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If I was able to live for millions of years


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Im asking this question to increase my understanding on how evolution works. So if we were able to stop aging and live for a very long time, would I eventually evolve into a different species, or does this only happen when you keep having new individuals over and over?

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Just to add "cautionary tales of evolution" to what @Phi for All said,

The male praying mantis is, in terms of evolution, very successful. Yet, he does it by providing the female with a delicious romantic dinner after sex in which he is the main and only course. Think about the implications of this.

Evolution only cares about reproductive success. Doing well for yourself doesn't necessarily matter so much. Fig wasps are an even more extreme example.

There are more examples of reproductive champion = individual loser in Nature. In tournament species, successful males are tipically short-lived.

 

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To be able to live for millions of years while interacting with environment, you'd have to evolve. It wouldn't be a Darwinian evolution, but rather evolution in a generic sense of changing in time. Simply because the environment changes in time.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 4/28/2022 at 10:43 PM, Genady said:

Simply because the environment changes in time.

Although, if one had the technology to live for millions of years, maintaining a stable environment shouldn't be much of a challenge. Or changing it and yourself to suit your latest whim.

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On 4/28/2022 at 5:26 PM, joigus said:

Fig wasps are an even more extreme example.

Being from south-central Italy, I love fresh figs.
Imagine my horror when I found out all figs contain 'digested' wasp remnants.
Then, the disgust when I found out honey is actually bee 'puke'.

I got over it.

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On 4/28/2022 at 5:43 PM, Genady said:

To be able to live for millions of years while interacting with environment, you'd have to evolve.

You would have to adapt. Your distant progeny would evolve. 

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7 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

You would have to adapt. Your distant progeny would evolve. 

 

On 4/28/2022 at 5:43 PM, Genady said:

It wouldn't be a Darwinian evolution, but rather evolution in a generic sense of changing in time.

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Just now, Peterkin said:

How do you change your own genes?

This is specific for a biological evolution. In a generic sense, evolution is any process of change. Like in: the universe evolves, stars evolve, my understanding evolves, etc.

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3 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

How do you change your own genes?

One leg at a time. (Works better when spoken)

I see Genady already replied, but even in a biological sense answering this is easy. For example… Radioactivity would work, and gene expressions change based on behavior as per epigenetics, for example. 

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Oh, I see now. You might grow extra limbs or sense organs as needed? How long would it take to turn something as complex as human into another kind of life-form? Would a million years be enough? 

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On 4/28/2022 at 5:43 PM, Genady said:

To be able to live for millions of years while interacting with environment, you'd have to evolve.

From this ^^^, if you can't evolve, you can't live for millions of years. 

If A⇒B then ¬B⇒¬A .

OTOH, if you can stop the environment from evolving, you don't need to evolve either.

Re:

3 hours ago, Area54 said:

Although, if one had the technology to live for millions of years, maintaining a stable environment shouldn't be much of a challenge. Or changing it and yourself to suit your latest whim.

 

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2 hours ago, MigL said:

Being from south-central Italy, I love fresh figs.
Imagine my horror when I found out all figs contain 'digested' wasp remnants.
Then, the disgust when I found out honey is actually bee 'puke'.

I got over it.

Oh. I think that's because you're a bit particular about insects. ;) 

I'd love to have a male fig-wasp tell me if this is a good deal:

1) Be born

2) Have sex

3) Die and be digested by your house

They don't even know what having a meal is like. Yet, they've been around for hundreds of millions of years. Far longer than primates.

But we humans have come up with and interesting alternative to 3): Buy a house, be digested by your bank, and die.

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1 hour ago, Peterkin said:

Oh, I see now. You might grow extra limbs or sense organs as needed? How long would it take to turn something as complex as human into another kind of life-form? Would a million years be enough? 

You’re also unfamiliar with gene editing, and viruses I take it?

Snark doesn’t magically make me wrong. 😂 

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56 minutes ago, iNow said:

You’re also unfamiliar with gene editing, and viruses I take it?

Not intimately familiar, no. But I do have the general impression that the editing is done by an external agency, not the virus itself.

It's not snark: I just don't understand. For a moment, I thought I did, but then couldn't fit the idea of radiation-induced mutation with adaptation to a changing environment, with the figurative use of 'evolution' as it refers to the unfolding of a process. Just don't see how it works as a natural development in an individual.

I never said you were wrong; I asked for more information.     

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9 hours ago, dimreepr said:

This reminds me of a conversation between two redwoods, as described by Terry Pratchett, "Burr that, winter, was a cold one"... 

But don't expect Octopuses to turn into space-faring entities any time soon!!!😁

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