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How might living on Mars affect the evolution of the human species?

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posted on Jan, 26 2014 @ 04:13 PM
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Great questions.

I study things such as this on a daily basis.

Some quick 'hunches'.

Over the first 1,000-10,000 years there would be no real difference between Earth Humans and Martian Humans. That is because evolution through natural selection requires two things: A large enough genetic population and most importantly time. The time scale of evolution is longer than any human life or even multiple generations within a family group.

That said, if Humans were living on Mars starting sometime in this century then probably around 20,000 years from now there would be notable differences between Martian humans and Terrans.

BTW: This is assuming ONLY natural selection and not artificially induced changes through transhumanism

Thinner body. Less muscle mass - Mars has lower gravity.

Taller body - Again, lower gravity

Assuming we have terraformed the planet's atmosphere (which would likely take a thousand years or more based on studies that have been done on the possibility).....

Larger lung capacity - Even a breathable atmosphere on Mars will be thinner than at Sea Level on Earth (where our lung capacity evolved on the African savannah).

More efficient heart - Blood will need to be pumped more efficiently in an environment which for many years would have lower than Earth average oxygen during the early stages of terraforming, it is likely that a more efficient human heart would evolve as a result of having to move more oxygen around the body.

Increased sensitivity to infrared light - The lower stellar flux of the Sun on Mars would give your average human better low light seeing ability and increased sensitivity at the near infrared side of the spectrum. Perhaps future Martian humans could see the flashes of your TV remote!


An increased immune system and resistance to radiation - Mars's higher than average radiation will ensure that those who have healthy immune systems and resistance to ionizing radiation live longer.

edit on 26-1-2014 by JadeStar because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 26 2014 @ 04:30 PM
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1st; I don't think the mission will really come of the ground
2: if it does, they will most likely not reach Mars (some accident/problem)
3; if miracle does happen and they reach it, they probaly face problems no simulation can simulate this new undertaking so they maybe live on Mars for a day... but that for me is already in area; they will never come even that far..
4; it's almost impossible but if lets assume they can live there for a year or even longer, they just live in a simulated atmosphere, so oxygen similar like on earth, growing plants/food brought from Earth.. (I wonder if they can even make enough food...). So they don't change, exept sure their bone and muscle structures will go weak and perhaps they grow cancer fast. Soon after they go mad and the few who survives get eaten by their fellows.

But if they do get outside they become/evolve like:





But ok lets assume they live their for hundreds of years, even new generations and so on.

I guess they become very weak people, with each generation weaker, where later on they just can't even reproduce and they die off.

edit on 26-1-2014 by Plugin because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 26 2014 @ 04:53 PM
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St0rD
reply to post by PhotonEffect
 


I'm so sorry to say this but I can't be as excited as most people on this one. I mean, just look at what we created on Planet Earth. We are going to need a f-cking miracle if we want to build something stable and worth-living on Planet Mars.

I understand it can be very exciting from a scientific perspective, but I believe we should focus on the 2021 we want to create on our own planet. And then, the day we will have succeeded here on Earth, maybe we can discuss colonizing others planets.


I am sorry, but I never could understand why a lot of people think the way you do.

Every time someone mentions colonization inevitably many people make the same exact point you do, that we should fix this planet before we ever think about getting some of us off it. But, why? I mean after all it would be far more likely for us to fix this planet if we actually started moving some of the people and infrastructure off of it.

I mean I guess we could wait a hundred or a thousand years until we develop the perfect clean renewable source of energy and develop technology to create absolute zero emission factories and vehicles, if we live that long and one can wonder if we would with the current rate of pollution.

Or we could actually make a grand effort to begin to colonize the many barren places of this solar system, move a good portion of our people off the earth along with a good portion of mining and manufacturing and actually more then likely do far more to reduce pollution and return the remaining society on earth to more harmonious balance with nature. At least far more then sitting around on the planet waiting for the "miracle" of clean abundant energy and clean manufacturing technology.

I just don't see colonization as a bar to cleaning up and fixing the planet, but actually an integral part of that process.

