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Thread: Genetic Engineering..Next step in our Evolution?

  1. #1 Genetic Engineering..Next step in our Evolution? 
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    we hear people say that genetic engineering is "playing God" consider this....
    If One is going to bring God into the equation then one must recognise the existence of God.. so in doing so, one must also acknowledge the possibility that God is responsible for giving us the knowledge and capabilities that we now have, so one must consider the possibilty that God has done so much and is now leaving us to our own devices to see what good we can do with our new found "powers" to better the human race... Isnt is credible that we use this knowlege of genetic engineering to actually create a future race that is free from, for example... cancer, schizophrenia, violence , ??? ? ...as well as being more physically and intellectually supreme than our current generations? after all..isnt that what EVERY species tries to achieve ? we could possibly be now in a position to actually "control" evolution.... so why NOT ? we could even, possibly...in the future ..develop our species (and others) to live in a less hospitable environment so that life on Earth could continue when the climate and evironmental conditions become such that they might otherwise make us extinct in our present state ?


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    Interesting thoughts. allow me to make some counter observations.

    If One is going to bring God into the equation then one must recognise the existence of God..
    Incorrect. The expression "playing God" is a metaphor used to highlight the allegedly questionable aspects of a practice. Consequently, your follow on remarks about God having given us the ability to "play God" becomes meaningless.


    Isnt is credible that we use this knowlege of genetic engineering to actually create a future race that is free from, for example... cancer, schizophrenia, violence , ??? ? ...
    In ending schizophrenia, might we not also end some aspects of genius? It seems likely.
    Violence has been instrumental in our rise as a species. Without it we would not have been successful. And you wish to eliminate it. Is that wise?

    as well as being more physically and intellectually supreme than our current generations? after all..isnt that what EVERY species tries to achieve ?
    No, that is not what every species, including ours is trying to achieve. Through natural and sexual selection species are seeking to be more proficient at reproducing in a particular environment.

    we could possibly be now in a position to actually "control" evolution.... so why NOT ?
    In much the same way as we control that much simpler function, the economy? We are really good at that, aren't we?


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    Quote Originally Posted by pipster View Post
    we could possibly be now in a position to actually "control" evolution.... so why NOT ?
    Bit behind the times aren't you?
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    Fair enough ! point taken.. just a though thats all.. Im not claiming to be right... I mean what do I know? I've not even got a degree in anything but I AM a thinker ! just thought I would share my thought !
    After all...isn't that why we are on this site... or are some people here just to show how "clever" they are ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by pipster View Post
    Fair enough ! point taken.. just a though thats all.. Im not claiming to be right... I mean what do I know? I've not even got a degree in anything but I AM a thinker ! just thought I would share my thought !
    After all...isn't that why we are on this site... or are some people here just to show how "clever" they are ?
    Most people seem to want an intellectual battle

    I've found it hard to have a proper debate so far... usually people will quote a tiny snippet of what you say and present an argument. the rest of what you say will be ignored with no recognition of if you make a valid point or not.
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  7. #6  
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    I like to think of the present as being man/woman- kind's "adolescence". We're no longer willing to obey the rules as lain out by "Mother Nature", but we're too irresponsible to be willing to replace her rules with any of our own.

    When we finally grow up, we won't be "playing God". We will have finally taken our rightful place as Gods, in control of our own destiny, and responsible only to ourselves. (Or at least "grown ups" equal to our dear Mother Nature who raised us this far.)
    westwind and question for you like this.
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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    Genetic modification has enormous potential for creating a better humanity. We still have a way to go, but I suspect that 100 years will be enough. Right now, for example, only one gene has been identified as increasing intelligence. There are likely to be many intelligence genes, and we need to identify most of them. However, once that is done, perhaps we can introduce all the known intelligence genes into a zygote and end up with a genius?

    This kind of modification will be very expensive at first, but costs have a habit of dropping. There is a revolution in robotics, which has already started. Laboratories are already becoming roboticised, with repetitive processes being carried out by robots. In 100 years, perhaps gene insertions will be automated and cheap?

    What would-be parent would not want his/her offspring to be intelligent, good looking, athletic, healthy, long lived etc.? With the capability there, and the cost falling, it should become more and more common for children to be modified to make them superior.
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    For kojax. Yes, when we finally grow up. We are destined to sink or swim by our own attempts at survival. Our future survival strategy will be different to how we go about it now. This is what I think will happen. ( That is if I am alowed to think without some junior imbecile smirking about Posters trying to be ""clever "") Old bloks like me may have an edge over younger Posters, but we are not trying to impress anybody, we say what we think or know, and you( younger Posters ) might do yourselves a favour by engaging your minds to the posibility (ies) that this maybe worth thinking about.)

    There have already been attempts at playing God in what we call our modern World. Hitler. Stalin. Idi Amin. Pol Pot. They all thought they had the answer. Before that the Church, in all its manifestations. Including the Catholic Hit Squad, ( the Jusuits) and the Spanish Inquistion. Also Franco etc etc. Yes. mostly all justified their Means to and end. A better world we are making here. Bullshit.

    The question as I see it, is, a better World for what? and for whom?

    For survival purposes? So a few with Power and Privilege and Capital and the control of the Enforcement element of our Societies can constrain any breakouts or new ideas?

    So we may be going through our "" adolescence "" peroid now. I sure as hell hope so, and the sooner we pass through it the better.

    Just look at the Puberty Blue Adolescence Generation amongst us now. For Pity's sake, what the hell do they think they are doing? How long is this Blind leading the Blind generat onalisim thing going to go on?

    What will lead us out of the deep rut we are in so we can really see the Future requiements of our exsistance?

    Who will take charge and where will they get the Wisdom to make the right decisions for the rest of us?

    And how far away are we from this time? When our Adolescence is over? When we become wise enough through Failure and Frustration and Starvation and homeliness and disorientation and confusion and stuffing up the Planet?

    I think we are entering the Time of decision. And do you know where the revolution has to come from? God help us, its going to come from """" The Adolescence """.

    And old people like me will never again be part of the New World, we are too smart, and for our troubles would have been needled off years ago. westwind
    Words words words, were it better I caught your tears, and washed my face in them, and felt their sting. - westwind
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    For Skeptic:

    sound great in theory, would it work in reality?

    Would there be the danger of tinkering befor we really understand the effects? yes ofcourse. Would we need a lot of experiments on humans befor we know the effects? Is it acceptable to experiment with human life? well it's done already.

