IIt's life, but not as we know it. "
The famous Star Trek Chorus – actually a common misclassification – aptly describes the future of humanity on Mars. And as more and more technology entrepreneurs outline visions for the establishment of settlements on the Red Planet by 2050, rice university professor Scott Solomon is already worried about what will happen to the first Martian settlers and, more interestingly, their babies ,
"What's interesting to me as an evolutionary biologist? What if we're actually successful?" Solomon says inverse, "I do not believe that there has been so much discussion as to what would become of the people who later live in these colonies."
Solomon's book of 2016, Future People: In the science of our constant evolutionargues that evolution is still a driving force in modern man. In an impressive TEDx talk in January 2018 – which, for some inexplicable reason, still has fewer than 1,000 views – Solomon outlined how people, literally, would change after living on Mars for one or two generations ,
Far from having to wait millennia for tiny changes, Solomon believes instead that people who go to Mars might be on the verge of an evolutionary roller coaster ride. Among other things, he expects that their bones will become stronger and their eyesight shorter and that at some point they will no longer have to have sex with Earthlings.
"Evolution is faster or slower, depending on the benefit of a particular mutation," says Solomon. "If there's a mutation in humans on Mars that gives them a 50 percent survival advantage, that's one enormously Advantage, right? And that means that these people will pass on these genes at a much higher rate than they would have otherwise. "
Outside Solomon, the discussion on this topic is relatively sparse. The SpaceX team of Elon Musk works in Florida and Texas on a stainless steel spaceship that sent the first humans to Mars in the 2020s and founded a city by 2050. Dubai has designed dramatic concepts for its own Mars city and the Matt Damon science -Fi Flick The Martian illustrated how initial trips to the Red Planet would take the form of research missions.
These are all fascinating ideas, but they are strangely short of how humans can change under the treacherous, radioactive conditions of the fourth planet of the solar system.