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Messages 321 - 337 of total 337 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jul 8, 2013 - 03:56pm PT
Candyman...

High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Potemkin Village
Nov 1, 2013 - 11:04pm PT
Student Questioner: "I wanted to know if (1) you thought the society we are creating slows (undermines) the process of natural selection and (2) if you think that is a good or bad thing for our species."

Richard Dawkins: "To the extent that people are born who would not have been born under natural wild conditions, to the extent that medical science enables people to grow up and reproduce, to that extent genes are being put into the gene pool which would have been removed by natural selection in a wild state. I think that's pretty much inevitable. I don't think it's a bad thing. I like doctors, I like hospitals. I like the fact that, for children, it's quite difficult to die young nowadays and therefore if you want to reproduce you probably can. There was a time in the 1920s and 1930s when everybody was very worried about the dysgenic effects of modern medicine. I think it's something that we live with, and I am, on balance, happy to live with it. I would not like to live in a world in which children were dying of diseases which could be cured, so I'm not in favor of worrying about the dysgenic effects of modern medicine."

Michael Shermer Richard Dawkins Interview
An Appetite for Wonder, Cal Tech 2013

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQ0cRIrOOiA

..

High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Potemkin Village
Nov 3, 2013 - 11:10am PT
re: dysgenic effects on gene pool resulting from use of technology

Is there now something of a race between ever increasing dysgenic effects and ever improving technology?

Audience Question: This is on the interplay between technology and evolution. Do you think our adaptability or survivability are at risk from our use of technology? What do you think of technology that may some day entrap us? like by permitting bad genes in increasing numbers of people. How do we reverse that or deal with that? Is there any alternative?

Richard Dawkins: Medical science is allowing bad genes to propagate in the population. Yes it is. But on balance, I don't deplore it. I think it's worth it. In the case of eyesight and eyeglasses, as long as we have the technology to go on making glasses, it will probably be okay. It's true that if that were wiped out then that would be serious. Imagine getting rid of spectacles. Anybody over the age of about 45 would no longer be able to read. They wouldn't be able to play a part in civilized life. So we do indeed depend on technology. But it's getting better. I was talking only yesterday to an eye surgeon who was telling me about the wonderful techniques of using laser surgery to reshape the cornea so you don't need eyeglasses at all. We are getting better at those sorts of things. So technology is at present keeping up with the dysgenic effects of modern medicine.

..

In my view this is going to be one of the gravest problems future generations are going to face.

Damn you Second Law of Thermodynamics.

..

Cruel Scenario: Fossil fuels crash. Energy-dependent high technologies collapse. Finely-tuned complex societies collapse. Natural Selection hits gene pool with vengeance.
Paul Martzen

Trad climber
Fresno
Nov 3, 2013 - 04:44pm PT
The thing about evolution and natural selection is that you don't know ahead of time, which genes will be most beneficial in the future. Some dimwit with bad eyesight might have the only gene that allows human survival of some future virus or germ.

Was there not a link earlier in this thread to studies indicating that increased population was accelerating human evolution/human variation? More population survival means more potential for genetic variation.
moosedrool

climber
Stair climber, lost, far away from Poland
Nov 3, 2013 - 06:29pm PT
I wish I had wings

and gills

and a tail











and money!

:)
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Potemkin Village
Nov 4, 2013 - 07:51pm PT
On the evolution of tenacity in mice...



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QM6MNw7i6Ng

.....

Paul,

yeah, as you know, evolution of extremely large populations esp with a lot of variation to begin with (e.g., our anthropic one) would present with countless aspects, many being adaptive.



Still, the plight of dysgenic effects, due to rising of technology and the undermining of natural selection in ever softening climates, is real.
WBraun

climber
Nov 4, 2013 - 07:53pm PT
God is the original gene ......
Paul Martzen

Trad climber
Fresno
Nov 5, 2013 - 03:35am PT
Hey Fructos,
That is a very persistent mouse in that video.

Which dysgenic effects do you think are real? I have not studied this at all, but a quick search seems to show mostly speculation. I see that Richard Lynn documents that childbirth rates are lower for highly intelligent people as compared to criminals and low intelligent populations.

This may be, and it may have social repercussions, but my question is, what genetic issues does this raise? How is this genetically harmful? Myself, I don't see the problem from a long term genetic aspect. Perhaps you can elaborate your thoughts on this.

Your cartoon points out that many people are becoming fatter as our TVs get skinnier, but you don't think this is a genetic issue do you? In a sense, it is a genetic issue with the TVs, since they are fundamentally changed from the older TVs, but the fat guy is just eating too much.

Are there any multigenerational studies of some animal, or plant population where providing a too easy environment leads to genetic changes that endangers the long term survival of that population?
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
U.N. Ambassador, Crackistan
Nov 5, 2013 - 09:22am PT
Farah Fawcet?



No, hermano. The future will not be so... monochrome. The future will be darker.



