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Or if we change anymore will we be something other than human beings?
Our average height has increased over the last 100 years and we live longer as well. That's evolution, right?
Also, I've got five hands and a tail.
or is it improvements in medicine and changes in diet/lifestyle
competition to reproduce has reduced therefore our genes are 'less chosen' (since civilisation)
of course there is the factors that ensure survival to reproduction age but our society tries to mitigate these factors as much as possible. It is this societies aim to erradicate evolutionary forces on humans, to take humans away from natural forces (Not necessarily a concious thing)
Our society moves in the direction of trying to allow more different types of humans to reproduce, even those with reproduction deformities.
However the non natural parasite of human society values and the offspring of it (like money) and power structures (or their patterns) have evolved, the 'knowledge' systems that humans sometimes use as a mental code to determine courses of action (like the body uses the genetic code to determine action) has and IS evolving. Indeed it is evolving very very fast. so fast that it is proving to be TOO successful which will result in species calamaties
a) much less competition to mate
b) humans trying to mitigate those conditions which would prevent humans from reaching a mating age
c) humans trying to mitigate those conditions which prevent reproduction
OF course the actual result of this is actually a sort of inverse of evolution....rather than change we are seeing the absense of selection, which meant that overall humanity might change differently.
Other factors which influence evolution are our geographical and simpler society make ups/taboos
It is now much easier to find a partner from another culture/race from another continent far away rather than just adjacent, so this has an effect on human developement. Add on to this changes in predjudices/favours which rather than being inherently natural are more societorial/cultural (like what some species of other animals experiance in fine division ...like birds of paradise....particularly bower birds, where the choice actually starts to have less to do with strength of genes but more to do with esoteric taste, in the mind) (Of course a fine eye for particularly ripe berries is pertinant to the bower birds and is demonstrated by their decorative skills, but nevertheless their taste in colours has become abstract and removed from the normal evolutionary reasoning that we tend to rationalise about)
compared to human existence, that if we're still around in 100,000 years time this hundred years or so'll make close to hee-haw's difference
but wouldn't that still be a form of evolution? Whether we're 'improving' as a species is irrelevant, providing some sort of change is occurring to adapt to circumstances.
Wouldn't the opposite of evolution be some sort of status quo?
'surviving to breed, competition to breed' influence is largely switched off.....evolution is driven by a myriad of factors, some are big noticable and obvious sorts of factors others are far more mundane, others are sort of defaults, others are relationship orientated (relationships with other species (specially with those that live on/in you))
The biggest thing to regard are changes which are environment (society/technology) changes which affect ALL humans and cause change to all bodies yet does not affect as selectively as what we think of as normal evolution.
Since civilisation started to grow, lots more humans were needed to feed that which gives a civilisation its strength, thus it tried(on the whole to preserve its citizens life and no matter how lowly (in rank) it kind of wanted its own citizens to breed, even the toilet cleaners.
So we have reduced the evolutionary change in humans (due to reproduction success/chance) yet other changes in humans still take place
Except in small concealed redneck towns in southern america, filled with trailer parks and hill billies with no thumbs.
continued to evolve...since civilisation at least
you wont be too hung up about it
As people die sooner then this will offset the rise in the birth rate keeping the planet at an equilibrium.
It is a physiological one.
This is not an 'imo' it is a statement of fact
which resulted in many humans ingesting more calories whilst expending less calories'
there's all the social and cultural evolution going on. It'd be interesting to see if we're evolving psychologically.
we are not, but our patterns of indoctrination are changing.....we are all born just as someone from 3000 years ago was (mentally) (unless your middle class guardian reading mother has been playing 'intelligence boosting in the womb' tapes to you....in which case you will become like kilroy-silk
has four chins.
but then I shaved it off.
Boobs are getting bigger on average. Hooray!
and in summer i used to walk around in them all the time. t-shirt, shorts and flippers, yep.
yet are they evolutionary? Its difficult to tell...because human evolution (or any animals evolution) is NOT a solitary path....our evolution might be/Is also connected to things we cohabit with like our pathogens, bacteria, stomach fauna, nemotodes etc. Many of our diseases have been made to change/killed by our use of medicine, by doing this our immune systems have changed (can i say evolution? like i say this is more of a relationship) and degraded. for instance You no longer need a tip top immune system to get to the reproductive stage, but not just due to medicine but due to environments removed from some previous contaminants and pathogens....also in this absense of other stuff our resistance to some toxins has degraded, a sort of regressive evolution where that which is not needed just sort of withers (cos its no longer selected on) yet it lurks to catch us were our society to collapse (our guts cant cope with what we used to be able to)
in an evolutionary arms race against pathogens.
other genes are highly conserved though. if it ain't broke why fix it? crocodiles and sharks are pretty well adapted so they haven't really changed in millions of years.
