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Author Topic:   We are too humane.
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 64 (181410)
01-28-2005 3:47 PM


Humans have stopped evolving. One of the requirements of evolution is that those who are unfit for survival must die. We strive to keep people alive who would die without our help, combating nature and preventing further evolution. Have we doomed ourselves by being too humane? What benefits could arise if our species was allowed to evolve?
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AdminJar
Inactive Member


Message 2 of 64 (181435)
01-28-2005 5:05 PM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.
  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 3 of 64 (181442)
01-28-2005 5:16 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by New Cat's Eye
01-28-2005 3:47 PM


Humans have stopped evolving.

Definately not true. Even overlooking sexual selection, not everyone lives in the conditions you're thinking of. Unfortunately, the vast majority of human beings still live in situations where they face mortality literally every day.

Selection still operates on the human species, and we're still evolving.

One of the requirements of evolution is that those who are unfit for survival must die.

Well, everybody dies. The "requirement for evolution" is that environment exerts influence on allele frequencies, and that's absolutely still the case with the human species. Particularly in the presence of disease.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by New Cat's Eye, posted 01-28-2005 3:47 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 4 of 64 (181445)
01-28-2005 5:27 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by crashfrog
01-28-2005 5:16 PM


where are we going?
If we are still evolving, which direction are we headed?, or, what changes can we expect?

changes in allele frequencies = micro-evolution, right?

I was originally thinking on the lines of macro-evolution, I think the frequencies of alleles will change without the 'environment exerting influence'. Do you think that keeping people alive who would have otherwise died, from genetic disease for one example, can prevent us form overcoming these diseases naturally? Isn't it anti-evolutionary?


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jar
Member
Posts: 30941
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 5 of 64 (181454)
01-28-2005 5:48 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by New Cat's Eye
01-28-2005 5:27 PM


Re: where are we going?
You seem to think that evolution has some directionality? It doesn't. It's simply a history of what did happen.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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MangyTiger
Member (Idle past 4492 days)
Posts: 989
From: Leicester, UK
Joined: 07-30-2004


Message 6 of 64 (181455)
01-28-2005 6:01 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by New Cat's Eye
01-28-2005 5:27 PM


Re: where are we going?
Do you think that keeping people alive who would have otherwise died, from genetic disease for one example, can prevent us form overcoming these diseases naturally? Isn't it anti-evolutionary?

I'm no expert so I may be completely wrong, but I think it is just an alternative to natural selection. We have made being first-born a survival trait. There may be a genetic factor involved (which sperm and egg combine, whether the fertilised egg implants and whether it develops to term and so on), but mostly it's blind luck.

Again I may be wrong but to me it seems we have increased the impact of chance and reduced the impact of natural selection.

P.S. I'm only talking about the first world here (actually those residents of it with access to advanced medical care).


Confused ? You will be...
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pink sasquatch
Member (Idle past 4161 days)
Posts: 1567
Joined: 06-10-2004


Message 7 of 64 (181467)
01-28-2005 6:15 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by New Cat's Eye
01-28-2005 5:27 PM


evolution and society
Isn't it anti-evolutionary?

Not necessarily, unless you feel that "society" is somehow separate from evolutionary or biological processes. We evolved to be organisms that use societal constructs to survive.

At a qualitative level, human society is not so different than a troop of baboons or a pack of hyenas working together for survival of all. We wouldn't say the baboons or hyenas were acting "anti-evolutionary" even though the efforts of the strong may allow the weak to survive longer than if they were on their own.

I think the frequencies of alleles will change without the 'environment exerting influence'.

Is it that the "environment" no longer exerts influence, or that we've created a new environment?

Do you think that keeping people alive who would have otherwise died, from genetic disease for one example, can prevent us form overcoming these diseases naturally?

Depends on the population, depends on the disease, depends on your definition of natural. In parts of Africa people are "naturally" becoming resistant to malaria and HIV; while in some Mediterranean countries incidences of certain genetic syndromes are on the decline due to intense genetic screening. The first may be "natural" evolution, while many seem to see the latter as "artificial" or "anti" evolution; however, genetic screening remains the result of our biology, our capacity for society and civilization, as well as an inherent desire to optimize producing "healthy" offspring with technology when possible. Ultimately both result in a change in allele frequencies over time, so they fit the definition of evolution.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 8 of 64 (181475)
01-28-2005 7:17 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by pink sasquatch
01-28-2005 6:15 PM


Re: evolution and society
unless you feel that "society" is somehow separate from evolutionary or biological processes

I do. I think that because of our consciousness, our ability to make decisions to change what our future would have been, makes our decisions 'un-natural' or not governed by nature. The baboon troops aren't making conscious decisions, those changes in allele frequency as a result of the strong allowing the weak to survive are natural. When we do it, it's not. We do it because we might feel bad if we don't help, or helping makes us feel good, emotionally. This is the humanity I'm speaking of that is inhibiting our evolution. When the baboons do it its instict, and natural.

in some Mediterranean countries incidences of certain genetic syndromes are on the decline due to intense genetic screening

I would not consider this anti-evolution...more PRO-evolution. But I also think genetic screening is inhumane, if I'm sure what genetic screening is. Thanks for this info, I hadn't thought of this and think it could strengthen my point.

perhaps: humane = anti-evolution, pro-evolution = inhumane


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by pink sasquatch, posted 01-28-2005 6:15 PM pink sasquatch has responded

Replies to this message:
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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 9 of 64 (181476)
01-28-2005 7:23 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by jar
01-28-2005 5:48 PM


Re: where are we going?
You seem to think that evolution has some directionality? It doesn't. It's simply a history of what did happen.

wrong. The history of what happened has a direction, from simple to complex life, from primative apes to modern humans. My question is what's next? I doubt we go backwards, a direction, and turn back into primative apes. Where are we going? This question assumes that humans are still evolving, which I originally stated that I didn't think we are, but someone said we were, and I wondered...into what?


