The Orks are the pinnacle of creation. For them, the great struggle is won. They have evolved a society which knows no stress or angst. Who are we to judge them? We Eldar who have failed, or the Humans, on the road to ruin in their turn? And why? Because we sought answers to questions that an Ork wouldn’t even bother to ask! We see a culture that is strong and despise it as crude.

— Uthan the Perverse, Warhammer 40K.

Could Orks be the logical endpoint of human evolution?

Anatoly Karlin is a transhumanist interested in psychometrics, life extension, UBI, crypto/network states, X risks, and ushering in the Biosingularity.


Inventor of Idiot’s Limbo, the Katechon Hypothesis, and Elite Human Capital.


Apart from writing booksreviewstravel writing, and sundry blogging, I Tweet at @powerfultakes and run a Substack newsletter.


  1. Wouldn’t super eldar be the other result of the endpoint of human evolution? Fix the problems of the eldar and they become demi-gods like the Old Ones.

  2. Senator Brundlefly says

    I always heard that the pop culture depiction of “greys” (the aliens) was based on what we thought we’d become-androgenous, hairless, neotenous, egg-heads that have mastered space travel (and use that ability to probe people in the butt, but, whatever). Guess that’s more a future for the “inner party.” Overall conversation reminds me of Dixon’s, Man After Man. http://www.sivatherium.narod.ru/library/Dixon_3/01_en.htm

    But I wonder what happens to a species with a gift of documented history. Assuming we remember what we were, would we allow ourselves to stray too far from that vision of ourselves?

  3. Actually I would say the Dark eldar are much more evolved in that sense than the orcs.

  4. Seamus Padraig says

    That would make Pravy Sektor the most evolved beings on the planet!

  5. Cattle Guard says

    Being shallow is definitely more fun and less stressful. It must suck to be deep.

  6. Mightypeon says

    So, at what point would be become mushrooms? Which WH40K Orcs actually are?

  7. Randall Parker of futurepundit made a point about this a while ago. Various professionals would choose traits in their offspring that let them be genetically advantaged in their profession, eventually resulting in speciation. But for the general population, yes, probably would end up like the description of the “Orks”. In particular, “curing” things like depression might result in the population being more high time preference, and/or less intelligent.

  8. random observer says

    Based on that citation above, I would expect Uthan the Perverse to disagree about the dark eldar.

    The dark eldar are a splinter of the eldar, representing one fragment of their decadence, not a complete culture. They are a subculture barely hanging on to survival against being absorbed by Chaos, and much of their predation is necessary to strengthen their power solely as a means to ward off disintegration and absorption by chaos. They are evil to the nth power, but underlying it is an element of desperation.

    And their arrival in this state, a product of the near annihilation of the Eldar civilization, and the approach they take to maintaining it, are precisely the product of their superior intellect and the fact that they “asked the questions” that Eldar were prone to ask about life and meaning.

    The Orks are a healthier culture, by these measures, because they are vastly more numerous and in no danger of extinction, arguably their evil is merely pure, undirected violence without especial malice, perversion, or that knife-edge of panic being involved, and they are too dumb to be corrupted by Chaos beyond that particular, limited level.

    Or look at it in more generic fantasy-culture terms. The Orks are happy, drunk barbarians barely above animal level. The Dark Eldar are corrupt ‘wizards’ eaten away in the mind and spirit by numberless millennia of delving too greedily and too deep into the most intellectually and sensually corrupt domains of existence. A culture of Dorian Greys, if Dorian had near-godlike powers, functional immortality, and most of a galaxy for prey.

    I suppose it depends on your mileage- one Dark Eldar could probably take out battalions of Orks easily. But his culture is wildly closer to extinction than theirs.

    Damn that was fun to write. Much more fun that trying to extend the metaphor into the contemporary USA.

  9. Pseudonymic Handle says

    Intelligence is fragile, expensive and negatively impacts reproduction.

  10. Anonymous says

    Orks… animal like beasts with low intelligence but high aggression. Prone to random violence. Barely– if at all– literate. Too dumb to understand even if it could read. Will eat anything not nailed down and nail anything not chowed down.

    Well, we have that here on Earth already. They infest the entire continent of Africa and parts of North America and Europe, ruining everything they get their filthy paws on.

    I wonder if Orks like to spin rhymes about how big their dicks are while loud drums senselessly bang in the background or if they complain about non-orks fighting back against their predations #orklivesmatter

    I wonder how much the Eldar and the Empire of Man pay the Orks in welfare benefits.