"Will our kids be a different species?"

Discussion in 'General Off-Topic Chat' started by Gahars, Jun 11, 2012.

Jun 11, 2012
  1. Gahars
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    Member Gahars Bakayaro Banzai

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    You can watch the fascinating video here. Seriously, it's definitely worth a watch.

    It looks like the phrase, "Kids these days!" is going to take on a whole new meaning pretty soon.
     
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  2. yuyuyup

    Member yuyuyup GBAtemp Psycho!

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    This TED talk changed my life

    EDIT: I've BEEN printing mouse hearts
    MORE EDITS: Relevant but Not Safe For Church http://www.msnbc.msn...s-mate-bunnies/
    THE THIRD EDIT: I'm sorry sir this guy's autistic rapid evolution sounds like bologna but I failed high school so what the hell do I know
     
  3. machomuu

    Member machomuu Drops by occasionally

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    I dunno, I sort of doubt it. We adapt unnaturally, via technology, and in its place we seem to be in an evolutionary stasis. I don't doubt that we may evolve eventually, but it most likely won't be natural unless some technological calamity or second "Dark Age" occurs.
     
  4. Gahars
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    Member Gahars Bakayaro Banzai

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    I think you have a bit of a misconception on how evolution works, and what Juan Enriquez is talking about. Just curious, have you watched the video in its entirety?
     
  5. machomuu

    Member machomuu Drops by occasionally

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    Not yet, but what I said was more of a generalization rather than a refutal of the video's claims.

    Also, I may have been talking about adaptation rather than evolution, though I could have sworn the two were directly related.
     
  6. Gahars
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    Member Gahars Bakayaro Banzai

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    Wait, never mind, I think I misread your original comment and misinterpreted what you were saying. Sorry about that, my mistake.

    Now irrelevant explanation below.

    Warning: Spoilers inside!
     
  7. machomuu

    Member machomuu Drops by occasionally

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    Watching the video now, that was my fault, I was spouting ignorant blabber, I know better than to speak before I read/watch. Technology won't affect this type of mutation- or rather, it will, but we certainly won't be in any "evolutionary stasis" as I hypothesized.

    Though I'm a little disappointed that these changes may become more distinct in later generations, it seems like the world would be much more interesting once the distinction has been made.
     
  8. Thesolcity

    Member Thesolcity Wherever the light shines, it casts a shadow.

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    So...I may have skimmed the video...but what I did get was (Quote not exact):

    I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have gotten that even sober. :wtf:
     
  9. machomuu

    Member machomuu Drops by occasionally

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    Okay, that video. All of that video. All of it. Just. Plain. Awesome.

    From printing Mouse Hearts to Time Leaping Downloading Memories...good God. That was awesome.
     
  10. Midna

    Banned Midna Banned

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    Evolution? Here? In a society that prizes 'equality' above all else, and in which the physically and mentally inadequate can live out their lives in comfort and reproduce continually?
    Hah!
     
  11. Shinigami357

    Member Shinigami357 Current "give a fuck" level: Honey Badger

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    Fascinating. The bottom line is: the amount of time we've been here, means nothing. We cannot tell yet if the theories are right or wrong, but certainly, we have a lot to go through just yet.
     
  12. Gahars
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    Member Gahars Bakayaro Banzai

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    You have that sort of backward. He was just proposing that the increased rates of autism have been spurred by the radical changes in society (and the demands they place on the human brain), and that this is a sign that the species as a whole may be changing. Mix that in with the alterations we'll soon be able to make ourselves, and you potentially have the recipe for a brand new species.
     
  13. Densetsu

    Former Staff Densetsu Pubic Ninja

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    Well, the definition of a biological "species" is that any male member of a species can mate with any female member of that same species and produce viable, fertile offspring (assuming both members are normal and healthy). I highly doubt that humans will be so different in the next generation that they'll be unable to produce offspring with humans from their parents' generation. Unless that happens, our children and grandchildren can't be considered a different species.

    He said that no one really knows the reasons behind the increase in autism and all the other stuff (synesthesia, dementia, etc.). If he was suggesting that it may be due to the increased demands on our brains, then evolution doesn't work in the way he's suggesting. If there's an increased demand on brain activity in a mother and father (for example, if two parents go through a highly rigorous academic program like a Ph.D or Master's degree), that experience won't be genetically transmitted down to their children. They won't be born smart just because their parents are smart. That's the Lamarckian theory of evolution, which has been proven wrong.

    I'm not sure Juan Enriquez understands how evolution and the genome works. I checked his profile and Wiki page and they say he earned his MBA from Harvard School of Business, is a CEO of one company, a chairman of the board of another one and serves on the board of several other companies. He's a businessman, but he's no scientist.

    If I've missed the point of the video and it turns out that he's actually talking about using technology to manipulate genes, well, even that's still a long ways off. It's one thing to take a mouse skin cell, turn it into a pluripotent stem cell and redirect it to differentiate into a completely different cell type. It's another to make the same technique work for human cells. And even if/when we get past the technical barriers, there's still going to be ethics panels, moralists, conservatives and lobby groups who won't let this kind of thing fly. I don't think anyone's going to use the technology to create a whole new species of super-humans anytime soon. At least, not in our lifetime. He's talking about genetically enhancing athletes in a world where injecting erythropoietin, a naturally-occurring substance in blood (a.k.a., blood doping), is illegal.

    Still, it's an interesting talk, and the idea of downloading memories into another body would be pretty awesome.
     
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  14. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Although I have no qualms with your words Densetsu I am not entirely sure that is where he was coming from (first and foremost I agree speciation might be a bad choice of phrase but it was probably just that).
    Although the idea of genetic memory is appealing and I have no great love for the Lamarckian theory of evolution at face value I can not dismiss the idea of pressures during lifetimes (military types having more daughters, some of the more interesting stuff in locations with decent background radiation, if I could be bothered to wade through the nonsense then brown fat and similar things to those to say nothing of the idea of societal/nuture- the "it is not those that produce children but those that produce grandchildren").
    I would say he is heading towards coming at it the other way, though I will take exception to his either either either approach and ponder whether there might be multiple mechanisms, and if not recessive then traits that have existed for some time (see the stuff on how some of the more noted thinkers in history might have had more than a few autistic traits and also the incidence of said traits in the extremes of those pursuits) returning to the fore as a function of rapid evolutionary pressure ( http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=98 and http://www.npg.org/facts/us_historical_pops.htm and http://www.nationmaster.com/country/us/Age_distribution and http://ceic.mt.gov/C2000/SF12000/Pyramid/pptab00.htm making for some interesting numbers and that is just college- even if I take out the time wasting stuff surely the specialisation created by on the job training/vocational stuff only increases that) and all this now being the knock on of the ramp up there (going for a similar idea to the abortion laws stemming the inner city crime a couple of decades later idea that freakonomics espoused and if I might continue twisting ideas to breaking point then something about agro industrial economy to knowledge and possibly even the second stage of a knowledge economy similar to the transition from basic industry to tech industry).

    Re ethics panels and such for non embryonic stem cells.... I have always wondered if the embryonic stem cells "debate" was a smokescreen for the issue of should such things be dabbled in at all as a means to generate instant support not unlike religious groups bundling themselves together to appear somewhat unified despite them really not wanting to be bundled and there being a very large historical precedent for them not being bundled (although I do not wish to appear unaware that a lot of that was the same being co-opted for historical/political nonsense).
     
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