Wednesday, 3 January 2018
-Yuval Noah Harari, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow (London, 2017), p. 78.
An impossible scenario:
centuries and millennia pass;
environments change and are changed;
individual human beings remain fundamentally unchanged.
Not only is there nothing unchanging anywhere, especially not inside human genes or brains, but also human beings are differentiated as a species by the fact that they have changed their environment with hands and brain and themselves in the process. Some people deny this in arguments on the Internet.
Sometimes science fiction writers show changes inside people, e.g., Brain Wave by Poul Anderson, although:
"With a few honorable exceptions, writers are all too prone to create either rank impossibilities or minor variations on the Earth and the Western civilization we already know."
-Poul Anderson, Virgin Planet (London, 1966), Author's Note, pp. 150-156 AT p. 150.
"...a story laid some centuries hence must be thought of as a translation, not merely of language but also of personalities and concepts corresponding only approximately to anything we know." (op. cit., p. 151)
So: read a futuristic sf novel, then reflect that the society described has to be different from the way it is described.