Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

How could we have stopped evolving?


  • Please log in to reply
90 replies to this topic

#86 ldsoftwaresteve

ldsoftwaresteve

    Explaining

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 757 posts

Posted 12 December 2011 - 06:39 AM

I'm not sure if this post belongs in this thread so if there is a better place for it, please let me know. Yes, even if it belongs in the "really stupid idea forum".
I recently saw a video about a proposal that said stars within a galaxy have enormous electrical currents flowing between them. Assuming the proof they showed using photos of distant galaxies were interpreted correctly, what struck me about the video was the shape of the flowing current, it was a spiral and that might not seem germain to this discussion but then again it might if it turns out that the shape of the genome is caused by minute electrical forces.
If the genome has an electrical component and if that component is an organizing component, might it not also be possible that things that have stabilized into actual objects which persist for a minimum duration have some sort of electrical 'signature'? And might not that signature effect the makeup of any genomes in the vicinity? Maybe some signatures resonate with specific genes? Here's an even sillier idea: what if a species came to dominate a geographic area so much so that it saturated that area. Is it possible that a predator to that species could be caused by it?
Such a view might offer a third alternative to how life changes instead of today's options of evolution or intelligent design. It would let us regard life as the effect of a cause.

#87 Qfwfq

Qfwfq

    Exhausted Gondolier

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6241 posts

Posted 20 December 2011 - 12:32 PM

Molecular biology has a solid basis in chemistry which has a solid basis in quanrum physics. There's no need for vague analogies with galaxies, even if these currents were an established fact.

It would let us regard life as the effect of a cause.

We already do.

#88 Eclogite

Eclogite

    Creating

  • Moderators
  • 1477 posts

Posted 21 December 2011 - 08:55 AM

I recently saw a video about a proposal that said stars within a galaxy have enormous electrical currents flowing between them.

This sounds like the 'plasma universe' theory. I believe it is considered to be somewhere between extreme fringe and pseudoscience.

If the genome has an electrical component and if that component is an organizing component, might it not also be possible that things that have stabilized into actual objects which persist for a minimum duration have some sort of electrical 'signature'? And might not that signature effect the makeup of any genomes in the vicinity?

There seem to be rather too many ifs and mights in there, unsupported by any evidence. We can measure tiny electromagnetic fields. Is there any evidence at all that such fields have 'an organising ability'? Where would such an ability arise from? You seem to be envisaging a structured suite of electrical signals that impose development on existing genomes. What would the mechanism for this be? Not in detail, just a plausible overview of how this might work.

#89 jeremyb

jeremyb

    Thinking

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 23 posts

Posted 13 April 2012 - 01:21 PM

the way I see it, we are still evolving.

give us another hundred thousand years of sitting down at our computers or watching tv for long periods of time, and im pretty sure something is bound to change. evolution is time's twin, it never stops moving forward. sure it would slow down once the environment seems perfectly adequate, but things change, and evolution will be there to meet those changes.

after all, evolution can be seen each and every day, if this was untrue, all nationalities would look the same, the only question is, what nationality would we look like?

#90 Pincho Paxton

Pincho Paxton

    Permanently suspended

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 124 posts

Posted 13 April 2012 - 01:50 PM

I have evolved from humans, so we are still evolving. Check me out, an entirely new super brain! B)

#91 CraigD

CraigD

    Creating

  • Administrators
  • 8034 posts

Posted 13 April 2012 - 08:48 PM

the way I see it, we are still evolving.

That’s the way nearly all credible biologists see it, too, for about the last 50 years. More, for about the last 5 years, evidence increasingly and strongly suggests humans are evolving at a much faster rate – perhaps by a factor as great as 100 – in the last 40,000 and 10,000 years than in the previous several 100,000.

The idea that our species evolution had stopped was due to a poor understanding by the person who started, and thus titled, this thread, which was debunked at length in earlier posts.

give us another hundred thousand years of sitting down at our computers or watching tv for long periods of time, and im pretty sure something is bound to change.

You left “while eating increasingly processed food” out of your description, Jermyb.

What we eat seems to be as or likely more important a shaper of our recent evolution as what we do, as the most dramatic changes in the human population are a decrease in size of our brains (and thus, to the amount of food needed to feed each of us) and changes to our gut and digestive biochemistry to allow us to eat foods we produce ourselves at greater rates than wild environments.

These ideas have been widely discussed on the internet, in this very thread and others, such as this one. A good, though dated, pro blog page on it is John Hawkes’s Why human evolution accelerated.

History recent and old shows us that entertainment mediums rarely last for than a century, let alone a hundred thousand years, so I doubt we’ll be sitting around our computers and TV very long – but trends in agriculture and food are very persistent and progressive.

All this biological extrapolation assumes that the wilder speculation of extropians and transhumansist don’t accurately foretell our future, and that we don’t soon forsake our biological mediums for a vastened living in silico. While history shows that most utopian movements don’t, I think “computer immortality” prophecies are unprecedented, as prior to the last century, there were no actual, or to a great extent, even the idea of, life-simulating computers.


I have evolved from humans, so we are still evolving. Check me out, an entirely new super brain! B)

Pincho! :naughty: Quips like this are not only quips, they promote misconceptions about evolutionary biology! There’s enough of this in popular media, society, and the internet, without our site, which seeks to promote the understanding of science, encouraging it.

By definition, biological evolution is a change of characteristics of a population of individuals of the same species across successive generations, so unless you are actually something like, say, a termite colony that has amazingly evolved the ability to impersonate a human being on the internet, saying “I have evolved” is, in a biological sense, simply wrong.

Individual organisms of most species change from birth through adulthood, but this change is just change – physical growth and mental learning, sometimes injury, and inevitably illness – not evolution.

I think the terminology-handling parts of that super brain of yours needs some tuning/learning!
  • The Polymath likes this