# Humans have stopped Evolving in Developed Countries

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Two quick points.

1) If we humans cause every other species on earth to go extinct, how would this make us successful? Would we begin eating other humans since all other sources of meat had died?

2) How can you prove that humans are intelligent, and more so than other species? We are doing more detrimental things to ourselves, our culture, and our environment than any other species... and at rates that are ever increasing. We are so short sighted and so focussed on immediate gratification that I'd seriously challenge anyone who makes a blanket claim that a) humans are greatly intelligent, and b) humans are more intelligent than other species. How is this "intelligence" measured? By some standard that ensures we are the "smartest" or the "best?"

Too many people associate an ability to manipulate the environment and use technology as intelligence, and that is a very narrow focus IMO.

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Two quick points.

2) How can you prove that humans are intelligent, and more so than other species? We are doing more detrimental things to ourselves, our culture, and our environment than any other species... and at rates that are ever increasing. We are so short sighted and so focussed on immediate gratification that I'd seriously challenge anyone who makes a blanket claim that a) humans are greatly intelligent, and b) humans are more intelligent than other species. How is this "intelligence" measured? By some standard that ensures we are the "smartest" or the "best?"

Too many people associate an ability to manipulate the environment and use technology as intelligence, and that is a very narrow focus IMO.

If humans aren't the most intelligent animals on earth, than the word intelligence as we use it has no meaning.

As to the OP:

I think you're neglecting two things. First, not all evolution is due to selection. Genetic drift is also a factor. Second, selection is going on in developed societies. An easy example would be selection for darker skin among white Australians. They're experiencing epidemic levels of skin cancer because the sun is so intense there and they don't have enough melanin to block it.

Modern humans are in more-or-less a state of evolutionary stasis. We're in the "equilibrium" part of punctuated equilibrium, where mating is reasonably random and gene flow is taking place everywhere swamping out most mutations. That doesn't mean we're out of the loop, evolutionarily, though, or that we've stopped changing. It just means that evolution has slowed down.

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If humans aren't the most intelligent animals on earth, than the word intelligence as we use it has no meaning.

That may be, so it would probably be a good idea to agree upon a definition of intelligence before using it in an argument or stating that "we have more of it" than other life on Earth.

What Lassie? Timmie fell down the well? No? Oh... So, who the hell is Flipper, and what do I care about the whales and the ants and the bees?

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That may be, so it would probably be a good idea to agree upon a definition of intelligence before using it in an argument or stating that "we have more of it" than other life on Earth.

What Lassie? Timmie fell down the well? No? Oh... So, who the hell is Flipper, and what do I care about the whales and the ants and the bees?

I do not think it is beneficial to need to define or redefine commonly understood words in each conversation.

Obviously, the way I use the word intelligence in this conversation is to refer to the ability to understand reality around us accurately at more thorough levels and be able to use that knowledge to increase our chance of survival.

The word intelligence obviously encompasses many things (abstraction, association, prediction, art, motor skills, and so forth) but it is understood which way I'm using it when talking about evolution.

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Prove to me then that dolphins are not as intelligent as humans.

As I stated in point number 2 of post number 26 above, we seem to use arbitrary measures that ensure humans have "the most" or are "at the top." I'd rather have a definition, as I can guarantee that I'm one (of probably many) example(s) that does not share your "common understanding" of the definition.

Are you intelligent only if you're good at chess? Are you intelligent only if you can create art? Are you intelligent only if you have agriculture? The depth of your gray area here is abysmal.

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Well, intelligence has sure given humans a survival advantage, has it not?

Yes, it's worked out very well for us.

As for why not all species evolve toward greater intelligence, I couldn't honestly say.

Obviously, the "price" of our big brains is easily paid back hundreds of times with the advantages it gives us to produce food, defend against predators, work together in very large groups (up to nations), make tools, and so on.

So, the price of intelligence cannot be the only reason other species do not evolve toward it.

Do you have any suggestions?

That is flawed reasoning. Our intelligence has been very beneficial to us, but only because several other factors happened to coincide for us to be able to take advantage of it. WE can make tools, communicate easily, etc. But we have opposable thumbs and vocal chords and diverse diets. A lion wouldn't benefit a fraction of what we do, and it would still suffer all the disadvantages.

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Intelligence is the ability to figure out solutions to problems.

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Intelligence is the ability to figure out solutions to problems.