Just my opinion though.


edit on 26-1-2014 by prisoneronashipoffools because: spelling and typos

edit on 26-1-2014 by prisoneronashipoffools because: typo



posted on Jan, 26 2014 @ 04:58 PM
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reply to post by PhotonEffect
 




@How might living on Mars affect the evolution of the human species?

Circadian rhythms & Chronobiology may change somewhat if not much. Also considered if the heart rate and fluid flow will alter due to environmental changes...

Hopefully pre assessed already



A circadian rhythm /sɜrˈkeɪdiən/ is any biological process that displays an endogenous, entrainable oscillation of about 24 hours. These rhythms are driven by a circadian clock, and rhythms have been widely observed in plants, animals, fungi and cyanobacteria. The term circadian comes from the Latin circa, meaning "around" (or "approximately"), and diem or dies, meaning "day". The formal study of biological temporal rhythms, such as daily, tidal, weekly, seasonal, and annual rhythms, is called chronobiology. Although circadian rhythms are endogenous ("built-in", self-sustained), they are adjusted (entrained) to the local environment by external cues called zeitgebers, commonly the most important of which is daylight.


en.wikipedia.org...



Chronobiology is a field of biology that examines periodic (cyclic) phenomena in living organisms and their adaptation to solar- and lunar-related rhythms.[1] These cycles are known as biological rhythms. Chronobiology comes from the ancient Greek χρόνος (chrónos, meaning "time"), and biology, which pertains to the study, or science, of life. The related terms chronomics and chronome have been used in some cases to describe either the molecular mechanisms involved in chronobiological phenomena or the more quantitative aspects of chronobiology, particularly where comparison of cycles between organisms is required.

Chronobiological studies include but are not limited to comparative anatomy, physiology, genetics, molecular biology and behavior of organisms within biological rhythms mechanics.[1] Other aspects include development, reproduction, ecology and evolution.

en.wikipedia.org...
edit on 1/26/14 by Ophiuchus 13 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 26 2014 @ 05:03 PM
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prisoneronashipoffools

St0rD
reply to post by PhotonEffect
 


I'm so sorry to say this but I can't be as excited as most people on this one. I mean, just look at what we created on Planet Earth. We are going to need a f-cking miracle if we want to build something stable and worth-living on Planet Mars.

I understand it can be very exciting from a scientific perspective, but I believe we should focus on the 2021 we want to create on our own planet. And then, the day we will have succeeded here on Earth, maybe we can discuss colonizing others planets.


I am sorry, but I never could understand why a lot of people think the way you do.

Every time someone mentions colonization inevitably many people make the same exact point you do, that we should fix this planet before we ever think about getting some of us off it. But, why? I mean after all it would be far more likely for us to fix this planet if we actually started moving some of the people and infrastructure off of it.


Exactly.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing the same way (when there is an alternative) and expecting a different result. - Albert Einstein

The act of moving at least part of the species to the planet Mars in and of itself is not an abandonment of of Earth. It is a preservation move, both for our over taxed planet's natural resources and for humanity itself. A two planet species has many times greater the survival ability than a one planet one. The dinosaurs were a one planet species for example, they lived for millions of years, with no space program.

The act of having to live on Mars, an extremely inhospitable place as it is now will require us to learn new skills, do things different, develop new technologies such as closed loop systems which force us to "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" as a means of survival.

What better way to learn how to live together on an increasingly inhospitable blue planet than learning how to survive on the red one?



posted on Jan, 26 2014 @ 05:43 PM
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I read somewhere about the possibility of creating a subspecies of humans that would be more suited to the detrimental affects of space travel/colonization. This would be accomplished through genetic engineering. In a way it’s kind of a spooky thought, but might be achievable by century’s end.

The subspecies could conceivably have some strikingly different biological characteristics. For instance, it might not have the same type of breathing apparatus as us, but could instead consume an oxygen drink once or twice a day. It’s vision might be tweaked to naturally be more sensitive to infrared. Depending on the intended destination of a subspecies, various biological functions may be custom designed genetically.

