The new species we will become by 2050 is indicated by the activities that we have today.
Ever wondered how the future would look like after a couple of decades – more importantly, how we will look like by that time? If evolution was a clue, we could be evolving into another kind of species. And some experts couldn’t agree more.
A researcher by the name of Cadell Last supports this theory with his new research that was published in the Current Aging Science journal. The main point of his research revolves more around our cultural evolution instead of physical evolution. The study indicates that we are shifting away from a “live fast, die young” lifestyle but more towards “living slow and dying old”. Clearly, we are not looking at growing extra limbs or any physical alterations but rather a more developed cultural sense that leads to an extended adulthood.
As a background, Cadell Last is an evolutionary anthropologist and his research has geared towards the species-level differences between humans and chimpanzees. He also works as a science journalist, writing for multiple science publications, as well as a blogger, sharing his findings and thoughts on his website The Advanced Ape. In one of his blog posts, he states, “When I started my undergrad, I knew I was interested in human evolution. This interest developed into a fascination with our closest relatives. I wanted to understand where we came from and studying the animal that we last shared a common ancestor with seemed like a good place to direct my focus.” This fascination drove him to further studies and he is now taking up his PhD at the Global Brain Institute. The publication from Current Aging Science journal is one of his most recent academic publications, the other being Global Brain and the Future of Human Society, published in World Future Review. He is also involved with PBS Digital Studios by coming up with an animated science channel, which has translated to YouTube as well.
The publication with Current Aging Science has made claims that are too interesting to ignore. One of those claims is that by 2050, we will live as long as 120 years old. “What my paper tries to show is that the whole of human evolution in some sense can be viewed as our species trying to abolish the category of adulthood. We want to keep the creativity of cultural reproduction into adulthood.”, Last said. By that time, he thinks our biological clock has become obsolete.
Aside from being fewer, babies will be made later in life – as there will be more childfree years for people to enjoy their leisure time. He stated during an interview, “As countries become socioeconomically advanced, more and more people, especially women, have the option to engage in cultural reproduction.”
Another claim Last made is that by 2050, artificial intelligence will more or less take over our jobs. Robots will be predominant in the workforce, and because of the competition for work, the study predicts some physical qualities and characteristics of an average person will change: a 35-year-old male worker will have “red eyes, a smaller penis, a larger brain, advanced language skills and bio-implants to improve their performance.”
Based on how we live right now, it’s not hard to see the evidence that could support Last’s claims. “People are going to be able to have more control over how they spend their time and energy, culturally speaking. And that will be a big change, which will be a fundamental difference between industrial society and the society we’re making.” Even if it’s not a cultural evolution and by the manner we consume our resources, plus the choices that we make every day, some kind of transformation is inevitable for humans in the near future and we might just be at the cusp of it.