Does memory ability apply to intelligence in any way? For example, memorising the skills/techniques to solve certain problems. As opposed to not knowing the method and managing to find a way to solve the problem anyway.

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Yet I now know better. But I would think it wise for scientists to use words that are most similar to their normal meaning. Perhaps Evolution should be called "Genetic Change" or some such.

This is horrific. Science uses a word which is misunderstood or misused by the popular consciousness and so science should change its definition? Should science not use the words "force", "speed", "light", or any of the other words which have strict scientific definitions but vague popular ones?

It's a matter of politeness to come into an argument on a science forum having at least attempted to investigate the evidence and thought on what you are trying to discuss. I admit this is not always possible on every topic, but given that information on evolution is so widespread and given the fact that you defended your ignorance in a rather bonkers way makes you a bit of a jackass.

Obviously, the "price" of our big brains is easily paid back hundreds of times with the advantages it gives us to produce food, defend against predators, work together in very large groups (up to nations), make tools, and so on.

Obvious or not does not make things true. It was obvious that heavy things fell faster than light things. What matters is the evidence you use to support your claims.

Although in this case, that's not the main problem. For a trait to become fixed in a population needs it to be advantageous, or at least not significantly deleterious, over a long period of time. It should not be that difficult to think of some examples where the greater developmental time and energy requirements of a bigger brain would cause those with it to be less successful members of society. Any animal which uses weight of numbers as a survival strategy for its juvenile forms would be a good start.

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I can't edit post #31 anymore, but, aside from fixing that formatting, I'd also like to add:

Like any trait, intelligence has to be continuously useful through the evolutionary process in order for it to develop. The question is not, would a rabbit with human intelligence have an advantage over a regular rabbit. It is, would a slightly above average intelligence rabbit with a slightly longer period of helplessness and broader and more specific dietary needs have an advantage over a regular rabbit. The answer is "almost certainly not." And so the evolution of intelligence in rabbits is in equilibrium, where its value becomes equal to its cost. When the equilibrium is disrupted by a change in environment, there might be evolution in either direction. The same may well be happening to humans, as those with lower intelligence and higher rate of offspring suddenly have a significant advantage.

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I don't think it's a matter of intelligence verses number of children. It's about reproductive strategy, either a small number of children with a large amount of resources allocated to each, or a larger number of children with a smaller amount of resources each. When it comes to humans, our intelligence is quite dependent on resource allocation. Obviously there is an underlying genetic basis for our big noggins and that, but a modern big noggin is probably no better than a stone age big noggin, just the stuff filling it is more sophisticated.

Also, humans haven't suddenly evolved in the last few hundred years to have gone from half a dozen kids a woman to a deuce. Just that a higher resource allocation probably pays more dividends when you don't have things like the plague and cholera cutting a swathe through the kids regardless of education. There are competing reproduction strategies though, but hey, that's evolution for you.

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I don't think it's a matter of intelligence verses number of children. It's about reproductive strategy, either a small number of children with a large amount of resources allocated to each, or a larger number of children with a smaller amount of resources each.

When it comes to humans, our intelligence is quite dependent on resource allocation. Obviously there is an underlying genetic basis for our big noggins and that, but a modern big noggin is probably no better than a stone age big noggin, just the stuff filling it is more sophisticated.

Also, humans haven't suddenly evolved in the last few hundred years to have gone from half a dozen kids a woman to a deuce. Just that a higher resource allocation probably pays more dividends when you don't have things like the plague and cholera cutting a swathe through the kids regardless of education. There are competing reproduction strategies though, but hey, that's evolution for you.

I don't think reproductive strategy is necessarily the best explanation for our brain size. You're suggesting K-selectivity. Compared to the less brainy apes, however, humans are relatively r-selected. We breed much faster. An ape will have a child every 5-6 years. Humans can do it evey year.

Owen Lovejoy actually uses that fact to construct his own "male provisioning" model for human evolution, which has its own problems, but the fact of relative human r-selectivity remains.

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I wasn't talking about the evolution of brain size. I was commenting on Sisyphus' last sentence, and so I was saying that K-selection is the main reproductive strategy in developed countries, which is I guess what this thread is about.

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I wasn't talking about the evolution of brain size. I was commenting on Sisyphus' last sentence, and so I was saying that K-selection is the main reproductive strategy in developed countries, which is I guess what this thread is about.

Ah, ok. That makes sense.