    Would it be fair on 'natural people' to be pitted in this life, this rat race, against genetically modified specimens?

    As well as using the knowledge to create genetically perfect beings... would it also be used to create genetic inferiors?

    Finally, are you sure we haven't already changed our genetic make up at some point in the past?
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    QFY

    First, of course there will be mistakes. However, even if the process is made illegal, it will still happen if the demand is there, which it will be. If western nations ban it, it will be done in places like Mexico.

    Asking questions like :Will it be fair on 'natural people' is kind of pointless, since it will happen regardless.

    Genetic inferiors? I hope we have passed that point in ethical development but who knows.

    Have we changed our genetic make up in the past? Certainly, but so far only to a relatively trivial extent.
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    You think a new race will be developed? A lot of variety in the mutant population of will they all be perfect citizens in everyway?
    Will parent's opt in for this treatment, or buy in? they will be able to design the characteristics they want?

    How much can currently be changed with genetic engineering? All the biological systems pressumably, how about personality? mental characteristics of any kind? can instincts from our evolution be remove from the code?
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  13. #12  
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    QFY

    many questions, some of which will only be shown with time. I will try to answer.

    A new race? I suspect that, in the long term, humanity will diverge into many species. This takes geographic isolation, which will happen if we end up sending out colonisation vessels to other star systems.

    Perfect citizens? Perhaps more than today, since they will be genetically 'superior'.

    Parents? Knowing the idiocy that exists within the human species, my guess is that, long term, parents will need to be restrained in their choices.

    How much change? Time will tell. Given enough time for researchers to deeply explore human genetics, I suspect it will be profound.
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  14. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by pipster View Post
    Fair enough ! point taken.. just a though thats all.. Im not claiming to be right... I mean what do I know? I've not even got a degree in anything but I AM a thinker ! just thought I would share my thought !
    After all...isn't that why we are on this site... or are some people here just to show how "clever" they are ?
    I may be mistaken - which would be good - but I sense this is partly directed at me. If so, this is my response. If not, ignore the rest of the post.

    You shared your thoughts. And I shared my thoughts. I pointed out why I felt some of your thoughts were mistaken, or might carry implications you had not considered. I think that is precisely what a discussion forum is for. If you think the points I raised were incorrect you are free to challenge them. If you think I made valid points you are free to agree.

    If I wanted to be 'clever' I would demonstrate how each of my points could be systematically dismantled. So I feel constrained to the ask the question - are some people here just because they expect to be agreed with?
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    Sorry John it was not directed at anyone in particular.. I am speaking from general experience... on this site... Fortunately this has turned into quite a good debate now with some interesting comments ,yours included..
    there has been a comment directed at me where I am refered to as a "junior imbecile" or "youngster" I will just say that THIS youngster is 49 years old and is a senior professional in a clinical workplace...and have been for the last 27 years !
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    It may look like this, but by trying to show others how smart you are, your forgetting the part where you actually care about what an inferior mind thinks about you. In total dominion of the world of science, people don't give a crap about what the uneducated think that will happen in a scientific experiment. They want to converse at their own level, so they expect others here to fill the gap. The really intellectuals might post here occasionally, to see what ideas they may come up with when the dumber people (like all of us) ask questions about it, that might spark an idea to a true intellectual.

    My iQ may be high in some circles, it's nowhere near that of true brainiacs, i have accepted this, and there is just the sweat and work part i can jerk up, not the actual thinking.

    Genetic engineering, (as stated in the first post) might be the next stage of evolution. From his religious point of view, god may have given us the capacity to gradually improve ourselves. But science states that we have evolved. Then the new god theory tells us that god have guided this evolution. But then, according to the same theory, we are perfect and don't need more evolution. So your actually contradicting yourself in saying god wants us to evolve. Or your thinking of a whole new way of religion, possibly.

    Yes, genetic engineering is going to be a big part in human development. It will end some diseases, it'll start some new ones. Noone can actually know right now where this is going to end. It might be the start of achieving human perfection. Or, the beginning of a war, a subspecies, or something completely different then humans. We might ban it, or not. I can't tell. But i agree on the idea it will play a big role somehow.
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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    Quote Originally Posted by pipster View Post
    Sorry John it was not directed at anyone in particular.. I am speaking from general experience... on this site...
    Then accept my apologies for misinterpreting the target of your remarks. Although i will add that I see very little evidence of people trying to show how clever they are. Those who do try typically deliver the opposite message. I do sometimes see frustration as yet another ill informed individual declares they have found the flaw in relativity, or can demonstrate why evolution is wrong, or can show that gravity is a push phenomenon, not a pull, etc.

    I also took a look at all the threads you have been involved in and could not find any where members made derisory comments of anykind towards you. Perhaps you posted here under another name before?
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    He is thorough this joh galt fellow isn't he?

    I just want to add john that I beleive it's great that people come up with all sorts of non conventional ideas and theories... much better than when somebody studies other peoples theories and then gets frustrated with people who are at least thinking for themsleves.

    I don't see why illinformed ideas are a bad thing, it's creative at least. Others learn from the arguments that follow and ill informed idea also.

    What I do see as a bad thing, is people being arrogant, or even frustrated, because they have learnt more about a certain topic.
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  19. #18  
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    What I do see as a bad thing, is people being arrogant, or even frustrated, because they have learnt more about a certain topic.
    Then we shall have to disagree. I feel entitled to be frustrated when someone who has studied a subject in a cursory manner has the audacity to challenge the conventional wisdom in that subject without understanding the conventional wisdom. If declaring and demonstrating my superior knowledge on a subject, knowledge acquired through hard work, effort and study, in an effort to correct their misinterpretation is arrogance, then yes - I am arrogant and damned proud of it.

    I will not sit idly by while individuals spout nonsense. I shall attempt to gently correct them. If they persist in their error, I shall offer firmer guidance. If they have the self-indulgent stupidity to continue talking unmitigated garbage after that, then I shall have no reservations in showing them up as a fool. This is a science forum and not a place for self righteous prats.

    I don't see why illinformed ideas are a bad thing, it's creative at least.
    Really? Creative? Creativity is expected to produce something of value, not nonsense. As Newton remarked, "If I have seen further it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants." In other words, Newton's views and creativity were informed by the knowledge acquired by those who had gone before. To seek to be creative from ground zero is just dumb.

