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Author Topic:   Humans of the future?
tubi417
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 82 (119120)
06-26-2004 11:49 PM


If evolution has occured, then in the future, will humans eventually evolve? Or have humans reached as far as evolution can take us? would other animals eventually evolve like humans did?

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AdminNosy
Administrator
Posts: 4754
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Joined: 11-11-2003


Message 2 of 82 (119147)
06-27-2004 1:37 AM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.

  
jar
Member
Posts: 34125
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 3 of 82 (119150)
06-27-2004 1:46 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by tubi417
06-26-2004 11:49 PM


Sure. Evolution is a process. It will continue, is continuing as we discuss it. Other critters are also evolving and will continue to evolve.
But from what you say...
Or have humans reached as far as evolution can take us?
it sounds like you may be misunderstanding some of the concepts of evolution.
Evolution is not a move from less complex to more complex, from lower to higher, from worse to better. It is simply random. If the change, whatever it is, helps the critter suurvive and reproduce, then it was successful.

Aslan is not a Tame Lion

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Replies to this message:
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tubi417
Inactive Member


Message 4 of 82 (119155)
06-27-2004 2:12 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by jar
06-27-2004 1:46 AM


But through evolution, organisms have become much more complex. If every living thing evolved from a single cell, then obviously because of evolution things have become more complex.

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jar
Member
Posts: 34125
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 5 of 82 (119156)
06-27-2004 2:20 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by tubi417
06-27-2004 2:12 AM


Some things. But that is not a goal or direction of evolution. Evolution can work equaly by making things simpler.
Consider how some primates, on the way to becoming humans and chimps, lost their long tails. Consider how some birds lost the ability to fly. Some time evolution is making things simpler.
Edited to add section below.
When you start with a single cell organism, complexity is the only way to go. You can't go from one cell to less than one cell. But after a certain point, you have the ability to go either towards additional complexity, or towards reduced complexity. Both are possible.
The way natural selection works though, is that most changes are just random doodles. This often leads to poor solutions for a given problem, a Rube Goldberg solution. And when we look at life, that's pretty much what we see. We are not well designed. Instead, we are jury rigged, patched and full of bondo, held together with spit and lots of duct tape.
This message has been edited by jar, 06-27-2004 01:26 AM

Aslan is not a Tame Lion

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tubi417
Inactive Member


Message 6 of 82 (119167)
06-27-2004 3:09 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by jar
06-27-2004 2:20 AM


We are pretty well designed though- we have many complex systems working together. If just one small thing goes wrong we cannot function properly which often results in death- its obvious that we could not be "jury rigged, patched and full of bondo, held together with spit and lots of duct tape."

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NosyNed
Member
Posts: 9007
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003


Message 7 of 82 (119168)
06-27-2004 3:35 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by tubi417
06-27-2004 3:09 AM


what is and isn't obvious
its obvious that we could not be "jury rigged, patched and full of bondo, held together with spit and lots of duct tape."
But we are. Metaphorically anyway. We are a bunch of odd things that works pretty well but all have funny construction because of the history of our past evolution. We could work better in almost any place you look.
Our eyes, neck, back, knees, feet
throat
all have really dangerous or potentially incapacitating things wrong with the way they work.

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crashfrog
Member (Idle past 1575 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 8 of 82 (119174)
06-27-2004 3:58 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by tubi417
06-27-2004 3:09 AM


If just one small thing goes wrong we cannot function properly which often results in death
Right, but that's not a property that is usually associated with good design. In fact multiple points of catastrophic failure are generally considered poor or even negligent design.

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crashfrog
Member (Idle past 1575 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 9 of 82 (119175)
06-27-2004 4:00 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by tubi417
06-27-2004 2:12 AM


But through evolution, organisms have become much more complex.
A small minority of organisms have become progressively more complex, yes. But you need to understand that that's the exception, not the rule. The vast, vast majority of the Earth biomass (i.e. the total tonnage of matter found in living things) is still single-celled organisms. The vast majority of species are very simple organisms.
Complexity is not a general trend, it's almost an isolated incident.

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Loudmouth
Inactive Member


Message 10 of 82 (119548)
06-28-2004 2:16 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by tubi417
06-27-2004 2:12 AM


quote:
But through evolution, organisms have become much more complex. If every living thing evolved from a single cell, then obviously because of evolution things have become more complex.
Being a microbiologist, I always cringe when I read a statement like this. If we count organism to organism, single celled bacteria outnumber all multicellular life gazillions to one. The majority of life on earth is still very simple. Complex life only makes up a tiny fraction of the total biosphere. If we counted the cells from the top of your head to the tips of your toes, bacterial cells would outnumber your human cells 1,000 to one (and this is a conservative value). If you count small roundworms found in soil as simple, then complex life is really outnumbered.
Many people, scientists and layman alike, like to focus on macrobiology. However, the devil is in the fine details. In this case, bacteria and other single celled organisms.

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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 1452 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 11 of 82 (119559)
06-28-2004 3:01 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by jar
06-27-2004 1:46 AM


But from what you say...
Or have humans reached as far as evolution can take us?
it sounds like you may be misunderstanding some of the concepts of evolution.
badly phrased, perhaps, but i think you're missing a certain concept. a creature that fits its niche nearly perfectly can essentially cease to evolve. although genetic drift does occur of course, major changes are less advantagous than pre-existing adaptation. basically, it's like natural selection keeps the animal from really going anywhere until some kind of environmental change happens.
this is the reason we have things like the great white shark, which hasn't had any major change in about 65 million years, when it became drastically smaller.
humans are good creatures in that we fit our niche -- even through changes -- very well. we rely not on evolution to adapt us, but technology. we may have even overridden certain aspects of natural selection with the development of modern medicine and antibiotics. if we were to have an ice age, we'd cope quite well. not by evolving into a more neanderthal shape, but by making coats, heaters, etc.
have we stopped evolving? well, not really, because genetic drift and other mechanisms still happen. but i think it's a very real possibility that we've slowed it down, and even "devolved" in some respects by developing dependencies on certain technologies.

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Replies to this message:
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NosyNed
Member
Posts: 9007
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003


Message 12 of 82 (119562)
06-28-2004 3:07 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by arachnophilia
06-28-2004 3:01 PM


a nit pick
The megalodon (your very large!) white shark went extinct only a couple of million years ago (maybe less)

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jar
Member
Posts: 34125
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 13 of 82 (119569)
06-28-2004 3:18 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by arachnophilia
06-28-2004 3:01 PM


Arachnophilia writes:
if we were to have an ice age, we'd cope quite well. not by evolving into a more neanderthal shape, but by making coats, heaters, etc.
Actually, I really need to question that.
One of the big questions that IMHO is simply being ignored right now is that civilized man has never had to live through any of the big changes Nature can throw at us. So saying we could cope by making coats and heaters is as simplistic as the arguments we get from the Creationists.
If we look at the records coming from Ice Core data, it appears that the last 10,000 years has been a major anomaly. Instead of the major fluctuations between hot and cold, wet and dry, that we see in the record before this latest period, we have been living in a period of relative stability.
If we had another ice age (and the records seem to show they can have very rapid onset), how will we feed the worlds population? If farmers can not reasonably predidct growing seasons or areas, how will they farm? If we remove the agricultural base from the worlds economic system, will the rest of the economic system stand? Can cities continue to exist without a steady and reliable economic and agricultural base?

Aslan is not a Tame Lion

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 1452 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 14 of 82 (119577)
06-28-2004 3:35 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by jar
06-28-2004 3:18 PM


good points.
although anatomically modern humans did arise around ice-age times, i have no idea what would happen to civilization.
i guess i'll have to go pay the 8.25 to see "the day after tomorrow" (lol)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by jar, posted 06-28-2004 3:18 PM jar has replied

Replies to this message:
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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 1452 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 15 of 82 (119578)
06-28-2004 3:37 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by NosyNed
06-28-2004 3:07 PM


Re: a nit pick
The megalodon (your very large!) white shark went extinct only a couple of million years ago (maybe less)
i stand corrected. point retracted (insert some other "living fossil" in there)

This message is a reply to:
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