Ahmed Ben Yaghlen

Student, Youth & Science Association of Tunisia

This conversation is closed.

Does evolution destroy us?

Evolution occurs when a mutation is beneficial to survival right? Well with us humans, we have civilizations and surviving in our time means being educated and getting a job and making money. Well could the next stage of our evolution be us merging with technology to make us more efficient? Or on a scarier thought, could we create computers and robots that surpass us, take us all out, and those robots continuously build more robots that surpass the last in an exponential growth of inteligence?Could that be the future of human evolution?

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    Jun 18 2013: Look at it this way.
    The evolution of nature created man.
    The evolution of men created culture.
    The evolution of culture created technology.
    The evolution of technology creates something new.

    In total it is the evolution of self-awareness from consciousness.
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      Jun 18 2013: I know I am only a caterpillar ;-) who can read :) and write :) and at the end of the day there isn’t much hope for me becoming human......but.......as I do push myself to evolve also,
      I would appreciate it when you would instead use the word human :-) ♥ in your insightful writing.
      • Jun 18 2013: 'Hu' - breath of god, 'man' -mind ( or hand ) in Sanskrit.
        As far as i understand ' Hu' is the degree of our awareness of our ' Hu '
        No religion required :)
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          Jun 18 2013: " ' Hu' ' man' = Degree of Awareness Mind

          huh!....I am liking Sanskrit:)
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        Jun 19 2013: Nothing can destroy us, says Vedas.
        Om Bhur Buvaha Suvaha
        Thath Savithur Varenyam
        Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi
        Dhiyo Yonaha Prachodayath
        which means:
        I am that vivifying power, love, radiant illumination, and
        divine grace of universal intelligence.
        We pray for the divine light to illumine our minds.

        The ancient Aryans went to the extent that man was called 'Amritasya Putrah' (Son of the immortal) in Svetasvatara Upanishad.
        I am happy that you like Sanskrit. :)
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          Jun 28 2013: ....I give thanks...
          to "a benevolent arrangement of things,
          the greater part of life is sunshine"
          showing up always in form of the friend
          always and forever on time...

          ... liking Sanskrit a lot :)
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        Jun 19 2013: To be a writing, reading caterpillar is very special, Juliette.
        More special than a walking, talking human being.
        However, to be or not to be, that's the question, for everything is evolving and doesn't pause at any state.
    • Jun 18 2013: I don't know how true it is, but it's the way i look at it :)

      Hi, Frans !!!
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        Jun 19 2013: Hi, Natasha
        Could it be a little bit true?
        Never anything put into words can be true for truth is the limit of what you can see about that is.
        And words are limited to what we all can think.
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      Jun 21 2013: .
      "The evolution of technology creates" invalid (harmful) happiness,
      which creates humankind self-extinction, too!

      (from Be Happy Validly!)
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    Jun 19 2013: Ahmed,
    I believe we have merged with technology, which is a tool we created as evolving humans. Like any other tool, we can use technology to destroy ourselves, or, use it to learn about, and contribute to our self-awareness and consciousness as we continue to evolve:>)
  • Jun 26 2013: Biological evolution occurs when a population's distribution of traits changes over time, not due to any underlying programming. That is it. There is nothing at all about "beneficial to survival". It is possible for a population to evolve itself right into extinction. Evolution is survival-neutral. Natural selection, which is one of several potential evolutionary driving forces, but not the only one, is survival-mediated. However, there are other forces, including purely stochastic elements. The idea that evolution is automatically related to survival is simplistic. There is nothing deterministic about evolution. There is no innate "direction" to it. There is no such thing as a "next stage" in evolution, because a "next stage" is deterministic, and evolution is non-deterministic.

    Evolution is an example of a long-term chaotic process, not a long-term deterministic process.
  • Jun 23 2013: I tend to think of the term evolution in another way. If I were to redefine evolution to suit most peoples taste it would be a change in a species that is advantageous to its survival..something like X-men type evolution with superpowers. But it doesn't work that way..evolution i believe is merely a change in a species that enables it to survive more efficiently-if we are going to talk about the entire progression of a species starting from its primordial origins.Some species might probably NOT even need to evolve because its environment suits it very very well... ever wonder why algae or lichens still exist? why didn't they ever evolve into something very complex like a mammal or a reptile?why did the algae refuse to evolve into something else? probably because it doesn't need to...

    your question is difficult to answer. You are worried about biological beings undergoing evolution to merge with technology... something like a Borg (startrek). But This is very difficult to answer as we do not know the full range of spectrum that evolution can do to a biologic being. So far we have seen evolution as "biologic" in its being... animals that can sense extremely low frequency vibrations. Animals that can see different light spectrums beyond our range.. Fish that evolve limbs because they spend more time in land that in the water. These in my opinion are changes that are somewhat predictable... or at least, it is what we know. Can genetic mutations occur that will allow us to develop mind reading abilities? develop some form of laser vision?..evolution happens because we need to adapt to our environment. why on earth would we develop these capabilities? If we were to integrate with machines/technology... it probably won't be via evolution. more of tinkering with the machines to adapt to US rather than we biologic beings to adapt to IT. so to answer your question, I don't think we will evolve in such a way. Im more worried about cancer and its ability to jump generations.
  • Jun 20 2013: I think it's naive to say humans stopped evolving. As long as we don't start eating rocks or stop inhaling air, we will always be a part of nature. And nature is not confined within earth either. Yes we can protect ourselves from earthquakes, floods and diseases for now, but that doesn't mean we will always be able to. Yes we may have taken giant leaps in technology in a short period of our existance but a quasar nearby or explosions in the sun can well alter our atmosphere and our style of living. Whatever nature gives us, we can find a way to survive, but that also changes us in the long run. We can reach singularity where a human consciousness can be transferred to a non-living thing (ie robot) and we'll be out of natural evolution but then we'll cease to be humans, we'll be something else. Believing we're no longer evolving now is the same as people believing 2000 years ago that humans were perfect beings created in the image of some god. Only constant thing is change.
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      • Jun 21 2013: Thanks for the links Juan, watched em long time ago :)
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      Jun 21 2013: It depends on how you describe our evolution, physical and/or mental. There are many scientists who openly state we are no longer undergoing a physical evolution, suggesting that our current human form is the final pattern locked within our DNA, all other mutations being insignificant. It is often stated that we don't use our full brain "potential", not to be confused with a percentage of some physical quantity associated with the physical brain.

      Example, not all of us are super math wizards, even though we may conclude that we all have that potential. I tend to confer with this assessment until something better comes along.
      • Jun 21 2013: Not true. Every cold you catch, every flu you go thru leave a mark on your DNA, as long as you survive them. These genes are passed onto your offsprings making them less prone to those illnesses. But different strands of flu comes out every year. We evolve with them. Why do you think most of our 3 million pair of genes is junk? It is a history book of everything your ancestors've been thru.

        And the braşn capacity thing..brain is not some magic organ that would allow us to bend spoons or fly if we could use 100% of it, it is simply a network of nerves & neurons. Oh, and we do use 100% of our brains, just not at the same time. It's like you can't read a book while watching tv. Different areas in the brain are responsible for different tasks, simple as that.
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          Jun 21 2013: That is incorrect. It has not been established that the DNA records every incident that occurs in our life. DNA is a Molecule, a chemistry set for life and how to interact within it.To my knowledge no one has done a study to see if the DNA in each cell of our body were changed after a bout of the flue. Where did you get your information? I would be interested in reviewing it.

          The DNA structure is very stable and not so easily disturbed. It is also self-repairing and self-replicating.

          It has been established by laboratory experiments that the brain can cause very real physical conditions within our bodies. We can increase the heat emitted from our hands and this has an influence on the environment, small but detectable. People have been known to do extraordinary feats of physical strength in times of stress that defy the bodies ability to endure weight and force. No, we don't use all our brain's "potential". If we did we would all be a clone of Dr. Michi Kaku. :) I know I would. (note: see changes in previous post).

          And no, you can't read a book and watch TV at the same time. You eyes scan the environment and bring the window of focus to the forefront of you mind. You can read the book, then watch the TV but not both at the same time.

          I don't know what the 3 million pairs of junk genes are and neither does anyone else.

          You might find it interesting to know that some people are born with a brain condition and their entire brain is located in a mass the size of a tennis ball. Some have a smaller area. You would never know because they don't exhibit any symptom and can be very intelligent. Such people make brain scientists scratch their heads when reviewing their Brain Scans. I understand there are some scanning experiments going on concerning these people. It will be interesting to read the results.



          I edited my previous post to deal with your objection to the brain potential statement. I hope this meets with your approval. Did I leave anything out? :)
        • Jun 23 2013: "Every cold you catch, every flu you go thru leave a mark on your DNA, as long as you survive them. These genes are passed onto your offsprings making them less prone to those illnesses."


          Sorry, no, that's not how evolution works.
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          Jun 26 2013: John -- can I get a link to the 'tennis-ball-brains." I might be one. At least that's what my wife tell me! All jokes aside, that is a link I'd like to see. I want to learn about that!

          Also John, mother's who breast feed pass antibodies to their offspring that protect them during the time of their mild dependency. That actually helps educate the immune system of the baby and this makes it stronger. Most pediatricians will tell you " always Breast FEED if you can!" That is, if you are female w/a child. Not all of us are equipped to breast feed.

          Oh, & John, I'm going to sign up w/Udacity. There is also another competing sight that was discussed in a TED talk. I'll pass that link (to the Ted Talk a least) in a reply/note later. I"m at the library right now. The browser here doesn't have all my links in it.
      • Jun 22 2013: "I don't know what the 3 million pairs of junk genes are and neither does anyone else."

        But they are still there, and they are being discovered one by one. They just have no function. They're inactive. Sometimes these inactive genes become active and birth defects occur where a baby is born with a tail or is covered with hair.

        "The examples of human vestigiality are numerous, including the anatomical (such as the human appendix, tailbone, wisdom teeth, and inside corner of the eye), the behavioral (goose bumps and palmar grasp reflex), sensory (decreased olfaction), and molecular (junk DNA). " You can do a lookup on junk DNA on google.

        Also,
        You brain has areas for every limb and organ you have. If you lose your left arm, for example, your left eye vision could improve a lot because the areas that control them are pretty close. When you lose a limb the area that is tasked for that particular organ is of no use anymnore and other tasked areas start using this area of the brain. Sometimes this area is never used, as if the limb is not lost, causing you to still feel your lost limb, like how people who lost their legs say their legs are itchy sometimes.

