The Biological Future of Humanity

I’ve just arrived at the Future of Science conference here in Venice and The Evolution of Life session is underway. Ian Tattersall, curator of anthropology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York will be speaking shortly. I hope to interview him and others later today. This is from today’s press release…

“The human brain has enlarged three-fold over the last two million years, and that has surely had important survival value,” according to Ian Tattersall, “Human evolution is now at a standstill and further evolutionary growth in brain size is not possible: our long term survival depends on our ability to live with ourselves as we are.”

There’s more from Tattersall in the press release… “From the fossil record it emerges that human evolution is not a linear development from the simple to the complex, but is characterized by diversity, with several human secies developing and then dying out. Today with the single remain human species dominant, and its population still expanding, conditions for the evolution of new traits are absent. It is true we are changing at a historically unprecedented rate, but these are changes at the technological level not the biological level. Because of this technology we are discovering and exploring the biological capabilities we already possess. We can hope that evolutionary forces will intervene to improve our future prospects. We have to do it by ourselves.”

Update: The Future of Science Conference is being webcast live right now on

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