most of the changes in terms of height/life expectancy etc have come about due to advances in health care, nutrition and general social progression.
but this is a constant thing in all of nature.......interestingly there are two major factors with us that are unusual to do with our pathogens (and our domesticated animals)
1) we live in ever increasingly large populations and interloping populations, which changes (vastly) the patterns of sorts of pathogens that affect a mammelian population, and affect the evolutions of these pathogens)
2) We have tried to introduce a 'different evolutionary element' (we evolve anti pathogens in the laboritory and thus affect our own pathogens evolution....(let us hope we are not providing conditions for an untimate pathogen through providing them with 'super evolutionary factors' of continual adversity)
Of course in the normal course of natural events hosts immunity and pathogens are constantly evolving...sort of like doing judo with each other. But the above two are different and factors maybe more unusual(ish) to humans
after that, all bets are off.
we are still in the digital revolution period as a society and its changing us as humans as we do less physical activity and more mental.
Also women seem to be havings kids alot later (scientific conclusion based on my entensive studies)
ive seen that movie with that guy from the xfiles, something to do with shampoo right?
a human with the genes of 3000 years ago will not be noticably less able mentally than anyone from today.
It is a common modern conceit that we are cleverer. WE ARE NOT.
Society/civilisation that needs to reduce a humans all round ability to fit into a role (with demarcation) means that there is no longer the same evolutionary imperitive to produce bigger more able brains
but if it was intended to be some sort of reply intending to prove my previous post wrong then it is, in fact, a confirmation of my previous post :)
Human intelligence has not particularly evolved since then, you would be unable to detect any superiority of a modern humans brain
but then again fred flintstone could probably do alot of stuff i couldnt. However if you were to replace *club* with *drink beer* it would probably still describe most males pretty well.
cos they aint the same
the scientific community cannot agree one way or another. Some say in its broadest sense we are evolving as the gene pool continues to evolve through random mutation in DNA. Others argue that its not just as simple as saying the gene pool is still evolving and that there is more to it than that.
we are constantly evolving.
The ability to do PGD scanning on embryoes is evolution.
Also see prosthetics.
This may be repeated somewhere at some point because these forums are cack but my personal belief is that developments in stem cell research means we are constantly evolving.
IE. being able to do PGD scanning on embryoes is a form of evolution.
which humans might use to determine some of their actions (just like bodies use the genetic code to decide what to do)
I believe also that stuff like money/trading has evolved into a system that now controls the world, but most humans are just like livestock to it......however this is not evolution in the normally accepted form and i think it would be wrong to classify what you describe as 'human evolution' as although humans DO use it and contribute mostly to the knowledge system, you will find that other factors (outside of human sensibility) influence how that technology/knowledge is actuially realised.
For instance the world could afford to save many more people through simple cures to poorer people in 3rd world countries......yet it is an economic mechanism and pattern which determines that much money for health is instead directed into developing a few expensive treatments for selecter bunch of humans.
Science/technology is not always used for human purpose and therefore cannot be said to be part of human evolution.....yes it affects us yet it also affects the whole world and other species.......if the developement of medicine and the smallpox vaccine wsa part of human evolution then was it not also part of pathogenic evolution? In which case we cannot really consider the question at all as being one of human evolution but of evolution in general....to spread it ultimately wide we would have to consider evolution from a big bang/realisational point of view, to a dimensional, to a splitting of forces, to a chemical to a biological, to a consiousness/abstract (almost like a realisational again) sort of evolution
Its just selective.
Humans have the ability to apply this to everyone just not the inclination.
Is this some sort of screening for what are considered defects that society does not like so that they may be terminated? (This ability to 'check it out' and teminate if you 'dont like what you see' is a new factor and it might be one that actually might teminate humans that could later actually breed themselves. So yes this might become a small factor, except that i dont think that complex technological scans will be commonplace in the near future, therefore will not have much evolutionary significance.
As for prosthetics, i dont see what difference they will make except to allow people who previously might not have been able to breed to actually breed, in which case it fits into my original sort of posts where i mentioned that our society actually goes to some way to try top prevent what is considered to be the major evolutionary influences (i.e. the competition to breed....the other major factor being reaching the stage to be able to breed, there are many other factors)
The Jewish community in NY has eradicated Sickel Cell Anemia using PGD. Surely this is a form of evolution? Its just that its perpatrated by humans and not something unfathomable like 'Nature'
we have gone beyond natural selection. Social eugenics vs the body as a totalitarian state.
nearly, but only within a community, not the species. If it had applied to the species then yes, but do we want eugenics? I dont think humans would allow it to that degree
a few individuals could be responsible for forming a whole new species of homo, which could live alongside us.
