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Through the Wormhole – Is There a Superior Race

through the wormholeThrough the Wormhole is quick to point out that IQ is a narrow definition of intelligence and that socio-economic factors can heavily influence scores to favor wealthier and better educated populations. The episode also explored how genetic mutation is recent and still rapidly occurring in human evolution. Examples such as the ability to digest dairy products in European populations and the adaptations to malaria have come into existence within 10,000 years – a mere blink of an eye in evolutionary terms.

The episode also proposed a frightening future in which we have the ability to manipulate genes and design babies with favorable traits. If such a future existed, the rich and increasingly genetically isolated humans could form a separate race from the general human population. Without unfavorable traits, the rich could live longer, healthier lives at the expense of the poor majority.

‘Is There a Superior Race’ also offered some hope for the future with the proposal of a “hive mind” in which many people pool their intelligence and creativity in order to achieve an outcome. An example was given in which thousands of people used a social network to track down 10 random balloons scattered throughout the United States. All the balloons were located within a mere 12 hours. The episode leaves us with that hopeful note of what we could achieve working together rather than focusing on what divides us based on race.

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