    Others learn from the arguments that follow and ill informed idea also
    Many regular members respond to ill-informed ideas exactly for that reason - to share such little knowledge as we have with others. We therefore welcome those who post, implicitly, "I have this ill-informed idea. Am I right or worng." Unfortunately most ill-informed ideas take this form: "I have been studying subject X and it seems to me scientists have got it wrong. Here is what I think." Curiously in seven years of participating in more than half a dozen forums I have yet to see one of these ideas pan out.
    I beleive it's great that people come up with all sorts of non conventional ideas and theories
    I wish you would explain to me what is so wonderful about being wrong. I don't see much survival value in it and its entertainment value soon fades.
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    yep.. we probably all know an equal amount of information. Some of us know the birthday of every living human being, and others know the properties of every element and the combination of every possible element.

    Our deviation on brain mass is about 30%.. so in theory, we shouldn't vary this much on total intelligence.

    John Galt is just kind of short of substance, i mean, his points are usually short and mostly clear. But still open to interpretation because it's so short.

    "And now he answered long... hmm"
    Last edited by Zwolver; August 20th, 2012 at 08:15 AM. Reason: Added
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    I don't see why illinformed ideas are a bad thing, it's creative at least.
    Really? Creative? Creativity is expected to produce something of value, not nonsense. As Newton remarked, "If I have seen further it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants." In other words, Newton's views and creativity were informed by the knowledge acquired by those who had gone before. To seek to be creative from ground zero is just dumb.
    No, this is speculating. Speculation is allright when you don't have all the information. As a speculum shows a zoomed in part of the whole, and this is exactly what your doing, using your speculum and zooming in on the part you know.

    This sprouts creativity as you fill in parts you don't have. Social engineering states that even though ill informed, using simple logic can get you from a to b.

    To seek creative from ground zero is just brilliant... or dumb... depending on the outcome. It's not dumb in all cases.

    Newton meant by his giants, not giants in knowledge. But giants in HIS mind. His giants were his inspiration, which didn't mean they were gigantic discoveries, or even gigantic smart people. Most scientists simply got lucky.
    Last edited by Zwolver; August 20th, 2012 at 08:55 AM.
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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  22. #21  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Crap.
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    Having been here for 7 yrs john you obviously have examples in your mind that i have not witnessed.

    For all we know, intelligence might be beamed into somebody who never stidied science, from an alien overlord who choose this person to be informed of something. If this person tells people who have studied every scientists opinions since greek times that they are wrong, then they will be accused of being illinformed. I'm not saying this is very probable... but for all we know, it could be.

    I'm just being contrary I know
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    Quote Originally Posted by pipster View Post
    we could possibly be now in a position to actually "control" evolution.... so why NOT ?
    I think parents should have the right of having a child without genetical defects.
    But we dont know much, and as galt points out a good quality can be connected with a bad.
    I will defend the rights of the mother to choose! No one else should be allowed to stop her choice!
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    Having been here for 7 yrs john you obviously have examples in your mind that i have not witnessed.

    For all we know, intelligence might be beamed into somebody who never stidied science, from an alien overlord who choose this person to be informed of something. If this person tells people who have studied every scientists opinions since greek times that they are wrong, then they will be accused of being illinformed. I'm not saying this is very probable... but for all we know, it could be.

    I'm just being contrary I know
    Many of our fellow members cite the principle of Occam's Razor. In simple terms this means favouring the simplest option when presented with a series of possibilities. I'm not generally a great fan of the concept, but I think it applies here. If an alien has chosen such a methdology to communicate his information then I have grave reservations about that alien's intelligence. It's not a possibility that is worth entertaining.


    to Zwolver: if you prefer the longer version of crap I can oblige.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Genetic modification has enormous potential for creating a better humanity. We still have a way to go, but I suspect that 100 years will be enough. Right now, for example, only one gene has been identified as increasing intelligence. There are likely to be many intelligence genes, and we need to identify most of them. However, once that is done, perhaps we can introduce all the known intelligence genes into a zygote and end up with a genius?

    This kind of modification will be very expensive at first, but costs have a habit of dropping. There is a revolution in robotics, which has already started. Laboratories are already becoming roboticised, with repetitive processes being carried out by robots. In 100 years, perhaps gene insertions will be automated and cheap?

    What would-be parent would not want his/her offspring to be intelligent, good looking, athletic, healthy, long lived etc.? With the capability there, and the cost falling, it should become more and more common for children to be modified to make them superior.
    How about gills, better livers, stomachs that can digest wood?
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    Having been here for 7 yrs john you obviously have examples in your mind that i have not witnessed.

    For all we know, intelligence might be beamed into somebody who never stidied science, from an alien overlord who choose this person to be informed of something. If this person tells people who have studied every scientists opinions since greek times that they are wrong, then they will be accused of being illinformed. I'm not saying this is very probable... but for all we know, it could be.

    I'm just being contrary I know
    Many of our fellow members cite the principle of Occam's Razor. In simple terms this means favouring the simplest option when presented with a series of possibilities. I'm not generally a great fan of the concept, but I think it applies here. If an alien has chosen such a methdology to communicate his information then I have grave reservations about that alien's intelligence. It's not a possibility that is worth entertaining.
    Ok, what if god is a universal consciousness that can be interacted with by, and give revalation to, those who have developed there ability far enough... in this case, the practisioner has developed a high intelligence regardless of how much he knows about mans previous attempts to understand. Therefore god could know that he is a highly intelligent person in spite of his ignorance of certain things. Maybe God doesn't care if well educated scientists in the feild have the same understanding as the disciple who has learnt to comunicate with the universal consciouness, therefor God teaching a man, that the world considers stupid or ignorant, is not an indication of God's intelligence.

    Anyway, forgetting that and getting back to the point... if you would like to present some evidence that learned characteristics cannot be passed on through the genetic code then I will duely be incredulous towards it.
    Being wrong is ok, none of us ever got to being right without first being wrong... you tell me, whats wrong about being wrong?
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    Quote Originally Posted by sigurdW View Post
    How about gills, better livers, stomachs that can digest wood?
    Perhaps.

    I would tend to think, myself, that very different genetic modifications will be given in response to need. Perhaps we may want a sub species of human who can live underwater, and give them gills? I have doubts. Gills are not as good for oxygen transfer as lungs, because there is a lot less oxygen in water than in air, and most organisms with gills have a much lower basal metabolism than humans.

