Are we impacting our own evolution?
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15-05-2014, 12:01 PM
Re: Are we impacting our own evolution?
Evolution is a means not an end; an adaptation to changes in the environment. The aim is not to make a superhero with extraordinary strength or lightning speed. Human beings are no longer under constant threat of direct combats with the wild animals. We are, in fact, working to save the dying species, some of them, our former arch rivals, stronger and better physically. So physical strength is not the key point anymore. It is due to evolved mental abilities that we are now, in a way, above the fight for survival. Who knows, we come up with an artificial gene mutation technique in the near future? Talking about sleep deprivation, we might evolve to need smaller amount of sleep. How would that change be bad in any way? And having a species to compete with? I'm all up for some cross-species competition! Survival of the fittest!
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15-05-2014, 12:18 PM
RE: Are we impacting our own evolution?
(15-05-2014 12:01 PM)kahlon Wrote:  Evolution is a means not an end; an adaptation to changes in the environment. The aim is not to make a superhero with extraordinary strength or lightning speed. Human beings are no longer under constant threat of direct combats with the wild animals. We are, in fact, working to save the dying species, some of them, our former arch rivals, stronger and better physically. So physical strength is not the key point anymore. It is due to evolved mental abilities that we are now, in a way, above the fight for survival. Who knows, we come up with an artificial gene mutation technique in the near future? Talking about sleep deprivation, we might evolve to need smaller amount of sleep. How would that change be bad in any way? And having a species to compete with? I'm all up for some cross-species competition! Survival of the fittest!
Some interesting points and great food for thought. About the strength aspect, I agree and disagree. Currently our mental abilities more than compensate for comparative physical limitations. In general (not counting instances of isolated exceptions), anytime we feel physically overpowered, we can out-think the source of threat and create tools to protect ourselves as needed. But, if another species was to develop equal mental capacity and also have physical advantages, that could be problematic. I'm sure we wouldn't go down very easily even then, if we went down at all, but it would open the possibility of having a greater threat than we currently expect from other earthly critters.

Great point about sleep deprivation possibly leading to needing less. I would love to be able to spend more hours awake! Thumbsup

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15-05-2014, 05:13 PM
RE: Are we impacting our own evolution?
(15-05-2014 09:57 AM)Colourcraze Wrote:  Yes. I think we're slowing our own evolution by moving technology along instead. Like an extension of evolution.

I think we are replacing it with a more efficient mechanism. The more we learn about the human genome and epigenetics and genetic manipulation the more we are rendering evolution obsolete. It's too damn slow to keep up.

#sigh
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15-05-2014, 06:36 PM
RE: Are we impacting our own evolution?
(15-05-2014 10:25 AM)Revenant77x Wrote:  
(15-05-2014 10:17 AM)Chas Wrote:  Yabut, all of evolution has been unintended. Yes

Not if you include Human's replacing the natural selection (which is what I think the OP was discussing) with controlled selection. Lets take a look at a breed of dog.

Ferdinand just added a Pug to her menagerie, cute little thing. It was bred for that cuteness, however because it was bred with it's face pushed back into it's skull as a breed they have all kinds of breathing problems. That was an unintended result from deliberate action. Most dog breeds have at least 1 problem in the purebreed and it varies from breed to breed.

Yeah - that's why I said has been. Nothing was aware of evolution until us.

Being aware of evolution is the game changer.

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15-05-2014, 06:40 PM
RE: Are we impacting our own evolution?
(15-05-2014 11:34 AM)Jmspencer11 Wrote:  I dont think you are wrong in this,but personally i think we can use technology to advance our evolution. but the only way we could do this is to completely change our society. if you have never seen zeitgeist i would advise for everyone to watch it. they have a genious idea of changing our world by switching it to a technologicly advanced world using a resource based economy. were if money wasnt an option. we could have advanced machinery do most of the jobs so that we can concentrate on education instead of trying to make enough money to survive. I think the thing holding our evolution back the most is our extremely unfair monetary economic system more than anything.
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15-05-2014, 06:42 PM
RE: Are we impacting our own evolution?
(15-05-2014 10:37 AM)Dom Wrote:  Definitely, we are impacting our own evolution.

It's hard to predict the outcome. Too many trends...

