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How did humans evolve, and will we evolve more?

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By Evan Simons

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The last major evolution seems to be the bipedal change listed here at 6M years ago. The other changes have been well on the margins.

Frankly I don't give the human race 6 million more years to make another major evolutionary jump.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Evolution is a theory, speculative guesses based on evidence in nature. There were no eye witnesses to the events. The scientific community admits so.

Therefore rather than presenting it as fact it would be more honest and fairer to the inquiring student to use terms such as 'believe'.

https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/theory-evolution/

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

OnTheTrailToday  07:46 am JST

The last major evolution seems to be the bipedal change listed here at 6M years ago. The other changes have been well on the margins.

Frankly I don't give the human race 6 million more years to make another major evolutionary jump.

Techno;logy is making us live longer and now 'bionic' parts aren't just in 'Six Million Dollar Man' anymore. Cyborg technology isn't just sci-fy and far in the future we may be like the alien Sargon and two others foun by the Enterprize crew in STAR TREK. Sargon informed Kirk that comes a time when a senient people becomes so advanced he forgets that he is 'man' and he confuses himself with God.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

A good subject for discussion, while staying aware that there are those, trolls or not, who will advocate against science.

So many evolutionary changes have taken place, how do we keep track of them all? One of the most important has been the adaptation to eating food that has been cooked with fire. I read that the human digestion system has evolved such that it is no longer capable of sustaining our bodies without most of our food being cooked first. That is an amazing thing to consider.

As to how we will evolve in the future, it seems to me that our evolution will depend on our ability to foster useful changes in our brains. Our brains, in conjunction with the technology that we develop, can do remarkable things, things that we barely even talk about today. On the other hand, there is a line of reasoning that suggests that we will be replaced by the very machines that we are currently developing. Once our machines have the ability to design and build themselves, they may decide that we humans are more hindrance than help.

Some people suggest that we should avoid trying to establish contact with non-terrestrial higher lifeforms, on the theory that, intentionally or not, they may do to us what we have historically done to less technologically advanced groups of humans. That is certainly something to consider, but IMO, it is more likely that higher lifeforms are already interacting with us humans, but have decided to keep themselves largely undetected. Rather than a Cortez/Montezuma scenario, I envision something more akin to what was portrayed in the "Star Trek: Insurrection" movie, in which those with a more advanced technology are obliged to defend those with a more simple technology, to the point of the former observing the latter surreptitiously. I think something like that may very well already be going on here on Earth, with us being the simpler technology.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

It’s unlikely that humans will ever evolve laser beam eyes or wings out of our backs like the X-Men characters Cyclops and Archangel. But other abilities that humans have evolved over millions of years of evolution allow us to do many of those same things, through innovation.

Not sure what the writer tries to say here. Innovation has nothing do with evolution, or is he thinking of genetic engineering?

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Nice points @starpunk 1:13p and @1glenn 1:24p! BOTH of you envisioning future evolution nearer to the ideas and “ideals” of** ”**StarTrek:TOS and TNG”. Both series were thought provoking and optimistic. There may be hope for the human race?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Evolution is a theory, speculative guesses based on evidence in nature. There were no eye witnesses to the events. The scientific community admits so.

Those not trained in science tend to misunderstand the word ‘theory’.

Speculative guesses

No. Mountains of evidence.

The scientific community admits so

The vast, vast majority of scientists, from different fields, converge on this theory.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Therefore rather than presenting it as fact it would be more honest and fairer to the inquiring student to use terms such as 'believe'.

But then we would have to make a distinction between beliefs based on evidence and beliefs lacking any evidence. The former is hardly speculative. The latter covers a range of things from speculative scientific theories (e.g. the nature of dark matter) to absolute fantasy (e.g. fairies, heaven and hell).

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It’s not what the writer is trying to say @zaphod 2:36pm. It’s an obvious advertising ‘tie-in’ of his ‘opinion’ piece to licensed properties targeted at children. Major news and entertainment conglomerates own those referenced properties. There is nothing in those ‘tag-ons” to do with realistic evolution theories. Plus, ‘genetic engineering’ is not adaptation and evolution.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Don't forget how important our thumb is which enables use to use advanced tools. We are the builders.

