As plans continue to develop to colonize other planets like Mars, some scientists are suggesting that the different environment could create an entirely new and different human species. The conditions and environments on other planets will likely cause humans to adapt to their surroundings, creating different physical and possibly mental attributes than humans on earth currently have.
Chris Impey, an astronomy professor at the University of Arizona, said in a recent interview that “These people will become an offshoot of the human tree, they will probably evolve into something else.”
Impey added that “They’ll evolve physiologically quite quickly because if the gravity is less — as it would be on Mars or the moon — then they will change. Their physical bodies will change even while they’re alive. And then if they have children and grandchildren — then they’ll change even more.”
This has happened on a much smaller scale throughout the history of the earth, as different species of humans and animals moved into different regions, their physical attributes changed in order to adapt to their environment. This same principle applies to space, but the differences created in the human genome will be far more pronounced.
Anthropologist Cameron Smith agrees with Impey’s conclusions about space colonization and pointed out the specifics of this adaptation process in a recent interview with Scientific American.
“What we can say, though, is that new environments—for example, new radiation environments, whatever the gas composition is that people are breathing, whatever is the gravity field inside this starship — those basic environmental conditions will reshape the human genome. Subtly, subtly, but they will reshape it,” Smith said.
Space colonization is not far off, and may begin within our lifetime, however, these changes will take several generations to take effect.
John Vibes writes for True Activist and is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture and the drug war.