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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Does natural selection improve itself?

We select mates based on perceived evolutionary fitness. However, appealing traits (such as large breasts or muscles) may not truly correlate with evolutionary fitness. Although large breasts certainly imply a superior child-rearing ability, physical traits rarely convey other flaws such as stupidity, infertility, or the presence of genetic diseases.

On the other hand, as humanity approaches an era of unprecedented biological manipulation capability, it could be argued that since it is now possible to sequence and analyze another individual’s genome before mating with him, we have improved upon evolution and natural selection.

This raises the recursive question: is our knowledge, the result of several thousand years’ exploration and research, which allows for innovation and raised awareness and in turn genetic analysis, also a product of natural selection? Have we evolved to improve upon evolution?

21 comments:

  1. Natural selection will fall by the wayside as unnatural selection takes over... in 200 years, all organisms will be engineered...

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  2. You won me over with this post. :P

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  3. We've absolutely evolved to improve upon evolution.

    We are no longer supporting evolution in it's basic form; we have become aware of it.

    On the other hand, for what it's worth, the stupid, fat, and mean can probably reproduce today much more easily than when humans were in a lesser state.

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  4. On your first point, I would counter that those traits (while superficial) definitely add to an individuals reproductive ability. Individuals in the modern age can afford to be selective especially based on some factors influenced by culture and not "instinct", which would include superficial features. Thus, the more attractive a woman begins to be more important than her ability to bear children simply because that isn't as important as it once was.

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  5. I have actually decided on a mate, considering the fact that I have searched far and wide. Thanks to the internet however I have had a chance to find someone I truly want to be with. If this does not succeed between me and her I will be forever alone. Which I am totally cool with, considering that I do love being alone at times.

    Natural Selection has never been my terms... ever.

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  6. pfff i have no idea gene matching though to make perfect offspring is crazy

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  7. Who is breeding the most nowadays? Ghetto welfare baby mamas. The human species is doomed.

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  8. in the ghetto.... in the ghettoooOOOOOO

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  9. To be serious, no I don't believe in darwinism, simply because I read this book called darwin's black box. go read it!

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  10. natural selection is dead. Go teem murica.

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  11. I guess we have developed the ability to improve our evolution. Though, we don't really take full advantage of it.

    I would guess selective breeding and genetic analysis may be used in the future for certain purposes. I.e. growing an army or workforce.

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  12. Yes and no. Our knowledge has not been genetically passed down from the generations, but our ability to process information, thus our ability to research and capture information.
    At some point "smarter" humanoids were able to capture other animals better because they could predict their movements or they knew which plants not to eat because they saw others die from it and drew a conclusion. Thus higher brain functions might have been bred. I just wish this process would continue and we would stretch our mind even further.

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  13. darwin.. what a master my friend.
    And about that question my answer is yes.

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  14. Interesting thought. I definitely think our next wave of evolution will be from science.

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  15. well large breasts obviously have some benefits xD

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  16. You mention humanity approaching 'an era of unprecedented biological manipulation capability', which is well enough, but we are also at a major technical evolution.
    Maybe that goes hand-in-hand, but what I mean is no longer will a lost limb or something be a factor in evolution.
    Just adding another dish on your table of food for thought.

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  17. I was just talking about this in my Psychology class and I somewhat agree with this.

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  18. I believe the future of Humanity will be a lot like Brave New World. Superior, near perfect A class humans controlling the world, with retarded freaks bred to do only one repetitive mindless job for the rest of their lives (McDonald's?). This future will come to pass.

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