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A Splinter

  1. Sep 10, 2003 #1
    Well its been almost a year since i last posted, so finally got a laptop so im trying to pick it back up, but first i thought i'd share with you an ideal that has been bugging me recently.

    This starts with me take an earth science class and being bored out of my mind. any way an idle mind is the workshop of the devil and sure enough this thought popped into my head. Is evoulution a good thing?

    Many of you (myself included) would say yes right away but having taken this class i realized a very simple idea. The environment is never a constant it is constantly changing, however if the evironment changes derastically short time. organisms cant adapt fast enough to cope with the change therefore they die out.

    Now evoulution is the process in which an oragnizism becomes better suited to its environment throught the passing on of genes of the course of millions of years

    Now my argument is that as an organism becomes better suited to it's environment the likelyhood of it dieing out becomes more and more, should the environment change.

    Now dont take me for a fool when i say this, but apply this to us given that we as a species have only been around 2 million years we have not evolved too much but in this case there is another varible to factor in, science and human invention. Think about it as are technology grows our dependence on it grow as well. And as is most you don't have to grow your own food or build your own shelter (niether do I)
    Very few of us live in an rural area. We are generally reliant on technology to acheive goals seemingly impossible. What if that were gone? Science could be our undoing.

    As you have read Question shift to, Is Science a good thing?

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 11, 2003 #2

    Is it good?? yes.... Bad?? Yes... Humans have done well up to now but specialization is going to be the down fall. Look at the Cheetah for instance. It is constructed by nature to go after prey that can run quickly. However, once caught it does not have the energy to fend off other predators and henceforth looses it's prize and starves.

    The same can be said for human adaptation. We need to constantly evolve in a way as to cope with climatic change. Maybe even regress a step or two. Science maybe our undoing if we allow ourselves to rely to much upon it. I think we need to retain a few of those " hunter & gather" qualities if the race is to survive. Have make sure there are equal parts in the mix.

    Fred Flinstone
  4. Sep 11, 2003 #3
    Biologists were recently startled
    to find out just how fast evo-
    lution can occur. Interestingly
    enough this lesson came from birds
    on the famous bithplace of evolu-
    tion, the Galapagos.
    Unfortunately I don't remember the
    cause, but some kind of plant with
    seeds was blighted and in one
    generation birds with larger,
    heavier bills began to noticably
    predominate because they were
    able to eat the tougher seeds of
    plants that survived.
    Our dependence on technology is
    neither here nor there when it
    comes to evolution because if some
    part of humanity survives a huge
    chnge in the environment it is
    almost certain they will soon
    become "not us" anymore. They will
    be what they need to be to deal
    with where they live.
  5. Sep 11, 2003 #4


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    Very interesting... There has been much debate about this in the fields of evolutionary biology recently.

    One thing to remember is that while evolution can acheive specialisation, it does not always do so. In fact, we always have concurrent pressures not to settle down to a specific niche, but to expand into new areas - hence what are almost two modes of evolution. So which is better... flexibility, as examplified by mankind, most microbes, rodents etc, or specifics of adaptation? There is much evidence for both.

    I recommend you read Asimov's Caves of Steel, which deals with this in passing. But, in brief, I don't think it is science that is to blame, or even technology, which is the applied use of science. But perhaps due to the trend of mankind, as with many other organisms to expand and increase in complexity, at the cost of redundancy. But I think it implausible to suggest there is really much of an alternative, especially now. The current population, and the current quality of life we have come to expect cannot be supported by a "back to nature" attitude.

    Hmm... maybe shift this to philosophy?
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