Everything is in a state of constant evolution. It's impossible not to be. Will there be a point at which someone sits up and realises he's not a 'human' anymore? Well that's Trigger's Broom, init?
look at the world. we have a looooooooooooooong way to go.
we're living in an exciting time though. the mayans, who had the most sophisticated calender of any of the civilisations to live in earth, believe that our evolution is speeding up so rapidly, that beyond 2012 we will be living in a vastly different world.
if you're really bored and have a free few hours I highly recommend watching this video of Ian Xel Lungold, a westerner who went over to whats left of the Mayan civilisation in South America to study how they live, how they perceive time and what they believe is happening on the planet right now. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8689261981090121097&ei=pZhPSfqXPIiG2wL15cn0Cg&q=xel
are we human or are we dancer?
I'm an idiot, play a record.
but it's pretty likely that small changes are happening. For example, hereditary defects which prevent or decrease the chances of reproduction should decrease in frequency in the population. Also, whilst in developed societies there's little competition to survive and reproduce, sure this still exists in places where for example there are frequentl famines, so that genes which result in people better able to survive these situations increase in frequency in the population. Another example - what if a mutation which confers resistance to AIDs appeared in South Africa - it would be pretty likely to increase in frequency in local populations wouldn't it? These are just minor changes that are only really likely to affect people on a local scale though - not the entire species. It's like with sickle cell anaemia - lots of people of african heritage have this because the gene also confers some resistance to malaria - thus the gene was favoured in areas with high rates of malaria.
if only because it seems nonsensical to think the human being has been 'perfected' in 10,000 years when other species of animal, such as sharks and crocodiles, have been evolving for tens of millions of years and you can only see evolution through the benefit of incredibly far-reaching hinhsight.
What probably is unique to us is that we seem to have reached a point whereby we alter our environment to suit us rather than adapt to it the best we can. So while we are still evolving, perhaps the notion of 'survival of the fittest' isn't appropriate to apply to human development.
assuming all life on Earth is derived from the same common ancestor, then everything alive today has been evolving for exactly the same amount of time.
But for the purposes of debate and convenience, all life on Earth is split into different groups
for many reasons, but for example, some species utilse one environment that is relatively unchanging yet others might inhabit an ever changing environment
evolution has had two of its major factors slowed to almost insignificance in us, thus overall evolution in us has slowed right down (for the period of civilisation/society/technological evolution) which is also a short period of time. Other evolutionary factors are still at work though...just not as spectacular results)
what definition of biological evolution are you using ?
I tend to simply use "change in allele frequency in a population", in which case we are clearly still evolving.
impossible with any degree of interest...in that case you could say that every single offspring of a s**ual reproduction is an evolution, or that everysingle organism that has genetic reorganisation (that is replicable) due to some chemical or electromagnetic radiation is evolving. To take it to this degree its like considering the question to mean 'does anything change' and someone answer literally 'yes'
I took the question to mean. are we still evolving as a species not as indivisual organisms, and yes it is true that as a species we are still evolving, and this will always happen with everything whether biological or non biological as everything new will be a product not of 'exactly the same, but of the meeting of more than one events....and even if there was uniformity then all science tends towards believing in a natural sort of entropy.
I didnt discount evolution, i kinda implied it would slow down cos of two of the most significant drivers of rapid and extreme change 'IN A DEFINATE direction of characteristics' have been mostly turned off.
To not treat the question like this would be to make jokes and fun of the question, to not treat it seriously.
OK Evolution always happens....but what we tend to mean by it is the effects that we observe (which is how darwin came to his theory, by observing when its effects became apparent)
So according to the strict definition then yes you're right (Mr Logic) :)
but most people actually talk about and mean the effects of evolution to be about physiological facets of an organism.
So really the idea about evolution of a species is where there visible or measurable characteristics have changed.......of course sometimes non visible characteristics that have changed may be more significant.....sometimes the non visibles may not be significant at all, but lie dorment in individuals as experiments, only to explode into significance for the species as a whole when say an event comes along (like a new pathogen) that makes it more relevent, so yes we all have little experiments inside of us....but for humans mostly these do not have a significant relevance for the DIRECTION of genetic evolution that affects the characteristics of humans or their resistance to disease (untill the conditions occur)
and breed, we actually try to make sure that people without that genetic make up to survive, to survive as well. so overall change in special evolution is mitigated by the technologies we employ
Well yeah, and alleles are measurable.
genes-->proteins--->"physiological facets of an organism"
Though like you say, not all mutations/variations that occur within genes will necessarily change the amino acid sequence of a protein. But even apparently silent/synonymous mutations may not actually be so, as certain codons may be transcribed/translated faster than others, resulting in different physiological effects...
meet conditions where they ensure the organism that possesses them can survive/reproduce more, then it is still just an instance and the species does not evolve in a particular direction
purely by chance.
sort of, doesnt this normally concern more of a sort of atrophying of stuff that is no longer needed though? (not always)
This sort of neutral effect is much less marked than (as I say) the 'two major influences on change in a specific direction' and is likely to progress less fast and to a lesser degree (or maybe its just less noticed :) )
did you study biology at degree level ?
