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Natural selection thoughts…

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Natural selection thoughts…

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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 20 total)
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  • #468
    rob
    Participant

    Okay — serious questions…

    I was watching TV and saw a commercial about some anti-depression drug. Do you get the feeling that things like this are against nature?

    Are things like suicide, extreme disease — are they part of natural selection? Is it possible that these things may not only part of natural selection, but maybe even cultivated by our government and others for population control?

    I’m not saying that stupid people or depressed people should die. But isn’t natural selection exactly that? Survival of the fittest? Saving more turtles from being eaten on the beaches they hatch from, for example — would that throw it out of balance?

    What about widespread diseases like AIDS or cancer — are they nature’s way of trying to keep the balance? How much are we screwing up by keeping so many people alive? We doubled the population of the planet in only 50 years. That can’t be natural. Is the earth itself fighting back? Are we really the virus upon this planet, and diseases are the earth’s defense?

    Incidentally, that’s a lot about what nin’s Year Zero is about, and what M. Night’s next movie is about. I think it’s very interesting, to say the least — a compelling argument — that medicine is actually preventing natural selection from taking its course.

    Have I already talked this out too much?.

    #6626
    rob
    Participant

    Holy crap, I had another thought…

    Did I just unknowingly make a case for Scientology? Isn’t that what they’re all about?

    #6616
    Bucho
    Participant
    rob wrote:
    — that medicine is actually preventing natural selection from taking its course.

    I’ve always rejected that notion because I think “survival of the fittest” as a concept is widely misunderstood. The base understanding is that fittest refers purely to physical strength and ability, which meshes with how the word is used in common English today. But the real definition of fitness simply means best equipped, most suitable or well adapted for the task or goal, and in the case of survival that’s something easy to judge because we either live or die. Using the proper definition it’s also easy to see that intelligence is as important as (and is often directly linked to*) the physical state for human survival.

    In the battle against bacteria and viruses it’s intelligence that allows us to survive. At least so far.

    * Like Jerry’s said in recent shows, he wants to eat right and do some exercise to be in better shape just because it feels better. Like a great man** once said, “if the kids ever discover the link between eating right and feeling good my business is doomed.”

    ** Homer Simpson in the episode where he becomes an icecream van driver, coincidently in the episode which ends with ipods taking over the planet and making humans their slaves.

    To sum it up, I don’t think medicine is fucking up natural selection at all, it is actually a completely natural factor in it.

    - Women sense my power and they seek the life essence.

    #6625
    rob
    Participant

    Yeah, but what if the earth can only sustain so many life forms, and we’re screwing it up by keeping old people alive longer?

    #6613
    Version3
    Keymaster

    So far, I think Humanity is pretty insignificant. To think that we are actually big enough to have much affect on this rock we live on, or the universe that makes it all possible just seems silly to me. The Earth has seen high temps, low temps, super storms… history altering events. Events that make most of our human history pretty small by comparison. When the time is right, the Earth will change, adapt or enter into the end of this cycle, and the start of another. It’s up to humanity to learn enough to be able to circumvent our inevitable demise as part of the cycle.

    I think the only way a civilization can become any type of universal significance is to be able to exist separately from the conditions that allow that civilization to exist. In this case, we’d have to reliably achieve space travel, or equivalent before this stage of the cycle is complete.

    The balance in the meantime probably isn’t that important, because we’ve already proven that were nature can’t get rid of enough of us (major disease, killing off a food supply, major natural disasters), we can do the work ourselves. At a fundamental level, that means that our journey of potential independence, may have already begun.

    Quote:
    Yeah, but what if the earth can only sustain so many life forms, and we’re screwing it up by keeping old people alive longer?

    Eh, I doubt the Earth or even nature would be trying to exterminate us to keep us from killing the rock, but it’s actually possible that these diseases and natural disasters as a byproduct do help control population by some seemingly random pattern while serving the real purpose of creating opportunity for humanity to learn enough to cope and continue to expand and grow. Every species encounters these opportunities, where we respond with evolution in a way that best fits the strengths of humanity, they fit what’s appropriate for them… it’s evolution suckas.

