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Is Human Evolution Over?

by middlj
Tags: evolution, natural selection
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mishrashubham
#37
May7-11, 10:38 AM
P: 605
Quote Quote by thorium1010 View Post
I think you kinda proved his point there. i.e. evolution is about an organism ability to reproduce (suffering to the last sentence).
Well not really. It is more of a semantic argument where both understand that evolution is heavily based upon ability to reproduce. However one also includes "reproductive success" when he says "fitness" while the other does not.
Ryan_m_b
#38
May7-11, 10:44 AM
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Indeed but it's not just my definition. The various measures of fitness we use in evolutionary biology include reproductive success
thorium1010
#39
May7-11, 10:46 AM
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Quote Quote by ryan_m_b View Post
Yes but he was suggesting that survival of the fittest had nothing to do with reproduction
In actual fact reproductive success is an inherent facet of fitness
Or that reproduction drives the ability to survive in an environment.ie the traits that makes organism fittest in a given environment is driven by the ability for reproduction.
Ryan_m_b
#40
May7-11, 10:49 AM
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Quote Quote by thorium1010 View Post
Or that reproduction drives the ability to survive in an environment.
How? I'm not sure what you mean, the first point was fairly simple. Reproductive success is a necessary part of how we measure fitness.
mishrashubham
#41
May7-11, 10:49 AM
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Quote Quote by ryan_m_b View Post
Indeed but it's not just my definition. The various measures of fitness we use in evolutionary biology include reproductive success
I understand. I prefer to include reproductive success in fitness as well. In fact that is what Spencer understood when he first coined the phrase "survival of the fittest".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surviva...a_tautology.3F
A lot of controversial matter in here.
Ryan_m_b
#42
May7-11, 10:53 AM
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Quote Quote by mishrashubham View Post
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surviva...a_tautology.3F
A lot of controversial matter in here.
Definitely! I never see why people feel the need to apply principles from biology to how they should approach their morality. Especially when it's grossly misunderstood.
thorium1010
#43
May7-11, 10:54 AM
P: 200
Quote Quote by ryan_m_b View Post
How? I'm not sure what you mean, the first point was fairly simple. Reproductive success is a necessary part of how we measure fitness.
iam simply saying the traits that increase an organism's ability to reproduce, would also make that organism the fittest or increase its chances for living in the environment (survival of fitttest ).
also it could be argued that the individual with the abilty to survive would also give it the ability to reproduce. But thats the whole point the traits wont continue if reproduction is absent. So reproduction is a primary driver of evolution.
mishrashubham
#44
May7-11, 11:00 AM
P: 605
Quote Quote by ryan_m_b View Post
True but now that we have contraceptive it's interesting to think how human evolution works from now on
Yeah, that would be a pretty interesting thing to study about.



*I got involved in a discussion so realised it late.
Ryan_m_b
#45
May7-11, 11:09 AM
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Quote Quote by thorium1010 View Post
iam simply saying the traits that increase an organism's ability to reproduce, would also make that organism the fittest or increase its chances for living in the environment (survival of fitttest ).
also it could be argued that the individual with the abilty to survive would also give it the ability to reproduce. But thats the whole point the traits wont continue if reproduction is absent. So reproduction is a primary driver of evolution.
I agree though I have a slight quibble, reproduction isn't a driver of evolution its a mechanism through which evolution works. Evolution, by definition, being over reproductive generations
thorium1010
#46
May7-11, 11:30 AM
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Quote Quote by ryan_m_b View Post
I agree though I have a slight quibble, reproduction isn't a driver of evolution its a mechanism through which evolution works. Evolution, by definition, being over reproductive generations
Ok so a better thing would be to say is reproduction drives traits that increases the organisms ability to survive in a environment. ( imo thats one of the reasons religion exists )
DanP
#47
May7-11, 12:20 PM
P: 630
Quote Quote by ryan_m_b View Post
. I agree that humans are not born genetically or socially "equal" but It's ridiculous to propose that some people are better.
No. The plain basic truth of life is the some humans are better than others. Smarter. Better looking. More attractive. Healthier. Stronger. Faster. With more endurance. With a better development of the PFC.

