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A Flaw in the Theory of Natural Selection?

  1. Aug 13, 2003 #1
    The following began on the thread How would you engineer the perfect human?, which I decided to continue on here. I thought it was unusual that everyone was talking about genetically altering human beings, and wondering what if anything it had to do with natural selection? For this would almost seem to be its very antithesis.

    I've also introduced a few chapters of my book which speaks about a timeline of 10,000 years that accounts for the Advent of Modern Man and the development of agriculture in Asia Minor, as well as the development of the differences between the races at this time, suggesting that we might very well be "transplants." Any suggestions? Comments?

    Here are a couple of posts from that thread which kind of get the ball rolling here ....

    EDIT: The Timeline material has been relocated to the following thread, A Spiritual Timeline / The Church of Man.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2003
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  3. Aug 13, 2003 #2
    Another God was also a bit dismayed by my use of numbers here, and even accused me of being a bit off my rocker (to say the least), to which the following applies ...

    If anyone wants to refer to the timeline specifically I would recommend reading the following chapters below or, we can discuss the evolutionary flaw in general if you like? Thanks!

    Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 5
  4. Aug 13, 2003 #3


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    Ok... the weak link in all of this is...

    Now natural selection is about altering the frequency of genes according to local selective pressures. Any selective pressures. For example, the old moth example is that of humans providing the selective pressures.

    The whole concept of natural as distinct from artificial is, in effect, misguided. It's based on the assumption of the specialness of mankind and human influence, which is IMHO... simply wrong.

    It is matter of fact that any human action has reverberations way in excess of the locality where it takes place. The use of a car slightly affects the air content of the earth, and so it can be said that all reactions to atmospheric changes have been influenced by human action. We quickly get to the conclusion that ALL EFFECTS ARE ARTIFICIAL.

    The reality is that we must observe that mankind is part of nature, and that the division between natural and artificial is entirely arbitary. Then we can see guidance of natural selection as continued natural selection - with simply a different selective pressure. There is no difference.
  5. Aug 13, 2003 #4


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    Haven't had time to review that other topic or read your link (sorry), but genetic alterations would probably fall under the topic of "artificial selection" which is another evolutionary mechanism like natural selection (although some people would argue that such uses of technology is "natural" human behavior). So, it doesn't seem to be a flaw of N.S., but instead a different aspect of evolution (which is simply changes in a gene pool from generation to generation). A.S. certainly can be faster acting than N.S. (as evidenced by agriculture and animal domestication). But perhaps you meant more than this?
  6. Aug 13, 2003 #5
    Really? I thought it was a very good point. In fact I thought it was rather obvious. Oh well, silly me.

    Yet it's a pretty broadly based assumption, and I think most people will readily say they feel a "distinct detachment" from nature.

    If it wasn't for the fact that our existence on this planet didn't have such a broad impact on life in general -- to the extent of seizing control and over-riding the diversity -- I would be inclined to agree. While I think it would only be fair to say that life exists because of its diversity, even when looking at the complex diversity that goes into the makeup of the human body ... an eco-system unto itself!

    But who's to say this isn't just another fancy excuse for not taking responsibility for our actions? Maybe we don't want to be bothered because it seems too overwhelming?
  7. Aug 13, 2003 #6

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    NO matter what we say, we are stuck taking consequences for our actions. We can try to delude ourselves as much as we want, but you can't avoid consequences.
  8. Aug 13, 2003 #7


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    Ok, so when humans were using sticks to hunt and living in caves, it was natural?

    Now that we use a rifle, which is made by a man, same kinda man that made the spear, and live in a house, built by a man, generally out of natural materials its artificial?

    I mean, if a dog were to build his own dog house somehow, would it be an artifical dwelling?

    Technology is an accomplishment of a natural being. Burning a coal engine to heat water to turn turbines to generate electricity so we can argue about this is a natural process. It releases chemicals, which may or may not be found naturally in earths enviroment, they are found elsewhere in the universe, almost certainly.

    You say many people feel we are not one with nature. That is because we've been able to use are tool building ability to alter our nature. Is it simply because we use our natural ability to alter our natural habitat what makes it artifical?

    If we take it to the next step, using our technology, a result of our natural ability, to alter our genetics, how is this any less natural, then using that spear to kill a deer? It is simply putting to use a tool we created to improve our life.

