Future...?

Discussion in 'History' started by Albume27, Sep 7, 2004.

  1. Albume27 Registered Senior Member

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    83
    Are we ment to evolve more than we already have? Maybe we arent ment to go to mars. Maybe we arent ment to evolve anymore. Maybe we arent suppose to live at all.

    Do you think are race is suppose to keep evolving? Do you think that are technology isnt ment to get anymore advanced than they are now? Do you think we are ment to live for so much more?

    Alot of these questions are able to be answerd. but they arent ment to right now. Im just trying to get people to think now.
     
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  3. invert_nexus Ze do caixao Valued Senior Member

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    What do you mean supposed to evolve? As long as there is sex and selection of sexual partners we'll evolve like it or not. There's no meant or supposed to about it. It's just the way it works.

    Sounds to me like you're ascribing some higher purpose to life. Something imposed from the outside. Therein lies your faulty reasoning. Meaning comes from within.
     
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  5. mathman Valued Senior Member

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    Homo sapiens has been around for about 100,000 - 200,000 years. Human like species split off from apes over 6 million years ago. I suspect man will do a lot of evolving in the future.
     
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  7. Gravity Deus Ex Machina Registered Senior Member

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    Why in the world would anybody think that evolution/natural-selection has stopped? Its just slow by our perception of time - but it never ends.
     
  8. Entropy Registered Member

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    I agree with gravity, the maximum lifespan of a human is usually around 100 years. However, I believe that the first microfossils have been dated at 3.85 billion years old...somthing like that. :bugeye: I might be off by a couple million years, but that's not the point, the point is evolution takes time, and just because you don't see it everyday doesn't mean that it's not happening.
     
  9. cato less hate, more science Registered Senior Member

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    I concur, I am sure that humans are slower in evolving now than in the past due to the fact that even if you are born disfigured or something you will still have a chance to reproduce, so society has, perhaps, slowed evolution but by no means stopped it.
     
  10. Dr Lou Natic Unnecessary Surgeon Registered Senior Member

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    Maybe they understand what natural selection is and recognise that humans no longer experience it.
    There's no type of person that manages to breed, all types do. Natural selection has stopped, and thus evolution has slowed down to the point that it might as well have stopped. Its unlikely humans as a species will change before they go extinct, even if they live on for another billion years.
    Unless eugenics are incorporated at some stage in the future.
     
  11. Carnuth i dont Registered Senior Member

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    look at your pinkie toe, what the hell does it do? appendix? eventually they should disappear

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  12. Gravity Deus Ex Machina Registered Senior Member

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    Actually, for balancing in fine motor skill sports the pinkie toe is an excellent input for good propreoceptive awareness of where your center of mass is currently located over your feet and where it is moving. But if all you do is drive around, walk around some and sit around a lot . . . I suppose it is a superfluous digit for you!

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  13. Carnuth i dont Registered Senior Member

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    547
    well it Would be weird to only have 4 toes
     
  14. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    24,690
    They will only disappear if people who have them stop breeding. That is the same reason that hereditary diseases and other inherited weaknesses have not started to disappear and in fact may be increasing.

    We have halted the process of natural selection as it has always occurred through other species. Our selection process is now totally unnatural. We deliberately spend thousands of dollars to save the lives of weak infants and even adults with highly compromised health.

    I'm not suggesting that that is bad, don't get me wrong, I'm no eugenicist. I'm just saying that the human race has taken over the process of selection and it's no longer natural.

    Our reasoning for protecting these physically weak people is that it's their brains that count and any one of them could turn out to be the next Stephen Hawking. I would gladly pay the cost of supporting a million invalids in order to have another Stephen Hawking. Who wouldn't?

    Now when it comes down to also protecting the mentally retarded, it's more difficult to make a rational case to support the process. We've just become a race that cares about each individual, we treat them all like our children and protect them all. We can't let any of them die.

    I don't think that's a bad thing. Who wants to be responsible for making the choice to let a handicapped person die just because they don't pull their weight? There are plenty of fully abled people who don't pull their weight. Just walk into any government office and you'll see hundreds of them. ^_^

    When genetic engineering becomes a mature, cheap technology, then you might see some stuff happen.
     
  15. Starthane Xyzth returns occasionally... Valued Senior Member

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    Right.

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    Though we may no longer be subject to gradual improvement by natural selection, eventually people will want to improve their bodies (or the bodies of their offspring) deliberately. There would be numerous ethical and legal objections at first, but surely the genetic technology would win out in the end - once it was proved to be safe, reliable and possibly reversible.

