View Single Post
Old 02-27-2017, 11:30 PM
Mijin Mijin is offline
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Shanghai
Posts: 8,100
Originally Posted by ftg View Post
The vast difference in rate of change between these two messes up a lot of things.

For example, there might one trait now that isn't so good for us but in a more advanced society 500 years from now will be advantageous.

Evolution is not just playing catchup, the goal posts keep moving around as well as getting farther and farther away.
Exactly. It's like asking "In 100,000 years time, when continental drift means Jamaica is only half as far away, will a ferry crossing still cost $50?". Arguably this is a less silly question than the future of human evolution, because the continents' movement is unlikely to be affected by human activities, but because continental drift doesn't have the baggage of misconceptions that evolution has, it can illustrate the problem with that way of thinking.

One human problem that has arisen due to rapid change is so many people falling for lies. Language developed too quickly that the countermeasures to tell when someone is scamming us haven't developed to keep pace. Will we ever evolve the ability to spot BS?
We have our fair share of cognitive biases and blindspots that's for sure.

On lies though, it's not quite as simple as you say. One hypothesis for example is that one of the reasons Homo's brains had such a runaway increase in intelligence is because it became an issue, not of being smart enough to hunt or escape predators, but being smarter than the next man. And that being able to tell if someone was cheating you became very important.
Certainly modern humans seem to instinctively develop an idea of fair vs cheating.

Unfortunately though, for facts, it seems we put a lot of stock in who the messenger is. If it's someone we trust, or want to follow, the default is to accept what they are saying.