- Capitalism and Alternatives -

the human race is going nowhere genetically.

Posted by: Darcy carter ( UK ) on September 16, 1999 at 19:33:13:

In Reply to: Please pay attention. posted by Darcy Carter on September 14, 1999 at 20:07:00:

: I said we have the same genes "by and large". Please pay attention.

: We may have branched off into different races but, as I'm sure you'll agree, the white or asian races don't represent an "advancement" on the original African humans. We are the same intelectually etc (the usual mark of "advancement" in homonid species) - the change of skin pigmentation and nasal / lung capacity to deal with different climates / altitudes is merely tinkering at the edges. The size of our brains has not changed significantly.

: The practical point is, if you were to take a stone age man, at birth, forward in time to 1999, and bring hing up in New-York and educate him at a good school, he'd probably and up being a lawyer or something (or at least he would have the same chance as the next man of following this route.) The differences in his / our societies are institutional and technological - not biological.
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"Also, humans have not been evolving for a while. There are currently no genetic mutations (such as a larger brain) that make procreation more likely and therefore spread those genes more prolifically. We are therefore not evolving."

Yes. So?

: The fact remains that the whole of human history is an eyeblink in evolutionary terms, especially for an organism as complex as homo sapiens; yet the last quarter of a million years have seen the final extinction of Neanderthal man as well as significant genetic development (as well as behavioural development); it is premature to assume that humanity has ceased to follow one of the stronger laws of nature. Provide some incontravertible evidence...

I agree that there has been enormous behavourial development. This is in spite of our genetic staus quo, not becuase of it. Something else must be the cause. Our society and behaviour has altered beyond all recognition in the last 50,000 years (in fact, there arguably was no such thing as society at that time).

I cannot provide incontrovertible evidence that we are no longer evolving. However, as mentioned in my other post, what genetic trait is it that will cause increased procreation in modern humans? Without this there is no evolution - certainly not as I understand it. Evolution is not something that is in the water, or just happens as a matter of course to us over time. It is driven by mutations giving competitive advantages (in procreation - or other activities which allow it) over rival animals.

I would also dispute that there has been "significant" genetic development over the last 250,000 years. You are right that the Neanderthals were exterminated buring this period, but the poor chaps were killed off by the more genetically successful homo sapiens - they did not turn into them.

I do not have evidence to hand, but a text book on anthropolgy will confirm that genetically "modern" humans have been around for a very, very long time...

I agree that human history is only a moment in evolutionary terms. I can imagine a world were genetic advantages would again allow increased procreation and evolution. All I said was, as for today's world, the human race is going nowhere genetically. All its achievements have been, and must be, institutional, technological and cultural.

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