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Evolution Question(S)

  1. Sep 15, 2007 #1
    This is a very general set of questions but sincere the same.

    If humans evolve to become telepathic, how would we have enough self control not to speak our private thoughts or accidentally insult others? Assuming we did gain enough self control during our evolution, what about the mentally disabled? Or worse, the mentally disturbed?

    I do believe in evolution, obviously, though I am religious. I do believe in Creation to a point but not the seven-day theory. If humans evolve, which I believe they inevitably will, it wouldn't be much towards a physiological change seeing that we can pretty well defend ourselves as it is. We can walk, have no need for other limbs or other digits. Perhaps we would have a better metabolism - which leads to a whole new range of options - or better immune system etc. Mentally though, how can we evolve?

    These questions spark from a video I saw entitled "Human Evolution" which is something of an ad for people who enjoy leaping from building to building, doing flips in alleys and flips off of stairs, all in big cities. Though these people were talented it doesn't seem that every human will have the need to do inverted double back flips without so much as moving two feet forward or breaking a sweat.

    My final question would be, in what ways could humans evolve?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 15, 2007 #2


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    Your reasoning sounds pretty right.

    We could evolve better sight, a better sense of smell, a better sense of hearing. Many animals around us are better than us in these things. But we are better at reasoning, better at logic, better at complex problems, social situations. Just ask your dog to run down to the corner phamacy and pick up your prescription. There is no telling what that animal will return with. If he even returns. You placed him in a car for god's sake. Without a map or shopping list.
  4. Sep 15, 2007 #3
    Rofl yeah exactly. Humans have these things to evolve in, though, so in what directions would they take us? Make us brilliant?

    True with the other senses, as well. Who knows how far those will go as well.
  5. Sep 19, 2007 #4


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    Remember evolution doesn't try and improve things - it just means that people with a certain set of characteristics have more children and pass those characteristics on.
    So unless being X meant you had more children, and those children were more likely to have children there would be no evolutionary pressure to be X.

    Since having children is more a personal than biological choice now - we might not be evolving very much at all.
  6. Sep 19, 2007 #5


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    You also have to take in to account that the human race for the first time in history has the ability
    to change and manipulate our own DNA to change certain characteristics as we see fit.
    I see this as a big step, we can no longer say that evolution is just chance. The next few 100
    years are going to be quite interesting for humans and other living things.
  7. Oct 2, 2007 #6
    If humans evolve anything telepathic it won't be paranormal like the movies. It would be through a theoretical physical mechanism like sending and reading radio waves. I don't believe this will ever happen though, but if it does it would develop due to environmental necessity and odd genetic changes, so the culture and context in how it is used would be established as the genetic changes take place. People would likely be able to prevent or shut off the sending of "radio wave" or whatever mechanism would be used to transmit ideas.
  8. Oct 3, 2007 #7
    Humans will evolve into new species (that cannot interbreed with populations on earth) when small populations of humans become isolated in future space colonies--perhaps on planets that humans on earth will not have interest in anymore--lots of possible isolation mechanisms. This process (reproductive isolation) is very common mechanism (but not the only) of speciation (origin of new species) on earth. Because humans are animals there is no genetic reason I can think of that would not allow such a process of human speciation. Of course it would take many generations--I have no idea how many.
  9. Oct 3, 2007 #8
    I have an interest in this view of yours--what part of creation do you believe in that is not explained by theory of organic evolution ? Yes, many folks mingle BELIEF in evolution and religion--but I would like you to consider that if you use science you would not have to believe in either explanation for origin of life on earth--you would KNOW which view was correct and which view was false. To KNOW a thing is always better than to BELIEVE a thing. Consider this, is it better for future development of math understanding of a child to know that 1 + 1 = 2 or to believe the same ? Here I do NOT say science shows religion to be false--I say science shows creation of living things on earth to be false.
  10. Oct 3, 2007 #9
    Keep in mind, it's not just having more children (eg. having 3 children instead of 2), but having versus not having.

    Because of modern medicine, people are more likely to survive diseases and illnesses that would have killed them in the past, stopping them from reproducing. Because of technology and changes in lifestyle, people are far more likely to not die from any sort of predation. The government subsidizes food for people that would otherwise starve, again increasing survivability. There are far fewer selective pressures on us than there were in the past , not to mention the lack of reproductive barriers -- people in North America aren't reproductively isolated from people in Asia anymore, because of our advances in transportation -- so I agree, we're not evolving at all anymore.
  11. Oct 4, 2007 #10


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    Thanks - "selective pressure" was the phrase I was looking for.

    That medicine means people with diseases/conditions that would have killed them in the past, can now reproduce means there is less pressure to remove harmful traits. But the lack of barriers leads to a more diverse gene pool and fewer recessive conditions. Interesting to see which one 'wins'.

    I did hear one suggestion that said that, beacuse of the more babies comment, we are evolving to be immune to the contraceptive pill !
  12. Apr 7, 2008 #11
    Letting the less capable survive IS changing evolution, but in a negative sense. Now if we find a way to alter genetic code, we will have evoution by the throat.
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