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shawnhar
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Reged: 06/25/10

Loc: Knoxville, TN
Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5949290 - 07/01/13 09:09 AM

Quote:

There is no forward or reverse. The only "direction" in evolution is towards adaptation to current conditions. But there's no advance prediction as to what those adaptations will be.

Or whether they will succeed.




Well it seems obvious to me Humans have been evolving in reverse for maybe 100 years now. By this I mean the fact that so many could not survive without machines and medicines created by "modern" culture, yet they continue to add to the gene pool. This weakens us as a species, not being mean here, nature doesn't know what cruel is, we made that up. In reality, the fitest survive and spread genes, but humans have found ways around that...for now.


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llanitedave
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Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? new [Re: shawnhar]
      #5949528 - 07/01/13 11:57 AM

Quote:

Quote:

There is no forward or reverse. The only "direction" in evolution is towards adaptation to current conditions. But there's no advance prediction as to what those adaptations will be.

Or whether they will succeed.




Well it seems obvious to me Humans have been evolving in reverse for maybe 100 years now. By this I mean the fact that so many could not survive without machines and medicines created by "modern" culture, yet they continue to add to the gene pool. This weakens us as a species, not being mean here, nature doesn't know what cruel is, we made that up. In reality, the fitest survive and spread genes, but humans have found ways around that...for now.




I would disagree with this, as it's based on an incorrect view of what "fitness" means. "Fit" only means able to survive and reproduce successfully given an existing environmental context. It does not necessarily mean stronger, faster, smarter, or even more robust immune systems. The fact that "humans have found ways around that", and continue to find ways around all their physical disadvantages, is exactly what makes them "fit".

It may well be that we eventually reproduce ourselves into unfitness when we've depleted all the resources that sustain our society and technology, but that will have little to do with whether we need glasses and iPhones to survive now.


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shawnhar
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Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5949889 - 07/01/13 03:25 PM

Well that's where we differ, I believe the culture of I-phones and planes and grocery stores is a false construct that has separated this culture from the true path of evolution and made us ill prepared to face the adversity nature will surely throw at us.
I can't help but think our dependence on tech is an evolutionary weakness.


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scopethis
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Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? new [Re: shawnhar]
      #5949942 - 07/01/13 03:50 PM

I agree..most humans (not all) in modern societies have lost the ability to survive in the wilderness...

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ColoHank
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Reged: 06/07/07

Loc: western Colorado
Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? new [Re: scopethis]
      #5950112 - 07/01/13 06:11 PM

And sadly, many wilderness areas have lost or are losing their ability to survive the human onslaught.

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llanitedave
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Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? new [Re: ColoHank]
      #5950149 - 07/01/13 06:37 PM

Again, and I can't repeat it often enough, there is no "true path of evolution". The false construct is the idea that there is some manifest destiny, of which "true path of evolution" is one version. All biological entities are ill-prepared for anything nature throws at them that's not part of their adapted landscape. The species that survive adversity the most reliably are the adaptable generalists, and humans are simply among the best at that.

Edited by llanitedave (07/01/13 06:39 PM)


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scopethis
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Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5951448 - 07/02/13 02:38 PM

Humans don't adapt to the environment, they change it to suit their needs...and then ruin it....

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moynihan
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Reged: 07/22/03

Loc: Lake Michigan Watershed
Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5951487 - 07/02/13 03:06 PM

Quote:

Again, and I can't repeat it often enough, there is no "true path of evolution".




Indeed. Natural selection is not teleological. Therefore, it is always doing just "good enough". As the joke goes, if you are reading this, your parents were winners.


Interesting thread.
A few comments.

Bonobo and Common Chimpanzees are equal distant from us, genetically.

Instinct in the modern sense of the word, means in the wetware, rather than learned. Instinct is a "built in" inclination, as opposed to a learned one. Further, in complex creatures, it is not beyond control, but rather an inclination.

The world altruism as used a ways back appears to have been used as a moral term. "Altruism" in science, such as ethology, is not doing something for another of no benefit to self. It is more like the concept of cooperation, and is generally classified in three forms: Kinship, Contingent, and Reciprocal.

African elephants passed the mirror test last year.

Natural selection has not slowed at all at the genetic level in humans in recent times. Actually, it appears to have sped up. Thart would make sense, given the rapid change we are making in our biogeophysical and social environments. Check out the pages on this in the newish book: "Pandora's Seed: The Unforeseen Cost of Civilization."
Since we started doing agriculture, there have been over 300 basic changes now shared by nearly everyone.
The fasted changing one is increasing lactose tolerance in adults. Second biggest change area in current "rapid" mode is the genes associated with melanin/melanocytes/melanogenesis.


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