I guess you could ask, “Are these creatures even Human?” or, if you have religous leanings, “Are we now playing God?” That would seem to be open for debate. All I’m getting at is, at the rate technology is advancing, these issues are right around the corner. It’s not sci-fi anymore.

Personally, I’m all for moving into space. I think it’s our only hope. Otherwise, we will become extinct and no one will ever know we were here...



posted on Jan, 26 2014 @ 05:44 PM
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PhotonEffect
I wonder what the future generations of humans may be like after having adapted to the new environment of Mars?


read this...
project-apollo.net...



posted on Jan, 26 2014 @ 05:55 PM
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Given that the Martian atmosphere cannot begin to support human life, that means humans would be confined to an artificial environment. That means that any evolution would have to take place within that artificial environment. What, then, is different?

Basically, the artificial environment itself, and gravity.

You can get an idea of what an artificial environment would cause today just by looking at people who stay within one for most of their lives. Pallid skin and a tendency to become dangerously overweight from lack of exercise arte tow traits you already see. Without our own harsh environment managing to kill off people who are not fit, you see a worldwide epidemic of Type II diabetes already, with 5% of the world's population affected. Now if enforced exercise and artificial nutrition mitigated against that, you might not have the health issues, but you certainly would have the lack of sunlight and need for vitamin D, which would tend to make people lighter rather than darker, as has already happened on Earth in northern climes.

Gravity, on the other hand, would exert less of a strain on the human muscular/skeletal system. Without the need to fight against the heavier gravity of Earth, muscles would gradually atrophy to the point that our leg muscles would be just enough to cope with Martian gravity. My prediction?

Albino nerds.



posted on Jan, 26 2014 @ 06:04 PM
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LABTECH767
reply to post by PhotonEffect
 


Probably initialy the first few generations would develop weakened immune systems from a lack of flora and fauna and due to the controled biosphere and limited range of microbial interactions, they would also likely be taller but with weaker bone's and eventually would develop a slimmer form with less muscle mass as there heavy musculature would not be so necessary and they could limit there calorific intake accordingly becoming more efficient in the martian environment and also as the first generations would likely be selected from higher intelligence individuals to ensure there psychological adaptabillity the progeny of the earlier generations could be expected to achieve a higher overall intelligence than there in the wild earth bound cousin's but further down the line the environment and there form of society would selectively breed a different race from us but with the same base genome simply adapted to there new environment, bear in mind the human race is still evolving and devolving through new environments and cross breeding of more sophisticated populations with less sophisticated (evolved) populations as well as culture and society driven ideal's of beuty and intelligence which become seen as attractive trait's due to the herd mentality of the homo sapien primate, interesting to watch but I would not want to remain one for more than a lifetime.

Phew man, that just has to be the longest sentence I've ever read.

Interesting post though.



posted on Jan, 26 2014 @ 06:07 PM
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reply to post by FriedBabelBroccoli
 


With artificial lighting and having to make any trips to the surface, I doubt that our ocular would change very much.

As mentioned before, the very first changes to be seen would be from the effects of lower gravity: taller, slender humans with less muscle mass.

As LABTECH mentioned, we have a lot of symbiotic relationships with certain types of bacteria and viruses. We'd have to bring those with us, or we would not survive. Also, we'd need to bring something to help with anything that needs to decay too.

The largest factor though would be the gravity. We can't breath the atmosphere on Mars not just because it's chemical make up is different than Earths, but because it way to thin for us at that pressure. So there would not be any "adapting" to it.

As was also said: it would be more of us changing Mars, than Mars changing us.



posted on Jan, 26 2014 @ 08:29 PM
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netbound
I read somewhere about the possibility of creating a subspecies of humans that would be more suited to the detrimental affects of space travel/colonization. This would be accomplished through genetic engineering. In a way it’s kind of a spooky thought, but might be achievable by century’s end.

The subspecies could conceivably have some strikingly different biological characteristics. For instance, it might not have the same type of breathing apparatus as us, but could instead consume an oxygen drink once or twice a day. It’s vision might be tweaked to naturally be more sensitive to infrared. Depending on the intended destination of a subspecies, various biological functions may be custom designed genetically.

