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2031: human evolution arrives at the crossroads



Well, according to Darwinism, we are the product of an evolution that took hundreds of million years to reach the status of Homo Sapiens from the unicellular organisms those had started the life in this planet. Does that evolution cease to affect us or we are still evolving? The answer to the question is as simple as well as complex too. The fact is that the modern world hasn't stayed evolution's hand. Comparisons of different genomes show that natural pressures are still doing their thing. The gene for digesting lactose, for example, is slowly spreading from European populations to the rest of humanity. A gene that appears to enhance fertility is also becoming more common across Europe. Disease is still a big driver of human evolution: people with particular genetic arrangements are more likely to survive malaria and HIV, for example. And almost all humans have lost the caspase 12 gene from their genomes, probably because those who have it are more susceptible to bacterial infections. It happens slowly, but we're still changing. The forces of evolutionary changes are still alive.

What will our lives be like in 25 years? Of course nobody can predict the future with 100% accuracy – although certain imaginative personalities may swear to the contrary – but by combining present-day knowledge with expected science and technology breakthroughs, we can create a plausible scenario about what life might be like in 2036.

Today’s biotech research will soon correct many human flaws including vulnerability to disease and telltale signs of aging. Scientists are now learning to regrow cells, tissues and organs, and introduce them into our bodies without surgery. By 2020, we will experience the full benefits of the biotech revolution, gaining tools that will drastically enhance this "house” we call body and brain.

Advanced nanotech, expected in full force by the 2020s, is the next step in the march towards our 2031 future. This includes counter top nano-replicators providing food, clothing, and most physical products at little or no cost – and the "killer-ap”, tiny nanobots monitoring veins and neurons keeping us forever young, healthy, and financially worry-free.

The final element in the quest for this far-out future, lie in supercomputers and artificial intelligence – powerful sophisticated machines that, by 2031, will surpass human intelligence. Development of these "smart” machines is as inevitable as Moore’s Law, the 1965 dictum predicting geometric growth of semiconductor power. Gordon Moore himself said, "Silicon intelligence will evolve to the point where it will be difficult to tell computers from humans”.

Famed physicist Stephen Hawking agrees. "At the moment, computers show no sign of intelligence. This is not surprising, because present day computers are less complex than the brain of an earthworm. But it seems to me that if very complicated chemical molecules can operate in humans to make them intelligent, then equally complicated electronic circuits can also make computers act in intelligent ways”.

Futurist Ray Kurzweil believes we will combine our brain power, knowledge, skills, personality; things that make us human – with tomorrow’s computer power – to think, reason, communicate, and create in ways we can scarcely even imagine today.

When we add explosive growth of computer intelligence to rapid innovations in biotech and nanotech, we create a future where there is no distinction between biological and mechanical. In this transitional world, technology will enable us to escape today’s frail limited bodies and evolve into powerful maintenance-free ageless bodies that never become sick.

The point is that over the next few years, events will change faster than we could ever imagine in our wildest dreams. Much of what we view as science fiction today will happen for real in 20 years. If we stretch that timeframe to 25 years, the results will seem nothing short of magical.

Humanity is rapidly approaching the crossroads. We will soon undergo a quantum leap in evolution, achieving indefinite lifespan and eliminating all unwanted deaths. Huge opportunities will unfold in the coming decades that today we can only begin to faintly see or even imagine.

As we march forward into the 2010s and 2020s, advances in stem cell science, gene therapies, and nano-miracles will make it possible for many of today’s ‘boomers and seniors to personally experience this "magical future” that many positive-thinkers believe will unfold by 2031.

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