Is Human Evolution Over?

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  • #51
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some men will get more women, but that does not automatically make him a reproductive success. what about polygamous cultures/societies where women are forced into marriage and they have high reproductive rate.
What about that ? I miss your point.Polygyny is a very successful reproductive strategy for male who gets access to those females. Perhaps you want to insinuate that the key to reproductive success is access to no females ?

Second, the prerequisite to reproductive success from the pov of a male is access to as many females as possible, save for specific conditions when monogamy makes sense, for example in situations in which it takes two to raise the offspring.
 
  • #52
However, make no mistake humans are far from being equal. Some are necessarily better than others.
You managed to completely miss the point yet again. Here the keyword is better in "certain areas".

Those climb to the top in their respective hierarchies. Some may go in teaching and end up as high school teachers, while others will end up teaching and doing research at top tier universities.
A University professor is not more successful than a high school teacher. It depends upon one's passion. Teaching takes talent. And teaching highschool is just as difficult as teaching university students.

Some will run little business while others will swim with the sharks on Wall Street. Some will raise in sports to state level , while others will excel in international level competition.
Again there are innumerable factors deciding one's course in life. Who knows? If the small businessman tried his luck in may be arts he might excel. May be he took a wrong decision early in life.

We, humans, are not born equal. Nor will those humans benefit from access to same resources during upbringing.
That however is a valid point.

Some are shining like stars while others are pretty much natural born loosers.
Again you missed the keyword, 'losers in certain areas.
 
  • #53
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Me and a friend were talking in the pub the other day about evolution, and how some people hold the view that, because of modern engineering and medicine, human evolution by the process of natural selection has stopped.

What do you think? Has evolution stopped? If not, how are "good" or "bad" genes selected since it is rare these days for people to die before sexual maturity.
I don't think evolution has stopped. :smile: There was a great article by Scientific American back in December of 2007 entitled Culture Speeds Up Human Evolution. You may like to read it and tell me what you think. Here's the link:
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=culture-speeds-up-human-evolution

Perhaps discouraged from reproducing is the wrong approach, I for one would absolutely loath the idea of the government being entrusted with the responsibility of deciding who should and should not have kids.
I agree with you ryan. Ottoline Leyser documented Mothers in Science - 64 Ways to have it all. As a woman in my 50’s, it’s darn amazing what women can do! http://www.york.ac.uk/res/chong/pdfs/MothersInScience_bk_finalWeb.pdf
 
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  • #54
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Like it or not, money is the modern proxy for fitness to survive.

Wealthy people can afford better food, better medicine, and pass all those advantages and more on to their offspring.

If you don't think so, go up against a billionaire in any contest you like and see if money is not a survival advantage.

It's *the* reason sex selection works the way it does. Women are attracted to wealthy men because they and their children will be in a better position to survive.
 
  • #55
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You managed to completely miss the point yet again. Here the keyword is better in "certain areas".
No my friend it is you who miss the point badly. We don't live in a world filled with elite athletes, elite scientists, elite engineers and so on. When somebody raises to the top of his field, he is magnitudes better than another person who never manages to raise from obscurity. No matter that the obscure person may know more math than the star, the very simple fact is that this knowledge never served him to raise to prominence.



A University professor is not more successful than a high school teacher. It depends upon one's passion. Teaching takes talent. And teaching highschool is just as difficult as teaching university students.

Actually, the society says otherwise. We pay garbagety wages to high-school teachers. Make no mistake, teaching in a tier 1 university is an accomplishment orders of magnitude higher than teaching in a high-school. Your percpetion about who is better is not important. The reflection of how the society treats the two of them ( and it does not treats them as equals) is the only one which gets to say anything about whatever one is better than the other.




Again you missed the keyword, 'losers in certain areas.
A looser is a losser mon ami.
 
  • #56
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I agree with you ryan. Ottoline Leyser documented Mothers in Science - 64 Ways to have it all. As a woman in my 50’s, it’s darn amazing what women can do! http://www.york.ac.uk/res/chong/pdfs/MothersInScience_bk_finalWeb.pdf
Right. It's not about what "women can do" or "what men can do". It's about what some very particular persons ca do. Face the reality, those women in the link are much better than 99% of the ones living on this planet.
 
  • #57
Ryan_m_b
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True. Our social world is a complex one, with many different social hierarchies, and acquiring a high position in one specific hierarchy may require only some qualities. However, make no mistake humans are far from being equal. Some are necessarily better than others. Those climb to the top in their respective hierarchies. Some may go in teaching and end up as high school teachers, while others will end up teaching and doing research at top tier universities. Some will run little business while others will swim with the sharks on Wall Street. Some will raise in sports to state level , while others will excel in international level competition.

