My Thoughts on Evolution/Genetics ect

Discussion in 'Lounge' started by cubytes, Oct 31, 2010.

  1. cubytes

    cubytes Well-Known Member

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    #1 cubytes, Oct 31, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2010
    I generally accept the idea of evolution, especially with the discovery of DNA. So this will not be a debate of evolution vs religious rhetoric...

    I've always been curious as to "how" evolution works. My understanding or rather my assumption/hypothesis is that most of it is all pretty much random (like it or not).

    Randomized Evolution Theory;

    what I mean by random - is that an organism is exposed to a set of elements, compounds, radiation, other forms of energy, substances, other life forms, ect and these random conditions influence the genetic code in both positive and negative ways. In other words if you really want to look at the big picture - evolution and for that matter life, intelligence, ect is nothing more then the result of randomized collections of matter, forces of nature, energy and organisms ect all having a complex effect on one another (again in both positive and negative ways).

    but thats not an interesting theory ;)

    see as far as i know - not a single organism can consciously or manually change its base genetic code in any way. any changes that do occur are most likely effects accrued by coincidence (again both positive and negatively). when you think about the positive effects this is stuff like survival of the fittest and when you think of negative you think of stuff like cancer, birth defects ect. its also not a stretch to consider that these errors may also bring about the possibility of new kinds of positives in some way and vice a versa may also be true.

    again all random...

    not only is that theory not a very encouraging one - as its conclusion is basically that our complete existence has absolutely no purpose whatsoever and that our existence is merely the result of randomness.. its also not never likely either

    considering the randomness and all the conditions needed to progress evolution to a point where an organism has the function of consciousness (which i assume is a very advanced function) the probability of such an occurence would be unimaginably low... like the chances would be soooo incredibly low one could almost prove that consciousness would never happen

    which leads to the notion that there must be some layer of self re-writting (similar to self repair but on a whole other level) going on in some capacity within each and every organism autonomously and separately from the will of the being itself (wow pretty deep huh?)

    first off is easy to see why such a separation is a good design choice being that if each organism had the function/task of rewriting itself that wouldnt be a very scalability infrastructure a la the replicators from stargate from the very get go meaning i dont think there would be much if any genetic diversity.

    if there is re-writing going on its intriguing to comprehend how this works and what governs its progress is it randomness or something else?

    if re-writing genetic code in any capacity is actually integral in the progress of evolution itself one could also assume that this basic design could be intentional on some part and not random

    and if it is not random one could assume that it would require an immensely complex infrastructure to progress evolution thus far and that it would take an intelligence on a whole other level to manage and/or create such an infrastructure and of course its possible that said infrastructural was made randomly and the entity just stumbled upon it and just manages it. and if you're going to manage an infrastructure properly you do so with very basic goals like focus on scalability/sustainability on a technical level or perhaps a specific outcome like consciousness or some other kind of even more advanced function beyond consciousness (assuming of course that consciousness is an advanced function)

    of course there is another possibility...

    assuming that an entity somehow manages the progress of evolution (regardless of said entity is the creator of the original base genetic code or not) was created randomly

    once you get this high (hahaha yea i said high like stoned) up in the big picture it really boils down to 2 things;

    entity either *has* to manage the progress of evolution to sustain its own life in some way or sustain the very fabric of existence itself

    or

    its completely optional like the entity doesnt *have* to manage the progress of evolution and thus is doing so for some reason or purpose

    if you assume it is optional the question is; how hard is it to manage the progress of evolution?

    if its easy to manage then said entity could be doing it for entertainment or fun possibly even temporary and then left and may come back from time to time

    if it is hard (assuming entity doesnt have to do it) then the entity is most likely doing it with a clear objective/purpose
     
  2. cubytes

    cubytes Well-Known Member

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    inspiration for this;

    the stoned ape theory

    which theorizes that intelligence or the path towards intelligence was made possible by apes who ate some shrooms and the compound of psilocybin played an integral role in the development of intelligence in some capacity

    again randomness...

    theres no proof but its an interesting concept to contemplate
     
  3. Coldar

    Coldar Well-Known Member

    Dec 26, 2008
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    Interesting read.
    I agree with this statement if I'm reading it correct and although knowing its only a random thought.

