I saw Steve Jones (the geneticist) talking about the future of the human species. It was a very slick presentation. It seemed to be an expanded discussion of an article he published in the telegraph. He claimed that human evolution has come to a halt. The reasons for this are perhaps not interesting in this blog’s context. I was immediately skeptical of his conclusion but he did add two important conditions: he was only referring to the western world and the halt in evolution was temporary.

Any claims of constancy or certain knowledge in the apparent world should be examined closely since they can only come from two lines of reasoning:
1) A priori – there is no reason why constancy (or even inconstancy) should be expected, so no certain claim can be made.
2) A posteriori – basing a theory on past observations can never provide certainty since the next observation might disprove a theory.

The purists would try to apply this reasoning to my argument. An uncertainty might be the possibility of other sources of knowledge apart from a priori and a posteriori. What we can say is any claim about the apparent world without an element of doubt is, at best, misleading*. Since the apparent world is different at different times, we can speculate that change is possible. It seems the universe has changed greatly through out its existence, and it is therefore conceivable that constancy is illusionary. We could say some things are constant and some things are transitory. There is also a possibility that an seeming constant in the world is in fact going through a slow transition – too slow for us to perceive. As Heraclitus said, “All things are flowing.” Also Nietzsche, “Insofar as the senses show becoming, passing away, and change, they do not lie.” (A luck “guess” by Heraclitus – that everything is made of one primordial element (fire) is not so far from the modern concept of mass/energy equivalence.)

A few blogs have attempted to rebut Steve Jones on practical grounds which might be interesting for some.

Anti Citizen One

* probably