We, humans, are not born equal. Nor will those humans benefit from access to same resources during upbringing. Yeah, some are btter than others. Some are orders of magnitudes better of others. Some are shining like stars while others are pretty much natural born loosers.
Unless you can provide references from peer-reviewed publish work that the elites of many different fields got there because of genetics, we're done here.

Genetics does play a role, as does your starting resources in life but unless there is something big holding you back (illness etc) theres no reason why a group of similar people can't all rise to the same position given the same opportunity. And regardless this has no bearing on evolution, again unless you can provide peer-reviewed publish work showing that the elites of different fields have statistically significant higher chances of passing on their genes.

Take any course in evolution at any university worth its salt and you will be told the same thing as I did told you. Survival of the fittest is a idiotic misnomer. Something for pop science on Discovery and the likes.
For the record I have multiple degrees in biological sciences, when I talk about evolution I know what I'm talking about.
 
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  • #58
PhanthomJay
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For the record I have multiple degrees in biological sciences, when I talk about evolution I know what I'm talking about.
I always wanted to ask an expert a question that has been bugging me for years: When I see a photo of my great grandmother, born in the late 1800's, or a picture of Abe Lincoln, or a child of that generation, I clearly see a difference in overall facial features from present generations ...in bone structure very noticeably different from today's version of homo sapiens. Is this due to evolution, or something else? Most people say I'm nuts.
 
  • #59
Ryan_m_b
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I always wanted to ask an expert a question that has been bugging me for years: When I see a photo of my great grandmother, born in the late 1800's, or a picture of Abe Lincoln, or a child of that generation, I clearly see a difference in overall facial features from present generations ...in bone structure very noticeably different from today's version of homo sapiens. Is this due to evolution, or something else? Most people say I'm nuts.
You're nuts :tongue2:

No in all seriousness I'm not sure what you mean by bone structure difference? I'm not aware (and find it highly doubtful) that there would be such a widespread change in the species over such a short time.

EDIT: I know what bone structure difference means, I meant to ask what difference are you observing?
 
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  • #60
..... I clearly see a difference in overall facial features from present generations ...in bone structure very noticeably different from today's version of homo sapiens.
In school I used to think (due to an erroneous observation) that kids were getting shorter and shorter every generation.
 
  • #61
PhanthomJay
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Ryan...Thanks for the compliment:tongue: I wonder why it's only me who sees this. Look at at a photo of a high school year book say in 1920. Now loook at a yearbook of the class of say 2000. Am i the only one who sees a difference in facial structure? Or look at a photo of a basketball or baseball team of that old generation...they all look like old men compared to todays team of the same overall age. Why??
 
  • #62
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I always wanted to ask an expert a question that has been bugging me for years: When I see a photo of my great grandmother, born in the late 1800's, or a picture of Abe Lincoln, or a child of that generation, I clearly see a difference in overall facial features from present generations ...in bone structure very noticeably different from today's version of homo sapiens. Is this due to evolution, or something else? Most people say I'm nuts.
No in all seriousness I'm not sure what you mean by bone structure difference? I'm not aware (and find it highly doubtful) that there would be such a widespread change in the species over such a short time.
Don't know about the bone structure differences, but i think social changes, nutrition ( very important) modern tech etc would play a role (for example height )
 
  • #63
Ryan_m_b
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Ryan...Thanks for the compliment:tongue:
No problem lol

I wonder why it's only me who sees this. Look at at a photo of a high school year book say in 1920. Now loook at a yearbook of the class of say 2000. Am i the only one who sees a difference in facial structure? Or look at a photo of a basketball or baseball team of that old generation...they all look like old men compared to todays team of the same overall age. Why??
thorium1010 has it right. The only difference between the last few generations and ours is nutrition, however with the greatest of respect I don't think there has been an overall change in Caucasian bone structure. Another change is fashion, it sounds strange but the way we perceive age and related things can be heavily influenced by fashion.

If you think of it this way, say everyone in the 1920's did have a different face structure. It's staggeringly unlikely that all of them have offspring with significantly different structure and even more unlikely that all of those differences are the same!

Evolution works over long time periods and gross morphological changes happen gradually.
 
  • #64
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For the record I have multiple degrees in biological sciences, when I talk about evolution I know what I'm talking about.
It seems that you don't. And anyway, your degrees do not mean squat to me. For all I know you could get them online at www.phd.com .
 
  • #65
Ryan_m_b
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It seems that you don't. And anyway, your degrees do not mean squat to me. For all I know you could get them online at www.phd.com .
As I said, we're done :smile:
 
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I thought it best to place "Definitions of Evolutionary Terms" from the U.S. National Academy of Sciences on this topic, hoping it might enable individuals that have participated in this discussion learn more about evolution. (I also wish to thank the OP.) :

Adaptation:
The adjustment or changes in behavior, physiology, and structure of an organism to become more suited to an environment. According to Charles Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection, organisms that possess heritable traits that enable them to better adapt to their environment compared with other members of their species will be more likely to survive, reproduce, and pass more of their genes on to the next generation.