DMT

High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Potemkin Village
Nov 6, 2013 - 10:04am PT
Hey, I loved Logan's Run. A couple years ago, last time I watched, I googled the brunette, was happy to see she's aged well. If you have the dvd, York gives an excellent commentary of the film, btw.

...

Paul, interspersing that cartoon in the text was probably confusing, sorry. Cartoon was just funny. Regarding dysgenic effects, I used the term because Dawkins used it - so i'm not sure how google-worthy or precise it is or how often it's used by evolutionary scholars in e theory. There might be a better term, or terms, out there to describe the process or phenom. I think it's also used to counterpoint "eugenic." I think it's interesting what is deemed eugenic or dysgenic depends on pov. If it could talk, the ancestor of the eyeless cave salamander might say its progeny suffered "dysgenic effects" when they lost their eyes eking out existence in darkness. However, on the other hand, the progeny might not agree as the eyes in darkness weren't needed; they might counter with the argument, "We're not dysgenic at all, just more streamlined and efficient now!" lol.

Same with dodo bird. Its gene pool got soft in the flight department in the absence of selection pressure for flight (predators). (Same with the extinct solitaire, too, apparently.)



In our case, the human case, poor eyesight to hernias, eg, to perhaps autism associated disorders, might be examples.

In any case, I liked Dawkins' reply - it was certainly thought-provoking - that the interplay between easy softer environment, natural selection and technology was inevitable, is inevitable, in addition to unpredictable, something we have to live with, on balance a good thing (at least for us), and not really something to worry about on those grounds. A day at a time, or a generation at a time, and do your best and hope for the best. Much like our situation with global warming, I guess.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Potemkin Village
Nov 6, 2013 - 10:13am PT
What I gathered from Dawkins, at least - Why worry about those things you can't change.

Everything's alright.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkje4FiH9Qc

Till it isn't. ;)
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Potemkin Village
Nov 6, 2013 - 07:35pm PT
For the benefit of fellow evolutionary secular progressives, here's one more totally awesome Joe Rogan Sam Harris interview...



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHBfB7usIcU

Joe Rogan,
"I've watched a lot of your videos on line, I've enjoyed every one of them, and I liken some of those debates you get into with those old Gracie in Action videos... For martial arts it's really brilliant stuff to watch cause until the Gracies came along nobody really knew that there was one guy out there that could just sort of manhandle people like that - strangle them and choke them - that there was one martial art that was so superior when it came to grappling situations, you'd almost feel bad for the guy getting strangled but not really. That's how I feel when I watch a lot of your debates."
"Well that's very high praise but I can tell you it's not as satisfying in the debate format as it is on the mat. Because no one ever taps. It's like you're fighting an army of zombies - they've lost but they can't be forced to admit that they've lost." (-Sam Harris)

lol


Gracie Jiu-Jitsu In Action
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8jvy8XBsQk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kurwgdIcVIQ
Paul Martzen

Trad climber
Fresno
Nov 7, 2013 - 01:25pm PT
I don't see any evidence for the idea of Dysgenisis or for the idea that humans have stopped evolving. I do read speculation, assertions and assumptions that humans have stopped evolving and that technology is making us less fit for future survival.

On the very first page of this thread was a link to an article with evidence that human evolution is accelerating.
http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2011/05/human-hyper-evolution-have-mutations-changed-the-course-of-history.html

An excerpt below from that article.

Population growth is making all of this change occur much faster, Hawks says, giving a tribute to Charles Darwin. When Darwin wrote in Origin of the Species about challenges in animal breeding, he always emphasized that herd size "is of the highest importance for success" because large populations have more genetic variation, Hawks says.

The parallel to humans is obvious: The human population has grown from a few million people 10,000 years ago to about 200 million people at A.D. 0, to 600 million people in the year 1700, to more than 6.5 billion today. Prior to these times, the population was so small for so long that positive selection occurred at a glacial pace, Hawks says.

"What's really amazing about humans," Hawks continued, "that is not true with most other species, is that for a long time we were just a little ape species in one corner of Africa, and weren't genetically sampling anything like the potential we have now."

"Five thousand years is such a small sliver of time -- it's 100 to 200 generations ago. That's how long it's been since some of these genes originated, and today they are in 30 or 40 percent of people because they've had such an advantage. It's like 'invasion of the body snatchers.'"

HFCS - The cartoon with the fat guy and the skinny TV was funny. The mouse video was entertaining. However, your statement that,
Still, the plight of dysgenic effects, due to rising of technology and the undermining of natural selection in ever softening climates, is real.
Is an assertion presented as fact, but without any supporting evidence.

It is okay to speculate and have assumptions but lets try to be clear when they are speculation and assumptions.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Potemkin Village
Nov 8, 2013 - 10:34am PT
Is an assertion presented as fact, but without any supporting evidence.

Paul, sure there is some assumption or speculation with these types of posts, but still I'm not sure where the confusion or disagreement, to the extent it exists, is.

