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About Evolution

  1. Dec 17, 2005 #1
    Humans have a big influence on the evolution process of many species. Do you think they should? Is this fair?
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  3. Dec 17, 2005 #2


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    Are you looking for biological answer?

    I have the feeling that the question is more in realm of philosophy and ethics rather biology.
  4. Dec 17, 2005 #3


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    Biologically speaking, most species affect each other's evolutionary course. Animals will evolve features to escape/evade predators, catch prey, compete for sparse food/space etc. What Humans are doing is little different. Survival of the fittest, etc.

    Ethically, its a different matter...
  5. Dec 17, 2005 #4


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    Note: this thread was moved here from the Biology forum.
  6. Dec 17, 2005 #5
    if you are asking if we should or shouldn't impose our existence so dis-respectfully and wantonly, then you will get many varying responses.

    is it fair? no. is it responsible? no. is it short-sighted and ignorant? for sure. is it stupidity? absolutely.
    we screw ourselves up, too. that's what's so absurd about it.
  7. Dec 17, 2005 #6
    I just do not understand the logic of this question. :confused: What you ask is, "is it fair for humans to live the life of Homo sapiens". Humans eat animals, they compete with animals because humans are animals--biologically speaking. All animals (and plants) serve as cause to effect evolution of other forms of life. If we are to discuss what is fair as to human actions, let us ask if mans inhumanity to man is fair.
  8. Dec 18, 2005 #7
    okay thanks for replying everyone... I guess the question is more ethical... In a biological sense, it's all about survival, but its not like humans are only JUST survivng. They are impacting the course of evolution for many species but its not necessary (for pure survival).

    What i'm trying to ask is what everyone thinks about this, is it ok or not?
  9. Dec 20, 2005 #8
    Its impossible not to affect the world around, just as it affects us. There are no ethics to it, it simply is and cannot be avoided. We are part of nature, and it is part of us, so the question is invalid.
  10. Dec 20, 2005 #9
    if humans are "part and parcel" of nature, why do we try to seperate ourselves from it? why do we destroy it? why do we shun it and try to conquer it? is it for our own glorification?

    the question is certainly a valid one.
  11. Dec 20, 2005 #10
    The answer is "religion" that holds that Reality is a transcendential ideal. In history, many peoples had religion based on objective Reality (nature). When one forms a philosophy that says objective Reality does not exist, then by definition nature does not exist, thus let us spit on it.
  12. Dec 20, 2005 #11
    Rational self-interest does not preclude the consideration of our impact upon the environment. Failure to consider whether our actions have a negative impact on our environment can have a negative impact on ourselves as a consequence. In this way nature maintains a balance between our existence and the well-being of the world we live in. It is in our own best interest that we take care of the world in which we live.
  13. Dec 21, 2005 #12
    for sure...
  14. Jan 10, 2006 #13
    In the sense of evolution, our own self interest is irrelevant.

    The recurring mistake in viewing evolution is the concept that there is some goal; that there is something good or bad in it.

    Whether we are here or not, whether any other species is here or not, is a "so what?" proposition.

    The universe got along fine for billions of years before the Sun or the Earth existed. The Earth got along fine for billions of years before there was any life on it. Life on Earth got along fine for millions of years without Homo Sapiens. It's getting along fine now. It will do fine when we are gone. The universe will get along fine after the Sun goes red and consumes the Earth. If the universe eventually disappears, we won't even be a blip in the scheme of things.

    In the meantime, let's try to make things as pleasant as possible. ...but...pleasant for whom? ....
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2006
  15. Nov 18, 2006 #14
    If we are the dominant species why should we care about fairness?
  16. Nov 23, 2006 #15
    In the sense of evolution, everything is irrelevant. Evolution does not care even if life goes on or not. Evolution is not a person, it's just a mechanical process without feeling.

    It is a mistake many people make. Even the name "evolution" is wrong because it implies a goal. There is no evolution, just meaningless change and a lot of suffering in consequence.

    It's worse than that. There is not even anyone around to ask "so what?".

    It's really all for nothing. The best we can do is seek pleasure while we can, and perhaps develop a way to die without enduring too much pain.