    One thought I have had is to enhance our resistance to radiation. It is likely that a sizable fraction of the human species may end up living in space cities, where cosmic radiation induced cancers would be a big problem. However, there are other species which have much better genetic mechanisms for repairing DNA, and are much more resistant to radiation than humans. Perhaps inserting those genes may boost our radiation resistance for space living?
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sigurdW View Post
    How about gills, better livers, stomachs that can digest wood?
    Perhaps.

    I would tend to think, myself, that very different genetic modifications will be given in response to need. Perhaps we may want a sub species of human who can live underwater, and give them gills? I have doubts. Gills are not as good for oxygen transfer as lungs, because there is a lot less oxygen in water than in air, and most organisms with gills have a much lower basal metabolism than humans.

    One thought I have had is to enhance our resistance to radiation. It is likely that a sizable fraction of the human species may end up living in space cities, where cosmic radiation induced cancers would be a big problem. However, there are other species which have much better genetic mechanisms for repairing DNA, and are much more resistant to radiation than humans. Perhaps inserting those genes may boost our radiation resistance for space living?
    It would be nice if livers tolerated alcohol better and eating wood would remove the need to destroy the earth by farming. Cheap food!
    But i am extremely symphatetic to the idea of living in space. Lets go man!
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    Sigurd

    I also have a romantic urge towards the great adventure of space. I will be long dead and gone before that, of course, but the idea is attractive.

    Improving the human liver? Yes. A real advantage when we all love alcohol so much.

    Eating wood? Seriously, I doubt it. There is no reason an advanced food technology should not convert wood into a more palatable form, but I cannot see anyone seriously wanting to eat pure cellulose.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Sigurd

    I also have a romantic urge towards the great adventure of space. I will be long dead and gone before that, of course, but the idea is attractive.

    Improving the human liver? Yes. A real advantage when we all love alcohol so much.

    If you can make a stomach digest wood
    than you can make ahuman like it!

    Eating wood? Seriously, I doubt it. There is no reason an advanced food technology should not convert wood into a more palatable form, but I cannot see anyone seriously wanting to eat pure cellulose.
    Making a stomach digesting wood
    And humans liking it as food
    Aint that similar?
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  32. #31  
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    Quote Originally Posted by sigurdW View Post
    Making a stomach digesting wood
    And humans liking it as food
    Aint that similar?
    To be honest, I really cannot make a judgment. Trying the make predictions is hazardous, at least, especially about the future.

    My personal reaction to the idea of eating wood is not going to make it more or less probable. Short answer : I do not know.
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    Do you think we'll ever be able to upgrade our DNA after birth?

    I figure sooner or later we'll get to the point of being able to regrow body parts and organs for people. At present, we're able to grow some very basic things, like extra veins.

    Ten-Year-Old Girl Receives Major Vein Grown From Her Own Stem Cells | Singularity Hub


    So, supposing we could also alter the DNA of those organs as we grow them (making sure to keep them within the limits of a "compatible donor" of course). Could a person receive an "upgrade" later on in life that way?
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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    Second question: would that lead to greatly extended life span? Pretty much the only organs you can't transplant in or out without dying or being unable to properly implant them are your brain and nerves, right? (and I'm not sure to what degree this is true of nerves.)

    Could we have very old people running around in very young bodies? I guess the brain would still eventually have to give out, though, right? Or - would it be possible to kind of gradually graft in new brain cells in small amounts over time?
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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  35. #34  
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    To kojax

    What you are talking about is gene therapy.
    That is being actively researched and has been used therapeutically. Could it increase longevity? No reason why not in theory. How that translates into practice is another thing, of course.
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    For kojax. I'm a very young person running around in a very old body. No. the brain dosn't give out, wear out, but active movement of all functioning parts deteriorate at an alarming pace at 0230 HRS one cold wet morning in the winter of your active life. You wake up and find, for the first time in your life that there is no morning glory to behold, somebody has left a picture of an old mans face stuck to the Bathroom Shaving mirrow, and, you must be in the wrong house because none of the clothes fit you anymore. westwind.
    Words words words, were it better I caught your tears, and washed my face in them, and felt their sting. - westwind
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    I would say the brain does give out. Several thousand brain cells die every day. These are not replaced, but the function is taken over by other brain cells. There is going to be a part where the normal aging proces of the brain makes it to old to function properly. Not even concidering accellerated degradation from aging or by the pressure on remaining cells. There are a multiple of diseases many more actually suffer from if we get older, like alzheimer. If people would live 20 years longer in average.. about 4 or 5 times more people would suffer from alzheimer...

    To John Galt.

    I understand your version of crap, i just disagree with it. What i said was my own interpretation, so eiter you correct me, or disagree with me. Saying crap states your own personality, and i can't disagree with your personality. It simply is the way it is. What was possibly incorrect was the thing i stated about newton's giants.. as it could be giant minds. But i don't think he meant that. And as far as i know, that is still open to interpretation.

    Besides, if you would say crap to everything that you disagreed upon, that's all you would be saying. Heck, it would be all i would say on the biology forum, as it's weird if everybody agreed with eachother, it would be a weird discussion..
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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    I cant believe someone would actually look up past post and replies...that is just TOO literal ! has it never occured that I am capable of getting the impression I refered to just by reading other peoples threads and by seeing responses to them... when I say that I got the general impression from experience on the site..I didnt LITERALLY mean ME ME ME... I have empathy for others and I "got" the impression by just taking an interest and taking note of what others are saying ..and the responses to same !
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    to put my recent defensive coments into a nutshell....(and this is my last coment on the subject)
    I like the company of intelectuals
    I dont like company of ignorant dimwits
    people can be intelligent without being well educated
    As a result of this..I have realised that here is a difference between being and interesting intelectual and just being a pompous clever Dick ! intelectuals share opinions and inspire each other where as clever Dicks just dig their heels in and insist on establishing their "superiority" !! and as a result...they make boring company !
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    Pipster is it ok if I plagarise your last two posts? i'm having a similar problem with some educated fool.
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  41. #40  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    I don't see why illinformed ideas are a bad thing, it's creative at least.
    Really? Creative? Creativity is expected to produce something of value, not nonsense. As Newton remarked, "If I have seen further it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants." In other words, Newton's views and creativity were informed by the knowledge acquired by those who had gone before. To seek to be creative from ground zero is just dumb.
    No, this is speculating. Speculation is allright when you don't have all the information. As a speculum shows a zoomed in part of the whole, and this is exactly what your doing, using your speculum and zooming in on the part you know.

