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Old 20-07-2004, 07:48 PM   First Class Member Attended an OMGWTFKKWBBQ! KKWiki Contributer Administrator #1
barrington
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Question Sentient Life Has Stopped Evolving

I wrote this a few years ago on another forum. The grammar and prose is absolute junk, but the basic premise is still intact. Some names changed for relevance. Debate away.

"Well I can't guarantee that the topic is correct. Nor can anyone else on the planet for that matter. But it's an interesting thought I had earlier today whilst partaking of a fully-legal-in-amsterdam cigarette.

RE: The Topic - "sentient" should be taken to mean "sentient and advanced enough to alter one's environment"

I'm too cool to need any evidence or research to back me up, but have a listen to this:

All species on the planet have been constantly evolving since the first amoeba was found in the first stale, two week old & discarded Chicken McNugget somewhere....

...animals/plants/acliff evolve because random variations in their species allow a few of them to do certain things that are central to their existence a bit more easily than their brothers & sisters. Be it eating leaves from high places or avoiding hungry water Vole, over time, the animals with the "insert random beneficial genetic modification" will proliferate at a SLIGHTLY higher rate than those without... and, as such, the magic thing we call evolution through natural selection occurs.

Let's call this kind of thing "adaptive mutation". Why? because it sounds cool & important.

Now, you'll all understand that evolution is a very subtle thing. Perhaps even more subtle than JulesPaxton when she locks posts. It concerns the DIRECT INTERFACE OF ANIMAL vs. ENVIRONMENT. That is, the "path of adaptive mutation" 'plotted' by nature is one that allows a species to become better adapted to it's living environment - to interface with it more effectively in order to be more successful at living. Those that don't adapt well, die.

When I thought about humans, however, I noticed that our ANIMAL vs. ENVIRONMENT interface (the daily fight for life) was about as redundant as ribbed & strawberry flavoured condom vending machine in a convent.

We are in direct command of our environment at all times. If we don't like it, we change it. If we don't adapt to it, we change it. If it becomes hazardous to our health, then we simply stop using the Burger King toilet facilities.

There is no chance for a random advantageous phenotype to proliferate in the human world to such a degree that any "progress" in the art of Humans vs. Environment can be made.

We don't live in a fierce battle for survival every day, nor does our species push the bounderies of existence vs. exstinction as a result of our environment. It's all regression towards the mean, folks. We don't need to stay sharp to stay ahead. It's not just the Alpha-Males that get to survive in this world. Any old dunce can get a 9-5 job pushing buttons on a computer for a meagre sum.

Even Hazzle will probably get a job one day.

Because of this regression to some "very average human" mean of existence, no minor change to our species would cause anyone to die out a bit faster than the rest.

So you have longer fingers? It doesnt allow you to type much faster than the next guy.... So you're a lot smaller than the next guy? Not being able to reach the tin of beans on the top shelf is hardly critical to your survival....

So you see, I would like to propose that Humans are not evolving any more. We're at the end of the road.

Maybe I would go so far as to say that Humans are the most perfectly evolved of any species - since we are so perfectly attuned to our self-commanded environments that we find any more evolution unnecessary..."

What sayeth the Wavefront?
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Old 20-07-2004, 08:07 PM   Lifetme Service Award Attended an OMGWTFKKWBBQ! Retired Administrator #2
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I think we are stil evolving, think of this the average worker now sits on their arse all day typing at a computer console, they get home, eat junk food, sit and watch TV, maybe go and sit on a bar stool and enjoy a cool one, go home sleep. Now this means that certain features evolve, for instance the fat arsed lady, or the spotty 30 year old, all evolution and becoming more common place.
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Old 20-07-2004, 08:19 PM   Officer #3
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But suppose obesity and alcoholic tendencies are more an effect of genetic frequency, rather than the environment around a person. In that case, mankind could evolve - whether artifically or naturally - to rid themselves of these extreme circumstances. But, if we were to artificially evolve ourselves, that would prove Baz's point, that we are sentient enough to adapt to our environment, to remove any genetic faults we have, and better survive in our world.
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Old 20-07-2004, 08:26 PM   Senior Registered Member #4
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This will start getting religious and I'm not even getting into that. All I'm going to say is that it is commonly believed around my parts that the pinky toe (the smallest one) will soon be totally useless and people won't be born with one. I know you're fascinated by that piece of information...
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Old 20-07-2004, 08:49 PM   Attended an OMGWTFKKWBBQ! Moderator #5
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Evolution has generally happened due to necessity. Survival of the fittest. Survival of the creatures most suited to the environment, and those with genetic mutations that make survival easier for them than the rest.

