TED Conversations

Ahmed Ben Yaghlen

Student, Youth & Science Association of Tunisia

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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: 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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