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(The Raw Story)   The evolution of species is now widely accepted, but humanity's own evolution may have stopped, says Sir David Attenborough   (rawstory.com) divider line 121
    More: Interesting, David Attenborough, evolution, cultural evolution, selections  
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1728 clicks; posted to Geek » on 10 Sep 2013 at 9:52 AM (31 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-09-10 09:07:24 AM
ts2.mm.bing.net
 
2013-09-10 09:09:54 AM
This is worrying, if true. One must think of evolution as a ball rolling up a hill. As long as there is enough kinetic energy at the outset, the ball will slow as it ascends but ultimately, like a bicyclist surmounting the Alps during the Tour de France, achieve its objective -- ie, the "peak," or in this case the ultimate evolved state. If, however, some outside force, such as friction, exacts too great a toll on the ball, it will stop rolling on the way up. This is bad news in the best case scenario, which is that it stops before reaching the peak but becomes wedged in some small rocky outcropping or vegetal growth. It remains mired there forever, never achieving its ultimate goal but at least not beginning to descend. Which, of course, is the worst case scenario -- devolution, a reversal of everything that's been gained. I, for one, do not want to move back into the trees.
 
2013-09-10 09:10:54 AM
No it hasn't.  There are still people who produce progeny and those that don't.  It's a long term thing that are lives are, by definition, too short to actually see.
 
2013-09-10 09:16:03 AM
Evolution isn't a destination, but a process. The difference for humans is that we've moved from *Natural* Selection to *Artificial* Selection in that our mating process is no longer as random as our wild ancestors and much more deliberative.
 
2013-09-10 09:19:03 AM
Bullshiat.

Even taking the recent evidence in the light most favorable to Sir David's conclusion, at most the evidence only supports that our mutations are occurring at a lower rate in humans than previously thought. However, the mutation rates have not stopped, nor have we physically and genetically stopped evolving.

http://www.livescience.com/16358-human-evolution-natural-selection.h tm l
 
2013-09-10 09:22:02 AM
Being stupid or weak used to get you culled from the gene pool.

Civilization now protects those traits thereby preserving them and the gene pool and effectively slowing or stopping evolution.

No, I didn't rtfa, but fu
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2013-09-10 09:25:43 AM
Just temporarily.  Genetic therapy will take the place of natural selection.  It is already starting to.
 
2013-09-10 09:54:43 AM
It has not. In the future you will see a rift between humanity. There will be taller, skinnier, more attractive, more intelligent and paler people and then the sub-class of shorter, fater, uglier, dumber people. It is already starting to happen.
 
2013-09-10 09:55:38 AM

IamKaiserSoze!!!: Being stupid or weak used to get you culled from the gene pool.

Civilization now protects those traits thereby preserving them and the gene pool and effectively slowing or stopping evolution.

No, I didn't rtfa, but fu


This is not how evolution works. It does not make species continually stronger and smarter.
 
2013-09-10 09:56:37 AM
Now that we've discovered the healing powers of vinegar, we don't need evolution any more.  Quit living in the past, people!
 
2013-09-10 09:57:51 AM
Modern humans haven't been around nearly long enough to say whether or not we're evolving.
 
2013-09-10 09:59:36 AM

Nemo's Brother: It has not. In the future you will see a rift between humanity. There will be taller, skinnier, more attractive, more intelligent and paler people and then the sub-class of shorter, fater, uglier, dumber people. It is already starting to happen.


I think I read that book but you may have some of the traits misfiled.
 
2013-09-10 10:00:29 AM

odinsposse: It does not make species continually stronger and smarter.


9e.devbio.com
 
2013-09-10 10:01:34 AM
Morlock or Eloi?
Your great x 1.015 grandchildren's fate is in your hands.
 
2013-09-10 10:02:41 AM
I have to agree that humanity is no longer evolving.  I know for a fact that I am the pinnacal of the genetic recombination possible with our species.  We have hit our peak... only two ways to go from here.
 
2013-09-10 10:02:52 AM

IamKaiserSoze!!!: Being stupid or weak used to get you culled from the gene pool.

Civilization now protects those traits thereby preserving them and the gene pool and effectively slowing or stopping evolution.



... so vote NSDAP?


