Monday, June 25, 2012

Doug Casey: The Human Race will Evolve into Other Species

Doug Casey is one of the most creative and imaginative thinkers around. He has some thoughts on how the human race will evolve into other species. It's more far out than most science fiction, but the theory he spins has a great bit of logic to it.

Casey observes:
Once humans get established in space, evolution will take over – and take off. Before then, however, and likely even before we leave the planet, I'll bet there's going to be a lot of intentional, as opposed to natural, genetic alteration. It will start with efforts to eliminate undesirable genes that predispose one to heart disease, cancer, or genetic disorders. But while we're at it, why not also select for blue eyes, taller, more muscular frame, greater intelligence, and anything else people might want their children to have? Some people won't want to go that route, preferring to leave things to nature, but their children will be at a disadvantage to those whose parents have selected superior genes. That could lead to speciation along several lines.

Read the rest here.


  1. I think I'll just watch GATTACA again rather than finish this article.

  2. Very interesting write up.

    "Assuming the speed of light really is the natural cosmic speed limit, that follows."

    Yea, that's the only one I'm not sure about. The last god particle experiment @ CERN is suggesting it is possible to go faster than the speed of light, not withstanding the math surrounding the viability of "warp" type travel and super string theory implications.

    Personally I think there's plenty of video evidence, with more popping up every day, that we are already being visited/observed. You could spend weeks on youtube seeing all sorts of UFO's.

    I'm sure much of it is fake...but I'm also sure much of it isn't. My point being that I kinda doubt our visitors have been traveling for years in space colony's to get here. I think it's as simple as "flipping" a switch for them...but then again it's all speculation.

    Look at what we've accomplished in just 100 years with the advancement of electricity, then computers natually as a by product....I have a hard time believing we'll NOT be manipulating the "laws" of physics to do amazing things in regard to space travel in less than 300 years and that most of the break throughs will be on a theoretical scale more so than a physical one.

    Along those lines I doubt it will be even necessary to have "space colonies", instead it will probably be more of a vacation type or voluntary thing.

    I agree with him 100% on the soon to be coming genetic arms race so to speak. If you decide not to participate in selectively editing genes your offspring will be "behind" in's inevitable whether anyone likes it or not.

    All one has to do is look at baseball, especially in the 70's and 80's to see what happens to those that advantage themselves with drugs versus those that don't(the ole Ken Griffey Jr. vs. Barry Bonds issue).

    It follows the same as the cost & risk drops, while availibility increases for genetic engineering.

    Maybe our ungoing fiscal disaster will slow things down for a bit a la the "middle ages"...but it certainly isn't going to prevent the inevitable.

  3. Fck nature - we crossed that line long time ago with our hospitals, medications, organ transplants, bicycle helmets, etc. Stupidity and sickness lives on thanks to humans.

    Or think of it that way. What do we do all day long? We sit and watch computer monitors, read news from an iPad, and talk to people over Skype or cell phone. There isn't anything natural about that. It's all made up by man. It's all messing with nature (and therefore evolution) itself. So I don't really see any problem going for the perfect humans with their blue eyes and what not.

    Of course, if people really understand the very nature of living and life, we won't go there at all. Look at Buddhist monks or hippies. They don't need material things for a reason. They understand something ''white man'' doesn't. Sure we'll think of them as crazy people, but I tend to think we are the ignorant ones. Like getting more money will make us happier. Getting that new Macbook which I want so freakin' badly (yet didn't even know it existed 2 months ago). If people wake up to the reality, all these things will quietly die. There's more to life than what's on the surface.

  4. A nice science fiction read in that vein:

    Greg Bear, _Darwin's Radio_.

    Charles Wilson

  5. I don't think Casey has watched MTV (or Fox News) lately. We're devolving.

  6. There are a couple of things here:

    "taller, more muscular frame,"

    It takes more economic output in the form of food production to support this. If I were at optimum weight (I'm definitely not), I would still be well over 200 lbs. I've often wondered exactly how much of a disadvantage that will be in the case of teotwawki. In certain circumstances, the added muscle is advantageous, but in a world of guns, it mostly just makes you a bigger, and easier target to hit. It also makes space travel much more inconvenient -- especially if you cannot break the light barrier as mass increases the travel energy required.

    greater intelligence

    That's certainly advantageous, but I think it's far more likely (and closer at hand) that we will invent machines that are intelligent enough to invent other machines that are even more intelligent. Depending upon the nature of consciousness (i.e. is it just a mathematical entity that springs into being when a neural network is complex enough or if the network is of a certain configuration?), it is more likely that we will be supplanted by machines -- even if that means our consciousness will be transferred to the machines. Sometime in the next 100 years, the transformation of machines to fully-intelligent beings is likely, and at that point things will move quickly. I know it sounds all "Terminator," but I think it's a likely outcome of machines that can invent other machines.

  7. Genetic science is nowhere near the level it would need to be for people to engineer humans. It may never get there. From the effect of mitochondria to the system of epigenetics, the human form is incredibly complex, and a mere arrangement of amino acids along a genome does not seem to be enough to tinker with the human form in a targeted manner. Forget about creating sentience, the core of human life.

    Hell, most of the science on "this gene influences this disease" is government funded dreck anyway (directly or indirectly).

    It seems like sometimes these libertarian entrepreneurs get caught up in their own grandeur and catch on to wild science fiction in their enthusiasm over the power of the individual. Of course, such freethinkers could never be bound by a religion or theology.

    The elephant sitting in the living room is that ethically, mankind has never evolved. You would think this would have occurred since the so-called emergence of "homo-sapien", as distinct from other ape skeletons being passed off as proto-humans.

    I'm completely open to these ideas mind you, it's just that for the last 150 years, governments have dominated the research and incentives for research. Until that ends, I treat the science very skeptically.

  8. This isn't exactly an original thought on Casey's part, but it is interesting nonetheless. The band Tool has a song called '46 and 2' that is pretty much about this very thing, except it is mostly referring to consciousness rather than any physical concerns. However, I think that we'll either destroy ourselves, that the universe will destroy us, or that we'll become pets before we actually progress into another species.

  9. We are Homo Unintendedconsequensus - the thinking ape that can't see beyond the end of its nose. Solving the cosmic puzzle, but incapable of understanding what it means...