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Paleoanthropologist: Climate change will cause us to grow webbed feet

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John William Waterhouse A Mermaid.jpg
A mermaid/John William Waterhouse, Public Domain

So says a University of Kent paleoanthropologist:

Rising sea levels could force communities to live in underwater or semi-aquatic towns which could change out physiology.

Dr Matthew Skinner, a paleoanthropologist from the University of Kent, claims that humans could evolve to have webbed hands and feet and less body hair so they could move quickly through the water…

Our eyes would even become more like cats, so we could see in the murky gloom of seas and rivers and our lungs would shrink as we became used to using artificial tanks to breathe underwater.

“Regular underwater foraging would lead to the evolution of longer fingers and toes which would then likely develop ‘webbed’ interconnecting skin to enable easier swimming,” said Dr Skinner.

Sarah Knapton, “Humans could evolve webbed feet if sea levels rise, scientist claims” at Telegraph

Overheard in UD News’s smoky back room: “Okay, I see your “scientist who says AI is going to save Gaia” and I’m raising you one who says, “the way things are going, we’re all gonna have webbed feet.” And… hey, who ate all the chocolate pretzels again?!”

Triumphing over both of these, of course, would be the player who came up with an earnest, just-published study offering convoluted neuroscience theories as to why so many people don’t trust science.

Hat tip: Philip Cunningham

See also: AI will save Gaia, says James Lovelock at nearly 100 years of age. The Gaia hypothesis started out as science, then discovered weed. But a digital Gaia movement for the 21st century will not, one suspects, be hippies. Maybe not as nice.

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I got a better theory; rising sea levels will cause some coastal communities to invent boats. aarceng
At one time in the distant past, scientists who engaged in this type of "thinking" were quickly discredited and treated as quacks. EG the Piltdown Man or Brinkley's goat gland surgery. Now accurate observations are discredited and punished with jail time. polistra
Maybe if we all jump off cliffs like lemmings will evolve wings.....Darwin awards for anybody that goes to try to find out AaronS1978
Well that’s weird all I Gotta say is it was 20 years ago when it was predicted that we were going to loose our pinkies Now are predicted to have web feet. why can’t we get super powers like magneto I would be really really happy with that, especially with some of those slow drivers I get in front of me and almost break for no reason whatsoever I would just scoot your car straight out of the way AaronS1978
At first I thought this was a joke and someone was just pulling a fast one to show how ludicrous Darwinian thinking is. Then I looked up Dr Matthew Skinner. It turns out that he actually gets paid to teach this nonsense. Shoot, for the small price of a 100,000 dollars or so, Dr Skinner will even be willing to teach you, at the PhD level, the finer art of keeping a straight face as you tell outlandish fairy tales. Of course, I'm sure the job market in the real world, after graduation, might not be so appreciative of such a skill, except maybe for politics..
Dr Matthew Skinner Reader in Biological Anthropology Deputy Head of School Dr Skinner can offer supervision of PhD and MA/MSc research within any of his areas of interest – skeletal biology, dental development and morphology, and functional morphology of the postcranial skeleton, including external and internal (using microCT data) bony morphology. https://www.kent.ac.uk/anthropology-conservation/people/556/skinner-matthew
I don't know about you guys, but I am selling my shares in Flip-Flops R Us. Brother Brian
If Brother Brian could just switch out his light bulbs, he could save us from all this webbed feet stuff. Or he could at least feel better about pretending to do something to save the world from weather trends. It's on you, dude. I'm out. Andrew asauber
Our eyes would even become more like cats, so we could see in the murky gloom of seas and rivers and our lungs would shrink as we became used to using artificial tanks to breathe underwater.
Or our lungs get bigger as we hold our breath longer underwater, then we have gills which enable breathing underwater. A larger mouth is good for catching insects, just like when black bears turned into whales. … [bears have been seen] swimming for hours with widely open mouth, thus catching, like a whale, insects in the water. Even in so extreme a case as this, if the supply of insects were constant, and if better adapted competitors did not already exist in the country, I can see no difficulty in a race of bears being rendered, by natural selection, more and more aquatic in their structure and habits, with larger and larger mouths, till a creature was produced as monstrous as a whale. -- Charles Darwin Silver Asiatic

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