Posted by: zyxo | January 25, 2010

Will rich people become a different species ?


This Wall street journal blog post wonders if rich people will become another species, because they can afford all the new medical and technical remedies and life enhancements.

darth vader

It made me wonder.

They have to stay the same species.

If rich people want to profit from donor organs, they better stay the same species, otherwise they will face tissue incompatibility problems.

It is difficult to form a new species.

Speciation or the splitting of an existing species into two (or more) new ones is the result of genetical barriers. When different populations of the same species are genetically isolated, they can evolve into different species. This genetical isolation is the result of some sort of geographical isolation.
Humans populations are far from isolated. Globalisation proves the opposite.
Is it possible that rich people can isolate themselves sufficiently to form a new species ?
We all know some examples of isolated human populations : Australian aboriginals, North-American indians. In all those centuries they evolved to a different kind of people, but still remained people of the one human species. Imagine how difficult it would be in our modern world for human speciation to occur.

It is more likely that “species” will lose it’s meaning.

With that I mean, that, at least for humans and eventually, the most intelligent other mammals, the species concept will possibly dissapear.
Sounds a bit weird ?
Imagine what the current technological evolution will mean in the future : messing with genes, bionics. A lot of people already have false theeth, hips, knees, heart valves, cochlear implants. Experiments are going on with gene therapy, chip implants in animal and human brains, artificial arms & legs.
On the other hand we fabricate robots that behave (up to a limit) as human beings.
This all means that the border between biological and artificial life is thinning.
Add to that the in vitro fertilisation, cloning, and similar technologies and we are heading for a world where we will no longer need to make love on order to have children.

Where were we ? OK : we will make humans (still humans ?) in the laboratory, and will to chose among a lot of genetical enhancement options. During the life of our kids we’ll still be able to add all sorts of technological enhancements.
Can you imagine the diversity of humans at the end? It will be beyond anything earth ever saw.

At the same time rich people will have the same options for their pets. All amazing sorts of dogs, cats, snakes, rats, horses, which finally will sort of blend, so that some dogcats will look like rabbitmonkeys …

There is a saying that dog-owners come to look like their dog. At the end people with plenty of money will have the possibility to really give their dog their own face or the face of their beloved who passed away. With the necessary brain implants, this animal (?) will have the normal human intelligence.

Do you still know where the species is?

Enjoyed this post ? Then you might be interested in the following :
– Web 5.0: The telepathic web
– Robotic insects or cyber-insects ?
– Self reassembling Robot
– Human brain copy protection by AnyMind Inc.
– Humans 2.0

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