Current human evolution: natural or artificial?

nigelTheBold
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Current human evolution: natural or artificial?

The question: is current human evolution natural or artificial?

Or, as my illustrious colleague The Doomed Soul said:

The Doomed Soul wrote:

Every time Humans do something that influences their own evolution, its artifical evolution, this does not mean gene-manipulation. When we discovered fire, that was our very first time, that we began to influence.

Environment + Time + Need = Change or Die = Evolution does it not?

Our species never NEEDED fire... but we acquired it any way, thus changing our environment

And since we still have fire and its modern kin, i can assume its stood the test of time, and has influenced our development, can i not? Ever wonder what we would look like today if we had never discovered fire? (physically not technologically) granted we'll never know, but i predict thick fur and more body fat >.> (like every other damn mammal)

There are several possible discussions: the nature of evolution, the evolutionary effect of humanity's ability to affect (I hesitate to say "control&quotEye-wink our environment, the linguistic distinction between "artificial" and "natural," whether or not man is somehow outside of nature, and perhaps even how wonderful a grilling steak smells.

Mmm. Steak.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


The Doomed Soul
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quote the entire discussion

quote the entire discussion joo lazy shit! hehe


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We are naturally evolving to

We are naturally evolving to adapt to our artificial environment.  However to say that we are artificially influencing our evolution seems to me like it is saying we are directing our evolution to get a specific result of some qualities in us, which is not true.

But it can be taken to mean the unintentional artificial evolution track as well.  So whichever.

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I don't think anything that

I don't think anything that humans do could be considered artificial.  Define 'natural' first and then get everyone to agree on it.  I usually suppose that if a human can do it then it cannot be unnatural, though I'm not sure that's the same as being 'artificial'.  Our evolution will progress no matter what, so I don't know if it's really relevant to ask whether we're shaping our evolutionary future - we're alive and that very fact shapes our evolution.

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


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I don't think humans are

I don't think humans are evolving anymore. Apart from maybe a bit of disease resistance in third world countries.

For evolution you need selective pressure. In the modern world anyone can survive to breeding age and have children, despite any handicaps, despite any physical attributes or lack thereof, despite being sickly, despite being an absolute moron. Our society is too humane for evolution.

All we will see now is diversification as any variation that doesn't lead to an early, non-medically stopable death is allowed to be passed down to the next generation.

One of my theories for the increasing violence in soceity is that in the past people like that were forced to join the military and become canon fodder.

Sad but (possibly) true.

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Mostly natural, but...

There are a number of documented cases of véry beneficial mutations in humans: people with stronger bone structures or with muscles that develop more easily, and so on. This is normal, and in principle, these could be, for "reproductive purposes", actually be neutral, who knows.

However: these people are mildly famous, at least locally. Fame might serve as a way to attract a partner earlier and more easily, and this kind of fame might even specifically attract partners who are consciously interested in getting "special offspring".

But would this be artificial selection, or natural selection, catalyzed by knowledge?


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 The words are a bit weird,

 The words are a bit weird, though. We've decided that everything we manipulate is "artificial", and anyhing we leave alone is "natural", so you're left with a kind of fuzzy paradox. Personally, I don't think we can escape "natural", but it seems like we enjoy telling ourselves we're supernatural ... which is, of course, natural.

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Could we view "none external

Could we view "none external stimuli" changes artificial? Physical evolution is adaptation to environmental pressures. Yet, lets say we artificial change our genes to excel in our environment beyond that of any current pressures to do so, how do we classify it, especially since those changes may or may not be passed down to are offspring?

Comparing Adaptation by environment to engineer changes, I would have to say the ability to engineer would be extremely more beneficial.

Some of this issue listed above, like invention, would fall into the realm social evolution. The collective body changes to adapt to its environment, like changing from hunting and gathering to agriculture, or moving from the primitive theism to atheism.

Man is the only animal in all of nature that cannot accept its own mortality.


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Obviously

I wouldn't say we have created 'artificial evolution' yet, except with breeding dogs maybe... but we are obviously averting evolution!

