Originally posted by adrianxw
>> ... I would not doubt that such worlds exist. By the way, you mean "astronomical" -
Yes, thanks for the correction. I don't know how that one slipped past
>> A little counter argument, surely by "treating" genetic "disorders" we are able to switch it off. Consider any of the "genetic diseases" that are currently being researched to be "cured", just supposing that one of these "diseases" is actually a modification that under cerctain circumstances, would be an advantage?
Very good point! I couldn't agree more. Especially since diseases are indeed an evolution engine like few others. But read on...
>> Maybe that chronic disease gene, in combination with a yet to evolve chance mutation would create a super intelligence, or something else, and by breeding out/genetically manipulating out the disease gene, we miss the step forward.
Well, it's a possibility, no doubt. But there's an huge advantage on "fast" evolution the likes a technological society can achieve. Untill we further develop microbiology and genetics we have little knowledge on the effects and counter-effects of developing a cure for a certain disease. On the other hand, intelligence has proven itself to be quite the contender for top place as the best possible achievement.
It would take millions and millions of years for a dog to double its lifespan. We humans had a 30 year life span a thousand hundred years ago with signs of aging (both physical and mental) starting to show up in the early 20s. I believe that the technological achievements of our society will produce so much more results in so less time that they clearly outweigh the results of natural evolution.
And even if we gain the knowledge that tells us that say flu is slowly giving us resistences against extreme temperatures, our self-preservation instinct will dismiss any possibility of allowing that to naturally happen. We may as well study the virus, kill it, and proceed to artificially use that newly gained knowledge to immediatly produce the end result.