What will Humans look like 1000 years from now?

I was once made to understand that evolution never stops. If this is true, what do you think our offspring will look link in the next few millineums. According to the Darwin Theory, mankind a few millineum ago were very short and were a direct descendant from mammals, which were descendants from plankton, which were descendants from ameoba or single celled lifeforms which evolved from the sea. I am aware that out bodies are constantly evolving even as we sit here reading this post. A good example is that we are still in the process of losing our wisdom teeth. Our wisdom teeth once grew out completely because in our more privitive days mankind ate raw meat and hard berries and seeds, thus needing this additional set of teeth to grind up and chew the food we needed to survive. As we slowly became more “civilized”, we learned to process our food wher it could be consumed easier, as we practiced this food processing to the point where it became a p[art of our daily lives, these extra set of teeth were no longer needed and slowly began to receed back into our gums eventually to disappear altogether someday. (Cite is a program covering this on the Discovery Channel)

**General Question : ** As life on earth evolves, mankind is bound by nature to evolve with it. What do you think we will look like in the distant future (say 10 millineum from now)?

Sorry for the typo’s. I was very tired when I typed this. :wink:

I will take a LOT more than a 1000 years to much affect the way we look.

Also, we are not evolving towards anything - wisdom teeth may, at some future date, become less problematic, as just one example, with the result that most folks could wind up having them come in with no problem.

Maybe even not from an evolution perspective, we are interbreding a lot more than we used to.

This will probably lead to a more centralised race (especially after one thousand years) with less ‘pure bred’ groups.

But physically I think our characteristics will be almost the same.

This is incorrect. Individuals do not evolve, populations do. We do not “evolve” as we sit here reading this post.

We have plenty of artwork and many statues from Greece and Rome, showing us what humans looked like 2000 years ago, and you know what? They don’t look much (if any) different from us.

So, I wouldn’t expect people 1000 years from noiw to look much different from us, either.

My OP seems to be rather inconstistant with the rest of my post. I would like to make a correction:

Correction: What do you think we as humans will look like 100,000 years (10 millieum) from now? (not 1000 years)

Because there is no survival pressure for wisdom teeth to dissapear, they will probably remain for a long long time.

To your question, by the year 3000 every person in the world will look like ME!!
Aaaaaarha ha ha HA HA HA!

10,000 years is a barely a drop in the bucket on the evolutionary timescale for humans. That’s essentially just 400 generations. On a practical level the evolution of the human race is probably going to diverge significantly from a nature only path now that we are developing the tools to mold our genetic makeup. Direct genetic intervention is going to have more to say about man’s ultimate genetic path in the new few thousand years than natural mutations.

“In the Year
If Man is still alive…”

oh, OK, a 100,000 years…

Well, that depends on a couple of factors.

IF we go for genetic engineering – probably not that much different in external appearance. However, we will probably have far fewer individuals suffering from genetic-based diseases - assuming we get it right. Depending on how we go about it, the race could be healthier than ever before. Or we could wind up extinct if we really blow it. Probably somewhere in between - on average folks are healthier, but a few disasters will make an appearance from time to time. People might be more “beautiful” - but given the wide range of what’s considered “beautiful” in humanity that may or may not be in accordance with our standards.

IF we don’t use genetic engineering in any significant way, probably not much different at all - even after 100,000 years. Human remains (Homo sapiens sapiens, not Homo neanderthalis) from 100,000 ago are largely indistinguishable from the modern skeleton. On the other hand, there is some evidence of a mental change around 50,000-60,000 years ago… but not conclusive. We might wind up with a better tolerance for crowding and less agression on average because those are survival traits in this world. There is also advantage for anyone better able to tolerate pollutants of various sorts, so after 100,000 years the average person might be less vulnerable to those environmental insults. Certain genotypes confer resistance to disease - the genes that make a person immune to HIV are very rare right now but in 100,000 years might become common. Again, though, this is unlikely to significantly alter our external appearances.

IF we migrate to other planets and wind up with isolated breeding populations in alien environments that exert strong selective pressure we could wind up with separate human species, which could evolve as quickly as 100,000 years. These folks might look pretty human, but due to internal biochemical changes might not be able to interbreed with each other or Earth humans. This process usually takes longer than 100,000 in a long-lived species such as us, but it’s at least theorectically possible.

So there are several possibilities.

If we go for genetic modification I doubt it will even take 1000 years. :wink: Or are you forseeing some Dunish event that slows down progress for tens of thousands of years?

Something like this, I imagine.

A millenia is 1,000 years. 10 millenia is 10,000 years.

Well, just within the last few hundred years we’ve gotten taller and heavier. I imagine that will continue up to a point. Beyond a certain weight health issues will begin to kick in and things would have to level off.

I’m also expecting features such as skin tone and facial shape to become more blended. Unless something catacylismic happens to keep populations apart, of course.

I’d also expect a loss of muscle mass. We’re going to become even more sedentary (Again, assuming no disaster) so we probably won’t need a lot of strength. Manual labour is already a lot less manual thanks to robotics etc.

Intelligence ought to go up too. We’ll be able to prevent or repair the problems that cause mental handicaps.

Or some twit could push the wrong button…

If GM doesn’t turn out to be workable and if we don’t embark upon some sort of global eugenics program (and I’m not suggesting this), one possibility is that humans may become more dependent on a variety of medical procedures, most notably those to correct hereditary conditions that carry a greater risk of infant mortality or reproductive failure (yes, infertility could be hereditary).

Haven’t we been consistently getting taller? And more resistant to most diseases. And generlly healthier. Aren’t they all going to affect our evolution?

Maybe not, as a lot of that is kind of artificially induced… or at the least we aren’t sure of the long-term effects…

Hmmm… musemuse*

Unless you sit here reading it for a long time and starve to death. Then you’d be evolving (or more properly, helping the species evolve) to read faster. :slight_smile:

Until an evolutionary biologist comes along, here’s my (post biology101 & 102) take. You have to also consider that this thread is an IMHO or great debate.

Remember that evolution generally only works to get rid of traits that are hindering reproduction. This day in age, at least in developed countries, things like wisdom teeth are not going to be changing much.

That’s probably because of better nutrition, although it’s been debated. Even here and here.

People don’t inherit the previous generations acquired characteristics (Lamarckism). It’s true that the average person might be less muscular than now, but it’s not necessarily in the genes.
Related discussion:

Are Human Beings still evolving? by Cecil Adams

Were it not for modern medicine there would be environmental pressure against wisdom teeth because our jaws have become smaller over the past 50,000 years and there isn’t room for them. They impact and infect and the infection goes to the brain and WHAM, one less young adult to spread the gene.

As for everybody looking like you, I know you are joking but if you are a person who is of indeterminate ethnicity but are nut brown with black hair* there will be an AWFUL LOT of people who look like you in a 1000 years. Something that has always peeved me about Star Trek is how ethnically distinctive the humans are. People LIKE to “interbreed” and there’s no stopping them, so it’s kinda like the generic** dogs you get after a few generations when purebreds are allow to follow their instincts.

    • Not a bad look, lemme tell ya! There’s something about that hybrid vigor that really works.

** - You don’t really want me to call them “pariah dogs” when I’ve already insulted enough people with my comparison of ethnically mixed people to mutts, do you? And jeeze, now I’ve used the word “mutts” and folks are going to get REAL pissed when I honest-to-God don’t mean anything bad by it!