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Chimney
Chimney

member

Member Since: 15th Apr 2006
Total posts: 85
Posted:This point is probably widely discussed but it occured to me today that the human race may never improve through evolution.





Evolution occurs through survival of the fittest as more efficient mutations in genes are passed on to the next generation but looking at today in no way does a person have to be fit or efficient in the world to reproduce and pass on genes. In this way many bad conditions are being passed on and are becoming so greatly abundant in populations that evolution is just taking a swing in the wrong direction.





How will the human race ever adapt to ever changing conditions if the dense population we have is ever increasing without the best genes being passed on?





If anyone has something to say on this I'd really appreciate it. Cheers, Chimney.



maus
maus

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Sihanoukville, cambodia
Member Since: 14th Jul 2005
Total posts: 4191
Posted: Written by: Birgit


For women, the average bra size has gone up, apparently pretty much for the same reasons.




eek starts drinking loads of water.. wink

hmmm....maybe I'm too late for this one.

Interesting theory on the water thing though, but how is all of this oestrogen getting into the water supply? Through human waste? In which case would it not be filtered out? or am i just being very silly.....

*prepares herself for humiliation*



Birgit
Birgit

had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 27th Jan 2005
Total posts: 4145
Posted:Well, actually I might have to correct myself there. If I remember correctly (one of my friends analysed sewage water), the real problem is not the pill estrogens themselves, but rather other organic substances...

For example, PCBs were one big problem; they aren't produced anymore in the Western world, but there are still leftovers from when they were kicking around... among other things, they influence the sex of children (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/01/020129073314.htm), shorten menstrual cycles, reduce sperm counts, and mess up the hormone production in addition to acting like a hormone themselves (http://www.clearwater.org/news/pcbhealth.html).

I think humans are still quite safe, but here are some links for animals:

http://www.chemsoc.org/chembytes/ezine/1998/sexoff.htm


"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half


daize
daize

member
Location: Falmouth, Cornwall
Member Since: 29th Dec 2005
Total posts: 175
Posted:How is that not evolution?


Birgit
Birgit

had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 27th Jan 2005
Total posts: 4145
Posted:Evolution changes the heriditary traits (= genes you pass on to your children), estrogens do not.

"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half


Sambo_Flux
Sambo_Flux

Introverted
Location: Norf London
Member Since: 14th Jun 2006
Total posts: 833
Posted:Evolution works not just on physical traits, but behavioural and social traits too. I think with the internet expanding communications at the rate it is, we've already witnessed a behavioural paradigm shift towards online socialising (this forum for example ubbidea )....

I reckon human evolution will eventually be tied to the evolution of the net and the social changes it brings...

Further expansion of this idea check out this link

http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/Papers/WWWSuperBRAIN.html
br>
I'm not mental, honest, people with PHD's have thought of this stuff!







ubbidea ubbidea ubbidea biggrin


My Mind is a Ship
Emotions become the Waves
Soul is the Ocean

If a quizz is quizzical, what is a test?


TheHappyRobot
Member
Location: Bristol UK
Member Since: 16th Feb 2006
Total posts: 11
Posted:The pill in wastewater affects the sex of fish (from what I remember from this years lectures). But it isnt "evolving" them, its just a change in environmental conditions.

Maybe fish that are resistant to its effects will be more likely to produce offspring. The genotype of those fish would then be more prevalent in the fish population but they wouldn't be a different species, it takes a long time and often some sort of physical separation for one species to 'speciate' into two species.

*biology student* biggrin


----

"Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."


daize
daize

member
Location: Falmouth, Cornwall
Member Since: 29th Dec 2005
Total posts: 175
Posted:"Evolution works not just on physical traits, but behavioural and social traits too".



Considering how broad a word evolution is, I believe that we are discussing Organic Evolution.



Evolution of a species can come about from change in environmental conditions.



Sambo_Flux
Sambo_Flux

Introverted
Location: Norf London
Member Since: 14th Jun 2006
Total posts: 833
Posted:I don't think behavioural and physical can be seperated to any large degree, as something behavioural can trigger a physical change. For example a peacocks tail and it's associated mating insticts are fundamentally linked, i.e. the peacocks with the largest tails get to breed, nothing to do with the environment per se. smile

As far as humans go, I think we will continue to evolve physically, although the process will be a general averaging out due to globalisation (over a loooong time). I don't think anything in our environment will affect our physical evolution anymore, we're too adaptable, I suppose my point is that it's more likely to be behavioural aspects that cause any physical shifts...