I guess you could ask, “Are these creatures even Human?” or, if you have religous leanings, “Are we now playing God?” That would seem to be open for debate. All I’m getting at is, at the rate technology is advancing, these issues are right around the corner. It’s not sci-fi anymore.

Personally, I’m all for moving into space. I think it’s our only hope. Otherwise, we will become extinct and no one will ever know we were here...


Transhumanism is real and already taking place. It's not science fiction. The genetic engineering part of it still is, for now.

Learn more at:
humanityplus.org...

I'm a member.
edit on 26-1-2014 by JadeStar because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 26 2014 @ 10:29 PM
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reply to post by JadeStar

Awesome reply.
 



JadeStar

Over the first 1,000-10,000 years there would be no real difference between Earth Humans and Martian Humans. That is because evolution through natural selection requires two things: A large enough genetic population and most importantly time. The time scale of evolution is longer than any human life or even multiple generations within a family group.


Wouldn't the process of natural selection driven by mutation be completely different given the environment on Mars?


That said, if Humans were living on Mars starting sometime in this century then probably around 20,000 years from now there would be notable differences between Martian humans and Terrans.

BTW: This is assuming ONLY natural selection and not artificially induced changes through transhumanism

Something tells me that much of what occurs on mars will be "artificially" induced, at least at first...Humans are not patient.


Thinner body. Less muscle mass - Mars has lower gravity.

Taller body - Again, lower gravity

I'm beginning to form visions of avatar like bodies...


Increased sensitivity to infrared light - The lower stellar flux of the Sun on Mars would give your average human better low light seeing ability and increased sensitivity at the near infrared side of the spectrum. Perhaps future Martian humans could see the flashes of your TV remote!

So cool


An increased immune system and resistance to radiation - Mars's higher than average radiation will ensure that those who have healthy immune systems and resistance to ionizing radiation live longer.

Long term exposure to radiation could mean cancer. I wonder a) if we'll have a full proof cure by the time we get there to help those susceptible to getting it; and b) if our immune systems would evolve the ability to fight cancer, perhaps as easily as a common cold...



posted on Jan, 26 2014 @ 10:38 PM
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reply to post by Ophiuchus 13
 


Good points. I didn't even consider that.
The Mars day is about the same as it is here, but damn, the years are much longer.
Mars also has two moons I think, so not sure how that comes into play



posted on Jan, 26 2014 @ 11:10 PM
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reply to post by JadeStar
 

Thanks for the link about transhumanism, JadeStar. That's exactly where I see our evolution .ed. Considering current day technology, and the rate it's advancing, it's not at all a stretch to envision a posthuman branch emerging in the forseeable future.

Hmmm... Maybe there's a bit of hope after all :-)



posted on Jan, 27 2014 @ 05:54 PM
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PhotonEffect

Wouldn't the process of natural selection driven by mutation be completely different given the environment on Mars?


While there could be more mutations the thing to remember is that most mutations are not beneficial. The time scale would be the same because it takes time for the beneficial mutations which would help Martian humans to live better, to become dominant genetic traits through heredity. I forget how many generations you need but its a lot more than a few, even in a relatively small population (as a colony would be at first).


Long term exposure to radiation could mean cancer.


Yes, and those who are less prone to cancer, if based strictly on natural selection would be the ones to survive and procreate longer. Which would mean over time Martian human would have a higher resistance to radiation as those more immune to it (and also viruses from living in close quarters) would live longer and procreate more, thus becoming a positive feedback loop.



I wonder a) if we'll have a full proof cure by the time we get there to help those susceptible to getting it;


I suspect not without genetic engineering/manipulation.



and b) if our immune systems would evolve the ability to fight cancer, perhaps as easily as a common cold...


That is more likely. And like i said, resistance to viruses too would likely go up being in such close quarters (at least during the first half of colonization) for so long because those who get sick easily might not make as many babies.



posted on Jan, 27 2014 @ 05:59 PM
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netbound
reply to post by JadeStar
 

Thanks for the link about transhumanism, JadeStar. That's exactly where I see our evolution .ed. Considering current day technology, and the rate it's advancing, it's not at all a stretch to envision a posthuman branch emerging in the forseeable future.

