Future Humans Inside the Science of Our Continuing Evolution Scott Solomon

Publication date:
15 Dec 2016
Yale University Press
240 pages: 210 x 140mm

Are humans still subject to the forces of evolution? An evolutionary biologist provides surprising insights into the future of Homo sapiens

In this intriguing book, evolutionary biologist Scott Solomon draws on the explosion of discoveries in recent years to examine the future evolution of our species. Combining knowledge of our past with current trends, Solomon offers convincing evidence that evolutionary forces still affect us today. But how will modernization—including longer lifespans, changing diets, global travel, and widespread use of medicine and contraceptives—affect our evolutionary future?

Solomon presents an entertaining and accessible review of the latest research on human evolution in modern times, drawing on fields from genomics to medicine and the study of our microbiome. Surprising insights, on topics ranging from the rise of online dating and Cesarean sections to the spread of diseases such as HIV and Ebola, suggest that we are entering a new phase in human evolutionary history—one that makes the future less predictable and more interesting than ever before.

Scott Solomon is an evolutionary biologist and science writer. He teaches ecology, evolutionary biology, and scientific communication at Rice University, where he is a Professor in the Practice in the Department of BioSciences. He lives in Houston, TX.

“When it comes to evolution, the question everyone often asks is, "Where is it going?" In Future Humans, Scott Solomon brings the latest scientific research to bear on that question. This book is a fascinating excursion through natural selection in our own time, and what it may mean for the future."—Carl Zimmer, author of Parasite Rex and Evolution: Making Sense of Life

"A marvelous, up-to-the-minute account of human adaptation throughout the world, including proof that our evolution is ongoing. Scott Solomon brings science and scientists to life. He shows us that they're having fun, and invites us in, too."Melvin Konner, author of Women After All and The Tangled Wing

“Clearly written and beautifully motivated by human interest stories, this is a book I will recommend enthusiastically to students and friends. His message is important.”—Stephen Stearns, author of Evolution: An Introduction

Future Humans is a short, clear, crisply written book about the ways in which our species has evolved in the past, is currently evolving, and may evolve in the future. By rigorously summarizing the numerous contrary arguments, Solomon provides a most useful service.”—Christopher Wills, evolutionary biologist at the University of California, San Diego and author of Children of Prometheus: The Accelerating Pace of Human Evolution

“It is enjoyable and well-researched, and beautifully clarifies the fact that larger populations, greater genetic interchange and ever-older breeding males all greatly increase what evolution has to work with.”—Adrian Burnett, New Scientist

"Books abound that speculate on the future evolution of the human species. Most, however, fall into the realm of pure fantasy—perhaps fun to read, but not based on superior science. Solomon’s easily accessible book does not fall into the genre of science fiction. Rather, he carefully studies the scientific evidence for recent evolutionary changes in the human species and reflects on how these may alter the course of human evolution. . . . Solomon’s careful focus on solid science makes this volume both an important and an entertaining read."—Choice