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The biggest threat to mankind. What will end the world as we know ?

Does the world need to be saved ? Are we heading toward an inevitable extinction ? will that be a new generation bomb ? or will it be pollution ? will it be depletion of natural resources ? or will the machines be our killers as it is suggested in many sci-fi stories ?


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  • Jun 23 2012: Biggest threat for mankind is mankind itself. No other species has endangered the very system in which it can survive.

    As we have seen in the evolution, evidently nature hasn't extincted any species completely. If we say, dinosaurs are extincted, we still can see nature retaining that species in its simple forms like crocodiles, lizards etc. Nature has always designed its models in such a way that the model itself would be the reason for its survival or its end which depends upon the way it survives. Thus man becomes the sole responsibility for his extinction.

    The next step of evolution ? That's a big question with a lot of answers or I'd say speculations. If I may add one :)

    The next step of evolution might not occur physically but mentally, which are the ways a brain could relate and evolve the social relations. We all know the occurrence of Homosapiens needed various forms to be tested like Neanderthals for instance. Homosapiens survived because of one factor which is his ability to adopt. He had the ability to form a social structure of his kind which doesn't rely on nature completely for its survival as the other species does. So if we speculate, with the fact that Homosapiens managed to survive such long years after going through various branches of the species tree, we can derive that Nature's purpose of evoluting Homosapiens through the various branches of species tree is to make him consume his brain for his survival.

    To be continued....
    • Jun 25 2012: I agree R John that we are our own biggest risk. Makes me reflect on the idea of devolution. Perhaps we would be better off from a long-term survival perspective by losing some of the complexity of our pre-frontal cortex... and once again be happy little seashore apes gathering shellfish and snoozing in cuddle-puddles under the tropical moonlight.
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        Jun 25 2012: that is one common point in most of the comments. we are the biggest threat to ourselves.
        do you see our prefrontal cortex complexity, paradoxically in the way of our evolution ?
        I mean the second type of evolution that R John meant which is mentally ?
        • Jun 25 2012: I am just surfing my brain-waves Sina... but it could be that, like the ridiculous tail of a Bird of Paradise, our big brains may have evolved not from being an effective adaptation for survival (long-term) but from sexual selection. Women like smart dudes... or smart dudes have sex more often than simpler fellows.
          Call this theory a possibility that remains unproven but shouldn't be discounted! The jury is out on whether a big brain will be a longterm positive adaptive trait.
          Personally I think our brains evolved as one of many animal experiments intended to get bacteria into space and onto other host-worlds but that is another topic.
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        Jun 25 2012: Thank you for sharing your brainwaves dear Mike,

        I find your theory of how we got here and how we have evolved (ET experiments) very probable since we find amino acids in meteors.

        regarding your sexual selection theory I must add that it has not always been the smartest ones getting the females but the strongest ones ... and perhaps in the long run as Richard Dawkins suggests the most fit ones ...

        I think John Nash's theory will be interesting to you and may add or extend your sexual selection theory. "If we all go for the blond ..."
        • Jun 25 2012: Agreed that the strongest ones have a certain success rate but if strength were the only or primary selector we would all be alpha males. Fortunately that isn't the case! Have you ever tried working in organizations with too many alpha males? Complete dysfunction in my experience. Always trying to assert their perceived dominance.
          When the Alpha Arses and their Beta Boys go over to the next valley to thump some heads and steal a few mates they sometimes run into resistance and don't return. That leaves a village full of ladies for the Gamma Guys and Delta Dudes to procreate with... thus leading to a world full of "average" folks.

          I'll check out John Nash... cheers M
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        Jun 25 2012: This is one of my favorite topics and that's why I am continuing this conversation with joy altough it is now a deviation from the subject of the main conversation.

        I do not agree that alpha males failed to mate and naturally pushed out of the gene pool simply observing the wolf packs in which the strongest (Alpha) is the only one allowed to mate with the alpha female and the rest of female wolves.

        reading about wolves I realized the Alpha is not necessarily the strongest but also the most intelligent as wolves like other animals do engage in a psychologic mental war before being physical. the intelligent one often knows this game better than the rest. wolves also send their Omega to battles in which they know they will not survive! that may be the case with humans also.

        where alphas and beta will not survive because of resistance, Gammas and Deltas will not survive because of the attack of other tribes therefore the balance and the survival of the fittest remains true.

        BUT having had your experience with the alpha males in work environment and watching the female behavior toward them, I can confirm your theory of sexual selection that they are the winners in the short run (in human case that does not lead to reproduction because they are dysfunctional in their relationships as well) and in the long run it is still the most intelligent that gets the female (and that leads to reproduction). !
        therefore we must be heading toward a more intelligent society even if we are now bunch of "average" folks.

        Cordially, Sina
        • Jun 26 2012: Yes Sina, it takes all types to make a world. When we, as a collective, learn to respect and value all the various contributions that the full spectrum of humanity offers, we will have finally matured as a species.

          I am not sure wolves are the best example to use when discussing parallel social groups. Better perhaps are chimpanzees, where the Alpha gets first opportunity, then the Betas, while those lower in the social order seems to have more success with clandestine affairs off in the bushes with adventurous females often from neighbouring clans.

          Also I wasn't suggesting Alpha males fail to mate, just that they don't mate with any more frequency than the rest of us, suggesting that strength has only limited practical applications in reproduction of homo sapiens. In many other animals it seems to be the final arbitrator, though careful observation often reveals that opportunity, luck and initiative can play a part as well.

          Yes back to the subject! Thanks for your great moderation on this forum. Best I have encountered!

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