This from the wires. I could pick out a quote, but it just zings along from beginning to end in one big galloping rampage of joy. Can’t wait to see if the newspapers pick it up, it feels excellently 1950s and is doubtless much more exciting and important science news than this kind of dreary old nonsense. The Darwin@LSE department, apart from the name (to which the years will not be kind) is quite a sound outfit producing mostly great work. Ho hum. I mean, maybe it’s not that bad. Go, Dr Oliver Curry of LSE!
Embargoed to 0001 Tuesday October 17
HUMANS `MIGHT SPLIT INTO TWO SPECIES’
By John von Radowitz, PA Science Correspondent
Social division might split humans into two sub-species 100,000 years from now
– just as HG Wells predicted.
The descendants of the genetic upper class would be tall, slim, healthy,
attractive, intelligent, and creative.
They would be a far cry from the “underclass” humans who will have evolved
into dim-witted, ugly, squat goblin-like creatures.
The forecast was made by evolution expert Dr Oliver Curry, who spent two
months investigating the ascent and descent of Man over the next 100 millennia.
Novelist HG Wells predicted a similar gloomy outcome for humanity in his novel
The Time Machine.
He envisaged a race of frail privileged beings, the Eloi, who lived above
ground in a futuristic ruined city.
They were prey for the cannibalistic ape-like Morlocks, who toiled underground
and whose ancestors were the downtrodden workers of today.
According to Dr Curry, the human race is likely to peak in the year 3,000,
before collapsing into technology-driven decline.
Within a thousand years, humans will evolve into coffee-coloured giants
between six and seven feet tall, he predicts. Improved nutrition and medical
science will see people growing taller and fitter, while life-spans are extended
to 120 years.
Physical appearance, driven by indicators of health, youth and fertility, will
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 skin, large clear eyes, pert
breasts, glossy hair, even features and smooth hairless skin.
Racial differences will be ironed out by interbreeding, producing a uniform
race of coffee-coloured people.
But the golden age of the beautiful people will not last forever, warns Dr
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.
Humans 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, paradoxically, by reliance on
medicine. Weak immune systems might be one result. Preventing deaths would also
help to preserve the genetic defects that cause cancer.
Humans might improve themselves by using genetic engineering to replace faulty
stretches of DNA, says Dr Curry.
Much further into the future, sexual selection – being choosy about one’s
partner – was likely to create more and more genetic inequality.
The logical outcome would be two sub-species, “gracile” and “robust”
humans representing the rich and poor from long ago in history.
Dr Curry, from the Darwin@LSE research centre at the London School of
Economics, was commissioned to carry out the study by the men’s satellite TV
He said: “The Bravo Evolution Report suggests that the future of man will be
a story of the good, the bad and the ugly.
“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.
“After that, things could get ugly, with the possible emergence of genetic
`haves’ and `have-nots’.”
Bravo asked Dr Curry to make his forecast to mark the channel’s 21st
Director of programmes Johnny Webb said: “It is amazing to think that in just
one thousand years time away everything will be so different.”
161028 OCT 06