How Humans Will Look at the End of the Century
Homo sapiens are due for a major makeover.
Here in 2013, the typical human being is a 28-year-old Chinese male — there are nearly a billion of them — and by 2030, Indian males just might be able to claim the title of Most Common Earthling. But faster and more efficient transportation, an increase in globalization and changes in attitudes toward mixed relationships will give multiracial children a decided edge over more “traditional” children.
No one doubts that the coming decades will see a reshaping in the way we look, mostly as a result of interracial unions. Stephen Stearns, a professor of evolutionary biology at Yale, gets even more specific by claiming that our species as a whole might one day resemble the population of Brazil.
What does that mean? Will we all become scorching hot? Will we lose all traces of body hair? Will gingers go extinct?
We can only hope. (Except for the gingers part, of course.)
What this really means is that, as we increasingly come from interracial relationships, our species might begin to conflate into one unified mixed race. Brazil is an interesting case study in the confluence of race: besides having a large Native American population, it’s also home to many people of Portuguese heritage, descendants of West African slaves and, more recently, immigrants from Arab as well as Asian countries such as Japan, China and Korea. This might sound a lot like what you find in the U.S., but unlike America, Brazil’s culture has for decades accepted and indeed promoted interracial relationships. The idea of racial mixing, in fact, is a source of national pride for many Brazilians.
Consequently, if you want to know what humans will look like in 100 years or so, Brazil is a good place to look. And look many people do.
Sadly, not all of us will be able to resemble Brazilian Victoria’s Secret or Abercrombie & Fitch supermodels in 2099. But after years and years of mixed folk smooshing, a change in our appearance will be unavoidable, namely, richer skin tones and darker hair — a “brownification,” as it were. Think Mariah Carey, Tiger Woods, Halle Berry, Dwayne Johnson, Lenny Kravitz, Keanu Reeves and Vin Diesel.
After looking over that exemplary list, could there possibly be a downside to shuffling our DNA sequences with those from other races like so many stacks of cards?
We thought not.
But wait, you might ask, how might advances in genetic engineering contribute to the change in human appearance?
That’s a good question — one the Future Culturalist will definitely discuss at a later date.
Posted on January 15, 2013, in People and tagged Brazil, Brazilians, China, Chinese, human appearance, India, interracial relationships, mixed races, multiracial children. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.