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Two Species of Mankind: The Rich and the Poor

Elysium

The idea for today’s post is from QSFer Thea Nishimori: “A lot of people were talking on the earlier post about the growing socio-economical divide, but what about how that will influence intelligence in the future? If you’re born poor, you can’t get a good education or job; you are more likely to turn to drugs and/or alcohol, which destroys brain cells; ergo your children are born into poverty with lower IQs… a vicious cycle creating almost two different species.”

Hmm… as a sci fi/social evolution concept, I really like this idea. Its been explored before in sci fi, at least to some extent, in books and films like “In Time”, “The Hunger Games” and “Elysium”, at least in terms of a stark rich-poor divide, but I’m not aware of any books or films that have explicitly looked at things from an evolutionary standpoint.

Maybe the rich would become weaker with inbreeding and dependence on medicine, while the poor would grow stronger but lose some of their intelligence? Romeo and Juliet for a future age?

So here are my questions for you today. How long might it take for evolution to step in when the rich are effectively segregated from the poor? Would genetic engineering among the rich accelerate the process? What kind of evolutionary changes might occur? And how would the two societies interact?

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