Does Darwin's theory say that we'll evolve even further than we already have?

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by science man, Nov 8, 2010.

  1. Dredd Dredd Registered Senior Member

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    Depends on who you ask. :shrug:

    Like religion, which has hundreds of denominations, science has many dogmatic and doctrinal positions as to the answer to your question.

    The evolution of dogma and doctrine are certain to "evolve even further" whether "we" do or not.

    Some think we must evolve into machines, some think that violates Dollo's Law, and others say biological evolution is extinct in terms of relevance, because memetic evolution is the current phase.

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  3. ULTRA Realistically Surreal Registered Senior Member

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    I've had both my arms pinned and plated due to a motorcycle accident so I'm already half machine, does that count?! On a more serious note, I find most of my biologist colleagues agree that it is difficult to predict how we might evolve in the future. I still maintain the most advantageous development is the brain. Already our largest organ, If you look at primitive Hominids they had much smaller mrain masses than us. Given that we've only been around for a couple of million years, out brain development has been extrordinary in evolutionary terms. The only limiting factor is whether women can also evolve to give birth to such a large head - which is a cause of difficult childbirth as it is. The skull is now formed in plates that fuse as the child ages so the skull can deform during childbirth.
     
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  5. Pandaemoni Valued Senior Member

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    There are a few other limiting factors on brain development, For example, it uses a tremendous amount our energy, 20%, despite being only 2% of the body's mass. So the food supply has to be reasonably ample. Second you need access to good sources of protein to adequately develop the brain, so a second dietary restriction on its development.

    Also, it seems to me that it is tool use that leverages the power the brain, which is good for humans, but a pod of super-intelligent dolphins would still basically be "Substitute Tuna" unless they also develop thumbs.

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  7. yes except not everybody wants to be a vegetarian let alone vegan. As far as I'm concerned that's actually pretty rare.
     
  8. oooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhh yyyyyyyyyeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaa OOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHH YYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE THIS STATEMENT!!!!!!
     
  9. Hipparchia Registered Senior Member

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    This seems like a really odd statement Kenny. Can you tell me what determines its capabilities if it is not its physical nature?
     
  10. Kennyc Registered Senior Member

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    What happens in the brain is software it can change without requiring physical hereditary changes. What we know, how we react to various stimuli can change through learning without requiring physical changes to our dna.
     
  11. Dredd Dredd Registered Senior Member

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    Don't get too excited about bullshit dude.

    For a zillion years female lizards have been able to clone themselves without male yahoos, booyahs, or other ejaculatives.

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    You exhibit what evolved as an antidote to that, which we must all now accept, the core of which is the lizard brain of the Twinkie system. :bawl:
     
  12. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    One path possibly - depending on where peanut allergies come from and what's maintaining their occurrence now - temporarily closed, dozens of other paths opened.
    Dozens of examples of increased prosperity leading to increased consumption of resources. None of it leading to decreased consumption of resources.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2010
  13. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    your not quoting me.
     
  14. 420Joey SF's Incontestable Pimp Valued Senior Member

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    I think our next evolution will for sure take place in our "psuedogenes" and "junk dna" which scientest know nothing about. I believe when we meet a certain enviormental trigger (most likely from space) some will "evolve" or "ascend" and others simply will not depending on whether the person is able to maintain control over this subsidiary existance and regain access to there true consiousness.
     
  15. Stoniphi obscurely fossiliferous Valued Senior Member

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    Evolution is a continuum, we are still evolving at this time.

    Neanderthals had larger brains than we do, but that does not mean that they were smarter than us, just different.

    The 'hobbit people' - Florensian Islanders - were very much smaller than us and had proportionately smaller brains as well, but they had cerebral skills just like our ancestors.

    As a brain increases in complexity it folds so the same space volume can contain much more cerebral cortex, the 'smart' part.
     
  16. Blindman Valued Senior Member

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    I see it as the domestication of humanity. We humans have domesticated many animals. part of the domestication is to make the animals less wild,to tame. We adjust temperament, we favor pleasant disposition. We are slowly doing this to our selves..

    Many domesticated animals can not survive without humans and our technology. My dog would not last a week without me. Many breeds of cattle can not reproduce without aid in birth.

