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The Future of the Human Race

By HeadsUpEnglish.com.

This Upper-Intermediate level English activity below is by Chris, who is an English teacher in Japan. You can either simply read and listen at the same time to the text below or do the interactive activities in this order: Future of the Human Race Quiz 1, Future of the Human Race Matching, Future of the Human Race Cloze, Future of the Human Race Quiz 2.

 
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1. Read and listen to the text

True or False: (What does the text say? Read the text and say if sentences a-e are true or false. The answers are below.) If you prefer, do the interactive quiz: Future of the Human Race Quiz 1.

a. Humans will become two different species in the future.
b. Rich and poor will divide the species.
c. Technology will greatly help us in the future, so we should rely on it.
d. According to the article, medicine will eventually harm the human race.
e. People in 100,000 will more or less have the same intelligence.


Chris:    
Victoria:  
       

(Right-click and select "save target as" to download: MP3 Read by Chris of HeadsUpEnglish.com, MP3 Read by Victoria Fontana)

If you prefer, do the interactive activity: Cloze.

The Future of the Human Race

Evolutionary theorist Oliver Curry has an interesting and unusual hypothesis on the future of the human race. His idea actually sounds more like science fiction instead of science fact. He suggests that in 100,000 years, humankind will have split into two species. In addition, one species will be the "haves," and the other the "have-nots."

Over the coming millennium, we will see some small changes. For example, humankind will grow taller, and 6-7 feet (182-213 centimeters) will likely be the average height. Humans will live roughly 120 years, too. Increased access to resources, cosmetic and genetic therapies, and surgeries will even out the appearance of men and women within each sex. What's more, there won't be different races like today. The races will mix to produce people with a similar, latte-colored hue of skin.

That's the good news. However, our reliance on technology could have negative effects. According to Curry, people will lose social skills and empathy in the face of future technological advancements. Our immune systems won't be as strong as now, because medicines will fight off disease and lower mortality rates. Thus, over time, weak genes will spread and affect our whole species. Curry predicts that this will happen 10,000 years from now.

Further into this dark future, in the year 100,000, the genetically healthy will only breed with one another. This will produce a beautiful and intelligent class of people. The genetically unhealthy will become short and ugly, and will also have substandard intelligence levels. These are the "have-nots." In other words, humans will turn themselves into rulers and slaves.

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On HeadsUpEnglish.com you'll find complete English lesson plans and materials for upper-intermediate and advanced learners. The materials are based on current events in the news:
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Answers to the questions in number 1 in the text:

True or False: (What does the text say?)

a. Humans will become two different species in the future. True ("He suggests that in 100,000 years, humankind will have split into two species.")
b. Rich and poor will divide the species. True ("In addition, one species will be the haves, and the other the have nots.")
c. Technology will greatly help us in the future, so we should rely on it. False (The key word is "rely." There are some good things and bad things, but the text says that our "reliance on technology could have negative effects.")
d. According to the article, medicine will eventually harm the human race. True ("Our immune systems won't be as strong as now, because medicines will fight off disease and lower mortality rates. Thus, over time, weak genes will spread and affect our whole species.")
e. People in 100,000 will more or less have the same intelligence. False ("The genetically unhealthy will become short and ugly, and will also have substandard intelligence levels.")

2. Match the Vocabulary in English with the translations in Spanish (in this context)

If you prefer, do the interactive Vocabulary Matching Activity: Matching.

  1. evolutionary theorist - teórico evolucionista.
  2. hypothesis - hipótesis
  3. actually - en realidad.
  4. instead of - en vez de.
  5. humankind - el género humano.
  6. split into - dividirse en dos.
  7. in addition - además.
  8. species - especies.
  9. haves - los ricos.
  10. have-nots - los pobres.
  11. over the coming period - a lo largo del periodo que viene.
  12. millenium - milenio.
  13. likely - probable.
  14. average - promedio.
  15. height - altura.
  16. roughly - aproximadamente.
  17. increase - aumentar.
  18. resource- recurso.
  19. surgery - cirugia.
  20. even out - compensar, nivelar.
  21. what's more - lo que es más.
  22. races - razas.
  23. latte-coloured - color café con leche.
  24. hue - color, tono.
  25. skin - piel.
  26. however - sin embargo.
  27. reliance - dependencia.
  28. social skills - abilidades sociales.
  29. empathy - empatia.
  30. in the face of advancements - ante los progresos.
  31. advancements - progresos.
  32. immune system - sistema imunológico.
  33. fight off - combatir (quitarse de encima).
  34. disease - enfermedad.
  35. mortality rate - indice de mortalidad.
  36. thus - de este modo.
  37. over time - a lo largo del tiempo.
  38. weak genes - genes débiles.
  39. spread - extender.
  40. affect - afectar.
  41. happen - ocurrir.
  42. further - más allá.
  43. healthy - saludable.
  44. to breed - reproducirse.
  45. one another (each other) - unos con otros.
  46. unhealthy - no saludable.
  47. short and ugly - bajo y feo.
  48. substandard - de calidad inferior.
  49. in other words - en otras palabras.
  50. turn themselves into - converstirse en.
  51. ruler- gobernante.
  52. slave - esclavo.

3. Choose the Correct Answers in the Comprehension Quiz
    (The correct answers are below.)

If you prefer, do the interactive quiz: Future of the Human Race Quiz 2.

A) According to the article, why does the hypothesis sound like science fiction?

  1. Because Oliver Curry is a science fiction author/writer?
  2. Because the ideas are similar to ideas you can find in science fiction books.

B) According to the article, how will the human species be divided in the future?

  1. The species will be split in two. One species will be rich and the other will be poor.
  2. Humankind will grow taller, and 8-9 feet will be the average height.
  3. Humans will live roughly 140 years.
  4. There will be two different races.
  5. Men and women will look more similar to each other.