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The author says that humans have the largest brain to body-mass ratio of any animal. I would point out that a human's brain is about 2.5% of its body mass, while the brain of the tree shrew is about 10% of its body mass.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

https://www.uw360.asia/the-difference-between-human-and-cetacean-brains/

"It may disappoint you to hear that humans aren't likely to evolve superpowers......."

Our cetacean distant cousins have already evolved a "superpower." Sperm whales, with brains 7 times larger than ours, can use their brains to control their head-filled spermatic oil to amplify and control a sonic blast, with which they can stun prey animals. On the subject of "superpowers," I am of the opinion that it is possible and likely that brains, given enough time, will evolve in ways that we would describe as fantastic.

The cerebral cortex of cetaceans takes up a much larger percentage of their brains than does that in us humans. Since the cerebral cortex is responsible for much of what we refer to as higher intelligence, is it not meaningful that many cetaceans, with their very large brains, also have a cerebral cortex that takes up a much greater percentage of their brains? We may have beaten them in the race to develop technology, but that is not to say that they are ultimately constrained from developing in ways that we would find truly amazing, given enough time.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

In the brain to body mass debate, a Google search revealed that small birds in general have a larger brain to body mass ratio than us, as do some ants.

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Evolution does not necessarily mean improvement. Cell devices are making brain function less necessary. The brain will no doubt soon become a near-vestigial organ. You can notice this change by watching the evening news. Those pictures of “the evolution of man” just need to be adjusted to reflect the new reality. Whales have been discussing this on their websites.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Back to humane basic.

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@Jimizo

Those not trained in science tend to misunderstand the word ‘theory’.

The vast, vast majority of scientists, from different fields, converge on this theory.

It is universally understood as a theory by all honest scientists. Every single one of the following respected universities' and other sites uses the word 'theory' in referring to it. Thus it should be presented as such in schools, if taught at all.

https://www.cambridge.org/gb/academic/subjects/life-sciences/evolutionary-biology/theory-evolution-3rd-edition?format=PB&isbn=9780521451284

https://news.yale.edu/2020/10/27/yeast-study-yields-insights-longstanding-evolution-debate

https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/theory-evolution/

https://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/misconceptions_faq.php

http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20150803-how-do-we-know-evolution-is-real

https://www.britannica.com/science/evolution-scientific-theory

https://www.livescience.com/474-controversy-evolution-works.html

etc, etc, etc........

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

No, we not only descend from apes, but additionally from an even much earlier tiny rat-like creature that crawled the Earth tens of 66 millions of years ago. That ancestor creature weighed around eight ounces, had a long fuzzy tail, and ate bugs, according to the scientists who made the findings, like its teeth in Dorset, UK, for example. Other publications don’t differ too much and state that it was a big rat , living mostyin the trees, not on the ground. You could also combine the stories, so that ‘we’ were little rats on the ground, then bigger rats on trees, then apes in the trees, then apes on the ground and then walking humans. It’s on you and your phantasy. But now you know, why we are not only stupid like apes in general, but also occasionally very clever and aggressive beasts like rats. No need to know more about what all our basic mix consists of, wether with further evolution or not. ROFL

