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#1
Natural Selection- n. The process in nature by which, according to Darwin's theory of evolution, only the organisms best adapted to their environment tend to survive and transmit their genetic characteristics in increasing numbers to succeeding generations while those less adapted tend to be eliminated.

Have we, as humans, eliminated natural selection because of our ability to create solutions for the problems of our environment?

I'm not talking about small things, like hair and eye color, but things that would drastically change the way we live on a daily basis. In evolution, the species best adapted to a certain environment will have more offspring than a species that is lesser adapted to said environment.

Because of our intelligence and craftsmanship, humans can adapt to almost any type of environment here on Earth. Does this mean that we do not have to kill each other off to survive?

But what about wars? Would this be equivalent to "lesser" animal species fighting for survival?

Just a thought, and some questions that I thought would make for an interesting discussion.
#2
Yes.
Medical science alone has destroyed the idea of natural selection. In the "perfect" world of NS, illness and injury kills off those too weak to survive, we've fixed that. We can cure and heal. I wouldn't say wars are a good indication of natural selection at work since plenty of animals fight each other, and survive as a species. If anything, arming ourselves is probably a good indication of "evolution" as a group. We find where we're weak and we improve.

I'm not gonna rant and rave, but that's my short opinion. I could go into detail, but not for a first post.

edit: I should also point out that to say human's "adapt ourselves to suit environments" is wrong. In the majority of cases, we adapt the environment. We build walls, skyscrapers, mini-malls, whatever we think we need to keep society running, and who gives a fuck if some trees and possums have to die.
Last edited by Magero at Dec 2, 2009,
#3
Quote by The Kreator
Have we "defeated" natural selection?
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#5
No.

Quote by Magero
Yes.
Medical science alone has destroyed the idea of natural selection. In the "perfect" world of NS, illness and injury kills off those too weak to survive, we've fixed that. We can cure and heal. I wouldn't say wars are a good indication of natural selection at work since plenty of animals fight each other, and survive as a species. If anything, arming ourselves is probably a good indication of "evolution" as a group. We find where we're weak and we improve.

I'm not gonna rant and rave, but that's my short opinion. I could go into detail, but not for a first post.

That's pretty weird, because last time I checked people still died from diseases and injuries.
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#6
no, not by a long shot. do you realize most of the world still uses shamens?

TS ur thinking of industrialized nations. 1/3 of all people have never used a telephone. i dont think those people have access to proper medical care/ have advanced technology that bypass natural selection.
#8
there is a medicine for every type of thing these days and we will probably be able to create humans as we want within the next 50 years so probably
#10
No because we still have to adapt to our environment, just in a different way. Those who are best adapted still pass on their genes.
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#11
Quote by Kensai
No.


That's pretty weird, because last time I checked people still died from diseases and injuries.

Definately, but for example, most of my family has diabetes and/or eye conditions. In the natural selection's perfect world, we would have died off and prevented from spreading our genes, but thanks to medical science, we're still here, breeding and continuing.

And because some people obviously missed it
Quote by Magero

edit: I should also point out that to say human's "adapt ourselves to suit environments" is wrong. In the majority of cases, we adapt the environment. We build walls, skyscrapers, mini-malls, whatever we think we need to keep society running, and who gives a fuck if some trees and possums have to die.
Last edited by Magero at Dec 2, 2009,
#12
i'd say yes for humans. in the world of natural selection people with physical or mental disabilities would almost certainly not survive, but today they are able to live (usually) just as long as anyone else. also, a quick look at the comments section of any youtube video will show you that crippling stupidity is quite rampant, yet they are still alive. defeating nature ftw.
#13
Quote by Magero
Definately, but for example, most of my family has diabetes and/or eye conditions. In the natural selection's perfect world, we would have died off and prevented from spreading our genes, but thanks to medical science, we're still here, breeding and continuing.

Which just means that we have affected our environment. Animals also do this, just to a lesser extent. However our environment still affects us. If your family had cancer it would be a different situation. That would be natural selection acting.
"Why should we subsidise intellectual curiosity?"
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#14
Quote by Magero
Definately, but for example, most of my family has diabetes and/or eye conditions. In the natural selection's perfect world, we would have died off and prevented from spreading our genes, but thanks to medical science, we're still here, breeding and continuing.


Well, while alot of "malfunctions" in the human body can be treated for an individual and carried onto new generations there's still alot of things left, and new diseases and disorders we can't fix still pop up effectively killing the individuals too weak to survive. Or damaging them so they can't reproduce.
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#15
Quote by TSmitty6
no, not by a long shot. do you realize most of the world still uses shamens?

TS ur thinking of industrialized nations. 1/3 of all people have never used a telephone. i dont think those people have access to proper medical care/ have advanced technology that bypass natural selection.


That's what I was thinking of, yes, but even in 3rd world countries humans can make coats out of animal fur, or make weapons to suit their environment

The word"environment" in it's non-earthly context includes neighboring tribes or nations.

So wars would be a symbol of natural selection, just on a very large scale. But it won't change the way we look or adapt naturally. That's what I was getting at.
#16
YES
if humans still lived by natural selection then that guy wouldnt be with that girl

we as a species arnt going to get any better if his genes gets added to the gene pool
#17
I'm very afraid that the human race, for now, has indeed beaten natural selection. This is not a good thing.
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#20
Quote by Magero
Yes.
Medical science alone has destroyed the idea of natural selection. In the "perfect" world of NS, illness and injury kills off those too weak to survive, we've fixed that. We can cure and heal. I wouldn't say wars are a good indication of natural selection at work since plenty of animals fight each other, and survive as a species. If anything, arming ourselves is probably a good indication of "evolution" as a group. We find where we're weak and we improve.

