# Anti-evolution and un-natural selection

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I've wondered, and I'm sure others have too, if we have - for the most part - reached the point where we are no longer evolving due to natural selection.  Specifically, given modern medicine and social support, how much of a factor is "natural selection" any more, since most people can live past the point of reproduction regardless of their genetic make-up?  Certainly some factors remain.  For example, tall people are more attractive, so they will have more children, and so forth.  I know natural selection still exists for humanity, if perhaps reduced compared to other time periods in our history.

But what I am really getting at, is have we reached a point where UN-natural selection occurs?  In other words, there must be some mutations that occur more often than others.  Let's say, for instance, that 1 out of 1000 babies do not have toes.  Assume this mutation is dominant, so if one parent has no toes, the children have no toes.   In the past, perhaps these babies would have been ostracized, or they couldn't run fast enough, far enough, and the mutation was weeded out.  But NOW, would such a mutation actually be detrimental? And if not, would such a relatively common and dominant mutation eventually work its way into all of the population (more or less).  Does the math work out?  Have we reached the point in our history where "UN-natural selection" is a real phenomenon?

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There's still natural selection, in particular the decay of the aristocracy. e.g.

Quote

Obesity, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, and liver disease are all two to three times more common in individuals who have a family income of less than $35,000 than in those who have a family income greater than$100,000. Among low-educated, middle-aged whites, the death rate in the United States—alone in the developed world—increased in the first decade and a half of the 21st century. Driving the trend is the rapid growth in what the Princeton economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton call “deaths of despair”—suicides and alcohol- and drug-related deaths.

......

Most important of all, we have learned how to pass all of these advantages down to our children.

America's an extreme, but similar things happen everywhere.

It's nice to be rich, but those of your children who have genetic diseases etc that would have killed them if you were poor survive and reproduce. Poor people have to be tougher and fitter to survive. Similar things happen with animals which have a hereditary aristocracy. In more stable aristocracies such as in Britain, outbreeding, e.g. marrying actresses or American heiresses is quite common and necessary to keep the bloodlines from weakening too much. It's quite reasonable to say that e.g. Meghan Markle, in genetic terms, married down. Lord Haw Haw, chinless wonders and the Upper Class Twit of the Year show are British recognition of this genetic decay.

In short, if your family has old money and you're genetically unhealthy you'll be able to get good medical attention.

If your family has old money you're more likely to be genetically unhealthy.

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Mutations happen because of e.g. cosmic rays, mostly accelerated to relativistic velocity protons from the Sun, primary and secondary cosmic rays. They are passing through atmosphere, then through cells.. and e.g. change Nitrogen-14 to Carbon-14 in the air... which is absorbed by plants (CO2), then consumed by animals.. and causes random change in cells, if primary cosmic ray or secondary cosmic ray passed through DNA, or Carbon C-14 decayed, in the wrong moment, in the wrong molecule, and damaged molecules it's part of, or surrounding it molecules, inside of cell..

The more cosmic rays (activity of the Sun, activity of surrounding stars (explosion of supernova, nova etc. cosmic event) ), the more mutations plausible.

Gold is good protection against cosmic rays (Lead is cheaper, but unhealthy). On ISS there is used water, as it's cheaper than Gold, and can be used for drinking and making fuel, and Oxygen for breathing. Astronauts can see cosmic rays, by their own eyes, closing them, they see "white dots" (like x-rays can be "seen" by camera)..

7 hours ago, joejama said:

Let's say, for instance, that 1 out of 1000 babies do not have toes.  Assume this mutation is dominant,

If 1 per 1000 has not toes, it's definitely not dominant.. The question is: whether they will have children, or not.. Mutation will spread only when they will have children.

7 hours ago, joejama said:

But NOW, would such a mutation actually be detrimental?

There are example of such mutations e.g. multiple sclerosis.

7 hours ago, joejama said:

And if not, would such a relatively common and dominant mutation eventually work its way into all of the population (more or less).

There is such the real mutation which started living its own way.. "dwarfism".. (I don't mind it, no big deal)..

Parents (both) with "dwarfism", very often have children with "dwarfism"..

It reminds me family of dwarfs, who survived Auschwitz..

They survived Auschwitz, just because they were so exciting to Mengele..

(not really bright) people want to spread their genes at any cost (i.e. have children), even though they know (from scientists, or medics) it's unwise, because there is high risk of spreading unwanted genetic mutations to the next generations..

in-vitro procedure can help them to have healthy children even though they have (or one of them), unwanted, unhealthy, dangerous mutation of genes..

7 hours ago, joejama said:

Have we reached the point in our history where "UN-natural selection" is a real phenomenon?

If people will check whether they have risk of having unwanted, unhealthy mutations in genes, which could spread to the next generations, they can decide to have no children, or use in-vitro procedure instead, to carefully pick up embryo which is healthy, instead of relying on random guess and spread genetic mutations (and illness) to his/her offspring, and then to the next generations..

Religious people are praying God for "healthy children". To some level, human can decide whether child will be healthy or not, without genetic illnesses..

