With due respect to all the scientific data unearthed about our past evolution, there is a real challenge to predicting the next phase of human evolution. The same pressures on the human population are not present everywhere on the planet. That would be the number one mechanism to create the need for us, meaning all of us, to significantly evolve.
The fact there are nearly seven billion people is testimony to our fertility, but a large percentage of us live with modern conveniences that do not present the kind of challenge that stimulates significant evolutionary selection.
Small changes may occur in more isolated populations, which might not even be noticed by the rest of the world.
Considering the huge population centers share the conveniences created by modern technology, we might look to the technology to precipitate novel pressures to evolve.
We have come from ages of distinct climate and social changes:
1. In the past we had large jawbones, and a modest frontal lobe of brain.
2. In the past we had a lot more body hair.
3. In the past we satisfied our hunger with food densely packed with nutrition untouched by pollution.
4. In the past our habitation was strongly influenced by the weather, and available food supply.
5. In the past, those who lived longest had powerful immune systems to pass on
6. In the past our appendix was not vestibular, but functional
Evolution clearly has to be the result of a pressure that contributes to survival, and have a quality to pass on to the next generation.
The causative factors that direct evolution, will not likely be evident once their influence has passed. We can only guess at certain phenomena. We must assume that some of our ancestors survived negative events in their time, and those characteristics were passed down to their offspring. Those who succumbed to whatever dreadful thing came along, never had the opportunity to reinforce their family genetics with healthy offspring.
As time passed, and tribal leaders were successful in keeping their group alive and well, they likely spawned offspring with better, or a more logical thinking apparatus. Instead of dealing with the chance that everything would be okay, the human brain kept on growing as those who survived used them more and more to think their way through a better life, and one that was growing more complex.
This we know today. The more a human brain is used for thinking, and learning, the more it responds by creating more neuronal pathways, and more available information files, and as a general byproduct of all that, positively influences the rest of your health along the way. This is a recognized part of our evolutionary process.
As the soil on this planet has been changed by pollution, the vagaries of changed weather patterns, and the long term depletion of minerals given to long time farming, today we have to face the fact our food supply is not as densely packed with nutrition as it used to be.
Although we are highly informed these days, and pretty smart in general, the appearance of giant vitamin companies, and specialists who advise us of our health problems, is a reflection of our struggle to remain healthy. There are compromised health conditions we don’t fully understand, such as autism, and dementia.
What is the future evolution of humankind? Perhaps autism is preliminary to a future of a telepathic society, not concerned with social manners. Perhaps dementia in the elderly reinforces old tribal ways of ceremonially letting go of those who no longer serve the group. Perhaps our general increase in size will give us an edge in a future landscape not yet clearly developed. On the other hand, perhaps those who are smallest among us will have the edge in this very same unknown future.
It is possible we cannot detect our own evolution, or understand the subtle influences that press upon the process.
Although the evolution of humankind may in process, even at this moment, we can only guess what direction it will take.