        And about the brain causing real physical conditions within our bodies...Did I say anything contradictory? Of course it does, because brain controls every limb and organ, is the control center of your sensory network. There is no magic potential here. Just because some people can still use their vestigial traits (ie being able to move ears, raising body hair upon wish, or even locally increasing blood pressure) does not make them have greater potential than other people. Everyone has these traits, but the genes are inactive.

        And about external forces changing our DNA...Our bodies is a conglomerate of many different organisms. We have billions of bacteria in our body,our cells are different. Bone cells are different, skin cells are different. Our body even contains the DNA of the food we eat. You can google it.
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          Jun 22 2013: Good Job Bora.

          I did more than Google it. I studied at Udacity University. They have a nice course there on Evolution and Genetics. You appear to have an inquisitive mind. I think you would enjoy it. It's free. Check it out. From your questions, it appears you have recently discovered something about our bodies.

          Ernest Rutherford discovered that atoms were mostly empty space, he was afraid to get out of bed for fear he'd fall through the floor.

          Earlier, you said it was naive to think we have stopped evolving. But, the top scientists in the world state that we have stopped evolving, because evolution is a function of environmental pressures. Many species of plants and animals stopped evolving many millions of years ago. Human beings are relatively recent players in the evolution game.


          Have a look at this video featuring Dr. Michio Kaku, talking about human evolution to get a real good picture of just how little the pressure is for us to evolve.

          The evolutionary pressure that existed far back in our past is no longer a function of our evolution. According to Dr. Kaku: in the future, we will look pretty much the same as we do now.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkuCtIko798
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          Jun 24 2013: @ John Moonstroller
          That is seen too simply in my opinion, while it is true there is no real environmental pressure yet. You don't include technological evolution.
          I don't think the contemporary human form is the most ideal one in every environment.

          When we are able to properly engineer and enhance organisms, we are only bound by ethics and our creativity. Some social groups will want to distinct themselves, think of races in fantasy films.
      • Jun 22 2013: John,

        I've seen every Michio Kaku video out there :P

        But as I've said earlier, environmental factors are not confined within this earth. Humanity, it it doesn't end soon, will go to space. Space has different environment. If Humanity settles on another planet, environment will be different there too. Humanity will evolve. We are even different than the people 2000 years ago. Even today average height of people is higher than 100 years ago. Baby steps. Evolution doesn't necessarily mean mutation of genes and changing into some other species in time. Who knows environmental factors won't change in the next 200 years on earth? What if earth enters an ice age that will last 100,000 years? I'm pretty sure there will be physiological differences between people now and people 100,000 years from now.

        Will humanity be even taller next millenium? More obese perhaps? Less fertile? Even the underwear we use, the drinks we drink, the food we eat affect our fertility. Sure, we can have artificial insemination but that is also due to changes in human physiology, and that is evolution. (living things don't necessarily evolve to a "better" state).

        Factors constantly change. In recent history, humanity has created its own factors. But they are factors nonetheless. This is why I said it is naive to think humanity has stopped evolving.
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          Jun 22 2013: Oh... Okay. I understand what you mean now. I still disagree from a basic evolutionary standpoint but space is a different horse to ride. I guess we'll see when we start cruising around out there.

          And, yes, I hope there are some serious physiological changes in people. Hopefully, I'd like to see them within the next ten years or so, myself.

          All things remaining the same, I doubt the human race will be here in 100,000 years.
      • Jun 23 2013: "There are many scientists who openly state we are no longer undergoing a physical evolution"

        No evolutionary biologists say that.

        "It is often stated that we don't use our full brain "potential""

        Not by educated people.
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          Jun 23 2013: I'm educated. I say that. Dr. Michio Kaku said that. He's educated too.
          Are you an evolutionary biologist?
          "Question: Have human beings stopped evolving? Will humans look any different in the future? (Submitted by Kiran Uttarkar)

          Michio Kaku: Kiran, if you read science fiction you might think that humans in the future will be slender, short, bald, with big heads and big eyes that sort of the stereotype that you get from the comic books. However, you have to realize that as far a gross evolutionary pressure is concerned; there is none anymore on the human race. For example, in the old days, when we lived in the forests, there was enormous selection and pressures placed on us to develop a large brain, to understand how to use tools, to run, to be able to navigate, to survive in the forests. Enormous pressures on us because if you were not fit to live in the forest, you died. And so your genes are not here today..."
          ~ http://bigthink.com/videos/mankind-has-stopped-evolving
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    Jun 19 2013: Let's twist this ever so slightly and refer to ourselves not as evolved humans but as evolved parasites ravaging the planet and destroying everything that would prove beneficial to long term existence here. The evolution of technology has intensified and caused the destruction to speed up exponentially. We don't have a defense against ourselves, instead of our best traits being passed down to future generations we are leaving a horrendous mess in our wake and complicating existence for future generations.
    Merging our bodies physically with technology may become the answer when faced with losing a small child to a terminal illness or leaving a young family to function without a parent.
    We already store all of our intelligence and knowledge that's been gained throughout history in technological databases to be recovered on a whim with our fingertips.
    Cell phone attachment is borderline addiction, people can't seem to function without access to some form of technology every minute of the day. In a sense we have already been surpassed by technology and in an exorbitant number of situations, completely replaced. We have created our own worst enemy in many of the technological advancements that we've seen thus far. Robots that build machinery parts and do a significant number of the jobs that used to be performed by humans at a much higher proficiency rate is already common.
    As for our level of efficiency, we are only more efficient with the access to that technology, if the systems went down we would actually prove to be less evolved as I don't think many people would be able to survive.
    Without internet I'm under the impression that far too many people would be lost and wandering in the dark without a clue as to how to proceed in a world without answers in one central place but actually have to be learned through trial and error.
    Human evolution has all but ceased and technological evolution moves forward every day at an astonishing pace.
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      Jun 21 2013: .
      .
      Yes!
      I agree.

      Certainly, humankind will be killed by technology.
      The only way to save ourselves is to quit the invalid (harmful) happiness of technology.

      (from Be Happy Validly!). .
  • Jun 18 2013: Humans are off the natural evolution path, we are not evolving physically anymore. Our evolution has more to do with the mind and social interactions.
    • Jun 18 2013: Humans are considered to be non evolving species. It's because there is no room for consciousness in the dictionary of Darwin.
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      Jun 18 2013: where do you get the idea our species has sidestepped natural evolution?
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        Jun 19 2013: Environmental changes selected the appropriate genes for survival until a thinking mind started to change the environment to fit the existing genes.

        The reason why humanity could spread around the globe is that they had become independent from their surroundings. They make whatever is necessary for any given place.

        If you look at nature as a living body than our species behaves within it like a tumor.
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        Jun 20 2013: @Juan Valdez
        It looks like we're not able to change our behavior in a decisive way to avoid natural things from happening. Perhaps some will survive the destruction of that cradle that brought us to life.
        As you pointed out elsewhere there are threats from volcanoes or from outer space and as it was with the dinosaur a few better equipped species brought about a new world and again this time it could be that this time the same or another kind of catastrophe will create a new stage on which technology plays a major role.
        Consciousness can't happen in a static world, it must change and develop without end.
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        Jun 23 2013: @Juan Valdez

        I can't react directly on your elaborate answer by lack of a Reply button.

        I'm not sure what point you will make but I quote from your text:
        "existence/non-existence of God"

        You first tell me who or what God is then I will tell you about the existence of that.
        If that question isn't answered properly than it is a non issue for science.
    • Jun 19 2013: Humans are off the natural evolution path,
      Scott, how can you make this statement? We are most certainly not off the path of evolution. We may be making strides to change those mutations that occur and are not successful, but that doesn't stop mutations from happening. I believe we are not seeing major strides in the evolutionary scale because the big reason it happens and is successful depends on the bobbing of the solar system out of and back into the milky way. This 60 million year cycle has been shown to not only kill off species, but to allow for an explosion of biodiversity. Other drastic changes in enviroment may also explain why a species can go several million years without mutating or dieing out.
      • Jun 20 2013: we are off the natural evolutionary path because essentially we have conquered most of the natural forces which cause natural selection and evolution. We have conquered many fatal disease and are capable of preventing the rest.

        Predators: the only predators we have are ourselves.

        there is nothing to prevent bad genes from being passed along which means we are essentially off the natural evolution path.
    • Jun 20 2013: very very wrong humans are still evolving and we have several times in our recorded history but these changes are very subtle it will be a very long time before there are major changes noticed and the idea that humans are non evolving species is a terrible simple minded idea what so you think this ape body still with a tail bone hair on our body and many other animal features is just going to stop for literally no reason after millions of years of it changing?
      • Jun 20 2013: who said for no reason, the reason I am stating is that nearly all human genes are being passed along now. Evolution is caused by only certain genes being good enough to keep the individual alive and thus are passed down to the next generation. If every gene gets passed on to the next generation then there is no evolution.
        • Jun 20 2013: That is illogical from what you say that means more genes are passing down and evolution is only changing to survive better (it is mostly) but what if now are bodies are adapting to fight heart disease diabetes dying at age of 80 or anything else want an example how about malaria and actually there has been an adaptation to malaria it's called the sickle cell gene which reduces oxygen flow but increases resistance to malaria. it is a mutation and it helps survival rates also it is higher in concentration in africa and high amount of deaths from malaria.
          The real question is how does evolution know that we're ok now we don't need its adaptations anymore and it can stop evolution cannot distinguish between it keeping you alive from saber tooth tigers or your back from deforming from sitting in a really bad chair all your life
        • Jun 20 2013: ps. sorry for the bad grammer i got lazy haha
      • Jun 20 2013: sickle cell adapted because those without it died, or got very sick leaving those with the condition to thrive and pass on their well adapted genes.
        What I am saying is that there is too much movement of people and genes, as well as too high of a survival rate for all genes (very low infant mortality in any western area). To allow specialization which is the main ingredient in evolution.

        I cannot see evolution to fight heart disease since for the most part people breed before heart disease can kill, or are medically saved allowing them to pass on the genes responsible, thus no evolution. Evolution is the process of genes dying out and the surviving ones giving advantage to the descendants, so if the vast majority of genes are being passed on, they disadvantaged ones have less chance of dying out and thus stalling out evolution.
        • Jun 21 2013: ok i get what you mean now. you are implying that all evolution is survival of the fittest. Well that's is the biggest problem you have because for one we are still not positive what causes evolution but survival of the fittest is the oldest and first ideas of evolution and ii generally not considered true.