C) According to the article, what will happen to our genes over the next 10,000 years?

  1. Weak genes will spread and affect the entire species because of lower mortality rates.
  2. The immune systems of rich people will be better than our immune systems now.
  3. Medicines will fight off immune systems spreading weak genes over time.

D) According to the article, what will happen to humankind in 100,000 years?

  1. People will lose social skills and empathy in the face of future technological advancements.
  2. The genetically healthy will only breed with one another.

E) According to the article, what will happen to the genetically unhealthy in 100,000 years?

  1. They will become the rulers.
  2. They will be short, ugly, stupid and poor and they will be slaves.
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Steven Starry
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Sept. 8: Disponible para clases particulares en su domicilio particular en Alcorcón.







 




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Answers to the comprehension quiz in number 3.

A) According to the article, why does the hypothesis sound like science fiction?

  1. Because Oliver Curry is a science fiction author/writer? Incorrect.
  2. Because the ideas are similar to ideas you can find in science fiction books. Correct.

B) According to the article, how will the human species be divided in the future?

  1. The species will be split in two. One species will be rich and the other will be poor. Correct. - "One species will be the haves, and the other the have nots."
  2. Humankind will grow taller, and 8-9 feet will be the average height. Incorrect. - "Humankind will grow taller, and 6-7 feet (182-213 centimeters) will likely be the average height."
  3. Humans will live roughly 140 years. Incorrect. - "Humans will live roughly 120 years, too."
  4. There will be two different races. Incorrect. "The races will mix to produce people with a similar, latte-colored hue of skin."
  5. Men and women will look more similar to each other. Incorrect. - Men will look more similar to other men and women will look similar to other women.

C) According to the article, what will happen to our genes over the next 10,000 years?

  1. Weak genes will spread and affect the entire species because of lower mortality rates. - "Our immune systems won't be as strong as now, because medicines will fight off disease and lower mortality rates. Thus, over time, weak genes will spread and affect our whole species."
  2. The immune systems of rich people will be better than our immune systems now. Incorrect - "Our immune systems won't be as strong as now, because medicines will fight off disease and lower mortality rates."
  3. Medicines will fight off immune systems spreading weak genes over time. Incorrect - this is nonsense.

D) According to the article, what will happen to humankind in 100,000 years?

  1. People will lose social skills and empathy in the face of future technological advancements. Incorrect - This will happen in 10,000 years.
  2. The genetically healthy will only breed with one another. Correct - "Further into this dark future, in the year 100,000, the genetically healthy will only breed with one another."

E) According to the article, what will happen to the genetically unhealthy in 100,000 years?

  1. They will become the rulers. Incorrect - "The genetically unhealthy will become short and ugly, and will also have substandard intelligence levels. These are the have nots. In other words, humans will turn themselves into rulers and slaves."
  2. They will be short, ugly, stupid and poor and they will be slaves. Correct - "The genetically unhealthy will become short and ugly, and will also have substandard intelligence levels. These are the have nots. In other words, humans will turn themselves into rulers and slaves."

4. Discuss these questions with your teacher, colleague or friend

Related to the article:

a. Did you like this article?
b. What was your general impression after reading this article?
c. What do you think life will be like in the 31st century? Please explain.
d. Do you think technology will harm us, as explained in the article? Why/not?
e. Do you think the human race will make it to the 31st century, let alone the year 100,000? Why/not?
f. Would you want to live in the 31st century? How about the year 100,000? Why/not?
g. Does the theory sound more like science fiction or science fact? Why?
h. Are there any flaws with Oliver Curry's theory? Why do you think so?
i. Does the theory sound more like science fiction or science fact? Why?
j. What do you think the future of the human race will be? Please explain.
k. Some people say that science fiction unwittingly predicts the future. What might this mean, and do you agree?

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More general questions written by James Farmer for HeadsUpEnglish.com:

If you had a time machine, would you want to travel into the future? Why/not?
Do you agree or disagree? In the future there will be a common language? If yes, which language do you think it will be?
Do you agree or disagree? In the future, there will be only one nation with one government? If yes, why?
Do you believe that some people can see into the future? Why/not?
Are you optimistic or pessimistic about your future? How about the world's future? Why/not?

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If your life goes as planned, where will you be in 5 years? 10 years? 30 years?
If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what would you do tonight?
If you could speak to a psychic, what questions would you ask about your future?
Would you like to know when and how you are going to die? Why/not?
If you could have seen your future as a child, what would you have done differently? Why?
What are your hopes and dreams for the future? Please explain.
Many people do things that they later regret. Have you ever done something, and regretted it at a later date?
By the time you die, what do you want to accomplish?

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Will humans live all over the universe in the future? Why/not?
World peace will happen in our lifetime. Do you agree or disagree? Why/not?
Are you the kind of person who tries to plan out your future (life, vacation, or schoolwork, for example) in great detail? Why/not?

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What major advancements will the human race make this century? Please explain.
What do you think the future will be like 100 years from now? Please explain.
Have you seen any movies that deal with time travel into the future? What happened? Were they believable?
In the future, our children will look back at what we did to the world. What parts of our history do you think they will admire? What parts will they look down on? Why do you think so?

Print activity

Print the article-activity in pdf format: Print Future of the Human Race.
(Right-click and select "save target as" to download: MP3 Read by Chris of HeadsUpEnglish.com, MP3 Read by Victoria Fontana)

Grammar

El uso del Futuro Simple para predicciones Predicciones.

More activities

A related article at HeadsUpEnglish.com Science Fiction.

Speaking

Discuss this topic on this site: The Future of the Human Race Speaking.















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