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Old 06-13-2011, 10:56 PM
 
Location: Missouri, USA
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How human evolution will probably tend to go:
  • Genes seldom if ever affect the average, normal, healthy human's survival rate. The amount of offspring one produces is mostly based upon how many children one wants. There are other factors, such as living in a community where birth control is not used, but these are mostly not biological. Also survival rate is based on luck of where one grew up rather than genes. This will result in more unusual traits and mutations being passed onto offspring.
  • In the future, mutations should be on the rise. Our descendants should have lots and lots of mutations, for better or worse. 100,000 years from now, should we still be around, our descendants could very well be very odd looking.
  • If some natural disaster occurs and sends humanity back to the point where successful reproduction rate is based off something other than desire for more children, we could change quite a bit, with isolated populations potentially becomming super-adapted to a given environment. We could have pockets of people with extremely low metabolisms, pockets with incredible immune systems, pockets with bodies built perfectly for dessert life or cold, etc.
  • We will continue to have steadily more mutations until a large disaster occurs. If no large disaster puts us back into an age where survivability effects the ability to reproduce, mutations will increase until attractiveness (not necessarily physical alone) becomes of relevance to reproductive rate (it hardly is now).
  • We could very well end up as either scatterings of vastly different human populations, or beautiful mutants, who'll have progressively lower standards over who they desire to have many, many children with. Birth rate is slowing now, but that likely has to do with increasing quality of life, which tends to be a factor in population growth.
  • If humans begin tampering with our genetic makeup much, which I assume they will, then probably, eventually, the most common unnecessary hereditory trait which will be passed down is the type of mindset of the person who would want to artificially change their genes. We'll be a population with steadily divergent mutations. Initial ability to produce offspring could end up having nothing to do with actually producing offspring. In such a case, our physical forms will end up being whatever we want them to be, with making choices about one's children's traits being not so much controversial, as accepted and mandatory. As our offspring become steadily more mutated, someone will likely find a way to genetically augment the production of sex cells, as such a thing could cure humanity's slow genetic unraveling. From this point on, things will become strange. Disasters will likely happen, stranding sections of humanity scattered at least among some other planets in environments where they have no resources to genetically augment themselves. There will be very strange, alien looking youth at that point, or they may be entirely normal if genetic glitches in sex cells had been truly fixed.
  • knowledge of technology seems, historically, to have been relatively linear. We don't forget much of it entirely once it's learned, according to history. I think we'll progressively become more technologically advanced, even through the disasters, though they'll be setbacks. I'm betting this would lead to humans who genetically augment themselves and their descendants into superhumans, which could be considered another species. I do not know if the isolated pockets of more naturally, environmentally adapted humans could exist for long alongside the superhumans or not. The superhumans would certainly have the potential to wipe out the isolated pockets, but with the ability to design their own genes, they may design themselves so as to be really nice folks, with a low birth rate, who live forever, and can terraform their own planets with ease, etc. Through genetically enhancing themselves, should they want to do this, they could live alongside the more naturally adapted humans. If their parents won't, on average, want to make their descendants nicer folks, or don't know how to, there will end up being no humans but the genetically advanced superhumans, judging from the historical occurrence that people vastly different from one another don't tend to like eachother.
  • Everyone will have bodies like supermodels, brains like scientists, incredible lifespans, extremely nice personalities, and good standards of living. The only down side would be humanity will be more likely to treat life like a kind of machinery.
  • Alternatively, there could be another class of humanity who does not feel comfortable augmenting themselves, but has no problem using advanced robotics, as modern humans are far more comfortable with. They could be just as likely to survive and expand as the genetic augmentors, but incredibly mutated, and likely responsible for many isolated pockets of isolated pockets of long lost humans naturally adapted to their environments.
  • Basically the environment will be exactly the same as today. We'll have liberals who tend to mess with the human body (piercings, tatoos, stem cell research, giving oneself wings and a third arm, etc.) We'll have conservatives who use their money to buy giant mechanical automotons to walk around in, who have a general dislike for anything controversial. We'll have scatterings if strange peoples, whos alien looks are the result of generations of inbreeding, who are completely isolated from society, therefore having no access to voting booths. In modern times these are called hillbillies.