    This sprouts creativity as you fill in parts you don't have. Social engineering states that even though ill informed, using simple logic can get you from a to b.

    To seek creative from ground zero is just brilliant... or dumb... depending on the outcome. It's not dumb in all cases.

    Newton meant by his giants, not giants in knowledge. But giants in HIS mind. His giants were his inspiration, which didn't mean they were gigantic discoveries, or even gigantic smart people. Most scientists simply got lucky.
    I characterised the above post as crap and offered to expand upon that if required. Zwolver has implicilty asked me to do so.

    Speculation in the field of science should be based upon an understanding of current theory.The speculation may choose to wholly reject current theory, but it will do by demonstrating in what way the specualtion offers, or may offer, a superior solution to current theory.

    That is informed speculation. It is the lifeblood of advance in science. It is a key step in the scientific method.

    Ill-informed speculation is based on just dreaming up an idea and failing to to test it against reality. It is the antithesis of science and the scientific method. It is not just a waste of creativity, it is abuse of originality and corruption of imagination. It offers nothing of value and detracts from proper science. I suggest that you cannot cite a single scientific advance that arose from ill-informed speculation.

    As to your remarks on Newton's meaning, provide me with such an interpretation offered by an of his recognised biographers and will withdraw my characterisation of crap for that part of your post. For the moment though my executive summary stands for the entire post.
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    I know your points, and their are correct in some way or another. I can't cite any ill informed advancements in science, as they weren't noted. Only scientists who can explain their science to others, get credit. Like einstein did. Like newton did. Like Edison did. All of them, most probably stole ideas from others, who did not document their experiments, their ideas, their constructions. Though i don't doubt their part in it, you can not prove it all came from these scientists, and "simple folks" had nothing to do with it.

    If you can not comprehend this, as i am speaking in probabilities, and not in truths, then i understand. As you must understand that something that is written, does not make it the truth.

    In science i do try to reference my findings, but not in speculative forum talks.

    Also i explicitly told i didn't need you to explain it, as i already knew exactly what you meant by it. Basically reverse everything i said.

    Though i wonder what you ideas are on genetic manipulation, and i'll ask this with a simple question.

    On what way, does genetic manipulation provide the most stable basis, and who will have the best progress in genetic research? Is it from the so called "ill-informed" scientist, that knows little about a certain genetic structure to begin with, but learns in the proces with testing and grows into the experiments. Or the scientist that already knows all about his genes, knows only 1 thing that could improve a gene, and does not test, but implement his level of information as a reference.

    At the end, which gene therapy would you take.
    - From the scientist who didn't know much about genes in the beginning but learned from mistakes during the way, grew into the program, tested his therapy thouroughly, untill it finally worked.
    - From the scientist who knew everything already in theory, grounded everything by theory, and makes sure everything he did was right, so the product doesn't need testing.

    I'm just implying, there should be a mix of the both, and i'm still feeling you don't get this.
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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  43. #42  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    IAt the end, which gene therapy would you take.
    - From the scientist who didn't know much about genes in the beginning but learned from mistakes during the way, grew into the program, tested his therapy thouroughly, untill it finally worked.
    - From the scientist who knew everything already in theory, grounded everything by theory, and makes sure everything he did was right, so the product doesn't need testing.

    I'm just implying, there should be a mix of the both, and i'm still feeling you don't get this.
    Neither of the scientists you describe are ill-informed. the second scientist probably does not esit in reality. the first scientist is pretty much typical. He is aware of his ignorance and therefore is basing his cautious advances on his informed understanding.

    this is exactly the opposite of the self-indulgent stupidity of ill-informed opinion expressed by certain members and which I have been lambasting and to which you leapt to the defence of.

    To make it cleaer, the ill-informed geneticist would declare "I think we can cure cancer by splicing in the gene that makes carrots go red into the 4th chromosme." That's the equivalent of what the pseudoscientists posting on the forum have been doing.
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    Ill-informed speculation is based on just dreaming up an idea and failing to to test it against reality. It is the antithesis of science and the scientific method. It is not just a waste of creativity, it is abuse of originality and corruption of imagination. It offers nothing of value and detracts from proper science. I suggest that you cannot cite a single scientific advance that arose from ill-informed speculation.
    How well informed is this speculation you make John?

    I disagree on the grounds that all speculation has an element of being illinformed. testing it against reality is what can be done after the speculation, this is part of the process of science surely? Being well informed can indeed help us to speculate further on a theory... but as zwolver said being creative from ground zero, if successful, is brilliant.
    It's simple John, no matter how illinformed a person is... the fact that they speculate is a positive sign of there desire to make sense of things... this is a positive trait and shouldn't be trampled on.

    As for an earlier comment you made 'unfortunately many posts start with 'I'v been studying and it seems to me science has got it wrong' is almost exactly the same as 'i have this ilinformed idea, am i right or wrong' It's a matter of interpretation to a degree.
    Realistically who, that is aware of there own lack of information on the subject, will bring a post to the forum expecting all you regulars to say 'hey, great stuff. it' goes against leading theories but good work.'? Nobody... so whats the option? to state your view that the science seems wrong to you and wait to see what others have to say about it. There isn't really any need for you to get frustrated, but as said ealier... it starts to grind after a while. Still, there is a big difference between 'the science seems wrong to me' and 'hey, this science is BS... your a bunch of gullable muppets. the later would get frustrating if your somebody who knows for certain it isn't BS.

    P.S, my previous post in this thread had nothing to do with you john... I had forgotten about this earlier discussion.
    Last edited by John Galt; August 23rd, 2012 at 05:30 AM. Reason: Correct quotes. JG
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    Rather than address your points one by one let me strike to what for me is the heart of the matter. You said this (emphasis added by me)

    Realistically who, that is aware of there own lack of information on the subject, will bring a post to the forum expecting all you regulars to say 'hey, great stuff. it' goes against leading theories but good work.'? Nobody... so whats the option?
    The frigging option is not to be so frigging arrogant and so frigging self-deluded that you actually believe you may have something that will revolutionise our understanding of science, especially not something you think will revolutionise a really big area of science. In short, a bit of frigging modesty and frigging self-awareness would almost certainly prevent the vast majority of the stupdity that is a chronic feature of this and other forums.