/my first Godwin! Yay!
 
2013-09-10 10:03:32 AM

odinsposse: IamKaiserSoze!!!: Being stupid or weak used to get you culled from the gene pool.

Civilization now protects those traits thereby preserving them and the gene pool and effectively slowing or stopping evolution.

No, I didn't rtfa, but fu

This is not how evolution works. It does not make species continually stronger and smarter.


Thank you.  I don't know how many times I've had to explain to people that the only thing that evolution 'cares about' is your ability to propagate your genetic material.
 
2013-09-10 10:03:48 AM
Yeesh. Math fail.
Should be a "0" to the left of that decimal point.
 
2013-09-10 10:08:15 AM

give me doughnuts: Yeesh. Math fail.
Should be a "0" to the left of that decimal point.


Yes, I was wondering what exactly multiplying something with powers of one would do.
 
2013-09-10 10:09:04 AM
webnv.net

EVOLUTION DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY! GOODNIGHT!

And I wouldn't worry too much about those concerns. Given enough time I'm sure humanity will find a way to wipe enough of itself out, despite technology, to reset the process of natural selection.
 
2013-09-10 10:12:38 AM
i.verylol.com
 
2013-09-10 10:17:34 AM
Do not forget the radiation we are constantly exposed to.
Spontaneous mutations are a part of evolution, like a non-linearity, sometimes a leap.
 
2013-09-10 10:21:09 AM
Evolution has no direction and contains no such thing as progress. It's a blind drunk stumbling back and forth along the line of complexity.
 
2013-09-10 10:21:35 AM
I've read this book. Asimov wrote it.
And again.
And again.
And again and again and again.
 
2013-09-10 10:24:05 AM
nonadventures.com
 
2013-09-10 10:24:35 AM
I sometimes wonder if the process of evolution and natural selection will eventually lead to life that has less and less of a need to adapt to fit its environment.
 
2013-09-10 10:26:45 AM
So, let's see...Humanity has actively sought to prevent predation, sickness, and any form of active population management. So, animals that were deformed and culled from the herd, or didn't adapt, were removed from the gene pool and their genes were no longer passed on, allowing evolution to happen.

Now, the natural adaptations and mutations that may prove beneficial have to compete against the genetic stock of non-adapted animals. Simple, really.

Want to kickstart human evolution? Expose them to conditions that force only the healthy to survive, force their immune systems and bodies ot adapt, and ensure that only the healthiest stock breed. QED.
 
2013-09-10 10:27:38 AM

skozlaw: [webnv.net image 272x254]

EVOLUTION DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY! GOODNIGHT!

And I wouldn't worry too much about those concerns. Given enough time I'm sure humanity will find a way to wipe enough of itself out, despite technology, to reset the process of natural selection


People still die, some are more successful at avoiding death than others. The process of selection is still in play, just not by natures "eat or be eaten" rules. So long as we're farking and killing, evolution is happening at its usual glacial pace.

Stopping it would mean finding a way out of death or somehow locking in our genetic code. Going asexual and/or losing these flesh bodies and becoming machines.

None of that is likely anytime soon.
 
2013-09-10 10:27:40 AM
Came for the Morbo.  Left satisfied.
 
2013-09-10 10:28:37 AM
Utter nonsense.

Even if we have put a stop to natural selection (we haven't - infectious disease, for one, kills millions every year and is a constant evolutionary pressure), that is but one factor driving genetic change.  Other factors such as genetic drift, sexual selection, etc. are also very important.

The problem is that, for the most part, the evolution of our species (and most other large animals) happens over a time scale too long for us to easily observe it happening in our lifetimes, or even over the past many generations.  So it's easy for people to make fatuous claims that "humanity has stopped evolving," simply because evolution happens to slowly for us to easily see it in action.  But no, it hasn't stopped at all - we couldn't stop it even if we wanted to.  Change is the one constant in the biological universe.
 
2013-09-10 10:31:47 AM
I'll just leave this right here
+++
Punctuated equilibrium (also called punctuated equilibria) is a theory in evolutionary biology which proposes that most species will exhibit little net evolutionary change for most of their geological history, remaining in an extended state called stasis. When significant evolutionary change occurs, the theory proposes that it is generally restricted to rare and rapid (on a geologic time scale) events of branching speciation called cladogenesis. Cladogenesis is the process by which a species splits into two distinct species, rather than one species gradually transforming into another.