Evolution relies on a 'surivial of the fittest' environment. We have averted that environment. We cradle the sick, diseased, and otherwise dying long enough that they can reproduce. In no way are the weaker humans killed off, except in extreme cases.

The only predator we have is really viruses/diseases, and we have vaccinated tons of them out. Compare our life expectancy to any other animal... We have developed a different plain of evolution which doesn't target the individual. For example, one scientist creates a vaccination for polio, and it eventually vanishes as a predator.

Imagine if field mice could irradicate owls and other predators just by one of them developing a cure! We have directly impacted our own evolution.

Not to mention, if one of us had a weird mutation that provided an advantage in life... is there any reason to believe they would breed more than the rest of us? Watch the movie 'Idiocracy' to get my point... idiots, trailer trash, whores, etc. will breed just as much as the smart and strong, if not more


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This seems more like a

This seems more like a philosophical question than a scientific one.  Do we want to call consciously influenced natural selection "unnatural"?  What justification do we have for saying such a thing, since natural selection has crafted us with the intellect to do such a thing?

(I'm asking rhetorically because I don't really care.)

I don't think the answer to any of these questions affects scientists studying evolution.

 

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I have only myself and every

I have only myself and every one elses lack of intelligence to blame for not understanding the topic at hand... and since i am far to egotistical to admit an error...

What Would Kharn Do?


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eek

ugzog wrote:

Some of this issue listed above, like invention, would fall into the realm social evolution. The collective body changes to adapt to its environment, like changing from hunting and gathering to agriculture, or moving from the primitive theism to atheism.

While true, what happens at the point where these "social evolutionary changes" begin to actually take a physical effect on the species? This is one of the quibiling questions i am concocting a theory around

 

I dont think your trying to support my point Vermilion but your doing a decent enough job at it

 

Vermilion wrote:

Evolution relies on a 'surivial of the fittest' environment. We have averted that environment. We cradle the sick, diseased, and otherwise dying long enough that they can reproduce. In no way are the weaker humans killed off, except in extreme cases.

The only predator we have is really viruses/diseases, and we have vaccinated tons of them out. Compare our life expectancy to any other animal... We have developed a different plain of evolution which doesn't target the individual. For example, one scientist creates a vaccination for polio, and it eventually vanishes as a predator.

Thats just it, control your environment for a long enough time, and you will indeed affect the course of your species evolution

sure there is no true "better or worse" (its alive or dead), and theres no end goal but you affect the course none the less.

Vermilion wrote:

Imagine if field mice could irradicate owls and other predators just by one of them developing a cure! We have directly impacted our own evolution.

 

Yes, and just think of what the future would hold for field mice if they found a way to destroy their predators, effectively controlling a very large part of their environment...? How many generations would it be, before their size dramatically increased? (physically, not numerically) How many generations would it be before the prey instincts started to deteriorate... no longer having to fear for their lives constantly

 

 

 

 

I know the whole "Natural/Artifical" wording is throwing every one off... and totally fucking up what i had intended... damn arm chair philosiphers! (if you can think up better terminology, then please by all means >.> )

 

 

I think ill leave a re-worded version of a previous question i possed, in closing.

 

Diamonds are a naturally occuring object in nature.

Humans posses the ability to create diamonds in the exact same fashion as those plucked from the earth... yet at a faster rate.

There is NO difference in either diamonds structural make-up

The Diamonds of the earth would indeed be natural diamonds...

Now i pose to you, what is the diamonds that the humans create? Natural? or Artifical?

(and there in which you will find the meaning to my terminology)

What Would Kharn Do?


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Quote:Evolution relies on a

Quote:
Evolution relies on a 'surivial of the fittest' environment.

Careful with this.  This is not the primary principle of evolution.  Evolution is a system within which the best reproducing individuals pass their genes on.  It's survival of the best reproducing genes, independent of the longevity or hardiness of the creatures the genes built.

Quote:
We have averted that environment.

But, we have not done anything to change the basic principle: Those genes that reproduce best reproduce best.  You know how everyone always says that stupid people breed a lot more than smart people?  That's because intellectual fitness doesn't matter to genes.  Reproduction does.

You need to divorce yourself from this survival of the fittest thing.  It's a red herring, and represents an ignorant belief from almost a century ago.

