation led to divergence of humanity into separate species. The spreading of humanity meant that climatic variation orchestrated differences in genetic orientation. Though this explains the differences in humanity across the regional divide, the prospect of its future impact is questionable. Indeed, scientists point out at convergence, the direct opposite, as the ground situation. This means that genes are being pooled together, losing variation, which is the raw matter for evolution. The highest indicator of this is cultural diversity, exemplified by linguistic diversity. Speculation is rife that of the 6,500 languages spoken worldwide to date, only 600 will be passed to children, a perfect indicator of how close humanity has pulled. This eradicates cultural diversity and recent globalization trends point out at a society coming together at a speedy rate, rather than growing diverse.
Focus on long-term political and economic stability means a close knit society, with differences smoothed out. This eradicates chances of genetic diversity but on impulse raise questions on vulnerability and susceptibility to disasters, diseases and epidemics. The humanity response to disasters, super floods, tsunamis and most recently, nuclear emissions as evidence in the Japan earthquake aftermath indicate the vulnerability of the convergent human race. Whereas variability ought to give partial competitive advantage to certain components of the society, it exposes all to the dangers of life changing circumstances that in future may need to change humanity so as to survive and thrive on Earth.
The overwhelming evidence on the polarity of cultural divergence raises questions of convergence and its potential in repelling evolution. The afore-mentioned example of linguistic convergence is just one of the perfect examples. In the same tune, the humanitarian efforts mounted by humanity from all walks of life in sympathy with catastrophic epidemics indicate just how much humanity has pulled together. Though earthquakes have been one of the major catastrophes, humanity has stood side by side and this prove just how much nature might just have its say but never its way. A perfect example would be the calamitous earthquake that struck Haiti and the amazing humanitarian response that even prompted child adoption. The intelligent ability of humanity and cultural orientation has dictated a more positive approach towards recognizing humanity as bound by social cognition. Indeed, it is prudent to note that calamities, difficulties and catastrophes have only pulled humanity close together. Therefore, it will be difficult for any relative evolution to be dictated by nature and/or in a selective manner.
Irrespective of the applause on humanity's efforts to tame the environment, any prospectus should by and large factor in environmental trends. The challenge is enormous for humanity given that the piling up of adverse environmental condition would influence natural selection, with the most fit of humanity surviving. For instance, the escalating numbers of breast cancer infections, decrease in puberty age among women and declining portions of sperm count in men indicate just how vital the environment can dictate to humanity and forcibly select those to go by it's rules (Cornish, 2004). The linkage to life expectancy and subsequent modification to ensure that humanity conform to its set standards could become a handful for humanity.
Human split off is viewed as a major path that could expeditiously infer evolution. Candid speculations on whether catastrophe can strike humans out of existence or elicit evolutionary trends are an indication that humanity is wary of the impact evolution can have on existence (Boyle, 2010). Evolutionary theory however dictates that of the competing species, one would override the other, eventually subjugating, assimilating or eliminating competition from the ecosystem. This implies just how far humanity has gone in establishing prospective trends and thus readied for any imminent change.
Biological evolution takes millions of years; cultural evolution is gauged on a scale of hundreds or thousands of years. This puts into the limelight the rise of super humans. Scientists argue that genetic modification and drugs contribute to enhance body physique and intellect. This would portend a clear divide in humanity, the enhanced, the natural and the others. This indeed could be traced to culture, precisely mirroring on social stratification. Rescher, asserts that having the means and the enthusiasm to live longer, improve intellect and become expendable could prompt the chase for generational bequeathing of longevity (Rescher, 1998). Either way, whether medicinal enhancement becomes fore, it points to humanity's own style of natural selection. It would eventually mean selectivity in reproduction and hence eradicating species considered less charitable, tolerant and prone to low life expectancy.
This brings to the fore the extrapolation of merging humanity with machines. The suggestion to use robots in war raised a raging storm not because people like dying in war but because many felt that humanity was fast being overtaken by machines (Derbyshire, 2008). The question therefore remains on if man should remain independent entity or merge with machines lest the machines eliminate humanity. Being a creation of the human mind, this hypothesis seems sweet but the fact that humanity has been unable to control some of the machines despite creating them is a point and cause for alarm. Indeed, it should worry even the hardened of scientists as exemplified by the failure of the Japanese to control nuclear emissions is a strong pointer of the dangers humanity might face in the near future subsequently eliciting and dictating transformational processes that could lead to a new stage of evolution (Rescher, 1998)..
The thought of human- machine hybrids precipitates another angle. Indeed, they biggest contribution as yet points out the impact of research in the lines of those hybrids and the integration into the genomes. As such humanity would escape the noose and problems posed by machination and ensure their genetic composition is capable of holding on to befalling circumstances as well as passing them as so in reproduction. This would indeed control the main elements of evolution and ensure that humanity dictates which way if evolution was to occur.
In the advent of increased research, it is quite clear that humanity has some partial control destined evolution. This has been palpitated by increase in knowledge, intelligence and hence diversity in options. Ideal choices would implore a path one is well aware whilst blunders and errors would culminate in unassailable and lurid results. Treading the research, technology and innovative route carefully is the perfect order lest man-made evolution occurs in split seconds and the natural man is eliminated form existence (Cornish, 2004). Indeed, humanity have in their hands the control of their destiny as far as evolution is concerned. But in as is the cases in all do or break situations, treading cautiously against nature is pivotal.
If humanity was to stand the test of evolution on earth, then branches of the evolutionary tree ought to sprout elsewhere. This is perfectly in line with the copious exploration expeditions to explore the possibilities of life outside the planet earth. If such life is found, the probability of a new species; one that is born and bred in such other planet, one that has adapted to the conditions other than the earths', one that does not replicate the humane inhabitants of Earth; would emerge. This is a possibility for evolution and one whose exploration is informed by the expeditions aimed at establishing the prospected life outside the planet Earth.
Just like the limitation of evolution centre on human activity; so does humanity inform the possibilities. Humanity has worked hard to carve out a niche in which they can survive and thrive in the social, environmental, economic, political and technological dimensions and even challenge nature and probable impositions nature might harbor. The hard work has ensured that humanity sits at the zenith and even controls transpiring activities. The ultimate dilemma is whether humanity and especially the current species has the capacity to stand in the way of one of the slowest processes of nature; evolution.