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Man of the Future: Family and classes

July 1 2005

To build predictions for the distant future a lot easier than predicting events in the next week. At least, because to answer for his words do not have: a half years no one will worry about how were the lives of their distant descendants geeks from scientific laboratories beginning of the XXI century. But seriously, is predicting appearance of a man living in the 500 thousandth year, futurists consider only a very small number of factors, from genetics and technology. Consider the rest they simply can not.

Quite difficult, for example, to calculate how the climate and general environmental situation will be on Earth through hundreds of thousands of years, since virtually impossible to imagine the level of development of human technology and the extent of its impact on the environment. After all, human imagination is quite limited. In times of antiquity, no one imagined the current level of civilization. So can we expect that we now find ourselves able to look at the hundreds of thousands of years ahead? Still trying - very much like.

Bespaliy and simous

Geneticists, anthropologists, paleontologists agree on one thing: our distant descendants will dwarf freaks, reminiscent of "little green men" from second-rate science fiction movie. Five hundred thousand years, Earthlings will be large, round bald head. Increase of the skull occupied by the brain, but the person, by contrast, would be a lot less. And it will be virtually flat: a vertical forehead, superciliary smooth arc, small nose (almost two holes), a small toothless mouth c big lips. Human growth fall by almost half a meter. The rib cage will be smaller, possibly, reduce the number of vertebrae, clavicle disappear. At the hands remain only three fingers.

Not very pleasant appearance. However, the likely evolution would go a different way. After all, today people can artificially change the genotype.

See you later, alligator when you are

In the next decade by genetic engineering may be to regulate the sex of the child, the color of his skin, the coefficient of his intellectual development, and much more. Genetics will allow people to not only accelerate their evolution, but also switch it from "random mutations" in a purposeful design.

Almost ten years ago, a group of scientists from the Princeton Institute for Advanced Studies began to calculate the ideal space empire. Mol, mankind will escape beyond the home planet, and the inhabitants of the interplanetary probes - and the more the colonists on distant planets - obviously have to change. Will not be the same for generations of former Earthlings walk in space suits and breathe through the filters!

In its present form of people will die instantly, it is worth it, "his nose" for a board (or in case of depressurization of the vessel). In an open space, the blood in his veins literally boil after five seconds. Company physicists, biologists and programmers decided that the person will have to be "tanned skin, similar to the scales of a crocodile. This is the only thing that will survive in emergency situations. In addition, it is necessary to resolve the issue and the supply of human oxygen. Ideal option, scientists have counted photosynthesis. So that the astronauts will be even one human race - the green.

Otherwise, they will look like normal people. But only in appearance: the senses are somewhat different. For example, the space race will see the world only in ultraviolet light.

These "people" are unlikely to exist on Earth - they come to light now at the space stations. On the home planet of humanity will evolve differently.

Immortal boys-in-law

First and foremost, in the near future, a man considerably older. Hundreds of thousands of years later, earthlings, perhaps, will the little man, but while the reverse process. In addition, sexual, intellectual and emotional maturation will advance all before. In this case, people will live longer (under favorable conditions, of course) thanks to the development of medicine.

But by the end of this century, the fate of the planet will no longer be determined by either biology or ecology. The main factor is a revolution in information processing and advances in nanotechnology. Already by 2030 the human body can be stuffed with billions of nanorobots. Initially they will be used for medical purposes (to serve "internal" anti-virus protection, for example) and in the future will be able to actually replace all the senses, making it a more sophisticated bio-cybernetic body. This man of the future do not be like a cyborg of some science fiction horror film - apparently it can remain as it is now. But that's inside ...

Devices nanometer level will be similar to viruses not only in size but also the way to interact with the organism. The only difference is that nanorobots will not restrict, but to empower the body - to improve vision and hearing, for example, to replace poorly performing cancer ... Some optimists believe that by doing so you can even become immortal.

Artificial selection

But that's the pipes, the scientists said. Whatever is promised to separate the speculators from science to extend the life science at best, but death is unlikely to win. Here "off" individual genes, allegedly responsible for the progress of "biological clock" will not help - it was too complicated system of "people", completely understand it will not very soon. If it is possible.

In general, the pessimists among scientists a lot, although unlike the amateurs, they rarely appear in the media. No wonder: who is nice to hear warnings about the impending end of the world. And something like that genetics we are predicting. According to many scientists, by the middle of this century, most children will be born with severe abnormalities. Because the gene pool of humanity is degrading rapidly.

All because a man is not the mechanism of natural selection. For example, if global warming did not survive those who are more resistant to high temperatures, and people with money to good air conditioning system. Medicine allowed to win many terrible diseases - congenital heart disease or kidney disease, but as a result carriers "defective" genes, a century ago are doomed to die in childhood, now safely off. Thus, inherited and fixed all the biological defects. And if we add to this mutation, associated with environmental pollution ...

It now is not even about the bright future of man, and the survival of the species. If after a couple of decades, still will not be cheap, available genetic engineering or nanotechnology, all our ideas about the future - even somber, though optimistic - a flight to hell. Because the dream of the future will be to no one. Is that the dolphin, or some squid.

But most people believe: nothing better than a man can not be. The future looks to us as the improvement of living conditions, development of science and technology, the population of other planets and so forth and try to guess what will look like our distant descendants. We simply can not imagine that humankind will be replaced by more advanced forms of life. Surely, also thought the dinosaurs.

Oleg Artyukov

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