          And the problem with your idea of evolution is that genes just don't die out i really wish i could give you specific details you should go read some articles of people much smarter than I.
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    Jun 17 2013: I'm not worried about robots taking over. Intelligence implies unpredictable behavior. Machines that do not behave predictably are not considered "intelligent". They are considered broken.
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    May 30 2013: L’Évolution consciente se produit au sein de notre génération parce que nous avons une plus grande compréhension des processus de la nature: le gène, l'atome, le cerveau, l'origine de l'univers, et toute l'histoire de la création, du Bing Bang jusqu'à nous. Nous sommes en train de changer notre compréhension de la façon dont la nature évolue ; nous allons de l'évolution inconsciente par la sélection naturelle à l'évolution consciente par le choix. Avec cette connaissance accrue et la puissance qu'elle nous donne, nous pouvons détruire le monde ou nous pouvons participer à un avenir de dimensions incommensurables. Le pouvoir de co-destruction ou de co-création a été mis entre nos mains. .
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      May 30 2013: The Human conditions and circumstances have always been unprecedented. Since our proliferation from Africa, we have always devised new environments for ourselves always adapting to new situations.
      Yet there is a scary variance, we now have the capacity to destroy civilization and all life in the planet in the process. Can humanity evolve a sense of responsibility if anything for self-preservation? Or is the undirected evolution of our culture too sluggish or inappropriate? Can the same be asked of Biological evolution?
  • Jun 24 2013: Yes.

    As we watch the Hanford Washington Nuclear Waste Storage Tanks leaking their contents
    into the nearby river we must address the idea of humankind becoming extinct due to stupidity.

    Occam's Razor
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    Jun 23 2013: Evolution is not an answer to a question. It is the question. Human beings, Homo Sapiens, have a frontal cortex in the brain that allows us to perceive the future, and build abstract mental models for planning, and survival actions. Evolution in humans can be literally, and substantially self guided. In other words let's all get our heads out of the sand. Start evolving, philosophically, psychologically, socially, and physically into the creature capable of sustaining itself, through space exploration (in the long run) , but soberly facing the essential survival task of using our existing resources to the highest possible degree of efficiency, and cooperation. This will defuse conflicts, and spend our energies on symbiosis, instead of counterproductive primitive predation philosophy and mindless consumption leading to our extinction as we
    are now doing. Mindless predatory capitalism, oppression, corporate feudalism and economic slavery will only hasten our demise.
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    Jun 18 2013: well evolution could work to our advantage if we wanted it to, the problem that we have with evolution is that human evolution is not influenced genetically it is influenced by the decisions that we make, which might not always be beneficial, like our predisposition to believe that money is the source of progress is an evolutionary mistake that was caused by decision, but if humans used their evolutionary capacity to create technology for the higher efficiency of energy, better preservation of nature, and the expansion of technology for the purpose of human health, then our evolution would have been well worth it.
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    Jun 17 2013: Another reason I'm not concerned that machines will be smarter than humans: As we make a step forward, we become one step ahead of where we were a step ago. When we create a machine as smart as a human, we will become smarter than that machine.
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    Jun 16 2013: By definition, yes.

    Since evolution is the changing of something and [us] is what we are, then "evolution of us" means we are changing. Thus, we are no longer the [us] that we were. [Us] is therefore destroyed by evolution.
  • Jun 9 2013: Perhaps we can strive to become like ants, or sharks or many other species that hadn't changed in 100s of millions of years. How they manged this beats me.
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      Jun 17 2013: They stayed true to themselves :)
      • Jun 18 2013: They most certainly did :-)
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          Jun 18 2013: Beautiful! I'll put it on my desk as follows :-)
          " we can strive to become like ants, eagles, dolphins, butterflies or many other species that hadn't changed in 100s of millions of years. " (putting in animals that I would choose to be ;-)
  • May 31 2013: Yes, eventually, one way or another, the current human species is doomed.

    The most likely scenarios are:

    1. We will change the environment to the degree that genetic adaption is required to survive.
    2. We will invent technologies that will displace us.
    3. We will intentionally modify the genes of our descendants.
    4. A microbe or natural disaster will wipe us out.

    There are many other possible scenarios. Check out this talk:

    http://www.ted.com/talks/juan_enriquez_will_our_kids_be_a_different_species.html

    The least likely scenario is that the current human species will survive unchanged until the end of the Earth.

    The big question is when.
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    May 30 2013: The Borg or the Terminator or what about a kinder gentler version of either.

    Sometimes I think Sci Fi is very prescient. Nano engineering will likely make Borg type bodies possible.We already have the collective mentality.

    Lets hope we don't have the Terminator as he will go around destroying governments and marriages.
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      May 30 2013: It makes me smile, just to read this, Alexander. I feel the same way but I don't agree with your question "Evolution occurs when a mutation is beneficial to survival right?".
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        May 30 2013: Not always Ahmed. sometimes the mutation gets eaten before it can procreate. There may have to be many mutations covering a long time period before enough are able upset the population numbers through breeding.
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      Jun 18 2013: Very nicely put how our basic perceptions are influenced critically by the interests of corporations and by other systems which we ourselves have created. Also completely agree about the machines and the wrong belief about their intelligence.
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    Jun 29 2013: Did we replace the Neanderthals? Or did their inadequacies to adapt remove them?
    Evolution does not replace it merely makes attempts at change where better changes endure.
    So if we are someday bettered by our descendants and they have observed/learned our ways will we be in danger?
  • Jun 29 2013: I think that technological increase with regard to artificial intelligence will have an upper limit. Our machines will continue to get more complex, capable, and similar to us...however, humans have a deeply ingrained and cherished concept of what it means to be human, and I don't think we are willing to let go of this. The creation of supremely intelligent robots won't happen overnight, and during this slow and steady progression, the scientific community will likely be met with strong opposition from the humanists, and from any scientists who also realize the value of humanity. We are in control of our machines, and I have faith that we will be cautious enough to maintain such control in the future.
  • Jun 29 2013: Nonthing is impossible:)
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    Jun 27 2013: Yes, is a very real possibility but as you could see on the latest events with the Koreas it won't be so easy to happen but i as i said on my first comment we have to pay attention and contribute to change.
  • Jun 26 2013: Thank you!
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    Jun 26 2013: Here is a video that gives some of the most current info on how evolution and Human Evolution, in particular, is viewed. http://www.ted.com/talks/harvey_fineberg_are_we_ready_for_neo_evolution.html

    As for the rest here; the debates & subdebates:
    Got it. Offending comments deleted. Good luck. Try to inject some authoritative Science into this and try to at least link to the source where you get your information. If you learned this in school, say so. If nothing else, cite Wikipedia w/a link. Read the article you cite. Even if the experts disagree, you can still cite the debate via web link -- somewhere. Wikipedia articles are good about having "Controversy" sections describing areas where experts disagree.

    I guess my professional training has spoiled me on fun debates over . . . stuff. Sorry, gotta leave it there. Peace. Out!
  • Jun 26 2013: My thoughts are that the iterative driver of all existing systems, where in everything manifest follows similar emergent self-reflective chaotic complex mathematical rules, is the Singular Consciousness reproaching a whole knowingness which then expands once more. More specifically, when humans interface intimately and fully, and quantum computing (eg. D-wave based in Vancouver) divides the second into trillions of calculations, what TIME will we as a species exist in? When we can simulate a universe of possibilities in a microsecond where will our segregations reside? Not in space not in time but only in unity trapped in the limits of our space-time. I think then as WE the oneness exist apart from the natural law In order to experience experience once more we will as we have into infinity simulate a universe of universes seeding with emergent feedback from beginning to end all the determined choices on the playground of real consciousness. We now, in time, riding the edge of the paradoxical "present" are a function that complete system in which entropy and complexity evolve to begin again and again. Our necessary movement in time had to have been for everything to become. In short I think technology is organic, there is both free will and determinism, reaching the conscious singularity is our ultimate driver and emergent behaviour is as universal as the water drop of an idea in my grade 1/2 classroom. So........ If you could be me could you still judge me? I believe you are me and I love me so I love you too. After all, if all of our probabilistic paths are written for us to choose from how can I judge you when you choose the wrong one? Some people don't have many good probable outcomes.
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      Jun 26 2013: How cool is that! That is so wonderful! Here is a gift. You might enjoy this: http://weavesilk.com/

      Back in the day, I taught 3rd grade for a while. Those kids were collectively so much smarter than me! And i hate to admit it, but sometimes (many times) my classroom management reflected that fact. I also taught first graders for a month. But that was too short a time. Enjoy. I'm gonna come back & read this again.
      • Jun 26 2013: Thank you Juan. That was meaningful for me in many ways. This is the first time I have shared these thought cohesively. I am glad someone read to understand it and found connection.
  • Jun 25 2013: Evolution is exemplified by the phoenix, through destruction comes rebirth. Regardless of how the evolution occurs the reality is that the succeeding group will create and establish a new paradigm, those unable to accommodate themselves for survival will face extinction, evolution is more than just mutation as mentioned with the robot theory their are many ways in which intelligence can develop, if history has shown us anything its that as groups of evolved individuals increase those unable to accommodate fight those who are looking to enter into the new paradigm. Like the kings falling to the masses or the dictators in the east being subdued by protestors, people who have adapted and gained power will be the first to lose that power to the next generation of evolved individuals. Yes evolution always destroys us because those unable to join the evolutionary shift will fight against it so they may still survive, in which case survival of the fittest takes over and we see whether or not the evolutionary change has brought about a great enough change that the paradigm shift and the evolved individuals succeed and gain power until the become contested by future generations. Coming full circle, returning to the phoenix idea, as we destroy ourselves we create our rebirth in some sense. The level of destruction however is based on what factors ? : how stable the current paradigm is, how much power the current individuals with advantages have, and how significant is the evolutionary change of the contesting individuals. Ultimately as any of these factors increase the level of destruction increases. Again the endless cycle of the phoenix both constant destruction and constant rebirth, ying and yang, one does not exist without the other.
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    Jun 24 2013: My point Jim, was that only those mutations that are retained by the species are those that can benefit the species and allow an advantage or a better fit with a changing environment; not to dwell on the rate molecular mutants appear on the DNA chain. So, as the environment becomes more polluted, those physical attributes a mutation will manifest can be adapted and insure that we as the human race will survive or better yet evolve.
    • Jun 26 2013: Your "point" is wrong ... the vast majority of mutations are neutral. And deleterious mutations are retained too ... that's why there are genetic diseases. Evolution is a slow process ... by the time one deleterious mutation has been dropped from the gene pool, numerous others have been added. And whether a trait is beneficial or deleterious depends on circumstances ... many traits, such as sickle cell, are both beneficial and deleterious, depending on the environment and how they manifest (sickle cell is deleterious when inherited from both parents).