But then, I'm extremely unevevolved myself (hairy palms) rolleyes


My Mind is a Ship
Emotions become the Waves
Soul is the Ocean

If a quizz is quizzical, what is a test?


Birgit
Birgit

had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 27th Jan 2005
Total posts: 4145
Posted:Well, that quote is right in so far as changes to the genes influence behaviour and social life.

Like, say, our brains evolve to get bigger, so we're better at communication and discovery.

Computers? Well, given that people who can't deal with them are (in the Western world) less likely to get a well-paid job and therefore are disadvantaged in reproduction (or can't figure out online dating and will never pull ubblol), maybe. But not yet.

Using the word "evolution" for some of the things it's used for in this discussion is quite dodgy - Daize, if you WANT to believe what you're saying, by all means go ahead, but don't quote someone's opinion in a forum as proof that evolution is a broad word! If you don't want to believe me, look it up in any decent encyclopedia...

Of course, if you want to use it in such a loose way, like for example adapting the word to "cultural evolution" or something like that, fair enough, but in the biological sense we're NOT talking evolution for estrogens in drinking water.

"Evolution of a species can come about from change in environmental conditions. "
Hell, yes, that's what it's all about! Being better adapted to a certain circumstance and surviving because of it. But not as a normal reaction of the body to a substance it's exposed to.

What you're claiming is basically that a botox injection will make people evolve to look younger. But that's wrong, it's all just pharmacology/toxicology, and as soon as the botox wears off you look old again. And your children won't look younger either.

*giving up and handing over to Jeff(fake) after that one* ubblol


"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half


Sambo_Flux
Sambo_Flux

Introverted
Location: Norf London
Member Since: 14th Jun 2006
Total posts: 833
Posted:Just realized the peacock thing was a bad example, the eye pattern scares off predators, so it has a direct survival function. How about a baboons blue butt instead? biggrin

My Mind is a Ship
Emotions become the Waves
Soul is the Ocean

If a quizz is quizzical, what is a test?


daize
daize

member
Location: Falmouth, Cornwall
Member Since: 29th Dec 2005
Total posts: 175
Posted:"but don't quote someone's opinion in a forum as proof that evolution is a broad word!" Calm down. I'm sorry if that's how you interperated what I am trying say.

I'm also a little confused as to what you were trying to say above ^.



Birgit
Birgit

had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 27th Jan 2005
Total posts: 4145
Posted:which part? wink

"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half


Patriarch917
Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Member Since: 2nd Oct 2005
Total posts: 607
Posted:The variations that would make us evolve are generally those having an affect on our ability to survive and reproduce more than other people.

A good example of this would be homosexuality. Let us assume for a moment that homosexuality is an inherent genetic trait and not merely a social construct. If that is true, then a society which pressured homosexuals to marry and have children would have artificially kept this gene present in our pool.

A society that allowed homosexuals to forgo sexual intercourse in favor of being attracted to the same gender would see a generation of homosexuals die without reproducing. Thus, there would be no children to inherit their mutation. Afterwards, the only homosexuals left would be those who do it because of a mental disorder, those who simply choose it despite any physical or mental variation, or those that have the gene because their parents were homosexuals who decided to reproduce against their nature.

Of course, the most influential factors in human evolution are probably intentional genocide, war, abortion, and birth control. It is difficult to decide whether to label these natural selection or unnatural selection. When wolves are able to catch and kill the slower rabbits, I call it natural. When wolves kill the weaker members of their own pack, I call it natural. When animals kill their own offspring, I call it natural. Still, most would probably object to the idea that it is natural for humans to do these things.

We dont need to have the debate again over whether what humans do is natural or unnatural so I will be content to refer to it merely as selection.



daize
daize

member
Location: Falmouth, Cornwall
Member Since: 29th Dec 2005
Total posts: 175
Posted:"Hell, yes, that's what it's all about! Being better adapted to a certain circumstance and surviving because of it. But not as a normal reaction of the body to a substance it's exposed to."

