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Switch to Forum Live View Messing with natural selection
7 years ago  ::  Jan 19, 2008 - 8:51AM #1
Adelphe
Posts: 28,707

Abner1 wrote:

Adelphe wrote:
> Correct. I never said that women would have an, um, "issue" with robots.

Your deep misandry is bemusing. But if even a *few* men have no 'issue' with robots, as you put it, the species will continue just fine, and the traits that led to those men having an 'issue' with robots will quickly get weeded out of the gene pool. If the selection pressure was an intense as you have been claiming, those traits would get weeded out very quickly, as no men with traits that would cause them to prefer robots to women would reproduce at all, and their place would be taken by men without those hangups.



We would be messing with natural selection.  How you can't see this is beyond me.

Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason, my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not retract anything, for to go against conscience would be neither right nor safe.  Here I stand.  I can do no other.  God help me.  Amen.
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 19, 2008 - 12:36PM #2
Ken
Posts: 33,859

Adelphe wrote:

We would be messing with natural selection.

What else is new? We've been messing with natural selection for thousands of years. We don't like it.

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7 years ago  ::  Jan 19, 2008 - 6:09PM #3
Abner1
Posts: 6,383
Adelphe wrote:
> We would be messing with natural selection.  How you can't see this is beyond me.

Oh, I can see that we would be messing with natural selection - however, just about everything we do messes with natural selection, so I don't see 'messes with natural selection' as an automatic disaster.  Eyeglasses mess with natural selection.  So do antibiotics, treatments for diabetes, cosmetic surgery, fertility drugs, and supermarkets, to list some other examples.  Even houses mess with natural selection, preserving those less able to survive in the outdoors.  Somehow I doubt that you are as against messing with natural selection as you pretend - if you were, you'd be up in arms against treatments for diabetes too ... and, for that matter, houses.  :)
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 20, 2008 - 9:02AM #4
kannbrown65
Posts: 1,962
[QUOTE=Abner1;225975]Adelphe wrote:
> We would be messing with natural selection.  How you can't see this is beyond me.

Oh, I can see that we would be messing with natural selection - however, just about everything we do messes with natural selection, so I don't see 'messes with natural selection' as an automatic disaster.  Eyeglasses mess with natural selection.  So do antibiotics, treatments for diabetes, cosmetic surgery, fertility drugs, and supermarkets, to list some other examples.  Even houses mess with natural selection, preserving those less able to survive in the outdoors.  Somehow I doubt that you are as against messing with natural selection as you pretend - if you were, you'd be up in arms against treatments for diabetes too ... and, for that matter, houses.  :)[/QUOTE]

Or we can view our intelligence, and its products, not only the tools nature has given us to survive, but also the product OF our natural selection. It is the fruit of it, as are all its works. 

Its no more unnatural for a human to build a house than it is for an animal to dig a burrow, or a penguin female to fake interest in another penguin, when she's already committed to get him to contribute rocks to her nest. 


What makes an alpha, say, rabbit is a whole different set of standards than what makes an alpha wolf, or an alpha human for that matter. We just select on different criteria than, say, wolves and herding animals, which seems to be the criteria Adelphe thinks all nature uses. Which is sheer strength and aggression.   But a rabbit that selected on that criteria would be asking for trouble, since breeding big, strong (other than the strength to be faster than others) and aggressive rabbits, trying to take on the foxes and wolves of the wild, are DEAD rabbits.   And humans who select on sheer size, strength and aggressiveness, well, anyone who's seen the impact that picking a big, dumb, mean male to mate with knows it does not enhance anyone's personal survival, much less that of their offspring.

The idea that 'fittest' inevitably means big and mean is way too simplistic.  Certainly doesn't work in the human world. You gotta have intelligence and social skills. Even if one were to consider the most 'successful' (as in, money and power) to be the most fit, and declare that, say, nasty dictators 'win'..   Well, nasty dictators have those, since no nasty dictator ever got where he was all by himself. He's gotta convince a lot of other people to go along for the ride. 

Nothing is 'against natural selection', any more than anything is truly 'unnatural'. We, with our intelligence, and our behavior, are as much a part of nature as anything else in it.   If, for some reason, humans, against their own reason, decide to mate EXCLUSIVELY with robots (which is pretty much a reach, we haven't done that with the sex toys we already have..) , ignore reproducing, and die out, then that IS a selection.   