Quote:
We cradle the sick, diseased, and otherwise dying long enough that they can reproduce. In no way are the weaker humans killed off, except in extreme cases.

Yes.  The genes are getting themselves reproduced.  How are they doing this?  By instilling in humans an instinct to protect the weak members of their group!  The genes don't care about whether you're sick.  (They don't care about anything, but it's a good way to illustrate the point.)  The genes care about whether you reproduce.  Past that point, they could give a fuck about life expectancy.

You're looking at it ass-backwards.  Our current society is a triumph of natural selection!  The fact that our sick don't die off means that we are incredibly successful.  If you could take a poll, 99.9% of genes would be in favor of instilling the exact same feature in their particular species.  Again, natural selection doesn't want only the fittest to survive.  Every single gene wants to survive.  Humans are a triumph precisely because we have circumvented virtually all predators, and have become smart enough to keep ourselves alive through diseases.

Quote:
The only predator we have is really viruses/diseases, and we have vaccinated tons of them out.

Ask any microbiologist.  We've achieved a temporary truce.  The bugs will always win in the end.  Also, remember that it's not a bug's intention to kill us too quickly.  Parasites don't do very well with dead hosts.  We haven't defeated viruses and disease.  There are still thousands that afflict us.  Parasitism is, and has always been, one of the two biggest driving forces in natural selection.  It's poetic to imagine that our victory over smallpox is a victory over disease, but the fact is, the war is still ongoing, and on a genetic level, disease resistance is still one of the major driving forces in our evolution.

Quote:
Compare our life expectancy to any other animal... We have developed a different plain of evolution which doesn't target the individual. For example, one scientist creates a vaccination for polio, and it eventually vanishes as a predator.

Remember two things:  Our life expectancy is irrelevant past menopause, and predation is not the biggest force in natural selection.  Intraspecies competition and sexual selection are the two biggest forces.

Quote:
Imagine if field mice could irradicate owls and other predators just by one of them developing a cure! We have directly impacted our own evolution.

Again, humans have not eradicated microorganisms as parasites (not predators!  They're two different things!).  Also, consider that the field mice that are alive today all came from field mice that successfully avoided owls long enough to reproduce.  They're very good at hiding and being really, really quiet.  These, like vaccines, are adaptive mechanisms that help a species survive a selection pressure.

Quote:
Not to mention, if one of us had a weird mutation that provided an advantage in life... is there any reason to believe they would breed more than the rest of us?

No, but you'd be shocked at how likely it is that any of their offspring carrying the same mutation would quickly spread that gene through the pool, regardless of whether it started with one or ten children.  Believe it or not, it hardly matters whether a mutation begins spreading from one or two or ten individuals.

Quote:
Watch the movie 'Idiocracy' to get my point... idiots, trailer trash, whores, etc. will breed just as much as the smart and strong, if not more

I've addressed this.  Stop thinking that evolution is about the species.  It's about the genes.  Stupid people breed very effectively.  Natural selection favors them.  Evolution does not care if humans get "better" by human standards.  It doesn't matter at all.

 

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Quote:Ask any

Quote:
Ask any microbiologist.  We've achieved a temporary truce.  The bugs will always win in the end.

Ask anyone in the field of nano-machining and robotics. They'll laugh with this perception all the way to the bank.

Our 'temporary truce' has purchased us more than enough time to do what we do best - escalate our resources. Our machines have proven themselves dauntless assets in combatting just about anything, and I doubt microbes will prove the exception. Proteins can develop immunity to antibiotics and outfox our immune system - but laser-equipped microscopic robots should prove to be a dauntless adversary.

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

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Kevin R Brown wrote:but

Kevin R Brown wrote:

but laser-equipped microscopic robots should prove to be a dauntless adversary.

... against zombies.

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Hambydammit wrote:Ask any

Hambydammit wrote:

Ask any microbiologist.  We've achieved a temporary truce.  The bugs will always win in the end.  Also, remember that it's not a bug's intention to kill us too quickly.  Parasites don't do very well with dead hosts.  We haven't defeated viruses and disease.  There are still thousands that afflict us.  Parasitism is, and has always been, one of the two biggest driving forces in natural selection.

