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  1. #1
    Senior Member Snowey1210's Avatar
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    Default Technological Evolution?

    Are we entering a new stage of evolutionary progression? I've done some basic reading on biological evolutionary theory, and understand that species apparently take hundreds of thousands (or even millions in some cases) of years to evolve into beings. Now I'm assuming that human beings are the first species to become self-aware, and as such are able to replicate their qualities (somewhat) using technology to create a potentially more sustainable mode of existence. Now witholding the appocolyptic terminator ideas that immeadiately come to mind, I just wondering whether this new technological basis of "life" could potentially cause the evolutionary process to speed up significantly, and result in a overall improvement in species, and "life" development. I'm just interested to here what others think? Does this seem plausible, or am I just rambling incoherent gibberish (Not likely!)?
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    Senior Member vince's Avatar
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    Since the human genome project there's definitely reason enough to assume that evolution can speed up. Let me rephrase, "we" can speed things up.
    As far as "improving" species goes, that all depends on the eye of the beholder. Who are we to say what makes a good species ? We definitel can make species more adaptable to certain situations.

    This will probably interest you :
    The Molecular Biology of Paradise

    on a sidenote : I much rather see us use technology to destroy all & everything than to increase life circumstances for the collective.
    We've been having the technology to supply everyone on this planet with water for years now. And it doesn't happen. Instead we have enough nuclear arms since the 80ties to destroy the world 10000 times over (which is also far more expensive). I don't think we'll be "improving" much, ever, other than one's own life here & there.

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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    It's always easier to destroy than to create.

    And people don't change, even when technology changes. Cultures still tend to follow the same broad patterns and have all had the capacity to destroy themselves and others.

    Also, just because we can make changes and tinker with ourselves doesn't mean we should. ("Gattaca" is a fictitious example that still brings some unsettling truths to the surface.) We also cannot predict what we need or the total long-term impact of jarring changes introduced into a complex system. "Mutations" whether natural or induced can easily destroy a species, not improve it, because they can throw the organisms OUT of whack with their environment and survival needs long-term.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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    Senior Member vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Also, just because we can make changes and tinker with ourselves doesn't mean we should.
    Agreed. Everything we do has an impact and usually in more ways than we can imagine. That's karma, without the new age. I'm also not in favor of genetic modifications, in the hands of, let's say, us. The way we live right now, without necessarily playing god so to speak, already has a disastrous effect. Only yesterday I saw a documentary of how people are now planning a pipeline that runs 500 miles from the wildlife in Nevada to Vegas, in order to supply the "city" with water. And that's just cause the Colorado River doesn't meet the demand anymore. WTF ?
    Gattaca's a nice example & a good movie. This also makes me think of the movie Equilibrium. Which I think is also great in that it points out the dangers of cold reason.

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    Senior Member Snowey1210's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vince View Post
    Since the human genome project there's definitely reason enough to assume that evolution can speed up. Let me rephrase, "we" can speed things up.
    As far as "improving" species goes, that all depends on the eye of the beholder. Who are we to say what makes a good species ? We definitel can make species more adaptable to certain situations.

    This will probably interest you :
    The Molecular Biology of Paradise
    That is an interesting notion, but I find it strange that the perfect utopia that is presented in that website seems so cold, and detached at the same time. The allusions to a Huxley's "Brave new World" (fantastic book) are obvious, and I just can't help but think this is akin to the use of SOMA.

    I guess it then at this stage becomes more of a philsophical issue of what really incorporates a "better" existence. Is it this world devoid of fear, sadness, suffering etc. or is it merely us embracing our human flaws and learning how these are essential to our organic experience of life? It's a tricky one because good people do die unecessarily throughout the world, and suffer extreme hardships, however on the flipside this controlled utopian world losses all that makes us (at this stage in our existence) human.
    Good Dog Nigel

    Arf, arf, he goes, a merry sight,
    Our little hairy friend,
    Arf, arf, upon the lampost bright
    Arfing round the bend.
    Nice dog! Goo boy,
    Waggie tail and beg,
    Clever Nigel, jump for joy
    Because we're putting you to sleep at three of the clock, Nigel. -John Lennon

  6. #6
    Senior Member vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowey1210 View Post
    I guess it then at this stage becomes more of a philsophical issue of what really incorporates a "better" existence. Is it this world devoid of fear, sadness, suffering etc. or is it merely us embracing our human flaws and learning how these are essential to our organic experience of life?
    Yeah that's the entire issue in a nutshell. I don't think, unfortunately, that anyone can answer that with certainty.

    I agree that biological engineering is, at the core, a process stripped of all sentiments. As is science in its entirity. But, also noteworhty, so are all natural laws. It's all rather impersonal. We need a way to reconcile science with our own subjective experience and the emotions that come from forth from it.

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    I see the principle driver of hyper-evolution to be artificial intelligence. Whether via genetic engineering or computers, if we create something smarter than ourselves and let it try its hands (literally?) at the same thing, the sky's the limit.

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