Evolution Shmevolution

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Postby Marc Majcher » February 21st, 2011, 2:50 pm

Spots wrote:We weren't the first species that learned how to engineer environmental changes either.

See also: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQERRbU23bU
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Postby Spots » February 22nd, 2011, 12:12 pm

Definitely. Very cool Marc.

This is probably a semantic argument (in regards to the post by Turpentine). Evolution certainly doesn't stop. However, the argument could be made that the human species is no longer subject to natural selection via the food chain.

We're simply the top of the food chain. Provided we aren't in the woods without tools, or swimming unprotected in the ocean. But even that's on an individual basis. And those cases are meaningless to overall natural selection.

New medical advances doesn't cancel out natural selection within the species either. An example of "survival of the fittest" would be a rich man who genetically alters himself to endure an epidemic. These examples exist but are few and far between. Wealth is now favored by natural selection in this specific scenario.

Again, the environment can always change out of our favor. Dolphins are evolving intellectually. It's a ridiculous notion but it's possible for another species to outmatch our wits one day. (which is why it was wise that we killed off other humanoids)
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Postby Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell » February 22nd, 2011, 12:16 pm

Spots wrote:Definitely. Very cool Marc.

This is probably a semantic argument (in regards to the post by Turpentine). Evolution certainly doesn't stop. However, the argument could be made that the human species is no longer subject to natural selection via the food chain.

We're simply the top of the food chain. Provided we aren't in the woods without tools, or swimming unprotected in the ocean. But even that's on an individual basis. Which would be meaningless to overall natural selection.

New medical advances doesn't cancel out natural selection within the species either. An example of "survival of the fittest" would be a rich man who genetically alters himself to endure a epidemic. Wealth is now favored by natural selection in this specific scenario.


at least until we start eating each other...in the most dangerous game of all!!!
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Postby Spots » February 22nd, 2011, 12:25 pm

One reason why we evolve so little physically is because our ability for abstraction is far and away the most powerful tool in our tool box.

We are these pathetic non-furry creatures with exposed privates and lack of claws. But by golly gee, we came a long way by adapting to maximize our one specialty: abstract thought.

This is why you don't see razor sharp teeth, horns, tails, or such as a trait that survives as a mutation. They are simply redundant to our survival. ( Hence, why we have a tail bone but no tail. Hence why we have canine teeth but no use for them. Hence why we have goose bumps, but no fur) Abstraction made all these original survival traits redundant in the long term. It is by far a superior trait in every way imaginable (pun!).

External ability begat internal ability. Traits within our brains have longer lasting impact in the course of macro evolution.
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Postby Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell » February 22nd, 2011, 12:37 pm

so when we start eating each other, eat the brain first to absorb your opponent's strength and knowledge...NOT their heart (silly Indians...)!
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Postby Spots » February 22nd, 2011, 12:47 pm

@Jordan: That's an interesting point too.

Imagine an alien race landing only years after the death of all life on earth. As they dig through the rubble they will find evidence of every animal's prowess: an eagle's talons, a cheetah's legs, a shark's teeth, a bat's wings etc.

They would never guess that humans were at the top of the food chain. Our remains will only offer an empty void in our skulls. A fucking void.

The aliens will underestimate our remains until they figure out a way to watch the video tape.
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Postby Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell » February 22nd, 2011, 1:04 pm

Spots wrote: @Jordan: That's an interesting point too.


if you've never read it before, check out "The Anatomy Lesson" issue of Alan Moore's run on Swamp Thing. some interesting ideas on the transference of consciousness/intelligence as foodstuffs based on an experiment done with planarian worms who were taught to run a maze, then cut up and fed to other worms who had not learned how to run the maze. the second group were able to figure it out the first time through. 8)

Spots wrote: Imagine an alien race landing only years after the death of all life on earth.


as i often do...

Spots wrote:
The aliens will underestimate our remains until they figure out a way to watch the video tape.


i'd be more curious to see their reaction once they find our vinyl collections. an alien civilization, exposed to Sam Cook for the very first time? they'll think we were gods. ;)
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Postby Spots » February 22nd, 2011, 1:13 pm

With our luck they'll only have senses which detect the volumes and intensities of farts.
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Postby Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell » February 22nd, 2011, 1:18 pm

Spots wrote:With our luck they'll only have senses which detect the volumes and intensities of farts.


well, they'll find Ke$ha CDs for that purpose...
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Postby Marc Majcher » February 22nd, 2011, 4:10 pm

You've gone too far, Maxwell.
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