Evolution and Mankind's Destiny

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SteveFoerster
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Re: Evolution and Mankind's Destiny

Post by SteveFoerster » Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:26 am

Sertorio wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 7:24 am
SteveFoerster wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 7:16 am
It's a good thing Norman Borlaug didn't feel that way.
I'm talking about the human species, not about plants and agriculture. Do you agree there is a difference?... :roll:
No, actually. Your point seems to be that we shouldn't edit human DNA because we cannot know the outcome. But we've edited DNA for millennia now, first through selective breeding of other organisms and nowadays directly of those organisms and even ourselves. Our knowledge expands, and that's a good thing.
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Sertorio
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Re: Evolution and Mankind's Destiny

Post by Sertorio » Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:56 am

SteveFoerster wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:26 am
Sertorio wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 7:24 am
SteveFoerster wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 7:16 am
It's a good thing Norman Borlaug didn't feel that way.
I'm talking about the human species, not about plants and agriculture. Do you agree there is a difference?... :roll:
No, actually. Your point seems to be that we shouldn't edit human DNA because we cannot know the outcome. But we've edited DNA for millennia now, first through selective breeding of other organisms and nowadays directly of those organisms and even ourselves. Our knowledge expands, and that's a good thing.
Selective breeding enhances certain already existing characteristics, it's not genetic engineering. Cross-breeding would introduce changes, but we haven't cross-bred human beings with other species... at least as far as I know...

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dagbay
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Re: Evolution and Mankind's Destiny

Post by dagbay » Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:39 pm

Sertorio wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:56 am
SteveFoerster wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:26 am
Sertorio wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 7:24 am
SteveFoerster wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 7:16 am
It's a good thing Norman Borlaug didn't feel that way.
I'm talking about the human species, not about plants and agriculture. Do you agree there is a difference?... :roll:
No, actually. Your point seems to be that we shouldn't edit human DNA because we cannot know the outcome. But we've edited DNA for millennia now, first through selective breeding of other organisms and nowadays directly of those organisms and even ourselves. Our knowledge expands, and that's a good thing.
Selective breeding enhances certain already existing characteristics, it's not genetic engineering. Cross-breeding would introduce changes, but we haven't cross-bred human beings with other species... at least as far as I know...
Sertorio, you have made distinctions where none exist. You accept GM on plants as a fact but not on animals or people (a kind of animal for all we know).
Second you group neutral selection and hybridization together but separate out artificial GM.
I belive that you need to consider that there are no hard boundaries in either case. Moreover natural selection which is on going seems acceptable to you neglecting it's I'll side effects (and those are numerous and frightening no less than those of GM). GM which can result in equally horrendous failures is to you unacceptable.
I feel differently. In nature, if you look around, every species make many mistakes in its attempt to adapt to its environment. You would not have imperfect plants birth defects and various genetic illnesses if the natural process was infallible. GM is not any different in that sense - there will be painful mistakes side effects and so on guaranteed. The concerns you raise come from acceptance of inability to control nature and accepting the good and bad outcomes while forbiding bad outcomes from GM that is run by scientists. Yes scientists are human and may do bad things motivated by greed or just due to ignorance. I do not see how that is essentially different from natural errors.
I'd rather be diving or flying alas for now I am on terra firma.

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Sertorio
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Re: Evolution and Mankind's Destiny

Post by Sertorio » Wed Jan 31, 2018 4:23 am

dagbay wrote:
Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:39 pm
Sertorio wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:56 am
SteveFoerster wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:26 am
Sertorio wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 7:24 am
SteveFoerster wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 7:16 am
It's a good thing Norman Borlaug didn't feel that way.
I'm talking about the human species, not about plants and agriculture. Do you agree there is a difference?... :roll:
No, actually. Your point seems to be that we shouldn't edit human DNA because we cannot know the outcome. But we've edited DNA for millennia now, first through selective breeding of other organisms and nowadays directly of those organisms and even ourselves. Our knowledge expands, and that's a good thing.
Selective breeding enhances certain already existing characteristics, it's not genetic engineering. Cross-breeding would introduce changes, but we haven't cross-bred human beings with other species... at least as far as I know...
Sertorio, you have made distinctions where none exist. You accept GM on plants as a fact but not on animals or people (a kind of animal for all we know).
Second you group neutral selection and hybridization together but separate out artificial GM.
I belive that you need to consider that there are no hard boundaries in either case. Moreover natural selection which is on going seems acceptable to you neglecting it's I'll side effects (and those are numerous and frightening no less than those of GM). GM which can result in equally horrendous failures is to you unacceptable.
I feel differently. In nature, if you look around, every species make many mistakes in its attempt to adapt to its environment. You would not have imperfect plants birth defects and various genetic illnesses if the natural process was infallible. GM is not any different in that sense - there will be painful mistakes side effects and so on guaranteed. The concerns you raise come from acceptance of inability to control nature and accepting the good and bad outcomes while forbiding bad outcomes from GM that is run by scientists. Yes scientists are human and may do bad things motivated by greed or just due to ignorance. I do not see how that is essentially different from natural errors.
Dagbay,

Sorry for having missed this post of yours.

