Consider the fact that a few thousand years ago most human beings couldn’t digest milk and then the domestication of animals happened and milk became available.
This is technology now, the domestication of animals. Milk became available as a ready source of energy and nutrition and people adapted to this technological innovation biologically. Increasingly throughout the population there spread the gene that would enable us to digest lactose and so there is a case of biological evolution within our own recent history, just a few thousand years tracks or is shaped by or molded by evolutionary change.
These mechanisms whereby technology changes us have been there all along for the last 50,000 years and I think people are very caught up and anxious about the Goolgle-ization of our minds and short attention spans and the Internet and all of that. I think this is really a case of where the more things change the more they stay the same. There is nothing qualitatively different about the way the internet is changing our human experience now than the way the invention of writing did some thousands of years ago.
In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think’s studio.
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