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Evolving Humans

  1. Dec 8, 2003 #1
    The Earths population is a vast pool of differing Genes if we take peoples from all societies. I have noticed from old Photographs that Humans, their facial features, seem to be becoming more and more similar? Taking all the photos I have seen, for instance if I look at an old photo of say south american peoples, and compare it to a current general photo of someone from this area today, I notice the features seem to be have gone through an obvious change?

    I wonder if it is possible if there is 'gene-pool' projection of what a future Human will look like, and if it is probable that in the future all peoples will look identical, no matter where on the Earth they evolve from? If there is such a projected viewpoint, then what would the consequences be for our place in the Cosmos being to evolve into an Utopian non-racial and totally equal footing(except for male and female typecast?).

    Could it be that our future history will evolve into this scenario, and would this be a sort of Cyclic-Evolution neccessity once all the 'cross-gene-pool' of inter-relationships have been used up.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 8, 2003 #2

    selfAdjoint

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    I deeply believe that one of the benefits that encouraged sex to evolve was the mixing of genes in conception that allows rare genes to be present in large populations. For the expressing of existing genes is a much faster way of adapting than waiting for a lucky mutation when catastrophe strlkes, as it eventually always does.

    Stephen Jay Gould in one of his essays puzzles over the "bush and spike" shape of many lineage trees in evolution; a wide radiation of species at first is followed after a while by a die-off of most of them and the survival for a long time of one or a very small number of species of that genus. I believe the radiating species rapidly became specially adapted to the conditions they first found, and then, when the conditions changed, were over-adqapted and couldn't cope, and died out. Only a few species escaped, from some chance, this over adaptation and they were the foundation of the future spike. They had stored up genes that could be expressed to cope with the changed conditions.

    From this point of view, the intermarriage of all peoples is an advantage since it makes more combinations of genes, and the larger the breeding population, the longer an unexpressed gene cn last.

    What worries me is that we will be deep into the age of gene tailiring and genetic engineering before significant intermarriage takes place. And deliberate gene tinkering will have an overspecializing effect for sure. When the ice age, or the comet,or whatever finally comes, we may be too prettified to cope.
     
  4. Dec 10, 2003 #3
    Yes indeed! I also think that the evolution has reached a sufficient timescale whereby the available pool has not been fuuly exploited. As you rightly state, this would be a bigger danger due to the 'genetic-enhancement' and tinkering for 'cosmetic' reasons.

    We as a species hardly know how to run an enviroment?..we have only touched upon the working of minuscule atoms and their interactions, some really thought they knew everything about 'virus's, until HIV came along. Having just seen a documentary about how liitle the so called 'experts' understood the Virus (HIV), I have become concerned about the so called Genetic community and their expectations on how they should proceed with mainstream Genetic Tinkering.
     
  5. Mar 7, 2004 #4
    Founder effect

    I believe this is also called, or might be seen as related to or similar to, the "founder effect."




    Cattell cites this danger of overadaptation to conditions that might seem permament, but in the long scheme of things really aren't, as a basic reason why a strategy of deliberate evolution must incorporate cooperative diversity (he calls it "cooperative competition," but it is a special type of competition with a view toward long term survival, and therefore competition with a bias toward maximum diversity between contestant civilizations {or nations, or species, etc.}).




    -Chris
     
  6. Mar 7, 2004 #5

    Nereid

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    IIRC, the diversity is greatest in Africa, by far (one Ethiopian village has a greater genetic diversity than in the whole of the UK?). This would seem to be consistent with the "Out of Africa" theory (or is it still just a hypothesis?).
    With the urbanisation of advanced (a.k.a. developed) economies complete by ~mid-20th century, and now the domination of the services sector within the economy, most people today in these economies work in air-conditioned offices with little sunlight (and certainly minimal UV), travel quite protected from the elements, and often also live in equally 'unnatural' environments. How much effect does this have on 'facial features'? Huge! I remember seeing a pair of photos - a Japanese Buddhist monk, in his 80s, who had baby-smooth skin (he had spent his whole life, since adolescence, indoors), and an Andean farmer, in her 50s, with deeply creased skin (and possibly much damage not immediately obvious). Even knowing this kind of UV-impact exists, can we say for sure that we can discount it, when comparing old photos with new?
     
  7. Mar 8, 2004 #6

    LURCH

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    I truly doubt it. If equality is going to happen, it will have to come about as a result of internal changes to the human mind, the "collective subconscious", if you will. Barring such a change of ideas and ideals, no dgree of similarity will illiminate bigotry, nor even reduce it, IMHO. So long as humans tend to be discriminatory by nature, we will find some physical feature by which to differentiate the the undesirables from their superiors. Differences of less than an inch in hieght, pigmentation veriations that are within the range of visual accuity, visual accuity that is inadequate to differentiate between subtleties in pigmentation... there will allways be something.
     
  8. Mar 16, 2004 #7
    i just wanted to add that nowadays i try to see or chek if an animal can understand wat i want
    ..there are cats i meet on time to time,i try to call them in a polite way,some come some dont.wat i want to say here is that i think our mind power is increasing and just maybe it would be possible for us to communicate directly with our minds,and with other animals not just ourselves.can u imagine reading thoughts of other creatures?wat a wonderful thing:smile:
     
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