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stickman
World Champ Procrastinator
Location: ||...lost...||
Member Since: 25th Jul 2004
Total posts: 580
Posted:so, ive been thinking about this for some time, the notion that humans are too smart for this planet, that we have outwitted nature

take this example of natural selection.. normally in nature if an animal is born with a limp, blind, or disabled in any other way, that creature is bound to be one of the first to die because it has a harder time protecting itself.. if that animal were to live and pass on its genes, and in the end result in a genetic mutation in that species, that would mean that that gene (or lack of perhaps) is better for that species in terms of survival..
we humans however have found ways of keeping the blind, the disabled and aged people alive and healthy and allow them to lead a relatively normal life, through aid of medicine, guide dogs,etc..
to what extent do people think that humans have outsmarted nature??


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vanize
vanize

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Austin, Texas
Member Since: 21st Aug 2001
Total posts: 3899
Posted:oh man... I could post an entire novel in response.

first of all, I am a bit harsh in my views - I feel extremely ill babies should be allowed to die quickly in infancy rather than be a burden to themselves, their parents and society. I think someone with a terminal diesease should be given the time to make their final arrangements and say goodbye to loved ones and be given all the pain killers they want - even if it is anough to kill themselves with.

but then there is the other side of the coin - as we become more advanced at treating our illnesses, the more we can count on our children to survive, and the less nessisary it is for us to over reproduce to compensate for losses - this trend actually leading towards a negative population growth in most advanced countries (including the USA if you exclude immmigrant families).

also inherent in this question is the assumption that we are appart from nature, and not subject to its laws because of our intellegence (I know you didn't say it that arrogantly stickman, but I have to exagerate to make my point clear). we are in no way sesparate from nature, nad we are subject to the same laws that bound any other species on this earth. our development of intellegence and technology has allowed us to exploit a new ecological niche, and we are still expanding into it, but there is good evidence that expansion is already slowing and will taper off at about the projected population our best guess says how many humands can manage to live on this planet.

humans have not outsmarted nature by any means. we can never do that. we have no choice but to play by its rules. the only thing special about humans is that we have a slightly greater awareness of what those rules are, and can therefor try to play the system with greater efficiency. we still have a long way to go and a lot to learn about the rules though before we get very good at it. in the meantime, rest assured mother nature will smack us down time and again when the need arises.


-v-

Wiederstand ist Zwecklos!

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Prometheus
Prometheus

Diamond In The Rough
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Member Since: 30th Jun 2002
Total posts: 459
Posted:Ask those people at pompeii, who are frozen into position from volcanic ash, if they feel like they've outwitted nature...

Dance like it hurts; Love like you need money; Work like someone is watching.

Never criticize someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes. That way, when you DO criticize them, you are a mile away, and you have their shoes.

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stickman
World Champ Procrastinator
Location: ||...lost...||
Member Since: 25th Jul 2004
Total posts: 580
Posted:vanize, i never said that we are separate from nature, or not bound to its rules.. being a biologist i firmly believe that we are subject to the same rules and regulations as any other living creature on this planet (that goes for religion and afterlife too, but thats a different topic)

on your first point about the babies.. whos to say when a baby should and should not be allowed to die?? if the parents say its ok, might the government not call it murder? or if the doctor says this baby will live braindead in a wheelchair all its life and theres no point in keeping it, are the parents entitled to do so if they want to? i think there are more factors in question here than just ill or not ill.. and what if an illness or paralysis strikes when one is say 20, old enough to make conscientious dicisions but still young enough to say they have almost their whole lives ahead of them.. should that person be given the right to put an end to their suffering? this is sort of getting off topic, but i think they should.. i firmly believe in euthenasia, and not only for the old and senile..

however much we are bound to the rules of nature such as death, absorption of energy, gravity etc., i think we have to a certain degree defied the laws of natural selection.. i explained this conclusion in the example above your post vanize..

about the carrying capacity of this planet concerning humans.. is it not possible that we will find new technological means to feed and supply everyone with their necessities? (we have the technology now, but no one is willing to invest in a project so large with such a high chance of monetary losses) or possibly our population will be so large that the trend ends up being "this planet aint big enough for all of us" and due to our intelligence and technology, other species will be wiped out to make room for even more people..

i think we have defied the trends of natural selection and also have defied nature in another aspect: genetics *dramatic music plays* have we not overcome nature's rules by playing around and changing the genes of plants and even animals? scientists have removed the gland the produces the sticky web from a spider and inserted it into a cow's udder.. the result was that the cows milk contained this silk, which was sifted out and used for body armor for soldiers.. this is genius, but it does go against the "rules" nature has set for cows.. and what about genetically modified vegetables??