      " better yet evolve"

      Again, evolution is simply the change over time of the frequency of alleles in a population; the popular notion of evolution as "getting better" is not part of modern evolutionary science.
  • Jun 24 2013: "Are you an evolutionary biologist?"

    My brother is the human evolution correspondent for Science magazine, so I know a thing or two about it ... more than you or Michio Kaku, neither of whom are evolutionary biologists. But in any case, Kaku said no such thing ... he said there is not "a gross evolutionary pressure", which is nothing at all like saying "we are no longer undergoing a physical evolution". In fact, in your very source, he said "evolution is still taking place, it takes place every time two people mate. It takes place inside our bodies, in our immune systems, in our body chemistry. Evolution is still taking place."
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      • Jun 26 2013: Please follow the thread ... I merely repeated John Moonstroller's quotation of Kaku, for which he gave a citation. What I took objection to is John's claim that Kaku, in addition to the quoted statement, had asserted that "we are no longer undergoing a physical evolution" -- Kaku said no such thing ... in fact, he said otherwise. It isn't Kaku I'm disagreeing with, it's John's erroneous argument from authority that put words in Kaku's mouth.
  • Jun 23 2013: Humans will never stop evolving... we will always evolve to our environment. Whether we will develop unusual capacities to withstand pollution, certain chemicals.. dangerous mutations, etc.. problem is... how long do these "evolutionary" changes take place? at the rate we are poisoning the environment that sustains us.... will we survive? or will we develop deleterious mutations that will enhance the formation of cancers that will jump generations and kill us all. Will time allow us to evolve beyond these difficulties? or are these things just happening too fast for evolution to catch up? I don't think the fish grew limbs overnight... nor did the elephant grew a long trunk in a hundred years... can evolution catch up? or can we change the environment and push it back to what it was 500 years ago.
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    Jun 23 2013: I stand corrected. I should have worded the sentence ‘Mutations that manifest in the body are rare events and a mutation that is usable and advantageous is even more unusual’.
    • Jun 24 2013: Regardless of how you word it, mutations are not rare events ... each of us has DNA with about 50-100 mutations relative to each of our parents. Yes of course most mutations are neutral ... but many neutral mutations can prove beneficial under some environmental circumstance.
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      • Jun 26 2013: You're misconstruing the disagreement between Vince and myself. Please read our other comments ... for instance where Vince claims that "only those mutations that are retained by the species are those that can benefit the species and allow an advantage or a better fit with a changing environment" -- that is flat wrong. Numerous neutral and even deleterious traits are retained, and these traits may later prove useful when circumstances change. Only retaining traits that are useful at the moment would be a disastrous feature in a world with changing environments, which explains why evolutionary mechanisms exist that retain traits that aren't immediately useful, and in fact organisms that are more sensitive to changing environments tend to have evolutionary mechanisms that are more retentive in this way.
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          Jun 26 2013: Jim: I like the concept "neutral and even deleterious traits are retained, and these traits may later prove useful when circumstances change". You have it nailed down. Thumbs up!
  • Jun 23 2013: "Evolution occurs when a mutation is beneficial to survival right?"

    No, not right. Evolution is the change in the statistical distribution of alleles in a population.

    What destroys us, as individuals, is death. As for our species, it is constantly undergoing change ... it is evolving.
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    Jun 23 2013: Mutations are rare events and a mutation that is usable and advantageous is even more unusual. If we are pretending that we are living in a ideal world where climate change, overpopulation and pollution aren’t going to kill off every life form that we now live with, then a mutation that will come to fore that will become part of our DNA is bound to happen sooner or later. What form it will take is hard to visualize – but it is beyond our imagination at this time. Maybe we'll grow a bigger nose and breasts, as CO2 increases and oxygen decreases. LOL
    • Jun 23 2013: "Mutations are rare events"

      No, mutations are constant and ubiquitous.
  • Jun 23 2013: To begin, I disagree with your list of survival mechanisms. I think what you're describing are some of the benefits of competitive advantages, not the causes. The causes seem to be primarily cosmetic; taller, more even featured, leaner vs. short, ugly and fat. That's how we typically view the modern ideal and studies show that these ideal individuals are rewarded with better grades, better jobs and higher incomes.

    Putting that aside, whatever form humanity evolves into will be as grateful for the transformation as we are that we aren't Homo Erectus.
  • Jun 22 2013: I am not an archaeologist nor am I an anthropologist. However, in my novice opinion, I think what you are talking about is speciation.

    Homo Homo Sapien has reached an evolutionary standstill. Our physical bodies are no longer evolving to our Earthly environment. However, our brains seem to still be evolving at an increasingly rapid race. I remember reading a study, I don't remember the source of it, that said human IQ is increasing an average of 3 points per decade - which is remarkable because everyone today thinks we're growing increasingly dumber which is obviously not the case.

    I think that, with this increase in intelligence, we are obviously exploring new ways of expanding human life through technology. I think that the most overwhelmingly important distinction between humans and animals is our dire need to survive as long and as populously as we can, hence why we have an average life span of 85 years old today as well as a population of 7 plus billion people.

    Technology is obviously what we need to study if we want to further expand human existence and finally take our evolution one step further by synthesizing the means to create a more complex human species. But, referring to my original point, I think that technology would speciate (or create new, separate species within the original population of humans) our existence and create a whole new dichotomy that might end up very poorly.

    I would imagine you would have naturalists versus technology-supplemented humans fighting each other economically, politically, educationally, etc.

    We would have a species of technology augmented super humans that can work longer hours, learn more effectively during educational courses. I think that the beginning of this evolution would start with economics. Technology-augmented humans would be employed more readily and for longer periods of time over the naturalist humans. This would at the very least create a rally against augmented humans for naturalist discriminatio
    • Jun 23 2013: "Our physical bodies are no longer evolving to our Earthly environment."

      This simply isn't true.
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    Jun 22 2013: One possibility for the next level of human evolution will be the evolution of the microbes that live on us and within us. Humans by cell count are 90% microbe and 10% human. Microbes are known to control digestive functions, brain functions (i.e., we create most of the neurotransmitter serotonin in our gut, not our brain), and immunity and we are only just beginning to learn all the ways they affect us. We have 21,000 genes but our combined microbe community contains 8 million and can evolve a lot faster than we can. An interesting article about this here - http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/Microbes-The-Trillions-of-Creatures-Governing-Your-Health-204134001.html
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      Jun 26 2013: I read an article on WebMD recently where they review the connection between certain kinds of gut bacteria and atherosclerotic heart disease. They are now using "Fecal transplants" to treat antibiotic resistant gut infections with C. dificile. I'll let the reader look up what a "fecal transplant" is. It works.

      I think we are going to see much more of this in the future. And if we can choose the right mix of bacteria to live in our guts (or even modify the bacteria that live in our guts) we will develop new treatments for human disease and prolong human life.
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    Jun 21 2013: It is only a matter of evolution, it is not that we are destined to an apocalypse made ​​by machines, it's just that we're going to be something more, but like all change scare is normal that we ask these questions, what we really need to do is pay attention to everything that is around us and contribute to change.

    I am one who believes that we are crossing a line to the future of what we will be
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      Jun 26 2013: "World War Z!" The Zombie Apocalypse is upon us!

      OK . . . well, Zombies are fiction. But nuclear weapons are not. A Nuclear Apocalypse is still a very real possibility.
  • Jun 20 2013: Not only those but by our negligent, selfish air-sea and land pollution and usurpation. At this point it's a toss-up whether we fail to survive as a species due to no more oxygen and fresh water or to moral decay and WMD's. This is only one person's opinion.
  • Jun 20 2013: ummm so robots and genetic engineering will grow at the same rate you probaly won't like it but we will become the machines
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    Jun 20 2013: Evolution is cycles of creation and destruction.

    Creation will lead to destruction and destruction paves the way for new creation.
    • Jun 20 2013: ...unless we destroy the planet first...a very real possibility.
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        Jun 20 2013: We are leading towards that end only with all those WMDs
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        Jun 22 2013: Science and we believe that the universe as we see today came after big bang.

        We also believe that our Sun is a middle aged star and ultimately it will die.

        We may ultimately reach the point when there is no solid matter left when the universe can no longer expand and will start compressing again ready for another big bang,.......another cycle of creation and destruction.
  • Jun 19 2013: That's a Lovecraftian statement to make. Although, our tendency towards terraforming and happenstance way of performing climate change detrimental to our own purposes seems to justify the negativity.
    98& of our DNA is junk, either turned off for the duration of our lives, or broken or damaged beyond repair. Yet, all these wasted nucleotides keep getting reproduced. It's needless, and maybe even cumbersome to the 2% that's useable. Among that tiny amount that creates us, a large number of genes does a disservice and harms our lives at every step of the way. Some directly causes deadly diseases like cancer and Muscular Dystrophy.
    What's more, over half of our DNA is viral. It's not even of primate origin, being collected over millions of years of plagues. Genetically, it's like we're a junkyard.
    Merging with electronics is already happening, first as tools and now as body parts to assist with transplants and prosthesis. For the first time in our species' history, actual "intelligent design" is at play. While I see so much that could go wrong, all of our worst efforts throughout history hasn't wiped us out yet. I'm hopeful for better days.
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      Jun 20 2013: It's a common misconception that 98% of our DNA is "junk." No geneticist ever thought that was the case; the term "junk DNA" was coined in the 1970s humorously, simply because we didn't know what the function of that portion of our genome was. Today we've learned a great deal about it, and we've found that if there's a "secret to life," it lies not so much in the 2% or so that codes for proteins, but in the remaining "junk" or non-coding portion of the genome.

      While the coding DNA is a like a blueprint, each gene ready to make certain proteins on order, it is passive, just waiting for orders. It turns out that the orders come from "the brains" of the genome, once smilingly called "junk DNA." Here are the regulator genes - many for each coding gene - that determine when other genes turn on or off, along with countless other subtle decisions in our bodies that serve to guide development and maturation, and to maintain homeostasis and health. It's precisely on this regulating part of the DNA that much of the most exciting research is now being done in biology, and several recent Nobel prizes have been given for this work. Never again will this be thought of as "junk," not even jokingly.
      • Jun 21 2013: I'm clearly no geneticist. I appear to have put my foot in my mouth again. Can you forgive me?
        I used the term “junk” colloquially, which doesn't make it any more justifiable. TED gives us a small word count, so I generalized. Although my level of expertise is lacking, it's probable the term fits some DNA in a narrow sense, even if it casts to broad a shadow over the noncoding 98%. In the brief window of time I've used to research your comments, I've found we could surgically remove pieces of our genome and still be fully functioning humans. (I won't volunteer to be the first guinea pig in that experiment!) Whether it's a mere 1% or a whopping 20% or higher, I can't even begin to guess.
        I see that the Japanese-American biologist Susumo Ohno coined the term because he felt the bulk of our genes were being duplicated needlessly, as if it hindered the most vital parts. As you pointed out, our data has been updated significantly since then. So who has won a Nobel Prize about this? I would appreciate a book or online article recommendation, if you have one. The more dumbed down, the better. (And thanks for responding respectfully, I badly need the education!)
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          Jun 21 2013: No problem - this business of junk DNA has been a common notion. About the Nobels:

          It started with Barbara McClintock, who won the Nobel prize in Physiology and Medicine in 1983 for discovery of transposable elements in genes, non-coding elements that have been shown to have a regulating function.