Now, people who are weak, dying, mutated are cared for, by other humans, or the welfare state system. Human beings as a social group, are compassionate. Evolution is not as kind.

Now that human beings have seemingly broken the evolutionary development of our species, by the struggle for survival, and procuring food becoming a great deal easier. The invention of money and education in particular have cast the energy flow limiting factor aside to a great degree. As has mass food manufacture. Also being at the top of the food chain helps this somewhat.
However this is considering the richer parts of the world. Where the poor generally don't starve to death, and people die of lung cancer, and heart disease from eating too much.

In third world countries, many people die of starvation and thirst. Here at least it seems those that have a better education and more money have a chance to get food, survive and improve their situation. This could be considered an evolution of sorts. The more educated and wealthy survive.
Same occurs in even well developed countries. In asia, you have to work hard in order to compete and get the jobs you want. The ones who fail, live terribly with no respect etc etc. Main difference being, these people generally don't starve (although its not unhead of, as for example the korean welfare system is almost non existent in comparison to England's)

However, so far I have avoided the critical factor. Which is reproduction. In the history of evolution, the females always mated with the strongest males with the strongest genes, which were the ones best suited for hunting, or gathering food. Nowadays genes are less important. Love tied with compassion drives the human species' reproduction. Not many care about good genes or whatever, which is why there are huge amounts, and increasing amounts of people with genetic disorders and diseases. If we were to improve our gene pool, these people would have to die. Which is certainly not a good thing.

Which culminates to this... the evolution of the human species is not as based on genes. It is based on intelligence, and compassion. Both tangible things which in some respect tie in with genes, but not to the extent that we are all 6 foot 4 bodybuilder types with perfect teeth, eyesight and blonde hair, blue eyes, and IQs of 160+. The media may be having an affect, by implying that these overly beautiful people are who we should be going for. Rather than those with no history of genetic diseases in the family.
Compassion may be the ultimate evolution for any race, as it fucks with evolution, and cares for the weak, which evolution fails to do. This could, theoretically be the destruction of our race, as we all die from genetic diseases. Maybe that is the next evolutionary step. For example, HIV might kill all except the naturally immune. Those people are genetically evolved to survive, and live on. However, compassion is something to be cherished and the fact that we are capable of it shows how evolved we truly are.
Just some thoughts.
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Old 20-07-2004, 08:57 PM   Attended an OMGWTFKKWBBQ! Moderator #6
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What about the X-Men?
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Old 21-07-2004, 12:39 AM   Attended an OMGWTFKKWBBQ! KKWiki Contributer Senior Registered Member #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duckula
What about the X-Men?
And here was me thinking I wouldn't wade into this discussion as it seemed to be an "intelligent debate" and I have no place in one of those