    #6628
    Pa-ul
    Participant

    The way I see it is that the Human race is expanding at an increasing rate.
    All those humans need food, shelter and power (of some description) to name a few.
    You then require some kind of industry to cater for the mining/planting/harvesting, refining and manufacture of raw materials to supply those basic needs.
    Houses, Industry, Farms all require land and the only way to do that is clear forest and natural habitats of other animals (no I’m not an activist). I still think that there are plant based cures for most illnesses that we haven’t discovered yet (similar to “Medicine Man”), that we may never discover.
    We are going to slowly cover the remaining ground on this rock until there is not enough room, except for building upwards.
    Bryan was right, the only way for humans to evolve is to move to another planet. Either that or we eventually start to starve as humans outstrip the supply and demand chain.

    I was watching some National Geographic and Discovery about such a problem.
    It actually opens your eyes about a few things, such as Europe used to have a huge grain stockpile where surplus grain was stored. It’s now more like a months worth of food for one country.


    If it doesn’t work, jam a screwdriver in there and jiggle it about.

    #6624
    rob
    Participant

    The fact that our population has doubled over the last fifty years isn’t scary? Visible changes have occurred in the world over the last fifty years, measurable change — it has to have some corrolation. It’s a balance, and the ratio of the growth of human beings to the extinction of other species is fairly equal, I’d say.

    And further — if you believe in natural selection, wouldn’t that mean that preventing disease is against natural selection? Obesity, high blood pressure, strokes — these things killed without mercy just one hundred years ago. I point those things out because these are what I am experiencing now or what I have to look forward to.

    Okay — my brain hurts now.

    #6612
    Version3
    Keymaster

    To say that fighting disease is fighting natural selection, is almost like saying avoiding being eaten by a cougar is natural selection. It’s just within our abilities to use more tools and skills to attempt to avoid demise. Natural selection still occurs, with HIV, Cancer (well sort of… THAT’S probably Nature’s big payback), natural disasters and such. It will cycle back around a bit before it gets all ultra scary in my opinion. You point out that the population has doubled in 50 years, but have you looked at where on the planet it happened? Sure, we had the baby boomers, but it’s other sections of the planet that have real population problems. I don’t think we’ll kill the Earth, more than likely the added stress will result in some massive human problems, and we’ll pick a path of self-preservation, with or without the Earth’s help, or we’ll pick a path of self-destruction (or even just very large scale population control) with or without the Earth’s help. Rather than think we may kill this rock and leave it unable to sustain human life, I think it’s more likely that we may just stretch it a bit thin and freak out. A few people freaking out with a button under their finger and you’ll see a new age in Earth’s history.

    Who knows though, the Earth did kill the last planet rulers so what do I know eh?

    #6623
    rob
    Participant

    It’s a ticking time bomb and we’re all gonna die.

    😉

    #6611
    Version3
    Keymaster

    Exactly! Uh, wait.

    #6618
    Bucho
    Participant
    rob wrote:
    … And further — if you believe in natural selection, wouldn’t that mean that preventing disease is against natural selection? Obesity, high blood pressure, strokes — these things killed without mercy just one hundred years ago. I point those things out because these are what I am experiencing now or what I have to look forward to.

    Preventing disease isn’t against natural selection, it’s just another ability we have because we’ve developed the intelligence to perform in that way. Like Bryan says, it’s no different to when humans learned to use weapons or dwellings to defend against wild animal attacks. Disease is just another type of animal we come into competition with and we use the knowledge to make and use the tools we have to defend against it, as we always have. Maybe you could look at every tool using animal as transcending “nature”, but Darwinian theory operates on a much bigger scale and encompases all of that. Business, for example, follows the exact same law. Nature is everything in the universe, man-made and otherwise.

    As far as overpopulation being a problem in terms of resource management, that has to be true, it’s only a question of where the threshhold is. We either become a civilisation that produces far less waste or the population will reach a point where it can no longer expand and the rate of collapse could well be catastrophic. The comfortable life we have in the west simply cannot be sustained if it spreads to the entire planet given the current populations, rates of growth and available technology and sooner or later there will be confrontations between the huge eastern nations and us over resources. Nature does tend towards a balance and maybe it will be some rampant disease that begins to take chunks out of us, but it’s just as likely that we’ll seed our own population contraction.

    The hope is that we find a way to live elsewhere in the universe before it comes down to any of that.

    - Women sense my power and they seek the life essence.

