Colonizing Mars could speed up human evolution

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INTRO: As it turns out, human colonization of the harsh and exotic atmosphere on Mars (if we can achieve it) might accelerate our species’ evolution. “Given how different the martian environment is, you’d expect strong natural selection,” says Scott Solomon, an evolutionary biologist at Rice University in Houston, Texas.

Mars sits about 34 million miles (55 million kilometers) away from Earth, depending on the orbital position of both planets, and us Earthlings still face a number of obstacles before we could even reach it. But if we get to Mars and establish a colony of permanent residents, factors like comparatively higher radiation, lower gravity and a vast change in lifestyle could prompt significant evolutionary changes in human bodies — much quicker than those that have transpired on our native planet.

Solomon first began pondering how humans might further evolve while teaching introductory biology. He asked students to imagine the ways in which humans may continue to evolve — this question led him down a rabbit hole that inspired his 2016 book, Future Humans.

Solomon’s research touches on the hypothetical evolutionary outcomes of humanity’s colonization of Mars... (MORE)

2-minute commentary by Dr. Scott Solomon
Zinjanthropos Offline
I think the problem will be how much time and how many generations necessary for evolution to adapt humans for a life on Mars. I don't know if in some top secret lab, bio-geneticists aren't already tackling the problem by having multi generations evolve quickly in a controlled setting. Mars will be colonized by humans whose origins are a Petri Dish? Probably morality and ethics would get in the way in most countries but I can think of a few that might give it a go. Then again, the transfer of human brain/consciousness to a machine might be quicker.

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