Chromosome:
A double stranded DNA molecule that contains a series of specific genes along its length. In most sexually reproducing organisms, chromosomes occur in pairs, with one member of the pair being inherited from each parent.

DNA:
Deoxyribonucleic acid. A large biological molecule composed of subunits known as nucleotides strung together in long chains. The sequences of these nucleotides contain the information that cells need in order to grow, to divide into daughter cells, and to manufacture new proteins. Changes in DNA result in mutations, which may be beneficial, neutral, or deleterious to the organism. If these changes occur to DNA in sperm or egg cells, they could be passed onto the next generation.

Evolution:
Evolution consists of changes in the heritable traits of a population of organisms as successive generations replace one another. It is populations of organisms that evolve, not individual organisms.

Fact:
In science, a "fact" typically refers to an observation, measurement, or other form of evidence that can be expected to occur the same way under similar circumstances. However, scientists also use the term "fact" to refer to a scientific explanation that has been tested and confirmed so many times that there is no longer a compelling reason to keep testing it or looking for additional examples.

Fossil:
A remnant or trace of an organism of a past geologic age, such as a skeleton or leaf imprint, embedded, and preserved in the Earth's crust, usually in stratified rock.

Hypothesis:
A tentative explanation for an observation, phenomenon, or scientific problem that can be tested by further investigation. Scientific hypotheses must be posed in a form that allows them to be rejected.

Genomics:
A recent branch of genetics that studies organisms in terms of their complete genetic material, including genes and their functions.

Macroevolution:
Large-scale evolution occurring over geologic time that results in the formation of new species and broader taxonomic groups.

Microevolution:
Changes in the traits of a group of organisms within a species that do not result in a new species.

Mimicry:
In biology, mimicry is the superficial resemblance of one species of organism to another species or to a natural object in its surroundings. Some kinds of mimicry result in a selective advantage for concealment and protection from predators. Another type of mimicry enables protection to the mimic through its resemblance to another species that is toxic or in some other way dangerous.

Mutation:
A change in the sequence of one or more nucleotides in DNA. Such changes can alter the structure of proteins or the regulation of protein production. In some cases mutations result in the organism possessing these altered traits to have a greater or lesser chance of surviving and reproducing in a given environment than other members of its species.

Natural selection:
Differential survival and reproduction of organisms as a consequence of the characteristics of the environment.

Paleontologist:
A scientist who studies fossils to learn about ancient organisms.

Protein:
A large molecule consisting of a chain of smaller molecules called amino acids. The sequence of amino acids and the molecule's three-dimensional structure are coded by the instructions in DNA and determine a protein’s specific function in cells or organisms.

Population:
A group of organisms of the same species that are in close enough proximity to allow them to interbreed.

RNA:
Ribonucleic acid. A molecule related to DNA that consists of nucleotide subunits strung together in chains. RNA serves a number of cellular functions, including providing a template for the synthesis of proteins and catalyzing certain biochemical reactions. The structure of RNA is determined by the sequence of nucleotides on DNA.

Science:
The use of evidence to construct testable explanations and predictions of natural phenomena, as well as the knowledge generated through this process.

Sedimentary:
Rocks formed of particles deposited by water, wind, or ice.

Selective breeding:
The intentional breeding of organisms with desirable traits in an attempt to produce offspring with enhanced characteristics or traits that humans consider desirable. This process is also known as "artifical selection" (compare with "natural selection").

Speciation:
The evolutionary processes through which new species arise from existing species.

Species:
In sexually reproducing organisms, species consist of individuals that can interbreed with each other.

Survival of the fittest:
A term that refers to the survival of only those organisms best able (fittest) to obtain and utilize resources, resulting in the evolution of organisms that are best adapted to the environment. Darwin used metaphorically to describe "natural selection." The phrase was invented by the 19th century philosopher Herbert Spencer It has been misapplied through history to explain and justify social and economic inequities in human populations ("social Darwinism") or as a method for improving the human condition through selective breeding (eugenics). Survival alone is insufficient for evolution— it's reproduction— passing on of genes that really counts. Most modern biologists no longer use this term when describing or discussing natural selection.

Theory:
A plausible or scientifically acceptable, well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world; an organized system of accepted knowledge that applies in a variety of circumstances to explain a specific set of phenomena and predict the characteristics of as yet unobserved phenomena.

Trait:
A physical or behavioral characteristic of an organism.
http://nationalacademies.org/evolution/Definitions.html
The above link (url) is a great resource. I suggest people review the many pages found within it. Thank you.
 
  • #68
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^ above poster is right, that's pretty good.

Also, this thread could have been about 2 posts long by following the Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium. It describes the necessary events for evolution to stop. Fairly specific, right?
1) A population must be large
2) No mutations may occur
3) Mating must be random
4) No migration
5) No differential reproductive success
 

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