“Survival of the Fittest” After Cybernetics

Will mental control be a big part of the future?  We may not think so, looking at the vast array of devices and organizations that seem to be drying up our ability to think creatively, but there is an emerging trend in technology that seems like it will be at the forefront of human evolution in the near future, and could result in a whole new way of going about being a member of the human race – and it’s all centered around the brain.  EEG control of devices and the ability to use them could one day supplant even our manual dexterity as one of the most important skill sets to possess.

Of course before we go about describing the technology as the “next step in human evolution” we have to dispel a few of the myths about human evolution and what precisely evolution is.  First of all, the most basic definition of evolution is the gradually expanding complexity of organisms through the eventual collection of mutagenic traits.  Evolution has generally been thought to be a product between generations as new pairs of genetic material are brought together to create a byproduct between them.  So a society or technology is not necessarily the product of evolution, but rather its cause.  Such would be the case with an improved process for controlling devices through the power of the mind if the environment were affected to such a degree that natural selection would favor those who could train their brains.

And from what the devices have already done for those with disabilities, it seems eventually technology run through the power of thought could become one of the most important and most powerful environmental changes to the process since the development of simple tools – once those tools could begin to take over the environment.  An example would be an individual who was born paralyzed.  Under normal circumstances they would not be able to go out into the world, thrive, and have children.  But if their basic physiological functions were aided by the use of a device traversing the inner conscious world and a synthetic or robotic body, and they were able to form new neural pathways in order to control and articulate it, with the assistance of the device their body would be virtually indistinguishable from someone not possessing the same disability.  As a result they would be able to fall in love, have children, grandchildren, and so on.  The interesting thing about this sudden shift in human genetics would be the fact that such a disorder, even if genetically dominant, may very well become mainstream – resulting in an ever increasing dependence on the technology.  And as the technology improved, interpretations of the human form could change quite a bit in time, with the common genetic thread simply being a person’s ability to pilot these devices.

One day, perhaps in our distant future, humanity may look very different from its current form, but the mind will be the constant as we eventually shed our bodies both as a response to the increasingly superior technological forms and possibly as a necessity as well.  And so would dawn the first next big step in human evolution.  And we are beginning to see that technology even today.