    To illustrate this point, consider the following. I have had a suspicion for more than two decades that there is a significant mechanism present in evolution that has been overlooked. Have I proposed this mechanism within this or any other forum? No. Why not? After all I have a genius level IQ: fact. I have been self studying biology in general and evolution in particular for the last fifteen years, through the medium of text books and research papers: fact. I have an honours degree in geology that contained a significant palaeontological component and included a minor in Botany: fact.

    So surely these attributes should be sufficient for me to offer my speculation? Well, no. I consider myself, still, to be too ill-informed. So when I see fools throwing out wild ideas with none of the foundations, then yes - I get frustrated, I get annoyed, I get angry and sometimes I get furious, because I object to a felllow human showing such lack of intelligence, such lack of discretion and such self-indulgent stupidity.

    Now some people don't even know that they don't know. And some of these people, when they are told they are wrong are bright enough and confident enough to accept it. That is wonderful. That is brilliant. They are heroes. But others just remain intransigently stupid and those I do and shall continue to condemn.
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    Yes understood, points taken on board... you've seen more extreme examples of this than I.

    I suspect the main reason you don't put it on a forum is because, you have no faith that people would be able to help you, or else, you don't want your theory to be stolen by somebody else and you have enough patience to wait in the hope that you may stumble across the info that would help confirm your idea...? one of those because if you wanted to, you could bring your idea up here without seeming arrogant about it... you know you could.

    Just remeber, what seems like arrogance to your intelligence might be a humble attempt at discovery by some... though i suppose your sharp enough to know when somebody is refusing decent evidence. Losing your cool with them will only make stuborn people dig there heels in more, maybe just to annoy you further.

    I think we have unearth a passion in you, you don't like to witness a lack of intelligence, especially arrogance, in your fellow Humans. You should use your high I.Q to change that... your doing that here, but is that the best method? Thats for you to answer smarty pants

    I was going to ask... who is the ilinformed one anyway? I don't remember how this subject... I found my comment 'I don't see whats wrong with illinformed ideas, at leats they are creative'... But I couldn't find which posts that comment refered to! Anyway, I suppose it doesn't matter.
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    Allright, that cleared up some of the mess..

    I still think people aren't stupid, just illinformed. Which can be countered by a discussion, it's how we learn, and grow. And as long as these "scientists" do stupid things, they will learn.
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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    Exactly zwolver... and when people on here (not john) take offence of somebodies illinformed ideas... that illinformed person would usually shut out the constructive things. Patience is always the best way to teach people IMO.

    I know much of what I say on here could be called arrogant, if not all... but i'm in it to learn.
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  49. #48  
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    I suspect the main reason you don't put it on a forum is because, you have no faith that people would be able to help you, or else, you don't want your theory to be stolen by somebody else and you have enough patience to wait in the hope that you may stumble across the info that would help confirm your idea...? .
    1. Many people on this and other forums, including the idiots, have been helping me immensely. The idiots have provided focus for me to learn specific things with which to challenge their assertions with solid evidence. Others have deepened my understanding of one or other aspect of biology. Other members have asked good questions that have required me to deepen my understanding in order to answer.

    2. I don't have a theory. I have a tentative hypothesis. I have no fear of it being stolen. In the last year I have seen some evidence that others may already have explored thinking along the same lines. It would be nice to be known for having contributed something to science, but I'm more interested in the idea than in fame.

    3. I'm not expecting to stumble on the information I need. I expect to extract it through hard, persistent effort.
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    Well if your not worried about it being stolen... then would you give me an idea of the tentative hypothesis?

    P.S I knew stumble across would be the wrong expression.
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    Well if your not worried about it being stolen... then would you give me an idea of the tentative hypothesis?

    P.S I knew stumble across would be the wrong expression.
    I'm just about ready to post something before year end. I'll send you a pm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    Well if your not worried about it being stolen... then would you give me an idea of the tentative hypothesis?

    P.S I knew stumble across would be the wrong expression.
    I'm just about ready to post something before year end. I'll send you a pm.
    I will keep and eye out for that... give me something to look forward to in the winter months
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  53. #52  
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    I had no idea you were in research John. What field?
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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  54. #53  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    To kojax

    What you are talking about is gene therapy.
    That is being actively researched and has been used therapeutically. Could it increase longevity? No reason why not in theory. How that translates into practice is another thing, of course.
    I see it as an interesting gamble. I imagine anyone who put their money into computer stocks back in the late 80's to early 90's before PC's took off would have been very happy with their decision by 1999.

    If gene therapy should turn out to be the next exploding technology, then it might be a good idea to start looking for the "Microsoft" or "Yahoo" or "Google" of that field while it's still speculative. But then again..... it could be like betting on one of those companies that was busy researching nuclear fusion in the 1980's and still hasn't made all that much headway. A person who invested back then would have no real advantage over a person who waited and placed their bet last week. (Or likely the one who invested last week has the advantage because their investment hasn't gradually trickled into nothing.)
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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    ...Taking a walk:
    ...the disputed evolutionary ladder
    ...controlled evolution
    ...snake biting its tail
    ...Is there a last step in our evolution?
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  56. #55  
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    Quote Originally Posted by sigurdW View Post
    ...Taking a walk:
    ...the disputed evolutionary ladder
    ...controlled evolution
    ...snake biting its tail
    ...Is there a last step in our evolution?
    Good question.. I don't know.. There could be an ultimate form of where we would be adapted to all circumstances. That we could actually say we evolved to be the apex of possibilities, but i don't think there is. There probably is the best way to adapt, to a specific environment, for a specific situation. I doubt anything could ever reach the true apex.
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sigurdW View Post
    ...Taking a walk:
    ...the disputed evolutionary ladder
    ...controlled evolution
    ...snake biting its tail
    ...Is there a last step in our evolution?
    Good question.. I don't know.. There could be an ultimate form of where we would be adapted to all circumstances. That we could actually say we evolved to be the apex of possibilities, but i don't think there is. There probably is the best way to adapt, to a specific environment, for a specific situation. I doubt anything could ever reach the true apex.
    Good answer Sir Sisyfos, would you join us at my breakfast table? King Arthur says...
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    The last step to evolution is extinction.

    Before that is always another step forward.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    The last step to evolution is extinction.

    Before that is always another step forward.
    Cerberus, you might be right...
    With all potential gone, entropy at its limit...
    What more than ourselves is there to gnaw?
    pS: I cant help wondering why there was... energy...Useless! Wouldnt you say?
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    The last step to evolution is extinction.

