Here’s a zinger to mull over: The BBC has posted an article about a theory advanced by Oliver Curry, an “evolutionary theorist” working out of The London School of Economics, who suggests that humanity may split into two sub-species about 100,000 years down the road. And what we’d be left with is “a genetic upper class” ruling over “a dim-witted underclass.” This is a scenario, of course, that HG Wells laid out in his 1895 classic, The Time Machine (listen to free audiobook on iTunes here). And, if Curry’s theory holds water, Welles may offer the most extreme example of science fiction anticipating the shape of the future. Does Curry’s theory have anything to it? We haven’t the foggiest. But does it make for strangely compelling yet disturbing reading? It sure does.
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I checked the calendar. It’s not April. What’s going on?
I have to say it sounds far fetched. One of the most basic principles of population genetics is that even a very little interbreeding can prevent evolutionary divergence. Natural selection has to be pretty strong to overcome gene flow.
But – the strongest selective agent on the planet right now is arguably Homo sapiens, and as emerging technologies allow us to manipulate our children’s genetics to suit fashion and ambition, maybe we’ll do to ourselves what we’ve already done to St. Bernards and maize.