The future of human evolution has changed. We have evolved past the necessity of time and random mutation into an era of creation. The proverbial torch of progression has been passed on from the hands of mother nature herself into to the hands of humans. As far as we know, humans are the only species on this planet intelligent enough to alter our DNA, to manipulate our environment, and to create and destroy faster than nature can keep up.
Stages of Human Evolution
Traditional evolution takes places over billions of years. We observe the change of species and genomes over vast time periods that are nearly incomprehensible to humans. This process is very slow, and it seems to be the first stage of a species’ evolutionary period. Life must wait for selection to occur in order to weed out bad traits and optimize for good ones. Now, humans are rapidly entering a second stage of evolution, where the species itself is able to alter them and the environment faster and more effectively than nature can.
The second stage of evolution seems to occur as a byproduct of two things: being self-aware and being able to change our environment on a global scale. Our ability to observe ourselves leads to the power to critically think, and this has in turn lead to the intelligence that we have come to possess. This can be observed all over the world.
Externally, we are changing our environment and are rapidly approaching a point of criticality. Our actions have lead us to the global climate crisis that we are currently in and are forcing us to develop new sources of renewable energy at an exponential rate. Internally, we can now alter the DNA of crops and other animals, clone species, and we are able to predict the health of infants solely from what their genome holds inside it.
The Future of Human Evolution
As we progress in knowledge and in technology, we will be able to manipulate the future of human evolution to our liking. We will be able to live in harmony with any environment that humans reside in. We will be able to change and alter our genetic code to eliminate disease and extend life. We will be able to eradicate any virus, bacteria, or other disease by having a holistic understanding of how each individual piece of the genetic code operates together. We will even be able to change our genes to select for the smartest, fittest, and healthiest traits possible. This type of technology is not only possible but it is inevitable.
This leads one to ponder on the morality of this technology. When we can make infants healthier, smarter, more creative, taller, or any number of other traits, who should decide of this is allowed? I think the answer to this idea should be similar to one of religion. Everything comes down to personal belief and perspective. Instead of arguing who is right and wrong, let’s take the stance that both sides of this debate are correct. If you believe that we should never take a part in altering our DNA, then you can choose to not partake. However, if you believe in changing your genome for the better, then you can choose to manipulate your biological chemistry.
Are we ready?
This ability holds a great responsibility. As a whole, we can use this technology to better the lives of everyone, to remove disease and to help everyone live healthy and happy lives. But the question is, are humans as a whole ready for this? There is still needless war raging across the globe, petty theft, mass murders and the inequality of sex and gender. Greed is still a major driver of action, and we need to ask ourselves of we are evolving mentally and emotionally to keep up with the physical and technological change that we have begun.
For humans, evolution has become outdated. By simply being aware of its existence, we are setting ourselves up to take over as the primary driver of change. The only question that we have to answer is one that everyone has on their minds. Is the future of human evolution ready to be handed over to humans, or will we crumble under the intense pressure that this kind of knowledge and power has?