    On evolution.......I've always questioned that if we have evolved from apes then why has the process stopped? Why are why no longer evolving to even a higher plane of existence?
    (I understand your written statement in regards to an entity coming and going or doing it for fun, etc but asking if others have an opinion on this)
     
  4. goldglover411

    goldglover411 Well-Known Member

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    Natural selection is the form of evolution. There are no other possibilities
     
  5. MidianGTX

    MidianGTX Well-Known Member

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    #5 MidianGTX, Oct 31, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2010
    This. Consciousness and intelligence are likely down to the food the organism eats. It's already widely accepted that the reason behind modern man's intelligence is down to his meat diet, as meat is essentially a concentrated form of energy and thus allowed our brains to grow (take that Vegetarianism), and more recent theories suggest that the discovery of cooking also played a vital role in our evolution from ape-like creatures. Cooking meat (and everything else really) breaks down it's cells meaning our stomach has to do less work to liberate the nutrients from it that we need, this spare energy can then be used to power the growing size of the human brain and put it to better use.

    Edit: Although Natural Selection makes the most logical sense, I do see one example where it's being manipulated, and that's with humans keeping the weaker of the species alive. Obviously I'm not saying we kill off the weak and disabled, but go back far enough and they more or less just wouldn't have survived at all. There are likely to be smaller changes occurring as well, like the very simple matter of poor eyesight. Massive numbers of people wear glasses these days, which are absolutely not prime conditions for hunting. The fact we can survive means the changes in our condition can be passed down through the generations, and thus humans of the future may inherit our less than perfect vision.

    That said, if it was a natural process for our brains to grow and our intelligence to increase, it could be argued that by extension it's also natural for us to want to preserve our species. I mean, everything we use to keep sick people alive and give poor-sighted people better vision did already exist on the planet, we just had to find it and work out how to use it.
     
  6. danrel

    danrel Well-Known Member

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    In all honesty, if anything it wasn't just that we ate meat, as a lot of species do the same exclusively, but more so the lecithin in the meat, which quite literally is brain food. Like you said though, it has almost everything to do with the meat being cooked and as such humans were able to digest the meat and absorb the lecithin much quicker and in more abundance.

    These days though, you actually get much more lecithin in most organic, sprouted nuts and legumes than most of the crap processed and modified meats that humans eat.
     
  7. goldglover411

    goldglover411 Well-Known Member

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    exactly.....humans keep the disable people alive and well......some can even reproduce, when they would have died earlier, and pass on their disease. This has happened with cancer and other diseases like sickle cell anemia.

    plus, evolution works on a slow scale (unless there is a dramatic change in the environment) and humans havent been around long enough to have changed much.

    Overall, humans will not change as long as they keep the people who would have died before they could reproduce alive to reproduce and pass on diseases, crippling the chance of evolution working
     
  8. walsh06

    walsh06 Well-Known Member

    We are evolving.... notice people are getting taller now than they were before.
     
  9. goldglover411

    goldglover411 Well-Known Member

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    exactly.....but these are not dramatic changes, just gradual
     
  10. kijib

    kijib Well-Known Member

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    Incredibly successful Brain Surgeoune
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  11. Vester

    Vester Well-Known Member

    Well... Interesting.
     
  12. #12 Mindfield, Oct 31, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2010
    Natural selection is it. It isn't always to do with conscious changes or even environmental stimulus. It's all down to what lives and what dies, and why each occurred.

    If nature made the Widget Bug in three colours -- red, green and yellow -- and predators had a tendency to eat the yellow ones for whatever reason (perhaps they're more eye-catching, or yellow just tasted better) then yellow Widget Bugs would eventually die out simply because there will be fewer and fewer yellow ones to mate and make new ones. Thus it is set that red and green would be be genetic traits of the Widget Bug that were selected for, because yellow just wasn't working out.

    Let's use the same example, but say that red Widget Bugs lacked sufficient quantities of the necessary enzymes to properly digest the food they ate. Their little bodies would work overtime trying to produce enough enzymes to feed their bodies the nutrients they needed. So one of three things would happen: As each generation of red Widget Bug was born, their bodies would either produce more of that important enzyme because their parents' bodies adapted enough to increase enzyme production; their bodies would instead adapt to survive on less food by slowing down or growing smaller in order to make the enzymes they have work; or they would die out, having failed to adapt at all.

    If evolution seems all mystical and hard to believe it's only because either the person who thinks so doesn't understand it, or doesn't have a good grasp on the massive time scales involved.

    Consider this: The Earth is roughly 4.5 billion years old. Current theories estimate life began from just the right environmental conditions and combinations of amino acids as far back as 3.5 billion years ago. So life as we know it right now has had 3.5 billion years to go from single-celled amoebas to present day life. Some might argue that the presence of people like Glenn Beck are proof that life hasn't evolved nearly as far as we think, but that's another debate entirely. Point is, we're talking a time period of 3.5 billion years. That's 3,500,000,000 years, or just slightly older than Dick Clark.

