Ongoing human evolution ?

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Re: Ongoing human evolution ?

Postby Gord » Sat Sep 09, 2017 2:16 am

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Re: Ongoing human evolution ?

Postby TJrandom » Sat Sep 09, 2017 3:11 am

Noting in evolution says that the changes need be for the better – however that is defined – stronger, taller, smarter, less disease, or longer lived. It just assumes that the changes offer a competitive advantage for the environment in which it finds itself long enough to permit procreation.

So I have a hypothesis – that current human evolution is actually favoring more disease and shorter natural life spans. The reason being that medical science and an overabundance of food supplies actually causes those who would have otherwise died in childhood, and thus would not have passed on their genes – to survive into adulthood and procreate, thus passing on genes which otherwise would not have survived. Evolution maybe, but not necessarily one for quality of life, particularly if that is to be disease free in old age.

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Re: Ongoing human evolution ?

Postby xouper » Sat Sep 09, 2017 4:57 am

What might be an interesting mutation in humans is the ability to metabolize plastics. Then we could eat the packaging too instead of dumping it into the oceans.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nylon-eating_bacteria

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Re: Ongoing human evolution ?

Postby ElectricMonk » Sat Sep 09, 2017 5:15 am

TJ,

actually, evolution is being pushed to long life-spans since women are having their children later and later - an effect you can easily demonstrate with mice.

And the best mutation to have would be to steal the secrets of Elysia chlorotica and have algae in our skin produce sugar from sunlight for us.
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Re: Ongoing human evolution ?

Postby Lance Kennedy » Sat Sep 09, 2017 5:31 am

Sadly, EM, our surface area is too small for that to be of any measurable benefit. The longer life span suggestion makes good sense, though.

I have a personal speculation. Since we now have control over fertility, over the next few generations, a larger and larger percentage of the world's population will be descended from women who want lots of children. Perhaps the desire for many will enter the gene pool via natural selection?

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Re: Ongoing human evolution ?

Postby TJrandom » Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:09 am

ElectricMonk wrote:TJ,

actually, evolution is being pushed to long life-spans since women are having their children later and later - an effect you can easily demonstrate with mice.

And the best mutation to have would be to steal the secrets of Elysia chlorotica and have algae in our skin produce sugar from sunlight for us.


I know that some women are kinky, and I have seen a woman and a ... ok, I`ll omit that. But women and mice!? I don`t think so.

Longer fertility I can agree to - medical science, good diet, and fewer preditors - but again, I don`t see these external technologies affecting evolution for `better outcomes`. A child born to a late 50`s woman isn`t likely to carry a gene for that. I could be wrong...

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Re: Ongoing human evolution ?

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:22 am

TJrandom wrote:Noting in evolution says that the changes need be for the better – however that is defined – stronger, taller, smarter, less disease, or longer lived. It just assumes that the changes offer a competitive advantage for the environment in which it finds itself long enough to permit procreation.

Actually, the change is random. The advantageous mutations offer a slight advantage, but the disadvantageous and the neutral changes occur in equal numbers.
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Re: Ongoing human evolution ?

Postby Nikki Nyx » Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:57 pm

OlegTheBatty wrote:
Nikki Nyx wrote:Here's the part where I think they dropped the ball:
Researchers further find that sets of genetic mutations that predispose people to heart disease, high cholesterol, obesity, and asthma, also appear less often in people who lived longer and whose genes are therefore more likely to be passed down and spread through the population.
This conclusion is unsupported. Longevity is not necessarily correlated with the propensity to reproduce.
Almost all deaths from these causes occur after child-bearing years. Natural selection won't touch them. During child-bearing years, deaths from these causes are swamped by deaths from accidents, homicides, suicides and infectious diseases.
Sure. My only point was that people don't think, "Oh, hey, longevity runs in my family. I should probably have more children than those short-lived bastiches next door." I was never invited to be a member of the Howard Families. ;) On what basis are they concluding that long-lived people's genes are more likely to be passed down? We're no more likely to reproduce than anyone else, so our fantastic genes go nowhere.

OlegTheBatty wrote:
Nikki wrote: I think I lost the genetic lottery, despite my family's longevity. I never win anything. ;)
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Sure, but I've been 90-years-old since I was 34. Having longevity and being disabled with chronic pain is like being given a lifetime supply of free meat...that you have to sweep up off the floor of a slaughterhouse. With a toothbrush. In the dark. :mrgreen:
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Re: Ongoing human evolution ?

Postby Lance Kennedy » Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:16 am

Well, Nikki.
For what it is worth you have my best wishes for an improvement. I know there are some good developments under way by researchers in pain control. Hopefully, they will come up with something to help.

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Re: Ongoing human evolution ?

Postby Nikki Nyx » Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:30 pm

Thank you, Lance!
Researchers are finding some interesting correlations (dare I use that word?) in folks with fibro that, at the very least, have pointed them in some clearcut directions for further study. In the meantime, my multi-faceted approach to my own treatment, if nothing else, improves my quality of life by reducing symptom severity, so that's something.
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
—Lazarus Long, from Time Enough for Love, by Robert A. Heinlein


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