Hmmm...surely if evolution is about a species adapting to suit it's environment (which it is, if my understanding is correct)...then it would be correct to state, as Baz does, that Humans have reached the pinnacle of evolution. This being that we no longer HAVE to adapt to suit our environment...we merely adapt the environment itself. Better technology, education, social welfare etc all help us to modify and adapt the environment in which we live...and with advances being made in genetics even Cliff's issue of genetic diseases may become a moot one. I mean if parents have GM babies then it no longer matters if their genes are perfect or not, does it?
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Old 21-07-2004, 12:43 AM   Lifetme Service Award Attended an OMGWTFKKWBBQ! Retired Administrator #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hazzle
This being that we no longer HAVE to adapt to suit our environment...we merely adapt the environment itself.
but couldnt it be said that we are in fact adapting to live inside houses, sit around and eat a diversified diet? We may adapt the environment, by building comfortable homes to live in, but are we perfectly evolved to survive in this miniature environment? I don't think so because nothing is indeed perfect
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Old 21-07-2004, 06:46 AM   Officer #9
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i don't know if you'd call this evolution really, but the life expectancy of human beings is still increasing in most parts of the world. obviously that's not natural evolution - it's because of human 'interferance'. i think natural evolution has probably stopped. people are still 'evolving' (i dont know if you'd call it evolution) but it's not for the same reasons that it was thousands of years ago (climate change, survival etc) nowadays people are evolving because of all the new fad diets, surgery and artificial things they're doing to their bodies - people are changing but not because they need to in order to survive, but because they want to change themselves. (but i dont know if you'd really call that evolution at all.. dont shoot me if that made no sense)
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Old 21-07-2004, 11:13 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spire
All I'm going to say is that it is commonly believed around my parts that the pinky toe (the smallest one) will soon be totally useless and people won't be born with one. I know you're fascinated by that piece of information...
No, thats cool. I've heard the same thing about the appendix. And body hair...the article said that when humans first evolved they had hair to keep them warm, but now with heated houses etc, its not needed as much, and over time may sease to exist. I think thats wrong though because it helps with keeping the skin waterproof, lol.
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Old 21-07-2004, 01:00 PM   First Class Member Attended an OMGWTFKKWBBQ! KKWiki Contributer Administrator #11
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People aren't born without things because they are useless, they are born without things because everyone else that lacked that part survived better. You are looking at evolution in reverse (probably as most people do).

Evolution through Natural Selection doesn't remove the bad, it merely promotes the good so that the bad become marginalised and eventually drop out altogether.

With the advent of surgery, the largely non-critical failure of the appendix in modern times means that any minority defectually born without one will not have any advantange over those who merely have it removed by surgery - the appendix will probably never evolve-out.

Things like obesity are merely a class of reactive (albeit possibly a genetic predisposition environmentally expedited ) conditions that have no bearing on the next generation of offspring. Those that are fat and eat a lot will not necessarily have children that are the same. Supplant their parents with alpha-human replacements and the possibility diminishes markedly. Obesity is not evolution, it's social and environmental.
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Old 22-07-2004, 09:30 PM   First Class Member KKWiki Contributer Senior Registered Member #12
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What...

