Future Evolution of Mankind

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by omega_x, Jun 5, 2001.

  1. omega_x Registered Member

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    Just wondering what everyones oppinion is of our future genetic evolution. Will our future children have Big Heads and Large Bug eyes?
    What do you guys think?
     
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  3. rde Eukaryotic specimen Registered Senior Member

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    A bit taller, maybe

    It's more or less the consensus that humanity no longer evolves; after all, the lamest, windows-usingest, friends-watchingest luser on the planet is as likely to breed as anyone else. When you combine with this the (mostly in-the-future, admittedly) ability to twiddle with the genome, you can see that we'll probably look more or less as we do now in a million years (weather permitting).
    Having said that, evidence has recently popped up that most women prefer taller mates. If this is more than a short-term trend (i.e. have they felt this way for more than, say, a couple of hundred years), then humanity will gradually get taller as a result of natural selection.
    No big heads, though, unless women's cervices expand correspondingly.

    Hmmm. I wonder has penis size been increasing because of natural selection? Or does size really not matter?
     
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  5. josharuni Registered Member

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    we command the evolution now!!

    True, we are products of natural selection, but humanity is to varied to have a single dominating trait, such as tallness. Our tastes to varied, our trends always changing.
    Human evolution seems to be more and more in our hands now. We are in the begining of the biotech age and are learning how to read, change, and better our genome. We will soon be able to pick the traits of our babies, to eliminat thier succeptibility to diseases and to give them intellectual and physical advantages no generation has had before.
    This is part of our evolution. In which we control it and manipulate it to our advantage!
     
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  7. Javier Registered Senior Member

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    We are our best guardians

    Hi all

    I agree with rde that old- fashioned hard live -or- die evolution can hardly work anymore:

    We have taken an almost total control over our environment,and most part of world s population lives to have descendance...

    And with josharuni,because as we already "altered"the previous path of nature by manipulating the world around us to improve in practically every skill beyond the hability of the best suited animal in that field,and this is what gave us our actual comfortable-among -species position,is only natural,IMHO, that we continue to fulfill its order:

    To better and protect our own,to reduce the impact(potential or actual)of the blind statistical forces(I don t think that more advanced alien nations,if they exist,would be threatening,but who knows)...

    And once this process of self improvement begins,boosted by intelligence to get its selected goals, will put us quickly far out our prospective reach:

    I m wondering,if the multicellular,vertebrate,amphibian(the chance to live in the atmosphere),then dry egg(conquer of the warm dryland),endothermic(of the cool and cold dryland) revolutions leaded to intelligence s one,why is not to expect ,given this new way to conduct evolution the development of finer ways to prosper in the universe?

    rde,we can solve the size mistery by the future interest/non of women in genetic enlarged penises¬°¬°¬°
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2001
  8. kmguru Staff Member

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    11,757
    One thing for sure, there are species that can change their body color. So transplanting genes, we could change the color of our skin or eyes or hair....Call it a fashion gene.

    I think we are stuck with the shape of our body for a long time and probably use bio implants to improve our brain.

    Looks will be important too. Which means more fcosmetic/fashion gene therapy.

    Since there is a limit to the size of the organ women prefer, it will be the standard size for all.
     
  9. sader Registered Member

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    humans in the future

    Let us not forget the Hardy-Weinberg law about evolution: There will always be random mutations. Random mutation is the primary reason Hitlers perfect Aryan society was doomed from the beginning.

    Also, it has been my observation that nature deals with bloated populations through disease and starvation. Look at HIV......an almost anaerobic retro virus that has to be passed along to another host either sexually or intravenously. The fact that HIV is a global pandemic says something about the size of our population. Also remember the 1918 flu epidemic that killed more people than WWI did. A mutation in an influenza gene did a number on the human race. Now we have resistant bacteria, prion disease, increasing numbers of alzheimers, even with our ability to modify our environment.

