What is the next step in evolution?
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04-09-2011, 08:51 PM
RE: What is the next step in evolution?
Selective breeding.

"We Humans are capable of greatness." -Carl Sagan
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05-09-2011, 12:48 AM
RE: What is the next step in evolution?
Have you guys seen idiocracy? It's a horrible movie, but the concept makes sense. The intro (clip below) is great, don't bother with the rest of the movie.





It's true that smart, educated people with responsible jobs tend to have less children compared to the less educated humans of this world. Trailer parks and slums are ideal places for high birth rates. I don't see many women with a university degree that want to pursue a career AND have 7 kids.

As Hughsie already stated; survival of the fittest isn't really applicable for us humans, unless you think mentally challenged trailer trash whores and welfare queens are to be considered the new standard. I think we've evolved past this. Reproduction isn't our prime concern anymore.

On the other hand, there is no period in history where such a great percentage of the population has had college or university education. The knowledge we've acquired over the last 100 years is enormous, but that didn't really make us evolve into different people. A little recession won't turn is back into apes either. It's a long-term story, as most of you know.

The way we will evolve into a new species, will be closely related to the way we handle our (inter)national politics, views towards religion, ethics, morality, education, long term stability and much, much more for... let's say at least 1000 generations. (Yes, I know that the line between 2 different species is arbitrarily drawn and can be disputed. And yes, I know an Australopithecus doesn't give birth to a Homo habilis).

And that's if we don't take genetic engineering and the likes into account. Who knows, we might create different species in a decade or two if we get some scientific breakthroughs. The genetic basis for the qualities Peterkin quoted might even be 'created' or 'intelligently designed' Big Grin by scientists in a close future.

As Zatamon said, it all depends on how we change our world. I just hope us atheists can help it become the Utopia we dream of.

"Infinitus est numerus stultorum." (The number of fools is infinite)
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05-09-2011, 09:37 AM
 
RE: What is the next step in evolution?
(03-09-2011 05:57 PM)Zatamon Wrote:  We atheists talk a lot about evolution.

I have news, guys, evolution isn’t finished, it is an ongoing process.

Here is a story:

We are vegetarians.

That is how it happened.

When we moved out to the country, I asked my wife where I should build the chicken coup.

She replied: “We don’t eat anyone we know personally”.

I told her it was hypocrisy – letting others do her killing for her.

She agreed.

We stopped eating meat.

Our friends protested: “It is the natural way”!

We replied: “So is shitting on the sidewalk – just ask any dog!”

My point: We have created unnatural environments, unnatural habits for ourselves for millennia – we have evolved.

We can evolve beyond our basic chimpanzee instincts and become human with understanding, compassion, charity, intelligence, moderation, flexibility, reason, unity.

We don’t have to be natural chimps forever, baying for blood when we are hurt – we can use our big brains to think things over, from every angle and choose the most intelligent, least destructive solution.



How do we then evolve beyond a book written in the iron age? If our evolution of thought operates quicker than our genetic evolution, how do we (and some have) evolve beyond the ideas of religion? I feel strongly that our imagination; that has made us what we are today (art, architecture, weapons, etc) will not evolve until we can meld science with imagination and stop the childish fantatstical ideals of what we will be when we grow up (princesses, superheros, go to heaven). It is challenging because that same imagination has given us and allowed us to do great things...
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05-09-2011, 07:25 PM
 
RE: What is the next step in evolution?
(05-09-2011 09:37 AM)nietzsche Wrote:  How do we then evolve beyond a book written in the iron age? If our evolution of thought operates quicker than our genetic evolution, how do we (and some have) evolve beyond the ideas of religion?

You can look at evolution as you would look at the history of computer science.

There has been evolution there too.

My first computer I ever worked on, in 1971, was a French minicomputer CII-10010. It was a box the size of a microwave oven. It had a row of binary toggle switches and a row of lights under them. It also had push-buttons to address memory locations (16KB max) and a Store button to move one byte of instruction into memory, according to the bit pattern you set on the toggle switches.

The first program I wrote in machine code was a bubble sort program and it worked to my great surprise. Later we got a 10 cps paper tape punch and reader interfaced to it and a roll of paper tape containing the assembler program.

The point I am trying to make is that our hardware had serious limitations, and that limited the software that could be run with that machine.

Hardware grew and so did the range of software that could be run on it.

I believe, biological evolution is a little bit like that: our brains have a capacity in memory, processing power, ability to handle complexity. It has its limitations that are fixed for the time being.

However, within those limitations, there is a HUGE range of possibilities for processing information.

It often amazes me how different people, with practically the same biological brains, can come up with often diametrically opposite results when processing the same information.

The final point I would like to make is this: our evolution for the next few thousand years will be restricted to using our existing brains in the most efficient way to process information. It is possible to grow our processing power by using more and more powerful software in the same biological hardware we all share.

Just reload the software and reboot the machine.

It is all a question of education, isn’t it?
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25-11-2011, 02:28 PM
RE: What is the next step in evolution?
I made this comment on another thread... maybe it's more appropriate here...