"What you're claiming is basically that a botox injection will make people evolve to look younger"



I am unsure as to wether Estrogen can directly cause genetic mutations. Though estrogen increases stimulation of proliferation which creates vulnerability to spontaneous mutations. This would then effect germline mutations, and is in no way comparable to botox.





EDIT: I'll simplify that.

Estrogen stimulates the speed at which cells divide, which increases probability of mutations (such as cancer). This would then effect decendants.

EDITED_BY: daize (1150294433)



daize
daize

member
Location: Falmouth, Cornwall
Member Since: 29th Dec 2005
Total posts: 175
Posted:redface I didn't understand this part..."but in the biological sense we're NOT talking evolution for estrogens in drinking water"



Another thing to add.

"Hell, yes, that's what it's all about! Being better adapted to a certain circumstance and surviving because of it. But not as a normal reaction of the body to a substance it's exposed to."



Basically by what you said. Evolution is about adapting and phasing out the weak. (which ofcourse is true)



Surely the percentage of women who have a genetic predisposition to high levels of HDL cholesterol when exposed to estrogen, would be phased out as the weak via evolution?






EDITED_BY: daize (1150294162)



Birgit
Birgit

had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 27th Jan 2005
Total posts: 4145
Posted:Ah, okay.. I'll try to rephrase!

estrogen-like substances like PCBs have been found to cause mustations. But it's very rare that such a mutation would occur in a sperm or egg, AND lead to a baby that survives. If it does, and IF the baby proves to be better at reproduction than others, and if we wait a few generations (or more likely 100 or so) then it is evolution.

But what has been listed under the effects of estrogen so far is just what the estrogens do to the body, not evolution.

I think at the moment we humans change the earth too quickly for ourselves to adapt in an evolutionary way.

I hope that's a bit clearer, sorry for being confusing!! smile


Pat, "Let us assume for a moment that homosexuality is an inherent genetic trait and not merely a social construct."

Ummm... d'oh smile

By the way, a paper (will try and find it when I don't have to rush into the lab again) has been published that has found a connection between homosexual men and their female relatives being more "feminine", too - they have a higher average number of children, and in so far I think that's a clear evolutionary advantage that makes up for the brothers not reproducing.


"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half


daize
daize

member
Location: Falmouth, Cornwall
Member Since: 29th Dec 2005
Total posts: 175
Posted:So my argument was that there is a POSSIBILITY estrogen may effect evolution, though like you said it's too early to tell.

Enjoyed the debate, now I'm off surfing.

Bye wave



faith enfire
faith enfire

wandering thru the woods of WI
Location: Wisconsin
Member Since: 27th Jan 2006
Total posts: 3556
Posted:all the breast sizes going up and earlier puberty is probably related to all chemicals in our foods

me and brother have to be careful what milk we drink...the growth hormone makes us sick

estrogen has affected the water ways

the extinction gene may be a myth but there comes a point in population where the system hits critical mass and the population is wiped out so the system can support the population...the plague is often used as an example. though back then it was considered a curse on poor folk because it was more prevalent in cities


Faith
Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed


Birgit
Birgit

had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 27th Jan 2005
Total posts: 4145
Posted: Written by: daize


I read somewhere that the amount of oestrogen in our water supply, from the contraceptive pill, is having a damaging effect on men.

Would it be safe to say that men are evolving towards the femanine?



ah, misunderstood you there... I thought you meant what was already visible was evolution smile I still think though it's quite safe to say that oestrogen will not cause evolution smile

Will possibly be taught how to surf on the weekend biggrin Have fun hug


"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half


Igirisujin
Igirisujin

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Preston
Member Since: 10th Jul 2005
Total posts: 2666
Posted:We evolved bigger brains by eating more meat millions of years ago, so surly with our diet now we will carry on getting more protean and things - So we should stop evolving new physical traits because of our enviroment is so safe, and only get smarter.

Oh wait our heads will get bigger as our brains grow...ooh arnt we going to look attractive!


Chief adviser to the Pharaoh, in one very snazzy mutli-coloured coat

'Time goes by so slowly for those who wait...' - Whatever Happend To Baby Madonna?


daize
daize

member
Location: Falmouth, Cornwall
Member Since: 29th Dec 2005
Total posts: 175
Posted:Sorry... theoretically it could provoke evolution. I should be more specific with my words.

Surfing was fun, every one should learn how to surf.
Hope you enjoy it!!



