Geneticist speculates humans could have big eyes, foreheads in future

June 8, 2013 at 11:41 PM
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NEW YORK, June 8 (UPI) -- One possibility for human evolution could be people with much larger eyes and foreheads 100,000 years from now, a computational geneticist speculates.

Forbes magazine reported Friday artist and researcher Nickolay Lamm partnered with Alan Kwan, who holds a doctor in computational genomics from Washington University, to envision "one possible timeline" of what humans could look like 20,000, 60,000 and 100,000 years down the road with technological advances such as Google Glass and genetic engineering possibilities.

Kwan said the human head could trend larger to accommodate a larger brain and genetic engineering could mean "the fate of the human face will be increasingly determined by human tastes."

He said eyes could become larger and nostrils would get bigger to improve breathing as humans travel to distant planets with less light and poorer atmospheres than Earth. Humans' skin would become more pigmented to lessen the damage from harmful UV rays, and we would develop thicker eyelids and a more pronounced superciliary arch (the frontal skull bone under the brow) as we cope with low gravity, Kwan projects.

Kwan foresees a time -- 100,000 years from now -- when the human face will reflect "total mastery over human morphological genetics."

"This human face will be heavily biased towards features that humans find fundamentally appealing: strong, regal lines, straight nose, intense eyes, and placement of facial features that adhere to the golden ratio and left/right perfect symmetry," he said.

In a follow-up communication with another Forbes writer, Kwan said his projections were part of a "thought experiment" and are "purely speculative," not predictions.

"My experience has thus far convinced me that while science and technology may advance at an accelerated rate, legal, social and cultural norms will inevitably temper that pace greatly, as it has in the past," he said.

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