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jar
Member
Posts: 30941
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 10 of 64 (181478)
01-28-2005 7:41 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by New Cat's Eye
01-28-2005 7:23 PM


Re: where are we going?
The history of what happened has a direction, from simple to complex life, from primative apes to modern humans.

You think so? If you look, most life is still very simple. In addition, when all that exists is a single cell organism, there is only one possible direction.

But today's apes are as much evolved as humans when compared to the species that preceeded them.

Where are we going?

Again, that implies direction. There is no direction or purpose to evolution.

This question assumes that humans are still evolving, which I originally stated that I didn't think we are, but someone said we were, and I wondered...into what?

Sure we're evolving just like everything else around us. One example is the new genetic changes that are showing up that provide resistance to malaria without the drawbacks that come with sickle cell.

But asking "into what" really makes no sense. Again, there is no direction to evolution, no purpose. What you can say is that if you looked back at today's humans from, say, a few hundred thousand years in the future, there will have been changes.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
This message is a reply to:
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Buzsaw
Inactive Member


Message 11 of 64 (181482)
01-28-2005 8:10 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by New Cat's Eye
01-28-2005 3:47 PM


What benefits could arise if our species was allowed to evolve?

Well, let's see. We allegedly progressed from soup to simplistic organisms to animals to humans. Given the magnitude of the change and progress so far, if the tale were true we're surely destined to become gods.

Disclaimers:
1. It won't happen, of course, being Jehovah God, creator of all is the one and only proven true God and will allow no other gods.

2. Don't be put out if I don't get back to this thead. I may or may not. I'm way behind on other stuff, but just couldn't resist saying something here.


In Jehovah God's Universe, time, energy and boundless space had no beginning and will have no ending. The universe, by and through him, is, has always been and forever will be intelligently designed, changed and managed by his providence. buzsaw
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Antihero
Inactive Member


Message 12 of 64 (181487)
01-28-2005 8:19 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by New Cat's Eye
01-28-2005 3:47 PM


If are environment changes we change. Slowly, but surely. And are surroundings have rapidly changed in the past 100 some years.
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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 13 of 64 (181489)
01-28-2005 8:23 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by New Cat's Eye
01-28-2005 5:27 PM


If we are still evolving, which direction are we headed?, or, what changes can we expect?

I dunno. I'd say the largest selection factor at work on the human species is sexual selection, so we'll probably have more promounced sexual characteristics, if you follow.

changes in allele frequencies = micro-evolution, right?

No, "changes in allele frequencies = evolution." There's no such thing as "macro" or "micro" evolution. These are made-up words that don't reflect any fundamental dichotomy that actually exists in biology.

I think the frequencies of alleles will change without the 'environment exerting influence'.

How would they? Perhaps at random, through genetic drift, but the power of that mechanism to exert real genetic change is still under heavy debate.

Do you think that keeping people alive who would have otherwise died, from genetic disease for one example, can prevent us form overcoming these diseases naturally? Isn't it anti-evolutionary?

What's unnatural about using our minds and culture to cure disease? No, it's not anti-evolutionary. Even in the presence of medical science we still see anti-disease genes spread throughout the population; for instance, the human gene that provides resistance to HIV.

Evolution isn't about death and the elimination of the weak. The weak don't have to be "culled" for evolution to occur; they just have to be less successful at reproducing. Evolution is about sex, not death.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by New Cat's Eye, posted 01-28-2005 5:27 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 14 of 64 (181491)
01-28-2005 8:27 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by New Cat's Eye
01-28-2005 7:23 PM


The history of what happened has a direction, from simple to complex life, from primative apes to modern humans.

Er, not really. The majority of Earth's species are still extremely simple organisms. If there's any direction to evolution, it's a steady march of increasing diversity, not increasing complexity. Complex life is still the exception, not the rule.

Where are we going?

Well, we're all getting fatter, because of what we eat. Presumably our genetic future will take this into account. Of course, we may soon hit the point where we determine directly our genetic future. Probably what will happen will be a decline in genetic diversity.


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Antihero
Inactive Member


Message 15 of 64 (181495)
01-28-2005 8:33 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by crashfrog
01-28-2005 8:27 PM


"we're all getting fatter"

Hehe , not hating or anything and i'm from the us, but i think the us. is getting fatter , but i think that iy will decline because where actually seeing it and sueing Mcdonalds and stuff. I think people are getting skinnier, not counting us.


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