The Evolving Human Inheritance. From Symbols to Life
Pier Luigi Capucci (Italy)
Humans evolved the symbolic ability, a complex way to communicate through words, writings, im- ages, sounds, both in direct and in mediated ways, synchronously and asynchronously, pres- ently and remotely. But the symbolic ability is al- so a powerful "technology", the main reason be- hind the evolution of the human species. It is at the basis of our attitude to invent technologies and create tools, machines, and even new future life forms. Born from the symbolic ability, scienc- es and technologies deeply influenced the human life. In ancient Greece the average lifespan was 30 years, in the Roman era it was about the same, and by the end of the XIX Century it reached 40 years. Today, in roughly one century, in the so called "technological world", the lifes- pan expectation has doubled. Humans also devel- oped a wide range of artefacts, machines, entities that are quickly becoming more and more power- ful, complex, autonomous, and independent. They could be defined to a certain extent as "liv- ing entities", expanding the idea of life and of life forms. All this processes seem pushing forward the human biological, cultural, technical bound- aries. How do they happen? Where are technolo- gies based on? Can these processes give any glimpses on a possible evolution?