I'm a big fan of science and technology as well as humans. I like the transhumanist movement and was just wondering what your thoughts and feelings are about it?
Please stay on topic and don't obsessively talk about how religion is mostly anti-human etc. I already know that. :P
I'm more interested in how humanity can be better, have more enjoyable lives and evolve in positive ways. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transhumanism
Thanks and I look forward to your ideas and perspectives. :)
TAA - RE: "Biological entities that do not have the fitness to survive their environment MUST die"
I often play devil's advocate with myself, and once postulated that same contention, a little differently, possibly, but basically the same. I once spent some time working with Special Olympics, and have seen hundreds, even thousands of kids who were born with mental handicaps. Kids that nature would have allowed to die, as they could never begin to fend for themselves.
Most of these kids are huggably adorable when they're little, but one has to realize that they won't stay that way forever, they will grow up, stop being cute, and the hugs will end, and they will never have the capacity to unerstand why that happened, just that it did.
And I found myself wondering why we did it, why, counter to the "survival of the fittest" precepts evolution depends on, were we keeping these people alive. Isn't it counterproductive to evolution?
We've already been told by science that the human brain is likely as large as it's ever going to be - the female body simply cannot pass ever-larger skulls out of her pelvis without some major modifications of her own, that I don't believe I'd even want to contemplate.
But what if the next stage of Human evolution had nothing to do with the size of our brains, what if it dealt with a physical rewiring of the brains we're stuck with? Rewired - and I'm no brain surgeon, or I would hardly be sitting here typing - somehow, to bring certain human qualities to the foreground, qualities that could lead to decreasing the likelihood that we will ultimately destroy ourselves. Qualities such as concern for our fellow man, compassion, the ability to see beyond ourselves.
I'm sure that a sea of hands will likely shoot up, belonging to those who will be quick to point out that evolution deals only with the physical, not the emotional. But evolution also favors the "use it or lose it" principle, as is evidenced by the dwindling appendix or the fact that pressure stimulates bone growth.
Can any of those say for certain that the subconscious minds of some of us, cannot observe the general behavior of Humankind, with its wars, famines, Romney/Rove political machines, and extrapolate that if we continue on our present course, we will ultimately reach extinction as our destination? And is it not possible that those with that foresight are more likely to make efforts in the direction of their opinions, efforts that could easily alter brain chemistry to encourage those efforts, and in some way, contribute to the rewiring of the brain, at least of these?
At some point, that which became Human diverged from that which became Neanderthal - what caused the schism? Is it just possible that another, subtler schism is in progress today, and that the surviving group will determine the fate of Humankind?
Beats the hell out of me, but I think it's worth consideration --
Compassion good - intolerance bad!
From my memory of class content concerning human development, I think there was some mention that the reason human children develope more slowly than chimp off spring is that it allows more time for brain development. I expect that this might also mean that the human female can pass a child with a smaller head. This might also make it possible for socialization or cultural based development.
I do wonder if there has been any studies on human adaptation for larger head babies, and correlations with primate development rates and size of head?
You wonder???? This is biology 101. The Homo sapiens sapiens skull is smaller upon birth, therefore requires longer parental investment. The reason the neonatal head is smaller is because my pubic opening is smaller, which is a consequence of becoming bipedal. Adult brain and skull sizes are generally independent from neonatal size.
Nice written. My fear is opposite, mine is that we continue to spread, like a cancer, because we are so obsessed with compassion and cuddly little humans that we place little value on anything but ourselves.
My brother is was by nature (I'm guessing) a more compassionate person than I. He worked in an "institution" for a decade, on the night shift, cleaning up blood and shit from the walls and furniture, from the residents harming themselves, shitting everywhere, unconscious beings in inefficient bodies, once they were past their cuddly infant stage, they were abandoned by their parents, now they pretty much all live in these mentally vegetative (though their bodies do move around), all at a huge cost to society, and they are not benefiting any part of society, they are basically left for dead. After a decade working in this environment, my brother lost a lot of his compassion, he woke up and smelled the roses, you're either a relatively (if not perfectly) autonomous person or you aren't. Our compassion is so often misplaced it is sickening.
As for Neanderthal (Homo sapiens neanderthalis) compared to us (Homo sapiens sapiens), we did not diverge "from" them but both of us diverged from a common ancestor. Genetic diversification in such cases is usually the result of environmental/geographical limitations, accompanied by lucky mutations.
We are doing the opposite. Speciation is the end result of inbreeding. What we on the planet are doing is pooling our genetic material, we are outbreeding to an extreme level, and all sub varieties of humans, carrying distinct gene sets will soon no longer exist. We will be just one giant melting genetic pot, all similar. With no grouped genetic diversity whatsoever. This will leave humanity susceptible to even more diseases in the future (yippee more money for pharmaceutical companies). Also, because we are obsessed with the "easy" lfie, especially Transhumanists, there are NO selective pressures on H. sapiens, which decreases the likelyhood of new genetic makeup appearing. So the "subtle" aspect of what's happening to day is the opposite of a "schism".
TAA - I can't disagree with most of what you've said, as it's mostly opinion, and you're certainly entitle to express it as you like.
But I must correct THIS misconception: "As for Neanderthal (Homo sapiens neanderthalis) compared to us (Homo sapiens sapiens), we did not diverge "from" them but both of us diverged from a common ancestor."
And I didn't say otherwise. I said: "At some point, that which became Human diverged from that which became Neanderthal" See, "diverging" implies that at one point in time they were the same, i.e., their "common ancestor," and at one point, there was a branching, or a "divergence," at which point, that which became Human diverged from that which became Neanderthal.
At no point did I say that Humans evolved from the Neanderthal.
Point taken, I misread your sentence. Pardon me :)
Not offended, I just wanted to clear it up. RE: "I misread your sentence." - I sometimes miswrite my sentence.
I apologize TAA, I don't need to overreact to your comments. You have every right to be dissuaded from liking humanism or transhumanism. Maybe we can persuade you that it is not such a bad thing after all but if not, no worries on my part and hopefully no stress for you or anyone else either.
Thank you for participating, I prefer that more then just blindly positive statements that don't take every angle into account. Please don't take my words as any sort of personal attack, I never had that intention. I take certain ideas too seriously sometimes and just need to lighten up more.
Happy Thanksgiving and all the best to you and yours. :)
Turkey Day?? Nope, not my kettle of tea, I like turkey all year long :)
And Turkey Day is way past us in Canada... oh right, in USA it's coming soon? Not sure, I don't pay attention to this.
And I haven't bred, so there aren't any "yours", but thanks... I think...
For what it's worth I haven't bred either, hahaha And just so you know, I'm about as far from a rich person as one can get unless you count the luck I had in receiving a semi-decent education and a semi-ferocious and unquenchable curiosity about plethora of ideas and people. I agree that turkey is great anytime. Take it easy or whatever. ;)
"Yours" can include parents, friends etc. That is how I understand the expression anyway, as always I could be wrong. :) hahaha