Will humans evolve any further, will society become lesser, or will the gap widen?

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by TommySeags, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. TommySeags Registered Member

    We live in a day and age with no predators, many of us have good, reliable healthcare and as well as that, almost everything handed to us on a plate. Of course this is not the case for everyone in the world - There are also many people starving, and unable to afford healthcare.

    I myself can't see humans as a race really evolving through natural selection, seeing as everyone is able to breed with relative ease, including those who are physically and mentally handicapped. Thus I don't see how natural selection can even happen anymore.

    With everything so easy to access for a huge number of humans, will be become less 'able' than our predecessors, or are we simply adapting and therefore, in this time, more 'able'?

    I myself can definitely see the gap between certain people becoming much wider: It's common for intelligent people to have an intelligent spouse, good looking people to look for an intelligent spouse. Anyone who's seen Jeremy Kyle can see this works the other way round as well...

    Will this encourage further differentiation between humans?

    These are my two cents, but I'd like to hear your thoughts on human evolution.​
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  3. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member


    Shit happens!

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  5. dbnp48 Q.E.D. Registered Senior Member

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  7. Skeptical Registered Senior Member

    This is a topic that recurs on this forum. My view has been presented before, but here it is again.

    Evolution never stops, but its direction may sometimes be unexpected. Currently human evolution will be in undesirable directions, since lower socio-economic groups (more unintelligent and uneducated members) tend to have more offspring.

    However, all this is temporary. Assuming the human species survives and continues to thrive, within 100 years or so, we will have an advanced genetic science which will permit 'designer babies'. Given the choice, few would-be parents would turn down the chance to have offspring that are healthier, smarter, more athletic, better looking etc. Since this is all achieved through permanent genetic change, the long term prognosis for the human species, barring disasters, is towards improvement in all those areas.
  8. JuNie Registered Senior Member

    China has a problem with this. All the families want to choose males instead of female offspring so they can carry on their family name and what not. China didn't like the prospect of becoming a nation of mostly males. I wonder what restrictions would be put in place. Have you seen the movie GATTACA? Interesting movie. Talks about this very subject.
  9. Skeptical Registered Senior Member

    China's problem is really sociological rather than genetic.

    I see little likelihood, assuming current trends continue, that human evolution will be anything other than directed by humanity. What Homo sapiens is like long term will be unpredictable, since genetic change is likely to be directed towards the wants and needs of that time.
  10. waleedraza Registered Member

    Join a peaceful religion : ISLAM and become a Muslim and enjoy the peace of life.
  11. Stoniphi obscurely fossiliferous Valued Senior Member

    ...and a big piece of pork!

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    Wash that down with a big glass of vodka and you got a meal.

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    Welcome to the forums Waleedraza and TommySeags. Enjoy your stay here.

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    Human evolution has never stopped and will likely continue until we are no more.
  12. jmpet Valued Senior Member

    I would point out the film "Idiocracy" which posits that while intellectual couples determine the right time/year/decade to reproduce, we are being overrun with BillyBobs popping out kids by the bushel.

    The net result of this is a world full of stupid people.
  13. wellwisher Banned Banned

    Unlike animals which need to adapt to their natural environments, human can control their environment and adapt the environment to themselves. The poor have less control over their environment and are closer to natural evolution, sort of by default. This could explain why reproduction rates are more in line with the logic behind natural selective advantage.

    An analogy is a garden. a nice garden requires humans controlling the environment to give advantage to all their preferred domestic plants. As we control the garden environment less and less, the weeds take over due to natural selection. The first was synthetic selection that can exist because humans can control the environment to define what it wants to have advantage.

    If there was a major disaster, which disrupted human environmental control, i.e., culture, natural selection would take over, with the poor among the last standing. For example, if someone never had access to health care, but was an end product of natural attrition, one would not miss all the advantages of health care, if it went away. But as long as we can control the human garden, with good health care, even orchids can have an advantage over weeds.

    This suggests that the direction of human evolution is more centered on the brain/mind. It is the mind/brain which allows human to control their environment, so they can define advantage. This can be either natural or synthetic advantage. But since birth rates still tend to favor those with less control, closer to nature, biological evolution stays in line with nature.

    Ironically, religions tend to teach higher birth rates, which based on the logic of evolution, is more in line with natural. Atheists tends to go with lower birth rates, to help maintain the needs of environmental control. Too much population makes it harder to maintain control over the environment and can impact the ratio of synthetic to natural advantage. However, it does help maintain the stability needed to allow the mind/brain to continue to evolve.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2011
  14. Skeptical Registered Senior Member

    There was a nice New Scientist article on the subject of reproductive rate versus socio-economic group.

    The writers pointed out that, in the animal world, shorter life-span leads to faster reproduction. They suggested that the same might apply to humans. Their study showed a very nice negative correlation between lifespan and number of children.

    It would appear that those in poorer communities, where life expectancy is less, respond with more offspring. Still dabatable, but a nice theory, especially since the principle applies across the animal kingdom.

