TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

Has humanity redefined "Natural Selection"?

The topic is more or less: "darwinism vs. humanity".

To illustrate:

1. Right now there are about 7 billion people on the planet earth and according to worldhunger.org about 925 million people live in hunger - equal to about 1 of every 7 people not eating daily - or expressed in another way - 1 in 7 are not able to provide for themselves / lack the means to survive.

2. Many people has (currently) incurable diseases like cancer, AIDS and similar. Many people will be born handicapped and live rest of their lives in a more or less "paralyzed" state compared to the majority. Doctors all over the world are trying to find the cures or fight these diseases - but does this not conflict with natural selection?

3. In nature when a kitten is born with defects, i.e. missing a leg, the mother will leave the kitten alone to die, because the mother knows that the kittens chance of survival is close to zero. As humans we do the opposite - we will try to save whoever we can even when the chances are slim or close to zero - and often we succeed.

Natural selection happens all the time in the nature and to some extent in human lives as well - if you are not fit for whatever is ahead of you, you will most likely not succeed.

Do we want natural selection, to what extent, and what do you think the implications are of choosing natural selection vs. not choosing natural selection?

Has natural selection simply been redefined in some sense, so that the main purpose of live saving technology / science is to push the boundaries of natural selection?

- and no, i'm not a new Hitler, Stalin, racist or similar - i'm just trying get a better understanding of the world.


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Jan 17 2012: I think we do have redefined natural selection, natural selection is about one think, strongs live and weaks must die, when we as a "rational" specie thought that a right to live should be granted to every human destroyed anykind of natural selection applied to humans.
    Saldy this "right" has been the responsible of global imbalace: while humans are a plague thousands of other species are now extinct.
    • Jan 20 2012: And this, is exactly what natural selection is. Humans are thriving at the expense of other animal species - so what? They obviously were not strong enough to compete with us for the limited resources, and so they are now extinct. I don't understand why people have a need to want to save endangered species.

      It is what it is.
      • thumb
        Jan 21 2012: If some people worry about saving species is for una thing: convenience, you know humans have a huge necesity for resouces and we get those resouces from all the other species on earth so while we take care of those species we are also ensuring our resouces for the future, a lot of people might not worry about future but they should know there are also many generations that will need plenty of natural resouces and a eco-balanced world.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.