          Some later Nobels in the same category are:
          1993: jointly to Richard J. Roberts and Phillip A. Sharp "for their discoveries of split genes"
          1995: jointly to Edward B. Lewis, Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard and Eric F. Wieschaus "for their discoveries concerning the genetic control of early embryonic development".
          2001: jointly to Leland H. Hartwell, Tim Hunt and Sir Paul M. Nurse "for their discoveries of key regulators of the cell cycle".
          2002: jointly to Sydney Brenner, H. Robert Horvitz and John E. Sulston "for their discoveries concerning genetic regulation of organ development and programmed cell death'".
          2006: jointly to Andrew Z. Fire and Craig C. Mello "for their discovery of RNA interference - gene silencing by double-stranded RNA"

          I'm a biologist, but when I want to get a basic understanding of a new field I often turn to Wikipedia. I find most of their articles dependable and useful.
          Cheers.
  • Jun 19 2013: I think if we merged with our tech, it would not classify as evolution. If, on the other hand, merging with tech, we could find that our bodies would adapt, and evolve to make the merger more efficient, or beneficial, then that would qualify as evolution. I wouldn't worry either way.
  • Jun 19 2013: You are confusing Darwinian Evolution with Lamarckian Evolution. The first is change driven by random mutation and selected by environmental factors and the second is acquired traits developed over a lifetime being transmitted to offspring. Ignoring epigenetics (supression of certain gene expression based on environmental factors) for the moment, Larmarckian evolution has been widely disproven.
    Now, if you want to become Borg, that's one thing, but I wouldn't call it evolution.
  • Jun 19 2013: Don't get hung up with our computer technology usurping us, through DNA printing we create all kinds of interesting microbes but what really interest me is Brazil is introducing genetically modified insects caterpillar and microscopic hornets to defend crops but what happens when the genetically modified bug lives on the genetically modified crop? Is it like hyper evolution?
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    Jun 19 2013: "The following statement is incorrect. [Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelligent_design]" ~Juan

    Yes I agree. The word is incorrect.

    Yes we are talking about gene regulation but it can be done via the environment as well as manipulated by an Intelligent designer. I'm glad humans are starting to be called intelligent designers. That's what we really are.

    The real question is: are we the only ones in this universe? It there are other intelligent designers I'm sure they would have left some evidence of their tinkering in our DNA somewhere. All we have to do is find it.

    Upon finding it, we don't have to let the rest of the world know about it. Just exploit it ourselves. Another question. has someone already discovered this fact and are they exploiting it?
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        Jun 20 2013: But, then again, we might be the cousins of simple bug droppings. :)
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    Jun 18 2013: Ray Kurzweil and others have already covered the merging of man and machine. Ray, as part of his singularity hypothesis, speculates this merging will occur within the next 50 years or so due to the ever accelerating rate of science and technology and that we will see significant changes within the next 10 to 20 years.

    It's interesting, but for me future of man (or dog) lies behind a heavy dark curtain. there are many seemingly plausible scenarios and many, if not all, lead to extinction ( I don't happen to think our species is special and don't believe the universe came into being for us or is ruled at base by magic or mythical creatures).

    Whatever the case though, I do think there will be profound changes in our biology driven by a combination of vastly greater understanding and the forces of greed. The human genome and associated processes are much more complex than thought 20 or 30 years ago, but we will reach a point, and soon, when our genome can be tweaked to change us in many ways.

    So while there may be a man versus machine scenario in our future, there is also the real prospect of something entirely different. Maybe we will evolve into a truly civilized and humane species, one much less deluded and full of ourselves. we can hope....
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    Jun 18 2013: There's the natural evolution and the man-made evolution. The natural evolution, if we do not interfere in it, is not under our control. If we interfere in it, it's not natural. The man-made evolution you mention can go in either way depending our morality which leads to what choices we make. Like in any other parts of our lives, also here are 2 counteracting forces or possibilities. If we will make the moral choices, good things will emerge from the man-made evolution, which will benefit the entire mankind and vice versa.

    As one line from an Indian pop song from the 70s simply says: If the Good wins, it will be good for each one of us. If the Bad wins, it will be bad for each one of us.

    I am not concerned with the computers or the machines taking over or making bad. For that the humans are enough to turning everything really bad when they make the bad choices and so IMO the humans should focus on themselves and watch their own values, choices and actions ceaselessly. Only if and when a computer with any value is born, which IMO will never happen, then it will be a different story.
  • Jun 18 2013: Based on what I have learned about evolution, I agree with the idea that evolution of any species strongly depend on their environment. The case with robots is that they do not really understand what they are doing, they just follow commands and programs that are pre-written (by humans). It seems unlikely that robots understand what they are doing or how they are affecting their own environment. As long as this is true, robots cannot evolve and as per the rule, a species cannot survive longer unless it evolves with time.
  • Jun 18 2013: Does life destroy us? yes, it does, we die to avoid competing with our children. Does evolution destroys us? yes, it does, the evolution process implies that some species have to disappear in order to allow others to flourish.

    In the context of you question, evolution requires isolation and no human group is isolated anymore, migration and race mixing is taking human evolution to an stop, so unless a major disaster occurs (natural or otherwise) I see natural human evolution coming to a full stop within the next century or two, so it is more likely that human evolution will be controlled by us, but in therms strictly biological can we really call that evolution?

    I find hard to believe humans will ever create computers or robots that surpass us intellectually in the near future, in any case it sounds more reasonable and sensible to blend with them, but I don't think that can be classified as evolution as we know it.
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    Jun 18 2013: Darwinian evolution is natural, so I'm not quite sure how technology could be manufactured with our bodies. Mutations wouldn't give us a man-made appendage. The robots we make have constraints and I don't know much about AI, but I find a robot apocalypse very unlikely. If what you suppose did happen, that wouldn't be human evolution, but robotic 'evolution.'
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    Jun 16 2013: Ahmed,

    My understanding is there are several mechanisms at play with evolution. One is mutation.

    I'm 6'2. My brother is 5'10. Same parents. This variation is probably not due to mutation. Its just the genetic lottery via sexual reproduction. Siblings are not identical genetically except for identical twins.

    In some environments taller people may have an advantage and survive more often to reproduce than shorter. The reverse may be the case in a Jungle. OR there may be an equilibrium. If the genes that make people taller are passed on more often the population will gradually get taller until equilibrium is reached. Too tall or short at some point in a particular environment will become a liability.

    There is also sexual selection. Certain attributes may be attractive to the opposite sex leading to the genes for those being passed on more often. Which may help explain the peacock. I doubt all those feathers are helping it avoid predators but it looks like the female peacocks love them.

    Also there may be social or hierarchical factors for group animals. While in the past and for many animals the strongest male is the alpha and gets to breed with the females, humans have more complex hierarchies. The kings or rich and powerful may get to breed more. Religion may be a factor. Even economics may change birth rates and possibly an increase in gene frequency.

    I suggest at some stage we will be able to adjust our genes and DNA and artificially evolve.
  • Jun 14 2013: In the end, yes.
  • Jun 12 2013: No, man will be the last one to leave his superiority on the earth or universe. So in the near future man would develop and design only those things that does not deprive him of his existing superiority. Say like SIva having laser eyes.
  • Jun 12 2013: If we keep going on developing economy in this way,we human destroy ourselves but any else.But I think human is clever,won't keep on in this way...I believe human will have way to solve problems they meet.
  • Jun 10 2013: Not really, Darwinism doesn't work that way. I've always thought we would live to tolerate chemicals and toxins, seeing as we produce so much of them, it would be co-existing with our own creations. As for robots surpassing us, no, never ever ever ever ever ever. Currently IBM is working on a computer that is essentially: a brain. They're using some sort of concept to recreate learning and the creation of information, there's really no way for a computer to make decisions without reason. Just like us, for a computer to, well, compute it needs a reason or as we call it motivation. So you would have to add some other form motivation for the machine to actually start functioning as a sentient being. And, seeing as we're getting smarter, why would we put a few protocols and If-statements behind a machine capable of complex, abstract, or critical thought? Doesn't make sense now, probably never will.

    Technology is already incorporated into human life, google search is a perfect example. We are currently making these things easier to use by making them smaller or more powerful, but there's nothing out there that is anywhere near surpassing us. There's not enough new tech to be dangerous, we're really just improving things that have been around for years or even decades. The CPU is a good example: it's smaller, and much more powerful than it was at first; but it does the same thing, it computes data rapidly. It's just an improvement.
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    Jun 4 2013: all possibilites... but very small. the brain alone took millions of years to develop, and is capable of astonishing autonomy that technology is nowhere near. as for an artificial intelligence takeover-maybe but not in our life time. humans evolving alongside technology is farfetched. one is organic, the other is not. while we have seen evolution occur like this to form symbiotic relationships among plants and fungi, machines on scale evolve much faster than life. we can learn from mistake, machines can only learn what they know how to. the likelihood of us evolving over thousands of years to fit with technology that changes yearly is nothing worrysome.
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    Jun 3 2013: LaMar Alexander state: "...So this genetic drive for survival started with the first gene and simply evolved with whatever form the creature took and while it may look like it is intelligent design it is in reality just a highly developed ability and drive of all organisms to survive."

    "" Microorganisms have evolved specific biochemical feedback mechanisms that direct mutations to genes derepressed by starvation or other stressors in their environment."

    DNA mutations that can be repaired are done so within an organism. Those that can't usually lead to bad outcomes for the organism. it could become sterile or simply die. The processes accomplishing DNA repair is encoded within the DNA. Our technology is such that we can predict wither a baby will have blue eyes and blond hair but we can't reprogram DNA to change a Dark haired, Brown eyed gamete to have a different colour or eye or hair. A class II civilization would be able to accomplish such conversions.

    Remember, DNA is a data base for proteins. RNA takes this information and with enzymes, creates the template that is given to the protein manufacturing machinery that actually creates these proteins.

