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The Eloi and the Morlocks
Posted by: McQ on Wednesday, October 18, 2006

An evolutionary theorist has predicted that humanity may split into two sub-species which resemble these H G Wells creations from "The Time Machine" in about 100,000 years (that presumes we can survive North Korea and Iran with nukes).

In a fascinating read, Oliver Curry of the London School of Economics says that by that time he expects "a genetic upper class and a dim-witted underclass to emerge."

Why? Well, various reasons. But one of the main reasons leaves me a little skeptical:
People would become choosier about their sexual partners, causing humanity to divide into sub-species, he added.
LOL! We are talking about men here aren't we? I mean they are going to still be part of this equation, right?

Look, men are pigs. Everyone knows that. Choosier about their sexual partners? Not as long as beer exists.

OK, ok ... let's grant that, arguendo, so we can get into more of the theory. So now we have choosier men and that causes us to have only the pretty going after the pretty and the ugly stuck with the ugly - I mean, how else do you interpret this?
The descendants of the genetic upper class would be tall, slim, healthy, attractive, intelligent, and creative and a far cry from the "underclass" humans who would have evolved into dim-witted, ugly, squat goblin-like creatures.
Great. Super-models and, well, goblins. Wow ... that's appealing. You think high school is tough now ... be a goblin in a few millennia.

That's depressing .... how about closer in time ... like 1,000 years from now:
But in the nearer future, humans will evolve in 1,000 years into giants between 6ft and 7ft tall, he predicts, while life-spans will have extended to 120 years, Dr Curry claims.

Physical appearance, driven by indicators of health, youth and fertility, will improve, he says, while men will exhibit symmetrical facial features, look athletic, and have squarer jaws, deeper voices and bigger penises.

Women, on the other hand, will develop lighter, smooth, hairless skin, large clear eyes, pert breasts, glossy hair, and even features, he adds. Racial differences will be ironed out by interbreeding, producing a uniform race of coffee-coloured people.
His point about a "uniform race of coffee-colored people" has been something I've said would happen for years. It's just inevitable.

As for male sexual attributes I already know I was born 1,000 years too early. Or is is 1,000 years too late?

Rhetorical questions, folks.

Curry, however, says that by the year 3000 humanity will have peaked and begin to pay the price for its reliance on technology (the vindication of the Ludites, I suppose). In 10,000 years, it's not looking so good for the good guys:
Spoiled by gadgets designed to meet their every need, they could come to resemble domesticated animals.

Social skills, such as communicating and interacting with others, could be lost, along with emotions such as love, sympathy, trust and respect. People would become less able to care for others, or perform in teams.

Physically, they would start to appear more juvenile. Chins would recede, as a result of having to chew less on processed food.

There could also be health problems caused by reliance on medicine, resulting in weak immune systems. Preventing deaths would also help to preserve the genetic defects that cause cancer.
And it is here, and because of these problems, that Curry believes that humanity will become more choosy about sexual partners thereby leading to the split:
Further into the future, sexual selection - being choosy about one's partner - was likely to create more and more genetic inequality, said Dr Curry.

The logical outcome would be two sub-species, "gracile" and "robust" humans similar to the Eloi and Morlocks foretold by HG Wells in his 1895 novel The Time Machine.

"While science and technology have the potential to create an ideal habitat for humanity over the next millennium, there is a possibility of a monumental genetic hangover over the subsequent millennia due to an over-reliance on technology reducing our natural capacity to resist disease, or our evolved ability to get along with each other, said Dr Curry.
A monumental genetic hangover, eh? Nice.

I suppose, given the genetics of some of the super-bugs we're seeing out there now, they could possibly find a way, at some point in the future, to clean our gene pool rather thoroughly if given the opportunity. And all the technology in the world may not save us. In fact, its quite possible that in 100,000 years, if what Curry talks about is true, the only thing left here on earth may be a big old virus or two.

But hey, if it's any consolation, the ozone hole would be safe and the radical environmentalists would be happy. It's a win-win for them.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

yeah, either that or we will have a series of ever worse wars plunging most of the planet into a iron age type existance and everyone will look pretty much the same as they do now, only we won’t use soap.
These sort of things are fun to speculate but are meaningless.

