Why do we have an appendix? What use are our tonsils? Why did we start to walk upright? Hmm, good questions. The topic for today’s article, Bodily Structures, is the last in the series about the 12 Attributes of Human Functioning, from Michael Murphy’s book, The Future of the Body, about the physical and mental attributes essential to living our lives as human beings.
We needed our appendix once. We needed our tonsils once. But we don’t need them anymore. In fact when they become inflamed they become painful and in the case of an untreated inflamed appendix, fatal. Both organs are vestiges of the past that haven’t disappeared from our bodies yet.
Our bodies are always evolving. We have been taught that we have evolved from the sea and our body structures have evolved from “fins to feet”. One has only to look at the textbook pictures of the transition of mankind to two legged humans, to understand the adaptation of our bodily structure. We can assume our bodies will continue to evolve with time. What will we look like in the future? Will will be large headed, small bodied ETs in the millennia to come?
Our food sources will continue to change and evolve. As food became more agriculturally oriented thousands of years ago, we became smarter, developed cultures beyond the tribe, and evolved as today’s “humans”. I doubt that what we consider to be “natural food” today, would have been considered natural when cultivation of plants began. One has only to look at the many varieties of tomatoes and apples to see the positive direction that “nutritional genetics” (my term) has brought us. GMOs are nothing new. And our tubular digestive system is likely to change dramatically as we learn to process our foods more, possibly condensing our nutrients into “power bar” size, or even packaging our nutrients as pills. Will we even need a digestive system 5000 years from now?
Chances are our respiratory system will adapt as our physical environment becomes cleaner or dirtier through the way we treat our air supply and the quality of air we breathe.
I would suggest that whatever the Universe has in store for us in the future, and no matter how we change our environment, either for better or worse, or just different, our bodies will change and adapt to whatever is to come. We humans are an adaptable bunch. Our bodies have changed over time and will continue to change. What is The Future of the Body? Who knows? But I bet it will adapt to whatever is thrown at it in the millennia to come and the great questions of the environment and the body will simply be different as we move through the centuries.
As for the present, if we move our bodies the way nature intended, take in good nutrients, sleep well and breathe deeply of the air we have, we will manage to live our lives just fine. But it’s nice to know that our bodies have adapted to whatever has been thrown at us over the years, and will continue to do so, well into the Star Wars future.
Thank you for reading. I hope you and yours have a Merry Christmas, or whatever holiday, if any, you choose to celebrate.