Post Reply
Page 1 of 2  •  1 2 Next
Switch to Forum Live View Will humans break the million year mark?
3 years ago  ::  Aug 31, 2011 - 2:59PM #1
d_p_m
Posts: 10,004
From an article cited by Slipnish:

"Though slow, however, the process appears to be relentless. Most species  change so much that they rarely ever last more than 1-10 million years  before going extinct, or developing into a new species, the scientists  noted."

-- www.physorg.com/news/2011-08-fast-evolut...


So, what do you think?

Will homo sapiens sapiens make it to a million years?

Will we evolve into something else?

Will we deliberately change ourselves into something else?

Will we be supplanted by AI machines?

Will we become AI machines?
"If you aren't confused by quantum physics, you haven't really understood it."

― Niels Bohr



"As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality."

-- Albert Einstein
Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  Aug 31, 2011 - 3:43PM #2
upsala81
Posts: 2,514

I'm not sure.  Because technology has altered how evolution works for us.


In the animal world bad hearing or bad eye sight makes for an early death from predators.  For humans, even though we may have these problems and a million others that would cause early death from predator or disease, including genetic diseases, we live long because of technology and medicine and so on. We "should be" dead and yet we still reproduce.


There are millions of people, maybe billions who would not have lived to reproduce without technology and yet have.  So the whole concept of the "survival of the fittest" really does not apply to us. All kinds of serious mutations and defects get passed on to the next generation.

Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  Aug 31, 2011 - 4:31PM #3
d_p_m
Posts: 10,004

There are still forces of natural selection. They may be diluted, but they are still there.


For that matter, technology has provided other selection criteria. Those who can't learn to be careful driving on ice, or grab live electric wires, or crawl into helium filled ballons to hear their voices sound funny (true! see Darwin Awards) have a much better chance of editing themselves out of the gene pool. Same thing with those whose biochemistry make them prone to drug addiction, or the effects of eating high cholesterol food (but note the emergence of APO-1 Milano, which fixes the problem of modern food rich high cholesterol diets).


Still, it does look like we will soon be taking charge of our own genome, so the dominant effect on our evolution may be self-directed, with appropriate penalties for stupid modifications.


There are clearly other possibilities... YMMV.

"If you aren't confused by quantum physics, you haven't really understood it."

― Niels Bohr



"As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality."

-- Albert Einstein
Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  Aug 31, 2011 - 6:47PM #4
christzen
Posts: 6,569
Personally I think overpopulation,shortages of food and water,antibiotic resistant bacteria,virulent viruses that previously remained contained to less populated and hard to reach areas,along with a now probable energy crisis due to the new fear of nuclear due to Japan,will eventually get us before we can figure it all out.I seriously doubt if Star Trek TNG is our future.We may not go extinct,but I think humans will be thrust back to a non technology life with far far fewer humans due to a combination of the listed events.
Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  Aug 31, 2011 - 7:01PM #5
d_p_m
Posts: 10,004

Aug 31, 2011 -- 6:47PM, christzen wrote:

We may not go extinct,but I think humans will be thrust back to a non technology life with far far fewer humans due to a combination of the listed events.




I doubt it.


There are too many advantages to technology. A society that turns its back on tech will simply be ploughed under by one that doesn't.


In one sense, it's a potential replay of the hunter vs farmer thing. The hunters, individually, were stronger, healthier, and more martial... but they couldn't compete with cultures that could support ten times the population, and an array of dedicated specialists. A thousand warriors versus two thousand soldiers can have only one end, in the long run... particularly when someone else is feeding, equipping, and replacing the soldiers.

"If you aren't confused by quantum physics, you haven't really understood it."

― Niels Bohr



"As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality."

-- Albert Einstein
Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  Aug 31, 2011 - 9:36PM #6
christzen
Posts: 6,569
It isn't a matter of willingly going backwards.it is rather a possible case of being thrown backwards by events beyond our control.we live a lot closer to the edge than people realize.stores have only about a week of food in them.gas stations have only a few days of gas.Electricity usage sets new records every year as we put roadblocks in the way of building new generating plants.Critical  items for basic things like essential parts for repairing electrical distribution systems are not kept stocked but are made upon demand.Communication,upon which modern life now depends,can be taken out by nothing more than a strong solar flare.Modern society is a house of cards waiting for a strong gust of wind to come along.And sooner or later,whether decades or centuries,it will.
Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  Sep 01, 2011 - 1:24PM #7
ozero
Posts: 1,411

I vote for we becoming AI ourselves. 


But as to evolving into a different species... maybe, but we'd never know it.  Maybe a distant ancestor of ours will compare her DNA with our DNA and determine that we couldn't interbreed, but that would unlikely.  The main way for a new species to develop is by geographical isolation.  As long as we stay on Earth, there is no isolation possible.   Our genes are constantly mixing.  Yes some mutation, such as immunity to some disease, might move through the population, but I don't think that would result in a new species. 


As to humans being wiped out by some calamity: it's possible, but unlikely also.  There might be some extinction level catastrophe - disease with 95% mortality, Chixalub meteor impact, super ice age, etc, but some humans would survive and, while there might be a genetic bottleneck, we would work through it.   There's just too damn many of us not to have a few survive almost anything.

Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  Sep 01, 2011 - 1:43PM #8
MMarcoe
Posts: 16,932

Sep 1, 2011 -- 1:24PM, ozero wrote:


I vote for we becoming AI ourselves. 


But as to evolving into a different species... maybe, but we'd never know it.  Maybe a distant ancestor of ours will compare her DNA with our DNA and determine that we couldn't interbreed, but that would unlikely.  The main way for a new species to develop is by geographical isolation.  As long as we stay on Earth, there is no isolation possible.   Our genes are constantly mixing.  Yes some mutation, such as immunity to some disease, might move through the population, but I don't think that would result in a new species. 





If we colonize another planet, we will have the opportunity to watch an isolated population of humans evolve, possibly into a new species.

1. Extremists think that thinking means agreeing with them.
2. There are three sides to every story: your side, my side, and the truth.
3. God is just a personification of reality, of pure objectivity.
Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  Sep 01, 2011 - 2:38PM #9
ozero
Posts: 1,411

MMarcoe: "If we colonize another planet, we will have the opportunity to watch an  isolated population of humans evolve, possibly into a new species."


 


Probably not early on, like the first couple of thousand years.  But a million years is a long time.  I would imagine that most planets we would colonize would have plenty of contact with humans from Earth.  But a new planet might offer some interesting new niches to fill.  Well, we'll just have to keep reincarnating and wait and see...

Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  Sep 02, 2011 - 1:11PM #10
farragut
Posts: 4,049

 


  "Maybe a distant ancestor of ours will compare her DNA with our DNA and determine that"


Perhaps in the land of oz, but nowhere else will our distant ancestors do anything.

Quick Reply
Cancel
Page 1 of 2  •  1 2 Next
 
    Viewing this thread :: 0 registered and 1 guest
    No registered users viewing
    Advertisement

    Beliefnet On Facebook