Dienstag, 6. März 2007

What sort of people will have babies in the future?

In a new article people like Bruce Lahn, Steven Pinker, Jared Diamond, Peter Richerson and Daniel Dennett are asked, what they think at the moment about the (past and) the future of human evolution. Daniel Dennett has a good point:

... "The question to ask is this," said Dennett at Tufts. "What features are shared by most of the people having babies that survive to have babies of their own?"

And I think, the answer is very simple. As far as we know the best and most robust factor, that correlates with fertility in humans nowadays is religion, Mr. Dennett! - You aren't surprised?

But Daniel Dennett has more interesting things to say:

... "In different environments, different pressures may well dominate. If pandemics or huge shifts in the environment occur, this may create bottlenecks, through which only a lucky few can pass their genes.

"Perhaps tolerance for mercury in the diet, or an ability to digest kudzu, or a pronounced fondness for living underground in the dark will be strongly favored after some catastrophe."

However, Dennett added, "Since evolution is an amplifier of noise - unpredictable insertions into the prevailing patterns - it is a mistake to extrapolate current trends with much confidence."

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