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Tomm
member
Location: Brighton / Southampton
Member Since: 23rd Nov 2004
Total posts: 39
Posted:
I think cows eat magic mushrooms when no-ones looking...


Check t'ya bongall rass klan - Eh!
(chilltheworldout)
Lyreecalbombstylee...

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Tomm
member
Location: Brighton / Southampton
Member Since: 23rd Nov 2004
Total posts: 39
Posted:
And that the human race is really just a f*cked cows trip...


Check t'ya bongall rass klan - Eh!
(chilltheworldout)
Lyreecalbombstylee...

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Tomm
member
Location: Brighton / Southampton
Member Since: 23rd Nov 2004
Total posts: 39
Posted:
Moooooooooooooooo


Check t'ya bongall rass klan - Eh!
(chilltheworldout)
Lyreecalbombstylee...

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stickman
World Champ Procrastinator
Location: ||...lost...||
Member Since: 25th Jul 2004
Total posts: 580
Posted:then why can we perceive it???

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Tomm
member
Location: Brighton / Southampton
Member Since: 23rd Nov 2004
Total posts: 39
Posted:Because the cow wishes it so...

Check t'ya bongall rass klan - Eh!
(chilltheworldout)
Lyreecalbombstylee...

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The Real Fryed Fish
God's illgitament son
Location: state of confusion
Member Since: 2nd Jun 2004
Total posts: 1489
Posted:Written by: vanize

first of all, I am a bit harsh in my views - I feel extremely ill babies should be allowed to die quickly in infancy rather than be a burden to themselves, their parents and society. I think someone with a terminal diesease should be given the time to make their final arrangements and say goodbye to loved ones and be given all the pain killers they want - even if it is anough to kill themselves with.




i agree with that. now let my just say that i am not for Uthinasia, but i feel that one of the problems our world faces is that we keep people alive for to long. we are keeping the energy that animates that person in a shell well after it should have moved on. think of like a big recycling plant, but no ones puting anything in to be recycled. as for the babies that are born wtih illness and such, it realy depends on the illness, if its something to were the child can live a normal life with certain medications or therapy ok, but if it's terminal and the childs shelf life is less than a few years, whats the point (i know im gonna get slamed for that but its how i feel) i think its more crule to keep a person alive becasue you are affraid of living with out them.

as for beating nature, its not possible, nature will win out in the end. the human species is a virus that has infected and mutilated this palnet, nature wont put up with it for to much longer (by that i mean universal time, i.e. a few thousand years.....universaly thats not that long of a time)


You can't avoid pain by fencing yourself from it.
Some times you need the help of others more than anything else
But you have to let them close enough to help......
People want to be needed, I found that out too

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spritie
spritie

Pooh-Bah
Location: Galveston, TX
Member Since: 9th Sep 2001
Total posts: 2014
Posted:Have we outwitted nature? I certainly do not think so. If we had, we wouldn't have such problems as global warming or a need to worry about our natural gas and oil resources.

In my opinion those are just natures way of letting us know that what we are doing may be harmful and to perhaps find other solutions.


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mico
mico

freedom in chains
Location: San Francisco & Oxford
Member Since: 20th Jul 2004
Total posts: 176
Posted:We outwit nature all the time. I transend my biology
every time I use a condom. But this doesn't mean we
are seperate from nature. And, apart from some
evolution to a fully machinic state, never will be.

But be careful with too strict a notion of what
is 'natural'.

Natural selection for example, is just what happens
as a result of probability and combinatorics. There is
nothing more natural about it than that.


~peace is a fire~

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The Real Fryed Fish
God's illgitament son
Location: state of confusion
Member Since: 2nd Jun 2004
Total posts: 1489
Posted:ok saying probability and combinatorics is like saying the same thing twice.......combinatorics it self invloves probability and statistics, and as for natural selection being nothing more than that.........i have to disagree (not saying you are wrong) but there is more to the world and nature than statistics and probability......

