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former member default image - bird flying away

Posted:     Post subject: evolution

Near as I can tell, there are about eight or so species to have a truly worldwide population, (i.e., cats, rats, mice, sharks, dogs, humans, roaches and flies).

Are we really the only ones truly evolving still? I know that for evolution to happen, the environment must change but our environment is theirs as well.

What I mean by that is the fact that the only way any of the other species are changing is by how we are making them change. (Cats and dogs by breeding, pests are building up immunity to our poisons.)

Is this so, and if it is why?

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January 11, 2011
Posts: 50

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`Well, we've a bit of an eveolutionary arms race anc some coevolution going on with all the viruses, fungi and bacteria we catch as diseases and between us and our parasites. Gets a little murkier about who is really in control of who and at what level.

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February 16, 2010
Posts: 2

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`I'm confused by your question... This is the first I've ever heard the idea that we humans are the only ones still evolving... Out of curiosity, where did you get this idea?

To the contrary, it's kind of a debate as to weather or not humans ARE evolving still, as we have removed ourselves from nature and keep everyone alive with medicine and surgery. s----l selection is the only significant force evolution can change us with, yet we're stunting that with birth control.

I apologize if i'm wrong, but It seems like you don't understand Natural Selection or fully understand evolution. There's an amazing series online that can help, here's the video on Natural Selection:


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former member default image - bird flying away

Posted:     Post subject:

`warning, this will probably offend a lot of people, but please don't take it personally: it's just meant to make you think about it some more, not to offend.

I'm bluntly going to point out that you're all talking about this one-sided...

evolution isn't just transforming via natural selection and say mutating from a dinosaur to a chicken. You're kind of missing a few key questions about how this even happens or why.

Natural selection was never proven to be random, it's just being accepted that way without really bothering to look at it.

evolution can be more than that anyway.

here's how I see it:

animals ARE evolving. There's more and more talk about how animals grieve when they lose one they care about, be it other species or their own.
There are more and more of them who can solve problems they encounter, be it how to open the refrigerator door and get to the food without human assistance (could they be thinking we're too unhelpful or stingy, keeping the best for ourselves?) to acting like a little kid trying to learn from us (having had several pets share my life over my lifetime, I could go off on a tangent with all the clever behaviors they displayed in many not-so-random situations and that there clearly was intent behind that behavior but unless you experience it yourself, you're not likely to care).
The more time they spend having contact with us, the more stuff they learn how to do. And some have been with us for several hundred generations, dogs being one of those species.

Now let's discuss human evolution in that light. We stop evolving the moment we stop bothering to improve ourselves, the moment we've accepted that whatever we do doesn't matter and that we're the best there is with no point in trying to be better than any other species.
I hate to bring religion into this, but it's the best example I have of this: when a christian claims : "i can sin, it doesn't matter, i've been forgiven ~shrug~" they stop bothering to be a better person, they stop trying to understand the world around them and they stop moving up the ladder that leads to evolution. Why? because they have the perfect excuse to stop bothering!
Same thing applies to pretty much everything.

Say if you stop bothering to think for yourself and start allowing a specific group to tell you what you need to think or do, you stop moving up the rungs of the evolution ladder. You stop trying to learn, to understand, to grow, thus to evolve. You are now stuck in your own little set behaviors along with everyone else. The gorilla stopped changing physically because what it's doing works for the species' survival, same for the crocodile/alligators and sharks: they've been around a long time those last, crocs/gators and sharks have been around since dinosaurs, right? Obviously they stopped needing to evolve physically... except to get smaller in size because the prey got smaller too (at least for sharks it's proven).

I'm pretty sure there's a link between that mental/emotional evolution and the physical evolution/mutations.

I would say that gorillas have evolved to be gorillas because they started acting the way they do. Thus their bodies have adapted to their specific behavior, not as a random event. It would involve the death of all who couldn't act that way, thus leaving only those who could to breed new generations of those who still can to this day. To survive you have to adapt, to adapt you have to learn how to deal with the new environment or food chain, or whatever major change is forcing you to change your ***behavior***. Those who keep the former behavior/thoughts die out.

Doesn't seem so random now, does it?

So any species, including human, evolves based on behavior and thoughts that lead to behavior changes and then to the adaptation of the body to a specific set of tasks or behaviors.

monkeys had to climb trees to seek safety, their bodies adapted to it but only after a few generations of monkeys started seeking shelter in trees. Not because the body of one just randomly grew the ability to climb said tree (how would that make the monkey know he can?!? Wouldn't a random mutation like that just die out if the monkey can't understand/think that he can? And if it's learned behavior as opposed to smarts, then how would he have learned it when it's entire species had never been in a tree before?!? Doesn't that entail either imagination, problem-solving skills and possibly even the ability to dream? Or do you think some other species descended from the stars just to teach it to climb trees?!? Mind you that's not impossible, we do teach our pets certain human behaviors after all)

Well, if you look at it that way, I guess humans are about to lose the #1 spot of the evolution ladder because they think they're all that and stopped bothering while other species are slowly but surely catching up in terms of intelligence and behavior.
We're still able to manipulate more objects with our opposable thumbs, but for how long?
The only real difference is the language. Of course cats, dogs, birds, etc are now scientifically proven to have learned a lot of complexities of the human language, some can even learn to speak it meaningfully, others just to understand it. We, however barely ever bother to learn their language effectively. And this after how many generations of contact with them? Oh yeah, I forgot how insignificant they are deemed... objects as opposed to sentient beings with feelings and thoughts all-their-own... by the majority of our species. Toys, nothing more, right? ~cough cough~

So the question I bring to you is this:

is our next evolutionary step going to be caused by the loss of that #1 we-are-smarter-than-all-other-earth-species spot (I see a lot that makes me lean toward thinking that way. From the kid who went to rob a place and got tricked into applying for a job there instead, thus giving his real info to the person who had the power to get them arrested and other online "stupidities" to every day occurrences in my neighborhood. if nothing else, think about it. We're not exactly a shining example of "smartest species" right now. and yes, youtube would be the best place to confirm that with all the videos of people acting stupid out there)? :/

Or will it be because, before that even happens, yet another species will descend from the stars (if you believe in that sort of thing and i'm not saying if i do or not) to teach us we never were #1, except in our own minds?

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November 7, 2010
Posts: 5

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`You dont seem to understand the consept of nature and nurture.
What your argument seems to state is that you think we are not longer evolveing becase we 'stop bothering to improve ourselves', genetics doesnt work that way.

The nature vs nurture argument discusses whether the way we act is based on our inhereted programing (genes) or enviromental factors (upbringing and lifestyle). Genes are passed onto offspring, upbringing changes from person to person. If someone has a happy life they can develop a happy disposition, their offspring could grow up to have an unhappy life, and will likely have an unhappy dispostion.

The same is true for the monkeys you describe. No, they wouldnt suddenly develop arms and legs that are good at climbing, nor would they suddenly know its a good idea.
In situations where a monkey needed to climb a tree fast, the ones that were able to climb the fastest survived more offten, and by living, pass on their superior genes. Their ability to climb faster could have been due to genetic mutations, slowly over generations giveing the monkey advantages over others of its species. Eventually the slow monkeys die out, leaveing the ones which had the benefitial differences (superior genes) to continue the species.

The difference between each generation would have been unnoticable just by looking at them, but by looking at the species over many many generations, physical differences become apparent.

Animal behaviour works the same way. Take for example a situation where said monkeys are pray for another animal. The monkey has choices for avoiding being eaten, some monkeys chose to run, some chose to climb, some chose to swim, etc. If the animal chaseing the monkeys is not a good climber, climbing the trees is a good idea.
However, the monkeys doesnt know if this animal is a good climber, so they do whatever their insticts tell them, what they feel they should do in the heat of the moment. Those who run or swim are eaten, the monkeys that climbed away live on. Over generations, the instinct to climb instead of run or swim away is dominant.

Its difficult to understand instict because humans act based mostly on logic or complex emotion, weighing up varyables in our heads for the best corse of action, and in some cases, acting on our hearts. Instinct is far more simple.

One example I can give of instinct in humans is in newborn babys. When a newborn baby is hungry, it moves its head from side to side seaking a teat for milk, when they cant find it, they will cry out for their mother to come feed it.
Now a newborn has no first hand experience of hunger, milk, teats or crying. Yet the baby is pre-programed to seek out milk with its mouth when its hungry, and somehow knows crying will summon its mother. Its instinctive.

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