Yes, some humans are better than others. Besides, look at what enormity you wrote. You accept that humans are not equal, not born with same genes, nor having access to the same social nurture, but you don't accept that some are better. Embrace the truth my friend, some humans are orders of magnitude better than others :P And yeah, some men will get more women in a year than others in a lifetime.

Quote Quote by ryan_m_b View Post
Some people are more capable of doing things (e.g digest milk, buy a mansion etc) but to suggest that people's career and skill sets are purely determined by biology is nonsense.
If you read my post carefully, you will realize that I didnt said that genes are the only determinant of the behavior. This is something you imagined in your head. You have to start to differentiate between modulation and determination.


Quote Quote by ryan_m_b View Post
You say contradictory things, at first you suggest that it is impossible to learn to do certain things and that you have to be born for it (i.e sniper) yet at the end you admit that " the genes you get will affect your propensity for different behaviors in life, and may limit the performance you are capable to display in certain areas".
The contradictions are only in your head. I never suggest that is impossible to learn some things. I suggested that when you reach elite levels, genetics become important. You are naive if you beleive that a human can do anything he wants to do and raise to any level. Some simply don't have what it takes. Let's face it , we are not living in a world full of elite sprinters, elite scientists and extremely successful businessman which all have incomes of over 7 zeroes / year. The average humans are beings with no particular success in anything, but to bring some food at home. Blank averages. Nobody will remember them for anything but their immediate family.

Genetic propensities are important. Get a lower development of the PFC than your high school playmate, and chances are that you will end lower in the social hierarchy then him. As idiotic as it may seen, development of PFC in childhood are a very good predictor of where you will end on the social ladder.


Quote Quote by ryan_m_b View Post
This is a misunderstanding. Survival of the fittest pertains to an organism(s)'s ability to survive and reproduce in it's environment. An organism that easily survives to die of old age but cannot reproduce is not a fit individual.
No. Take any course in evolution at any university worth its salt and you will be told the same thing as I did told you. Survival of the fittest is a idiotic misnomer. Something for pop science on Discovery and the likes.


Quote Quote by ryan_m_b View Post
There are many things wrong here it's hard to know where to start. The most obvious are the fact that homosexuality exists, sex enhances pair bonding and that there is a wide variety of mate preferences humans have (not everyone wants to be treated nice).
You would think that is wrong, but again, you fail to understand it. First , you can lave homosexuality apart. I was talking about heterosexual relationships. Second, all those things are pretty much statistical significant. This ofc does not exclude the existence of deviant behaviors, such as humans who dont want to be treated nice, or man who prefer to sleep with women overflowing masses of fat.
thorium1010
#48
May7-11, 01:08 PM
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Quote Quote by DanP View Post
but you don't accept that some are better. Embrace the truth my friend, some humans are orders of magnitude better than others :P And yeah, some men will get more women in a year than others in a lifetime.
some men will get more women, but that does not automatically make him a reproductive success. what about polygamous cultures/societies where women are forced into marriage and they have high reproductive rate.

I am talking of reproductive success here, if you are talking about certain personalities or traits then thats fine.
mishrashubham
#49
May7-11, 01:17 PM
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Quote Quote by DanP View Post
No. The plain basic truth of life is the some humans are better than others. Smarter. Better looking. More attractive. Healthier. Stronger. Faster. With more endurance. With a better development of the PFC.
Yes some people are better than others, but only with respect to certain characteristics. You will very rarely find all those qualities in a single man.

Plus there is more to the brain than just the pre-frontal cortex.
DanP
#50
May7-11, 07:25 PM
P: 630
Quote Quote by mishrashubham View Post
Yes some people are better than others, but only with respect to certain characteristics. You will very rarely find all those qualities in a single man.