You didn't think it worked only one way, did you?
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 20, 2008 - 9:11AM #5
Adelphe
Posts: 28,707

Ken wrote:

What else is new? We've been messing with natural selection for thousands of years. We don't like it.



So should we engineer the human race?  Where do we draw the line?

Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason, my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not retract anything, for to go against conscience would be neither right nor safe.  Here I stand.  I can do no other.  God help me.  Amen.
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 20, 2008 - 9:55AM #6
Abner1
Posts: 6,383
kannbrown wrote:
> Or we can view our intelligence, and its products, not only the tools nature has given us to
> survive, but also the product OF our natural selection. It is the fruit of it, as are all its works.

While that is one way to view it, scientists (for various reasons) have chosen to use the phrase 'artificial selection' for any selections made by human intelligence.  But I do understand your point.  :)  It's a semantic quibble between what I said and what you said, IMO.

The point is that we use our intelligence to alter evolution all the time, regardless of whether we call it 'artificial selection' or 'natural selection through human intelligence'.

> You didn't think it worked only one way, did you?

Nah, I was just pointing out the weirdness of Alephe complaining about how sex robots would 'mess with natural selection' while, at the same time, wearing clothes and (presumably) living in a house etc.  :)
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 20, 2008 - 10:00AM #7
Abner1
Posts: 6,383
Adelphe wrote:
> So should we engineer the human race?  Where do we draw the line?

Now *that* is a far more valid - and important - thing to discuss than the silly sex robots thing!

Anyone up for either shifting this conversation or splitting off a new one?  Because I think the above is a pretty important question that isn't getting anywhere near enough brain time nowadays!
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 20, 2008 - 11:48AM #8
kannbrown65
Posts: 1,962
[QUOTE=Abner1;226941]Adelphe wrote:
> So should we engineer the human race?  Where do we draw the line?

Now *that* is a far more valid - and important - thing to discuss than the silly sex robots thing!

Anyone up for either shifting this conversation or splitting off a new one?  Because I think the above is a pretty important question that isn't getting anywhere near enough brain time nowadays![/QUOTE]

That might be a good idea.  It is its own subject, because engineering implies intent. People getting their jollies from robots and simply not bothering to find mates and breeding is not really intentional, so its not quite the same thing.

And yes, we do want to, to some extent, mess with natural selection.  Why not? We mess with nature. So, 'natural selection' isn't quite so natural for us anyway. (As previously described.)

A selection that is based on the idea of living in trees or caves, and fending off wild critters while hunting or gathering our food in a savannah like climate would be very apropos.. if we lived like that.

However, last I checked, most of us, as noted, live in houses, work daily jobs, mostly sitting on our tushes and find our mates during recreational activities.  We need mates that are less about being able to beat off a sabertooth with a stick, while bringing home the mammoth, and more about being able to handle the stress of daily work (which it is estimated takes FAR more time than most hunter/gatherer societies spend getting what they need to survive), family, social commitments, politics,  dealing with government officials, taxes, and still manage to obey a list of rules that make Leviticus look concise.

The mate that can do that is not necessarily the equivalent to an 'alpha wolf', and this ain't that kind of jungle. As our environment changes, so does what is 'fittest'. And THAT is as much a part of survival of the fittest as any simple fending off of wild critters. The hardest thing any species has to do is to adapt to change. And the thing most likely to kill them off.

And that is where humans have our edge.
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 20, 2008 - 12:13PM #9
Kwinters
Posts: 21,921

Adelphe wrote:

So should we engineer the human race? Where do we draw the line?



Are you suggesting that eliminating genetic diseases, such as Tay Sachs, where children experience a long, slow, painful death is a bad thing?

Do you think we should just let such conditions go untreated, unprevented and let parents just watch their kids die?

I mean, I know Yahweh is a big fan of watching his kid and creation suffer and die, but he's not the ideal parental role model either....

Jesus had two dads, and he turned out alright.~ Andy Gussert

“Feminism has fought no wars. It has killed no opponents. It has set up no concentration camps, starved no enemies, practiced no cruelties. Its battles have been for education, for the vote, for better working conditions…for safety on the streets…for child care, for social welfare…for rape crisis centers, women’s refuges, reforms in the law.

If someone says, “Oh, I’m not a feminist,” I ask, “Why, what’s your problem?”

Dale Spender
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 20, 2008 - 2:16PM #10
Abner1
Posts: 6,383
I will just note that Kannbrown's most recent post is exactly on-target and well-written.  I have little to add on that part of the subject.  :)
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