Are we still evolving?
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08-05-2011, 06:57 AM
RE: Are we still evolving?
Evolution/Natural Selection is still alive and kicking. Some people will produce more offspring than others.

Now that we have sequenced the genomes of many people from various backgrounds we have found there can be up to 1% difference in genomes. Almost the same amount of difference as between humans and chimps. Thats allot of diversity.

Eventually there might be enough of a difference that breeding between some people might not work. Natural selection can happen lots of ways. Income (based on intelligence and other factors), Core Personality traits (Social skills), etc..

Based on the work that Craig Venter is doing I'd say there is a good chance we will have technology to direct our evolution. At some point in the future we might be able to get rid of certain types of disease, lower cancer risk, and increase average life span.
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08-05-2011, 08:11 AM
RE: Are we still evolving?
(08-05-2011 06:57 AM)DeepThought Wrote:  Based on the work that Craig Venter is doing I'd say there is a good chance we will have technology to direct our evolution. At some point in the future we might be able to get rid of certain types of disease, lower cancer risk, and increase average life span.

I've always been excited for this sort of stuff. Making better humans, altering our genomes to lower diseases and whatever else we can do. It seems pretty simple to me. Cancer and death are bad, so let's do whatever we can to lower to that. But whenever I bring it up to the average person, they never agree. There's always two things that they say; that we are playing god([sarcasm]because our current god is doing such a great job at protecting us[/sarcasm]), and then they cite movies. From Hollywood. "You think human cloning is a good thing? Like in The Island?" Of course it's pointless to tell them that when I say human cloning, I mean cloning just organs. It's depressing that Hollywood movies have turned the public against things that really should be good things.

I don't believe Jesus is the son of God until I see the long form birth certificate!
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08-05-2011, 11:21 PM
RE: Are we still evolving?
(07-05-2011 07:59 PM)Zach Wrote:  Our collective knowledge grows far too fast for any kind of evolution to keep up. As long as we don't cause our own extinction, I'd bet that we're going to learn how to program our own genes at some point.

If Idiocracy is anywhere near a valid prediction, then we will need to program our genes or risk getting outsmarted by chimps.

When I find myself in times of trouble, Richard Dawkins comes to me, speaking words of reason, now I see, now I see.
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10-05-2011, 04:37 AM
RE: Are we still evolving?
I really like this one:

[Image: 07bis.gif]

"Infinitus est numerus stultorum." (The number of fools is infinite)
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10-05-2011, 11:20 PM
 
RE: Are we still evolving?
(08-05-2011 11:21 PM)No J. Wrote:  
(07-05-2011 07:59 PM)Zach Wrote:  Our collective knowledge grows far too fast for any kind of evolution to keep up. As long as we don't cause our own extinction, I'd bet that we're going to learn how to program our own genes at some point.

If Idiocracy is anywhere near a valid prediction, then we will need to program our genes or risk getting outsmarted by chimps.

Let's hope it isn't Smile
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11-05-2011, 06:38 AM
 
RE: Are we still evolving?
Some time ago, I developed a notion that is too infantile to bring up in polite conversation. I have no support or arguments for or against it. It was just a spark of an idea. Here it goes!


Could it be possible that cancer (any cancer) is a constant failed attempt of the collective human genome to become more adaptive to the increasingly changing environmental variables around us?

Huh


Any yays or nays are welcome!
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11-05-2011, 01:17 PM
RE: Are we still evolving?
"Could it be possible that cancer (any cancer) is a constant failed attempt of the collective human genome to become more adaptive to the increasingly changing environmental variables around us?"

I don't think so, after all cancer is not a genetic disease.

..."we can be truly free - not because we can rebel against the the tyranny of the selfish replicators but because we know that there is no one to rebel."
Susan Blackmore : The Meme Machine
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11-05-2011, 01:32 PM
 
RE: Are we still evolving?
Actually, cancer is a genetic disease. Triggered by environmental factors yes, but with a genetic predisposition nonetheless. Confused

Vogelstein & Kinzler, 2002

There are at least 7 known genes that are susceptible to alterations via malignant neoplasm.
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13-05-2011, 04:47 AM
RE: Are we still evolving?
Yeah, cancer is (as far as I'm aware) always caused by a mutation to a gene which affects the production of a polypeptide, like a protein, such that it no longer works the way it should. This then has detrimental effects to the organism. Bear in mind that Uv rays cause cancer by mutating the genetic code, and such its a mutagen.

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason and intellect has intended us to forego their use." - Galileo

"Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do." - Voltaire
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13-05-2011, 11:31 AM
RE: Are we still evolving?
Yes, but I think it might occur without genetic predisposition in anyone as well. But anyway, i can't really imagine it to be a "constant failed attempt of the collective human genome to become more adaptive to the increasingly changing environmental variables around us". Or maybe I just don't get the idea at all, would you mind explaining it further?

..."we can be truly free - not because we can rebel against the the tyranny of the selfish replicators but because we know that there is no one to rebel."
Susan Blackmore : The Meme Machine
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