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Human Evolution


JadedAtheist
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Alrighty then, So, I've been reading up on evolution all that jazz and my head is spinning from all the information. I don't even think I understand all of it yet but the general idea of how it works has become more clear (at least I hope I got it right :P ). This has happened mostly because I found out how/why mutations happen and how they pass on to successive generation through various phenomena (natural selection/genetic drift). This was my main "stumbling block" with evolution following my deconversion.

 

Anyways, I'm curious as to the state of affairs in human evolution. Can humanity speed up its evolution and if so would that be ethical? I've also heard people say that due to the progression of society we have pretty much disarmed evolution in humanity, is this true? It seems to me evolution can still go pretty much full steam ahead if I understand it correctly.

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Alrighty then, So, I've been reading up on evolution all that jazz and my head is spinning from all the information. I don't even think I understand all of it yet but the general idea of how it works has become more clear (at least I hope I got it right :P ). This has happened mostly because I found out how/why mutations happen and how they pass on to successive generation through various phenomena (natural selection/genetic drift). This was my main "stumbling block" with evolution following my deconversion.

Cool stuff, isn't it?

 

Anyways, I'm curious as to the state of affairs in human evolution. Can humanity speed up its evolution and if so would that be ethical?

Artificial selection would work on human evolution, but it wouldn't be ethical. Basically, it's synonymous with social darwinism, i.e. select people to interbreed based on their genetic traits.

 

Probably it'll be possible to genetic modification on embryos in the near future. The ethical question isn't solved for that one.

 

I've also heard people say that due to the progression of society we have pretty much disarmed evolution in humanity, is this true? It seems to me evolution can still go pretty much full steam ahead if I understand it correctly.

I would say yes and no.

 

I have to go and do some stuff. Brb...

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Anyways, I'm curious as to the state of affairs in human evolution. Can humanity speed up its evolution and if so would that be ethical? I've also heard people say that due to the progression of society we have pretty much disarmed evolution in humanity, is this true? It seems to me evolution can still go pretty much full steam ahead if I understand it correctly.

Okay. Back. :grin:

 

As you probably know by know, there are four major parts to evolutionary theory: 1) mutations, 2) genetic drift, 3) gene flow, and 4) natural selection.

 

If we look at these components, we can see that mutations still occur. Genetic drift is still happening. Gene flow, most definitely is happening. The only one that is not so significant to our evolutionary process is natural selection. But, if we consider sexual selection, there are still some natural selection occurring. We're overcoming obstacles in the environment and diseases, so in that sense, we're not so much affected by that component.

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Cool stuff, isn't it?

 

 

Definitely. When I was a Christian I was admired by those in my church for my 'knowledge' of evolution. I am so utterly embarrassed now by how little I actually knew. I used arguments like macro vs micro evolution *sigh*. I can understand now why people like Dawkins refuse to debate ID advocates. It'd be synonymous with an atheist debating an FSM advocate.

 

Artificial selection would work on human evolution, but it wouldn't be ethical. Basically, it's synonymous with social darwinism, i.e. select people to interbreed based on their genetic traits.

 

Probably it'll be possible to genetic modification on embryos in the near future. The ethical question isn't solved for that one.

 

 

Of course, the former sounds rather Hitleresque and I definitely wasn't thinking that :P I was thinking of the later. After all, at the rate we're progressing with technology, I'm sure by the end of this century there would be very little we couldn't do to improve humanity's genetic code. Of course, there can be a lot of back and forth as to what constitutes a "good" change.

 

As you probably know by know, there are four major parts to evolutionary theory: 1) mutations, 2) genetic drift, 3) gene flow, and 4) natural selection.

 

If we look at these components, we can see that mutations still occur. Genetic drift is still happening. Gene flow, most definitely is happening. The only one that is not so significant to our evolutionary process is natural selection. But, if we consider sexual selection, there are still some natural selection occurring. We're overcoming obstacles in the environment and diseases, so in that sense, we're not so much affected by that component.

 

Pretty much what I was thinking. I don't see this as to much of an obstacle for human evolution.

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I personally believe that if a person wish to do a genetic modification they should be allowd to do so, given certain regulations. Have to be at least 18yrs old... must be a modifcation from your own cell's structure, no human chimera's.

 

So if a person wanted to be able to purr like a cat...they would have to donate stem cells from their body and have the genes turned on that would allow the proper cells to grow in the larynx. It would not be input a cat's genes into a human...but human genes with the appropriate genes turned on. Thus creating the structure in the throat with human genes to reproduce the sound of a cat's purr.

 

It would be a relam of genetics like lipo and breast augmentation is for surgery.

 

The biggest problems I could see would be things like changing eyes or adding limbs. The brain was not trained in how to "see" or manipulate the new part so there would be a steep learning curve to do it. Just like if we could develop a "human" eye that could see xrays the brain might not be able to process the new data and so it is likly to be ignored.

 

however, if someone wanted to say have a permenant tan, then the skin cells could be altered to where a very Fair complected person could look like they are hispanic by skin tone but they have red hair and green eyes.

 

 

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