Here is the moral dilemma. Should we, as a race of people, aid those who cannot survive in the modern day world? I am speaking of welfare, free medical care, foreign aid and etc. As far as moral conduct is concerned, we are helping people in the short term. However, in the eyes of evolution, we are not allowing natural selection to take place and are therefore hurting ourselves as a species. If our morals were evolutionarily minded, shouldn’t we allow children with hereditary diseases to simply die instead of doing everything possible to let them live and reproduce inadvertently spreading the genetic disease through out the genetic pool.
I am not advocating anything and I know this question sounds like it is straight out of Nazi Germany, but from a pure logical standpoint, morals aside, it makes sense to me.
So should we as a society start thinking out our future as a race of people and stop denying natural selection to work? Or, should we continue down our path of doing everything we can to save everyone and possibly drive ourselves to extinction?
I get and read Scientific American on a regular basis and have done so for many years. Scientific American has never claimed "that a child of today, has not even the potential for the strength and endurance of their grandparent."Besides Scientific American is only one of many sources for science information. The magazine does do quite a bit of interpretation of scientific studies that may or may not lead it's readers in the right direction.
The iphone and computers and the like have not been around long enough to permanently affect our evolution period. One or two or even three generations aren't enough.
Many genetic diseases as Reggie pointed out above are linked to traits beneficial to humans. Sickle cell anemia is one of many examples.
Don't have the time or the inclination to post up all the research.
But no matter how hard you want to be an ostrich... our soft mentality has meant that we have weakened the human race - substantially. I suppose you can argue against it just like people argue against atheism and climate change.
I think the point Becca is making is that you can't blame modern technology because it hasn't been around long enough. Society on the other hand, has been a part of almost every humans life for thousands upon thousands of years... That could affect our evolution and yes, we could probably expect our individual strengths to diminish as they are no longer as important a selection pressure.
I loved the movie Idioocracy, however it is scary and I too see us going down that path.
Who has evolved more - those who can save people from otherwise certain death or disability or those who cannot or will not help/save others?
I don't think nature gives a damn about civility and moral responsibilities.
No one said anything about civility and moral responsibilities.
It takes sufficient social complexity and cumulative knowledge to extend and preserve life. Regardless of morality, who has "evolved" more, those who are capable and willing to extend and preserve life or those who either can't or won't do the same? Fundamentally, there are differences between those who are capable and willing to extend and preserve life and those who either can't or won't do the same.
Technically, they have evolved exactly the same "amount"...
The assumption that you you make that I do not like is that poor people/countries are "worse." Especially in 3rd world countries, it matters more who you are when you are born then your genetic makeup. If we want genetics to rule, we would need a perfectly equal society (welfare, equal opportunity) and then the poor would then be the people who would be "worse".
I think evolution is always a trade off. Roman's overall may have been stronger but they lived till 30ish on average and a vast majority could not read. Kids now might not be able to memorize things easily, but there most likely an opposite positive effect like being able to use easily computers. We are evolving to be depend on technology, which may be making us "weaker"but it gives us better "fitness"for our environment which is all that matters for natural selection. We need to be good at computers, Romans needed to be strong. And to be honest it is more of how we use our energy than anything else. If I dont need to memorize I will not spend the energy to learn how to memorize things.
In America we have an equal society (welfare, equal opportunity). Therefore are the poor the people who are "worse" in America?
I agree with Becca we are not an equal society by any means. Try being born in a black in a neighborhood with an awful school. There is no way America is, Finland maybe but definitely not America.