TheHappyRobot
Member
Location: Bristol UK
Member Since: 16th Feb 2006
Total posts: 11
Posted:sorry to backtrack a bit but:

 Written by: SamboFlux


Just realized the peacock thing was a bad example, the eye pattern scares off predators, so it has a direct survival function.



I'm pretty sure (from reading 'The Blind Watchmaker') that peacocks are birds of paradise and don't have any natural predators. However it has evolved this way due to 'sexual selection', where having bright colours and elaborate body parts might suggest better health, making it more appealing to a potential mate. Or it's been suggested that they might be linked to genes that code for more practical survival characteristics.
Or because they have no natural predators runaway mating would be detremental for the local population so they have developed a way to descriminate between potental mates.

I think the eye thing SamboFlux was thinking of probrably applies to moths and other small insects.


----

"Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."


Birgit
Birgit

had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 27th Jan 2005
Total posts: 4145
Posted:yeah, as far as I know the peacock is more of a "getting the girl" thing than anything else. But still, the more offspring you produce the more likely your traits will survive, so it's not as far away from survival as you may think!

hug daize, I get quite a few things wrong, too, with English nor being my native language! It's HoP, so in the end it's all friendly smile


"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half


Sambo_Flux
Sambo_Flux

Introverted
Location: Norf London
Member Since: 14th Jun 2006
Total posts: 833
Posted:Yup, that sounds about right biggrin. I was thinking that the pattern on the peacocks tail when "fanned out" has lots of eye shaped patterns on it, and this might function not only as a mating signal but also deter predators. http://www.geocities.com/rs_suresh/peacock.jpg
br>
Whatever the case, the point I was making is that when there are no natural predators and we can adapt to our environment through behavioural changes rather than physical changes (like wearing more clothes in cold climates rather than evolve more hair), our physical evolution, much like the peacock, might be dictated through our behavioural patterns, which evolve in much the same way as our bodies. I was speculating as to how the internet has changed our behavioural and social patterns, and how it will continue to do so on a global scale.

Am I making any sense, or is this the ramblings of a crazy person?? ubbloco


My Mind is a Ship
Emotions become the Waves
Soul is the Ocean

If a quizz is quizzical, what is a test?


Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13919
Posted: Written by: Patriarch917


A good example of this would be homosexuality. Let us assume for a moment that homosexuality is an inherent genetic trait and not merely a social construct. If that is true, then a society which pressured homosexuals to marry and have children would have artificially kept this gene present in our pool.



Not necessarily (really, could you choose a slightly more controversial example next time? ubblol ).

Cystic fibrosis causes infertility...and yet it exists in the population. The heterozygous state confers protection against cholera. Perhaps "gay genes" confer some adaptive trait when they don't make the individual gay?


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura


Patriarch917
Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Member Since: 2nd Oct 2005
Total posts: 607
Posted:A trojan characteristic, huh? A negative trait piggybacking on a positive one and only occasionally manifesting itself would certainly be able to spread as long as the positive affects outweighed the negative.



If I had a gene that made all of my children very fertile, but with a 10% chance of developing anorexia, then 9 of my children might survive and thrive, passing on the gene. The 10th might starve to death by 20 without children. However, the gene (along with the 10% chance of anorexia) would be carried on by the other children.



Birgit
Birgit

had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 27th Jan 2005
Total posts: 4145
Posted:http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1306894,00.html
br>
Summary of the "gay/fertility gene" article smile

I'm just now imagining 10 little Patriarchs in the discussions forum on HoP, you know... wink hug


"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half


Sym
Sym

Geek-enviro-hippy priest
Location: Diss, Norfolk
Member Since: 28th Sep 2004
Total posts: 1858
Posted:With 10 little Jeffs to play with? wink

There's too many home fires burning and not enough trees


Birgit
Birgit

had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 27th Jan 2005
Total posts: 4145
Posted:I'll ask his girlfriend if there are any plans... deary me!! ubblol

"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half


TheHappyRobot
Member
Location: Bristol UK
Member Since: 16th Feb 2006
Total posts: 11
Posted:I'm pretty sure that the "gay gene" thing is just speculation and seems to me just to be people trying to 'blame' differences and prejudice on genetics, maybe with the hope of a "cure".

Seems a bit like dangerous ground to me.


----

"Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."


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