    Try and picture that kind of time frame. Three and a half billion. In fact, never mind that. Try and picture roughly 1.8 million years -- about 1/20th of that first figure, which is approximately the time Homo Erectus, our first real ancestors, appeared. Try even picturing the last 12,000 years. That's the period leading up to present day known as the Holocene Epoch, which is marked by the last glacial period (kind of like an ice age) on Earth.

    Imagine the last century. Imagine your present life span. Think of how long even that comparatively minuscule period in Earthly history seems. Multiply your life span by one or two hundred million depending on your age. That's how long life has had to evolve and ultimately produce you.

    It's impossible to truly comprehend the scope of evolution, but if you really think about it, try and break it down into more manageable chunks, you might just appreciate just how long it has taken for little amoebas floating around in the primordial soup to turn into fish and mammals and birds and such. Its a long freaking time, and each little change -- each genetic trait selected for each species by predation and environmental concerns -- are passed on to each successive generation bit by bit. That's really all evolution is: Each new generation adapting (or dying out) just a little bit more than the last, a process that stretches out for billions of years.
     
  13. lord-sam

    lord-sam Well-Known Member

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    My theory is we will no longer evolve as people want to look perfect, so any handy evolution will be removed
     
  14. Coldar

    Coldar Well-Known Member

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    After reading Mindfields eye opening post.:eek:, it gives thought as to where are we going from here if evolution is the only possibility.
    Can evolution mean there is life for another 3.5+ billion years? I can barely comprehend Mindfields scope of vision put into words and posting as to how we all got here, let alone trying to see another 3.5 billion years ahead of me.
     
  15. acrotran

    acrotran Well-Known Member

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    First of all, it's obvious that all forms of life are aware (if you don't immediately agree, please take a little time to think about it). So awareness isn't something that evolved, it was always there.

    Secondly, among sexual beings, selection of a mate has a huge influence on evolution. For instance, the smarter, healthier, more attractive men and women choose to mate with each other. This leads to yet smarter, healthier, more attractive children.
     
  16. Duke Floss

    Duke Floss Well-Known Member

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    #16 Duke Floss, Oct 31, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2010
    I could see where psychedelic substances may have had aided in the evolution of how the modern brain works. Hell we don't even really know the long term effects that the widespread boom of psychedelic use during the 60s had for the offspring of said generation.

    Look at the immediate effects of psychedelic use and what it has helped bring for the new millennium. Steve Jobs has hinted at the part psychedelic substances played in the developmental ideas for modern computers.

    I agree with this - I've met some nasty ass spiders that definitely knew what they were and what they were doing :p But seriously it is the level of self-awareness that is different. The human brain is operating at a level of evolved self-awareness that can contemplate morality, and creativity from a purely subjective point of view and in various degrees of shades of gray. I don't think most animals contemplate joy, sadness, honour, or guilt in the same way we do.
     
  17. MidianGTX

    MidianGTX Well-Known Member

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    When you think how much damage we've done in the relatively small amount of time we've been here, I'm not sure I want to know what it'd look like in 3.5 billion years. Something is bound to go horribly wrong and the chances are it'll be our fault.
     
  18. Awareness implies consciousness, and not all forms of life are conscious. Plants and microscopic organisms are not aware, for example; they survive and reproduce purely through chemical reactions. There's even an argument that simplistic organisms like insects aren't truly aware, as they go through life responding purely to environmental and internal stimulus. They don't even have brains as we think of them, just simple ganglia that control motor functions, triggers lymph production and circulation, releases enzymes, etc. But I suppose that's getting dangerously close to the philosophical side of the question.

    More to the issue of your point, awareness wasn't always there. Single-celled prokaryotes, thought to be the first forms of life on Earth, were mindless bags of cytoplasm that "ate" by absorbing particles and reproduced by mitosis. They roamed blindly around by whipping their flagellum back and forth. They weren't aware of their surroundings, everything they did was a chemical reaction to stimulus.

    Awareness evolved just like everything else. When, and in what creatures it evolved first, largely depends on your definition of awareness.

    This is true for most creatures (not including plant life) but not all. Snails, for example, are hermaphroditic (they have both male and female organs) and are capable of reproducing asexually. (In other words, they're one of the few creatures who can successfully carry out your orders when you tell them to go **** themselves.) The New Mexico whiptail lizard is an all-female species and one of the few who reproduce through parthenogenesis. (Offspring are born pregnant.) There are actually quite a few hermaphroditic and parthenogenic (including its variations) species.

     

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