    Whether we are here via random events or design, we are at the ultimate mercy of the natural world. Our lifespan (and maybe attention span?) is so short that we tend to lose sight of this. We still have global warming to deal with (yes, it is true!!!) volcanoes, hurricanes, and many other natural disasters that are proportionately destructive as compared to the population size they effect. Humans are by no means exempt from natural law.
     
  10. kmguru Staff Member

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    11,757
    While Sader's comments are all true, we have something that other species do not. That is ability to design sophisticated objects so that we can adapt to the environment.

    The only catch is that, we have to understand the natural law well enough to prevent the disaster that can wipe us out before we learn to adapt.

    If the threat is such that the entire community must colaborate, then we may have a problem.
     
  11. Chagur .Seeker. Registered Senior Member

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    sader...

    One of the things that has amazed me for ages is how oblivious most people are to the constant battle for survival that is going on both inside and outside our bodies at the microbial level.

    Mother Nature is a harsh mistress.
     
  12. Javier Registered Senior Member

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    Maybe it will turn out fine

    So if we agree that there are dangers that come from the uncontrolled random-statistic, and that we are not exempt from the natural law(the NATURE of intelligence is to change the random into prevision),which is to improve the chances to survive and thrive of the genetic patrimony,also by refining it by evolution(nature "herself"improved us from our basal ape pool,still with us),then why to separate the concepts of human made and natural,if we are fulfilling "her"order?...

    The 14 th century black pest killed 2/3 of the population of Europe,doing its biding among the most terrible ignorance and dirt of the middle ages;nevertheless we multiplied ourselves maybe twenty times the original pre-pest number;so now that we have advanced medicine (and are 20 times more)seems harder to be wiped out by viruses or bacteria...

    All I say is that we have reasons for being optimistic,just because we are a succesful species;that doesn t mean being reckless or precipitated...
     
  13. Chagur .Seeker. Registered Senior Member

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    I don't know, Javier ...

    First off, I think that sanitation has done far more than 'medicine' to improve our survival potential. But, and here's the rub, the supposed advances against viruses and bacteria are based on a very short time frame.

    In less than a hundred years we have highly resistant strains that were supposed to have be 'beaten' (pneumonia comes immediately to mind). What will it be like in another fifty or one hundred years?

    Will it be back to something like the Black Plague? HIV is already doing a number on our species worldwide.
     
  14. rde Eukaryotic specimen Registered Senior Member

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    Re: I don't know, Javier ...

    First of all, I think you're right about the sanitation. On the subject of bacteria, though, I think we're doing well. Remember, until penicillin, antibiotics were unknown. At the very worst, we'd be going back to that situation. Nasty, horrible, but with the prospect of help on the way from new drugs. I doubt we'll see any bacterium that evolves resistance to everything; it's possible, but (I hope) improbable. All we need to do is convince the millions of muppets worldwide that antibiotic abuse is going to kill us all some day. Of course, educating assholes hasn't worked before (very often), but I live in hope.

    My bet for the next mass killer: influenza.
     
  15. kmguru Staff Member

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    11,757
    Antibiotics are designed to kill bacterias and not viruses. I do not think we have any anti-virus drug that works as well as antibiotics work on bacterias. We are fighting in two fronts. Bacteria that is changing its protein coating and are becoming immune to our antibiotics. Oh! we can create antibiotics that will kill all bacterias but it can also kill the host too. And the virus front: they are mutating so rapidly, like changing shield frequency in star trek, that it is very hard to keep up.

    For virus, what I propose is to design a molecule that can change with the virus pattern. You take a sample of the virus to the analysis machine that matches the right receptors to this virus and immidiately produces a counter agent. These machines can be installed like one-hour photo lab, in every hospital. If the virus mutates, you go back with a blood sample in say 3 days and have a different counter agent prepared.

    The problem with HIV is that it mutates so rapidly and there is no counter agent that directly latches on to the virus. If the flu virus does the same, and becomes more aggressive, we are in real trouble.
     
