Posted by: B Gourley | July 2, 2012

Is “Planet of the Apes” Prophetic?

If we don’t nuke our species into extinction and if the planet isn’t fragged by a wayward asteroid, what will a human look like in half a billion years? According to Michio Kaku, our successors will not look that much different from the way we do today. That is, unless we face new pressures to evolve.

If humanity isn’t evolving, might we devolve? We go to great lengths to ensure the most feeble survive. For tigers, survival of the fittest is the rule. For people, survival of the mediocre is more typical. Instead of an increasing concentration of the exceptional resulting from disproportionate survival, we can expect an increasing rarity of the exceptional.

One of the things that made humanity phenomenal was our ability for abstraction. I’m afraid that, on the whole, our species’ capacity for abstraction is becoming more concentrated among a relatively few. One interesting factoid is that Young Adult fiction is the only growing fiction market. However, young adults aren’t reading more. The obvious explanation is that adults are reading more of this material. Why? I don’t know for sure, but there’s not a lot of that pesky symbolism or premises based on being well-read. Of course, mathematics is broadly taught, but not necessarily broadly grasped or remembered.

None of this keeps me up at night. I will be long gone before the damn dirty apes take over.

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Responses

  1. Reblogged this on iShare.


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