Now remember, Nickolay Lamm and Dr. Kwan stress that this is not a prediction, but rather speculation (“one possible timeline”), and that it is impossible to know for sure what the future holds. This is just their answer to the question “What do you think the human face might look like in 100,000 years and why?” There are, without a doubt, many other answers, some of which might seem more plausible. But it’s interesting food for thought.
Personally, if I had to criticize this project, I would say that the timeline is probably too long. We’re already starting to have the ability to modify ourselves, so if we ever decide to do so (it’s probably a question of “when” rather than “if”), it probably won’t take thousands of years. Just in the past 100 years, we’ve gone from barely having mastered powered flight with the Wright Brothers to landing space probes on almost all planets and moons of the solar system, from Morse code telegraphs to a worldwide communication network made up of billions of electronic devices, each of which is more powerful than the supercomputers of a few decades ago. So technological and scientific progress is really fast and it’s accelerating. The human race’s capabilities in 50 years should be even more impressive to us today than today’s tech would be for someone from 50 years ago — and that’s saying something.
My own speculation on how humans might modify themselves over time would probably go into a different direction than Lamm’s — and wouldn’t result in very striking images because I think most changes wouldn’t be visible. For example, if we successfully cure the diseases of aging (the SENS Research Foundation is working on this, for example), we would look the same, except that people would keep their young adult bodies, and you might not be able to superficially tell the difference between someone who is 30 and someone who is 60 years old. Maybe we’ll upgrade the human eye to give ourselves piercing hawk-like vision and awesome low-light capabilities, but that eye 2.0 might not look different from the outside. Same if we improve our red blood cells so they can carry 10 times more oxygen, our livers to better eliminate toxins or our metabolisms to maintain a healthy weight whatever we do. All these changes would be huge for humanity, yet they might not be visible in a photograph.
But all that is just speculation, one of many possible futures. The bottom line is we can all have an impact on how the future turns out, so let’s make it a good one.
Hope the heck we don’t turn out to look something like this: