Horizon: Have we stopped evolving - tonight BBC2 (UK)

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Horizon: Have we stopped evolving - tonight BBC2 (UK)

#1 Postby johnboy74 » Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:11 am

Interesting article about horizon program which is on BB2 tonight...
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12535647
Some snippets from article below

Horizon: Are We Still Evolving? BBC Two at 2100 on Tuesday 1 March 2011

On Milk Consumption
"The most obvious example of this is lactose, the sugar in milk. Some 10,000 years ago, before humans started farming, no one could digest this beyond a few years of age."

"But today, the rate of lactose tolerance in different parts of the world is a clue to the different histories of farming across the globe. While 99% of Irish people are lactose tolerant, in South East Asia, where there is very little tradition of farming, the figure is less than 5%."

Procreation
In the developed world today, almost everyone lives long enough to pass on their genes, but many of us choose not to.

Some people have three children, and some people have none, so natural selection may be working in a different way.

The realisation that people in the developed world are in effect choosing to prevent their genes from surviving beyond them has led evolutionary biologist Stephen Stearns to look at evolution in the current generations in a radical way.

Culture & Evolution
"We see rapid evolution when there's rapid environmental change and the biggest part of our environment is culture, and culture is exploding," says Prof Stearns.
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Re: Horizon: Have we stopped evolving - tonight BBC2 (UK)

#2 Postby Fallen_Horse » Sat Mar 05, 2011 2:19 pm

johnboy74 wrote:Procreation
In the developed world today, almost everyone lives long enough to pass on their genes, but many of us choose not to.

Some people have three children, and some people have none, so natural selection may be working in a different way.

The realisation that people in the developed world are in effect choosing to prevent their genes from surviving beyond them has led evolutionary biologist Stephen Stearns to look at evolution in the current generations in a radical way.


You could also argue that humans have stopped using genes as the primary method for passing evolutionary traits to descendants and are instead using the passing of high-level information to propagate human evolution.
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Re: Horizon: Have we stopped evolving - tonight BBC2 (UK)

#3 Postby johnboy74 » Mon Mar 07, 2011 7:34 am

Fallen_Horse wrote:
johnboy74 wrote:Procreation
In the developed world today, almost everyone lives long enough to pass on their genes, but many of us choose not to.

Some people have three children, and some people have none, so natural selection may be working in a different way.

The realisation that people in the developed world are in effect choosing to prevent their genes from surviving beyond them has led evolutionary biologist Stephen Stearns to look at evolution in the current generations in a radical way.


You could also argue that humans have stopped using genes as the primary method for passing evolutionary traits to descendants and are instead using the passing of high-level information to propagate human evolution.


That was discussed during the program, culture running parallel with nature in the evolutionary process. Culture augmenting natural evolution, vegans are a prime example of how culture is augmenting natural evolution. I'm a bit advocate of cultural evolution over natural evolution for a better world.
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Re: Horizon: Have we stopped evolving - tonight BBC2 (UK)

#4 Postby Richard » Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:25 am

I think that being careful in sex, or choosing not to have children, are logical and considered choices. Therefore, they will tend to be made by logical and considerate people, and those people will be less likely to pass on their genes.

Have you guys seen idiocracy? Hah
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Re: Horizon: Have we stopped evolving - tonight BBC2 (UK)

#5 Postby johnboy74 » Wed Mar 09, 2011 10:25 am

Good point Richard, I'm all for fighting the tyranny of nature and how it controls us. But as you say the way I live is a cultural product, I've kind of told myself, no marriage, no kids, but then I'm thinking if other vegans are also thinking the same, veganism could die out. Maybe I should spawn a plethora of vegan children after all :wink:
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Re: Horizon: Have we stopped evolving - tonight BBC2 (UK)

#6 Postby Richard » Fri Mar 11, 2011 12:33 pm

I still wouldn't advise it, I don't think it would be right to create a person, with a duty in mind for them - there are no guarantees how they'd turn out, and they'd really be fulfilling your purpose rather than finding their own. I'd recommend adopting, and indoctrinating them, that way at least you haven't added to the population even if you fail in parenthood
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