Not so super-human

u.s. puzzle map with pictures representing the industry of each state

Question: “Will the human[s] of [the] future be stronger and faster than us now?”

Answer (edited & expanded):

There are so many factors to consider when answering this question.

First, I think we should determine what part of the world we’re taking into consideration. Since I’m from the United States, I’ll consider that population.

United States Map Puzzle

United States Map Puzzle (Tom)

If our lifestyles stay the same, I believe humans of the future will be weaker and slower.

Many Americans struggle with obesity, heart disease, cancer, etc. Right now, the number one cause of death in the United States is heart disease. And what is the number one cause of heart disease?  Atherosclerosis… which can be caused by various correctable problems related with lifestyle. These correctable problems include a lack of exercise, unhealthy diet, smoking, etc.

So, if you look at the trajectory for the ordinary human in the United States, we are becoming weaker due to overeating and inactivity.

What about athletes breaking more and more world records?

Individual humans, such as athletes, are getting stronger and faster. They’re breaking world records. However, this is a very small fraction of the population, who have the benefit of improved technology and other factors, and doesn’t apply to humanity as a whole.

Usain Bolt

Usain Bolt (J. Brichto)

Will genetic engineering make humans stronger?

There could be genetic engineering in the future. I say ‘could be’ because if people can’t be convinced to give their children life-saving vaccines, I highly doubt they will trust scientists to create the perfect child—but who knows what will become acceptable.

Let’s say there is genetic engineering, to make the “perfect” child. What about the way our environment affects us? Genetic engineering can only go so far—we can only work with known factors. What happens when something new pops up? Will people have to constantly bring their children in to get genetic updating? We cannot confidently say that humans will be strong and faster in the future, due to genetic engineering.

In conclusion…

If there are improvements in lifestyle (including physical and mental), I believe humans could become stronger. In the U.S. and other countries, a lot of the population has access to the knowledge, technology, and other resources that will allow a person to reach peak physical health if they are smart enough to take advantage of them.

Sources:

CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/leading-causes-of-death.htm

Mayo clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/basics/causes/con-20034056

Business Insider: http://www.businessinsider.com/olympics-athletics-sports-performance-history-world-records-2016-8

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usain_Bolt#/media/File:Usain_Bolt,_Anniversary_Games,_London_2013.jpg

Mother Jones: http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/02/vaccine-denial-psychology-backfire-effect