• Question: What evolution do you think will come after the human? Do you think we will go backwards towards apes again?

    Asked by isabellaxmas18 to James, Ed, Anthony on 7 Jan 2019. This question was also asked by pineapplepen.
    • Photo: Edward Morrison

      Edward Morrison answered on 7 Jan 2019:

      This idea is called devolution (not the same as the political sense of the word!).

      But evolution doesn’t seem to work backwards as far as I know. There is an idea that species can become evolutionarily “stuck” and unable to change if the environment changes rapidly, which can lead to their extinction.

    • Photo: James Cole

      James Cole answered on 8 Jan 2019:

      The wonder (and frustration) of evolution is that it does not work in a unidirectional manner, so it is not always progressive from simple to complex in any species as far as I know. However, it is unlikely that we would devolve into something like an ape, we are far too invested now in technology and the development of our cultural behaviours to be governed by the rules of biological evolution. Therefore, whatever happens next is anyones guess I think, but I would have thought it may involve a greater integration with technology, although I don’t agree that we should actively pursue that route of development.