There are times when I’ll walk into a bar or club, look around, and think: “We can’t possibly be members of the same species. Or at least, I hope we’re not.” Still, count me a shade on the skeptical side about this BBC report on one evolutionary theorist’s prediction of some genetic schism in which humanity bifuricates into a tastefully beige apollonian overclass on the one hand and a race of dull-witted morlocks on the other. The idea that you can extrapolate predictions on an evolutionary scale from near term trends (e.g. the supposed “loss of community” as technology proliferates) just seems mad—especially since within a few hundred years, I imagine our ability to consciously tinker with the genome will dwarf ordinary selection pressures. The sense that we’re witnessing an act of rectal ventriloquism only increases when we reach passages like this:
Women, on the other hand, will develop lighter, smooth, hairless skin, large clear eyes, pert breasts, glossy hair, and even features, he adds. Racial differences will be ironed out by interbreeding, producing a uniform race of coffee-coloured people.
I’m imagining the good doctor in conversation with his spouse or girfriend: “Look, if you get the implants and a Brazillian now, you’ll be, uh… ahead of the evolutionary curve! Yeah, that’s the ticket… the genetic vanguard!” Points for out-of-the-box thinking, I guess.