Have human beings "broken" evolution?

This is a discussion on Have human beings "broken" evolution? within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; I'm afraid I don't have a lot more to add than the question. With new breakthroughs in medicine coming all ...

  1. #1
    Mayor of Awesometown Govtcheez's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    8,825

    Have human beings "broken" evolution?

    I'm afraid I don't have a lot more to add than the question. With new breakthroughs in medicine coming all the time, we're ensuring that more and more people can and will pass on their genes. This effectively ends natural selection for humans, doesn't it?

  2. #2
    Administrator webmaster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    967
    That may be partially true, and it's probably not a bad thing. Of course, if people continue to choose to have children later and later in life, then there will probably still be some selective pressure against genetic diseases that typically take hold in mid-life until we've fixed those problems. The other thing to keep in mind is that there's more to natural selection than physical health. For instance, mental health or mental ability may be harder for medicine to fix and evolutionary pressures may shift to focusing on those skills. It's even imaginable that a new selective pressure could be the ability to be treated--some people may respond better to a wider range of treatments, and could tend to survive longer or at least survive through childhood to the point where they can pass on their genes.

    Unfortunately, since evolution's effects take place on a relatively long time-scale, we probably won't be around to find out if or how humans continue to evolve.

  3. #3
    Mayor of Awesometown Govtcheez's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    8,825
    > That may be partially true, and it's probably not a bad thing.

    Why? Obviously it's great that medicine has come so far, but why would it be a good thing for the species to stop developing?

    > For instance, mental health or mental ability may be harder for medicine to fix and evolutionary pressures may shift to focusing on those skills.

    I really don't know much about neurology, but I assume that as we learn more and more about the brain, we can start dealing wiith these problems. I see what you mean, though.

    >Unfortunately, since evolution's effects take place on a relatively long time-scale, we probably won't be around to find out if or how humans continue to evolve.

    Speak for yourself - I'm going to be frozen in a lab somewhere

  4. #4
    &TH of undefined behavior Fordy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    5,789
    Perhaps being able to develop methods to lengthen life can be seen as an evolutionary development, just as crocodiles seem to have developed antibodies that can allow them to lose limbs in filthly water without them catching infections and dying.

  5. #5
    Registered /usr
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Newport, South Wales, UK
    Posts
    1,262
    Quote Originally Posted by Govtcheez
    Speak for yourself - I'm going to be frozen in a lab somewhere
    Tell Walt I said "Hi", and that his company hasn't really moved on from where he left it.

    Medicine may well be evolving, but bacteria and virii are too. As they are being destroyed through contact with antibodies, their structure can change over time so they are able to once again attack a previously immune person.

    Okay, we won't ever be as vulnerable as we used to be, but there will always be unlucky people and sociopaths who pump themselves full of antibiotics for a cold and help the problem.

  6. #6
    and the Hat of Clumsiness GanglyLamb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    between photons and phonons
    Posts
    1,109
    Apart from diseases, bacteria etc there are still issues like these.
    Research like this can really extend peoples life, without needing to worry about the fact that we will adapt to the drugs and become resistent in some way.

    But like SMurf said we and our medicines evolve but nature around us evolves as well, its just a matter of trying to be one step ahead of nature.
    And I feel that in that way we "broke" evolution since we/new drugs are the reason new diseases or variants on existing ones come to this world.

    But maybe it was all destined to be like this ... who knows.

  7. #7
    Mayor of Awesometown Govtcheez's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    8,825
    > there are still issues like these.

    I don't think anyone will ever be able to explain why Brits insert random "o"s into words.

  8. #8
    Registered /usr
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Newport, South Wales, UK
    Posts
    1,262
    Hey! It's our language, we invented it, so we have to find some way of making it look French against the way you people have phonetically correct spellings!!!

  9. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Vancouver
    Posts
    2,220
    Natural selection still occurs. Not so much in dying out as in reproduction. You don't see many cripples and retards getting dates.

