Some scientists think humanity might be heading toward extinction, but others, like the founder of Harvard Business School’s Life Sciences Project, Juan Enriquez, believe that perhaps we are evolving into a different species instead. Knowing that we could be evolving and altering our own evolution is, according to Enriquez, the biggest story ever told. Enrique has released a book about his theory called Homo Evolutis and has explained his ideas at several TED Talks, revealing how the age of homo sapiens may be over and a new era ready to begin.
According to Enriquez, we take in as much data in a day as we used to see in a lifetime. That type of pressure forces a species to evolve, which likely means our brains are evolving right now to adapt to the new input environment. Consider all of the other changes that human lives have had in the past few centuries – super-sized meals, longer lives, urban living and increases in height and size – and it’s no wonder we are bound to change. Enrique explains that if any animal changes significantly in multiple ways, as humans have, it is typical that said animal will begin to evolve.
So what will the new species look like 500 years from now? Enriquez supposes that we will be taller, have bigger heads, live longer and there will be a larger variety. What makes these changes particularly amazing is that our understanding how evolution works means that we can potentially manipulate our own evolution. “It’s a degree of power and responsibility that really forces humanity to think hard about what its doing,” he says.