    Few authors have dared to suggest that future evolution might give us physical abilities like those of Superman or the Hulk

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    - who knows, though, what guided biological modifications might eventually achieve, possibly in conjuntion with cybernetics? Certainly far more than blind evolution ever could, and much more rapidly.

    How about epidermal cells which concentrate carbon as quartic-crystalline membranes: unbreakable diamond skin? Bones and muscle tissue with metallic fibres, which could be as strong as steel springs? Mitochondria able to utilise much higher-energy chemical fuels, and do away with the cumbersome Krebbs cycle & electron transfer chain in favour of a shorter, more efficient metabolic pathway - thereby giving us many times more power and endurance. As for living flight... that could be more difficult, without making the bones hollow.

    The most extensive human engineering would probably be intended to adapt people for extreme environments, such as the deep ocean or the surface of Mars.
     
  16. Gravity Deus Ex Machina Registered Senior Member

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    If the human race hangs on long enough, and doesn't knock itself back into the stone ages - it seems pretty certain that hard core genetic engineering is intevitable. One thing though - unless its part of a socialized system, the gap between the rich and poor is likely to take on completely new dimensions. The most wealthy would get access to it first -- and then they would truly become a superior species. Far more intelligent, longer lived, stronger, even with new senses/abilitys . . . and then, whey in the world would they want to let the rest of humanity have access to it? After all, somebody is needed to work in the mines and fields!
     
  17. Entropy Registered Member

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    So, here we go right back to serfdom and slavery?

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  18. Blue_UK Drifting Mind Valued Senior Member

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    We are evolving all the time, just very slowly. Of course, the pressures placed on modern man are completely different from those during the period in which he evolved.

    I am a great believer of the extended reach of the gene: the extended phenotype(*). For example, since it is fair to say that birds have a gene for 'building nests' it is also fair to say that products of human intelligence can be attributed to our genes - a 'gene' for making clubs, a 'gene' for making rifles. This is obviously true since early man hunted with simple weapons, negating the need for his body to actually grow ones like, say, a tiger does. Although our gene frequencies may not change very much (the definition of evolution) the effect will, as our knowledge base builds up.

    I once heard someone say, "where does the body end?" I would say it ends at the tips of our tools.

    Using a looser definition than the one hard-core biologists would use, I would say we are still evolving, through learning and technology.

    * Richard Dawkins
     
  19. Gravity Deus Ex Machina Registered Senior Member

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    Well, its arguable whether we ever really left that system!

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    However, in this case - if medical technology gets to the point where you can create legitimate supermen - do you think *this* medical technology (unlike all others) will be freely and equally available to all? Doubtful!
     
  20. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    I believe that, at least from the perspective of this discussion, the key achievement of Homo sapiens is that our evolution is no longer at the level of the individual. It is at the level of the community, the civilization. We have built a quasi-organic entity that outlives the individuals who build it, and can be easily argued to be much greater than the sum of its parts.

    The advances we see shall be advances in the functioning of that larger organism. Will it have wisdom, compassion, effective decision-making ability, a sense of justice and fairness, and respect for entertainment and other recreation?

    Of course a large part of that will be eliminating suffering of the individual humans through medicine, peacemaking, and better caretaking of the environment. And another will be to give those newly liberated-from-misery humans the ability to achieve... well... whatever they need in order to feel complete.

    But in the long run it will be the accomplishments of civilization that will count, and the civilization will have to evolve in order to fulfil that destiny.
     
  21. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

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    There is only one rule in evolution right? Become more fit to survive. You can only prove you're fit by actually surviving. Humans will remain humans until/if they evolve into something else, which will no longer be human.

    This is perhaps the first step in earth's evolutionary change however, that is going to choose to evolve itself. We've already started the process. I suppose it's hard to say if we'll finish and what that finish might be.
     
  22. dixonmassey Valued Senior Member

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    Evolved or not, result is the same = eventual extinction. Damn environmental, etc. changes are too fast for the evolution to catch up.
     
  23. Starthane Xyzth returns occasionally... Valued Senior Member

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    Too fast for evolution - but not necessarily for technology, given a little warning of impending catastrophe.

    Oops! Sorry - I don't want to turn this into another thread on global disasters..

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    Why does this remind me of George Orwell's 1984? "The individual is only a cell, Winston... and the weariness of the cell is the vigour of the organism." Let's hope we do not develop into a collective quasi-organism at the expense of individuality. Coupled with artificially enhanced bodies, that's the route to Mankind becoming the Borg...
     

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