In On The Origin of Species, Charles Darwin wrote about natural selection. This is the process by which organisms evolve over time. Humans – or better known by their scientific name, homo sapiens – have not been immune from this process and our species is the product of evolving from other, earlier species including Homo erectus and Homo habilis.
This post is not to talk about evolution or those who deny its scientific credentials. Instead, this post is about how Homo sapiens is an evolutionary dead end.
Yep, we are the last of our kind. There is no moving forward from this point on the family tree.
I make this announcement based on two idiosyncracies of our species.
The first has to do with out brain power. Because of our intelligence, we can build solutions to adapt to changing situations. With our mental know-how, there is no need for us to use natural selection to adapt to any different set of conditions that we might encounter in the future. From climate change to space travel to an errant chunk of comet slamming into the Pacific Ocean, humanity will be able to use its combined cranial fortitude to craft a technological solution to help us live.
And if we can’t, then that is the end of us and our line.
The second reason I make my Traveling Wilburys-like announcement has to do with how our society treats change.
The process of natural selection will express itself in humanity – as it does in all other organisms – by producing a mutation. This mutation may or may not produce an effect that is beneficial to the person who has that mutation. This mutation may or may not show itself as a physical difference. However, if this mutation does produce a marked physical difference and whether or not if confers an adaptive advantage to the carrier, the person with that mutation will be killed off as soon as possible.
Sad to say – but ever so true – but human society despises the other and actively seeks to destroy that which is different. It’s part of the reason genocide is the pastime of humanity. So if there ever comes a person who displays gills or translucent skin or…whatever the beneficial mutation is, that person will be knocked off by a tribe, mob, or government entity before that mutant has the chance to propagate.
So, for those pair of reasons, that is why I conclude that H. sapiens is the highest – and last – branch on the Homo tree.
Best of luck to those who follow us.