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Thread: Will humans become an evolutionary dead-end?

  1. #51

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    So we'll become nothing of use lol

  2. #52
    Wake, See, Sing, Dance Array Cellmold's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajackson17 View Post
    So we'll become nothing of use lol
    Id argue that we aren't much use now....well except to ourselves.
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    Reptilian Array Snuggletron's Avatar
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    Why does it seem that Kaku isn't as respected in the general scientific celebrity community?

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    Member Array Savitri's Avatar
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    Was watching this yesterday to knock out, thought it was interesting .

    Considering that mutations happen all the time and at 'random' then who knows what'll happen. I believe our species is resilient to most of the environment but I do not believe it will be resilient to harsh environments brought about by the products of humans or anything else outside of earth.
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  6. #56
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Array Mole's Avatar
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    Natural Selection, or Evolution, does not have an end, dead or not.

    Natural Selection does not have a teleology, it does not have a direction or an aim or an end.

    Some of us out of vanity think we are the height of evolution, and some of us think there is an end to evolution because books have a beginning, a middle and an end.

    But evolution is not a book, and we are nothing special.

    And large multi-celled animals like us have a short life span in the sweep of natural selection of DNA.

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    Mojibake Array sprinkles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Savitri View Post
    Was watching this yesterday to knock out, thought it was interesting .

    Considering that mutations happen all the time and at 'random' then who knows what'll happen. I believe our species is resilient to most of the environment but I do not believe it will be resilient to harsh environments brought about by the products of humans or anything else outside of earth.
    Mutations don't usually result in evolution, though.

    The mutation must be heritable, non-detrimental, non-lethal, and somehow result in speciation. That rules out the vast, vast majority of random mutations.

    Most (all?) human mutations currently are either benign, result in infertility or reproductive problems, disability, or just plain death. We are not going to grow wings or gills or turn into bugs.

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    Member Array Savitri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    Mutations don't usually result in evolution, though.

    The mutation must be heritable, non-detrimental, non-lethal, and somehow result in speciation. That rules out the vast, vast majority of random mutations.

    Most (all?) human mutations currently are either benign, result in infertility or reproductive problems, disability, or just plain death. We are not going to grow wings or gills or turn into bugs.
    Sure. But it is the vehicle (?) Addmittedly, I don't have a solid understanding of biology, genetics, or evolution but I've always thought mutations contributed to evolution. Of course, this doesn't mean that all mutations would result into something well suited for adaptation and that mutation could also very well be the end of the species.

    I didn't think it was possible to grow wings or gills and even though it's random it must still follow a system. Even if it were possible, I'd imagine it would take multiple mutations for that chance result to occur. If it did happen the result would no longer be human.

    Also, the vid was using 'random' to explain that there's no way one can tell the probability of mutation happening when, where or which type of mutation (there are several types right?). Mutations also occur just by exposure or dna sequence(s) not copying correctly(somethin' like that). Sometimes it is able to rebuild correctly, sometimes not. If my memory serves me right, mutations aren't random when we take into consideration how some mutations occur more frequently than others. (?) Hence, I don't really think anyone can predict what will happen to the human species down the evolutionary line. Thus my original "who know's what'll happen" comment. Too many variables.

    Anyways, I think the topic is interesting overall especially when I come across articles claiming some high-performing athletes have an advantage over others because of some sort of adaptation that has become apparent in their physiology. How much mutation is part of that, I'm not sure.

    Edit:

    LMAO, didn't read OP just the title. Doesn't really matter anyway.
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    Mojibake Array sprinkles's Avatar
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    @Savitri

    Yeah.

    Based on current trends an actual new species is a huge shot in the dark. It's not impossible but some crazy stuff would have to happen, which can't be predicted, and we'd have to be extremely lucky that it just doesn't kill us entirely.

    Being killed entirely is by far the more likely scenario as happens to most species. There's the concept of extinction debt where things are set into motion quite far in advance, some times by millions of years. A species will often end up on a cusp where it has little genetic diversity left and there can begin a chain reaction where it still lingers for a long time but is ultimately doomed.

    Extinction debt isn't a foregone conclusion, and in some cases it is reversible so that the species doesn't completely die, but getting something entirely new out of it - not just smarter humans for example because a smarter human is still a human - is something akin to a miracle.

    Edit:
    Or put it this way. How often do you see a new species of any other kind? Not very often. When we find something new, it's a pretty huge deal. There's no reason that humans should stand out and get a new species where most other species fail to do so, statistically speaking.

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