The Evolving Human Brain

Last week I watched a 15 minute TedTalk by Juan Enriquez entitled “Will our kids be a different species?“.  According to his bio, “Mr. Enriquez, bestselling author, businessman, and academic, is recognized as one of the world’s leading authorities on the economic and political impacts of life sciences.” In this video, he brings up the rising prevalence of Autism and that the increase is so great that it cannot be a coincidence. Something is driving it. This, I think is something we can all agree.

Some have linked the increase in autism to vaccines and other environmental causes and I am sure there is validity in this. BUT Mr. Enriquez premises that autism, and I would argue other brain changes such as ADHD, is the brain evolving right in front of our eyes. Our lives are no longer about survival in the traditional sense. Therefore, our brains do not have to worry about predators and initiating a flight or fight response as they were initially created to do.  I would think that this has to impact our brains somehow.

Now add in technology and the speed in which we gather data and in which are brains are exposed to digital information.  Maybe these autism and ADHD-type diagnoses are really just the brain adapting to the new way we live and receive information. Maybe these brains are just really ahead of the game, which is only unfortunate right now because our education system isn’t really set up for these types of learners and we don’t know enough about it. But what an opportunity! There is a real opportunity to develop an academic setting where these types of brains thrive, I mean really thrive!

So I would suggest these types of traits are probably caused by multiple environmental factors that are affecting our genetic output; not just vaccines or diet or technological advancements but all of these things are quite possibly having an effect. Without more research, we will never know.

However, if you accept these premises as true, then what some may consider to be abnormalities or disorders may really be the next generation of humans….the more highly evolved human. They may be the ones that are most able to take advantage of where technology is leading us. It’s a very interesting thought. Our species may be evolving and branching out right in front of our eyes. That is super cool!

So I would encourage that we change how we view people, especially children, with these conditions. They may actually hold the key to our future. As long as technology keeps heading down this super fast highway, our brains are going to continue to evolve to accommodate all that information and speed.  Human must be able to adapt with and to it.

Such an interesting subject to keep an eye on.

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