What is the future of human evolution? Scott Solomon, Ph.D., biologist and writer, reviews our evolutionary past, examining the ways in which we are continuing to evolve and considering our future as a species. This course draws on research from fields as diverse as genetics, demography, psychology, microbiology and medicine. We explore questions such as how existing technology and modern medicine affect natural selection and consider how future developments—such as germline gene editing and space colonization—may affect the ultimate fate of Homo sapiens.
- Evolution 101: How does evolution work, and what do we know about the history of human evolution?
- Recent human evolution: What has genome data revealed about the ways in which we are still evolving?
- Modernization and our ongoing evolution: How is economic development changing the way we evolve?
- The future of the human microbiome: How have the microorganisms that live in and on our bodies influenced our evolutionary future and our ongoing evolution?
- Sex and the future: How will birth control, assisted reproductive technology and the ways in which we choose our sexual partners influence our future evolution?
- Our ultimate fate: What are the long-term prospects for our species? Will we become extinct, or might our descendants evolve into a new human species?