Last edited by Clintone; 06-14-2011 at 12:26 AM..
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Old 06-18-2011, 02:01 PM
 
Location: Log "cabin" west of Bangor
5,678 posts, read 6,780,654 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stillkit View Post
Why are you so sure that a future dominate species will be homo anything? After all, we're the only species with the ability to totally destroy ourselves and, if history is any judge, we've not yet invented a weapon we didn't use on each other.

When we finally get around to using the instruments of destruction we have at our disposal now, it seems more likely to me that the dominate species will be some kind of insect.
I don't think we've yet used Hydrogen Bombs or Neutron Bombs. There may also be some nasty little bio-weapons that haven't been used yet.
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Old 06-26-2011, 07:20 AM
 
Location: NC, USA
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Originally Posted by ovcatto View Post
I think that it is awfully vain to think that today man is natures ultimate creation.
Dang!!! To my way of thinking, Hummingbirds are amazing!!
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Old 06-26-2011, 10:03 AM
 
Location: Vermont
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Human evolution continues. For instance, humans evolved the ability to digest lactose after humans started raising cattle for their milk, which happened only 9,000 years ago.
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Old 06-26-2011, 06:45 PM
 
2,031 posts, read 2,412,404 times
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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?
It is true that selective pressures never cease to affect a gene pool. What those pressures are will vary over time and environments, of course. And even given a hypothetical absence of such pressures, evolution would still occur through other processes such as genetic drift.
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Old 06-26-2011, 06:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jackmccullough View Post
Human evolution continues. For instance, humans evolved the ability to digest lactose after humans started raising cattle for their milk, which happened only 9,000 years ago.
It should be noted that only some human populations evolved such an ability -- generally those with historically pastoral lifestyles.
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Old 06-27-2011, 09:47 PM
 
Location: NC, USA
7,088 posts, read 13,051,388 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stillkit View Post
Why are you so sure that a future dominate species will be homo anything? After all, we're the only species with the ability to totally destroy ourselves and, if history is any judge, we've not yet invented a weapon we didn't use on each other.

When we finally get around to using the instruments of destruction we have at our disposal now, it seems more likely to me that the dominate species will be some kind of insect.
Aha!!! So you are suggesting that, in time, the politicians will inherit the earth?
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Old 06-27-2011, 11:44 PM
 
Location: City-Data Forum
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LargeKingCat View Post
I was alluding to the idea that in 100.00 to 400.00 years, Home Sapiens will have either evolved into another species or been replaced by a more intellegent more stable species which evolved out of Homo Spaiens DNA..... Nature, being being like a blind watchmaker,, does not know what species will be like in 400.000 years but something will evolve.....
yes, I was thinking more along the lines of nanotech and other such robots that would be better at maintaining their artificial species. Oh wow, I totaly stole that from B.S.G. or something.
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Old 06-28-2011, 08:28 AM
 
27 posts, read 10,252 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LargeKingCat View Post
I was alluding to the idea that in 100.00 to 400.00 years, Home Sapiens will have either evolved into another species or been replaced by a more intellegent more stable species which evolved out of Homo Spaiens DNA..... Nature, being being like a blind watchmaker,, does not know what species will be like in 400.000 years but something will evolve.....
Who's to say we will evolve into anything? The dinosaurs were destroyed by an asteroid, and only tiny mammals remained to repopulate the earth. The same could happen with our species, at the rate we're going with destroying our planet's eco systems.

Evolution doesn't dictate the "certainty" that we will always evolve into something "better" or "more intelligent." Just that change will happen as a result of the circumstances on earth. That could mean we become a more highly evolved, intelligent species that discovers a way to cure the problems we've wrought, or that we simply vanish, and another species dominates the planet in our stead.
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Old 06-28-2011, 11:03 AM
 
Location: NC, USA
7,088 posts, read 13,051,388 times
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Originally Posted by Voyageur View Post
It should be noted that only some human populations evolved such an ability -- generally those with historically pastoral lifestyles.
I would have thought that, as mammals, we would always have the ability to digest milk. If we could not, our specie would have died out centuries ago.
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