An anthropologist has put forth a theory binding culture and the concept of evolution. Cadell Last, an evolutionary anthropologist, wrote a paper entitled “Human Evolution, Life History Theory, and the End of Biological Reproduction”, explaining how a new species of humans might walk the Earth in around 30 years, by 2050. The evolution he focuses on has a cultural bearing: he speaks of how in some decades, a new culturally advanced species of humans will have emerged.
“Humans are naturally interested in music, movies, mathematics, and science, and all of these things. So we’re just entering a world where we can own our own cultural reproduction, and we can engage in this for an entire lifetime,” Last stated, explaining his ideas.
For instance, our procreating habits are shifting from conventional ones such that we will gradually have babies at a more advanced age, and also, having fewer of them. This might have certain biological consequences as well, like delayed sexual maturation.
The advances of science might mould our biological clock such that motherhood occurs at a later period in time. This is already happening to a certain extent: back in 1970, women giving birth for the first time had the mean age of 21. In 2011, the number rose to 28.
Last also linked delayed motherhood to life span. He argued that monkeys
reproduce later and live longer compared to other of their counterparts, while apes reproduce even later than monkeys, and also have a longer lifespan than the latter.
So, 30 years will be all it takes to have a culturally evolved society?
“What my paper tries to show is that the whole of human evolution in some sense can be viewed as our species trying to abolish the category of adulthood,” Last said.