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Do You Think Technology Intervenes With The Evolution of Humans?

Poll Results: Do YOU think technology is intervening with human evolution?

 
  • 35% (5)
    Yes
  • 64% (9)
    No
14 Total Votes  
post #1 of 52
Thread Starter 

Hello my fellow wise and wonderful Head-Fi'ers,

 

I thought I'd start a thread for this interesting topic, as it had me thinking, and I'm sure it will ring the alarm bells of curiosity of many others.

 

I'll keep the OP short and simple, and as the title of this thread has stated, the simple question is, "Do YOU think with the use of modern day technology, it would interfere with human evolution?"

 

Leave your beliefs below, whether you agree that technology DOES interfere with evolution, or if it DOES NOT, followed by your perception and aspect(s) of the topic.

 

It'd be interesting to find out what people think of this topic, as this may as well be where many colours of the spectrum will comes to shine. 

 

EDIT: I wish to apologize in advance to those who directed their response to/mentioned me, since I have yet to reply to any of these. I have been looking over this thread, and reading each and every one of these replies, and it was a pleasure to hear your opinions on this topic. However, I want to let you guys know, that I probably won't be replying here, since my knowledge of this topic isn't up to any of the standards presented in this thread, so more or less, I'm just a bystander. Sorry!

 

Thank you for your time and contributions,

SkyBleu-


Edited by SkyBleu - 9/23/13 at 10:53pm
post #2 of 52

Over a long time span. Everything we are as human beings is built up over 1000s of years in our DNA which changes along the lines of--only the strong survive. We are at present losing our hunting instincts which could tell if we were in danger or somebody was watching us but we couldn't see them but only feel their presence. These things will be lost over time.But we are still human a biological species that is subjective to the core even though some would have us believe that we do not hear what we hear and see what we see. And that it is science that will "put us right".The same science that produces bombs to kill people and guns to shoot them dead.Science itself -if you keep up to date--is now using human DNA in a different form to achieve technical break- through,s so it shows you science isnt the "cutting edge" but the human body is. Even some digital design engineers admit that the human brain is a "MK 10" of any computer on this planet.    

post #3 of 52

duncan1, since you don't know what science is you probably shouldn't talk about it, let alone the anti-science statements. By your own kind of logic stones are bad, because stones are used to stone people. -_-

 

 

@OP: Yes, technological advancements have largely stopped natural selection, which as far as we know, is a necessary part of evolution. In the First World it is normally no problem to survive - there are no predators, but vaccines, modern medicine, food in abundance ... There's also much woo woo out there, but that usually doesn't kill you.

 

I don't have any studies at hand but I've heard people suggest, that less smart people have more children on average. So we could actually be in a stage of devolution.

post #4 of 52
Tool making is part of what defines us as Homo sapiens. "Technology" is just a tool - no different than a sharpened stick or a chip of flint. We use tools to give us an advantage over our environment and over other species. If you think we have stopped evolving, then you have no sense of the timescale used by evolution. Modern H. sapiens is thought to be at most 200,000 years old, but our modern behaviors are thought to only be ~50,000 years old. Homo erectus, believed to be one of our immediate predecessors, was on the planet from ~1.8 million years ago until ~140,000 years ago.

Ask this question again in ~1.5 million years.
post #5 of 52

The thing is, if you could create better tools in the past you were more likely to survive and successfully reproduce. Nowadays you go into the next shop and buy the "tools". Something breaks, either hire someone to repair it or throw it away and buy a new one. But it doesn't matter anyway, since these "tools" are not used for survival anymore.

 

Need food? You don't need to hunt or harvest, just buy it. Need water? Same thing. You are sick? Go to the doc and get it fixed. And so on...

 

 

If you accept that evolution needs natural selection and that we have pretty much disabled natural selection, then evolution doesn't work very well, does it?


Edited by xnor - 9/22/13 at 7:55pm
post #6 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post

The thing is, if you could create better tools in the past you were more likely to survive and successfully reproduce. Nowadays you go into the next shop and buy the "tools". Something breaks, either hire someone to repair it or throw it away and buy a new one. But it doesn't matter anyway, since these "tools" are not used for survival anymore.

Need food? You don't need to hunt or harvest, just buy it. Need water? Same thing. You are sick? Go to the doc and get it fixed. And so on...


If you accept that evolution needs natural selection and that we have pretty much disabled natural selection, then evolution doesn't work very well, does it?

Natural selection isn't just about humans - it is working on all aspects and all organisms in our environment. By your definition, we have put ourselves at a disadvantage compared to our environment - which is continuing to change. We have two choices: Adapt to the changing environment or control the change. However, since we actually have very little control over our environment (much less than most people imagine - even with all our "technology") any idea of controlling the universe to suit ourselves is ludicrous. We can't even control the amount of rain that falls or the amount of sunlight we receive. Inventing the umbrella is not controlling the weather.

Now, let's go further - it doesn't matter to the universe whether humans survive or not. If we go extinct because we no longer have the ability to adapt to our environment, so what? We'll just be another small blip on the evolutionary scale - which is itself a tiny blip on the cosmic scale. Whether we have invented Walmart or not isn't going to matter when our sun starts changing into a red dwarf. By that time, we better either have used our technology to have broken free of this solar system, or already cooked ourselves and the planet under a layer of hydrocarbons and nuclear fallout.
post #7 of 52

Humans aren't evolving, they're devolving.

 

Natural selection is not proof of evolution as far as being the mechanism for creating a life form of higher complexity.