You can't avoid pain by fencing yourself from it.
Some times you need the help of others more than anything else
But you have to let them close enough to help......
People want to be needed, I found that out too

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mico
mico

freedom in chains
Location: San Francisco & Oxford
Member Since: 20th Jul 2004
Total posts: 176
Posted:Written by: Fryed Fish

ok saying probability and combinatorics is like saying the same thing twice



Probably, but it's a nice combination (like world and
nature wink)

I'm not sure there is more to natural selection than
probability and (dare I say it) combinatorics though.

Okay, maybe a bit of statistics and mathematics and ...


~peace is a fire~

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spritie
spritie

Pooh-Bah
Location: Galveston, TX
Member Since: 9th Sep 2001
Total posts: 2014
Posted:combinatorics involves a lot more than just probability, so saying them both together is not saying the same thing twice.

mico wasn't saying that nature is only probability and statistics...he's just saying natural selection may be seen as such. But he is also saying that nature and natural selection aren't the same thing.


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The Real Fryed Fish
God's illgitament son
Location: state of confusion
Member Since: 2nd Jun 2004
Total posts: 1489
Posted:ok i can agree with that......

You can't avoid pain by fencing yourself from it.
Some times you need the help of others more than anything else
But you have to let them close enough to help......
People want to be needed, I found that out too

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ado-p
ado-p

Pirate Ninja
Location: Galway/Ireland
Member Since: 13th May 2004
Total posts: 3882
Posted:Written by: stickman

then why can we perceive it???



ask schrodinger (sp?)


Love is the law.

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Domino
UnNatural Scientist - Currently working on a Breville-legged monkey
Location: Bath Uni or Shrewsbury, UK
Member Since: 26th May 2004
Total posts: 757
Posted:I look around at the war, pain, death, hate and general bad karma causing crap that we subject each other to and wonder just how smart we really are...

Enough pessimism. We are still suject to the laws of nature, we are still evolving even if it isn't particualrly obvious.


Give me a lever long enough and a place to stand and I can beat the world into submission.

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myco
myco


Location: melbourne, victoria, australia
Member Since: 2nd Nov 2004
Total posts: 2084
Posted:Warning: i'm going to go off on a bit of a tangent, and get quite emotive. Sorry in advance...
Written by: vanize

I feel extremely ill babies should be allowed to die quickly in infancy rather than be a burden to themselves, their parents and society.



I encounter this opinion quite regularly, and it is always hurtful. My big sister was born with a disability, and doesn't 'contribute to society' in any measurable way, which seems like a big determinant of whether a person should be allowed to live, in some people's eyes. However, in my sister's case, it would have taken more medical intervention to actually kill her, than to let her live. She did and still does medical intervention, but this is to keep her comfortable, not to keep her alive.

My sister's a beautiful person, she loves life, she is gentle, and finds happiness in everyday things, I think that she gets more out of life than I do, even though she would be seen as a 'burden on society'.

This raises an issue of whether the function of a life is to contribute to society as a whole? This then leads to another question: who decides who is and isn't 'contributing'? Should long term unemployed people be left to die? is the ability to provide financial contribution the only thing that's valuable about a person?

I read a book by an amazing woman who was assumed to be 'braindead' because she had a severe physical disability. It was not uncommon for people to talk about her in front of her, about how she should be killed, and how pathetic she was. Finally somebody paid enough attention to her to realise that she was able to communicate, and actually had no intellectual impairment. She went on to write a bestselling book (it's called 'Annie's coming out'- amazing book).

Sorry to have such a rant, but it's a subject that effects me personally, and I feel very srongly about it.


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Faberg
veteran
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Member Since: 26th Aug 2003
Total posts: 1459
Posted:myco, "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" by Jean-Dominique Bauby, former editor of Elle magazine, who suffered a stroke and was left with only the use of his left eye, is another very good read.

Together with his nurse, they devised a new alphabetic system whereby 1 blink of his eye was used to represent the most recurrent letter in the alphabet, 2 blinks of his eye to represent the second most recurrent letter and so forth..... Using this technique he was able to write this amazing book, and also communicate with those who had until then considered him braindead.