When I think about the dodo bird (losing flight capability: dysgenic effect) or eyeless cave salamander (losing visual acuity if not eyesight entirely: dysgenic effect) or sea mammal (losing limb dexterity for mvt on land: dysgenic effect) or inguinal hernia patient and his progeny (losing let's call it abdominal wall integrity; dysgenic effect due to surgeon and repair technology) - and here I'll speculate - countless thousands of other examples large to small, macro to micro, anatomical to physiological, across species' gene pools, in phenotypes, phenotypic effects, etc., I have in mind entropy effects (increasing disorder) in the absence or reduction of selection pressure. This is just basic evolutionary theory. Right?

That said, remember I did point out above that what's "eugenic" or "dysgenic" is in the eye of the beholder. Right?

Regarding what's real or factual: The effect or phenomenon (dysgenic?) of flightless cormorants is real. Right? Or the phenom or effect (dysgenic?) of fearlessness of many Galapagos species - that's factual or real. Right? Given the arrival of Man to these islands a couple centuries back, I think many would opine or judge today that the relative defenselessness of the fauna - the cormorant flightlessness, eg, or blue footed booby defenselessness or fearlessness, the genotypes and phenotypes (structures) leading to these - to be "dysgenic." Curious if you don't agree assuming your interest is the preservation (esp the autonomous carefree preservation) of these critters.

I don't know if you had a chance to catch the Dawkins Shermer sitdown at Cal Tech interview I linked to above. I really haven't said anything different on these last couple pages, or anything more, than what was brought up in there.

There are growing eugenic efforts, eg, eugenic companies, around the world today. Just yesterday morning, in fact, on CBS This Morning, Charlie and Nora interviewed the founder of 23 and Me. In the future, there is little doubt (but sure, we could call it assuming or speculating) these eugenic efforts will increase; and they will play a greater role insofar as needed to offset dysgenic effects. Arguably all the more reason to learn about them today - and their associated processes - the mechanics if you will - across the citizenry so in the future there won't be such a mindless, reflexive, knee jerk reaction to them or their remedies.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQ0cRIrOOiA

http://www.23andme.com/

...

FM, very funny!

Thanks to the link to the Sam Harris piece. Missed that one. Will try to read it later today. I like the analogies or comparisons between the bullshit in martial arts and bullshit in religions. People are wising up. Some of them.

...

re: evolution of belief


I appreciate your tolerance of religion. I too had a sense of tolerance of religion for the most part. That tolerance began to die on 9/11/01. As the succeeding years have pasted and the Christian fundamentalist such as Bachman, Santorum, Perry, Barton, and Cruz began sounding more like the Taliban than Americans I decided the hell with it. Religion does not deserve to continue much less be tolerated. BS has to be called out and refuted.

YTube commenter, at above link.

Evolution's under way. People are coming around.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Potemkin Village
Nov 14, 2013 - 12:03pm PT
David Christian at TED...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqc9zX04DXs

was on Steven Colbert this week talking about his Big History project...

http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/430408/november-12-2013/david-christian

Entropy. Second Law of Thermo. Evolution. Reality vs. Perception of Reality. Reality vs. Representation of Reality. The Scientific Story. Meaning of Life.

.....

Fort,

Alas, a lot of folks didn't grow up with physics, chemistry and evolutionary history as a basis of biology - particularly long enough to imprint on them - so it's pretty easy to see WHY they don't view the world around them including their own lives in this context.

Internet and social media (Big History to Cosmos 2014, etc.) are changing everything though.



For many it's less to do with facts now, I think, and more to do with attitude.

Not that anyone asked but I'd say the meaning of life, or purpose of life, is to eat, survive, reproduce... and, above these basics, for Man, to actualize, to do, and by all means try to get in some fun along the way. :)
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Potemkin Village
Nov 14, 2013 - 08:38pm PT
re: our mechanistic nature

I have acquired an increasing sneaking suspicion that our mellowing, saddening and such with age is every bit as programmed in our makeup - by evolution and genetics - as (a) our reaching puberty and its effects or (b) other temporal hallmarks (graying, menopause, e.g.). Like clockwork. Though we like to think it's imparted by education, experience, wisdom or rational thought. Or due to breakdown, or breakdowns. But I'd bet, in large part, it is effect or output of clockwork laid down over eons by evolution and mediated in real time by genetic metabolism. All part of the Grand Balance (of dynamic equilibria) we can see operating across nature, human nature and general nature. Can't prove it though.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Potemkin Village
Dec 5, 2013 - 01:07pm PT
7 Reasons Why It's Easier for Humans to Believe in God Than Evolution

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/11/seven-evolutionary-reasons-people-deny-evolution

I like Chris Mooney. These are seven good reasons. Another is just as basic, I think.

(8) Lack of life experience in nature investigation or lack of life experience in science.

Just as not everyone has a passion for rock climbing, not everyone has a passion for nature investigation or a passion for science.



Something we have to live with, I guess.
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