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Would Humans Evolve Again?
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Would Humans Evolve Again? - 23rd October 2013, 06:18 PM

I saw this question today.

Quote:
If humans died out, would we evolve again from apes?
Using your belief system as a reference point, how would you answer this question? Would humans evolve again? Did they evolve or were they created?


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23rd October 2013, 06:36 PM

Only if we fell asleep again
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Judaism 23rd October 2013, 07:05 PM

The question is a non-starter because humans did not evolve from apes. They do share, however, a common ancestor.

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23rd October 2013, 07:17 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbio View Post
The question is a non-starter because humans did not evolve from apes. They do share, however, a common ancestor.

B'shalom,

Peter
Then tell us abut the common ancestor and if you think humans would evolve again.


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23rd October 2013, 10:30 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbio View Post
The question is a non-starter because humans did not evolve from apes. They do share, however, a common ancestor.

B'shalom,

Peter
I was wondering who'd catch that, and speak up! LOL


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Judaism 24th October 2013, 03:36 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightkeeper View Post
Then tell us abut the common ancestor and if you think humans would evolve again.
I am not a scientist. I do not play one on TV and although I have spent more than one night in a Holiday Inn Express I am not the best one to try to explain the factors involved in evolution which include mutation, migration, genetic drift, and natural selection plus all the things that can impact just how these factors play out.

Humanity evolved because at certain times and in certain places over the course of eons and eons and eons certain factors came into play, some spontaneously and some due to outside circumstances, that resulted in homo sapiens.

Expecting humans, after extinction, to re-evolve is, I suspect, like destroying a jigsaw puzzle and then grabbing some pieces of cardboard, throwing them up in the air, expecting them to hit the ground as duplicates of the puzzle pieces which can then be fitted together to reform the finished puzzle.

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24th October 2013, 05:33 PM

One can't be 100% definitive about such a question, but having said that, I think the chances are excessively remote.

We cannot forget (however much some hate the notion) that there is an element of randomness in evolution -- modifications to genes occur at random -- and then are selected for by whether the new gene provides a reproductive advantage or disadvantage in the existing conditions. It may be that the same random change occurs more than once, but at different locations and therefore under differing conditions, and that those conditions may yield a competitive advantage in one location but not in another.

So in my view, since the "common ancestor" no longer exists to provide the genes whose eventual change led to humans, and since conditions on the planet are now so different than they once were, I think it would be safe to bet that the last human would remain forever the last human.


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Judaism 24th October 2013, 05:37 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by evangelicalhumanist View Post
One can't be 100% definitive about such a question, but having said that, I think the chances are excessively remote.

We cannot forget (however much some hate the notion) that there is an element of randomness in evolution -- modifications to genes occur at random -- and then are selected for by whether the new gene provides a reproductive advantage or disadvantage in the existing conditions. It may be that the same random change occurs more than once, but at different locations and therefore under differing conditions, and that those conditions may yield a competitive advantage in one location but not in another.

So in my view, since the "common ancestor" no longer exists to provide the genes whose eventual change led to humans, and since conditions on the planet are now so different than they once were, I think it would be safe to bet that the last human would remain forever the last human.
What he said!

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24th October 2013, 06:32 PM

Species have died out before. New species have emerged. Each having better survival skills. The question is are humans intelligent enough to increase their survival skills? Have humans finished evolving? Are humans the last link in evolution? Where does consciousness fit into this equation?


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24th October 2013, 07:27 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightkeeper View Post
Species have died out before. New species have emerged. Each having better survival skills.
This is true, but the new species emerging are indeed new. No species that went extinct has -- to our knowledge, anyway -- ever re-evolved.
Quote:
The question is are humans intelligent enough to increase their survival skills? Have humans finished evolving? Are humans the last link in evolution? Where does consciousness fit into this equation?
Hard questions to answer. I don't think that consciousness has anything to do with it, but certainly humans have not "finished evolving." It is certainly possible that we have slowed our evolution down a tad, by virtue of the fact that we now adapt our environments to suit us, rather than us to suit our changing environments. (On the other hand, there are scientists who maintain that our evolution has actually speeded up!)

Here are a few signs of human evolution today:

We Drink Milk - our ancestors had a gene that shut down lactose digestion as we were weaned. But now that we domesticate dairy animals, it is a nutritional advantage to be able to digest lactose, and so we are -- a lot of us -- now evolved to do that.

We're Losing Our Wisdom Teeth - Our food today is softer than our ancestors, so our jaws are smaller and we don't need that third set of molars. Because our jaws are smaller, there's no room for them anyway, and a lot of them come in impacted. One estimate says 35 percent of the population is born without wisdom teeth altogether, and they may disappear altogether.

We're Resisting Diseases - we have about 1,800 genes that have only become prevalent in humans in the last 40,000 years, many of which are devoted to fighting infectious diseases like malaria. City dwellers are now more resistant to diseases like tuberculosis and leprosy, which being communicable would be more dangerous in the closer quarters of dense city life.

Our Brains Are Shrinking - down from 1,500 cc to about 1,350 cc on average today, but probably rewired to be faster, and therefore smarter with less energy consumption -- and probably less competitive and more cooperative.

We Have Blue Eyes - where originally brown was it. About 10,000 years ago, someone who lived near the Black Sea developed a genetic mutation that turned brown eyes blue, and for reasons that are not entirely clear, the gene has persisted.

Read the full text here: mental_floss!


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