I'm not gonna rant and rave, but that's my short opinion. I could go into detail, but not for a first post.

edit: I should also point out that to say human's "adapt ourselves to suit environments" is wrong. In the majority of cases, we adapt the environment. We build walls, skyscrapers, mini-malls, whatever we think we need to keep society running, and who gives a fuck if some trees and possums have to die.

^ this tho i guess it depends where you live. But if you have internet to read this then yes
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#21
Quote by tidge
there is a medicine for every type of thing these days and we will probably be able to create humans as we want within the next 50 years so probably

Modern science can already map the human genome. Scientists most likely can decipher the genome and build a person from the ground up and make a perfect soldier.
People in industrialized nations have defeated natural selection, since society favors money/power over skill/personality/strength now.
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#22
Quote by The Kreator
That's what I was thinking of, yes, but even in 3rd world countries humans can make coats out of animal fur, or make weapons to suit their environment.


Being smart enough to take care of yourself and family is not 'defeating' natural selection, it is enforcing it. Those people are able to make coats/weapons because it was an ability passed on down the gene pool, not despite of it.
#23
Quote by DIFTWOOD
YES
if humans still lived by natural selection then that guy wouldnt be with that girl

we as a species arnt going to get any better if his genes gets added to the gene pool

How do you know? That man might have a gene which increases his immunity to certain viruses. Or which allows his enzymes to function over a broader spectrum of conditions (gah, couldn't find the words to explain this properly). Just because he's fat doesn't mean he's worthless.

And natural selection will always be present. As someone has already said, science does not nullify natural selection, it just reduces its effects.
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#24
People in central Africa have internet, but won't visit or acknowledge anything that goes beyond their religious beliefs.
#25
you CANNOT defeat natural selection
just alter it
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#26
Quote by HerrMagnum
Being smart enough to take care of yourself and family is not 'defeating' natural selection, it is enforcing it. Those people are able to make coats/weapons because it was an ability passed on down the gene pool, not despite of it.


The ability was taught by their ancestors or a trainer. There is no "weapon-making-ability" gene. There can be a gene for coordination with your hands, though, if that's what you're getting at.
#27
Quote by The Kreator
The ability was taught by their ancestors or a trainer. There is no "weapon-making-ability" gene. There can be a gene for coordination with your hands, though, if that's what you're getting at.


The ability to comprehend what is being taught, and yes have the coordination to do it. You could have the greatest coordination, but if you're as dumb as a brick what good is it?
#28
We'll still be adapting to this environment we've created for ourselves
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#29
Quote by The Kreator
The ability was taught by their ancestors or a trainer. There is no "weapon-making-ability" gene. There can be a gene for coordination with your hands, though, if that's what you're getting at.

There is also a gene for producing the part of the brain that controls functions such as language. This was evolved through natural selection. There is also a brain region for controlling executive functions required for learning and applying new skills, building new information from that old information and then passing that on again. All of this also involved.


Natural selection will apply for as long as we are influenced by our environment and pass on our genes. Whether or not we also influence that environment simply influences the action of natural selection, it does not eliminate it.
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#30
Natural selection will remain relevant for as long as we are mortal, regardless of the environment. We could gradually adept to any environment, given that it doesn't kill us immediately.
At the point where we control all the variables, would natural selection even exist?
"All the variables" is the pivot point to this question of course.
Let's say that we are nigh-immortal, with no natural predators, immunity to all illness, and rapid (instant) rejuvenation. Basically Wolverine stylie.
Only thing that could kill us is other humans.
What then?
#31
Offcourse we have already altered natural selection, scientist can already change your genes or decide not to have a baby if it has bad genes for example.
Yes there are still a lot of diseases and such unknown but doesn't change the fact that we've already altered natural selection.
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#32
No, we are a perfect example of natural selection. By using our intelligence, we can adapt to almost any environment, but how do you think the human race became intelligent?
for example: there's no weapon making gene, and we are not naturally equipped with defences such as claws, shells, horns etc. however, we have got a few advantages over most other animals-
1) we are more intelligent than most animals
2) most other animals do not have opposable thumbs.

our opposable thumbs allow us to grab things, which means it's easier for us to make things.
our intelligence means that we can consider our options, and it also means that we can make our things complex.

we may be big, clumsy and slow in comparison to other animals, but we can make things more complicated than a stone tied to a stick.
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#33
No, we've just changed it. I'm sure there are other factors that prevent some people from reproducing, or kill them early on. They're probably just less useful for survival in the wild.

I don't think defeating natural selection is really that big a problem, since we'll probably invent artificially everything evolution could possibly offer, and far quicker than nature ever could. And, you know, without everyone having to die all over the place for it to work.
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Last edited by whalepudding at Dec 3, 2009,
#34
Quote by mrmystic
Modern science can already map the human genome. Scientists most likely can decipher the genome and build a person from the ground up and make a perfect soldier.
People in industrialized nations have defeated natural selection, since society favors money/power over skill/personality/strength now.


Which is just another form of selection.
#37
Quote by Aidy Damage
It's unnatural selection,


Arguable.
You can say that 'unnatural' selection is a result of the 'natural' evolution of our intelligence and tool use, so it's all natural really. As natural as a chimp using a rock to break open a nut, just more advanced.
#38
No. I think you are looking at it all wrong, the key but there is organisms best adapted to their environment. The only thing thats changed is our environment, now in order to best survive people have to be able to get a good job or earn money or w/e and those are the traits that are selected.
#39
50 years ago, a disease called kuru ran rampant through new guinae killing thousands of people. Scientist recently found that a large portion of the population are now immune to kuru. By no means is natural selection gone. In the western world, we dont tend to have great selection pressures, so natural selection is slower.
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