Humanity has reached its peak and is now probably in its downfall, according to major new research.
People have long thought of human development as one long process of improvement, going on forever. But we are now running up against the limits of how good we can be, say scientists – and most likely we’ll now just begin to fall again.
The major research review looked at 120 years of data and found that there appears to be limits on our characteristics, like when we die, how tall we can be and how strong we are. We are pushing up against those limits now, the research suggests.
What’s more, the ways that we are changing our environment – including through global warming – is probably going to pull those limits down and force humanity into a decline, the researchers said.
For a long time, humanity has looked to be improving. Sprinting speeds that once seemed impossible are now commonplace, for instance, and the record for oldest person in the world is often being broken.
But with time, we’ll probably see fewer world records being broken, the new research suggests, and little development in how old the oldest people are. More people might reach those peaks of performance, but the peaks will get no higher, the research published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology found.
“These traits no longer increase, despite further continuous nutritional, medical, and scientific progress. This suggests that modern societies have allowed our species to reach its limits. We are the first generation to become aware of this” said Jean-François Toussaint from Paris Descartes University, France.
Some of those limits now appear to be falling. And it is in large part because of changes we are making to our environment, said Professor Toussaint.
“This will be one of the biggest challenges of this century as the added pressure from anthropogenic activities will be responsible for damaging effects on human health and the environment.” he said in a statement….