    Hopefully, we can start using our tools to improve all life.
  9. Aug 13, 2003 #8
    Of course, but does that mean we shouldn't be required to take corrective action?
  10. Aug 13, 2003 #9
    Or, how far would we go back to construe what being human means? Just like I say in the timeline in my book, it began about 10,000 years ago with Advent of Modern Man and the development of agriculture in Asia Minor. Beyond that -- i.e., the development of civilization -- what other inkling is there to suggest that what came before was truly human?

    No, the key here is are we really natural to the environment? ... If not, then "who" put us here?

    Yes, but what happens when we wipe out all the diversity?

    It sounds to me a bit like playing God which, is supposedly the reason we were kicked out of the Garden of Eden in the first place! :wink:
  11. Aug 13, 2003 #10
    Re: Re: A Flaw in the Theory of Natural Selection?

    Another evolutionary mechanism? What was wrong with the first one? And why is it that we only associate the latter with the Advent of Modern Man? Again, what makes "us" so special?

    And yet I think this could be the problem, because it leaves little time for anything else to adapt, except for as you say, those things we've managed to domesticate. But what of those things which can't be domesticated? What's going to happen there?

    Also, if you read this thing about the timeline, you may wish to consider the possibility that we've only been here as "a species" (if we should call it as such) for about 10,000 years.
  12. Aug 14, 2003 #11

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    You are trying to impose our arbitrary designation of groupings onto nature. Just because we believe we are human, all of us, and nothing else is, doesn't mean that we actually are different to anything. At a deep level, we are all different to everything, including each other, and then on an even deeper lever, we are all identical.

    Groupings of species, genera's, clades etc are simply for our own ease of understanding, and don't need to be directly reflected in nature by solid lines of demarcation.

    Lines simply don't exist in nature. nature appears to work in constant shades of grey.

    The remaining species diversify. The same way it has happened since the begining of life.

    What's the garden of eden?

    Nothing 'wrong' with it, but there is nothing 'right' with it either. As part of nature it is purely objective and uncaring in its ways. At least when we use artificial selection we are taking care of our own interests for once.

    We associate it with "us" because thats who we are. We are so special, because we are us, and we are only concerned with us. There is nothing 'Actually' special about us....but that doesn't mean we can't think of ourselves as special.

    We put them in zoo's or they die.

    Many things will adapt though. A strong selection pressure causes rapid evolution.
    I wouldn't bother considering that, because when ever alteration is only seperated by a nothing of a tiny thing...there is no need to designate the start and the end of a 'species' so specifically.
  13. Aug 14, 2003 #12
    And yet this seems to be something we're very good at doing now isn't it? :wink:

    If it's inevitable, then I suppose that's how it works.

    Let's say it's supposed to represent man's fall from grace (by playing God), by which he becomes subjected to -- and hence "struggles with" -- nature.

    You ever see a mother cat care for its little kittens? Or, a mother duck care for its little ducklings? Whereas with nature, everything seems to be provided with its own "little niche."

    In which case it would seem to suggest that life is special, and maybe we should show a little appreciation for what we've got.

    Sounds a bit reminiscent of Noah don't you think? :wink:

    But why should we allow it to happen if we can forsee it coming? If as you say, it's a relief to be saved from the "pangs of nature," then why should we -- at the same time -- stand by and allow for our devastation?

    Except for the fact that we won't take into account religion which has been with us for 10,000 years.
  14. Aug 14, 2003 #13

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    No, not at all. we are terrible at it. We insist on it, and there are great reasons for that, but we suck at it. We can't agree on the definition of pretty much anything.

    Of course ducks, cats etc care for their little ones. If they didn't, then there wouldn't be any more cats and/or ducks around, and your point couldn't be said.

    How??? Why? Just because we are egocentric: life is special. ? There is no logic in such a connection.

    Of who?

    Because we think we can avoid it/we deny it will ever happen/we are too concerned with the present/we don't want to give up what we can have now in case it 'might' happen....

    Why should we? What makes u think it has been with us for that long? I know cavemen type people buried their dead a lot longer ago than that, with decorations on the dead like some sort of ritual had been carried out. Seems a lot like a religious tradition.
  15. Aug 14, 2003 #14

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  16. Aug 14, 2003 #15


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    Its only an excuse if people use it as an excuse. It doesn't have to nor should it be.

