Anthropogenic Evolution

Another day, another article highlighting studies into the differences between the brains of conservatives and liberals. Read for yourself but there seems to be good evidence that differences in political orientation is specific, marked, and more than casually influenced by our genes.[1] Add to this the increasing isolation, both intellectual and in real geographic terms, between conservatives and liberals, plus the revelation that politics[2] are causing people to walk out on dates, relationships (including friendships) and marriages,[3][4] and we have the prerequisite conditions for our next evolutionary stumble.

We stand at a fork in the road of humanity, where in the future two species may stand where today only one. Think H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine. And just like the Eloi and the Morlocks, our evolution will be decidedly anthropogenic. We are the creators of the conditions to which we now need to adapt. And not only that, but the diverging paths that we have chosen we have chosen for ourselves.

And so only one question remains: Who will be the small, effete surface-dwellers, and who the toiling, subterranean primitives?


[1] The Atlantic: Can your genes predict whether you’ll be a conservative or a liberal?; Slate: Why are conservatives more susceptible to believing lies?
[2] Specifically, in the US, the question of whether someone is a Trump supporter, as the perfect crystallisation of their political and social views.
[3] Like all the best revelations, it surprises nobody yet nevertheless changes everything.[4] Politico: How Donald Trump changed the dating world; Harper’s Bazaar: If you are married to a Trump supporter, divorce them


Beyond Human

We, with our propensity for murder, torture, slavery, rape, cannibalism, pillage, advertising jingles, shag carpets, and golf, how could we be seriously considered as the perfection of a four-billion-year-old grandiose experiment? Perhaps as a race, we have evolved as far as we are capable, yet that by no means suggests that evolution has called it quits. In all likelihood, it has something beyond human on the drawing board. We tend to refer to our most barbaric and crapulous behaviour as “inhuman,” whereas, in point of fact, it is exactly human, definitively and quintessentially human, since no other creature habitually indulges in comparable atrocities.

-Tom Robbins, Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas