Is evolution in modern man still going on or will it be suppressed by medicine science and our way of life.
First of all, modern medicine is not available to every human being. People are dying from preventable and curable diseases right now. There is still selective pressure for traits such as hemoglobin variants that prevent or lessen malarial disease. There are also uncurable diseases such as HIV which is actively selecting for CCR-5 mutants. Another way of stating it is that there will always be selective pressures on the human population, it is just a question of which ones. We also know that mutations will continue to occur.
I think the larger question is if we will ever take direct control of our own genomes. Will we gain the knowledge to tailor genomes to our liking, and will we apply that knowledge. We already have the technology to do so, although it is a bit unwieldly at the moment. What we lack is the knowledge of which DNA sequences do what, and what effect changes will have.
Wim Hof the Iceman, he jogged in shorts in freezing 20 degreez below temperatures us normals would not be able to pull that off, he also holds the record for being submerged in ice for 1 h and 44 minutes we would probably be at a grate risk of death if we tried that and he suffered no ill efects
Daniel Tammet the Brain Man learned icleandic in 1 weak, knows Pi to the first 22 000 digits
For the Iceman, he has trained extensively to withstand these temps. Also, post-natal development can have very large effects on brain function. There is a very large question of how much is due to DNA and how much is due to environment.
So what kind of mutation would makeyou have more then 1.9 kids compared to your neighburs 1.9 kids?
It is also a matter of how many of those kids have children of their own. It is not survival that ultimately matters. It is how many grandchildren you have.
For carriers of the hemoglobin c allele in areas with malaria it will give my children a better chance of having children of their own, and if those grandchildren also carry the allele they will also have a better chance of having children.
As long as there are creos and other fanaticsout there it will be very hard to impliment, sayascan that will test your childs genome while it is still in the womb and treatment for all his will be genetic faults while it is still possible.
It could go further than just fixing faults. We could improve the child. How tall do you want your child to be? Do you want them to have more fast twitch or slow twitch muscle fibers? What we are talking about is tailor made genomes. At some point this will not be a question of "how", but "should we".
I doubt if you train your whole life you would be able to be submerged in ice for 2 hrs.
It took a lifetime of training for the Iceman to do it.
If genetic engineering ever becomes common, will the natural component of evolution disappear? The answer is a definite and loud, NO!
I view the natural component of evolution to be the random production of variation and the filtering of that variation through the human environment. If genetic engineering allowed us to determine the genomes of offspring, down to every base in that genome, then that component would be gone.
One of the most interesting and most powerful mechanisms in evolution is the disconnect between the production of variation and the needs of the organism. This type of problem solving arrives at very strange but effective solutions, solutions that human engineers would probably never come up with as part of a rational design process. On the same note, human engineers are starting to take advantage of evolutionary mechanisms in their designs as part of genetic algorithms.
In short, genetic engineering may very well be a different type of mutation and not a different type of selection.
I would argue that it is the relationship between the production of mutations and selection that makes evolution what it is.
You are talking about natural mutations here, but more often, people talk about natural selection. What I am arguing is that genetic engineering is replacing natural mutations with artificial mutations (i.e. genetic engineering).
I am talking about a very specific type of artifical mutation. I am talking about changing the genome in a very specific way. For example, it is entirely possible to change one base and one base only in a genome. This contrasts with random artificial mutations caused by exposing organisms to x-rays, mutagens, or other means of random mutagenesis. Artificial merely indicates that man did it, not what the results are. I am more focused on the results.
Evolution is currently about natural mutations, which create new variations and natural selection which weeds out the bad while leaving the good.
More importantly, selection (both natural and artificial) allows neutral mutations to pass through at a probabilistic rate. Future mutations will interact with these neutral mutations, resulting in phenotypes that may not have been predicted through a rational design approach towards genetic engineering.
With genetic engineering, humans will create organisms, but nature will still stamp the organism as fit or unfit.
What if we base fitness on genotype and not phenotype? What then?
I think the next step for man is a mental evolution.
I disagree. The next big step is Intelligent Design, strangely enough.
Why treat diseases when you can eliminate disease by changing your children's DNA? Want smarter kids? Just tweak a few bases in this or that gene. Want brussel sprouts with more vitamins but not as much of a bitter taste?
The options could be limitless. We are already dabbling in these fields as with GMO foods and humanized mice used in biomedical research. Over the last 30 millenia we have had to wait for nature to produce the variants we wanted, and then we had to carefully breed these species to preserve the traits we wanted. That may be a thing of the past in the not so distant future.