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Old 06-01-2011, 05:55 PM
 
Location: around the way
656 posts, read 932,764 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanspeur View Post
I see a problem when it comes to humans and natural selection. I many ways we are defeating natural selection because of modern medicine...Today people with medical defects that wouldn't have survived before the advent of modern science now reproduce passing on their defective genes to the following generations...That doesn't bode well for the future. I think in the future we may be a weaker more fragile race, unless science can find a way to manipulate our genetics more than is possible now.
But that ability to create and maintain our modern medical technology is itself a part of natural selection. A gene can only really be said to be defective if it in some way impedes our ability to reproduce and have those offspring survive to reproduce themselves. As long as the medical technology of our descendents keeps ahead of the defects and keeps them alive long enough to breed, they'll be fine.

Of course, the way we're stripping the planet of resources, how much longer we'll be able to maintain medical tech much more complicated than "chew on this root and praise Jesus" is anybody's guess...
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Old 06-01-2011, 07:09 PM
 
Location: Texas
14,078 posts, read 17,669,417 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stavemaster View Post
But that ability to create and maintain our modern medical technology is itself a part of natural selection. A gene can only really be said to be defective if it in some way impedes our ability to reproduce and have those offspring survive to reproduce themselves. As long as the medical technology of our descendents keeps ahead of the defects and keeps them alive long enough to breed, they'll be fine.

Of course, the way we're stripping the planet of resources, how much longer we'll be able to maintain medical tech much more complicated than "chew on this root and praise Jesus" is anybody's guess...

If medical science is natural selection at work, isn't military science as well? If we can claim the evolutionary process for life-saving advances in medicine as proof of the progress of mankind, what does the evolutionary ability to wipe ourselves out prove?
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Old 06-01-2011, 10:22 PM
 
Location: NC, USA
7,088 posts, read 13,047,275 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodrow LI View Post
At last you guys are starting to think like theists. That is pretty much what we think. Except we all evolve through death of this mortal body and wake up in our eternal form. We simply bypass the biological mumbo-jumbo and proceed forward.
Yeah, heaven forbid you should actually understand the science of what is going on!!!! VooDoo is so much easier, ya don't even have to think about it. AND.......What makes you think that evolution has stopped?
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Old 06-01-2011, 11:18 PM
 
Location: Metromess
11,798 posts, read 21,984,404 times
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And heaven forbid that I should ever start thinking like a theist. If evolution were not still going on, staph infections from drug-resistant bacteria wouldn't be the problem that they are.
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Old 06-01-2011, 11:30 PM
 
Location: around the way
656 posts, read 932,764 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stillkit View Post
If medical science is natural selection at work, isn't military science as well? If we can claim the evolutionary process for life-saving advances in medicine as proof of the progress of mankind, what does the evolutionary ability to wipe ourselves out prove?
That we have a talent for sticking together in tribal units and making sure that our particular tribe and our offspring have the resources necessary to survive. If that means taking it at spear-, sword-, or gunpoint, so be it.
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Old 06-02-2011, 06:43 AM
 
39,144 posts, read 10,857,554 times
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Comments on two points

(1) are we still evolving? The evidence is that, yes, we are. Since we are very adaptable and even better at adapting our conditions to suit us, we are not as open to natural selection as other species, perhaps, but evolution is still going on. This does not guarantee our survival, of course, but it would take a disaster to cause our extinction and leave cockroaches free to fill the resultant ecological niche.

(2) the idea that allowing the 'weaker' of the species to survive will cause our species to fail.

Helping people to survive who caught some disease or don't take much exercise or who might have been exterminated as a rival by a stronger ape with less brain would not immediately suggest to me weakening the species. Frankly, Hawking passing on his genes would strike me as better for the adaptability of the human race than Idi Amin doing it. And I'd say what strengthens the gene pool is inter racial interaction rather than any weeding out and elimination of the supposed 'weakest'.

This, I may say, seems to me to be the objection to the Creationist 'Darwinism= Eugenics' ploy.
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Old 06-02-2011, 08:11 AM
 
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
13,143 posts, read 19,201,834 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LargeKingCat View Post
Some idea occurred to me when reading parts of The Blind Watchmaker.

Since nature has no concept of an end product to it's evolution, is it not absurd to think that we as humans will be replaced someday by a higher Evolved species of man?
In 100,000 years, Homo sapiens may be extinct, and replaced perhaps by some other species, maybe Homo porti or some other term.

It would befall a select few humans to assume that Mankind is Nature's ultimate Final creation. We are today, but it would be vain to think that we always will be.......For even as we ourselves evolve newer species of organism for our own usage, would nature not someday improve on our faults?
I yield to this scholarly academic assessment of future human evolutionary development :

YouTube - ‪"Idiocracy" introduction - the future of human evolution‬‏

Considering Homo Erectus went around a million years without changing appreciably, humankind could do the same, especially since we are naturally well adapted for survival because of our toolmaking skills. There is no natural impetus for us to change too much.


I'm sure we will be completely unable to resist tampering with ourselves as future technology becomes available, however. We'll probably end up as "bio-bots" who spend most of our time hooked up virtual worlds or go back to a few hunter-gatherers trying to stay alive in the places of the world that aren't too radioactive or polluted to support life.
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Old 06-02-2011, 09:29 AM
 
1,811 posts, read 978,569 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LargeKingCat View Post
Some idea occurred to me when reading parts of The Blind Watchmaker.

Since nature has no concept of an end product to it's evolution, is it not absurd to think that we as humans will be replaced someday by a higher Evolved species of man?
In 100,000 years, Homo sapiens may be extinct, and replaced perhaps by some other species, maybe Homo porti or some other term.

It would befall a select few humans to assume that Mankind is Nature's ultimate Final creation. We are today, but it would be vain to think that we always will be.......For even as we ourselves evolve newer species of organism for our own usage, would nature not someday improve on our faults?
Te evolution of man continues to this day. It is an ongoing, never-ending process.
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Old 06-02-2011, 10:19 AM
 
Location: Brussels, Belgium
971 posts, read 1,538,567 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanspeur View Post
I see a problem when it comes to humans and natural selection. I many ways we are defeating natural selection because of modern medicine...Today people with medical defects that wouldn't have survived before the advent of modern science now reproduce passing on their defective genes to the following generations...That doesn't bode well for the future. I think in the future we may be a weaker more fragile race, unless science can find a way to manipulate our genetics more than is possible now.
Artificial selection and/or artificial DNA manipulation will change the nature of the game long before this can even begin to have an impact. Or we'll destroy ourselves and go back to the stone age, either way. I don't believe our civilization will remain mostly unchanged for hundreds of thousands of years.
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Old 06-02-2011, 11:01 AM
 
Location: Golden, CO
2,108 posts, read 2,499,176 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
And I'd say what strengthens the gene pool is inter racial interaction rather than any weeding out and elimination of the supposed 'weakest'.
Diversity is any species greatest strength. That is the best way to ensure that at least some organisms of that species will make it through whatever mass plague may befall us. Some of us may be immune or have greater resistance to whatever may wipe out most of the population. Some of us can naturally withstand extreme temperatures better than most; some of us may have immune systems that can withstand viruses better; some of us can tolerate radiation better than others; some of us can survive on less food or water than others, etc. Whatever the challenge may be, I think it is better to have a diverse gene pool, than a narrow one.

Humans are smart and good at making tools and changing the environment, but there are some challenges that can happen so quick that we won't have time to develop a solution. Lots of Hollywood movies are founded on that theme. Yellowstone could blow up; a meteor could hit us; etc.
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