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David Attenborough warns that humans have stopped evolving

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John 156

I believe the next evolutionary step for humanity will be to become RoundUp Ready as all those whose metabolisms are compromised by harmless-to-humans weedkiller are eliminated from the gene pool; thus Roundup will become mostly harmless to humans and Monsanto will take over from Goldman Sachs as Masters of the Universe.

Rogue Jedi

The Theory of Evolution

First this is not an attack on any beliefs but in a story about evolution I believe this needs saying.

Evolution is a theory, a theory which is widely accepted but still a theory, it has not been proven and may someday be disproven or it may be adapted to meet new evidence. I will remain sceptical until I can see direct evidence of evolution.

I have before now heard it suggested that the adaptions made to Canis Familiaris (dog) are proof of evolution however the breeds all belong to the same genus and can interbreed, there are many other examples all of which may be convincing circumstantial evidence but are far from proof.

on the other subject of the article

I would be in favour of some form or population control, preferably in the form of removing benefits for any other than the first child (unless 2 or more are born as a result of the first pregnancy)and excempt any children born before or within eleven months (to alow for long pregnancys) after the law came into force, it would also need a provision for someone who previously could afford more children for a number of years who is made unemployed. This would mean people would only be able to have the number of children they can afford, but still mean there is a safety net if required. The less wealthy tend to have more children and are often reliant on state help this should at least reduce population growth if not reverse it.

Vociferous

Re: The Theory of Evolution

No, evolution is directly observed fact. The _theory_ of evolution is "differential survival due to natural selection in genetically diverse populations". The theory is the tentatively accepted explanation of the observed fact.

A perfect analogy is this: gravity is directly observed fact. The leading _theory_ of gravity is "virtual photons exchange quanta of energy between particles".

The fact never changes. The theory might.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

@ Rogue Jedi

It's a shame that your points may well have had some merit, but since you were unable to express them in coherent sentences the meaning has been lost and the effort you expended was for nothing.

Stevie Silver badge

Bah!

I may be mistaken but I was under the impression that evolutionary change in a species takes place over a much longer period than the one in which Sir David has been in a position to spot it happening.

Saying "nowt new has evolved since t'war" is true, but fails to properly capture the vast sweep of time I thought necessary for any such change to become established in the population.

No doubt I am missing the point of the great man's thesis.

Amorous Cowherder
Pint

I don't think we stop "evolving" or finding tiny little ways to try to ensure survival of our species. How many little things do we take for granted that keep pushing our species forward, something as simple as brushing our teeth? Dental hygene ensures we don't get abcesses, leading to blood-poisoning and early death.

Evolution and survival of the species as the whole is a continuous process of small, what appear to be almost insignificant steps. The UK implements the NHS to ensure better health for the UK population, we in turn live longer, contribute more and offer more to the outside world. More people living longer in the first-world ensure we raise the standards and aspiriations of the third-world which has seen a huge rise in life-expectancy over the last 50 years to point where some places are starting to get on a par with the first world. We've gone too far in the first-world and we now have it too good, we take it for granted and such problems as too may old people for the young to support and an explosion in obesity.

There is already a wealthy class strata in China, well to do. upwardly mobile, relatively well-off people who don't want to make the mistakes of their parents and do not want to follow the decadent ways of the west, they will most likely overtake us in terms of living standards in the next 25 years. An example of cultural evolution, learning the mistakes of a past. The west got fat and decadent, bad example. Take the good bits, leave out the bad. Evolution, with natural and cultural selection at work and in time periods that are observable.

Jediben

Speak for yourself. In the West here, we are buff, ripped and physically supreme. Evolution doesn't "take good bits and leave out bad" - it's only once it has happened that you can see what the bad bits were. The good bits can become bad ones just as quickly.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

@Amorous Cowherder

"How many little things do we take for granted that keep pushing our species forward, something as simple as brushing our teeth? Dental hygene ensures we don't get abcesses, leading to blood-poisoning and early death."

True, but completely off topic. We're talking about evolution.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

MORE NATURAL SELECTION PLEASE!

Some days I wonder how some of these people remember to breathe.

This post has been deleted by its author

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: Evolving to be more appealing

Have you seen those monsters pushing the prams?

foxpak

We are evolving at a faster rate than ever

Because there"s more humans than ever before. Genetic diversity of the human race is greater than ever. Whether we are evolving in desirable direction is another issue but Sir David is right in the sense that we have diverged from natural selection as the main evolutionary tool.

The marching morons teeming in their billions are in overshoot for sure and natural selection will play a bigger part in the future as we return to a simpler way of life-that is unless we can solve the limits to growth. I think the Moties civilization cycles is an optimistic view tho since we're really not that smart, about as smart as yeast it seems, and we wont be going to space as a race.

Working men voting for tony abbot as pm is like the chooks voting for Christmas~! but only 52% voted for the Libs, we're not all like that! Jule Bishop as foreign minister i mean to say!

so embarassing.. just had to say that.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Going Backwards ?!?

If any of the yokles that live round my parts are anything to go by your would consider that maybe it had stopped and started to go backwards as a lot of them are some sort of devolved sub species off shot..!

Nym

Human Evolution

Is by means of language/society and there's absolutely no sign that since a species 'evolved' [mind you, we don't really know what that means and it would depend on a high breed-rate to allow for the sports...sport] we could call human...that human evolution has occurred differently. We like big busts and shapely butts because our society tells us to, not because of instinct; examine the standards of beauty (thinking breeding) in the medieval ages.

briesmith

Who Gets the Most Shags

Natural selection has always been a combination of random failure of cells to divide accurately; radiation and biology working together to produce mutations. I think we all understand this, apart from some Americans who are perhaps still a little too close to their monkey.

This imperfect cell division resulted in new versions which were either better, no worse or absolutely hopeless at getting their end away. The biggest antlers, the brightest plumage, the biggest nose (in monkeys) got you the most shags. This meant your particular set of mutations got to continue while someones else's withered (for a want of sex).

Nowadays, we don't compete so simply and directly or Andrew Lloyd Webber would never have got to shag anyone, instead he's donated his genes to nearly every diva you can name. So I think evolution is continuing but driven now by intellectual rather than physical success. The smart birds are putting their money on the smart bollocks. The successful shagger these days isn't your square jawed, muscle man but your bespectacled geek who knows how things work.

I mean, have you seen Ed Milliband's wife? Or David Cameron's? Clegg's is a bit of a mystery - I mean, her, with him, who'd of thought it? - but nobody said evolution was perfect.

JCitizen
Childcatcher

Canines will rule..

They are our pets now, but will succede us! HA!

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