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Old 05-31-2011, 03:52 PM
 
Location: On the Edge of the Fringe
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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?
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Old 05-31-2011, 04:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LargeKingCat View Post
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.......
I think that it is awfully vain to think that today man is natures ultimate creation.
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Old 05-31-2011, 04:22 PM
 
Location: Logan Township, Minnesota
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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.
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Old 05-31-2011, 05:15 PM
 
Location: Brussels, Belgium
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Originally Posted by LargeKingCat View Post
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?
First, there's no such thing as "higher evolved". We are not "more evolved" than a cockroach. Maybe you mean more intelligent or something.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LargeKingCat View Post
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?
We have a few faults (like a blind spot in the eye, or the fact that our food and our air use the same tube), but they can't be corrected by gradual accumulation of small random mutations + natural selection, which is why we're still stuck with them to this day.

But things like our limited strength or intelligence aren't faults, they're just compromises. Building up and using a large brain, for example, costs a lot of energy. Natural selection ran tests over millions of years to figure out the "perfect" size given our environment. Now these days, we (those of us in developed countries anyway) have access to a lot more food and complete safety from predators, so we could probably "afford" bigger brains, but evolution works so slowly that the entire human civilization didn't last long enough to have a noticeable effect.

Given how fast technology is improving, I think it's far more likely that any changes to the human race will be artificial. Eugenism already gives us the power to favor or eliminate some traits in a few generations. Through science, we will also eventually be able to rewrite human DNA as we see fit, as well as alter our bodies with implants and superior artificial limbs. At the moment society has no desire to do any of these things, but in a century or a millenium, who knows how our principles will change?
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Old 05-31-2011, 05:42 PM
 
Location: On the Edge of the Fringe
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Originally Posted by Roxolan View Post
First, there's no such thing as "higher evolved". We are not "more evolved" than a cockroach. Maybe you mean more intelligent or something.

We have a few faults (like a blind spot in the eye, or the fact that our food and our air use the same tube), but they can't be corrected by gradual accumulation of small random mutations + natural selection, which is why we're still stuck with them to this day.

But things like our limited strength or intelligence aren't faults, they're just compromises. Building up and using a large brain, for example, costs a lot of energy. Natural selection ran tests over millions of years to figure out the "perfect" size given our environment. Now these days, we (those of us in developed countries anyway) have access to a lot more food and complete safety from predators, so we could probably "afford" bigger brains, but evolution works so slowly that the entire human civilization didn't last long enough to have a noticeable effect.

Given how fast technology is improving, I think it's far more likely that any changes to the human race will be artificial. Eugenism already gives us the power to favor or eliminate some traits in a few generations. Through science, we will also eventually be able to rewrite human DNA as we see fit, as well as alter our bodies with implants and superior artificial limbs. At the moment society has no desire to do any of these things, but in a century or a millenium, who knows how our principles will change?

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.....
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Old 05-31-2011, 05:58 PM
 
Location: New Zealand
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Evolution is always happening via genetic mutation. The key is natural selection -- it is natural selection which "determines" which mutations will survive in future generations.

So the question becomes, how much are we humans at the mercy of natural selection? For instance, let's say there's a mutation that makes somebody very smart, or very strong, or very fast. Will that mutation make that person more likely to reproduce than somebody without the mutation and thus create a more evolved version of humans? I'd say not. Being "better" at something doesn't guarantee (more) reproduction. In fact, going the other way may be just as likely (ala "Idiocracy").
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:04 PM
 
Location: Texas
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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.....

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.
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:51 PM
 
Location: Brussels, Belgium
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Originally Posted by Fuzz View Post
So the question becomes, how much are we humans at the mercy of natural selection? For instance, let's say there's a mutation that makes somebody very smart, or very strong, or very fast. Will that mutation make that person more likely to reproduce than somebody without the mutation and thus create a more evolved version of humans? I'd say not. Being "better" at something doesn't guarantee (more) reproduction. In fact, going the other way may be just as likely (ala "Idiocracy").
Given how incredibly fast our culture is changing, I don't think we can tell either way. We can't even guess what physical or personality trait will be favored a thousand year from now, and a thousand year is nothing on the evolutionary timescale.
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Old 06-01-2011, 01:39 AM
 
7,802 posts, read 5,293,605 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LargeKingCat View Post
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 fact your own question somewhat negates itself. The fact there is no concept of the end product means that there is no "higher" or "lower" really. How would you even define what you mean when you say "higher".

Natural Selection merely mindlessly selects the individuals and species that is best suited to the environment in which they find themselves. It is therefore just as valid an expectation that what will "replace" us is.... to take one random example... bacteria.... as they are a group of organisms that appear to be able to survive just about everything this planet throws at them.

So although you question is far from being a “bad” one, you would do well to divest yourself of this idea of “higher” and “lower” entirely. That some 1000s of years from now Humans are likely to be different to what they are now is quite possible… though it is just as possible we will be entirely extinct and bacteria will reign supreme.
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Old 06-01-2011, 01:58 AM
 
Location: Victoria, BC.
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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.
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