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quote:And unless someone does the impossible and invents anti-gravity...
quote:Originally posted by ukmickyHi Neil. I can't see us ever colonising other planets, because we find it to hard just getting off earth. And unless someone does the impossible and invents anti-gravity and then goes on to find a way to bypass the effects of relativity the furthest we will be going is mars and even then it will be a case of the few rather than the masses.
quote:Originally posted by neilepWhen I posed the question I thought it might just be taken for granted and assumed that I meant 1: the life that we create is able to evolve and become sentient and that 2: I have no doubt that (assuming we do not anhiliate ourselves or some catastrophe does not destroy us)...then I see no reason why we should not be able to make a planet....Please don't apply our current ways of thinking and abilities to the future !!
quote:I also believe that we may even be able to control the sun so that it does not destroy us. However, Our lives are destined for the other side of the atmosphere....It's a neccisity for our survival and so we are either going to have to find a way to find habitable planets and then somehow get there...or create our own...maybe create many.
quote:Originally posted by neilepI realise our ability to live for interstellar periods is impossible..today...but tommorrow ?..in a thousand years ?...who knows ? I may be part cyborg...or all android, perhaps that's the future for astronauts !!..there may be a way to stop/pause the aging process or slow it down to a grinding halt, perhaps evolution can be human made too. Does one really have to die to aid continuity to evolution
quote:Originally posted by DoctorBeaverEvolution relies on the mutation of DNA. I don't see any reason why, in the future, we couldn't effect such changes in living creatures including ourselves. Admittedly, I doubt we could ever turn ourselves into fish overnight!
quote:but mutation can be anything that effects a change that allows one system to take a niche previously occupied by another system (for system you can read animal, or anything else that can perform the requisite function, and that is capable of self-replication)
quote:The important thing about evolution is that it is not something one can do to oneself. Evolution depends upon the constraints the environment places upon the units operating within it. The units cannot dictate to evolution how they should evolve, only the external environment is capable of doing that.
quote:Originally posted by DoctorBeaverI don't agree. Grey squirrels are taking over habitats previously occupied by reds & there is no mutation involved in that.I don't know the exact definition of "mutation" but I take it to mean a sudden change in structure that would not occur in normal reproduction. That is certainly how mutation is thought of in genetics. Ordinarily, DNA exactly reproduces itself. Mutations occur when something happens to cause the DNA not to replicate exactly.
quote:mutation \mu*ta"tion\ (m[-u]*t[=a]"sh[u^]n), n. [L. mutatio, fr. mutare to change: cf. F. mutation. See Mutable.] Change; alteration, either in form or qualities. [1913 Webster] The vicissitude or mutations in the superior globe are no fit matter for this present argument. --Bacon. [1913 Webster]
quote:Originally posted by DoctorBeaver quote:The important thing about evolution is that it is not something one can do to oneself. Evolution depends upon the constraints the environment places upon the units operating within it. The units cannot dictate to evolution how they should evolve, only the external environment is capable of doing that.Again, I beg to differ; that may be the case in the natural world, but not in the laboratory.The hybridization of plants has been going on for ages. Growers have produced variations that will grow readily in different soil types. Such hybridization is caused by forced mutation & mutation, as I stated above, is the method of evolution. Therefore, by hybridizing plants we are causing evolution into different types. GM crops are a case in point. They are merely artificial mutations of existing strains of crops.
quote:As such I see no reason why humans should not force their own evolution. By identifying cancer-causing genes (or whatever it turns out to be) and either eradicating them or switching them off, we would, if these modified genes were allowed to propogate through natural reproductive means, have forced a mutation upon ourselves & caused our own evolution into a cancer-resistant species.
quote:Originally posted by neilepSurely the evolution of humans is affected by the way and how humans live, where we live, what we live in and the tools that we use in everyday life, be it a razor to shave or a train to travel in.......Is it plausible that the very method of our ways of living, using the tools that humans have created, affects evolution ?
quote:What I said is that an organism cannot govern its own evolution. In your example, humans are a part of the environment of the plant, and it is the environment (the humans) that govern the changes in plants, not the plants that dictate their own changes.
quote:One can to a limited degree retrofit new components to old models of vehicle, but ultimately one will come to a point where one cannot keep patching up the old, and has to work with a new design from the ground up.
