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Evolution- Biology- Rate of Change

anewhope

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There are moments throughout time where evolution pushes forward and different species are capable of evolving at a faster rate than usual. However, this accelerated rate of change takes anywhere from 10,000 years to a million years to occur. With the acceleration of technology in the past 50 years it may become impossible for human evolution to keep up with the pace of technology. What do we do when evolution can't keep up with the rate of change in technology that humans are now forced to confront?
 

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I subscribe to the idea that humans consistently move towards singularity, even if they fail repeatedly. It's why our development moves exponentially faster with each passing year. But can we sustain the delicate balance required to make it?
 

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What do we do when evolution can't keep up with the rate of change in technology that humans are now forced to confront?
This is a nonsense question. Evolution does not "keep up" with anything. Nature "selects" genes that are more commonly passed on to the next generation(The word "selects" in quotes, because I hate the use of it here, since it kinda implies picking and choosing, which is not really accurate).
 

Orion

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This is a nonsense question. Evolution does not "keep up" with anything. Nature "selects" genes that are more commonly passed on to the next generation(The word "selects" in quotes, because I hate the use of it here, since it kinda implies picking and choosing, which is not really accurate).
I learned that in school but to be honest I still don't understand how that process works. How does our lifestyle trigger mutation, and how does "nature select genes"? I don't understand the mechanism of our bodies changing over time due to our environment.
 

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This is probably a horrible example, but it's what comes to mind and hopefully it'll be funny.

In the movie Jurassic Park, the scientist's took knowledge they used for granted, and spliced dinosaur DNA. Those scientist's didn't earn the knowledge of bioengineering of genetic scientists before hand, they took something and didn't even realize what they had before they used it. And then everyone was eaten by dinosaurs.

And I suppose that's the glory of science, to take all the research and confirmation learned by other scientists, to use that knowledge and conduct research that pushes science to the edge.

I'm saying that when scientist's try to make breakthrough's in research(fringe Science), that's when our evolution won't be able to keep up with technology. Which will lead to self destruction.

One mistake and ....... suddenly we got a problem that we don't know how to fix, like say Global Warming. All we can do is try to not make it worse.
 
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Harry Guerrilla

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I learned that in school but to be honest I still don't understand how that process works. How does our lifestyle trigger mutation, and how does "nature select genes"? I don't understand the mechanism of our bodies changing over time due to our environment.
From what I understand, free radicals in the environment cause genetic mutations.
Now most of the time they are irrelevant or harmful, so they breed out or are none consequential, initially.

Overtime, those inconsequential mutations add up to something completely different than the original animal it started with.

Mutation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

My explanation isn't as scientific as theirs.
 

Orion

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I'm saying that when scientist's try to make breakthrough's in research(fringe Science), that's when our evolution won't be able to keep up with technology. Which will lead to self destruction.
Can you give an example? It sounds like you are describing a paradigm shift that could push us to destruction.
 

Orion

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From what I understand, free radicals in the environment cause genetic mutations.
Now most of the time they are irrelevant or harmful, so they breed out or are none consequential, initially.

Overtime, those inconsequential mutations add up to something completely different than the original animal it started with.

Mutation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

My explanation isn't as scientific as theirs.
My understanding of it is like what happens with bacteria and anti-biotic resistance. The drugs kill all the bacteria except a few who happen to have a slight difference in their physiology which allows them to survive and be stronger. Then they reproduce.

It seems like the mutations are just random chance events, but competitive breeding makes them last long enough to become permanent traits in a species, while those lacking the mutation die out. Am I right?
 

anewhope

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Like Global warming.
 

Harry Guerrilla

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My understanding of it is like what happens with bacteria and anti-biotic resistance. The drugs kill all the bacteria except a few who happen to have a slight difference in their physiology which allows them to survive and be stronger. Then they reproduce.

It seems like the mutations are just random chance events, but competitive breeding makes them last long enough to become permanent traits in a species, while those lacking the mutation die out. Am I right?
Pretty much. ;)
 

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I learned that in school but to be honest I still don't understand how that process works. How does our lifestyle trigger mutation, and how does "nature select genes"? I don't understand the mechanism of our bodies changing over time due to our environment.
Mutations are not triggered, they happen all the time. Most are harmful, some benign, and a few helpful. The ones that are helpful have a better chance of being passed down to the next generation, and gradually will spread through the population. We don't change due to the environment, the environment is the medium through which selection occurs. Think of it being the decider as whether a mutation is positive or negative.
 