    Modern society kills the wild humans. Look at us hunt down and kill terrorists , imprison the unsocial, breed out the aboriginal.

    We must be most careful for one day we will make our selves slaves to technology. Like the docile cow blankly chewing cud. I would rather be a wild buffalo then a dull domesticated cow.
     
  17. Kennyc Registered Senior Member

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    I think your dog might surprise you.

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    I also think we are already completely dependent on our technology. What do you think would happen if it disappeared? (hint: try reading The Road by Cormac McCarthy - but even that is not a total loss of technology)

    I also wouldn't classify terrorists, criminals etc as "wild" humanity, but just humanity at the edges/extremes of the bell curve.

    The next step in evolution is the technology we've created when it becomes intelligent, we will no longer be needed.
     
  18. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Most criminals and virtually all terrorists are sociopaths. They don't see other people as being just like themselves, automatically deserving the same care and respect.

    We've spent the last 12,000 years negotiating with the more primitive parts of our brain, extending the pack-social instinct of a tight-knit clan of hunter gatherers who have cared for and depended on each other since birth, to cover first neighbors in the same village, then strangers living in the same city, and ultimately anonymous people on the other side of the planet who are only abstractions to us. (Remember Americans weeping over the videos of Neda dying--in a country we don't even like very much?)

    Perhaps sociopaths are not exactly "wild," but they are throwbacks to the Paleolithic Era, when anyone outside one's own clan was a hated competitor for scarce resources, and it was not only okay, but mandatory, to kill him and steal his stuff. Maybe they just aren't able to extend their pack-social instinct to include strangers, the way the rest of us do routinely. Their inner caveman still has control; we keep ours placated with central heating, refrigerated food and mattresses.

    I haven't read enough about sociopaths to know whether they at least treat their own family members with respect and care. If they don't, then they are not merely throwbacks. If they completely lack the pack-social instinct, then they're missing one of the most important bits of brain wiring that defines us as human in the first place. Even chimpanzees and gorillas care for and depend on their pack-mates. Many, perhaps most, primate species are pack-social; it seems to correlate with intelligence. Functioning as a group gives us an advantage over the other animals. Division of labor, economy of scale, all that stuff from Econ 101, not to mention simply being able to take turns standing night watch.

    The other supremely successful pack-social species is Canis lupus. Wolves are the only other mammal to colonize nearly all the continents. Since they joined with us to create a multi-species pack, we've taken over the whole bloody planet! Sociopaths could never have created civilization: they are parasites.
     
  19. Blindman Valued Senior Member

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    My dog is a pathetic little mongrel with short legs and long hair, he could only survive on dead meat and would most likely be a meal to some better larger dog. But I love him so.

    The Road is a terrible example. All animal life is gone which makes it very hard to get protein. I have done a few survival courses and the biggest problem is water well here in Australia. You will be surprised what you will eat when starving. We humans are still mostly wild.

    Those on the edge that survived are what made us what we are today.

    As for the machine take over you have been reading to much sifi...
     
  20. Kennyc Registered Senior Member

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    993
    Which is exactly my point about The Road and it is a good example of extreme change that causes the best/worst/wild to come out.

    Sorry about your dog.

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  21. Skeptical Registered Senior Member

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    Breeding for tameness has been shown to be relatively easy. The rather ferocious silver fox has been such a test subject.
    http://www.suite101.com/content/domesticating-the-silver-fox-a68305

    It is reasonably predictable that the same could be done for humans. People are already rather 'nice'. Only about one person in ten is genuinely nasty. If we prevented the nasties from breeding, it would take only a few generations before human society became a hell of a lot better, and we could stop locking our house door every time we left.

    I have often thought that every guy who gets locked up for serious violence should have a radical vasectomy performed on him. Enough of the vas deferens removed so that the operation could never be reversed. That would reduce violent crime within one generation. It does not even matter whether the propensity to crime is caused by nature or nurture. With no violent man making babies, there will be no violent sons.
     
  22. nietzschefan Thread Killer Valued Senior Member

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    Nietzsche's theory anyway:

     
  23. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    They don't. They also tend to die young and reproduce sparsely. They appear to be defectives, not throwbacks; like diabetics or schizophrenics, they survive and breed only within supportive civilizations.
     

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