Basically I only disagree with you on your comparison of natural and scientists produced bad outcomes of evolution. Nature's mistakes are naturally corrected, but scientists have an habit of insisting on their mistakes, or of not even recognizing those mistakes. So, I think I am justified in my fears of human interference with evolution. I tend to be a bit deterministic on what concerns evolution. I believe there is a "natural" path in such evolution even if there may be occasional deviations. But not having the slightest idea of what would be a positive evolution, Man will be tempted to try some changes which he considers as positive, and in so doing may cause irreparable damage to the "natural" evolution. The apprentice sorcerer fable comes to mind...

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Sertorio
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Re: Evolution and Mankind's Destiny

Post by Sertorio » Wed Jan 31, 2018 4:36 am

Modern human brain organization emerged only recently
by Staff Writers - Leipzig, Germany (SPX) Jan 29, 2018

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Moder ... y_999.html

Brain shape evolution in Homo sapiens: brain shape of one of the earliest known members of our species, the 300,000 year-old cranium Jebel Irhoud 1 (left). Brain shape, and possibly brain function, evolved gradually. Brain morphology has reached the globularity typical for present day humans suprisingly recently (right).
Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, reveal how and when the typical globular brain shape of modern humans evolved. Their analyses based on changes in endocranial size and shape in Homo sapiens fossils show that brain organization, and possibly brain function, evolved gradually within our species and unexpectedly reached modern conditions only recently.

The evolutionary history of our own species can be traced back to fossils from Jebel Irhoud (Morocco) dated to about 300,000 years ago. Last year's analysis of these fossils by researchers from the Department of Human Evolution at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig was highlighted as one of the top science stories of 2017 by a diverse range of print and online media.

Together with crania from Florisbad (South Africa, 260,000 years old), and Omo Kibish (Ethiopia) dated to 195,000 years ago, the Jebel Irhoud fossils document an early evolutionary phase of Homo sapiens on the African continent.

Their face and teeth look modern, however their elongated braincase appears more archaic as in older human species and in Neandertals. In contrast, it is a globular braincase, which characterizes the skull of present-day modern humans together with small and gracile faces.

In a new paper published in Science Advances, members of the same research team now reveal additional surprising findings about brain evolution in Homo sapiens.

The paleoanthropologists Simon Neubauer, Jean-Jacques Hublin and Philipp Gunz used micro computed tomography scans to create virtual imprints of the internal bony braincase, so called endocasts that approximate brain size and shape. They used state-of-art statistics to analyze endocasts of various fossils and present-day humans.

Evolution of the parietal lobe and the cerebellum
Neubauer and colleagues document a gradual change within Homo sapiens, from an elongated endocranial shape towards a more globular one. Two features of this process stand out: parietal and cerebellar bulging.

Parietal brain areas are involved in orientation, attention, perception of stimuli, sensorimotor transformations underlying planning, visuospatial integration, imagery, self-awareness, working and long-term memory, numerical processing, and tool use.

The cerebellum is not only associated with motor-related functions like the coordination of movements and balance, but also with spatial processing, working memory, language, social cognition, and affective processing.

The Homo sapiens fossils were found to have increasingly more modern endocranial shapes in accordance with their geological age. Only fossils younger than 35,000 years show the same globular shape as present-day humans, suggesting that modern brain organization evolved some time between 100,000 and 35,000 years ago. Importantly, these shape changes evolved independently of brain size - with endocranial volumes of around 1,400 milliliters, even the oldest Homo sapiens fossils from Jebel Irhoud fell within present-day variation of brain size.

"The brain is arguably the most important organ for the abilities that make us human," says Neubauer. But modern human brain shape was not established at the origin of our species together with other key features of craniodental morphology. Neubauer adds: "We already knew that brain shape must have evolved within our own species, but we were surprised to discover just how recent these changes to brain organization were."

Evolutionary changes in early brain development
In present-day humans, the characteristic globular shape of the braincase develops within a few months around the time of birth. Philipp Gunz explains, "The evolution of endocranial shape within Homo sapiens suggests evolutionary changes of early brain development - a critical period for neural wiring and cognitive development."

The researchers therefore argue that evolutionary changes to early brain development were key to the evolution of human cognition. Jean-Jacques Hublin, co-author and director of the Department of Human Evolution at the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig, says: "The gradual evolution of modern human brain shape seems to parallel the gradual emergence of behavioral modernity as seen from the archeological record."