I'll give an example that expands on my above point.
Imagine a male bird is flying around in his woods. He has had a mutation that makes his feathers a slightly more red shade than all the other birds. For argument's sake let's assume this is a completely neutral characteristic that will have no bearing on his survival or reproductive abilities.
Now, if this extra-red bird also has the fortune to have acquired an unrelated mutation that increases his resistance to (say) bird-flu, the redness mutation would be passed along to his offspring as well as the resistance mutation.
So eventually most of the birds in the population would become slightly redder.
In fact, what could happen in this situation over a large number of generations is a positive feedback situation due to sexual selection (which I'm sure you're aware of), leading to a population with increasingly bright red feathers. Any females that happen to have a slight genetic neurological preference for "stronger red" would be more likely to mate with the red male, and have a greater chance of their offspring surviving the flu.
This would mean that these offspring are not only more resistant to flu and slightly redder, but also inherit the preference for "stronger red". So ultimately, having red feathers could become a selection advantage in itself. Obviously at this point it would no longer be a neutral trait.
I love this stuff. Such a geek. :-)
OK absolutely am not disagreeing here, im just playing devils advocate to see what you say.
If only the redder hued bird were resistant to bird flu, then with only one male survivor it is likely that the birds would die off (assuming the flu is a variety is viruylent ebnough to change the physiological change) If enough birds survived to ensure the species survived, is it likely that all those with resistance to bird fly had the redder tinge? because if not then the reddish tinge wouldnt be passed on (OK I know its only a tendancy, not absolute and that even if there were say only 1 redder tinged male bird per 1000 birds pre flue and it was one of only 100 survivors, this is likely to increases the proportion of red tinged causing genes after.
My extra question would be are there many examples of say 'more red tinged birds with bird flu resistance' prior to the outbreak......i guess there might as slight (seemingly unrelated co-incidences might be reenfiorced by successive outbreaks......s ok ive answered all my own questions now.
clearly, we are still evolving.
but what is significant is that our society attempts to minimise this differentiation (in theory) to mean that not only those with immunity or without the genetic disadvantage against the peril survive. Our society attempts to circumvent the result of this factor, thus meaning that the survivors/descendants do not necessarily become more aligned in that genetic aspect (although immunity does have other mechanisms of its own that are independant of the human breeding and are more to do wit hthe hosts immune system adapting and the subsequent altering of the characteristics of the pathogen)
of humans (by application of medicine, (surgical and biological(imunisation/anti bax/anti viral/fungal and infertility treatments)) and by the stated aim of reducing isms and ist views towards the disabled.
So as i said, society attempts to do stuff, that should result in our species not moving in a particular direction due to two of the major factors on evolutionary species change
i thought all i had to do was login and babble.
The observation that i made, that "some people are not dying of things that other people are dying from",indicates that there is a group of people unfit to survive in one circumstance and another group fit to survive in that circumstance.
This variation between groups is a prerequisite for evolution and presuming that these survivors will replicate, evidence that the process is continuing.
What people are dying of is to my mind, irrelevant, so i didn't specify it, who they are is irrelevant too. The fittest are the ones still living despite the presence of something that caused others not to.
or rather, when they die of it.
Cancers and other diseases associated with old age will not be selected against because they usually occur well after reproductive age, so the faulty genes will have already been passed on to their offspring.
obviously if they die before having children no evolution can take place..
i was only defining a relationship that if found was evidence of evolutionary processes continuing -in answer to the thread title "are we still evolving?"
Also it's not unreasonable to suggest that cancer and other current diseases of old age will be selected against as time goes by . The human life span and reproductive age has expanded drastically in the last few centuries.
I don't revolve.
Do you want to know how many of your words are already in this thread?
I've totted them up on Word - it took me 3 minutes
Im sorry i had to break i had a long meeting to go to
but my answer to your question is yes.
probably at a quicker rate than ever thanks to smoking, polution and other odd chemicals.
Yes in the sense we are mixing up alleles at a greater rate than ever as previously segregated and seperately evolved populations now have contact with each otehr.
There are probably not been many new species (relatively) that have observably different characteristics over the last 3,000 years.
We are pretty much the best adapted animal to live on land so have little environmental presure on us.
The majority of "evolution" happens after a catastrophe, so we will ahve to wait a while to see how we end up, or what else we split off into.