Anthropology – What next for humans
Research essay. Write a research essay titled What’s next for humans? Your essay will consider the future of humanity as a biological species using scientific evidence. Will the species become extinct? Continue to evolve? Merge genetic engineering and robotics (transhumanism)? Will new species of humans appear? Your essay must be based on research, not opinion, that is, you must support your position with evidence. This essay is 25% of your final grade. The specifics: Length: 500-750 words (do not include your references in your word count); essays that are shorter or longer than the required word count will earn 0 points. Cite at least two scholarly resources (e.g. academic journals or books; no wikis, no blogs, no dot-com websites).
What’s next for humans?
The world is changing, and many events are taking place to impact the existence of
human species. The evolution of human species has taken place, and some researchers and
scholars believe there is more to come for human species. The future of human beings is in
question because of many events and scenarios in the world. The primary objective of this paper
is to use evidence-based research to determine the future for humanity as a biological species.
The evidence will also determine whether human species will become extinct, continue to
evolve, or there will be the formation of new species.
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Will the species become extinct?
Many researchers and scholars have debated the issue of human extinction and presented
many opinions. In futures researches, the extinction of human species is the hypothetical end.
Mainly, some researchers claim that the extinction of human species may occur through natural
causes. Other researchers anticipate that the extinction of humanity as a biological species may
occur as a result of human action, commonly known as anthropogenic. However, the study
conducted by philosophers indicates that the probability of human extinction in the future based
on natural causes such as large-scale volcanism and meteorite impact is very small.
Nonetheless, there are possible causes of anthropogenic extinction that predict the
extinction of humanity as a biological species. Some of these factors include climate change,
ecological collapse, and overpopulation, the release of a pandemic-causing agent, biological
warfare, and human global nuclear annihilation (Gray, 2018). Besides, human extinction may be
caused by new and emerging technologies that create scenarios such as self-replicating nanobots,
biotechnology, and advanced artificial intelligence. Therefore, the likelihood of anthropogenic
human extinction in the future is a sensitive debate. However, the extinction of human species should not be confused with the extinction of all life on earth and the extinction of critical
aspects of human culture.
The extinction of humans as biological species can be explained through the concept of
“Existential Risks.” Mainly, existential risks threaten the future of human species by crippling
human progress permanently or by causing human extinction (Gray, 2018). On the issue of
human extinction, researchers argue through cosmic endowment because the future lives of
many people are at stake. According to the philosophy presented by Carl Sagan in 1983, there is
a likelihood that the number of people to be born in the future is likely to decrease. Therefore,
the probability of human extinction in the future through a low birth rate is one million times
greater for extinction than human extinction through nuclear wars. Carl Sagan concludes his
argument by saying that the future of human species is at stake.
Will human species continue to evolve? Merge genetic engineering and robotics
The evolution of human species is a critical aspect that explains the ancestral origin of the
modern man. The evolution started from Homo habilis and ended on the contemporary man
called Homo sapiens. Therefore, on the issue of the future of human species, some scholars claim
that human evolution will continue. For example, some cases envision that human species will
continue to evolve through the use of genetic engineering (Cordeiro, 2014). In other words, there
may be technological modifications that may create new species or split into normal humans.
The future evolution of human species can be explained through the concept of posthumanism.
Through genetic engineering, the evolution of human species will create species that will be
fundamentally different from the current species. In other words, merging human humans with technological systems is a form of genetic engineering that will enhance the evolution of human
Moreover, the evolution of human species may also continue because the normal
biological evolution of humanity will not stop, thereby creating species over a given geological
time scale. According to the British philosopher Max More, the evolution of human species will
continue through the concept of transhumanism. Typically, transhumanism is a philosophical
movement that presents the idea of the transformation of the human condition via sophisticated
technologies. Therefore, transhumanism claims that the future of humanity will be controlled by
technologically-enabled species such as robots that will enhance human physiology and intellect.
Many transhumanism thinkers argue that the evolution of human species through technological
changes will reduce dangers exposed to human species in the earth (Cordeiro, 2014). They also
claim that robotics will have potential benefits, such as overcoming human limitations. The
overall idea presented by Max more as the leading philosopher of transhumanism is that human
species may finally transform themselves into robots to expand their ability to conquer the
Will new species of humans appear?
The appearance of new human species is also explained through the perspective of the
evolution of a post-human species. According to biologist Cordeiro, there is a likelihood that
new species may appear in the future. The appearance of modern human species may be
explained through the concept of non-phylogenetic taxonomy (Cordeiro, 2014). The taxonomy
will give rise to a new human species. However, the formation of a new human species may not
necessarily result in the extinction of human species because the genetic exchange of the human
population will not stop.
Cordeiro, J. (2014). The Boundaries of the Human: From Humanism to Transhumanism. World
Futures Review, 6(3), 231–239. https://doi.org/10.1177/1946756714555916
Gray, C. (2018). Post-sapiens: Notes on the Politics of Future Human Terminology. Journal of
Posthuman Studies, 1(2), 136-150. doi:10.5325/jpoststud.1.2.0136.