Human Face's Future: What Will We Look Like In 100,000 Years? [PHOTO]
Human faces in the future will feature massive eyes, if artist Nickolay Lamm and computational geneticist Alan Kwan are to be believed.
Kwan, of Washington University, in St Louis, Mo., and Lamm teamed up to imagine what human faces might look like in 20,000, 60,000 and 100,000 years from now. Lamm hypothesizes that changes in future faces would be the result of things like genetic engineering and wearable computers (think Google Glass).
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According to Kwan, foreheads will continue to get larger in the future, a trend that has been observed as far back as medieval times.
"Our future selves will ultimately control human biology and human evolution the way we control the flow of electrons through our electronics today," Kwan told The Huffington Post. "In this potential future, humankind has wrested control of the human form from natural evolution and are able to bend human biology to human needs."
So for instance, the bigger eyes of Kwan's future faces would be helpful for humans in low-lighting situations in space.
"Hypothesizing what the average human face would look like in 100,000 years is no easy task and I make many -- hopefully realistic -- assumptions," said Lamm. "I make an educated guess regarding the pace of technological and scientific advancement based not on fantasy but on my own experience and observation in biological and computational sciences."
Some are dismissing Lamm and Kwan's human faces project as pure fantasy, though. Matthew Herper of Forbes says that, " For what it's worth, I think Lamm's work is conceptually cool, but wanted to get on-the-record that this is dreaming, not science." Herper asked a few experts on Twitter what they thought. Leonid Kruglyak, a professor of genomics and evolutionary biology, said, "there's no basis for any of it beyond pure speculation." Razib Khan, who describes himself as an evolutionist and geneticist, told Herper, "if technological civilization persists i am thinking it is foolhardy to make 1,000 year projections, let alone 100K."
Lamm responded to this sort of criticism on his website, saying, "There is a subtle but important distinction between a prediction and a hypothesis. Obviously, nobody can predict what will happen 100,000 years from now, but this is one possibility based on reasoned thought."
"Think of this project as asking your college professor to draw what humans may look like 100,000 years from now. He didn't perform an exhaustive scientific research study to find out what will happen (mainly because it would be useless to). He used his knowledge to make an educated guess."
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