Punctuated equilibrium is commonly contrasted against the theory of phyletic gradualism, which states that evolution generally occurs uniformly and by the steady and gradual transformation of whole lineages (called anagenesis).
 
2013-09-10 10:31:57 AM

EvilEgg: No it hasn't.  There are still people who produce progeny and those that don't.  It's a long term thing that are lives are, by definition, too short to actually see.


Says the person who has clearly never visited an Arkansas Wal-mart.
 
2013-09-10 10:32:59 AM

Kit Fister: So, let's see...Humanity has actively sought to prevent predation, sickness, and any form of active population management. So, animals that were deformed and culled from the herd, or didn't adapt, were removed from the gene pool and their genes were no longer passed on, allowing evolution to happen.

Now, the natural adaptations and mutations that may prove beneficial have to compete against the genetic stock of non-adapted animals. Simple, really.

Want to kickstart human evolution? Expose them to conditions that force only the healthy to survive, force their immune systems and bodies ot adapt, and ensure that only the healthiest stock breed. QED.


So we should use artificial forcing to cause us to evolve resistances to events that don't actually kill us now?  Why?  We already have solutions to those problems.
 
2013-09-10 10:34:10 AM

Nemo's Brother: It has not. In the future you will see a rift between humanity. There will be taller, skinnier, more attractive, more intelligent and paler people and then the sub-class of shorter, fater, uglier, dumber people. It is already starting to happen.


Lord Fater? Dude, midichlorians can't mitigate corn chips.

farm1.staticflickr.com
 
2013-09-10 10:35:18 AM

Angry Drunk Bureaucrat: Evolution isn't a destination, but a process. The difference for humans is that we've moved from *Natural* Selection to *Artificial* Selection in that our mating process is no longer as random as our wild ancestors and much more deliberative.


The whole point of Natural Selection is that mating isn't entirely random. There is no real distinction between natural and artificial selection, we use the latter to mean breeding experiments where humans are the selective force. But we are part of nature, the "difference" is entirely semantic. As far as the process of evolution is concerned it's just one more selective pressure being applied.

IamKaiserSoze!!!: Being stupid or weak used to get you culled from the gene pool.

Civilization now protects those traits thereby preserving them and the gene pool and effectively slowing or stopping evolution.


Nope, it does mean that formerly deleterious traits can be retained in the gene pool but that doesn't slow or stop evolution. If you think in terms of "evolutionary landscapes" than deleterious mutations are represented by deep valleys, their depth and breadth determined by just how bad the mutation in question is. If they are deep and wide enough they present barriers. Modern medicine effectively shrinks those valleys which allows more of the evolutionary landscape to be "explored" over time. So while it may compound over time it can also theoretically open up future mutations that would be beneficial.
 
Ant
2013-09-10 10:35:26 AM
Notice that in the article, Attenborough is never quoted as actually saying that we've stopped evolving. That's the article writer's interpretation.

He is quoted as saying that we've stopped evolving by natural selection, which is true, for the most part. Our evolution now is through cultural practices.
 
2013-09-10 10:35:31 AM

odinsposse: IamKaiserSoze!!!: Being stupid or weak used to get you culled from the gene pool.

Civilization now protects those traits thereby preserving them and the gene pool and effectively slowing or stopping evolution.

No, I didn't rtfa, but fu

This is not how evolution works. It does not make species continually stronger and smarter.


www.dumpaday.com

Would agree if he wasn't a bear of very, very little brain.
 
2013-09-10 10:37:19 AM
Yep. Evolution has stopped. No mutations occur and there is no variability between people any more.

Bacteria and viruses have also stopped evolving. No new deadly diseases (or strains of diseases) have come out since the dawn of civilization, putting selection pressure on the human population.

All competition for resources has been eliminated, so no genetic factors influence anyone's ability to survive, attract a mate, or raise children to adulthood. In fact, everyone is completely equal in terms of their ability to get food, health care, a mate, and a risk-free environment for their children.