  10. #10
    S Sang-drax's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Göteborg, Sweden
    Posts
    2,072
    Quote Originally Posted by Govtcheez
    Have human beings "broken" evolution?
    [...] With new breakthroughs in medicine coming all the time, we're ensuring that more and more people can and will pass on their genes. This effectively ends natural selection for humans, doesn't it?
    Yes, it ends natural selection. But this state has only lasted for less than 100 years and only in a small part of the world. If the majority of the world's population becomes as rich as the richer nations and this state lasts for tens of thousands of years, then and only then will humans have broken evolution.
    As it is now, evolution is nowhere near broken.
    Last edited by Sang-drax : Tomorrow at 02:21 AM. Reason: Time travelling

  11. #11
    Magically delicious LuckY's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    856
    It's funny that you mention this, Government, because I've thought about this many times over the years. In fact, last night I was thinking about a related topic. I was watching DiscoveryHD (yes, I had to mention the HD because I just got it and can't stop creaming over it's splendor) and they were talking about how in the last 50 years we've destroyed more forests than we ever have in the rest of recorded history combined. People argue that we humans are destroying nature. I submit to you that everything we humans are doing to the planet and to each other is natural.

    After all, how does one truly define what is natural? I doubt anyone would argue that the lives animals live in any geographical location are not natural because they do anything and everything the extent of their intelligence permits. So when one species of predator begins wiping out a species of it's prey out in the middle of a rainforest, it's simply natural selection taking place. When very early man began figuring out how to make fire and spears to hunt and cook Wooly Mammoths and whatnot that was still natural, right? We even wiped out the species all together, but that was a process of evolution. Now that we have advanced as far as we have, we continue to do everything our intellect permits. Just because we are aware of the effect we're having on the planet and the evolution of all beings, doesn't make it any less natural.

    The point I'm getting at is that evolution is thriving strong and hard. As Darwin stated, "Only the strong survive." "Strong" is a relative term, and we are simply relaxing the restrictions on what defines a living being as strong. Lots of defective people still pass on their genes because they are strong enough by the contemporary definition in our society. Well, at least that's how we think in civilized society; things are much different in lesser developed nations.
    Last edited by LuckY; 08-08-2005 at 09:29 AM.

  12. #12
    Mayor of Awesometown Govtcheez's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    8,825
    > I submit to you that everything we humans are doing to the planet and to each other is natural.

    "Natural" implies there is some order to the way things "should" be, and I think that's a fallacy. There is no "should", things just are.

  13. #13
    Magically delicious LuckY's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    856
    Quote Originally Posted by Govtcheez
    "Natural" implies there is some order to the way things "should" be, and I think that's a fallacy. There is no "should", things just are.
    My sentiments precisely.

  14. #14
    Has a Masters in B.S.
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    2,267
    >
    "Natural" implies there is some order to the way things "should" be, and I think that's a fallacy. There is no "should", things just are.
    <

    dude, wow... somebody who actually believes in "darwinian evolution" without saying there's a right and wrong way for things to go?
    ADVISORY: This users posts are rated CP-MA, for Mature Audiences only.

  15. #15
    Mayor of Awesometown Govtcheez's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    8,825
    This isn't a religious discussion. If you feel like making it one, feel free to make another thread.

    Mods, please close this if it goes too far down the "evolution is a lie/no it isn't" path. I meant this a way to discuss how technology affects natural selection in people, not anything else.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Popular pages Recent additions subscribe to a feed

Similar Threads

  1. Alice....
    By Lurker in forum A Brief History of Cprogramming.com
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 06-20-2005, 02:51 PM
  2. Mouse to have human brain
    By nickname_changed in forum A Brief History of Cprogramming.com
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 03-10-2005, 04:39 PM
  3. Do constructors get inherited?
    By Shadow12345 in forum C++ Programming
    Replies: 28
    Last Post: 08-21-2002, 11:41 AM
  4. middle east again...
    By dbaryl in forum A Brief History of Cprogramming.com
    Replies: 313
    Last Post: 05-26-2002, 03:43 AM

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21