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Mutations are not triggered, they happen all the time. Most are harmful, some benign, and a few helpful. The ones that are helpful have a better chance of being passed down to the next generation, and gradually will spread through the population. We don't change due to the environment, the environment is the medium through which selection occurs. Think of it being the decider as whether a mutation is positive or negative.
Okay, this pretty much confirms what I said in my last post. Thanks!
 

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This is probably a horrible example, but it's what comes to mind and hopefully it'll be funny.

In the movie Jurassic Park, the scientist's took knowledge they used for granted, and spliced dinosaur DNA. Those scientist's didn't earn the knowledge of bioengineering of genetic scientists before hand, they took something and didn't even realize what they had before they used it. And then everyone was eaten by dinosaurs.

And I suppose that's the glory of science, to take all the research and confirmation learned by other scientists, to use that knowledge and conduct research that pushes science to the edge.

I'm saying that when scientist's try to make breakthrough's in research(fringe Science), that's when our evolution won't be able to keep up with technology. Which will lead to self destruction.

One mistake and ....... suddenly we got a problem that we don't know how to fix, like say Global Warming. All we can do is try to not make it worse.
Global warming will not kill humanity. Catastrophic climate change is not something evolution deals with(well, sorta, but let's save that discussion). However, since we control our own environment on a personal level(ie, clothes and the thermostat in your house, and so on), a catastrophic climate change that would be an extinction event will be on a very short time scale.
 

Redress

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My understanding of it is like what happens with bacteria and anti-biotic resistance. The drugs kill all the bacteria except a few who happen to have a slight difference in their physiology which allows them to survive and be stronger. Then they reproduce.

It seems like the mutations are just random chance events, but competitive breeding makes them last long enough to become permanent traits in a species, while those lacking the mutation die out. Am I right?
This is close. In most cases, it's not "die out", it's simply that a mutation increases the chance of the gene being passed on. A female bird sees intact feathers in a male bird as a sign of health, so chooses a male with those intact feathers. A bird has a mutation which causes slightly larger, or brighter feathers, which the female sees as an even better sign of health, so picks that one to mate with if available. The birds with that gene are more likely to mate and pass on the gene than those without, but there is no real "die out", just a casual spreading of the gene in the population.
 

obvious Child

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Mutations are not triggered
Not entirely correct. Mutations themselves may be triggered by factors that cause the genes to activate or interact with other genes in normally abnormal ways. Huntington's I believe is a hereditary mutation that is triggered by certain conditions. The generation of mutations themselves are not triggered, but their activation some times is.

Orion,

If you really want to immerse yourself in evolution, I know of a forum full of practicing PHDs and Masters' in geology, chemistry and biology.
 

Harry Guerrilla

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Mutations are not triggered, they happen all the time. Most are harmful, some benign, and a few helpful. The ones that are helpful have a better chance of being passed down to the next generation, and gradually will spread through the population. We don't change due to the environment, the environment is the medium through which selection occurs. Think of it being the decider as whether a mutation is positive or negative.
Some mutations are triggered from environment.
Skin cancer is a triggered mutation.
 

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Not entirely correct. Mutations themselves may be triggered by factors that cause the genes to activate or interact with other genes in normally abnormal ways. Huntington's I believe is a hereditary mutation that is triggered by certain conditions. The generation of mutations themselves are not triggered, but their activation some times is.

Orion,

If you really want to immerse yourself in evolution, I know of a forum full of practicing PHDs and Masters' in geology, chemistry and biology.
Correct, but I did not figure things like that where really needed for this discussion. I mean, evolution is a really complex subject if we really want to get into it. We can go into issues like the unit of evolution and such, but mostly would just confuse those who have not studied up on it already.

Go ahead and drop that link, I would be interested.
 

Harry Guerrilla

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Global warming will not kill humanity. Catastrophic climate change is not something evolution deals with(well, sorta, but let's save that discussion). However, since we control our own environment on a personal level(ie, clothes and the thermostat in your house, and so on), a catastrophic climate change that would be an extinction event will be on a very short time scale.
I think a technological kill off is possible, gray goo or nuclear holocaust are two off the top of my head.

Climate change, I'm not sure we are the cause.
 

Redress

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Some mutations are triggered from environment.
Skin cancer is a triggered mutation.
There always has to be some one to point things like this out...See my post to OC.
 

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I think a technological kill off is possible, gray goo or nuclear holocaust are two off the top of my head.

Climate change, I'm not sure we are the cause.
Right, but evolution does not work on that scale anyway. Evolution is kinda irrelevant in terms of 1 generation.
 
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