Ethical issues aside, would it be feasible in any way, shape, or form to reduce the average size of the human species so that we use less energy and resources?
It is possible that shrinking humans could help reduce our use of resources because smaller people eat less, and vehicles have better mileage when carrying less weight. Less materials for clothes would be needed, less water needed, and smaller houses needed. However, we would use pretty much the same amount of electricity which is a major part of our energy usage, and the mindset of people for the most part would still probably be bigger is better. We have been growing throughout history, and chances are the same thing would happen again.
The history of human evolution reveals a tendency towards growing humans bigger, not smaller. However, anthropologists explain this tendency as the result of pre-human species adapting to their environments with lifestyles that made being bigger more energy-efficient in terms of maintaining their bodies for reproductively capable lifespans.
Following that same logic, it’s easy to speculate that, having sufficiently changed our environments and corresponding lifestyles enough over the past 200,000 years will lead to a concurrent evolutionary trend towards the smaller. It’s happened once before (with Homo sapiens evolving from large to small at a relatively rapid place to adapt to environmental changes) with Homo floresiensis (see second link below)!
All talk of evolution aside, and bear in mind that evolution is among the slowest of slow natural processes, I don’t think that there will be any genetic or scientific technologies made to shrink people any time soon, on account of the many technological and physical limitations such an enterprise would soon come up against.
I think it’s an idea, but one that will probably remain just that…an idea. I think we are smart enough to control our own population growth, but we are not being proactive enough. I am not a Eugenist, but I do believe that more babies are born in general than there needs to be. Some cultures, such as in India, put pressure on women to have children even when they don’t want to (in India in particular, women are pressured to marry and have children at a young age). However, while I respect the fact that there will always be different religions, traditions, and philosophies, I think it becomes a human rights issue when women in any culture are pressured to have children. It boils down to a human rights issue because many of these women sacrifice their own dreams and wishes for the sake of the expectations of their societies and cultures. In many cases, it is the men in their society who dictate the lives of their wives, and treat them more like possessions than human beings. For example, women in Afghanistan often do not have access to proper medical care when they give birth, thus endangering their own lives, and the life of their children. This is because it is not deemed “honorable” for a woman to leave their house – even if it is to give birth. I think a whole lot more can be discussed and elaborated on concerning this issue, but essentially, I think that many people often cling to their traditions and cultures without any regard to its affects on a grander scale, even though many of these traditions and cultures hark back to a time when population control was not as much of an issue (i.e. before the Industrial Revolution). Attached are a couple articles about women in Afghanistan and India, and how they are treated. Again, this subject could be (and should be in my opinion) discussed in further depth, as it is an important issue when it comes to population growth/control. On a wierder note (and touching on the subject of the original question), you might find this article interesting, albeit alarming…http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/01/hunters/
Click here to cancel reply.
Sorry,At this time user registration is disabled. We will open registration soon!
Don't have an account? Click Here to Signup
© Copyright GreenAnswers.com LLC