A little snippet from my story idea, for some context-

"The Earth Government Collapses, caused by the cutoff of resources from the Colonies. Large-Scale war soon erupts, with Nuclear Weapons being used against most of the nations on Earth. The Now-Independent Colonies intervene, but end up declaring war on eachother, most of the colonies and cities ending up being destroyed, save for the Capitals, which have extremely strong Magi-Tech shields. High-End WMDs are used on eachother, burning away entire surfaces of planets, causing mega-earthquakes, mass volcanic eruptions, boiling away oceans. Due to the detonations of these weapons, the surface of the planets were damaged, to no end. Entire crusts of planets, melted, or blown away entirely. The surfaces of these planets were doused in radiation, as well, which eliminated any traces of life that had been remaining(outside of the Capitals)"

The Humans, during the war, were stuck in the Capitals, for hundreds-of-thousands, if not millions, of years, as the war raged, the planet(s) changed, and the atmosphere turned flaming. Assuming an entirely self-sufficient Capital, being,

  • Constant Air Production, Circulation, Maintenance
  • Constant Water Supply, Circulation, Treatment
  • Constant Food Production, Supply
  • Artificial Gravity, at a level of 0.98g
  • Constant Production of Items, Necessary and Unnecessary
  • Constant Energy Supply
  • Unbreaking Shield

How might Humans adapt, or evolve, to these conditions, while not being able to exit the Capital Domes?

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    $\begingroup$ Well, in a rather similar not-quite-human circumstance, the Thals turned out mildly evil and autocratic (a lot like us), but the Kaleds went full-bore crazy/evil/exterminate-everybody-else. $\endgroup$
    – user535733
    Commented May 22, 2020 at 17:10
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    $\begingroup$ From a physical perspective, apparently no major changes. From a psychological perspective, maybe they'll become a more closed society denying interaction with any outsiders and come to believe there can be nothing like what they have inside the dome, but that's pure speculation. $\endgroup$ Commented May 22, 2020 at 17:19
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    $\begingroup$ I suggest reading Isaac Asimov's The Caves of Steel and The Naked Sun; they go very in-depth into the psychology of people in this kind of situation. $\endgroup$ Commented May 22, 2020 at 18:47
  • $\begingroup$ This really isn't that different from the modern world where the primary form of selection is intraspecific competition. note after millions of years human will probably look drastically different just due to sexual selection. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Commented May 30, 2020 at 3:40

2 Answers 2


Depending on the situation there may be very little change. Evolution is a process mostly driven by struggle, in the situation you gave there is very little need for the people to adapt. This is compounded by the fact that humans can develop societal solutions to a problem much faster than an evolutionary solution. Most changes if any will likely be appearance, although there could be a slow move toward more effective thinking in math and science fields due to there greater need in a more advanced society and thus people who posses these traits will likely be wealthier and healthier and thus selected for.


Perhaps look to the effects of islands on evolution as a model?

You might not have the food pressures like a small island might have but Darwin noticed different islands had different species.

Each bubble or dome has as slightly different gene pool to start with, and some recessive traits would be different.

Sexual selection over the time period could become important. In one case a sport like basketball being popular might select for tall people, in another culture smart people might be more sexy, etc. There could be significant changes in appearance over the very long time periods.

I suppose depending on the effectiveness of the shields you could also have differences in mutation rates due to the radiation or magic etc.

But over several hundred generations, I suspect you might see differences, some domes hairy people, some smooth skinned, some taller, some with pointed ears etc. just from differences in initial conditions, and different bubbles with different cultures choosing their partners for different ways.


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