    I don't really have anything else to add except to second what FZ+ said. I agree completely. And I'm sick and tired of the elitist movement toward "natural" stuff such as food.
  17. Aug 14, 2003 #16
    No, I'm just as "addicted" to all this man-made stuff as anyone else. And yet if we continue to stress that this whole current state-of-affairs came about "naturally" -- which is to say there's very little we can do about it, and it's okay to remain complacent -- then at some point we're going to be in for the biggest shock of our lives. Nature did not bring us to our current predicament.
  18. Aug 14, 2003 #17


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    No you misunderstand.

    All our works, they are natural - because we are part of nature. As when a tree uses the "tools" of sunlight and CO2 to make their changes to the world, (and ones that are FAR more significant than anything we have done) the things we do are using our natural capabilities.

    We can't presume arrogantly that we are above nature, and hence need to protect it out of a mere whim. It's not a matter of being nature removing responsibility, but giving us the need to act as almost a case of self-preservation. Nature - the bit of it that is us got us into this position indeed, and that's why we are capable of changing it. Preserving diversity is a thing that ultimately favours us, by saving the flavour that enriches the nature we are apart of.

    To say that we are above nature, is to delude us as to how we are really integral to this world, both in powers and responsibility. It's to pretend that it will all settle itself down, that we can avoid taking choices and actions and "go back to nature". Which is, I need not mention, a bad thing.
  19. Aug 14, 2003 #18
    Have you bothered to read any of my posts, including the last one posted above? ...

    The Church of Man | Timeline Page 1 | Timeline Page 2 | The Rebirth

    EDIT: These posts have been relocated to the following thread, A Spiritual Timeline / The Church of Man.

    No, we aren't above nature, in the sense that we have "fallen to it." And what we need to understand, is that the fight is not against nature, but against ourselves. At which point maybe we can strike an accord with nature, while making certain allowances for it, and stop blaming it for our predicament. Otherwise it will only continue to get worse.

    Even so, the spiritual world does rules over the natural world, and this is what I'm suggesting. Whereas if we don't understand that the mind rules over the rest of body -- "in spirit" -- including the soles of one's feet, then we won't be able to do anything constructively.

    You see if we understood that our stay here is only temporary, that indeed a spiritual reality does exist, then perhaps we would be less inclined to fulfill our every "material whim," and stop ravaging the damn planet!
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2003
  20. Aug 15, 2003 #19
    Grubbing in the Dark?

    Well, I couldn't resist adding this one! :wink:

    From the thread, Skeptics a Dying Breed? ...

    While here I thought the thread below was interesting, because of the general date, 7,500 years ago, which comes very close the date posted on my timeline -- "5143 BC."

    From the thread, Believers in the lost Ark: Guardian, UK ...

    EDIT: The Timeline material has been relocated to the following thread, A Spiritual Timeline / The Church of Man.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2003
  21. Aug 15, 2003 #20


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    Yes, and I am saying you missed the point. We aren't addicted to man-made things just as we aren't addicted to life.

    Still missing point. We aren't above, below, beside, in front or anything. We are a part of nature, and it's up to us to get us the sort of nature we want. The entity, or will of nature is not existent but as the combination of actions of many different lifeforms - not striking a cord with whatever, but recognising what we actually want and noticing that each move we make affects the lot. Nature isn't for "blame" for anything, because it doesn't exist a way that allows it to take blame.

    Gah! You can't make that distinction of the "natural" world! It might be easier just to strike that word from the dictionary. There is NO SUCH (non-arbitary) ENTITY as NATURE. There is NO UNIVERSAL ADJECTIVE called NATURAL. Everything is a set of influences on everything else. It is ALL A BIG SYSTEM!

    (OK, OK I'll stop shouting...) We are not ravaging the damn planet. We are the damn planet, and we are getting in a position where it is bad for us. We can't destroy the earth, or even life. We can destroy ourselves, and it is about keeping the entire system in a position where it will still be some place we want to live.

    We don't own the planet - nobody owns the planet - it's a system we are part of, that can exist in many states, few of which we exist in.
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