The new findings are in agreement with recent genetic studies that show changes in genes related to brain development in our lineage since the population split between Homo sapiens and Neandertals.

They add to the accumulating archeological and paleoanthropological evidence demonstrating that Homo sapiens is an evolving species with deep African roots and long-lasting gradual changes in behavioral modernity, brain organization, and potentially brain function.
I quoted this text to draw your attention to the fact that human evolution is an ongoing process, and that significant changes have occured only recently. Another good reason to keep our hands off our DNA, except on what concerns individual interventions meant to correct genetic malformations. Leave nature alone and eventually we will evolve in manners which may be as favourable as unexpected. The universe has a logic of its own which we would do well not to interfere with. That logic has brought life to Earth, has allowed for a speedy evolution, has generated consciousness and self awareness among some living beings, and is pushing us down a path we are not able to understand but should respect.

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Re: Evolution and Mankind's Destiny

Post by SteveFoerster » Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:47 am

Obvious explanation:

Image
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Jim the Moron
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Re: Evolution and Mankind's Destiny

Post by Jim the Moron » Wed Jan 31, 2018 9:45 am


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Sertorio
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Re: Evolution and Mankind's Destiny

Post by Sertorio » Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:11 am

SteveFoerster wrote:
Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:47 am
Obvious explanation:

Image
Of course!... :lol: :lol: :lol:

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dagbay
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Re: Evolution and Mankind's Destiny

Post by dagbay » Wed Jan 31, 2018 6:30 pm

I quoted this text to draw your attention to the fact that human evolution is an ongoing process, and that significant changes have occured only recently. Another good reason to keep our hands off our DNA, except on what concerns individual interventions meant to correct genetic malformations. Leave nature alone and eventually we will evolve in manners which may be as favourable as unexpected. The universe has a logic of its own which we would do well not to interfere with. That logic has brought life to Earth, has allowed for a speedy evolution, has generated consciousness and self awareness among some living beings, and is pushing us down a path we are not able to understand but should respect.
Dear Sertorio, you have every right to worry that scientists may insist in pushing some, most or all of humanity into a vulnerable position. It is unlikely that most or all of humanity would be affected but yes it can happen. However, natural evolution has many equivalent failures. Countless spicies have gone extinct during the long evolution of life on earth. My guess is that the opening that you have conceded in applications of GM to correct maladies will become mainstream and foment the acceptance of the technology by the general public.
I'd rather be diving or flying alas for now I am on terra firma.

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Sertorio
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Re: Evolution and Mankind's Destiny

Post by Sertorio » Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:10 am

dagbay wrote:
Wed Jan 31, 2018 6:30 pm
I quoted this text to draw your attention to the fact that human evolution is an ongoing process, and that significant changes have occured only recently. Another good reason to keep our hands off our DNA, except on what concerns individual interventions meant to correct genetic malformations. Leave nature alone and eventually we will evolve in manners which may be as favourable as unexpected. The universe has a logic of its own which we would do well not to interfere with. That logic has brought life to Earth, has allowed for a speedy evolution, has generated consciousness and self awareness among some living beings, and is pushing us down a path we are not able to understand but should respect.
Dear Sertorio, you have every right to worry that scientists may insist in pushing some, most or all of humanity into a vulnerable position. It is unlikely that most or all of humanity would be affected but yes it can happen. However, natural evolution has many equivalent failures. Countless spicies have gone extinct during the long evolution of life on earth. My guess is that the opening that you have conceded in applications of GM to correct maladies will become mainstream and foment the acceptance of the technology by the general public.
We spend too little time considering the universe in its magnitude and complexity. We tend to focus only on this speck of dust on which we live and on our insignificant species, failing to connect them to the universe as a whole. I don't know how the universe came about, but I think that from that moment on there was a coherence which has led to the multiplicaton of galaxies, to an incredible diversity of environments, to the appearance of life - who knows in how many trillion solar systems -, of multicelular beings, of consciousness and self awareness. A process which we see on Earth but must have occurred trillions of times all over the universe. This dynamic is continuing and will lead to further changes and evolution. Everything which has happened in the universe is meant to further such process. What is irrelevant disappears, what is relevant persists. Thta's why so many species have disappeared and are still disappearing. Because their function was over. Other species took over and moved forward. The question should be: are we about to become irrelevant to the universe, or will we persist and move forward? In my view, the chances of remaining relevant will increase if we resist tempering with what we do not understand. It may take hundreds of thousands of years, but we will evolve in a way that will allow us to start understanding what our role is in the universe. Connections will be established, consciousness will expand to collective forms, and the universe will become more visibly coherent. And each one of us, even if only as atoms and molecules, will remain part of it. I'm glad I will be part of it, even if in such modest form...

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