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

This comment is about 'evolution' and the Human experience with it. It must be taken very seriously. Just forget the meaningless word 'evolution'. Darwin NEVER used that word and did not like it. It has a faux nuance of 'direction'. If sounding like one has actually read a book seems a positive pose, use the term 'natural selection'. The changes wrought by natural selection can go in any direction in which its constrained environment will move it. Genepool adaptation is always slightly behind environmental changes and are entirely at the will of the environment and genepools survive through time by CONSTANT adaptation using either information saved in its redundant DNA or, requires luck, obtains through mutation or lateral transfer. Fall behind too far and your carriers diminish to zero. A genepool is just a self-reproducing database of information moving through time with no 'destination' nor 'plan' other than how everything else around it adapts as well. Eventually whole systems reach a 'climax' stage where the system itself, composed of all of the organisms contributing to it in a balance achieved only after millions of years becomes the main driver of its constituents and all are in balance with each other taking their share, contributing their share, and systems such as these become stable to a wide variety of environmental changes, a 'climax hardwood forest' (or "old growth") for example, such as covered the entire eastern United States for 30 million years until cut down and completely destroyed in the 19th Century to extract Potassium for gunpowder. A good example is us. According to the FOSSIL RECORD, the Human cranium has been shrinking starting about 70,000 years ago. Before this, Homo sapiens cranial capacity was about 1500cc (contemporaneous Neanderthal, 1600cc). Home demens (us) is down to 2000 generation decline in Human potential began when our behavior changed and, instead of living in egalitarian, consensual groups, we became dominated by conscienceless psychopaths, as we are today. And we can see what happens, generation after generation, to the bright and disobedient among us who challenge the dominance of the psychopaths. They are removed, usually at a young age before they have contributed children, from the reproductive population (SELECTION) GENERATION AFTER GENERATION AFTER GENERATION for about the last 2400 generations. For us, the obedient survive and prosper having many offspring. The disobedient (only to power) not so much if at all. THIS is our 'evolution'. 'Natural' selection because it is entirely mindless even if the 'predators' are the same species, autopredation, a species characteristic unique to us. And we became organised swarms which could and did overwhelm and extinguish not only Homo sapiens but also Homo neanderthalensis and, maybe other forms for whom we have no evidence yet. Our psychopathy dominated swarms also extinguished most of the large fauna on every continent or land area we have invaded. In brief, 'natural selection' is just the overall environment, which is in constant flux, determining what characteristics in any particular 'niche' a genepool needs to express to remain extant in time. Successful adaptation of an entire genepool takes many generations for all extant members to carry and express the changes. Should a genepool fall too far behind, its expressed carriers will not be able to reproduce as easily, numbers will dwindle, and extinction, the loss of that entire system of information and behavior from our world. What has happened with us is that our crania expanded over a million years as Hominins found ways to significantly increase our ability to CO-OPERATE in groups and characteristics favoring that co-operation began to expand our crania. 70Kya, some small group somewhere in Africa became dominated by the pathology we see salient among us. These pathological individuals were also capable of murder which the normal Human of the time was innately not. When you can murder and your opponent cannot, dominance is easy. Forming a 'control structure', these individuals enslaved the norms and, over time, the universal Human social structure developed as we see it today. And this 'structure' is killing us. Our collective behavior has become as lice and we have no control over ourselves because the only thing our 'control structure' can 'see' is blind greed and blind greed has no concern for our 'adaptation' to the environmental chaos that is coming. Can we ADAPT to the coming massive changes in the two or three generations left to us here? Probably not. Natural selection. If we had the time left, we might pass through the stages we see in those Human Evolution fin to fist series but in reverse as our behavior drags us down again into idiocy. We are as subject to both the 'good' and the 'bad' of natural selection because, in Life, NOTHING escapes natural selection, either in or out. And what is promoted as 'evolution', the constant 'upward' trend of Humanity, was made a lie 70,000 years ago. This world and its mechanisms look very different when viewed not from self-congratulatory and delusional 'Human Reality' but from physical reality itself.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yup! Vestigial organ for sure. I just wonder how much brain size we can lose and still use a remote....

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The processes of natural selection can result in evolution, as well as extinction. Some animal lines, such as sharks, have been around for hundreds of millions of years, not relying on change to survive, while during that same time countless other species have evolved and disappeared. One can conclude from that what one will.

Relative newcomers to the world stage, ourselves, now have the unintended capability to bring about the extinction of many species, both animal and plant, that have existed far longer than us.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I just wonder how much brain size we can lose and still use a remote....

As long as we have thumbs, we should be all right.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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