Are you fit enough to survive online?

Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution is neat; it provides a simple explanation for the variety of life. In spite of religious argument against it, there is considerable biological evidence for the existence of evolution. Indeed, we have seen species change and evolve even in our lifetime. The problem for humans is that the pace of the change in our species is relatively slow.

But this could all change. Human populations are set to rise at dramatic rates. The UK alone is thought to rise from the current 60m people to 77m. The USA with around 300m people is likely to increase by a third to 400m by 2040. In biological terms this has immense implications.

When you have a higher population two things happen – the number of genes in the “gene pool” increases and the number of mutations rises as well. Both of these factors provide evolution with its raw material. Yet nothing happens unless the environment changes too. And it is – dramatically.

More and more people are sedentary, working at a PC, living at a PC and socialising at a PC. With the rise in the gene pool and the increase in mutations, natural selection will choose those people best suited to this sedentary, techno-life. The rise and rise of the Internet will be the trigger for a major evolutionary change in human life – if we assume evolution exists. Of course, if Darwin is wrong, nothing will happen. Except….

Even if evolution does not exist, it is clear the world is changing around us – and rapidly. Even if biological evolution does not happen, social evolution surely will, selecting out those people who are technically capable against those who resist the changes. And guess what – we are already seeing it happen. According to futurist Ken Rutkowski anyone wanting money for a new business simply has to embrace the new world of the Internet, otherwise investors will not be interested.

Remember – most businesses in the world still do not have a web site. Few use social networking. These businesses will be selected out by the natural selection of social change going on right now. If biological evolution does happen – the people running these old fashioned businesses really will become dinosaur-like.

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