Accepted paper:

The two faces of tomorrow: human biocultural diversity expanded by space development


Keiichi Omura (Osaka University)

Paper short abstract:

This presentation will discuss the future of space development on the basis of human evolution and will propose two facets of space development: the continued expansion of the human world along with the simultaneous protection of human biocultural diversity on Earth and in outer space.

Paper long abstract:

Human beings are characterized by their ability to multiply and to freely extend their own mind into their environment, thus constructing diverse human–nature complexes such as life-worlds. Armed with this ability, the species has expanded over all the surface of Earth, adapting to various natural environments from equatorial belt to arctic tundra. Today, human beings are about to expand further into outer space.   In this presentation, I will examine the future of space development on the basis of human evolution, focusing on the human ability to multiply and to freely extend one’s own mind into the environment.  First, on the basis of the hypothesis of “cumulative cultural evolution” proposed by Tomasello and Bateson’s model regarding the evolution of learning, I will show how this ability enabled human beings to expand over the entire surface of Earth. Then, with the relationship of Inuit societies of the Canadian arctic with a global network as an example case, I will examine the present conditions of the human world while focusing on the relationship between a global technoscience network and diverse regional subsistence societies in order to consider the future of space development.  Finally, on the basis of this consideration, I will propose that space development should have two facets: it should continue to extend the human world as far as possible beyond the terrestrial world into outer space, and it should also protect human biocultural diversity, so that it flourishes on Earth and outer space, both now and in the future.

panel P089
Challenges of space anthropology