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is it possible to predict evolution?

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"How does intelligence play into it? " The answer is fairly obvious. The change made by photosynthetic organisms was not directed, it was a blind unthinking process. Human action can be directed and targeted. That's the difference that intelligence makes. So we can think about what we want, and then do it at a phenomenal pace, compared to evolution. 

1 hour ago, CharonY said:

Where I would agree is the pace.

Yes. And that's a fundamental difference. We went from the first plane to landing stuff on Mars in about a hundred years. There's obviously nothing comparable in evolutionary history. 

The reason we are special is because of science, and all of that came out of our advanced brains, that are in a totally different league to those of any other species. The basic ingredients are brain size, brain development, and language skills, plus our inherent ability to copy and learn from others. They are all typical ape attributes, taken to the extreme. 

So if the argument is that we are nothing special, because other animals have all that stuff at a lower level, I'm arguing that it's the level that's all-important, because we've passed a line, where we can do science, and nothing else is close.

Chimpanzees are the nearest, and they are six million years away, IF they happened to evolve in the right direction.

Edited by mistermack

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42 minutes ago, mistermack said:

 

Yes. And that's a fundamental difference. We went from the first plane to landing stuff on Mars in about a hundred years. There's obviously nothing comparable in evolutionary history. 

 

If we talk about evolution I do not think it is. It makes a huge impact on us and current ecosystems. However, most of the biological processes include or end with microbial systems. Their generation time is so fast that for their evolution the impact is less fundamental. I.e. I think the difference is only fundamental from a certain perspective. 

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On 9/20/2019 at 7:00 PM, mistermack said:

"How does intelligence play into it? " The answer is fairly obvious. The change made by photosynthetic organisms was not directed, it was a blind unthinking process. Human action can be directed and targeted. That's the difference that intelligence makes. So we can think about what we want, and then do it at a phenomenal pace, compared to evolution.

Yes, we discovered anti-biotics (intelligent), then used them for every sniffle known to man (not intelligent) and bacteria now outstrips are ability to discover new anti-biotics; and that's not even CharonY's point, so now you've got to define obvious in this context. ;)

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8 hours ago, dimreepr said:

Yes, we discovered anti-biotics (intelligent), then used them for every sniffle known to man (not intelligent) and bacteria now outstrips are ability to discover new anti-biotics; and that's not even CharonY's point, so now you've got to define obvious in this context. ;)

I think you're being incredibly selective, ignoring millions of good things that humans have achieved, in favour of the few well known problems.

Just off the cuff, I can point out the increase in life expectation, the improvement in infant mortality figures, the progress in cancer treatment, the cars that don't break down or rust like they used to, Oil of Olay, and the sex change operation. 

It's a wonderful world and you know it, unless you suffer from a pessimism disorder. 

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On 9/20/2019 at 2:11 PM, mistermack said:

It's getting replaced with evolution by human selection.

Isn't it more a case of biological evolution being outpaced by memetic evolution? 

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9 minutes ago, Prometheus said:

Isn't it more a case of biological evolution being outpaced by memetic evolution? 

I'm not up on that concept at all. I'm speculating about how the genetic makeup of the population might change in the future. I don't think it's going to change much at all, until we start tinkering with the genes, and then all bets are off.

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I don't think we can so much predict the path evolution will take, but it seems if there is familiarity with and acceptance of environments, there will adaptive responses to those. Physical or behavioural depending on need. Humans seem to seek out familiarity and acceptance of new environments.

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2 hours ago, naitche said:

I don't think we can so much predict the path evolution will take, but it seems if there is familiarity with and acceptance of environments, there will adaptive responses to those. Physical or behavioural depending on need. Humans seem to seek out familiarity and acceptance of new environments.

I think what we do is change the new environments to what suits us best. Even at the south pole, we've created  a mini environment that's more like the tropics. The same could be said for the space station, except for the 1g of gravity that's missing. 

Presumably if we ever live on the Moon or Mars, it will be in little bubbles of Earth-type tropical environment. 

Edit

In a way, the invention of clothing is where it all started. Your clothes create a mini-environment around your skin, that is more acceptable than fresh air.

Edited by mistermack

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15 hours ago, mistermack said:

I think you're being incredibly selective, ignoring millions of good things that humans have achieved, in favour of the few well known problems.

Of course I am, given that I'm trying to stay on topic... :rolleyes:

15 hours ago, mistermack said:

I'm not up on that concept at all. I'm speculating about how the genetic makeup of the population might change in the future. I don't think it's going to change much at all, until we start tinkering with the genes, and then all bets are off.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memetics

Quote

Memetics is the study of information and culture based on an analogy with Darwinian evolution. Proponents describe memetics as an approach to evolutionary models of cultural information transfer. Memetics describes how an idea can propagate successfully, but doesn't necessarily imply a concept is factual. Critics contend the theory is "untested, unsupported or incorrect"[2].

 

15 hours ago, mistermack said:

I don't think it's going to change much at all, until we start tinkering with the genes, and then all bets are off.

Well yes, because then we become intelligent designers... ;)

Edited by dimreepr

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1 hour ago, dimreepr said:

Of course I am, given that I'm trying to stay on topic... :rolleyes:

I'm sorry. 😭

I hadn't noticed.

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