Thursday, October 25, 2007

Brave New Twit

Oh, what nonsense is this now? Human species may split in two, according to the BBC, dividing into a bunch of retarded knuckle draggers and bright and beautiful supermen.

We are to "peak" in the year 3,000 and go into steep decline due to a "dependence on technology" according to Oliver Curry of the LSE. Curry's neighbours will develop into "ugly, squat goblin-like creatures" who could "come to resemble domesticated animals" whilst Curry's descendants will be "tall, slim, healthy, attractive, intelligent, and creative" all no doubt getting scholarships to a top British university.

It takes a particularly bright person to be so thick sometimes.

I'd like to ask what the evolutionary advantage of being a stupid, stunted runt is? Anyway, the good news is that men will "look athletic, and have squarer jaws, deeper voices and bigger penises" and women will have "pert breasts, glossy hair, and even features"... sounds lovely doesn't it (unless you end up as golum that is).

However, he doesn't seem to have cottoned onto the fact that ugly and beautiful are socially constructed ideas and a square jaw, pert breasts and even a big penis are not universally recognised indicators of attractiveness throughout history. In fact he seems particularly unable to grasp that this moment in time and place is not the template for all future human evolution.

I thought the quote of the bunch was that "Chins would recede, as a result of having to chew less on processed food." What? We're going to eat processed food for thousands of years are we? Would the good professor care to think about what indicates that we are likely to have an unchanging diet over the next thirty years, yet alone for the entire millennium. A thousand years of TV dinners... shudder.

"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." At least it will give the Daily Mail something to write about though wont it. I mean, really, you used to be able to leave your front door unlocked until these twisted malevolent puke monsters started roaming the streets.

Let's spell this out for our academic friend. Human history is the history of social change. Sometimes that change is slow and sometimes it is fast and very surprising. Things that seem natural to one age are revealed to be socially determined with the passage of time. Even technologies come and go. We will not all be playing on the playstation wii for a thousand years to come. Some of these technologies that we have developed may not simply whither our intellectual faculties but may wipe out 90% of the Earth's human population. Alternatively something nice might happen. The only constant is perpetual change.

You can't take chavs and middle class ubermensch and say that's evolution that is. He might feel like he is surrounded by the great grandparents of a generation of hobgoblins but that is something he needs to seek caring, professional help for. It is to be regretted that the LSE has played a cruel practical joke on this fellow by pretending to take him seriously and give him a job as the resident court jester.

Who knows where evolution will take us? Will we even get the chance to develop further as a species? We may need to develop gills at some point, or immunity to nuclear fallout, or we may abolish universities and Oliver Curry may have to get a proper job instead of churning out this vapid, social chauvinist tripe. Right now the answers to these questions are just unknowable.


Joe Otten said...

This is not even a new story. Did you notice the October 2006 date on the BBC item. Somebody at the Mail has been surfing, that's all.

Good debunk here too:

weggis said...

Say no more!

Neanderthals were Redheads

Dorothea said...

The Mail has nothing to do with with this post, afaics.

The linked BBC report (a year old, as you observe, Joe) looks like the all-too-commonly garbled media luvvie mis-take on science.

I've studied a bit of evolutionary theory at degree level, and it is all to easy to misapprehend the details (or maybe it's just a bit too subtle for me).

To be fair to Mr Curry, I feel I'm going to have to read his side of the story now;

He writes; "In the summer of 2006 I was commissioned by Bravo Television to write an essay on the future of human evolution. The essay was intended as a 'science fiction' way of illustrating some aspects of evolutionary theory.

Bravo then sent out a press release on the essay, but did not release the essay itself. As a result, a wildly distorted version of what I had written ended up being reported as ‘science fact’ in the media. I do not endorse the content of these media reports.
To read the original essay, please see below..."

No doubt the famous socialist Mr HG Wells had similar problems with his fanciful explorations.

Jim Jay said...

Well spotted Joe - although thankfully my criticism still stands.

Dorothea's useful addition though shows how the media can incite "bad science" - I'm still of the opinion though that his fanciful exploration does nothing to further the subject that he must have spent many years devoting himself to.

However, I have not yet read his essay so, when I get the time I may be making a new post on how an excellent fellow was misinterpretted - perhaps.