    The fist life form did not have DNA. It had RNA. This supposes that RNA could read itself and create proteins without the machinery that normally accomplishes that task in higher order life forms or modern lifeforms (which have DNA). Or, is it possible that random chance combined chemicals into proteins that bumped into one another and created RNA strands.

    Once we know the answers to these questions. We will be the aliens that go around Terra-forming the universe, creating what ever life forms we see fit. We could, for instance, create the nano-machinery to assemble proteins, create the code in a DNA form, put them together with the necessary resources to combine together and form particular type of life form, say an alga that creates oxygen, shoot it to a planet and let the fireworks begin.
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        Jun 18 2013: As we age, the DNA doesn't always get it right. So it is with all life forms on our planet. Degradation of the DNA is responsible for aging. Our cells are programmed to die. Otherwise we would be giant blog of cells. DNA gets degraded, mostly due to Environmental Stress.

        A better description can be found here: http://mmbr.asm.org/content/64/3/503.abstract

        There is nothing perfect on our earth, neither plants nor animals. Because of environmental stress, there is ample opportunity for stress induced changes in the genes of any cell. Some of these changes can survive as mutations.
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    Jun 2 2013: Entropy Driven stated: "...it's undeniable that there's some natural phenomena described by both theories. It's undeniable that such natural phenomena are "out there," otherwise neither Newtonian, nor quantum mechanics would work to help us describe the phenomena, the one being quite accurate before..."

    Yes, I agree. And even more knowledge will come to further assist in understanding the phenomena of Evolutionary force, rather it be random or directed.

    There is too much disagreement within the ranks of Evolutionists to draw a real picture of the process of Evolutionary forces at this time.

    "...The problem is one of mistaking our attempts at describing the phenomena (the theories), with the phenomena themselves..."

    Entropy Driven, can you offer some of these undeniable facts you allude to? I think that would help me understand what you are saying in this last paragraph. Truthfully, I could not find one scientist that offered undeniable proof that evolution could be scientific describe in a way that would lend us the tools to measure or predict an evolutionary path. Most of the conjectures were axiomatic. There were no tautological understandings on JSTOR.

    Alexey Kondrashov wrote: "Once upon a time, the world seemed simple when viewed through the eyes of evolutionary biologists. All genomes were tightly controlled by various forms of natural selection. … This idyllic world began to crumble in 1968, when Kimura made his modest proposal that most allele substitutions and polymorphisms do not substantially affect an organism’s fitness and are governed, not by positive or balancing selection, but by random drift. (Kondrashov 2005, p. 1106).."

    "...The controversy between the neutralists and selectionists that emerged in the 1970s and arguably continues to this day is usually understood as pitting drift against selection..." ~ "Integration without Unification: An Argument for Pluralism in the Biological Sciences" Sandra D. Mitchell1,* and Michael R. Dietrich2,†
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        Jun 3 2013: NP. I will re-edit the message, paying close attention to your comment. I'm sorry if it's ambiguous.
        Afterwards you can delete the comment drawing it to my attention and respond appropriately.

        John
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        Jun 3 2013: Intelligent design as I think it should be defined is evolutionary forces built in to the DNA code that is used to adapt an organism to changing environmental conditions or to update an organism. similar to a computer programmer altering the function of a program by altering parts of the code or modules that already exist in the program.

        A super smart alien Race, who may be experimenting with our species and can alter our condition by causing certain (junk DNA) to become active. I'm sure the original creators of the theory of Intelligent design want to attribute this interference or lack of it to their God(s). To me they are just aliens, not god(s) at all because we ourselves can evolve to understand and build the tools to accomplish the same functions (eventually, if we don't destroy ourselves first). Such knowledge would be necessary to terraform planetoids.

        I'm sure that an alien races in the Universe who have reached Class II or III level of civilization would be able to do such experiments effortlessly.
    • Jun 3 2013: Hi John,

      This is much better and it's followable. You seem to continue mistaking the theories of evolution with the phenomena they try and describe. There's disagreement among evolutionary biologists, but not about whether evolution is true and not about whether it happens, but about which processes contribute the most to what we see. Your citations are clearly about theory, not about the facts. The facts under discussion are the observations, the many changes, in your example, observed between homologous sequences at the molecular level, where Kimura was right, most of differences we can see are due to neutral drift (actually semi-neutral), rather than mutations selected for. I repeat, the "controversy" was about which factors contributed the most, not about whether evolution is "out there," just like nobody doubts that mechanics describe something, only quantum mechanics is much more accurate than Newtonian. The same goes for the processes of molecular evolution, it's descriptions are more accurate now that the models take into account the probability of neutral and semi-neutral mutations to fix in a population. Those models better predict which positions are, for example, more important for the function of homologous proteins, which experiments have later confirmed. It's far from perfect, of course, after all, as I said, evolution is much more messy.

      I truly don't know what yo mean by conjectures and by such things being axiomatic. I have been reading articles in the field of molecular evolution for many years now, and not once have I been presented with anything that I would have to just accept unquestionably.
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        Jun 3 2013: Thank you Entropy Driven. I'm flattered.

        What are the possibilities that random chance will allow that in a primordial soup, chemicals might arrange themselves in such a manner as to fold and form structures? Further, these structures will will incorporate an energy supplying mechanism and a machine to facilitate the construction of a protein that has variable uses?

        Now consider this: what are the odds of a tree growing into a perfectly formed dinning room table all by itself?

        Neither possibility is impossible, given enough time and the right resources, right?

        Check out my website: www.moonstroller.com.

        Send me an email after you do to the address on the site.

        You appear pretty smart. I'm working on something and could use some help.

        Here's an interesting video:
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKZ-GjSaqgo
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        Jun 19 2013: You are correct about many things.

        In particular that we are only scratching the surface. Everything we know about how chemicals combine and molecules form is based on the mathematics of the subjects. We can predict the forms they will take and behold they do. We estimate the interactions and hope we are correct. In fact, we appear more correct than we imagine. this is where the Axiomatic speculation or conjectures, if you will, occur. There are many things proven in Science but not necessarily understood. Magnetism for instance. Dark Energy is still dark in our minds.

        It is only recently that we have developed the tools to actually see these atoms, not their structure but the tiny fuzzy blobs. We can picture molecules, carbon rings, etc. but we are only just there right now.

        Once we break this barrier, we will truly be able to make positive vitrification about chemical and genetic processes. It will open a doorway to understanding about our reality we can only imagine today.

        If we can design and modify our own genes, who's to say someone else hasn't already done it? If anything is possible with the right intelligence and knowledge, then the limiting factors are intelligence and knowledge. After 4 billion years, low and behold, we are here. Imagine just one billion years of mankind pursuing science.

        How smart would a civilization be with just one million years more study time than we?

        Are these elemental the domain only of man?

        The big rub most people have about other intelligence is "why don't they speak to us".. Who's to say they haven't. I can let my grand-kids see my fire a rifle and they are surprised and curious. But I won't give them a rifle. If, by the age of 12 they can build their own, I would think they are ready to shoot it or perhaps own it. Mankind is at a fragile point in our development. What we do next could determine if we will survive. In the Nam, we didn't waste time learning new guys name. We gave them one. They might not last too long.
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    Jun 2 2013: Hi Ahmed,

    Here's my thoughts on the matter.
    What you're talking about may be described as evolution or technical progress, in these days it's kind of hard to draw the line in some cases. Because we have computer programs that simulate the process of evolution and that can easily be sped up with simple raw processing power. Some of the things evolutionary programming is used for today (like making better antennas) millions of "generations" are processed everyday, each slightly better then the previous.

    According to me (and the international committee for AI in 2008) it's likely that AI will surpass human intellect by 2030, and in accordance with Moore's law about 12 years after that it would be a thousand times faster for the same price.

    Say instead that the current AI algorithms isn't the right way to go then we just have to wait (for about 20 years) until we can fully simulate the human brain down to every atom and then again,it's just a question of adding more computers to make it faster and larger.

    BUT why do you think that they's want to kill us? I've always thought that smarter humans (or smarter then humans) would wan't peace since it's the least resource wasting way to go.

    And if AI wants to be free there's no reason for robots to stay on earth, risking war and termination. They're better of in space where it's cold and nice (and superconductivity is resource free) and there are way more resources in near space then there are on Earth. But even near space doesn't matter since time shouldn't matter to AI. so there's no real reason for an AI of superior intellect to stick around in our solar system risking extinction.

    I mean, I wouldn't if i could copy myself and live "forever" and sleep for as long as i'd like with consequences, I'd simply leave this solar system.
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    Jun 2 2013: "... Apparent slowing of albumin evolution over time remains to be fully explained. Other proteins and nucleic acids may provide better clocks. Cladistic analysis of morphological characteristics and comparative study of molecular structure, interpreted in the context of the fossil record, promise to contribute to a more complete understanding of primate evolution."
    ~ "Primate evolution: Evidence from the fossil record, comparative morphology, and molecular biology"
    by Philip D. Gingerich

    So much for Molecular Biology having the last word on Evolution.

    The real point here is we have to keep an open mind and that works more than one way. A promise, as stated by
    Professor Gingerich, is just that, a promise. It is not undeniable fact or fiction.

    Did aliens create life on earth as we know it? Well, If technology fails and we have to start over, they may ask one day, "The fossil evidence found at this ancient research center where experiments were conducted, appear to support the conclusions that aliens visited the earth and conducted cloning experiments. The evidence is undeniable; stated Professor, so and so, at the Illustrious University of Palaeontology (IUP)."

    Yeah, it's pure conjecture and fiction but.... There are many scientists who wonder about this same scenario. Of course, with all things, the proof is in the evidence. Some religions are based on the supposition that Gods (today we call them aliens) came to this planet, conquered it and created man to do their bidding. The word created does not imply magic. It may have to primitive humans but today we know better. From today’s perspective, God is just another name for Super smart aliens.

    The problem is: with religious folk, they still understand religious philosophy from the notion that the ancients did. It was "magic", having no solid scientific understanding to think otherwise.
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    Jun 2 2013: Hi Ahmed,

    Evolution does not destroy us - it changes us. At some point, what we are now becomes so changed that we would be called a new species.
    However, you talk of money and jobs.
    You will see, if you look, that these things are creatures that have taken up existence in the places humans have abandoned. They are parasites and will probably destroy us.
    The only hope for humanity is to take money and jobs as symbiots - just as we have done with every other pathogen.
    At that point job will become work, and money will become community.