I do agree with euthanasia and would like myself to be given the choice to die with dignity. I recently lost my grandfather to alzheimers. It was absolutely heartwrenching watching him deteriorate over the last year of his life, the last 7 months of which he spent confined to a hospital bed. Some days he had no idea who anyone was, but on the good days, you could clearly see he was very embarrassed about his condition. I would rather take my own life than end up that way. What's the point when you have no quality of life any more...?

Regarding sick babies though, I dunno where I stand on that one. A friend of mine had twin daughters 3 months premature. One of them weighed only 2 lbs when she was born. They were both given a 50/50 chance of survival. They were 6 months old before she could take them home from hospital. I'm sure this cost the hospital (i.e. the taxpayer) thousands of pounds, but my friend now has 2 beautiful healthy 6yr old daughters.

If a 2 yr old child has undergone 3 complicated heart surgerys and requires a 4th, this is possibly a different kettle of fish, as the likelyhood that the child will survive to adulthood is minimal. Still... it's not my call......

By no means have we outwitted nature. As already stated here, Mother Nature will kick us back into line whenever she see's fit.

AIDS is on the increase everywhere, but the statistics for the likes of Africa, Asia & Eastern Europe are startling. There are currently 15 million aids orphans in sub-Saharan Africa. This is predicted to reach at least 25 million by 2010. That's more than 6 times the population of my country!!!

Only last night I saw a documentary about the increase of MRSA infection in hospitals. MRSA is more widely known as the hospital superbug. It can be lethal, and it is becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics, including "vancomycin" which is currently the strongest antibiotic available.

Global warming and natural resources issues aside, we could all be wiped out far sooner than we care to imagine....

wanders off to look for a happy thread

peace


My mind not only wanders, it sometimes leaves completely smile

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Burning Brain
Burning Brain

eye shifter
Location: between my headphones
Member Since: 9th Oct 2004
Total posts: 321
Posted:the second i can push a button that turns off earth's gravity is when i agree that humans have out smarted nature.

If I could be granted one wish I would ask for all the questions of the universe.

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MiG
MiG

Self-Flagellation Expert
Location: Bogged at CG
Member Since: 16th Apr 2004
Total posts: 3415
Posted:you can. its that red one over there...

no, seriously, i dont think we ever will outsmart all the aspects of nature. some, maybe. most, possibly, but all? nup.

Im with the whole 'medicines extending life' crowd. and further, what bout cars, trains, planes? the fact that there is more cultural/racial distribution than would have been conceived 400 years ago? did nature really plan on an african being able to have a kid with a german, that kid then going on to have a kid with a canadian?


"beg beg grovel beg grovel"
"master"
--FSA

"There was an arse there, i couldn't help myself"
--Rougie

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The Real Fryed Fish
God's illgitament son
Location: state of confusion
Member Since: 2nd Jun 2004
Total posts: 1489
Posted:Written by: MiG

did nature really plan on an african being able to have a kid with a german, that kid then going on to have a kid with a canadian?



question, is this saying that we have out done nature do to the mixing of races? or that nature did intend for this to happen? im a little unclear on that................

now what i think is that nature did intend for this to happen. if you look at all the animals on this planet, there are not that many that can mix naturaly and have a fully functioning offspring, humans are one those that can, very well in fact. and as the mixing of races continues, i feel it will help us to evolve into more superior beings.......................

now i have noticed a few people sugesting and evolution of sorts in curent times (or near future). my guess in this is that the next stage of human evolution will not be a physical one, but mental. think about it, 50+ years ago science said that humans use about 15-20% of their brain, on average, now the num is 25-30% (if memory serves me right) that shows that our mental state is changing..........my opinion is in the next few generations we will start to see more people with the elusive 6th sense.....when (not if) that happens we as a species will start to see more advances in the fields of science, hence leading us to a point were can live in harmony with nature, but we will never beat nature.........it jsut woldnt be natural wink


You can't avoid pain by fencing yourself from it.
Some times you need the help of others more than anything else
But you have to let them close enough to help......
People want to be needed, I found that out too

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Burning Brain
Burning Brain

eye shifter
Location: between my headphones
Member Since: 9th Oct 2004
Total posts: 321
Posted:i think fishy has a point. we arnt really beating nature by getting smarter. i mean, do we cheat nature to harvest cows more efficiently? we are just learning how to use nature's laws to move nature's images.

If I could be granted one wish I would ask for all the questions of the universe.