(extreme version of such children planning is presented in the movie "Gattaca")

Edited by Sensei

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19 minutes ago, Sensei said:

Mutations happen because of e.g. cosmic rays, mostly accelerated to relativistic velocity protons from the Sun,

Cosmic rays are a small contribution to background radiation levels. And they don’t originate from the sun.

I also don’t believe that radiation (apart from UV) is a significant cause of mutations. Especially not those that are relevant to evolution (ie in germ cells)

But apart from that ...

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7 minutes ago, Strange said:

Cosmic rays are a small contribution to background radiation levels. And they don’t originate from the sun.

Build Cloud Chamber, and you will see... almost nothing at the night.. almost no traces..

The largest quantity of traces in CC is at noon.

7 minutes ago, Strange said:

Especially not those that are relevant to evolution (ie in germ cells)

C'mon.. e.g. C-14 which is part of DNA is decaying to N-14... in the middle of cell division, chain is damaged..

People want to have healthy children. I understand it. They beg for it. I understand it. If there is risk of unhealthy genetic mutation (because of past experience e.g. issues in family), there should be considered in-vitro procedure, to decrease chance of appearing illness in the next generations.

Edited by Sensei

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1 hour ago, Sensei said:

Build Cloud Chamber, and you will see... almost nothing at the night.. almost no traces..

Which is irrelevant. (I know you are obsessed with cloud chambers as the answer to everything, and you bring them up in nearly every thread.)

So cosmic rays account for about 12% of background radiation (depending where you are, of course).

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Just now, Strange said:

So cosmic rays account for about 12% of background radiation (depending where you are, of course).

"Food and drink"... how do you think "food and drink" became radioactive?!

It's Carbon C-14.. which is created by cosmic rays in reactions:

$p^+ + p^+ \rightarrow p^+ + n^0 + \pi^+$

$_7^{14}N + n^0 \rightarrow _6^{14}C + p^+$

6 minutes ago, Strange said:

Which is irrelevant.

It's very relevant, as they have the largest kinetic energies from the all radiation sources..

I just pointed out you made mistake saying they're not from the Sun!

While Cloud Chamber is just to show, they're from the Sun (but you have no bloody idea about it).

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1 minute ago, Sensei said:

It's very relevant, as they have the largest kinetic energies from the all radiation sources..

I meant your cloud chamber is irrelevant. And is kinetic energy the most important factor when it comes to mutagenesis? (I have no idea.)

Anyway. Enough of this sidetrack. The causes of mutations (where radioactivity plays a minor part) is really not very relevant to the OP's questions.

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1 minute ago, Strange said:

I meant your cloud chamber is irrelevant.

Mention of Cloud Chamber was just to learn you that majority of primary cosmic rays have origin at the Sun. You claimed "they don’t originate from the sun."..

Anybody who has CC knows you said nonsense basing just on frequency of visible traces in day and night.

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3 minutes ago, Sensei said:

Mention of Cloud Chamber was just to learn you that majority of primary cosmic rays have origin at the Sun. You claimed "they don’t originate from the sun."..

Oh, FFS.

Quote

Cosmic rays are high-energy radiation, mainly originating outside the Solar System[1]

Mainly originating outside the Solar System

Maybe you are confused by the fact that the solar wind and the Earth's magnetic field affect cosmic rays.

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9 hours ago, joejama said:

But what I am really getting at, is have we reached a point where UN-natural selection occurs?  In other words, there must be some mutations that occur more often than others.  Let's say, for instance, that 1 out of 1000 babies do not have toes.  Assume this mutation is dominant, so if one parent has no toes, the children have no toes.   In the past, perhaps these babies would have been ostracized, or they couldn't run fast enough, far enough, and the mutation was weeded out.  But NOW, would such a mutation actually be detrimental? And if not, would such a relatively common and dominant mutation eventually work its way into all of the population (more or less).  Does the math work out?  Have we reached the point in our history where "UN-natural selection" is a real phenomenon?

What you are describing is not "un-natural evolution". You are assuming that having toes is preferable to not having toes and therefor not having toes is un-natural evolution. That isn't how evolution works. Different things in different environments give individuals a greater chance to reproduce. That is how survival of the fittest works. It is the fitness within an environment which matters. At present in various Human populations physical characteristics and health are not anymore selected for than are personality and financial characteristics are. Evolution doesn't move species in a direction of constant linear improvement. Species move towards whatever works for the given environment at the moment. Sometimes that means a species is better suited if its bigger  stronger faster while other times smaller and slower has more success. In some human populations today having toes vs not having toes isn't meaningful enough to impact reproduction. Do you consider male pattern balding an example of un-natural evolution?

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This article might be a good place to start looking at how human evolution is currently unfolding. I'm surprised to see longevity is apparently being selected for, perhaps due to later childbirth age in the population (the study only looked at US and UK populations).

Why the talk about cosmic rays? I thought its contribution was negligible given DNA repair mechanisms and that sexual reproduction prevents the accumulation of mutations.

9 hours ago, joejama said:

But NOW, would such a mutation actually be detrimental? And if not, would such a relatively common and dominant mutation eventually work its way into all of the population (more or less).  Does the math work out?  Have we reached the point in our history where "UN-natural selection" is a real phenomenon?