Wasn't there a documentary about this? I think it was called idiocracy.... Dodgy

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16-05-2014, 06:32 AM
RE: Are we impacting our own evolution?
I'd like to add two factors, one which might speed up evolution, the other slow it (so we stay at the same stage? Smile).

We know that evolution often occurs in isolation e.g. some birds fly off to a Galapagos and after many years develop into a different species that can no longer breed with its forefathers and foremothers. We, as a species, seem to be losing the chance of isolation. We can can get on a plane in Sydney and fly to Tokyo, LA, Paris etc etc. What we (our tribe) can't really do is to split off from the rest of humanity for 100,000 years and develop characteristics which differ greatly from the rest of humanity. And what little theoretical possibilities we now have (Amazon, Antartica) seem to be disappearing.

The other factor we should bare in mind is climate change. If the average temperature continues to rise, would there be a selection pressure for, say. tall, skinny people? I'm not saying that's what's actually going to happen but climate change is possibly a massive factor in our evolutionary future.

Just thought of another factor...the Zombie Apocalypse. I've been watching a documentary series called The Walking Dead. Things look pretty grim.Big Grin

(OT: on the subject of TWD, have you heard "Rick" talking in his natural accent?)
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17-05-2014, 12:16 PM
RE: Are we impacting our own evolution?
I'd say we are impacting everything's evolution. Ever since we luckily gained the ability to produce information in our own brains, we've been changing our surroundings in extraordinary ways and that has an influence not only in our chances of biological success, but in every other living being's chances of biological success. For example, there is now a large selective pressure for animals to be useful and/or tasty, cute or difficult to kill.

But we're certainly changing the selective pressure upon our genes, and that will most likely have consequences over time. For example, in the country where I live (but this may be a problem elsewhere), the more of a son of a bitch you are, the better your chances at having biologically successful offspring. Those who are most willing to divert collective resources for their own accumulation are the ones who are in the best position to raise children with possibly similar behaviours; those who are least willing to use humanity for their own profit are slowly dying out with few if any children.

Will that be good for humanity? We'll see, although I don't think I will.
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22-05-2014, 04:28 PM
RE: Are we impacting our own evolution?
Honestly, I don't think that we impact our own evolution because we can't impact in the capacity you are referring. We are spectators to what was always going to happen..

Just as the inputs 1+1 = 2.. The inputs into the universe from the beginning of time were bound to have you be here at this time reading what I'm typing. When were dealing with simple systems the output is 100 percent predictable, if you know how the inputs interact. The Universe itself is just the conglomerate of these interactions, but at that level of breadth and scope we simply cannot comprehend it.

Chance and probability are the byproduct of our inability to grasp an infinitely complex system. There is a probability because there is an error factor when you don't encapsulate all aspects of a system.

Mathematically I would represent it as

7+14+99+ Error = 121

Its easy to see that in the above case the error is 1, but that's because the system is simple enough for us to comprehend. When were talking about the universe though were talking about how every atom interacts simultaneously, and that changes at every moment.. That is where the problem is, our intellect is incapable of handling that.

So, in my opinion no we are not impacting our evolution because it was always going to be what it was/is based on the initial inputs..
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22-05-2014, 07:45 PM
RE: Are we impacting our own evolution?
(22-05-2014 04:28 PM)Switz5678 Wrote:  Honestly, I don't think that we impact our own evolution because we can't impact in the capacity you are referring. We are spectators to what was always going to happen..
I don't think you understand evolution.
Evolution is with regards to the survival and procreation of genes that make up genomes.

Through the evolution of the Cheetah and the antelope, the slow cheetahs died of hunger and the slow antelope died of being eaten. The quicker Cheetahs were more likely to get fed, thus live and procreate, the quicker antelope were more likely not to be eaten thus live and procreate. Their children inherited and perpetuated the "fast" genes. Those children then produced slow and fast children (because mutations go in all directions), then their fast children produced slow and fast grandchildren, their fast grandchildren produced slow and fast great grandchildren.
Because the relatively slow ones died and the relatively fast ones lived, these animals got faster and faster from generation to generation.

Now that humans have worked out how to keep genomes alive and procreating that would have otherwise died without medication then we are diluting the natural fitness of our species and making our species dependent on medication.
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