    Before that is always another step forward.
    ?

    So an extinct species has reached the maximum possible potential? If it reached maximum potential it would not have gone extinct. Though i understand your point.. Evolution ends when it's species ends..
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    I had no idea you were in research John. What field?
    I have been ambiguous and unclear. The research I refer to is self study and literature searches focused on certain specific areas. I am sorry if I gave a different impression.
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    I like this topic. I have long considered genetic engineering as a necessity in human survival, an eventuality. I even wrote a story when I was in 6th grade about the human race 1 million years from now. I proposed that people who wear glasses are smarter and survived to reproduce more in an increasingly technological world where only they could succeed. Eventually, humans became blind and children born with sight were shunned and even exterminated. Keep in mind, this all came about when I found out I needed glasses.

    In all seriousness, I do wonder about the potential of genetic tinkering. It almost seems too tempting for humanity to resist forever.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    I like this topic. I do wonder about the potential of genetic tinkering. It almost seems too tempting for humanity to resist forever.
    Why resist...
    If we were producing nerve cells instead of fat, fat people would be respected for their brains
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    We may be able to up the intelligence of future generations but I'm not so sure about common sense and wisdom. Some really smart people can think and say the dumbest things sometimes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Fabos View Post
    We may be able to up the intelligence of future generations but I'm not so sure about common sense and wisdom. Some really smart people can think and say the dumbest things sometimes.
    Cant be me, Im not that smart.
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    That's an intelligent thing to say.. haha.. so you must be a dunce.

    In all seriousness, I do wonder about the potential of genetic tinkering. It almost seems too tempting for humanity to resist forever.
    Yes, so it seems. Like coal power seemed to good to be true. Cheap, high energy, and abundant. The black clouds were an obvious hint of what would be possibly wrong with coal. Same with genetic engineering. Although the signs are not that clear, our imagination has grown, so we can comprehend the impact of possible problems that would arise.

    In peace, financial equality for all, where only healthcare would be the problem of the world, i would applaude to the idea of genetic tampering. But if it could be weaponized, used for increased diversity between fincial power, or to increase the length of human life unequally, it will lead to war. And it will be the "poor" that will win this. As the rich can not buy the rich, and the rich are only a small group. The poor would want that wealth and possibilities to themselves.

    Genetic engineering to the scale needed to make a difference in human health and evolution in that case, will most likely never happen. Or it'll be a soon to be crater in a jungle or mountain.
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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    It will happen whether we like it or not.

    It should happen.

    Like any technology there are risk it will be abused. So what? There being risk only compels us to understand the field even better. The potential benefits are extraordinary.
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    "Like any technology there are risk it will be abused. So what?"

    So, make sure it doesn't get abused!
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    How? When policy-makers try to get involved in science, things tend to go poorly.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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    I don't know how flick... if it was me who invented the science i would attempt to patent it and put regulations in place regarding it's use. If I couldn't garentee that my knowledge will stay out of abusive hands... then i would take my knowledge to the grave rather than have the heavy psychological burden of guilt.
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    If you explore the history of the guilds of the Middle ages you will see how restricting information also restricts technological advances. So, you can either live in a rural community and die in your forties, or you can take the risks associated with change. However, the species makes the decision, not the individual.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    If you explore the history of the guilds of the Middle ages you will see how restricting information also restricts technological advances. So, you can either live in a rural community and die in your forties, or you can take the risks associated with change. However, the species makes the decision, not the individual.
    Decisions are usually made be individuals, groups are often led by individuals... you think in our democracy that all members of society actually have a say in a decision?

    Genetic engineering will be used as far as it can be in order to mantain control. My guess is that it will have some horrific consequences.

    Evolution does things slowly and naturally, so that everything fits and works symbiotically within it's environment. Human advancement is at such a state that suggests we have already interfered too much in our own evolution. creating genetic mutants will only create an organism that is even further out of sync with it's environment. The environment won't be able to sustain the new organism.

    IMO.
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    Decisions are usually made be individuals,
    So who made the decision to have a global financial crisis? People are constrained by circumstance, channeled towards decisions. The individual may make the decision, but that decision has been conditioned by their entire environment. If Hitler had not arisen, there wouldhave been some other Schicklegruber.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    Decisions are usually made be individuals,
    So who made the decision to have a global financial crisis? People are constrained by circumstance, channeled towards decisions. The individual may make the decision, but that decision has been conditioned by their entire environment. If Hitler had not arisen, there wouldhave been some other Schicklegruber.
    Shicklegruber! love it! never heard that word before...

    Yes had it not been hitler, somebody else would be used.

    I don't know who made the decision to have a financial crisis... but I was tipped off before it was made public, so there were those in the know before the rest of us found out, as always, 'the common man will struggle for some time' I was told. I suppose whoever made the decision was somebody involved in the whole illusion which is the economy. Boom and bust, it's written into the dna of economy.

    We'r getting side tracked from the genetics debate.
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    Shicklegruber! love it! never heard that word before...
    Maria Ann Schicklgruber was the mother of Adolf Hitler's father, Alois. The latter was a bastard in the literal sense, whereas Adolf was a bastard in perjorative sense. Alois was raised by the Heidlers, one of whom had subsequently married Maria.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    That's an intelligent thing to say.. haha.. so you must be a dunce.

    In all seriousness, I do wonder about the potential of genetic tinkering. It almost seems too tempting for humanity to resist forever.
    Yes, so it seems. Like coal power seemed to good to be true. Cheap, high energy, and abundant. The black clouds were an obvious hint of what would be possibly wrong with coal. Same with genetic engineering. Although the signs are not that clear, our imagination has grown, so we can comprehend the impact of possible problems that would arise.

    In peace, financial equality for all, where only healthcare would be the problem of the world, i would applaude to the idea of genetic tampering. But if it could be weaponized, used for increased diversity between fincial power, or to increase the length of human life unequally, it will lead to war. And it will be the "poor" that will win this. As the rich can not buy the rich, and the rich are only a small group. The poor would want that wealth and possibilities to themselves.

    Genetic engineering to the scale needed to make a difference in human health and evolution in that case, will most likely never happen. Or it'll be a soon to be crater in a jungle or mountain.

    I think the poor will lose. Population control will be a major issue if our species becomes immortal. There are going to be a lot of under educated people (which are also mostly poor people) who want to both have kids AND be immortal, because they don't have the math skills to see what that adds up to.