...nobody's mentioned car seats and helmets/knee pads/elbow pads?
Children continue to evolve into weaker and weaker creatures because of these things. Natural selection is unable to work its magic. When I was a kid, we didn't wear helmets for anything except football (U.S...sorry) and baseball. And then, it was only in organized leagues. Helmets were for pussies. And, if you wore one, you'd get pummelled...and natural selection strikes again!
Thus, children of my generation grew up with thicker skulls. I've had several concussions and God knows how many stitches in my head, yet only lost consciousness briefly, once. And that occurred after being pulled from the hood of a moving car. Today's helmeted child's head would be smashed like an over-ripe melon.
Same thing with car seats. When I was a baby, I crawled around the back seat on a blanket. Every toy we had would be deadly to today's children. I say take the little buggers' helmets off and give 'em some lawn darts. Or...swords! :fencing:
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Old 23-07-2004, 12:31 AM   #13
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And another thing is now-a-days people are obsessed with everything being sterile. In some situations, obviously, it is vital but in some places its going a bit far. People's immune systems are getting weaker as they don't have to deal with little germs which may have previously been there, which means that when there is a little bug, the person becomes very ill from it rather than be a little poorly.
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Old 23-07-2004, 01:18 AM   Attended an OMGWTFKKWBBQ! KKWiki Contributer Senior Registered Member #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apoggy
but couldnt it be said that we are in fact adapting to live inside houses, sit around and eat a diversified diet? We may adapt the environment, by building comfortable homes to live in, but are we perfectly evolved to survive in this miniature environment? I don't think so because nothing is indeed perfect
If we're not, we can merely adapt the environment to suit our evolutionary state.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashlyn
i don't know if you'd call this evolution really, but the life expectancy of human beings is still increasing in most parts of the world. obviously that's not natural evolution - it's because of human 'interferance'. i think natural evolution has probably stopped. people are still 'evolving' (i dont know if you'd call it evolution) but it's not for the same reasons that it was thousands of years ago (climate change, survival etc) nowadays people are evolving because of all the new fad diets, surgery and artificial things they're doing to their bodies - people are changing but not because they need to in order to survive, but because they want to change themselves. (but i dont know if you'd really call that evolution at all.. dont shoot me if that made no sense)
I would call that an evolution of sorts. To develop as a species to the level where you're capable of extended your life by artificial means is the pinnacle of evolution. It's not evolution in the scientific sense of the species getting stronger in their actual physicality, but I believe that so long as the science is there for the species as a whole, the species as a whole IS evolving with longer life spans.
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Old 23-07-2004, 01:02 PM   First Class Member KKWiki Contributer Senior Registered Member #15
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Chocolate Moose is right...

...an ancestor of mine had an appendectomy perfomed at home...by a doctor who honed the knife he used on the sole of his boot...after walking through their yard...filled with goats and chickens.
We are sissies.
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Old 27-07-2004, 08:06 AM   #16
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Evolution: a fairy tale for adults. A psuedoscience cop out for people who don't want to be accountable to a God.

If you despise the concept of God, religion, sin, and Savior, fine. Admit to it. Don't hide behind the transparent shroud of evolution--a concept that that can't even be called a theory since a theory implies the possibility of being true.

Are humans at the end of the road? Are we no longer "evolving"?

Sure. We're at the end of the road--We're perfect--Created that way.

**Don't bother addressing my comments if you don't understand the difference between the concepts of micro and macroevolution. The aforementioned comments are addressed to the latter. If so, let's talk...**
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Old 27-07-2004, 01:06 PM   First Class Member Attended an OMGWTFKKWBBQ! KKWiki Contributer Administrator #17
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Evolution is not a choice of belief.
It's a choice of evidence-backed, testable, repeatable, visible understanding of natural mechanics vs. ignorance.
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Old 27-07-2004, 01:14 PM   Senior Registered Member #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KRev
Evolution: a fairy tale for adults. A psuedoscience cop out for people who don't want to be accountable to a God.

If you despise the concept of God, religion, sin, and Savior, fine. Admit to it. Don't hide behind the transparent shroud of evolution--a concept that that can't even be called a theory since a theory implies the possibility of being true.

Are humans at the end of the road? Are we no longer "evolving"?

Sure. We're at the end of the road--We're perfect--Created that way.

**Don't bother addressing my comments if you don't understand the difference between the concepts of micro and macroevolution. The aforementioned comments are addressed to the latter. If so, let's talk...**
How are men perfect? Since you're the one talking about religion, I'll follow you up. If you read the Bible carefully, pretty sure its Old Testament, it clearly states MAN IS IMPERFECT. In Genesis, it shows how man used to live to a few hundred years old, but God made them live shorter lives because they sinned a lot. Man is perfect? I fear not. Created to be perfect? If we were, stupid Eve wouldn't eat the apple in the Garden of Eden, would she?
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Old 27-07-2004, 01:21 PM   #19
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well it all depends on your opinion of perfection.
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Old 27-07-2004, 01:24 PM   Senior Registered Member #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KRev
Evolution: a fairy tale for adults.

Evolution has been proven on countless ocasions, you ignorant piss-ant.
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