We have now engineered our own personal freedoms which gives us the ability to effectively do whatever the hell we want and avoid the routine of the day - our minds have never been more exercised and fed with information than they have been over the last fifty years.
Computers and automated technologies generally don't "dumb down" what we're doing - they remove the mundane and easily-understood parts so that all we're left with is the more complex logic which we can't yet model or perform autonomously.
And it never has been. The vast majority of people live their life in mundanity. But that trend has been slowly eroding - how many people do you know have changed jobs over the last ten years, or gone travelling, or done varying forms of training and education? How many people do you think realistically had any of those options 100 years ago?
Computers turn a 6-hour manual job into a 6-second automatic one. Sure, it means that many previous manual skills fall into decline - think knitting and wood-turning, but that doesn't mean that people are getting stupider or losing the ability to do these things. How many people could carve a good stone spear out of sticks and shale? Do you lament that we've lost the skill of making a quality loincloth from bear skins?
We don't? So we're just paying universty professors and the ESA to sit around scratching their arses all day?
"Back in the day", you barely had time to take a ****, never mind mull on the trivialities of life. In fact, thinking about things was frowned upon - you accepted what you were told and STFU.
Roughly 10% of Europeans have some resistence to HIV and about 1% are immune.
A few arguments about our species going forward as a whole
Fade Street/The hills/MTV in general
The irish people (myself in general)....etc etc.
the list goes on
we have no real need to evolve any more, at least not in major ways
we've got no predators; if we get sick we have medicines; if we are born defective, we can still live perfectly fine lives
when you start prolonging the lives of people who would otherwise have died due to their particular evolutionary lineage, and they start reproducing, then youre pretty much at an evolutionary standstill
next is augmentation of our bodies with technology - not natural evolution as such, but we're probably done with that
There is a theory in anthropology that we have been evolving at a much faster rate since the advent of agriculture, the theory goes genetic changes now happen in 30-60 generations, perhaps sooner as the new and exciting field of epigenetics shares more light on the subject.
We know that changes in diet can influence the genetics in cats and mice in 3 generations or so, pretty much every stimulus given to your body switches on or off a pertinent gene. Maybe in 60 generations we'll be perfectly adapted to eating junkfood as our main source of calories.
Our environment is changing drastically, our lives have become unrecognisable from even a generation ago, seems only logical that our genes would be affected by this, though the repercussions may be a few generations off yet.
As for computers removing mundane tasks from our lives: As a person who works in IT all I have to say to that is HA!
Edited to say that some people seem to think that the only way that genetic changes occur is by some people being eaten by a tiger before they procreate, that's true but it's not the only way our genes change.
i personally think our brains will evolve at a faster rate than our bodies and we'll have big massive heads with no hair (cos lets face it it's fairly useless atm) with small bodies, big eyes and long fingers to suit our technological advancement. we'll also have very little exposure to sunlight (as we'll have ruined the atmosphere of the planet and will live in specialist artifical environments) so we will have grey skin - couple this with the telepathic powers we'll all have because our superintelligent brains will be fine tuned to the natural energy our bodies give off (aura) and you've basically got this:
now, anyone up for a trip to the conspiracy forum to discuss how 'aliens' are actually time travellers?
btw, i'm dead f'uckin serious...sort of
If epigenics does not involve structural DNA changes, what has that to do with evolution?
Ha ha interesting theory, i should let a mate of mine have a read of this cause he genuinely is convinced that time travel is possible and there's people from the future walking around everyday
Some of us will evolve camel like humps (no toes) to store water after the global warming reaches tipping point.
The rest will perish.
Evolution as we knew it won't be happening anymore.
Survival of the fittest doesn't apply when the majority of children grow to be adults and smart people choose to not have kids while dumb poor people are multiplying like Irish Catholics.
Who says it doesn't involve structural changes?
Edited to say: Oops, posted too quickly while skim-reading. Can gene expression not lead to permanent mutation no?
appendix and little fingers will go next, maybe hair too.
Tell it to the females because now for the first time in a long time in human history they're back in control of our evolution (because they can decide who they will mate with now).
As long as the human race evolves into something that is better than what it currently is.