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We are doing more detrimental things to ourselves, our culture, and our environment than any other species... and at rates that are ever increasing. We are so short sighted and so focussed on immediate gratification that I'd seriously challenge anyone who makes a blanket claim that a) humans are greatly intelligent, and b) humans are more intelligent than other species. How is this "intelligence" measured? By some standard that ensures we are the "smartest" or the "best?"

Ah, so your definition of intelligence is the lack of emotion, greed, ego, ambition?

Interesting. So while you assert some people define intelligence in a way to ensure superiority, you define intelligence in a way to ensure inferiority.

Prove to me then that dolphins are not as intelligent as humans.

You just did.

As I stated in point number 2 of post number 26 above, we seem to use arbitrary measures that ensure humans have "the most" or are "at the top."

No we don't, thats silly.

Human's aren't the fastest, strongest, quickest, most agile etc etc the list really could go on forever.

Discussions about intelligence especially comparing human intelligence to other species are always fun.

As far as the original topic about evolution in developed countries:

Natural selection still occurs.

The degree and result of their occurrence can be questioned though.

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Ah, so your definition of intelligence is the lack of emotion, greed, ego, ambition?

Strawman.

Interesting. So while you assert some people define intelligence in a way to ensure superiority, you define intelligence in a way to ensure inferiority.

Strawman.

You just did.

Strawman.

No we don't, thats silly.

Human's aren't the fastest, strongest, quickest, most agile etc etc the list really could go on forever.

Support your claim. Right now, it is simply unsubstantiated opinion.

Discussions about intelligence especially comparing human intelligence to other species are always fun.

I agree, and when done properly, they are often quite enlightening and enriching for all involved.

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Strawman.

Strawman.

No, its a question hence the question mark not a statement, notice the lack of a period.

Strawman.

This is as much a strawman as your unsubstantiated comment that others define things in a way to ensure superiority. Weeee.

Oh and the strawman comment about the dolphins:

You being on a website questioning whether or not we are smarter than dolphins proves we are, more simply humans can question their reality.

Ummmm .... no.

That refers to "definitions ensure our superiority". Now if I had said something like oh you are so silly then yeh, I guess i'd have to agree with you.

Support your claim. Right now, it is simply unsubstantiated opinion.

Oh dear.

Yes but "things are defined so humans have "the most" or are "on top" is substantiated and requires no support.

But you want me to support my claim so I guess I will. The fastest land mammal is the cheetah. Of course I guess i'm gonna need to cite my resources huh?

That wasn't near as fun as I thought it would be

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Would you PLEASE stop walking around the issue? You've misrepresented what I've said, then attacked that misrpresentation. You've posted things as facts, and done nothing to support them. Then when asked for support, you appeal to ignorance instead of providing ANY support. You are acting like a troll, and I know you're better, and can do better.

When you make a claim, and that claim is challenged, the onus is on you to support it.

If I've made a comment in a previous post that you feel is unsubstantiated, you should ask me to support it... instead of bringing it up as a way to evade providing support for your own claims.

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If I've made a comment in a previous post that you feel is unsubstantiated, you should ask me to support it... instead of bringing it up as a way to evade providing support for your own claims.

Ok.

That is exactly what my original post did, but I'll try to do it again but more straight forward.

We are doing more detrimental things to ourselves, our culture, and our environment than any other species... and at rates that are ever increasing. We are so short sighted and so focussed on immediate gratification that I'd seriously challenge anyone who makes a blanket claim that a) humans are greatly intelligent, and b) humans are more intelligent than other species.

Unsubstantiated claim about humans doing more detrimental things....but I'll play along anyway.

Humans have egos.

Humans experience greed (among other things lust, desire, etc).

Humans are ambitious.

Humans have emotions.

These characteristics can cause some nasty behavior. Some of these nasty behaviors are some of the things you listed above.

Basically a statement like what you made above of why humans aren't intelligent just means that your definition of intelligence is different than others. So, if you wan't to make that statement please explain what your definition of intelligence is. Is it lack of ego, emotion, etc??? (<--- thats a question mark)

How is this "intelligence" measured? By some standard that ensures we are the "smartest" or the "best?"

Unsubstantiated.......

As I stated in point number 2 of post number 26 above, we seem to use arbitrary measures that ensure humans have "the most" or are "at the top."

Who is we.

What are the arbitrary measuresments.

Unsubstantiated.