I also see more coffee colored people, but races will not disappear. In fact you might have some people choosing mates because of their genetic "purity".
Written By: kyle N
And don’t forget that Global Warming would be nothing but a memory since there won’t be any humans left on the planet to warm. Now that will give the radical environmentalists really something to crow about!
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
"Choosier about their sexual partners? Not as long as beer exists."

LOL. Nice line. Ain’t that the truth. Even when the local pub turns on what we used to call the "ugly lights" at closing, cupid is seldom deterred. Resigned, perhaps, but not deterred. Either the London School of Economics is overrated or this ponce has a serious deficiency of testosterone. When he reaches puberty he won’t have time to publish such rubbish.
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Has something happened while I wasn’t looking? Is Jessica Simpson no longer a sex symbol? I guess she’s admired for her brains.
Written By: Dave Schuler
Tim, McQ,

I can see the PSA’s now. "Take home an uggo, for the good of the human race."

But really, I somehow think something more along the lines of a singularity will happen much sooner than any of this guy’s estimates. Think about the world 1000 years ago, and how completely different it is, now multiply that exponentially for the 1000 years and really any detailed predictions about the year 3000, much less in 10,000 years, are impossible
Written By: ChrisB
URL: http://
Interesting speculation, other than screwing races out of existence, which is a foregone conclusion (and a good thing), the rest of the theory requires of to many unknowable variables to be valid.

As for the "genetic purity" comment, there will certainly be people who would prefer this type of breeding, unfortunately for the, but fortunately for the human race, their sons and daughters are going to breed with almost anyone except who they want them to.

Written By: CaptinSarcastic
URL: http://
As for the "genetic purity" comment, there will certainly be people who would prefer this type of breeding, unfortunately for the, but fortunately for the human race, their sons and daughters are going to breed with almost anyone except who they want them to.

Why would you say something like that? DO you not realize that there are dozens of
ethnic and religious groups which have gone hundreds of years without any serious
outside marriages?
Written By: kyle N
In the Time Machine, rather than, "a genetic upper class and a dim-witted underclass", the blonde, lithe, upper class, Eloi, were the dim-witted ones who were controlled by the industrious goblin like Morlocks.

Written By: symptomless
URL: http://
One wonders what he thinks has prevented this change from occurring already.

Prior to today, and still in many countries, there was/is a much more structured ’class’ system in play.

Hasn’t happened -
McQ is right, but it ain’t just guys.

Now, seriously though, genetic engineering is going to accelerate his timeframe
if we let it.


Written By: looker
URL: http://
Kyle: Yes, such groups exist - but those that did not do so because of factors that have since utterly disappeared (social caste issues removed by revolution, say, or isolation-induced insularity) are such staggeringly small minorities as to not matter at all on the world-wide perspective.

Especially since "the past few hundred years" still mostly predates modern communication and transport technology, making familiarity with and access to non-local mates trivial.

Written By: Sigivald
URL: http://
He forgot the most important part. Which one gets to claim victim status?

I’m curious about how he ignores the impact of genetic engineering entirely.
Written By: Joe Canadian
URL: http://
LOL! We are talking about men here aren’t we? I mean they are going to still be part of this equation, right?
Wrong. The women reproductive control.
Written By: unaha-closp
Say goodnight, gracile...
Written By: triticale
Ooops. The have women reproductive control.

Written By: unaha-closp
The advent of biologically incorporated technology and technology-aided selection is going to supplant good old-fashioned, man-on-top get-it-over-with-quick hormone-driven selection/evolution in fewer generations than this could come to pass. Even if beer were de-invented, the effect would be negligible.

What the human race will look like even 500 years from now is as likely beyond our ability to accurately foretell as the world we live in now is beyond and divergent from what people in Shakespeare’s time would have foretold. IF not more so.

We can conject, but the further out we get from first change we make to a complex system the less accurate that conjecture will be, and that effect is being compressed right now at a rate that is much faster than we have previously experienced.

I’m sure the author of this very well-versed in his subject, but his imagination is stunted and his conclusions are exceedingly constricted by convention.
Written By: Augustus Nalley
URL: http://
Guy’s been doing some serious drugs while listening to a little too much Zager & Evans.
Written By: Achillea
URL: http://

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