I think there is a question here that has not been approached with seriousness. We talk of a glass ceiling, an end point or a point of heliopause of humanity but what would be next in the evolutionary process? IF mankind can survive long enough to finish the acquisition of the the technology we have already begun to realize, there is the possibility of further evolution... or is it evolution?

I propose the idea that humanity as a biological entity could... could... cease to exist as a bio entity. I believe in the very long run there is a topping out of biology on this planet and the next step would be digital. Call it evolution, call it destruction, call it an advanced self manufacturing of the remnants of the mind of man, call it a coup d'état, call it cyborg (please don't that is not what I see in my crystal ball... no mixing of man and machine). The earth and all that in living on it will have an end. It is the way of the universe...

In the beginning of the first thing lies the secondary cause of all things with the germ of their inevitable annihilation. E.A.Poe

If it were possible for man to continue, if we don't destroy our technology or the earth does not do it for us... or we don't annihilate ourselves, this may be our evolutionary future. The remnants of the collective mind of man advancing at the speed of light and containing itself for the rest of the existence of time in this bubble of our universe or... maybe beyond that. Maybe we will be god.

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25-11-2011, 03:03 PM
 
RE: What is the next step in evolution?
(25-11-2011 02:28 PM)defacto7 Wrote:  the next step would be digital. ....call it cyborg (please don't that is not what I see in my crystal ball... no mixing of man and machine)..... The remnants of the collective mind of man advancing at the speed of light and containing itself for the rest of the existence of time in this bubble of our universe or... maybe beyond that. Maybe we will be god.

I like the idea of a "collective mind", it sounds like a logical next step --- what I don't see is how it would be digital?
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25-11-2011, 06:11 PM
RE: What is the next step in evolution?
(25-11-2011 03:03 PM)Zatamon Wrote:  I like the idea of a "collective mind", it sounds like a logical next step --- what I don't see is how it would be digital?

Absolutely the wrong word. It just flew out because of a conversation I had once where we differentiated the modes into the "bios" and the "digis" . No, it's ridiculous to say digital.

The point is the obsolescence of biological in favor of the non-biological at least as we know it. The term computerized is also about as senseless as digital. The formation of a collective of human knowledge and the thinking processes being only the beginning of the new evolution would be utter imagination at this point. The exponential increase in "hardware", power sourcing or production, "robotics" would be increasing at a rate which we have no words for. All of these terms are obsolete. Quantum computation would probably be closer but probably hyper-dimensional computation would be taking a stab at it. I think the method or means is immaterial.

Once our planet cannot support our existence, I simply don't see biological units traveling through space from place to place like some 15th century explorer makes any sense. Even the idea there would be a way to preserve our biological units for some reasonable purpose or just for the romanticism of it has no proportion in a cosmological sense.

I think it is possibly our ultimate destination in the universe only if we could actually find a way to survive that long. What the transition looks like??? As we would imagine a 4 dimensional shadow as 3 dimensional, I think we can see the beginnings already. In a biblical sense, Daniel's writing is on the wall.

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25-11-2011, 06:27 PM
 
RE: What is the next step in evolution?
E.E."Doc" Smith, science fiction writer had an incredible imagination. I devoured his "Lansman" Series and "Skylark" Series when I arrived in Canada and had access to these books. Later, I was put off by his fairly racist attitude but it did not distract from the magic of his imagination.

He posited the existence of a species of what he called "disembodied intelligences" -- beings without a material body, consisting solely of energy patterns.

The idea really appealed to me: roving the cosmos, not bound by material constraint, like metabolism or the speed of light (Doc never found anything impossible).

This was topped only by "Q", the lovable omnipotent entity from Star Trek who was fascinated by corporeal humanity. How about the worm-hole aliens in "Deep Space Nine", who differed from us by not being linear -- existing in the totality of time simultaneously.

If you let your imagination go wild, anything is possible.

I have once read a very interesting science fiction story: a maverick scientist goes into business telling people, for a fee, the exact date of their deaths. He offers a million dollars to the first person who proves him wrong. He is never wrong – his predictions come true, one after the other, with unerring precision. As he explained, he can follow anybody’s four-dimensional lifeline through space-time, into the future and see where it ends. The insurance companies don’t like him at all, because people whose demise is predicted for the near future usually take out large-sum insurance policies. They threaten him, but he keeps on doing it (I guess he did not like the insurance companies either). When they find his murdered body and look at his diary, they find the exact date and time of his own death pre-recorded in it.

(This particular story assumes that the future is pre-determined, the concept disputed by modern quantum mechanics, but the jury is still out on that one. Even if the future is flexible, one’s life-line through space-time still exists, with the future part of it wiggling a bit as influenced by random events.)

We live in an incredible age when science and science fiction seem to merge and it is hard to tell them apart.

It is fun to speculate about what might be true tomorrow, isn't it?
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26-11-2011, 09:51 PM
RE: What is the next step in evolution?
If Kurzweil is right, it is that we become indistinguishable from and integrated with our technology.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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26-11-2011, 11:09 PM
RE: What is the next step in evolution?
(26-11-2011 09:51 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  If Kurzweil is right, it is that we become indistinguishable from and integrated with our technology.
Yes... I just love pianos. But I prefer Boesendorfer over Young Chang myself. sorry...

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