This is awesome: Paul Ewald: Can we domesticate germs?

Hambydammit wrote:
It's poetic to imagine that our victory over smallpox is a victory over disease, but the fact is, the war is still ongoing

Didn't smallpox take 20% of the population in the states? I'd say that's a victory for germs. If that were to happen now, that would be what, 60 million people? It was 20 million then.

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It's unatural

A beaver dam is natural. The beaver alters its environment to suit it's purposes.

Hoover Dam is 'unatural'.

A termite mound, covering 100's of cubic feet of gound, is equivolent in scale to a metropolitan city.

A human city is unatural.

Several species of ants wage organized war, farm, herd other animal species and in some cases, keep slaves.

All of these practices in humans are considered unatural.

The point is, the only thing artificial about human endevors is the demarcation between us and the rest of the animal kingdoms. A kind of wide eyed politically correct wrong headed thinking that disparages man and his creations.

We are human. We are part of the natural world. Every thing we do, right wrong or indifferent is therefore 'natural'

[/rant]

 

LC >;-}>

 

 

 

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./sigh.... ARTIFICIAL! not

./sigh....

 

ARTIFICIAL! not unnatural

 

2 totally different ideas >.<


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Well, there isn't a distinct

Well, there isn't a distinct difference from where I'm looking.  What do you mean by artificial?  Not the genuine article?  Well, that very simply cannot apply to evolution.  What would the genuine article be in that case?  What can a human do that  shouldn't be done to affect our own evolution?  Isn't the very point of evolution that humans have the ability now to 'guide' our evolution even in 'artificial' ways (that barely even makes sense!)?  Is that not the penultimate of evolution, is not the prime purpose to continue to pass on the genes, as many genes as possible?  Are humans not expert at this?

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


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hmmm

Hambydammit wrote:

Stop thinking that evolution is about the species.  It's about the genes.  Stupid people breed very effectively.  Natural selection favors them.  Evolution does not care if humans get "better" by human standards.  It doesn't matter at all.

You bring up many good points, and I suppos it does deal more with the genes and survival for reproduction...

However, as humans, we don't deal with the dog eat dog lifestyle like most animals do... We are almost the top of the food chain, and agreeably a success of evolution. But I think your statements discount too much the environment that most animals live in where reproduction can rely very much on survival, which is what helps develop eyes and other tools to help survival. There is a definate link here, and while the genes don't care, they rely on survival like the passengers rely on a bus driver, they aren't going anywhere without it!

Perhaps once a species evolves to a point where there isn't much to worry about, such as humans... survival isn't as big of a factor.

 

And I want to make clear that I understand what you are saying that reproduction doesn't care, it just wants to reproduce, that makes sense, but we have a definate correlation to survival as proven by the process by which we gained our advantages over other beings.

I would agree that today, we are not completely free of evolution, but we have morphed what counts towards it quite a bit...


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Quote:However, as humans, we

Quote:
However, as humans, we don't deal with the dog eat dog lifestyle like most animals do... We are almost the top of the food chain, and agreeably a success of evolution.

You're doing it again.

Say this a hundred times aloud:  "Evolution is driven by intraspecies competition much more than predation."

(I'll wait...)

Ok.  We are not the only tops of food chains.  Sharks are the top of their food chain.  Lions, tigers and bears...  Yes, they have humans to worry about, but for crying out loud!  Humans have humans to worry about.  Just because we stopped evolving from predation pressure, it doesn't mean we stopped evolving.

Quote:
I would agree that today, we are not completely free of evolution, but we have morphed what counts towards it quite a bit...

We're actually evolving quite fast.  In only a couple hundred years, our size has increased a LOT.  We have new adaptations for dealing with lactose.  We're in a constant evolutionary battle with microorganisms.  Watch a football game from the 1950s sometime, and see if we aren't evolving really fast.

Quote:
And I want to make clear that I understand what you are saying that reproduction doesn't care, it just wants to reproduce, that makes sense, but we have a definate correlation to survival as proven by the process by which we gained our advantages over other beings.

