Human evolution is often spoken of as something that was wrapped up eons ago, but the truth is that evolution is something that never actually stops, even if it isn’t occurring in a genetic sense. For example, we’ve grown collectively larger and taller, as well as seen our lifespans double, in the space of just 100 years.
What’s more is that there’s no sign of this trend slowing down. On the contrary, the evidence suggests that progress will continue to happen, and even become more rapid. Scientists, doctors, futurists all agree that our bodies will look different to how they look now in 100 years’ time. Let’s take a look at the changes that experts are predicting to occur:
It’s possible that we might develop more cartilage in our skeletons as our bodies evolve to reduce the impact of accidents, falls or other injuries. Experts predict that rigid and inflexible bones won’t be as essential to humans in the future.
2. Our teeth will be more beak-like
One of the more bizarre predictions on this list involves the notion that human teeth might begin to fuse together in future to create a more robust and practical beak. Some say that there’s outside possibility that human beings might evolve to grow beaks similar to the ones puffer fish have.
The trend of human beings becoming taller on average over the past 100 years will likely continue into the next 100. A century ago, the average American man stood 5 feet 7 inches tall, which is in contrast to the average of 5 feet 10 inches that exists today. It remains to be seen how tall we’ll be on average in 100 years.
4. Our lungs will work harder
In future, human beings are going to need lungs and muscles that are capable of taking in more oxygen, which would make us more suited to low-oxygen environments (such as if we had to start populating Mars) and generally enhance our health. This change could come through natural evolution or a future genetic redesign.
The digits in our fingers are also likely to become more flexible than at present, allowing them to take a form that retains precision but loses rigidity. This will allow us to have a wider range and spend when typing or touch-screening while retaining the physical characteristics that make using a touchscreen feasible.
6. Our brains will become more computer-like
We’re having to process far more data today than we did just a couple of years ago, and this is likely to increase in the future. In the present day, the influx of information is triggering different responses in different people – from synesthesia in some, to hypersensitivity in others.
Technological improvements are set to all but eradicate impairments such as deafness and blindness. If you think about how hearing aids have evolved in our lifetimes alone, then you’ll see that the only way forward is exponentially greater progress in this regard. The same goes for the eyes – there’s a team in Germany currently engineering eyes that allow blind people to see light and dark. Although the technology is still relatively primitive, it’s hoped that it will progress to allow them to see shape, then color, and then one day, see in definition.
8. More allergies
As our living conditions improve thanks to technology and reduced exposure to bugs, bacteria, and infection, our immune systems might take to fighting off formerly harmless substances, leading us to develop allergies to things that were previously innocuous. The likelihood is that we’ll end up with weaker immune systems, but there’s a possibility that we might live in a society that won’t need them at all.
The evolution of human life can be seen as one long trend toward delayed sexual maturation and biological reproduction. In other words, we’ve gone from living fast and dying young, to living slowly and dying old throughout the course of human history, and this trend is only set to continue in future.
10. We’ll be fatter
It has been a full 37 years since a national government reported a success story regarding tackling obesity in its populace. People just keep on getting fatter, and that shows no signs of abating any time soon. The trend will continue unless serious changes are made in the near future.
Futurists predict that we’ll be wiring our brains to computers in order to work faster by 2050, with most of the developed world doing so by 2075. By 2100, most of the world’s inhabitants will use machine augmentation for their brains.
12. Genetically-modified cells
Should we decide to colonize Mars or some other far away world, we’re going to have to modify our cells in order to survive there. These genetic modifications will allow us to explore, live in, and reach places that we wouldn’t even imagine possible today. Genetically-reprogrammed cells, for instance, would be able to repair themselves after radiation damage in the event of a nuclear disaster, or a Mars exploration gone wrong.
Genetic manipulation of the human genome will allow for the removal of genetic diseases, such as cystic fibrosis, Huntington’s disease, and others, in the future.
14. We’ll be able to download our memories
It’s entirely conceivable that one day soon, we’ll be able to download our memories onto a computer, or even into an entirely new body. Such experiments are already being conducted on mice at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Technology might also allow us to change the color of our skin at will someday in the future. When you think about it, being able to visually blend in or stand out would be a potent advantage in modern society.
16. We’ll be more at ease in scorching temperatures
Global warming is going to continue, so humans will simply have to adapt, and that means adjusting our behavior to withstand very warmer conditions. After all, a warmer climate is inevitable.
Age reversal technology and plastic surgery are progressing at a blinding rate, so it will become ever easier to turn around the negative effects of aging and look younger than we really are. In the future, people who are in their 60s will look like they’re in their 40s, and this trend will apply to almost all age groups.
18. There’s a chance we’ll live forever…
There’s a chance that we might live on through some kind of artificial intelligence embodiment of ourselves sometimes in the future. Breakthroughs in the field of genetics, biotechnology, and AI will expand human intelligence will allow us to, one day, defeat death (the Singularity).
If the above scenario doesn’t emerge in the next 100 years, then genetic modification will succeed in keeping people alive far longer than is possible today. This will occur through the eradication of disease and the enhancement of other health conditions.
20. We’ll be telepathic
Synthetic telepathy will likely be possible thanks to strides made in technology that allow us to convey our thoughts merely by thinking them. It’s just a question of making “communication” understandable through electrical signals rather than words.
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