  16. zbone Registered Member

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    Future Evolution of M/Fkind

    One interesting point about us is that we are on the verge of modifying our species -- intelligence, looks, etc. Articles about how we will soon be pouring our minds into computers and becoming immortal space-travelers are not viewed as looney. To

    Let me argue the point with a questionable analogy: One of the weaknesses of UFO abduction claims is that the "greys" and other abductors are all taken from types prevalent in folklore and fantasy. Actual aliens should take the forms of non-Earthly models -- maybe computerized intelligences like those that Earthlings may one day assume. Perhaps that's not Darwinism, but it is certainly a change that is now upon us all.
     
  17. BrainDrain Registered Member

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    While I can understand the idea that we may no longer evolve because almost everyone can reproduce, I would think favorable traits have a great possibility of spreading over time and unneeded features taken out. For one thing, menial labor will soon become a thing of the past as technology frees us for more academic pursuits and careers. So would this trend throughout all of humanity have an effect on our genome? Perhaps our muscle capacity will shrink as our mental capacities increase. As our species has developed new and more complicated tools during our evolution, our brain pans have expanded to fit the necessary increases in intelligence. I could see this trend continuing. Also, if nature does not choose this intelligence trait, I would say our society eventually will, as others said earlier in this thread and throughout threads on this board. It is an interesting topic, the future evolution of our species. I hope my mechanical body will allow me to be around to see it. hehe
     
  18. kmguru Staff Member

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    Hello zbone, welcome to sciforums. You have a great idea on the UFO situation. I will encourage to start that topic under Free Thoughts and I will join you there.

    If we progress with DNA manipulation, I do not think, we will have skiny torso and a big head. We will design our body to maintain muscle mass with proper portion for male and female body - with very little excercise. A chip wearable as a watch can do it.
     
  19. wet1 Wanderer Registered Senior Member

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    BrainDrain

    I have alluded to this in a previous post. I believe that before long we will see the implanting of some device allowing us to communicate with the computer without use if hands. We no longer are waiting for nature to supply our genetic evolution. we have now the capability to make (pick and choose) what our children shall have and not take what we get as all in the past have had to do.

    As such the debate rages on as to whether we should or not. There are several threads to this topic within the forum now. Do we have the right, is it moral, is it ethical, should we disagree will that end the study of such? It is a new field in terms of science and we have not caught up with the implications of such as a society.

    Rest assured it will happen. To what extent and how far will we accept is the question yet to be seen.
     
  20. kmguru Staff Member

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    11,757
    Before you know it, you will be inside it - the progress that is!
     
  21. sader Registered Member

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    Regardless of what we do with technology, evolution will never stop. Changes in gene frequency, for better or worse will continue to occur. In some cases we will slow down or even speed up some of these changes, but we are incapable of stopping something so fundamental and necessary as evolution.
     
  22. FA_Q2 Member Registered Senior Member

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    You left one out wet1.
    The question really is: will it be helpful. If everyone's intelligence is boosted then we are going to blow ourselves up and same goes for many other enhancements. Technology is overcoming our maturity.
     
  23. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

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    There are three primary approaches that should be followed if genetic manipulation is going to result in intelligent directed rapid human evolution.

    1. Intelligence.
    2. Resistance to diseases, current and potential.
    3. Removal of the aging process.

    Intelligence. The feature that makes humans superior to all other life is our intelligence. To increase that will necessarily mean an increase in brain size and that will require an increase in skull size. If our heads become significantly larger then our necks and torso will need to be larger and stronger to support the additional weight. In other words all body proportions will probably need to become larger. That is of course if we wish to stay independently mobile. An alternative could be very large heads and small bodies where we rely entirely on mechanical devices to support our frail and fragile bodies.

    Immune System. Biology has a way of adapting and mutating to new conditions which result in new diseases, viruses, bacteria, etc. Our best approach to fighting such adaptations is to have an equally if not more powerful immune system.

    The Aging process. What is the point of enhanced intelligence if we only live for a very short period. What a waste. This disease also needs to be cured.

    Just a few thoughts.
    Cris
     

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