Survival is important, of course.  It's fundamental.  If you don't live, you can't reproduce.  However, you've got to get rid of this notion that evolution slows or stops as predation pressure diminishes.  Most selection events are not related to predation.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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nigelTheBold wrote:There are

nigelTheBold wrote:

There are several possible discussions: the nature of evolution, the evolutionary effect of humanity's ability to affect (I hesitate to say "control&quotEye-wink our environment, the linguistic distinction between "artificial" and "natural," whether or not man is somehow outside of nature, and perhaps even how wonderful a grilling steak smells.

Mmm. Steak.

Seems like once that humans will decide everything that lives, dies and survives. The only point of evolution, life and the rest of the animal and plant kingdoms will be to keep us human satisfied and high all the time. Is this a good thing or are we just a cancer on this planet?

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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and soon... an

and soon...

 

an inter-stellar cancer! muahahaha


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If I walked into a lab

If I walked into a lab tomorrow, and they were able to somehow download the memory/personality contents of my brain into a PC, that'd be it, wouldn't it? No more genes.

I still insist that this whole line of reasoning that we're 'forever tied' to the whims of our genes is stupid. Our machines, IMHO, are a path that leads entirely away from them.

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"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
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The question evolution tries

The question evolution tries to answer is "what influences the way a species will look in the future?" For the entire history of the earth until now, natural selection was the answer to that question. It might still be the most important answer, for instance, if the theists keep reproducing at such a disproportionate rate, we atheists may be bred out of the gene pool (but hopefully not the meme pool, heh).

But it may be that technology will now play a bigger role in the way our species looks down the road than any of the so-called "natural" evolutionary drivers. What if we start making designer babies? What if medicine causes us to live very long lives free of disease? What if robotics gets a lot better and we start turning into cyborgs? Evolution will still happen, but it may be our choices driving it!

Psychology-driven evolution...weird.

 

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Hmm....I think my husband

Hmm....I think my husband would argue that nothing humans do is artificial, because humans are just part of Nature too, so everything we do is just part of Nature. I was actually just asking about that concept in another thread:

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/13950

 

 

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Congratulations on being one

Congratulations Tilberian on being one of a few people to actually understand the concept... despite my severe butchering of language

What Would Kharn Do?


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The only reasonable answer

The only reasonable answer to the thread question is natural or both, depending merely on semantics.

Like others have pointed out, we are natural and a product of selection, hence anything we do cannot be considered anything but natural. YES, we have the power to effect changes that will alter evolutionary paths - but we ALWAYS did, we just have MORE power now. Animal husbandry isn't quite the same as genetic engineering, but the basic principle is the same and we've been doing the former for thousands of years. I'll never be comfortable tacking the label "artificial" on anything humans do.

It's only going to get "artificial" when we have a true evolving AI, and even in such a case, it could be argued that this is simply natural as well, as humans would likely have been the developers of such.

Personally, I dislike the term "artificial" in general. Call it "man-made" if you must, but nothing we make is "artificial" to the extent that it is not natural - certainly nothing we can make defies known laws of physics or is supernatural. I know you are using the word to distinguish things like trees from microchips, but on a board where theology is involved, it can confuse things, but artificial vs natural is the working of a false dichotomy - they are not mutually exclusive terms.

Forgive me for being a bit pedantic, but on a board geared toward discussing such things as deities we should choose our words more carefully.

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Quote:Personally, I dislike

Quote:
Personally, I dislike the term "artificial" in general. Call it "man-made" if you must, but nothing we make is "artificial" to the extent that it is not natural

ar·ti·fi·cial

-noun

1. made by human skill; produced by humans (opposed to natural): artificial flowers.

(source: Dictionary.com Unabridged, v 1.1)ctionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)

'Man-made' and 'artificial' are synonymous. If it can only be created through complex human manufacturing techniques, it's artificial. You dislike the term, apparently, because you don't understand it.

 

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"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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Quote:'Man-made' and

Quote:
'Man-made' and 'artificial' are synonymous. If it can only be created through complex human manufacturing techniques, it's artificial. You dislike the term, apparently, because you don't understand it.

