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Reproduction in poor and unhealthy environments

  1. Jul 22, 2006 #1
    I am thinking about going back to school to study how nanotechnology can help solve our problems of global clean water distribution.

    I am absolutely horrified by the statistics on parasites, microbes, and inorganic junk that swims in the drinking water of certain highly populated areas. Then I stop and think, hey, wait a minute. Why are they so highly populated? Shouldn't they be dying from all these diseases?

    The fact of the matter is that they do die and do so in large numbers, since there are so many to begin with. Yet, somehow they still experience large population growth. These people just go on and keep having babies around these cesspools despite the conditions their offspring will be born into, and despite the fact they will have another mouth to feed, and despite the fact the mother doesn't stand a very high chance of survival on birth either.

    I think, sheejus, this is immoral! Don't they realize that it gets harder and harder to help them the larger their population grows? Can't they at least keep their pants on?! Until they find clean water?

    Then it hits me. This is evolution at work. When a species faces a problem, it will still reproduce at all costs, spread the genes around, and try to out-evolve the natural forces of competition. Whether they know it or not, people in impoverished and unhealthy conditions reproduce with the hope that their offspring will be more adapted to fight those conditions than they were.

    It's a really disgusting thought. I am not religious, but I do have a strong sense of morality, and I come from a culture that has believed itself to have risen above the dependence on neck-breaking speeds of reproduction in order to survive. Instead it relies on social means of resource exchange on micro and macro scales where everybody takes part, which in turn relies on self-control and the ability to abstain from destructive behavior.

    The real value to be obtained from the application of nanotechnology to clean water distribution in the developing world will not be to simply make clean water available, but to make it available at a low cost so those people can join our new world that doesn't rely first on biological evolution for survival.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2006
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 22, 2007 #2
    What region are you talking about? If you cook your food you kill parasite eggs in them. Most people get sick and get parasites because they eat raw food. I also don't think man can evolve to avoid parasites. Parasites work differenlty than bacteria. Bacteria have recpetors on them that bind to different things in your body. Chemicals usually attack bacteria or deal with their active sites where they bind. Parasites cling to your inside. How can you evolve/prevent that? Lubricate your intestines and pray for the best?
    I am in no way trying to steer you away from what you are doing. It is awesome that you should decide to do this, but wouldn't you think that it would be easier to warn people to cook their food properly and thoroughly.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2007
  4. Mar 22, 2007 #3

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitrogen_cycle

    i don't think i want to replace that.
     
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