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Author Topic: Evolution..  (Read 3068 times)

Offline stana

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Evolution..
« on: 07/01/2008 16:35:51 »
Hey guys a few questions about evolution.

1) When do we evolve..or do we constantly evolve..
2) Do we evolve because of the climate? Or what we think is going to happen. Me and my friends have came up with a theory. Were gonna evolutionise to be able to cope with water or air..since soon were gonna have no more land left. Is this what you scientists call a reasonable theory? Or do we still have wiiild imaginations  :P
3) If we evolutionised from apes, why are there still apes now?

Thanks


 

Offline Spanner_Monkey

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Evolution..
« Reply #1 on: 07/01/2008 21:39:22 »
Hmmmmm...
In my best efforts.
1) We evolve because of small mutations that happen when creating the germ cells. (egg+sperm) These mutations have advantages over others and so the ones without the advantages die off. ie natural selection

2)The mutations are random and could be any advantage from a larger brain to an extra thumb to play computer games with in a world of computer survival.

3) We would be an offshoot of apes so apes would still be there

4) Stop saying evolutionised

This is my best effort
 

Offline _Stefan_

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Evolution..
« Reply #2 on: 08/01/2008 01:06:40 »
All species are constantly evolving due to mutations and natural selection. Everything in our internal and external environments provide evolutionary pressures. Individual organisms with genes that allow them to survive and reproduce under these evolutionary pressures will survive and reproduce. Those that don't have these genes do not survive or reproduce. Genes arise randomly from DNA mutations, and they are selected non-randomly according to their survival/reproduction value.

Climate is an evolutionary pressure, but our species has some control over it, e.g. living in artificially heated and cooled homes, growing/importing/exporting foods out of season. Life has already adapted to air and water - we drink water, we breath air. But I think you are asking whether we will become aquatic or develop flight. Well, we will not have no more land left, because sea-level rise is not going to drown every part of all the continents, and our species will probably "fix" the climate change problem before sea levels rise dramatically. Technologies will also be developed to deal with living in water and air, if necessary.

Humans are still Great Apes. There are still other Great Apes, or for that matter, all the other species present today and in the past, because those species have not developed the same mutations and haven't been subjected to the same evolutionary pressures in the same way as all the other species on the planet.
 

another_someone

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Evolution..
« Reply #3 on: 08/01/2008 03:50:45 »
The question is, what do you mean by 'mutation'?

Each child is different from its parents, and so could be said to be a mutation - unless you regard mutation as the actual creation of a new gene that never existed before - but we already have so many genes that can be re-combined in so many different ways, that each of us is different, and those differences can then be subject to natural selection (i.e. in a given environment, some of us will be more successful than others, but in a different environment, those who would be more successful than others would also be different).

The reason why there still remain other great apes is that they live in places where we do not live in (e.g. deep in the forest - chimpanzees can climb trees where we cannot, while we live in areas where chimpanzees cannot).  Ofcourse, as we keep encroaching into different environments (e.g. early humans would live, it is generally thought, on the plains of Africa, but now they live throughout the world, on land and on water, and even under the sea and in places like Antarctica), so we compete with ever more species, and in those habitats where we do not live, we then tend to remove the habitat itself (e.g. cutting down the very forests where chimpanzees live), and so we are ever more out-competing other species, even in their own back yards (just as in the past we out-competed Neanderthal man, and possibly pushed species like mammoths and sabre toothed tigers into extinction).

While it is true that humans do influence climate (I would debate whether it is correct to say we have control over climate), but life has always modified climate (I suspect we still have a lot to learn about the way life, particularly microbial life, has vast influence on climate).

As for our becoming an aquatic or airborne species, as Stefan has indicated, we already live on, if not yet in, water - but we do so by developing non-biological solutions (i.e. instead of developing gills, we develop machines that perform the same functions - but those machines are themselves an active part of human evolution, as they are part of what human society is).
 

Offline _Stefan_

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Evolution..
« Reply #4 on: 08/01/2008 04:53:33 »
Sorry, natural selection acts on genetic variation. Variation refers to mutation: the changes in the nucleotide sequence caused by "radiation, viruses, transposons and mutagenic chemicals, as well as errors that occur during meiosis or DNA replication", and recombination: the different combinations of genes produced by sexual reproduction.
There are also other mechanisms of evolution apart from natural selection.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution
 

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Evolution..
« Reply #4 on: 08/01/2008 04:53:33 »

 

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