Tech & Science How Humans On Mars Will Evolve Into A New Species

11:00  29 may  2017
11:00  29 may  2017 Source:   International Business Times

How Humans On Mars Will Evolve Into A New Species

  How Humans On Mars Will Evolve Into A New Species Humans settling Mars or living in a space colony might evolve into a new species much faster than they would have on Earth, assuming they can avoid the dangers of inbreeding.Space agencies and private companies like Elon Musk’s SpaceX are trying to make space travel more sustainable, learn about how the human body responds to long-term microgravity conditions and isolation and figure out how to grow crops in outer space, among other exercises — all as people set their sights on places like Mars to explore and colonize. But what will happen to us once we get there? It’s possible the first settlers will evolve into a new human species entirely, given enough time.

Will humans living in a space colony on Mars evolve into a new species ? The outdoor and living conditions on the planet will be vastly different from what they are on Earth. Photo: Rick Guidice/NASA. “What we don’t know is how much of that time was necessary for it to happen

Humans settling Mars or living in a space colony might evolve into a new species much faster than they would have on Earth, assuming they can avoid the dangers of inbreeding.

Will humans living in a space colony on Mars evolve into a new species? The outdoor and living conditions on the planet will be vastly different from what they are on Earth. © Provided by IBT US Will humans living in a space colony on Mars evolve into a new species? The outdoor and living conditions on the planet will be vastly different from what they are on Earth. Mutants like the X-Men might be much more likely to emerge in a human society living on another planet than here are on Earth, because radiation can really mess with evolution.

Space agencies and private companies like Elon Musk’s SpaceX are trying to make space travel more sustainable, learn about how the human body responds to long-term microgravity conditions and isolation and figure out how to grow crops in outer space, among other exercises — all as people set their sights on places like Mars to explore and colonize. But what will happen to us once we get there? It’s possible the first settlers will evolve into a new human species entirely, given enough time.

How Humans On Mars Will Evolve Into A New Species

  How Humans On Mars Will Evolve Into A New Species Humans settling Mars or living in a space colony might evolve into a new species much faster than they would have on Earth, assuming they can avoid the dangers of inbreeding.Mutants like the X-Men might be much more likely to emerge in a human society living on another planet than here are on Earth, because radiation can really mess with evolution.

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A human space colony on Mars or another planet may evolve into a different race if we leave inhabitants alone to breed. It could take hundreds of thousands or even millions of years for a new species of human to descend from the modern humans we know and love today.

On Earth, that amount of time is somewhere between thousands and millions of years, according to anthropologist John Hawks, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The ancient humans who migrated 50,000 years ago to what is now Australia — back when it was still connected to more northern landmasses — and eventually descended into the aboriginal tribes that live there today, didn’t have enough time to become a new species. In Tasmania specifically, Hawks points out, they lived in partial isolation before being completely cut off from the rest of humanity for millennia when sea levels rose at the end of the last ice age, about 10,000 years ago, and their land bridge to mainland Australia sunk. Despite this long-term separation, it wasn’t long enough; the Tasmanians didn’t develop into a new species. The human species on Flores did, however.

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Mars colonists who alter their bodies to survive on the red planet could one day evolve into a new species . Because identical twins have exactly the same DNA sequences, researchers were able to closely study exactly how space travel affects the human body.

And at least one expert believes the colonists could evolve into a new species . Artist's impression of how Mars colonists might look after thousands of years Of course, evolutionary changes in humans on Mars would occur only if humans were able to reproduce and successfully raise their children in

When Hawks points to Flores, he’s referring to the “hobbit” species, Homo floresiensis, that spent about 1 million years on the Indonesian island and evolved separately from an ancient human ancestor into a short-statured community that could have been alive as recently as 55,000 years ago. The problem is that it’s unclear when in their million-year journey on Flores they became this new species.

“What we don’t know is how much of that time was necessary for it to happen,” Hawks told International Business Times. “But a million years … looks like it’s enough time.”

That’s on Earth. On Mars, which doesn’t have as thick of a protective atmosphere Earth does, radiation is beaming down much stronger.

“Cancer rates might be higher, but at the same time mutations are the raw material for genetic variation,” Scott Solomon said.

Solomon is an evolutionary biologist and science writer who has explored the future of human evolution. He speculated that on Mars, the increased radiation might actually speed of evolution because there would be more genetic mutation.

Mars Was Habitable Between 3.8 & 3.1 Billion Years Ago

  Mars Was Habitable Between 3.8 & 3.1 Billion Years Ago Analysis of rocks from the Gale crater show climate change on the Red Planet over billions of years.By analyzing rocks from the Gale crater—a 96 mile wide depression that was once a vast lake—scientists have shown the conditions on Mars over various periods. Their research, published in the journal Science, reveals how the climate changed from a cold one to a warm, temperate one in which life may have thrived.

EVOLUTION: Human settlers on Mars will become new species it is claimed. Evolutionary biologist Scott Soloman claimed people that settle on the planet could evolve into One of the changes might be how human skin changes, with it turning much darker due to an increase in melanin production.

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“If we can survive, a higher mutation rate means there will be more variation entering the gene pool with each generation,” he told IBT.

It wouldn’t take a single generation on Mars to sire people with superhuman abilities, but even doubling the rate of evolution would be significant. Those mutations could be random, “but random chance is what separates most species from one another,” Hawks explained.

Compounding the effect is the fact that in such a drastically different environment, natural selection would heavily favor genes that gave one person an edge over another.

But developing into a separate species of human is not necessarily a bad thing. At least it’s not as big a problem as inbreeding, which is a possible danger to a human colony on Mars or elsewhere in the universe that doesn’t have enough volunteers. For small populations — Hawks estimates the cutoff around 1,000 people — detrimental genes are a serious threat, because they don’t cycle out in the same way they do in larger populations.

“You have to think about how you’re going to avoid inbreeding,” he said. If you can’t increase the population size, there may have to be a “systematic breeding scheme” to pair up people with the most genetic variety. “You would need to have rigorous rules about who mates with whom.”

Alternatively, he recommended bringing along something akin to “a giant vat of sperm” to broaden the gene pool.

For his part, Solomon suggested a system like on Noah’s ark, in which the people organizing a space colony and approving members “take one of everybody” to make sure all the diversity of human genes is represented.

These sound like problems that can simply be avoided by preventing space settlers from becoming isolated from the rest of humanity, but it’s possible that we don’t have a choice in the matter — living on another planet could destroy their immune systems, making it dangerous for them to mingle with anyone from Earth or ever return to their home planet. More on that coming soon.

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