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Author Topic:   Can we accelerate evolution?
nwr
Member
Posts: 6227
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 3.6


Message 3 of 77 (578319)
09-01-2010 12:25 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Dogmafood
08-31-2010 5:11 PM


Gene manipulation would allow us to increase the production of genetic variation. It doesn't help much with the selection part.
Artificial breeding already speeds up selection. However, it seems to me that natural selection is more thorough.
My guess is that we might affect evolution at the margins, but not much. On the other hand, our manipulation of the environment (as in habitat destruction) does speed up some kinds of change.

Jesus was a liberal hippie

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nwr
Member
Posts: 6227
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 3.6


Message 6 of 77 (578442)
09-01-2010 7:01 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Dogmafood
09-01-2010 6:19 PM


Dogmafood writes:
So you guys are saying that you dont see the elimination of gene based diseases in the next couple of decades?
We might see genetic based treatments for such diseases, but not elimination of the diseases.
Dogmafood writes:
As we identify the genetic markers for intelligence will we not be irresistibly compelled to utilize this knowledge?
I hope not. Eugenics has been tried in the past, and is generally believed to be a bad idea.
Dogmafood writes:
It will take some time and will be limited by economics more than ability but the super humans are coming along with the super cows, pigs, sheep and soybeans.
It is my impression that most results of breeding, whether cows, sheep or soybeans, are a lot less robust than the natural occurring varieties. That is, they are more susceptible to disease, and need more care than their wild varieties.

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nwr
Member
Posts: 6227
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 3.6


Message 18 of 77 (578697)
09-02-2010 10:47 AM
Reply to: Message 16 by Huntard
09-02-2010 10:40 AM


Huntard writes:
But is it really that wrong to select pre birth that your offspring is more intelligent? Or more resistant to disease, or stronger. Or even changing rhis in yourself, so that your offspring will inherit it?
It is not so much wrong, as it is dangerous.
If this happens on a small scale, then it is probably no big deal. If this happens on a large scale, then we would in essence be replacing evolution in practice, with intelligent design in practice, and appointing ourselves as the intelligent designers. The most likely outcome will be an earlier extinction of the species than would have happened without such intervention.

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nwr
Member
Posts: 6227
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 3.6


Message 21 of 77 (578712)
09-02-2010 12:07 PM
Reply to: Message 19 by Huntard
09-02-2010 10:50 AM


Huntard writes:
What makes you think that?
It is likely that such large scale intervention will reduce the amount of variation in the gene pool, and that reduces the probability that there will be gene combinations available that can adequately resist the next major scourge.

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Replies to this message:
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nwr
Member
Posts: 6227
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 3.6


Message 28 of 77 (578784)
09-02-2010 3:42 PM
Reply to: Message 24 by Huntard
09-02-2010 3:03 PM


Huntard writes:
Well, yes. But since we are "masters of the genome" then anyway, wouldn' t we just adapt the genome to whatever was necessary when that time comes?
I see that jar has already answered this in Message 25. I agree with his answer.
Over the last few days, Blockbuster Video has been in the news around here. They adapted their movie rental business so that they would be the best ever. But then, as the world changed, along came Netflix to give a better alternative for many people, and Red Box with their automated kiosks, to give a better alternative to others. And Blockbuster is filing for bankruptcy. They tried to adapt to the new competition, but it was too little too late. That's the risk of following the intelligent design way of change. Nature's evolutionary way seems to be more robust.

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