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My hope is that we can have a dialog here as mature adults. When you make comments such as:

Unsubstantiated claim about humans doing more detrimental things....but I'll play along anyway.

...I question your desire to do the same, and recognize parallels between your approach and that taken by a forum troll.

Humans have egos.

Humans experience greed (among other things lust, desire, etc).

Humans are ambitious.

Humans have emotions.

None of this offers a definition of intelligence. If you look back at this thread, you should see that my overarching point was to find consensus on a definition for intelligence prior to moving forward. Your statements above seem to imply that intelligence is only 1) having an ego, 2) experiencing greed, 3) being ambitious, 4) having emotions.

Is that what you mean? Any life form with those things is "intelligent," and those organisms which demonstrate those traits in greater degree are more intelligent?

These characteristics can cause some nasty behavior. Some of these nasty behaviors are some of the things you listed above.

Indeed.

Basically a statement like what you made above of why humans aren't intelligent just means that your definition of intelligence is different than others.

Please look again. I never said that humans were not intelligent. I said that I challenged anyone who assumed that humans are the MOST intelligent, and cited some reasons for my stance on this issue.

So, if you wan't to make that statement please explain what your definition of intelligence is. Is it lack of ego, emotion, etc??? (<--- thats a question mark)

So... another user posts in this thread a claim that humans are the most intelligent animals, and I ask them to define intelligence, and somehow you're trying to bring this back on me as my responsibility?

You do realize you're just being an ass at this point, and this thread is being further derailed?

Unsubstantiated.......

That's new. How does one "unsubstantiate" a question? You seem to be hyperaware of question marks, so surely you saw mine in the section you quoted.

Who is we.

Those asserting as fact that humans are the most intelligent animals on Earth.

What are the arbitrary measuresments.

This is what I've been trying to ferret out in this very thread. I don't have all the answers, but recognized that everyone's interpretation was different so put forward a request to define the concept of intelligence together, then have a rational discussion about the relative hierarchy of animals on the agreed upon scale.

If one claims that humans are the most intelligent animals on Earth, then surely they must have some concept of intelligence that plays to the specific strengths of humans.

To your point, my reference to arbitrary measurements could be described quickly as measurements which focus on the ability to use tools, the ability to use technology, the ability to organize socially, the ability to do math, or wonder at the stars... These all are relatively arbitrary, hence the need to find consensus on a definition prior to proceeding.

Unsubstantiated.

Is that a request for me to support my assertion that we tend to use standards of measurement for intelligence that focus heavily on human abilities and characterisics instead of traits shared across the animal kingdom? If so, I just gave my reasons in my question to you. If not, then you really should be more clear. Typing one word and putting a period, then getting upset when you're misunderstood is somewhat comical.

Your current approach is not working, so if you truly wish to communicate like an adult, please act like one , as we've obviously been struggling to communicate effectively with one another using the current approach.

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Your statements above seem to imply that intelligence is only 1) having an ego, 2) experiencing greed, 3) being ambitious, 4) having emotions.

Is that what you mean? Any life form with those things is "intelligent," and those organisms which demonstrate those traits in greater degree are more intelligent?

You are missing my point.

My point is you asserted that people defined intelligence or THINGS for that matter in a way that ensured humans were superior. For you to make that claim simple means you disagree on the definition of intelligence. In which case what makes your definition right and not just one designed to make humans inferior?

Please look again. I never said that humans were not intelligent. I said that I challenged anyone who assumed that humans are the MOST intelligent, and cited some reasons for my stance on this issue.

I think you were asserting humans aren't any more intelligent than other species on earth right? Then you listed YOUR reasons why you thought that way and why others were just defining intelligence so as to make humans by default more intelligent. Which is when I pointed out that with the same logic anyone can just claim you define intelligence in a way to make humans by default no more intelligent.

So... another user posts in this thread a claim that humans are the most intelligent animals, and I ask them to define intelligence, and somehow you're trying to bring this back on me as my responsibility?

No, your responsibility is your detrimental behaviors quote. In the quote you claimed that others defined intelligence improperly to make humans superior etc etc...

You do realize you're just being an ass at this point, and this thread is being further derailed?

That would be an ad hominem. And how is making someone realize they are saying the exact same thing as someone else just the opposite end of the spectrum being an ass. You claim anyone who says humans are more intelligent have improper definitions, well the exact same can be said of you. Then I gave you a chance to provide your definition of intelligence. That is pretty much the point of discussion forums.