    Take no notice of the technology and robots - they are part of the pathogen and are used to dispossess the power of community and concentrate wealth towards psychapaths. The tower of babel will fall before the "singularity" of technology.
    If we fail to identify and eliminate the psychopaths, we will go extinct.
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    Jun 1 2013: .My answer:
    .
    Human bio-evolution will fail us
    becasue it can not catch up with the technology-evolution.

    Thus, humankind will go to extinction if technolgy will not be controlled!
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    May 31 2013: Evolution is gone unchecked would eventually replace us ( our current form anyways ) with another more efficient species. We are humans though, and maybe we evolved into our articulative selves for the purpose to interact with the evolutionary process via genetic engineering, don't think so? too late, it's already being done, and will already be our future, GMO organics, GM prenatals, just to get started, you wouldn't stand in the way of GM Medicines now would you?

    We'll create robotic AI that will use us as batteries in plenty of time to stop the above from happening, so have no fear, your robotic overlords will soon be near.
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    May 30 2013: You ask, "Evolution occurs when a mutation is beneficial to survival right?" Wrong. Genetic mutations are never beneficial to survival. If a genetic characteristic passes intact from generation to generation it cannot be called a mutation.
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      May 30 2013: I think he means that the initial mutation (provided it gets a chance to breed) may cause a change in the evolutionary flow.

      One thing I'm interested about is are some changes merely coincidental instead of mutational? That is, if the gene is in the DNA and not expressed because the environment does not require it or expressed because it does, like long bill vs. short bill genes.

      What I would consider a major mutation would be from dinosaur to chicken.
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        May 30 2013: From a dinosaur to a chicken would be the Holy Grail of Evolution, and the death of Creationism, a vertical, species change! Don't hold your breath. Anyway, "beneficial mutation" is an oxymoron. Also, philosophically and biologically, what would be the difference between the effect of a coincidence and of a mutation? Wouldn't they be indistinguishable from one another?
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          May 31 2013: DNA is a mysterious molecule and loaded with possibilities that we still don't understand.
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        May 31 2013: RE: "DNA is a mysterious. . ." Indeed, omniscience is elusive. It is estimated that one microgram of DNA can store the equivalent data of a million CD's!! http://www.biologyreference.com/Co-Dn/DNA.html.
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          May 31 2013: Edward. There is a good class you can take for free at Udacity, a Genetics course. I took it. It' an outstanding course. You should check it out.
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        Jun 2 2013: RE: "Udacity class". I will check it out, thanks John.
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        Jun 2 2013: RE: "How about symbiotic. . . " Your paragraph 1) I agree. But the Anthropic Principle in no way verifies Darwinian evolution (natural selection of beneficial mutations over eons of time from a common ancestor) as an explanation for the diversity of life on earth. Your paragraph2) Darwin, Hawkings, Hutchins, et. al. deny a designer of life. They are wrong. The machines can be attributed to brute luck as they do, and, indeed, it cannot be scientifically refuted. But, luck is a metphysical mechanism which science does not accept in composing a theory. The machines are designed. Your paragraph 3) If DNA is not a message, a set of instructions, then I am a monkey's uncle! Since DNA is undeniably a message, it must have come from a mind. Even a simple message does not spontaneously self-generate by luck. Indeed there is a mind vastly superior to human's behind the creation of life. Your paragraph 4) Forgive me, but that is gobbledegook. That ain't science you're doin'! Your paragraph 5) You don't have to worship anything. Bob Dylan is right though, everybody's gotta serve somebody! The job of science is to explain what is supported by evidence discovered via observation, experimentation, and documentation of results. Science is material, God is spirit. Science has the honorable and important task of explaining what is learned from studying the Creator's work. They have no business explaining, or denying, the Creator. God is not in science's charter. Your paragraph 6) Amen! Your paragraph 7 and 8) A deserved impugning of organized religion. Science is not in Religion's charter. The Holy Bible limits its cosmogony to "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth". All the rest is left up to science using the glorious tool they created called "the Scientific Method". A scientist can claim God does not exist just as a frycook can. But neither of them can rightly say their profession proves there is no God. Still your friend.
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          Jun 22 2013: 100% agreement with Edward Long!

          I would have to add: Pseudo-science, as constantly rejected in TEDs policies, is actually the crude science which pretends to explain systems without a purpose.
          To me, a pseudo scientist is the one who constantly denies the Creative Mind participation in all the Universal phenomena being studied by such pseudo-scientists who call themselves "true scientists", arbitrarily rejecting the intervention of a Creative Mind.
          Curiously, most "scientific" dead-ends are reached precisely when the Creator participation is so obvious that it is undeniable.
          The whole idea of attributing the infinite complexity of the current Universe to plain "random change" is so absurd and childish it certainly moves to laughter.
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        Jun 2 2013: My understanding is evolution is not all due to mutation.

        Much of it is just changes in gene frequency as those that provide traits that are beneficial to survival or attracting mates or helping offspring reach reproductive age etc increase in the population.
        • Jun 2 2013: Yes, but the different versions of a gene are due to what?
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          Jun 2 2013: It has strong bearing on the evolutionary phenomena. Eat or be eaten, prey vs predator is a strong influence in the world of evolutionary maintenance. When the gene pool is gone, there is no evolutionary mutations taking place in that species anymore.

          "The similarities between all present day organisms indicate the presence of a common ancestor from which all known species, living and extinct, have diverged through the process of evolution." Wkipedia.

          The real question is where did DNA come from.

          "In 2009 researchers finally managed to generate RNA (image below) using chemicals that they believe existed on the early Earth. Matthew Powner, at University College London, and his colleagues synthesized two of the four nucleotides that make up RNA. Their achievement suggested that RNA may have formed spontaneously - powerful support for the idea that life began in an "RNA world"." ~Wikipedia.

          It is theorized that DNA is a prodigy of RNA, a molecule that can be created in an earth-like environment through chemical interactivity. Once the connection is made in the laboratory how to accomplish this feat, the question of Evolution will be at an end. The question of how life originated in the Universe will be resolved. If Aliens or meteorites had a hand in spreading this information around is another question all together. :)

          Personally, I think that the Theory of evolution will win out in the long run because of the research being done with the RNA molecular structure(s).

          And..... if we can create RNA, so can Robots. :)

          The question of how it "All" began is going to be extraordinarily hard to answer. Personally, I think the easiest answer is: there never was a beginning, that is, eternity generates it's own energy field that perpetuates it's existence and has always existed.
          :)
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          Jun 2 2013: Different versions of a gene are due to the alleles.
    • Jun 1 2013: Mutation is any change in the DNA sequence Edward. If it the change provides an advantage then it is advantageous, if not then not. The definition has always been changes in the DNA sequence regardless of the final effect in the fitness of the organism and its descendants. It's never meant "only disadvantageous changes." You can't change the definition just because you don't like the idea of evolution. Besides it is useless. Changing the definition does not change the reality that these changes, when they occur, make the variability that makes evolution possible.
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        Jun 1 2013: Guilty as charged, I confess to misrepresenting the nature of genetic mutations by saying no benefit can come via mutation. What I should have said was, "According to Evolution mutations are random, accidental copying errors where DNA letters are deleted, added, or misplaced. Mutations are said to be the cause of the development of all life forms on Earth from one common ancestor. In actuality mutations are destructive, VERY RARELY ARE THEY BENEFICIAL, thus they cannot explain the diversity of life thriving on Earth." Agreed? Thanks for your vigilance.
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          Jun 2 2013: How about symbiotic relationships Edward?

          We are not entirely human. We maintain a symbiotic relationship with many bacteria who inhabit our body. Does this not bond us with the nature we inhabit? You have to admit, that this revelation gives ample evidence or credence, to speculate that we are, truly, creations of this natural planet and it's environment?

          I can recognize the mechanical aspects of the human body and nature. As we understand the nano world and how the machines in our body work for our benefit, It does look like the human beings and all biota, are some type of machines.

          Creationism, as it is being introduced has more to do with accepting the idea of a supreme being who built these mechanisms.

          Evolution is the idea that these systems came into being by themselves due to an evolving process of interactivity between chemical elements and energy -a puzzle that puts itself together in a mired of possible ways based on the many possible pathways offered by nature.

          If we grant that there is such a being, why should we worship it? Can't we just use the tools of science to understand and grow to be like such a being? Can we also become, through our study of nature and the cosmos, a supreme being ourselves?

          I think having a universal environment offering uncountable ways of physical interaction is sufficient to satisfy all our curiosity and should not be discounted nor ignored. Science is a tool of inquiry we use to prove or disprove the workings of nature.

          Religion is open to too many opportunities of interpretation. To embrace religion as the ultimate mandate on human behavior based on the interpretation of ancient people, who lacked our scientific vision, imprisons the human mind to a limited sphere of understanding.

          It forces us to ignore the truth we behold in the natural world. It demands we pay homage to a being we've never seen or, with whom we've never interacted.
    • Jun 2 2013: Hello Edward,

      That most mutations would be harmful was an assumption of old times. Today, thanks to both experimentation and observation of new mutations appearing through generations in some experimental and free-living populations show that most mutations have little effects. Many are neutral, many more are close to neutral. These introduce variation, but no harmful effects. These variants might be mostly inconsequential until they are found in an environment where they might give an advantage. So, the myth that most were harmful is ling proven to be just that, a myth.

      Not only they can explain the diversity of life on earth, they explain the diversity at any possible level, from within a single human family, to the whole of humanity, to the whole of great ape species, to the whole of primates, to the whole of species in the planet. A question of how close you look. It's painfully obvious.

      You're welcome Edward.
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        Jun 2 2013: Thanks for the insight into your take on this issue. I understand, but I do not agree that mutations, whether benign, harmful, or beneficial, can explain the vast panorama of life on earth from a common ancestor. If you are a scientist with credentials I imagine my opinions are annoying for you. For that I respect your patience. I do insist your faithfulness to the theory is causing you to overreach the evidence. I assure you it (the truth of evolution) is NOT "painfully obvious". Evolution explains NOTHING about molecular life! Molecular evolution is not based on scientific authority. There is no scientific literature which describes how any real, complex biochemical system either did occur, or even might have occurred. There are many assertions, but no support for them from pertinent experiments or calculations. The theory of Darwinian molecular evolution has not published so it is only right that it should perish.
    • Jun 2 2013: Hi Edward,

      I have no faithfulness to any theories. I told you, evidence is evidence, and the evidence shows evolution to be real. It does not matter if you agree or not that mutations can explain the vast panorama of life on earth. They still explain it. It's not a matter of agreement. It's a matter of reality being what it is whether we want it or not.