/sarcasm
 
Ant
2013-09-10 10:37:41 AM

RexTalionis: Even taking the recent evidence in the light most favorable to Sir David's conclusion, at most the evidence only supports that our mutations are occurring at a lower rate in humans than previously thought.


Mutation does not equal natural selection. Natural selection is something that happens to a living being that is changed as a result of natural selection.
 
2013-09-10 10:38:16 AM

Pocket Ninja: I, for one, do not want to move back into the trees.


I agree, unless it meant that I would get a tail. A tail would be awesome.
 
2013-09-10 10:38:47 AM

Ant: Notice that in the article, Attenborough is never quoted as actually saying that we've stopped evolving. That's the article writer's interpretation.

He is quoted as saying that we've stopped evolving by natural selection, which is true, for the most part. Our evolution now is through cultural practices.


He said: "We stopped natural selection as soon as we started being able to rear 90-95% of our babies that are born. We are the only species to have put a halt to natural selection, of its own free will, as it were."

It's still wrong - fitness only pertains to one's ability to pass on one's genes. It has nothing to do with any other physical traits - intelligence, strength, speed, healthiness, etc.
 
Ant
2013-09-10 10:39:12 AM

IamKaiserSoze!!!: Civilization now protects those traits thereby preserving them and the gene pool and effectively slowing or stopping evolution by natural selection.


FTFY
 
2013-09-10 10:39:56 AM

give me doughnuts: Morlock or Eloi?
Your great x 1.015 grandchildren's fate is in your hands.


In the hands of someone who thinks 1.0 to the fifthteenth is something other than 1.0?

We are indeed doomed.

www.trickfist.com
 
2013-09-10 10:43:31 AM

RexTalionis: Ant: Notice that in the article, Attenborough is never quoted as actually saying that we've stopped evolving. That's the article writer's interpretation.

He is quoted as saying that we've stopped evolving by natural selection, which is true, for the most part. Our evolution now is through cultural practices.

He said: "We stopped natural selection as soon as we started being able to rear 90-95% of our babies that are born. We are the only species to have put a halt to natural selection, of its own free will, as it were."

It's still wrong - fitness only pertains to one's ability to pass on one's genes. It has nothing to do with any other physical traits - intelligence, strength, speed, healthiness, etc.


I should clarify - fitness is only directly related to one's ability to pass on one's genes to the future generations. A person with, say, some sort of defect or childhood illness, but survived to pass on their genes would still be considered fit. Natural selection is still at work here, just within the context of a civilized society.

Granted, sexual selection and other issues are still at play.
 
2013-09-10 10:44:12 AM

Ant: Our evolution now is through cultural practices.


Which is one form of natural (but conscious) selection IMHO.
 
Ant
2013-09-10 10:45:16 AM

RexTalionis: Ant: Notice that in the article, Attenborough is never quoted as actually saying that we've stopped evolving. That's the article writer's interpretation.

He is quoted as saying that we've stopped evolving by natural selection, which is true, for the most part. Our evolution now is through cultural practices.

He said: "We stopped natural selection as soon as we started being able to rear 90-95% of our babies that are born. We are the only species to have put a halt to natural selection, of its own free will, as it were."

It's still wrong - fitness only pertains to one's ability to pass on one's genes. It has nothing to do with any other physical traits - intelligence, strength, speed, healthiness, etc.


Natural selection is only one selection process that can promote changes in a population. He's saying that we've stopped being at the mercy of natural selection when it comes to which traits are passed on. This is true. There are still other selection processes in effect though (sexual, cultural, artificial).
 
2013-09-10 10:45:31 AM
thebenshi.com
 
2013-09-10 10:46:26 AM
We are always evolving. We are all missing links. This article is retarded.
 
Ant
2013-09-10 10:47:19 AM

Pharque-it: Ant: Our evolution now is through cultural practices.

Which is one form of natural (but conscious) selection IMHO.


Well, yes, if you define 'natural' broadly enough. Technically, everything we do and make is natural if you go with that definition.
 
2013-09-10 10:47:34 AM

Ant: There are still other selection processes in effect though (sexual,


Are sexual selection not simply a subset of natural selection?

3.bp.blogspot.com
This didn't just suddenly appear out of nowhere, you know.
 
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