Humans are primates. Our primeval ancestor, whom we share in common with the great apes, lived some 6.8 million years ago.
Sometime after that, an evolutionary divergence occurred, and the simians split off from the line that would, down a long road, give rise to a new genus—Homo—which, in turn, would give rise to humans.
The first species of this hominid group, the Homo habilis, appeared 2.4 million years ago. Homo sapiens, arrived about 200,000 years ago.
In the passage of these epochs, our brain size has increased in volume from 600 cubic-centimeters (in H. habilis) to 1,500 cubic-centimeters (in H. neanderthalensis.) Then, it shrank back a bit to what it’s now, an average of 1,350 cubic centimeters.
We’re still evolving. Only, the catalyst of our future evolution will be technology—not environment, as it’s been in the past. Unless a killer asteroid wipes us out, machines will. Alternatively, we’ll merge with them. In either scenario, the human species, as we know it today, will likely become extinct.
A new, posthuman species will emerge.
Based on a conversation with Alan Kwan, an expert in computational genomics at Washington University, in St. Louis, Missouri, illustrator Nickolay Lamm has graphed the “changing morphology of the human face over the next 100,000 years.”
Present. This is a male and a female of today.
20,000 A.D. The skull is bigger. A yellow ring appears around the pupil due to the presence of a Google Glass-like contact lens, which transmits high-resolution visual data directly to the retina.
60,000 A.D. The skull is still bigger to fit a bigger brain. The skin is darker to better deal with the effects of radiation in space colonies.
100,000 A.D. By now, we begin to look like Margaret Keane’s famous big-eyed kids.
h/t: DISCOVERY NEWS