Ruthless predator. Awkward communicator. Rutting, carnal beast. Sweaty. Slovenly. Slow to comprehend. Sad, isn't it, guys? Those words could just as easily describe a man of 10,000 years ago as they could any man today (and, I think, Courtney Love). Don't be disheartened, though. Just because we men have been slow on the evolutionary uptake so far doesn't mean we won't put the developmental pedal to the metal over the next 10,000 years.
Or does it? To find out, I visited the distinguished Dr. Lloyd Mullet.
For those unfamiliar with Dr. Mullet, suffice to say he's one of the world's most original thinkers (for his height) as well as the only board certified futurist/anthropologist to be teaching at an (unaccredited) Midwestern university with more than 8 percent of its student population named "Josh." He's also the editor/subscriber of a Spanish-language newsletter dedicated to "projective evolution" or, as he puts it, "what the hairless ape will turn into next." Here's what Dr. Mullet had to say about men in the year 11,999:
"First, I always like to begin any discussion of the evolutionary future by allaying the common fear that man can or will 'devolve' into a race of 'simian-oids' similar to those presented in the Planet of the Apes films. Happily, that possibility was eliminated with the 1998 government-mandated castration of Sean Penn.
"In point of fact, physiologically speaking, men will remain essentially the same. With a few significant changes. For instance, as has so often been predicted, Future Man will have an expanded cranium which will house a massive brain. What is less well-known is that the development of said brain will have been a direct result of man's heroic intellectual and scientific pursuit of a device that could surpass the triple blade razor for shaving closeness.
"As you might expect, a brain of such size will also exponentially magnify men's senses, making X-ray vision a near certainty. Let me add, however, that I expect women — who will have made comparable cerebral gains — to be able to foil these wandering X-ray eyes by mentally projecting lead underwear onto themselves.
"Also, with so many big, bulbous heads, bald men will be sexy and desirable and ... I'm sorry. Of course, that will never happen. I'm just making a little joke. By 11,999, all men will have a luxurious head of hair, just as God intended.
"But if I may be serious again, another important change we can expect is that man, in response to over 100 centuries of negative stimuli, will evolve a small, clear 'window' of skin adjacent to their pubic region. This 'view port' will allow physicians easy, non-rubber-gloved inspection of the prostate.
"Thanks to selective breeding and nutritional optimization, men will also enjoy improved musculature and heightened athleticism. That, in combination with the unremitting expansion of professional sports, should guarantee that every male born after the year 11,500 will grow up to have the career in the major leagues his father proclaims he'll have."
Unfortunately, at this point, I found my boredom evolving much faster than Dr. Mullet's observations. I killed him, dragged him into the woods and ate him.