 

Natural selection does allow a species of life form to adapt to it's environment if there is sufficient variation in it's genetic makeup. If not, extinction.

 

Entropy is the killer as far as vertical evolution is concerned.

post #8 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by wink View Post
 

Humans aren't evolving, they're devolving.

I get the feeling (I may be wrong, please let me know) that you think that they always were devolving, which is wrong as far as we know from the evidence, and would also mean that you don't even accept evolution?

 

Quote:
 Natural selection is not proof of evolution as far as being the mechanism for creating a life form of higher complexity.

I don't understand how this makes sense. Natural selection has no intrinsic direction. If more complexity means better survival then natural selection will favor higher complexity. If more simplicity means better survival then that will be favored for a given species.

 

Quote:
Natural selection does allow a species of life form to adapt to it's environment if there is sufficient variation in it's genetic makeup. If not, extinction.

Well, it kinda forces the individuals of a species to adapt better and better to its environment. Those who fail to do so will be less likely to successfully reproduce, so nature selects against them. Different environments, isolation, random mutations eventually lead to speciation.

 

To get back to the topic, humans can reproduce quite easily nowadays. In the First World there is no struggle for life, so natural selection is kinda disabled, hence at least no evolution based on natural selection. I hope that's what you meant with your first sentence.

 

Quote:
Entropy is the killer as far as vertical evolution is concerned.

What are you talking about?


Edited by xnor - 9/23/13 at 11:47am
post #9 of 52

Devolution

 

Listen and then know....

 

 

BOB KNOWS

post #10 of 52
Evolution or Devolution - it's all a matter of perspective. By definition, an organism can ONLY devolve by taking on a trait that was present at an earlier time in the evolutionary chain. Therefore, to say humans are "devolving" means that you believe we are taking on traits of some previous species in our lineage. Considering some of the homeless people I see wandering around downtown San Francisco, I suppose that's a possibility. Either that, or you are saying that somewhere in our past, our ancestors were fat, hairless blobs that were incapable of sentient thought. tongue.gif
post #11 of 52
Humans have evolved to a point where they are emerging with technology, such as having microchip implant.
post #12 of 52

I'm pretty sure we're still evolving. It never stops. This answers the first question.

 

The concerning issue is, what part of our body evolves.  Given the current level of human advancement, its the social and cognitive abilities that are important. We survive and develop solutions by collaboration and intelligence.

 

In my understanding, its the brain that'll evolve more than other organs. Probably the reptilian traits we still maintain (you know, basal instincts) will slowly start to diminish and the more rational side will emerge as the desired trait.

 

Natural selection will work its way out. Only those who are peace loving and cooperative will survive, given the scale of creative and destructive power we have. The rest will kill each other.

 

In other words, I watch too much Star Trek.


Edited by proton007 - 9/23/13 at 8:41pm
post #13 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyBleu View Post
 

"Do YOU think with the use of modern day technology, it would interfere with human evolution?"

 

I'd go with contemporary sci-fi on this one : yes, but it might actually be for the better. I mean, "we are the Children of the Atom" (course, it's nto like Marie Curie's experiment actually ended up with a guy who heals faster than any hospital can help other people, and neither did the A-bomb actually make super-psychics who can dismantle things at the molecular level). On a more serious note, sStudies now show that some video games actually help sharpen reflexes on children, although I imagine their actual body movements of fingers pressing on buttons playing Modern Warfare definitely doesn't make for anything in the way of a samurai drawing and deflecting a blow in one flowing movement, then counterattacking on instinct, but that's for actual soldiers (or athletes if we use EA's Madden instead of FPS games). On the other hand, with warfare getting highly computerized, it might help when we have humans away from the front lines and controlling drones on the ground.

 

Gundam always has main characters who are some sort of superhumans with sharper reflexes capable of not just piloting one giant robot well but also simultaneously control drones (Fin Funnel or Dragoon System) evolved through either genetic manipulation (which is one of the things that some people hated about SEED and to a lesser extent, 00), or as in the UC timeline, simply from growing up floating in low gravity and being more aware of a 3D world, hence more easily adapted to a 3D battle unlike having to train a fighter pilot from someone who grew up walking and knowing which way is down thanks to gravity. Of course this has some embarrassing consequences - like the ZAFT pilots who, after coming to earth for the first time,  land only to start sinking in desert sand and they don't understand what's happening to their state of the art, 60-ton robots. Cockpits like the ones in Zeta Gundam don't seem too sci-fi now that Google Glass is close enough to Iron Man's HUD, and with cyberwarfare tech, we might actually end up with pilots inside jets or armored tanks (or robots) using such an interface instead of one facility in the US Southwest controlling a drone in West-Central Asia that ends up killing civilians all the time because all they see on the screen are blurry blips that won't show much difference between an extremist, his men, their 77 wives each, and their boatload of children who will either get blown to bits by an American bomb, or grow up to be terrorists because their sisters were blown to bits instead of living the normal life of being married off at 8years old then die in childbirth by 12 or get raped as payment for debt at 16.


Edited by ProtegeManiac - 9/23/13 at 10:31pm
post #14 of 52

No, I do not believe that technology intervenes with the evolution of humans. I do believe however that the more technology advances the more the world's different governments can tighten their oppressive grips on their citizens.

post #15 of 52
There are plenty of historical examples of oppressive governments that existed long before the latest technological revolution. In fact, the most oppressive governments in history have been those that kept technology out of the hands of their citizens. I would claim that technology is responsible for freeing far more people than it has enslaved.
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