Future Racism

This entry was posted by on Friday, 12 August, 2011 at

Long before I had any interest in Christianity, I became skeptical of evolution, as the whole idea seemed rather far fetched. I never looked into it though, and as the topic is still fairly taboo among Christians, it was easy to put the question aside when I entered the church some years later. The question of whether or not evolution is (for lack of a better term) “real” is simply not important to my daily life, and my faith or lack there of does not hinge on that particular issue. (Though from the passion I notice in others, I have to assume that my attitude toward this topic is atypical.) That said, I only offer this post as philosophical speculation, not well grounded in anything at all.

I happened upon a video online a few weeks ago on “ring species.” One definition of “species” is a classification of organisms that can successfully interbreed. Horses and donkeys are separate species, for example, because while they can in fact mate, the resulting mule is almost always infertile. Also, ligers and tiglons which I found out just now* are actually NOT infertile, so bad example. [*Via the internet. I was not personally attempting to breed them immediately prior to writing this post.] Still, ligers and tiglons, everybody!

A “ring species” is, to my understanding, when a “species” becomes geographically separated into a number of distinct populations. Population A can successfully interbreed with population B; population B with population C; C with D; and D with E; however, population A is NOT able to interbreed with population E. The question then arises, are populations A and E the same species? The video that I saw was actually presented as a challenge to creationists. Many creationists accept “micro-evolution” within a single species (i.e. breeds), but “macro-evolution” (one species evolving from another) is right out.

If any creationists out there would like to address this then be my guest, but as I said before, it is not my concern. I do not give a crap about birds or salamanders or even dogs. Yet I idly wonder: does this happen with people? Can, say, an Australian Aborigine and a Scandinavian produce viable offspring? Probably… but when you get right down to it, I am not really sure.

Switching gears slightly, the movie Idiocracy postulates that natural selection favors stupid, irresponsible people and that in the future, there will be no intelligent people left. While I did not care for the movie itself, I always felt that the underlying premise was extremely plausible. However, at some point in the recent political-economic climate, I began to wonder if this was inaccurate. What if natural selection does not, strictly speaking, favor the unintelligent, but rather the underprivileged? Furthermore, what if the opposite group (the “haves” as opposed to the “have-nots”, if you will) did not actually become extinct, merely a smaller and more isolated population? That would result in a situation much more like the one presented in The Time Machine by H. G. Wells. It has been a great many years since I read that book, but the gist is that the time traveler discovers in the very distant future that humans have evolved (or devolved) into two separate species: the Eloi, who live a carefree lifestyle on the surface of the earth, and the aggressive Morlocks, who live underground, tending to and feeding off of the Eloi. It should also be noted that both the Eloi and the Morlocks are significantly less intelligent than modern humans. No one is disputing that.

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