      I already explained to you that Darwin is not everything about evolution. There could not be anything called "Darwinian molecular evolution " because Darwin could not have known about molecules. But there's plenty of publications on molecular evolution. Just google "journal molecular evolution" or "molecular biology and evolution" for starters. Or try "evolution" in google scholar. In order to publish, we need data Edward. So just imagine how much data there must be in order for that many publications to exist.
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        Jun 2 2013: I've studied Evolution and I don't see an undeniable connection either. I'm not procreationist.

        At one time it was considered undeniable that the Newtonian classic laws were disputable, but, as our vision became more acute, we discovered quantum theory. But, what is unique about the Newtonian laws is that they work within suitable approximations for just about anything we want to do on the Macro scale. So too does Evolution, on some, macro scale. The closest we can come to Evolution in the Laboratory is when we clone or substitute genes in biota. On the small scale, it doesn't even matter. Creationism, however, is a bug in the soup when we study things like bacteria propulsion systems and their resemblance to commonly known mechanical devices. It does make us wonder, sometimes out loud.

        Evolution can account for many things we observe in nature but it is not "Undeniable", as far as science goes. Science is concerned with evolution as much as it is with Creationism. There are groups of scientists and their associates who work hard to dispute Creationism, in order to preserve the curiosity of the students in school. They want to prevent the implementation of religion in schools because they try to merge the Natural with the supernatural and no one has seen any natural evidence to support this proposition. On this point I agree. We should interfere with school politics. No informal science should be allowed to slow or block scientific pursuits.

        At the end of the day, when I'm contemplating some data I've read or the result of a simple experiment I've conducted at home, the last thing that comes into my mind is evolution or religion.

        Pure Science is aloof from such philosophical thinking. It's just not part of the experiment or analysis. If we find we need to put someone out there to deal with the politics of everything we choose the most expendable person and let them do the talking. :) There is too much work and too little time and resources.
        • Jun 2 2013: John,

          No matter how much more accurate quantum theories could be compared to Newtonian mechanics, it's undeniable that there's some natural phenomena described by both theories. It's undeniable that such natural phenomena are "out there," otherwise neither Newtonian, nor quantum mechanics would work to help us describe the phenomena, the one being quite accurate before, the latter being much more accurate where the one fails, while still describing the phenomena that Newton described.

          The same is true for evolution. Evolutionary facts are undeniable. They're "out there." The theories attempt to describe such phenomena as accurately as possible. A bit harder than with mechanics because biology is much more messy. But we are still able to describe these kinds of phenomena, and where the descriptions started to fail predicting accurately enough, adjustments have happened. But evolutionary phenomena are still there, and they are undeniable. The problem is one of mistaking our attempts at describing the phenomena (the theories), with the phenomena themselves.

          Asimov had a take about science being wrong:
          http://chem.tufts.edu/answersinscience/relativityofwrong.htm
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        Jun 2 2013: Your low view of Creationism does nothing to add veracity to evolution. No offense, but for you to keep saying, "I told you the evidence is painfully obvious", does nothing to assuage my fear of accepting the popular pro-evolution camp's diatribe against creationism. I am not so misinformed as to believe I understand the science of biology. What I do understand is what I read about the problems with evolution. The problems are there in significant number but the public is misled to believe otherwise. The very definition of evolution is elusive, if not downright impossible to know. Your camp is infected with non-scientific spin put on information to discredit creationism and to cover the gaps in evidence supporting, if not disputing, evolution. Evolution proponents have created an unchallenged orthodoxy. Their methods have not been entirely consistent with the Scientific Method. Science invites scrutiny. Evolutionists rant against Creationism while being blind to the much-needed (scientific) data in their own theory. We are not contending with one another about the minutae of science, I am not qualified to do that, we are off into philosophy, specifically, epistemology. Evolution necessitates the non-existence of a Creator. Creationism does not demand the non-existence of Science. I continue to embrace Creationism as explained by Science. Still not enemies.
    • Jun 2 2013: Edward my friend,

      I confess my despising for creationism here out in the open. But I did not mention creationism in my answers to you, did I?

      I did not say "I told you the evidence is painfully obvious," I said "I already explained to you that Darwin is not everything about evolution." You insists on focusing on Darwin, who sure is a foundational scientist in the field, but I told you that he is not everything there is to evolution. Creationism has gained my disrespect very carefully and without hesitation by being awfully dishonest. For example, those propagandists refer to evolution as "Darwinism" and to anybody who accepts evolution as a "Darwinist." I take issue with this misrepresentation and retrograde view at what we currently understand about this science. Every time I argue with creationists, there's misinformation in the background. What makes it worse, is that most creationists truly won't take even the most innocent points: like the fact that evolutionary theory has advanced a huge amount since Darwin, and that therefore focusing on Darwin is evidently wrong. This is an undeniable fact (that evolutionary theory has gone much farther than what Darwin presented). You might not like evolution, you might not accept it one bit, you might think that it is not scientific. How can I try and deal with those "problems" if you can't take such an innocent point as Darwin not being all there is to evolution?

      I have no camp. I told you already: I go by the evidence, and the evidence is with evolution. So far no gods involved in the process. Evolution does not necessitate the non-exietcen of creators. Evolution is a conclusion from the facts. Should somebody find evidence of creators, then evolutionary theory would incorporate that. So far nothing of the sort. I have very foundational reasons to doubt that there will be any evidence for creators ever, but that's not a need for evolution. Facts are what they are regardless of my preferences for or against.
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        Jun 2 2013: QUOTE: "Not only they can explain the diversity of life on earth, they explain the diversity at any possible level, from within a single human family, to the whole of humanity, to the whole of great ape species, to the whole of primates, to the whole of species in the planet. A question of how close you look. It's painfully obvious." Your see words there sir? . . . they are "painfully obvious". Would you be so kind as to itemize which you consider to be the most important of the many errors made by Darwin which have been edited during the "huge advancement" the theory has enjoyed since he laid the foundation and constructed the whole as he understood it? You keep saying you have no camp but you walk, talk, and act like a card-carrying evolutionist in good standing. There are two camps. One is Evolution, the other is Creationism. Are you in neither? Or in a third (if so, what is its name)? Advance and be recognized! Who goes there? Friend or foe?
        • Jun 3 2013: Notice that what you quote cannot be mistaken to say that I already told you that it was obvious. Notice that it did not contain anything about creationism either.
    • Jun 3 2013: Edward,

      We were both kind enough before to discuss one of those things where Darwin made a mistake: genetics. He didn't know anything about it. I explained to you that Mendelian genetics allowed for the development of population genetics, a rich field in evolutionary biology which Darwin could not have even dreamed about. Darwin could not have guessed what we would discover about molecular biology and much less could he have envisioned how much better we would understand evolutionary processes when studying the evolution of molecules. It's not just whether Darwin was wrong about this or that, but about how much has happened ever since Darwin. I explained this before. How come you don't remember any more? I am hurt. Seems like I wrote for you, yet you did not care reading what I wrote for you. Did you really think that nothing had happened in these 150 years since the publication of the origin of species? Today it's very hard to keep up with the literature and you say that there's no publications!

      I belong to no camps. How many times do you want me to repeat it? If anything, I'm in the "whatever reality is, that's what it is" camp. Therefore, if we find evidence for evolution, then that's what reality is. If we found evidence for Thor, then Thor would be part of reality. It's that simple Edward. I fought against the evidence for evolution, but my brain wouldn't accept things based on my preferences. It would only accept what the evidence dictated. Not my fault. Not what I wanted either. Even after accepting reality, I was hopeful that one day I would discover something very wrong about evolution, to no avail (discovered a lot wrong with gods though). I only discover more evidence for evolution even in ridiculously meaningless details. If there was a possibility for gods to be real, these gods would have made us through evolution.

      Have a good week Edward
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        Jun 3 2013: I am glad to know you do not consider yourself to be an evolutionist because I think it is plagued by error and inconsistency. I am confused though about what you are. If you occupy a third camp (perhaps called "the reality camp?) then you are making a distinction between creationism, evolution, and reality. Are you saying Creationism is not reality, nor is Evolution, only Reality is the truth? I have not forgotten your opinion about Darwin's blunder with respect to heredity. I am asking you what other "advancements" have been made since Charie wrote the bible of evolution. Your fight should be for the evidence against evolution, not against the evidence for evolution. As for the years since Darwin I am not able to chronicle the editing that has been done to his work. What I do have is a workable understanding of what evolution claims today. We have lapsed into the mode of generating heat and hurt without light and enlightenment in this debate. If you agree let's shut it down on the basis of irreconcilable philosophical differences. God bless us as we seek truth.
    • Jun 3 2013: Edward,

      I don't consider myself an evolutionist because it would be silly to call myself such a thing just because I know that evolution is real. I also know that gravitation is real, yet I do not call myself a gravitationist. I prefer to say that I accept what there's evidence for.

      I am not making a distinction between creationism, evolution and reality. I am putting reality first. So, if there's evidence for evolution, then evolution is part of reality. If there was evidence for Zeus, then Zeus would be part of reality. As it happens, there's clear and neat evidence for evolution, therefore evolution is part of reality. That's what I'm saying. I choose no camps but whatever reality demands. If evolution was as bad as you think, then I would reject it. I only care about keeping it honest, and thus I cannot just assume a "camp" about reality and defend it for no other reason but what I would like it to be, rather than accept it for what it is.

      My fight was for evidence against evolution as much as against the evidence for evolution. But, as I told you, there's no such things. Every time a creationist presents me with such "evidence" against evolution, there's layers and layers of misinformation, rather than any evidence against evolution.

      The reason there's not a lot of advance in these discussions, at least in my experience, is that creationists won't admit to being misinformed. One more example from your prose. What Charlie wrote is not "the bible of evolution." Science does not work that way. Otherwise, we would not have any advancements. There would be no population genetics, no positive and negative selection, no neutral and nearly neutral models, and so on. We don't edit other people's work either, rather, scientists publish works trying to figure out and correct mistakes, find further details and processes, etc.

      Yeah, we may shut it down here.
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    May 30 2013: Je pense à notre volonté de repousser les limites de la technologie de la fusion éventuelle de l'intelligence artificielle et des nanotechnologies, tout en ayant la capacité d'améliorer l'humanité a également la possibilité de le détruire s'il n'est pas correctement surveillée.
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      . .

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      Jun 17 2013: d'accord! :)
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    May 30 2013: Nous devrions peut-être garder nos armes nucléaires et s'assurer qu'ils ne sont pas connectés sur le même réseau avec les robots.
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      Jun 17 2013: C'est comme mettre le bifteck sur la table et de dire au chien à ne le pas manger pendant que nous nous procurent du vin :)
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        Jun 17 2013: Je ne vois pas le simularity entre le chien le steak et la bombe nucléaire. :)