Ok.  Did humans make natural selection?  Are we subject to natural selection?

If no and yes, then human selection is not artificial.  Kevin, I get your point that it's contextually ok to use the word artificial as contrasted with unaware selection.  Humans know where babies come from, so we can influence what kind of babies we will make.  We can even make test tube babies and clones.

I also get Yellow's point that theists (and atheists!) misconstrue the words unnatural and artificial very often.  We do need to be very careful, especially if we're trying to promote a naturalist worldview. 

Kevin, until and unless humans as a species become something other than entirely organic DNA machines, we are unavoidably subject to natural selection, and the best we can do is nudge it in a particular direction.  If we become cyborgs, then you can say that without human skills, we could not exist, and it would be semantically correct to say that we're artificially evolved.

 

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We all know prosthetic limbs

We all know prosthetic limbs are natural!

After all, their made of 100% all natural materials and are modelled after their natural counter parts

To think that an artifical limb is anything but natural is just poor comprehension of the natural world and basic logic...

 

/major sarcasm

 

/facepalm

 

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"Pecock-o-ficial" anyone?

Well first off.. what the hell do they mean by "artificial"?  I am really starting to develop an nervous eye twitch every time someone utters the word "Artificial" or "Unnatural".  Humans are not beyond nature, if we are than I would love for someone to show that.  We are just as much a product of evolution as any other creature.  Humans took a social path, learned to augment themselves, and yes our social natures have resulted in significant influence as to what we look like today.  If people like using silly words to separate 'man-made' from everything else then that's just dandy, but it's ultimately a moot point and a sad continuation of this... ironically worded... artificial wall between humans and the rest of the animal kingdom.

 

To further nail my point into the ground, the Peacock female is responsible for the evolution of the males tail feathers, and that's apart of nature.  I guess we should call it "Pecock-o-ficial"

Of course, instead of Artificial, we could just say "Anthro-ficial", meh.

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nah, its only

nah, its only pecock-o-ficial if they developed neon lights and spinners for their plumage


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The Doomed Soul wrote:nah,

The Doomed Soul wrote:

nah, its only pecock-o-ficial if they developed neon lights and spinners for their plumage

 

Heh, gawdy manufactured prettyness aside, the female still shaped the look of that tail though "peacock selection".  Humans may have more phycological layers staked on to their rationale, but the process is still the same.  I'm still waiting for that magical ingredient X that makes human selection any different .  Doomed soul, don't tell me you believe in mystical ghosts Sticking out tongue

 

Or maybe you do

 

>.>

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Quote:I'm still waiting for

Quote:
I'm still waiting for that magical ingredient X that makes human selection any different .

Penis extensions?

 

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Kevin R Brown

Kevin R Brown wrote:

Quote:
Ask any microbiologist.  We've achieved a temporary truce.  The bugs will always win in the end.

Ask anyone in the field of nano-machining and robotics. They'll laugh with this perception all the way to the bank.

Our 'temporary truce' has purchased us more than enough time to do what we do best - escalate our resources. Our machines have proven themselves dauntless assets in combatting just about anything, and I doubt microbes will prove the exception. Proteins can develop immunity to antibiotics and outfox our immune system - but laser-equipped microscopic robots should prove to be a dauntless adversary.

 

*puts a pinkie to the edge of her mouth* All I want is some freekin' nanobots with freekin' little lazers on their freekin' heads.

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JanCham wrote: Humans may

JanCham wrote:

 Humans may have more phycological layers staked on to their rationale, but the process is still the same.  I'm still waiting for that magical ingredient X that makes human selection any different . 

The ingredient is TECHNOLOGY which is obviously magical to lesser beings

 

JanCham wrote:

Doomed soul, don't tell me you believe in mystical ghosts Sticking out tongue

Or maybe you do

>.>

I dont, as much as i wish undead beings of any type exist... they dont

(i dont care if you mock me, i rather enjoy it, just dont ever allude to me being a creationist -_- )

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Louis_Cypher wrote:A beaver

Louis_Cypher wrote:

A beaver dam is natural. The beaver alters its environment to suit it's purposes.

Hoover Dam is 'unatural'.

