Evolution - what's next?
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03-05-2014, 06:42 AM
RE: Evolution - what's next?
Since we are now in the process of discovering the mechanisms of inheritance and development, disease and immunity, and environmental influences, the future has become less unpredictable.

We will (and have) insert ourselves into the evolutionary algorithm and change it.

This had never happened until Homo sapiens started manipulating genomes, first by artificial selection, then by medical intervention, and now by direct genetic manipulation.

I find it hard to conceive of what we might become.

Although my money is on mass death with very few survivors.

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03-05-2014, 07:24 AM
RE: Evolution - what's next?
In a thousand years if following the current course I'd say nothing much except getting taller and having larger brains.

In several 10's of thousands of years I read that we could lose things that we don't use/need. Appendix is one and the little toe is another. There was a third but I can't remember what it was.

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03-05-2014, 08:28 AM
RE: Evolution - what's next?
A thousand years?
We'll have spawned an artificially intelligent species to replace us. Initially we'll try to copy our brains into machines and live forever, but soon enough we'll find that this new space we occupy can be more effectively exploited by creatures better fit for the environment. We'll either evolve into them or be replaced by them Wink

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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03-05-2014, 08:50 AM
RE: Evolution - what's next?
Totally agreed. In a thousand years' time there won't be humans in any sense how the word is understood today. And the process will probably be just what Hafnof said, first we'll start pimping our bodies with gizmos to enhance our performance and eventually all that's left are the non-human parts, which are more effective in every respect you care to imagine. Solar power for breakfast anyone?

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04-05-2014, 06:15 PM
RE: Evolution - what's next?
If you all want to take a walk down fear and paranoia lane with me...

Eventually the worlds oil supplies will be almost complete exhausted. In the absence of viable energy sources to power mega agriculture and things like trans ocean freighters for global trade, war will erupt over the remaining oil reserves. Those who do without will be looking at mass starvation and trade isolation, plummeting the worlds population and making peoples in most parts of the world entirely dependent on local agriculture without the use of petroleum fertilizers or pesticides.

For the most powerful nations, control over the remaining oil will be paramount to survival. There won't be enough to share, so the stakes will be winner takes all with millions of lives and world power hanging in the balance. Perhaps immediately given the onset of war, or as a desperate resort of last measure, one side or another will resort to nuclear weapons prompting "mutually assured destruction" and a nuclear winter. The majority of the worlds species will go extinct immediately. In some pockets on earth human beings may be able to scratch out a existence. If enough keystone species go extinct human beings will likewise go extinct, or human populations might be allowed to slowly recover, pushing back human progress two thousand years and leaving the worlds ecosystem devastated and most natural resources depleted.

So my vote goes for 'extinct'.

Genetically, I don't think we will change much. We might evolve to be less passive and more sexually virulent, as crime and propensity to use birth control are the only impeding factors on human beings current reproduction.
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04-05-2014, 06:51 PM
RE: Evolution - what's next?
(03-05-2014 07:24 AM)earmuffs Wrote:  In a thousand years if following the current course I'd say nothing much except getting taller and having larger brains.

In several 10's of thousands of years I read that we could lose things that we don't use/need. Appendix is one and the little toe is another. There was a third but I can't remember what it was.

The third = your memory.

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04-05-2014, 07:02 PM (This post was last modified: 04-05-2014 07:14 PM by Charis.)
RE: Evolution - what's next?
I think each of us will essentially be our own supercomputer (upload the consciousness) from which we will control a separate body... an avatar... of our own choosing; perhaps chosen from the pool of organisms that already exists or perhaps manufactured. At this point, there will be very little reproduction, but our preserved personalities will be present and be KNOWN, much as we are all known to each other here on these forums... except our personalities will be known everywhere, more and more, due to our continued social influence the longer our individual personality is present.

Just think.... the "Mathilda" identity, circa 1900's, but still here 600 yrs later. You may or may not have reproduced in your past, and you're not reproducing now.... but everyone in your circle of influence knows you well, as you have been around for 600+ years, in one form or another. They also know "Losty" usually exists in whatever form most readily allows for frequent sex. Tongue

Heck, we might be worshipped among the up-and-coming forms. Losty being the new Aphrodite.

There would still be genetic reproduction, but limited and very controlled.

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04-05-2014, 07:15 PM (This post was last modified: 04-05-2014 07:30 PM by sporehux.)
RE: Evolution - what's next?
No more meaningfull natural selection.
that leaves unnatural selection

Along with the tech mentioned.
artificial manipulation on genes
It will start out as eradicating disorders and then genetic immunisation then trait guarantees and finally,
selective traits.

I can envision aquatic humans (augmented with tech), we have the genetic material to go anywhere on the evolutionary tree.

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04-05-2014, 08:39 PM
RE: Evolution - what's next?
The answer we won't. Sure our tech will get better but humans will not evolve. We are ecologically fit in our environments. We are used to a easy catch easy food warm home life style. Day that ends we will be doomed. It reminds me of another ape the meet the same problem. I think it was P.boisei that also was ecologically fit. So we will not evolve that's what is next.

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04-05-2014, 08:54 PM
RE: Evolution - what's next?
(02-05-2014 09:09 AM)Dom Wrote:  So what do you think will have changed about humans in - let's say, 1000 years?

Not that far ahead in the scope of things, but probably enough generations to show some notable changes....
From an evolutionary perspective (maybe a 1,000 years is too short), I would expect humans over time to become more and more dependent on medicine. As we keep our poor mutations alive and replicating then our species will accumulatively become less and less fit for survival in our environment.
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