Evolution is some crazy shit.
This is my understanding of evolution: Over the course of thousands of years, the human race has a constantly changing list of demands and the species accommodates these demands by slowly altering our children to better fit the needs of our day to day activities. I’m guessing this is why giraffes have humongous necks, why dolphins can swim for so long but still need to come up for air and probably why some snakes can blend perfectly with their environment without being detected.
According to the single website that I read to tell me a little bit more about evolution, humans used to be much taller. 40,000 years ago, European males were six feet tall on average. The reason behind this is said to be because they had a much more physically demanding lifestyle. They led a hunter-gatherer lifestyle that required a great deal of strength just to survive
30,000 years later, the average European height dramatically shifted to five-foot-four. Much of this is attributed to global climate change as well as failed agricultural changes.
Fast forward all the way today, Europeans are back on the rise, measuring in at an improved five-foot-nine which is said to be caused by the improved state of diet and health care.
Other things that have changed in the past six-thousand years include smaller teeth and jaws which are largely due to massive dietary changes.
The bottom-line is, whatever we need to support our lifestyle, we will get…..in five-thousand years.
Predicting the future of evolution is tricky but there are a lot of things that we can look at across the human race that are likely to play a huge role in shaping what a human will look like in the year 7018.
Low Back Pain
Pretty much everyone at point or another has experienced some low back pain. Some people experience some tightness after a tough workout. Some have debilitating, chronic low-back pain and others have low-back pain that only acts up in certain situations.
MRI results show that just about everyone has some degree of disc herniation in their lumbar spine regardless of whether they are in pain or not.
If this is so common, I think it’s safe to assume that the species is going to try to accommodate it.
Things like thicker intervertebral discs, and thicker lumbar spinal segments may be in our future.
Maybe even some increased abdominal strength capacity to alleviate the pressure on the lower spine. Or maybe an increase in nociceptors (pain receptors) to send warning signals to the brain before things go too far.
Back in the good-ole days, humans had to walk pretty much all day with a spear, scanning the prairie for something to eat. They would probably go days sometimes without finding food. An endless process requiring a ton of aerobic energy and mental fortitude just to have a nice meal.
Today, if I leave the door unlocked, I can actually have the pizza-man walk into my living room and hand me and extra-cheesy, pepperoni pizza that I ordered from that very couch 96 seconds ago in which I will not tip because I was promised it in only 90 seconds. Some business you’re running over there, Dominos!
So now we have these bodies that are designed to hunt on the open prairie all day looking for beavers or something and I literally haven’t moved in sixteen hours, consumed three meals and ran a business while completely naked in my bed.
I have a hunch that evolution is going to do something about that.
OK, so we all stare at our phones, computers and televisions all day. I’m actually a little sick and tired of hearing people talk about how this is the reason for all our problems in today’s world. While I do believe it is a massive contributor to the world’s pain, it’s also massively helping our species evolve to accommodate the ever-increasing presence of technology in our world.
Future humans may have a less robust visual system that doesn’t really see the need to look out in the distance and drastically improves our ability to see things close to our face.
Future humans may see a different spinal curve in their neck to allow for more prolonged looking down at our screens.
Future humans may have less visual neurons go to the postural centers of their brain because the information they are receiving may not need to be analyzed for danger as much as our ancestors did.
Who knows how it will interpret the needs of our species, but it will do something.
Physical Therapists, Strength & Conditioning Coaches and Doctors all have their gloves on, dukes up and are fighting evolution every single day.
You have a client with back pain and you fix it? BOOM! Suck on that evolution! We don’t need your changes.
What’s that? You have a headache from staring at your phone all day? Well allow me to give you some corrective breathing exercises to melt that pain like buttahhhhh! Stick that in your pipe and smoke it evolution!!!
Oh, you sit at a desk all day and evolution wants to change human beings as we know it to make them less capable of exerting themselves? Sounds like a wonderful time to blast a monster CrossFit workout, filled with epic amounts of pullups, savage distances on the air-dyne bike and mind-numbingly heavy power cleans to confuse the shit out of evolution.
“WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT, SUSAN?!?!?!?!” said Evolution.
Of course this is a fight that we have no chance of winning. For the betterment of mankind, maybe we shouldn’t even be trying but the desire for health will always prevail. People will get sick and go to the doctor. Their backs will hurt, and they will go see a Physical Therapist. And people will want to get in shape for beach season and they will go see a Personal Trainer. And in every workout with their trainer, appointment with a doctor and session with their PT, you will take one big swing at evolution and in five-thousand years, evolution will have whooped your ass.
Change is a-comin’ whether you like it or not.