A termite mound, covering 100's of cubic feet of gound, is equivolent in scale to a metropolitan city.

A human city is unatural.

Several species of ants wage organized war, farm, herd other animal species and in some cases, keep slaves.

All of these practices in humans are considered unatural.

The point is, the only thing artificial about human endevors is the demarcation between us and the rest of the animal kingdoms. A kind of wide eyed politically correct wrong headed thinking that disparages man and his creations.

We are human. We are part of the natural world. Every thing we do, right wrong or indifferent is therefore 'natural'

[/rant]

 

I love not being alone in this, in fact I've read several posts like this... *sighs* I just wish I could take most of this community and build a town, or at least replace my Chakra Balencing catholic co-workers.  (And if I have to hear another farkin lecture on "The evils of the unnatural" I'll vomit)

 

LC >;-}>

 

 

 

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The Doomed Soul

The Doomed Soul wrote:

./sigh....

 

ARTIFICIAL! not unnatural

 

2 totally different ideas >.<

So... your point is that most of human evolution occours within the species?  I can understand that point pretty well, but we'll never be truly free from good ol' natural selection.  Humans have leaned a lot of tricks, but all of them are in responsse to the greater stage, the enviroments we live in.

But you have to love us bald apes.

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JanCham wrote: Humans have

JanCham wrote:

 Humans have leaned a lot of tricks, but all of them are in responsse to the greater stage, the enviroments we live in.

 

Tell me Jan... what happens when Humans dictate every aspect of their enviroments for several millenia? (more and more so with every century)

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Quote:what happens when

Quote:
what happens when Humans dictate every aspect of their enviroments for several millenia?

I'm curious to know if the folks in Indonesia knew that they had complete control over their environment when they died in a tsunami.  Why don't all those people in Africa just exercise their control over AIDS and stop dying of it?

Do the desert nomads in the Kalahari know that they don't need to eat camel testicles?

 

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Hambydammit wrote:I'm

Hambydammit wrote:

I'm curious to know if the folks in Indonesia knew that they had complete control over their environment when they died in a tsunami. 

Not living there would have worked >.> hehe

Hambydammit wrote:

Why don't all those people in Africa just exercise their control over AIDS and stop dying of it?

Not touching that with a 10ft pole

Hambydammit wrote:

Do the desert nomads in the Kalahari know that they don't need to eat camel testicles?

Sure they "know" they just make excuses because they like the taste

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Hambydammit wrote:Quote:what

Hambydammit wrote:

Quote:
what happens when Humans dictate every aspect of their enviroments for several millenia?

I'm curious to know if the folks in Indonesia knew that they had complete control over their environment when they died in a tsunami.  Why don't all those people in Africa just exercise their control over AIDS and stop dying of it?

Do the desert nomads in the Kalahari know that they don't need to eat camel testicles?

 

The Doomed Soul, please make the rain stop.  It's ruing my day and I'm not human enough to stop it.

Brutally pointing out the obvious.  Point to Hambydammit. 

 

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


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carry a fuckin umbrella?

carry a fuckin umbrella? boom! a degree of control

 

(obviously we know by now that i did exaggerate >.> )

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An how come Hamby gets a

An how come Hamby gets a point because i asked a theoretical question? ;-p


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The thing that has really

The thing that has really aggravated me lately is this notion that natural selection is  a simple process of species vs. environment or sexual competition, or developing immunity.

In reality, it's a very complex and intricate system, and any control that humans exert over it is minimal.  If we figure out how to select for, say, blue eyes and blonde hair, that's fine, but supposing that we could somehow genetically control 100% of the reproduction in a single human generation.  The next generation, we'd have 6 billion genomes that had all been effected by mutation and recombination.

Beyond that, we haven't even begun to answer the question, "How much of our behavior is instinctual?"  We believe ourselves to be above evolution, but the more we learn from evolutionary psychology, the more we realize that behaviorism is probably not as ludicrous as psychologists have historically made it out to be.

Separating the human mind from evolution is silly.  The mind is an evolved organ.  Our behaviors are possible because our mind evolved the way it did.  Our progress in genetics is impressive, but to say we have anything near complete control is insane.  To suggest that we are no longer competing against other humans, parasites, and our environment is silly.