    If humanity were to rely upon natural selection, this would ultimately result in a reduction in average intelligence levels in our species. Fortunately, as I like to point out, this trend will continue only until we can control our own genetics.
  15. fedr808 1100101 Valued Senior Member

    Evolution has been going on for the past 3-4 billion years, I seriously doubt it will make any exceptions for a species that is a mere 200,000 years old or so.
  16. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    A future split in the species

    Source: BBC News
    Link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/6057734.stm
    Title: "Human species 'may split in two'"
    Date: October 17, 2006

    One Oliver Curry, of the London School of Economics, suggested a theory that, to the one, is kind of hard to take seriously, and to the other is actually kind of frightening if it has any merit:

    The human race would peak in the year 3000, he said - before a decline due to dependence on technology.

    People would become choosier about their sexual partners, causing humanity to divide into sub-species, he added.

    The descendants of the genetic upper class would be tall, slim, healthy, attractive, intelligent, and creative and a far cry from the "underclass" humans who would have evolved into dim-witted, ugly, squat goblin-like creatures.

    I make no assertion about the merits. But, hey. There it is.

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    Eloi and Morlock: Yes, he actually invoked Wells.
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  17. UKJoy Registered Member

    We'll be extinct before then

    I think that humans are very basic creatures with an extremely long way to evolve; however, we're going to be extinct on Earth before we can evolve further anyway.
  18. charles brough Registered Senior Member

    Good observations . . . Science reports do try to emphasize every little change in us over the last 40,000 years ago but all they can come up with is that our brain case is a triffle smaller and our legs are a little thinner, we have an immuity to diseases and can digest milk as adults.

    But when you look at the amazing and fast accumulation of the human cultural heritage during those 40 milleniums since CroMagnon, you have to know natural selection has been involved. What the social theory consensus does not want to face is that it is between societies. After all, we are trying to bring modern society together, not elaborate on the ruthess competition developing between them for the diminishing global resources.

    Societies evolve from a natural selection process, that of social evolution. The science of social evolution comes alive only when you define "society" as a mass of people occupying territory and which are united by a common world view and way of thinking or "ideology". Since we evolved as small group primates, we had to have these world-view (WV) systems to bind us into larger groups.

    Human society has evolved because these societies compete so that natural selection occurs between them. The only available reference dealing with this now is "The Last Civilization." See: http://civilization-overview.com
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2011
  19. charles brough Registered Senior Member

    This is true, but perhaps misleading. The over-production of "stupid" children by the poor does not mean those children or genetircally less intelligent. They are just less well brought up and less well educated. I have had a lot of experience with poor people and have often been stunned by how clever they can be. I have lived among the rich, but it is among the poor that I met the most amazing people. I remember one who took a thrown-out computer he found, fixed it up and used it to get a wife on the internet. He could not read or write, but he could manipulate people like no one I have ever encountered.

    When I lived three years in Indonesia, my best driver was one of nine children. My cook was ignorant but smart. She learned fast. On the other hand, I have been to MENSA meetings and found the most wealthy, wierd and imballanced people I have ever met.

    Luxury does not test the individual like poverty does.
  20. 1337spb Registered Member

    Poor people breeding a lot doesn't affect how well rich people's children do in life. It just means more people are around - people don't really need to compete with each other to survive.

    Also I agree with a downwards trend in evolution. We need to learn genetics before we get too stupid to comprehend it!
  21. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Where? I never joined MENSA but a friend has belonged to chapters on both coasts. She said that in California the smart kids usually went to public schools (all the smart kids I knew there did) so they grew up with some exposure to real life and some socialization to "normal" people. But here in the Washington region they all went to private schools (I've noticed that too, although not so much with the current generation of children) so they grew up feeling special and not being very connected to reality.

    The MENSA people back home were a little snobby about their intelligence and education (hey aren't we all), but here they're downright weird.
  22. Me-Ki-Gal Banned Banned

    I am beginning to wonder about you . Your an old fart ar'nyt you ? You think the kids are not as smart as the parents ? Your wrong . The Kids are going to bury you and there lives will be paradise in comparison. It is all about the 5% you know . Yeah 5% of the people go the extra mile . When that percent falls below that there is trouble in paradise. You might think that the last 30 some odd years the percentage fell below 5% . It didn't . The 5% are still there , your not one of them so you wouldn't know what they look like . The world gives them no value is what the prob is . The world is learning the lesson the hard way and even harder times are coming from the misconception . No fear for the 5% will rise up and let there selves be known in the most peculiar ways . If you are a teacher your what I call a Nazi teacher . My guess is you would stifle creativity and try to stuff all kids into the same box . I see it in public schools a lot . The no child left behind is based in this fallacy . Let the gifted be gifted , but no we try to force everyone into the same programs.
  23. Me-Ki-Gal Banned Banned

    Not if I have anything to say about it . Humans will overcome and survive. I am going to help them evolve . Been doing it on this here forum actually . Pay attention for there are many others on this forum with the same goal . People with insight that can see how the future unravels . I look up to Fraggle cause he some how made it to the cutting edge of his generations conditioning . Looking over the edge of reality, that one human is . Course he has a better understanding of the "Hotel California" than most

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