Type 1 diabetes might be becoming more prevalent along with its associated genes in populations (i've not checked). You could call this UN-natural if you want - but really it would just natural selection at work; but here the environment, and hence selection pressures, have changed because of something humans have done.

Is bacterial anti-biotic resistance UN-natural selection too?

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37 minutes ago, Prometheus said:

Why the talk about cosmic rays? I thought its contribution was negligible given DNA repair mechanisms and that sexual reproduction prevents the accumulation of mutations.

Quite.

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5 hours ago, Prometheus said:

Why the talk about cosmic rays? I thought its contribution was negligible given DNA repair mechanisms and that sexual reproduction prevents the accumulation of mutations.

While there are repair mechanisms, it should be noted that that presumably the highest rate of mutations occur due to biochemical processes (including  failure of said repair mechanisms; but yes background radiation has presumably little influence considering the rest of the activities going on). And as others have said, a) mutations still occur and b) selection still occurs. The pressure of selection are just different than they used to be as we have changed the environment quite a bit. I think the misconception is the term "natural" as in OP it seems that the it is assumed that there is a "norm" of sorts that is selected for. But obviously that is not the case.

Even when talking about sexual selection, the selection is on a sliding scale. E.g. women generally prefer men who are taller then themselves but beyond that there is no absolute preference. Conversely, taller women tend to be more relaxed in terms of this preference, which shows that these "norms" are learned to a decent degree.

Edited by CharonY

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Majority of people think about "background radiation" as something which happens outside of organism.. But what I am talking about is taking place inside of living organism. Carbon C-14 and Potassium K-40 are ingested, in food and air, becoming part of living organism, and in the worst scenario becoming part of DNA, and then decaying in unpredictable, random, moment. Human with 80 kg mass, has approximately ~2900 decays per second of Carbon C-14 (~250 millions per day), and 10125 decays per second of Potassium K-40 (~875 millions per day). It's not a thing that happens outside of human organism, but inside of it. DNA or cell molecule is damaged, straight away. These decays have significant decay energies (in comparison to f.e. oxidants, or other chemical reactions). One such decay process has million times more energy than chemical reaction (Potassium-40 -> Calcium-40 + e- + Ve + 1.31108 MeV)

Indeed, UV photons are not able to penetrate skin from outside. Can cause only small damage of skin, thus skin cancer. But I am talking about damage from inside, by ingested radioactive isotopes.

If somebody wants to argue with me, then be my guest, and perform experiment. Prepare two samples of microorganisms from the same source. The first sample will get Carbon C-14 and Potassium K-40, in natural amount. Second sample will get no C-14 nor K-40 in any food, at any time. Compare samples after months, and years of experiment.

Another experiment - make C-14 enriched CO2 , and give it to plants. And observe what happens with plants, and animals which are growing up on such feed, in months and years..

Edited by Sensei

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1 minute ago, Sensei said:

But what I am talking about is taking place inside of living organism.

Still not the main cause of mutations.

2 minutes ago, Sensei said:

If somebody wants to argue with me, then be my guest, and perform experiment. Prepare two samples of microorganisms from the same source. The first sample will get Carbon C-14 and Potassium K-40, in natural amount. Second sample will get no C-14 nor K-40 in any food, at any time. Compare samples after months, and years of experiment.

And, as you the one making the claim, have you done the experiment, what are the results and do they support you or not?

Or are you just making stuff up?

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20 minutes ago, Sensei said:

If somebody wants to argue with me, then be my guest, and perform experiment. Prepare two samples of microorganisms from the same source. The first sample will get Carbon C-14 and Potassium K-40, in natural amount. Second sample will get no C-14 nor K-40 in any food, at any time. Compare samples after months, and years of experiment.

The only major funder of such expensive experiments is the nuclear industry, but they're not going to fund any experiment that may not give the right answer.

They spent a fortune years ago investigating whether, as all the major models predicted, a sufficiently small group of people exposed  to gamma radiation within the legal limits would not have a statistically significant excess of leukemia. Not too surprisingly, all these models held up.

Their other claim, from that investigation, that that exposure increased the recipients' life expectancy by 6 years, was never submitted to peer review. It was said that the anti nuclear lobby suppressed this result.....

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At the same time every cell single is actively making and breaking thousands of bonds, create and detoxify reactive species and directly interact with DNA itself. In that background, you would have to massively enrich isotopes to make a dent. That being said, classic experiments with 40K have already shown that in E.coli enrichment of these isotopes does not lead to any differences in physiological properties (compared to regular levels and with 40K removed). This is different from e.g. treatment with UV or any number of mutagenic substances (which we either ingest or produce during regular metabolism).

Edit: also growing those cells for months and years is rather detrimental to your point. Do you know why? Because even without isotopic enrichment it will only take days (at most) for the bacteria to accumulate mutations. Again, due to biochemistry. So after a year, your population (assuming they still live) will be a hot mess of mutations regardless of isotopic composition of the medium.

Edited by CharonY

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