If one claims that humans are the most intelligent animals on Earth, then surely they must have some concept of intelligence that plays to the specific strengths of humans.

Why?

Is that a request for me to support my assertion that we tend to use standards of measurement for intelligence that focus heavily on human abilities and characterisics instead of traits shared across the animal kingdom?

No. It is a request to provide support to where people define THINGS in such a way that it makes humans automatically superior. You suggested that is what happens, "we define things so we are on top", so support it.

Your current approach is not working, so if you truly wish to communicate like an adult, please act like one

I think thats another example of ad hominem that you were trying to use earlier.

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None of this offers a definition of intelligence. If you look back at this thread, you should see that my overarching point was to find consensus on a definition for intelligence prior to moving forward.

Well then, here you go. Define intelligence

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For you to make that claim simple means you disagree on the definition of intelligence.

AGAIN. No definition has been shared, which was PRECISELY my point.

I think you were asserting humans aren't any more intelligent than other species on earth right?

No.

No, your responsibility is your detrimental behaviors quote. In the quote you claimed that others defined intelligence improperly to make humans superior etc etc...

I only suggested that. I did so based on the post to which I originally responded, and asked that the poster define intelligence. A suggestion is not an assertion, which is still irrelevant since no definition has yet been given.

I think thats another example of ad hominem that you were trying to use earlier.

Actually, no. I was stating that all along my intent has been to work toward a definition of intelligence so this thread could move forward (since I challenged the blanket assertion that humans are the MOST intelligent animal). When I asked that you start acting like a mature human being, I was alluding to the way you have consistently misinterpreted my points, and how this misinterpretatoin has not been helping accomplish the task of adequately defining intelligence (enough to support the assertion that humans have the most of it). I suggested that your mistinterpretation of my points reminded me of the behavior of a forum troll, and I suggested that you were intentionally skewing my comments in order to derail the thread even farther than it had been already.

Well then, here you go. Define intelligence

Thank you.

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In reference to the first post..

Wouldn't it be smarter if we used our bountiful resources for everyone's good instead of for the few? i.e., why is capitalism necessary for effective conglomeration? Put yet another way, what would it take for everyone to work together towards a simple common goal like making sure that no one has to worry about their next meal? And this cant be simplified by naming it communism or socialism or whatever.. even in those economic systems it is difficult to get people to really work together... often times you end up with some fascist dictator slaughtering half the country before some "ideal form of communism" is ever established! Certainly the gap between the rich and poor could be bridged by some common human agreement rather than being constricted by the confines of regular economic definitions like capitalism or communism.

Either we need to figure out a way to live "in harmony with earth" (i know it sounds silly..) or a way to travel to other planets so we can use them up as well. In other words.. what is the cause of the rush that the united states is in? why is it necessary to develop a country to the point that everyone is controlled by reality shows, flashy new cell phones, and the general desire to live a life in the shadow of the american dream? why is it so necessary that the country with the most "world influence" has the most bombs? innovation compounds the problem of capitalism to a higher degree than it seems: figure out a way to maximize your sales and minimize your costs and you will sell to wider audiences and reach a wider scope than you normally would have. then you will earn more profit and make the business even bigger, which will earn more profit, etc. thats all great for you and your family... and i guess its ok that you pay asians way under minimum wage to make the shoes you will sell for 20x the cost to americans... anything to make an extra buck right? doesnt capitalism breed the donald trumps of the world?

and lurking behind the problem of finite earthly resources is the trick that the government allows to happen with the reserve rate. banks are allowed to lend out money they dont have at a ratio of $1:$9 money they have:money they can lend. so if person A comes to a bank and deposits $10, the bank is allowed to lend out$90 based on that $10 deposit. they actually create$80, and the $90 that is lent to person A will be given to person B as payment and put into person B's bank account. now all$90 of the original loan is paid back by person A to the bank allowing for more loans to be made out in a ratio of 9:1 to person C. so we are basically driving our already rapidly accelerating economy with more and more debt!

If we are intelligent, it certainly doesnt show.

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In reference to the first post..

Wouldn't it be smarter if we used our bountiful resources for everyone's good instead of for the few? i.e., why is capitalism necessary for effective conglomeration? Put yet another way, what would it take for everyone to work together towards a simple common goal like making sure that no one has to worry about their next meal?

"Whats in it for Me?"

thats why itll never happen, even if they dont Say it aloud, the ones WITH will certainly be Thinking it.

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