Todays topic brings up the question of how we are evolving as a species. In his Ted Talk Juan Enriquez who is a broad thinker and writer of how genomics will bring profound changes to business technology and society describes how we have "upgraded" as a species throughout time. Apparently there have been at least 29 "upgrades" of humanoids over time.
How does this happen? it happens through mutations and we are constantly continuing to mutate, for example- about 10k years ago by the Black Sea we had one mutation in one gene (HERC2) which lead to people having blue eyes. Another example Juan gives is everyone who has successfully climbed the 8k m Mt Everest without oxygen has the Ace Gene. One more example is The 577R genotype, in which every male Olympic power athlete tested carries at least one copy of this gene. This brings up many social and moral implications.
Juan also implies immortality as he talks about how one day we will be able to download our memories as well as other peoples memories through the mapping of our brains with retroviruses. These memories will be downloaded onto a computer or maybe even into a new body.
To end the video Juan says that the first place you would see enormous evolutionary pressure is in the brain. This is because of the massive amounts of inputs we have today as well as the plasticity of the brain itself. One source of evidence is that autism has been on an increase in the last decade, 78% to be exact. We know that the autistic brain is hyper-reactive and hyper-plastic. Individuals with autism are better at taking data in. A fun fact to think about is that we are taking more data in per day then people use to take in a lifetime.
Juan believes that we are evolving from a species that is conscience of its environment to a species that can control the evolution of itself, bacteria, plants and animals. He calls this "homo-evolutis"