    For us! We are the ones for whom things matter. We are the lords of the universe and we can do with it as we please, since nothing matters except for us.
  17. Nov 23, 2006 #16


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    I wouldn't be so fatalistic. Evolution may not care - it isn't a being with thoughts and feelings - but it certainly has a purpose or goal. Adaptation.
  18. Nov 23, 2006 #17


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    That goal is entirely local. Different phenotypes interact and some of them leave more descendents with their genes than others do. This is "winning the hand" but not "winning the deal" let alone the game.
  19. Nov 24, 2006 #18
    If we are a result of evolution, then everything we do is perfectly acceptable since evolution has crafted us the way we are. We hold no responibility for any actions we make like raping, killing, or destroying.

    When we destroy our planet from pollution and wars then evolution have failed us. And will favor other species that survive.

    We also have created a social order to limit our evil side since that has allowed us to reproduce even more.
  20. Nov 24, 2006 #19


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    That makes absolutely no sense, because we are alive, we should rape, kill, and destroy?

    Again you make no sense. If we destroy the environment that currently exists, evolution has not failed. Evolution will continue to rebuild the earth and some old species will adapt, some will fail, and some new ones will arise. Evolution is NOT meant to keep humans alive!
  21. Nov 24, 2006 #20


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    Not at all!
    What it boils down to is that morality is necessarily a HUMAN construct; there aren't any transcendent laws unrooted in the condition of mankind that tells what is right.
    That, as it happens, is up to humans to figure out/negotiate about.
  22. Nov 24, 2006 #21
    I mean evolution have failed us in the sense that it failed to make species that will last indefinetly like ants that have survived for 100 millions years.

    Sure the whole process will continue making other species after we are gone. It doesnt really care about us so why should we care about it. Humans have already proven we can't tend our own planet. Do anything you want.

    Lets go on Safari or buffalo hunting. After all you can be only alive for a few dozen years and still billion years are ahead of earth.

    But then there are human limits we imose on ourselves. Law and order which keeps people in fear of commiting crimes and what not. From time to time such order brakes which results in anarchy or "interregnum" or a period of anarchy until new order is established. It is evident that during such period ordinary people act like animals killing, raping, stealing, etc.
    Even you guys would act like that.

    So in the grand sheme of things who cares that polar ice caps melt because of our pollution. That's evolution. And our case is extreme as life found in radioactive spent tubes from nuclear plants.
  23. Nov 24, 2006 #22
    I wouldnt put it like that, because evolution is only a consequence of the behaviour of living beings. So evolution hasnt failed us, we have (possibly)failed ourselves, and the result is that we wont survive and wont evolve (thereby stopping evolution in our species).

    In light of this, u can also see why this statement makes no sense:

    It would be like a rapist saying that raping is acceptable because his deed crafted him into a rapist.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2006
  24. Sep 24, 2007 #23
    A species that lasts indefinitely would be the failure of evolution, not the other way around. Evolution is the constant change in species, not a means to an end. If change stops, evolution stops.
  25. Sep 26, 2007 #24


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    I think we have to behave ourselves now that we've found out what "super-dee-duper"-animals we are. I mean, there's this lady next door who sets out a trap to catch any raccoons or skunks in her yard because they dig up her panzies and dallias. There was a baby skunk in the cage the other morning making this nervous chattering sound. If this type of interaction continued between the humans and the skunk population at some point a mutation would become dominant and the skunks that were small and shaped like wire mesh would survive, while the rest would have been trapped and sent to skunk heaven.

    What the woman next door forgets is that skunks and raccoons, squirrels and posums were here long before we were. When we move in and occupy a land we are the ones that need to adapt to it and its inhabitants. Its not a matter of adapting the area to us.

    This woman could have adapted to the area by planting the indigenous plants, flowers and shrubs and creating a nice water feature or something, maintaining her gardening ego... and the raccoons and skunks would have left her garden alone. But she has something to prove. She was really excited about trapping a baby skunk. She had the pest control guy there for the big show. I think its the woman's urge to continue procreating her vile species that has her up at 5 am with the trap, the skunks, the irrate neighbours (me) and the pest control boy.
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