Plus there is more to the brain than just the pre-frontal cortex.
True. Our social world is a complex one, with many different social hierarchies, and acquiring a high position in one specific hierarchy may require only some qualities. However, make no mistake humans are far from being equal. Some are necessarily better than others. Those climb to the top in their respective hierarchies. Some may go in teaching and end up as high school teachers, while others will end up teaching and doing research at top tier universities. Some will run little business while others will swim with the sharks on Wall Street. Some will raise in sports to state level , while others will excel in international level competition.

We, humans, are not born equal. Nor will those humans benefit from access to same resources during upbringing. Yeah, some are btter than others. Some are orders of magnitudes better of others. Some are shining like stars while others are pretty much natural born loosers.
DanP
#51
May7-11, 07:33 PM
P: 630
Quote Quote by thorium1010 View Post
some men will get more women, but that does not automatically make him a reproductive success. what about polygamous cultures/societies where women are forced into marriage and they have high reproductive rate.
What about that ? I miss your point.Polygyny is a very successful reproductive strategy for male who gets access to those females. Perhaps you want to insinuate that the key to reproductive success is access to no females ?

Second, the prerequisite to reproductive success from the pov of a male is access to as many females as possible, save for specific conditions when monogamy makes sense, for example in situations in which it takes two to raise the offspring.
mishrashubham
#52
May7-11, 11:57 PM
P: 605
Quote Quote by DanP View Post
However, make no mistake humans are far from being equal. Some are necessarily better than others.
You managed to completely miss the point yet again. Here the keyword is better in "certain areas".

Quote Quote by DanP View Post
Those climb to the top in their respective hierarchies. Some may go in teaching and end up as high school teachers, while others will end up teaching and doing research at top tier universities.
A University professor is not more successful than a high school teacher. It depends upon one's passion. Teaching takes talent. And teaching highschool is just as difficult as teaching university students.

Quote Quote by DanP View Post
Some will run little business while others will swim with the sharks on Wall Street. Some will raise in sports to state level , while others will excel in international level competition.
Again there are innumerable factors deciding one's course in life. Who knows? If the small businessman tried his luck in may be arts he might excel. May be he took a wrong decision early in life.

Quote Quote by DanP View Post
We, humans, are not born equal. Nor will those humans benefit from access to same resources during upbringing.
That however is a valid point.

Quote Quote by DanP View Post
Some are shining like stars while others are pretty much natural born loosers.
Again you missed the keyword, 'losers in certain areas.
ViewsofMars
#53
May8-11, 12:49 AM
P: 463
Quote Quote by middlj View Post
Me and a friend were talking in the pub the other day about evolution, and how some people hold the view that, because of modern engineering and medicine, human evolution by the process of natural selection has stopped.

What do you think? Has evolution stopped? If not, how are "good" or "bad" genes selected since it is rare these days for people to die before sexual maturity.
I don't think evolution has stopped. There was a great article by Scientific American back in December of 2007 entitled Culture Speeds Up Human Evolution. You may like to read it and tell me what you think. Here's the link:
http://www.scientificamerican.com/ar...uman-evolution

Quote Quote by ryan_m_b View Post
Perhaps discouraged from reproducing is the wrong approach, I for one would absolutely loath the idea of the government being entrusted with the responsibility of deciding who should and should not have kids.
I agree with you ryan. Ottoline Leyser documented Mothers in Science - 64 Ways to have it all. As a woman in my 50’s, it’s darn amazing what women can do! http://www.york.ac.uk/res/chong/pdfs...k_finalWeb.pdf
Antiphon
#54
May8-11, 02:45 AM
P: 1,781
Like it or not, money is the modern proxy for fitness to survive.

Wealthy people can afford better food, better medicine, and pass all those advantages and more on to their offspring.

If you don't think so, go up against a billionaire in any contest you like and see if money is not a survival advantage.

It's *the* reason sex selection works the way it does. Women are attracted to wealthy men because they and their children will be in a better position to survive.


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