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MiG
MiG

Self-Flagellation Expert
Location: Bogged at CG
Member Since: 16th Apr 2004
Total posts: 3415
Posted:my point was that its kind of unnatural for us to be breeding in such a wide range that is now possible.

also, i think that dogs, cats, and other species that have varied subspecies in a similar vein to dogs and cats, can interbreed. this is how we get chihouhas and great danes out of wild wolves. which returns to my initial point - are we bending nature's rules by creating new subspecies? did mother nature intend for us to make toy dogs, working dogs, guard dogs, and all the other ones in between?


"beg beg grovel beg grovel"
"master"
--FSA

"There was an arse there, i couldn't help myself"
--Rougie

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The Real Fryed Fish
God's illgitament son
Location: state of confusion
Member Since: 2nd Jun 2004
Total posts: 1489
Posted:Written by: Burning Brain


we are just learning how to use nature's laws to move nature's images.





thats good brain, i like the way you put that..........one thing that i have not seen brought up yet ( i may have missed it) is the fact that humans ARE PART OF NATURE, so if we try to beat or defy nature, in a sense, aren't we trying to defy ourselves? is that something that can be done? can your arm defy your brain? no. so how can we defy nature, granted yes biologists have before and are now messing with genetic codes to create what they want, but how long can this go before nature says enough is enough.........you arm can seem to act independantly for a while, but eventualy the brain will catch on and stop it.......think about it...........


You can't avoid pain by fencing yourself from it.
Some times you need the help of others more than anything else
But you have to let them close enough to help......
People want to be needed, I found that out too

Delete

The Real Fryed Fish
God's illgitament son
Location: state of confusion
Member Since: 2nd Jun 2004
Total posts: 1489
Posted:Written by: MiG

my point was that its kind of unnatural for us to be breeding in such a wide range that is now possible.



assumeing you know how raceist that sounds, i wont harp on it.umm

i think its perfectly natural for humans to do so. think hard about your family, can you say that they have kept straight in the way they have (lack of a better word) breed? my bloodline is a mix of about 6 Euro nations and 1 native american tribe (Cherokee) is was never wrong for these sup-species of humans to have offspring and pass along their genetics, all the inherant knoledge that is locked in genetic codes gets passed along from parent to child, so the more diverse your blood line, the more inherant knoledge you have in you genetics, and thats not even touching the cultural aspects of it, imagine if we all had to learn about the euro history, and africas, and americas, not becasue school says so, but becasue it our own histiry, dont you think people in general would have more respect for each onther?


You can't avoid pain by fencing yourself from it.
Some times you need the help of others more than anything else
But you have to let them close enough to help......
People want to be needed, I found that out too

Delete

ado-p
ado-p

Pirate Ninja
Location: Galway/Ireland
Member Since: 13th May 2004
Total posts: 3882
Posted:I truly believe we are a part of nature.

Thats my answer to this whole thread too. smile


Love is the law.

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MiG
MiG

Self-Flagellation Expert
Location: Bogged at CG
Member Since: 16th Apr 2004
Total posts: 3415
Posted:and i didnt mean for that to sound racist. its 5am, and i cant think of a better way to put it :S

thats exactly my point, that diversity of bloodlines wouldnt be around if we had the intelligence of your average ape. my parents would never have met, had long range boating been invented. people sure as heck cant swim from the UK to australia. most people can't walk from wales to scotland in a short space of time, and i certainly doubt that there were many people getting married to people from the other side of the island very often.


"beg beg grovel beg grovel"
"master"
--FSA

"There was an arse there, i couldn't help myself"
--Rougie

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Burning Brain
Burning Brain

eye shifter
Location: between my headphones
Member Since: 9th Oct 2004
Total posts: 321
Posted:As for the whole med thing...what would you rather do, let diseases and disabilities like ALS die off or would you rather have Stephen Hawking.

If I could be granted one wish I would ask for all the questions of the universe.

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MiG
MiG

Self-Flagellation Expert
Location: Bogged at CG
Member Since: 16th Apr 2004
Total posts: 3415
Posted:i'd rather get rid of the diseases. really honestly, i'd rather we had no aids, no diabetes, anyhting like that.

and then maybe we'd have a stephen hawking with full bodily control, and a better mind


"beg beg grovel beg grovel"
"master"
--FSA

"There was an arse there, i couldn't help myself"
--Rougie

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