quote:Originally posted by DoctorBeaverquote:What I said is that an organism cannot govern its own evolution. In your example, humans are a part of the environment of the plant, and it is the environment (the humans) that govern the changes in plants, not the plants that dictate their own changes.I wasn't implying that plants govern their own evolution. I was leading up to the point that by messing with genes we are already creating new species or, at least, new variants of species. (my knowledge of taxonomy is non-existant so I don't know if "species" is the correct term or whether I should have used "genus")According to that link you included, it seems my definition of mutation was pretty much accurate. I didn't realise, however, that scientists apply it only to naturally-occurring changes & not to those induced by human intervention. (I'm sure, though, that when I read about that mouse with a giant ear on its back it was referred to as a mutation)
quote:I accept that we are capable of mutating species. For the most part, as you say, whether what we create is a new species or just a new breed is a diversion. But the point is that mutation is only the first requirement of evolution. The second requirement is that the mutated entity be successful within the environment, and that cannot be determined by the organism itself, but by the nature of its environment.
quote:Originally posted by neilepI thought it was generally considered that Dino died out due to a cataclysmic collision or some Earthbound disaster....personally I just think they upped and went off planet hopping !
quote:Originally posted by DoctorBeaverI agree; although how long would a species need to survive before being labelled as successful? There was a lot of evolution involved with dinosaurs - and they were around for a very long time - but ultimately they failed.
quote:The process of evolution can be summarized in three sentences: Genes mutate. [gene: a hereditary unit] Individuals are selected. Populations evolve.
quote:Originally posted by DoctorBeaverGood site about evolution...sorry, you cannot view external links. To see them, please
REGISTER or LOGINquote:Neoteny in humansThere is a controversial debate which argues that humans are neotenous and retain certain juvenile characteristics into adulthood that are not seen in other great ape species. Many scientists discredit this argument since there is no delay of sexual maturity in humans.While neoteny is not a physical state that humans experience, it is widely acknowledged that paedomorphic characteristics in women are desired by men.The reference to T.mirus and T.miscellus was particularly interesting since I was not aware that polyploidism was quite so common in plants (or even that it was a successful strategy).Also, I had not realised that plants arrived so much later than animals.
quote:Neoteny in humansThere is a controversial debate which argues that humans are neotenous and retain certain juvenile characteristics into adulthood that are not seen in other great ape species. Many scientists discredit this argument since there is no delay of sexual maturity in humans.While neoteny is not a physical state that humans experience, it is widely acknowledged that paedomorphic characteristics in women are desired by men.
quote: but in one sense one might say that evolution does progress
quote:Originally posted by DoctorBeaverSort of. I noted the bit about earlier generations being re-introduced & taking over from later ones. That means that although it may seem as if evolution is advancing, it is only advancing with regard the immediately predeeding generation; the evolutionary chain as a whole is not.
quote:The point I was making is that subsequent generations, some of which will not be replaced by preceding generations, have the possibility of being more complex than their ancestors. That they have the possibility does not mean they inevitably will be, but it would indicate that on average there would be a progressive increase in complexity.
quote:Originally posted by DoctorBeaverI think, in general, that is probably correct. However, I can think of a few questionable examples. Take the slow worm. That has evolved from a lizard with legs. Seals' flippers are also residual limbs. Are those creatures more, or less, complex than their ancestors?
quote:Originally posted by sharkeyandgeorgemy understanding is that you dont ever lose chromosomes but that they depend on the evolutions of the dna thats why the fern has so many well over a hundred because it has exsisted so long and evolved so much i suspect that apes have more than humans because they had too evolve twice since the splitting of species to take advantage of envioromentle niches where as humans with our supreme adaptability were able to fill similar niches with one body typeGiggidy Giggidy GooThe philosopher Q man
quote:All the great apes, that is both major taxa of Pan, P. paniscus (bonobo) and P. troglodytes (‘common’ chimpanzee) as well as the subspecies of Gorilla and the subspecies of Pongo (orang-utan) have 48 chromosomes whereas we have 46.Applying the simplest principles of parsimony to this observation it would seem fairly obvious that the last common ancestor of the Hominoidae (that is the great apes and the hominids) had 48 chromosomes too. A simple cladogram of this indicates that 48 (often written 2n = 48) chromosomes is the primitive condition and that descended from that ancestor only humans have the derived condition of 46.
aren`t humans nearly at the upper limit of brain size as related to efficiency? much bigger or more convoluted and impulses would start taking longer to arrive at their target neurone, so there`s a certain maximum size for optimal efficiency.
does not our ``evolutionary future`` lie in electronic enhancement and the co-mingling of our organic bodies with artificial computational elements?``cyborg`` is a nasty word. i prefer ``post human``
why not just work towards downloading the entire intellect into a silicon based virtual existence?if it were possible to guarantee a cohesive mental condition, i for one would be very keen on putting my whole awareness and existence into some form of mechanical body which would last forever.if you could stay sane, you would see the far flung future of humanity, maybe live out billions of years as a virtual entity, evolving right along with the universe itself.what`s not to like?