Hmmm... Maybe there's a bit of hope after all :-)



There is hope. But there is likely to be a hell of a fight with forces opposed to transhumanists. I suspect the backlash against transhumanists from religious fundamentalists will be every bit as vicious as any other -ism and phobia in human history.

Probably more so since in the case of other isms and phobias, people opposed typically use dehumanizing language to describe those who they are opposed to.

In the case of transhumanists perhaps with bird wings or exoskeletons they might actually LOOK non-human so such language describing them as "freaks", "godless", "soulless" and "abominations", will carry more weight.

Think X-Men: The Last Stand

Right now we are doing what we can to educate people on transhumanism and its benefits while hoping to secure human rights for future transhumanists so the promise of transhumanism can avoid the perils of intolerance.
edit on 27-1-2014 by JadeStar because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 27 2014 @ 06:03 PM
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PhotonEffect
reply to post by Ophiuchus 13
 


Good points. I didn't even consider that.
The Mars day is about the same as it is here, but damn, the years are much longer.
Mars also has two moons I think, so not sure how that comes into play


I think people would for a long time use Earth Years. So even a child born on Mars would get two birthdays (Earth Birthday and Mars Birthday) for every Mars year.

As for having two little asteroidal moons, other than being cool to look at, they wouldn't effect anything tidally.
edit on 27-1-2014 by JadeStar because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 27 2014 @ 06:11 PM
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It takes a long time to evolve. A better plan would be for us to specifically genetically modify a group of people to better survive in that particular environment. We'll be able to do that relatively easily in a couple hundred years.

Although by then, perhaps nobody would care.



posted on Jan, 27 2014 @ 06:11 PM
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reply to post by PhotonEffect
 


I think animal, and human life will stay the exact same as it is here. The only differences we may see would be in our digestive tracts, as well as musculature and perhaps height. The gravity is different on mars, even if slightly it will have an effect on those organs.

How ever, there is not even the faintest hint of a breathable atmosphere for humans or animals on mars. If we were to create one, it would be to mimic our own so I see little to absolutely no change in these areas, even over the course of several thousand years.

I sincerely doubt humans nor animal brought from earth to be placed in an atmosphere like earth's will change at all. Again you may get slightly taller, slimmer creatures but that would be about it. Neither human, nor animal can breath the martian atmosphere even a little bit which gives them no chance to adapt/evolve from it. Sad, short story is human goes out with helmet they suffocate and die. Same goes for any critter we bring up.

Plants on the other hand may be a different story. The environment could, although considerably colder than earth's harbor plant species now. Given the right temperature, water and heat a plant could survive in the martian atmosphere, and would in turn produce oxygen which could produce an atmosphere closer to Earth's than mars' currently has. Although much of the same minerals are in the martian soil, they exist in different states and compounds as well some are more abundant there than on earth, where as others are less so than on earth. Gravity also effects plants, so we may see some interesting reactions there. The UV light is filtered different on Mars, so I imagine the plants would have to adapt to that as well. How ever, currently there is no ready source of water for plants on mars and with out human maintenance and care they would die rather quickly. Again temperature poses a large issue for plants on mars.

Now I hate to put this last, and pretty much obliterate anything I said before but evolution takes many hundreds to many many thousands of years. We do not see much change in any earth species over a short period of time. The plants or animals also have to be able to survive and thrive for that entire period for any adaption to take place. Life that can not handle the environment does not suddenly adapt to accept it, it has to already be able to survive it and merely adapt to survive it better.



posted on Jan, 27 2014 @ 06:58 PM
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Blue Shift
It takes a long time to evolve. A better plan would be for us to specifically genetically modify a group of people to better survive in that particular environment. We'll be able to do that relatively easily in a couple hundred years.

Although by then, perhaps nobody would care.


We could do it now but there are ethical concerns and in the USA laws against crossing human DNA with any other DNA.




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