    #6622
    rob
    Participant

    Couldn’t you argue that business is also not natural? We’re the only species on the planet that fucks each other over on a regular basis — not for food, but for personal gain. We don’t only kill for food — we do it for fun. This so-called intelligence — a superiority over other beings. I’m not this big tree hugger, but putting importance yourself over any other human being, especially in cases like financial gain, is unnatural, and I don’t see a big difference when people make decisions that affect the rest of the beings on this planet.

    Separating the weak from the strong is part of natural selection. I’m going to go out on a limb here — and this is by no means a plan in my future or anything, because I’m sane — but wouldn’t it further our species by taking out all the dumb people? I mean, aren’t they taking up my air? Eating my food? How many people did you meet today that would’ve been better off as a stain on the sheet?

    I give you guys a lot of credit, so you guys don’t count, but, especially working in retail, I feel more evolved than most people.

    I also get the feeling that in a crueler world, I’d be in a padded room right now, doing a puppet show with my scrotum. What the hell has been my deal the last couple of days, anyway?

    #6621
    rob
    Participant

    Oh, and — you look at almost every other species on the planet. The weak, the sick — yeah, they get left behind to die, or they’re snapped up by a predator. Medicine prevents that from happening, hence, my bastardized natural selection theory.

    The fact is — we don’t have any natural enemies, except each other. With our intelligence, our so-called superiority, our ability to change things on a global scale — isn’t it our duty to make things better, if not for ourselves and children, but for the other species that inhabit this planet with us? Well, fuck mosquitoes, but all the others?

    This is kind of fun. You can all witness me losing my mind. I’m thinking on a really weird level right now, and no drugs have been consumed.

    #6615
    Bucho
    Participant
    rob wrote:
    Couldn’t you argue that business is also not natural? We’re the only species on the planet that fucks each other over on a regular basis — not for food, but for personal gain. We don’t only kill for food — we do it for fun. This so-called intelligence — a superiority over other beings. I’m not this big tree hugger, but putting importance yourself over any other human being, especially in cases like financial gain, is unnatural, and I don’t see a big difference when people make decisions that affect the rest of the beings on this planet.

    Separating the weak from the strong is part of natural selection. I’m going to go out on a limb here — and this is by no means a plan in my future or anything, because I’m sane — but wouldn’t it further our species by taking out all the dumb people? I mean, aren’t they taking up my air? Eating my food? How many people did you meet today that would’ve been better off as a stain on the sheet?

    I give you guys a lot of credit, so you guys don’t count, but, especially working in retail, I feel more evolved than most people.

    I also get the feeling that in a crueler world, I’d be in a padded room right now, doing a puppet show with my scrotum. What the hell has been my deal the last couple of days, anyway?

    Every species is in competition with themselves as well as others Rob, didn’t you ever watch Dicovery channel? Nature is war. If anything we have a greater sense of community than most other multi-celled beings on the planet. We live in these huge packs of millions of members. Business follows the laws of nature as closely as any ecosystem does. As for our duty on the planet, I favour keeping it as clean as possible too but that’s a personal value judgement and if the greater will of humanity naturally tends away from that I won’t be able to stop it.

    Part of our survival instinct is to value human life and that extends to all the stupid and the sick people in our communities. In the wild the weak are left behind only when their survival – and the energy that will be expended on promoting their survival – will cause greater risk to the rest of the family or group. Right now we have resources up the wazoo so we keep our weak afloat because it’s in our instinct to promote human life and their existence doesn’t threaten society’s existence. It’d be considered barbarism, a backward step, for us to remove the weak because it then removes something of the value of human life, of the value of the lives of those who remain. Life literally becomes cheaper. Also, once you remove the weakest then there’s a new group of weakest. You draw the line wherever your resources allow you to, and in the wild it’s always a much harsher call than in civilization.

    If you really do lose your mind at least make sure you get sent somewhere the boys can still visit once a week to record the show because lets face it, this fucked up world’s a better place with SOS.

    - Women sense my power and they seek the life essence.

    #6627
    rob
    Participant

    I know that you can justify our choices as a civilization as a natural progression — I’ve just noticed that I’ve had this feeling the last, oh, 8 months or so, like I should be doing more. Like maybe I should be doing something more to advance, rather than telling people that their phone’s fucked up. This has all been a kind of rant, pointing out the hypocrisy in society, and in myself.

    If medicine’s so great, why exclude anyone from it?

    Instead of the billions we spend in defense, why not use it to feed, clothe, and educate the world?

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