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What will humans look like a billion years from now?


© March 2015 Anthony Lawrence

2015/03/28

That kind of question gets asked now and then. Typically it gets answered with "We'll be long gone". While I understand the reasoning there, it's not necessarily the right answer or even a good answer.

Now yes, we may wipe ourselves out and die off. But if we don't, we will evolve to meet the demands put upon us. We've done that already; for example picking up the ability to digest lactose. I would bet that we are already evolving toward more resistance to various pollutants and probably toward darker skin again to protect against UV radiation.

Assuming civilization doesn't collapse, we'll even have both digital and genetic records of where we came from. No matter how much changed, if you can trace back millions of generations, you will think of both yourself and your billion year ago grandmother as "human". A biologist might insist that the species are, in fact, different, but regardless: that was your ancestor and there's her birth record!

If digital crap does survive, someone far, far in the future may read this and In the evolution process, what will humans look like in 1 billion years from now? and laugh knowingly.

"Yes, children, back then we lived on a planet that is now destroyed. Many of us had light colored skin and facial hair as well as some body hair if you can imagine that. It was very different then!"


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