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 Will humans ever evolve further?

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Wolf
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Location : Solihull, England
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PostSubject: Will humans ever evolve further?   Tue Jul 22, 2008 4:19 am

Humans commonly seem to believe that we are the top of the evolutionary process and that we cannot possibly evolve any further. Is it possible that we could be actively preventing the further evolution of out species by treating any genetic mutation (which is what evolution basically is - mutation of the genes to produce another species) as an illness to be treated and corrected through medicine? Would any evolution of humans be allowed to breed? Or would they be subjected to testing by scientist and eventually taken out of the gene pool? With our fascination with looks nowadays, would any further evolved human be considered a freak and not able to find a mate to continue the genes?

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PostSubject: Re: Will humans ever evolve further?   Fri Jul 25, 2008 1:10 pm

Humans are in a particularly unique position of all the creatures on the planet, in that we now have the ability to directly effect our own evolution, prevent it, alter it, or speed it up as we choose. But along with this ability we face the problem of the fact that we have also become incredibly arrogant about believing that we are the top of the evolutionary ladder and donít need to evolve any further. We tend to think that any further evolution of our species will be mental rather than physical, but this is against the normal way that species evolve. We have come to this conclusion, that we are more likely to evolve mentally rather than physically, because we see our brains as being the thing that sets us apart from other creatures, and there have been several steps in the hominid evolution where there has been increases in brain capacity.

But evolution is the mutation of genes which means that we cannot really predict what would be our next evolutionary step. It may just as well be changes to our limbs, or our posture as to our brains, we just seem to prefer that it should be our brains that should evolve.

Because of this arrogance that humans have, we believe that, seeing as we are already the pinnacle of the evolutionary process, then we canít possibly improve any more. So any mutation that may occur in our genes can only be for the worse (by our thinking) as we canít possibly be made any better.

Because of this assumption that we canít improve on how we already are, we are more likely to try to counteract any genetic change to stop evolution in its tracks and prevent it from moving further.

Some people are thinking that with the increase in obesity in recent years, then this may in fact be the next step in our evolution, for humans to become a fatter species in general, but what is the reaction to this? Instead of accepting that if thatís how we are going to evolve then fair enough, we launch campaigns to prevent obesity, to counteract this change to our species and change us back to how we think we should be. Now, personally, I donít believe that this increase in obesity is due to evolution, but more to do with us treating our bodies with the same contempt and arrogance that we seem to treat everything else with. But the reaction to this change shows me that any change that begins to change how humans are will be met with opposition and we will try and stop evolution from changing us.

There is no way of knowing whether some thing that we current see as a deformity or disease may, in reality, be our next evolutionary step and we are doing everything we can to stop it.

Why should we worry? Seeing as how humans are so well adapted anyway, what is wrong with us stopping evolution from changing us any further? Surely itís better to remain as we are, rather than risk the change into a new species? Well no, we should be worried because any species that doesnít evolve tends to stagnate, genetic problems show up more and more and the species eventually dies out by stifling itself. It is essential that we allow nature to take its course and for us to evolve naturally into the next step, or we are signing the death warrant to our entire species (not that this will stop us, we are constantly behaving in ways that puts the entire planet and all life on it at risk, but normally we do it in search of profit).

The obsession that humans have with appearance and what we think of as physical perfection does have an effect on our possible evolution too, as if people that are what we consider to be perfect are given more access to the gene pool, and those that are considered to be inferior are prevented from breeding so much, then this will have a real effect on how we evolve.
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