If you ask me, people attempting to separate us from animals are falling prey to the same meme that makes people religious... we're special and different.

 

 

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Hambydammit wrote:To suggest

Hambydammit wrote:

To suggest that we are no longer competing against other humans, parasites, and our environment is silly.

Just for the record

no longer competing against other humans

--Didnt say it

parasites,

--Didnt say it

and our environment

--GUILTY

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I was saying that anyone

I was saying that anyone trying to exclude any one of those factors was being silly.  You only had to say one out of three for me to get my point.

You forgot to read the super secret ninja disclaimer kit, which explicitly says that rhetorical questions are not exempt from Speed Round Points.

 

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On one level we are no

On one level we are no different from animal, yes. We are actually animals with bodies and brains that evolved in much the same way as any other creature on earth.

But I think it is a mistake to overlook the important way in which we are different, which is germane to this thread. As far as we know, no other animal has ever evolved on this planet that has anything like our intelligence and ability to create technology. I think it is fair to ask, in light of this unprecedented development in the history of our planet, whether other unprecedented things, like the end of natural selection as a driver for evolution, might be upon us.

Evolution in humans has already changed out of all recognition compared to the way it works in every other species. Our technology allows us to keep individuals alive that would never survive to adulthood without it. Moreover, we are able to do this on a massive scale, perpetuating whole gene lines that likely would have been wiped out long ago without the use of technology (ie artificial). That is the huge difference between our evolution and the evolution of other species: the characteristics of other species are defined solely by their DNA, and changes to the species occurs only through selection of one gene line or another. Our intelligence has allowed us to decouple evolution from this process and introduce a number of other factors that are not connected to the individual's genetic characteristics and their impact on his ability to survive and mate.

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Hambydammit wrote:You forgot

Hambydammit wrote:

You forgot to read the super secret ninja disclaimer kit, which explicitly says that rhetorical questions are not exempt from Speed Round Points.

Its a pity that i asked a theoretical question, i hearby demand the judge to allot me the misappropriated point

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No more evolution

Tilberian wrote:

On one level we are no different from animal, yes. We are actually animals with bodies and brains that evolved in much the same way as any other creature on earth.

But I think it is a mistake to overlook the important way in which we are different, which is germane to this thread. As far as we know, no other animal has ever evolved on this planet that has anything like our intelligence and ability to create technology. I think it is fair to ask, in light of this unprecedented development in the history of our planet, whether other unprecedented things, like the end of natural selection as a driver for evolution, might be upon us.

Evolution in humans has already changed out of all recognition compared to the way it works in every other species. Our technology allows us to keep individuals alive that would never survive to adulthood without it. Moreover, we are able to do this on a massive scale, perpetuating whole gene lines that likely would have been wiped out long ago without the use of technology (ie artificial). That is the huge difference between our evolution and the evolution of other species: the characteristics of other species are defined solely by their DNA, and changes to the species occurs only through selection of one gene line or another. Our intelligence has allowed us to decouple evolution from this process and introduce a number of other factors that are not connected to the individual's genetic characteristics and their impact on his ability to survive and mate.

Exactly. We are the same as animals (we are animals) and evolution works the same for us. For evolution to occur you need selection (natural or not) that affects the passing of genes by either stopping or decreasing the genes from being inherited or in some cases increasing the spread of genes to out compete others. Through our humane intervention we are interfering with this process, especially as more of the world becomes "developed". Our evolution is slowing or stopped, especially in the developed countries.

Increase in size etc is due to variability in our genes. Our genes for growth have had to combat poor nutrition throughout our evolution and now that hinderence is being removed. Nutrition coupled with our varied gene structure is responsible for increased growth (I haven't researched this for evidence, but it often seems that very tall people start having more back problems and the like as we were not meant to be so tall. and yes... I am short ).

As we now have no selection pressure we will see a continuing diversification of humanity (obviously the mixing of many genes from across the world will help this too). Even sexual selection will not help as there are many different preferences and subcultures within each society. Just look at some of the freeks with kids next time you go out!

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