    Either those people will lose or everyone will lose. But either way, there will almost certainly be a war and it will be bloody and terrible.


    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    The last step to evolution is extinction.

    Before that is always another step forward.
    It depends how you look at it. Was the automobile the last step in the evolution of the horse and carriage? Or did horses and carriages become (mostly) extinct?

    I suppose whatever humanity becomes after we start tinkering, it won't "human" as we once understood the word.
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    That's an intelligent thing to say.. haha.. so you must be a dunce.

    In all seriousness, I do wonder about the potential of genetic tinkering. It almost seems too tempting for humanity to resist forever.
    Yes, so it seems. Like coal power seemed to good to be true. Cheap, high energy, and abundant. The black clouds were an obvious hint of what would be possibly wrong with coal. Same with genetic engineering. Although the signs are not that clear, our imagination has grown, so we can comprehend the impact of possible problems that would arise.

    In peace, financial equality for all, where only healthcare would be the problem of the world, i would applaude to the idea of genetic tampering. But if it could be weaponized, used for increased diversity between fincial power, or to increase the length of human life unequally, it will lead to war. And it will be the "poor" that will win this. As the rich can not buy the rich, and the rich are only a small group. The poor would want that wealth and possibilities to themselves.

    Genetic engineering to the scale needed to make a difference in human health and evolution in that case, will most likely never happen. Or it'll be a soon to be crater in a jungle or mountain.

    I think the poor will lose. Population control will be a major issue if our species becomes immortal. There are going to be a lot of under educated people (which are also mostly poor people) who want to both have kids AND be immortal, because they don't have the math skills to see what that adds up to.

    Either those people will lose or everyone will lose. But either way, there will almost certainly be a war and it will be bloody and terrible.


    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    The last step to evolution is extinction.

    Before that is always another step forward.
    It depends how you look at it. Was the automobile the last step in the evolution of the horse and carriage? Or did horses and carriages become (mostly) extinct?

    I suppose whatever humanity becomes after we start tinkering, it won't "human" as we once understood the word.
    Welcome to my world:
    Either we consume
    all available energy
    (including ourselves)
    or we FLEE!
    HOW? Can it be done?
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    Quote Originally Posted by sigurdW View Post
    Either we consume
    all available energy
    (including ourselves)
    or we FLEE!
    HOW? Can it be done?
    I call bullsh!t on that.

    Nuclear fusion energy from deuterium, for example. There is enough deuterium in the ocean to supply humanity with ten times our current energy demand for 100 million years.

    Run out of energy? Not likely!
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sigurdW View Post
    Either we consume
    all available energy
    (including ourselves)
    or we FLEE!
    HOW? Can it be done?
    I call bullsh!t on that.

    Nuclear fusion energy from deuterium, for example. There is enough deuterium in the ocean to supply humanity with ten times our current energy demand for 100 million years.

    Run out of energy? Not likely!
    So? Whats wrong with this argument?

    1 There is not an infinite amount of energy in the universe.
    2 Life consumes (or degrades) energy.
    3 Life grows exponentially, therefore:
    4 At some point in time there will be no energy left.
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    Sigurd

    At some time in the future, the universe itself will be destroyed, by some means or other, whether by collapse or the Big Rip, or the Heat Death or whatever.

    True, nothing is infinite, but within any reasonable time period, humanity will not run out of energy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Sigurd

    At some time in the future, the universe itself will be destroyed, by some means or other, whether by collapse or the Big Rip, or the Heat Death or whatever.

    True, nothing is infinite, but within any reasonable time period, humanity will not run out of energy.
    In all,or most, large scale theories the effect of life
    on the universe is left out of the calculations.

    Its an error...the universe can be destroyed
    in other ways but thinking this matter over...

    I suspect that life is the danger to our beloved universe!
    Other scenarios seems to take longer time to do their job.

    Is life (perhaps methaphorically speaking)
    A contagious (!?) disease of universes?

    To continue into the sublimely ridiculous:
    Is it our moral duty to cure our sick patient?
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    I call bullsh!t on that.

    Nuclear fusion energy from deuterium, for example. There is enough deuterium in the ocean to supply humanity with ten times our current energy demand for 100 million years.

    Run out of energy? Not likely!
    Whoa? Your serious.. 100 million years?

    I doubt you calculated increased energy needs with that. The energy needed to harvest the deuterium, and the energy needed to initiate the reaction and keep it up.

    All and all, i'd say with this, we'd have a good 300 years of energy left with deuterium alone, and an efficiency of 90% (of theoretical output).

    But there is no nuclear fusion yet.... It doesn't work yet... What if it takes us over 40 years, and fossil fuels are almost gone, and prices skyrocket, like 80 euro's for a liter of fuel.
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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    Quote Originally Posted by sigurdW View Post
    In all,or most, large scale theories the effect of life
    on the universe is left out of the calculations.

    Its an error...the universe can be destroyed
    in other ways but thinking this matter over...

    I suspect that life is the danger to our beloved universe!
    Other scenarios seems to take longer time to do their job.

    Is life (perhaps methaphorically speaking)
    A contagious (!?) disease of universes?

    To continue into the sublimely ridiculous:
    Is it our moral duty to cure our sick patient?
    Life has no effect on the universe.. We can destroy our own planet, and solar system, and our own milkyway... Even if we could do this, it would have no effect on the universe.

    Universe can be destroyed, yes, but this destruction has no effect on the universe. Energy will remain the same..

    Life is the danger to our universe? Grow up. Without life, there is nothing preceiving it, and it would have no point in existing. It's life giving meaning to the universe.

    Life shows several symptoms of a disease, but so do slurpies, air, and email. This does not make it a disease.

    The last thing is even more ridiculous then all others combined. Where do you get this crap from? It's our choice and moral duty to cure sick patients. YES. You want to end all healthcare because of the scourge life is to the universe? Really?
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    Whoa? Your serious.. 100 million years?
    Totally serious. I looked it up.
    You probably underestimate the incredible amount of energy released when deuterium is concerted to helium.

    Going by memory, it is about one litre of seawater contains enough deuterium to release the energy from burning 5 litres of oil.
    Since the oceans contain E18 tonnes of sea water, that is a hell of a lot of energy!

    I calculated it once as a billion years worth of energy at the current rate of energy use, or 100 million at ten times our current energy consumption.

    Certainly that is technology currently beyond our reach. That is why, earlier, I expressed the need to develop thorium fission power. That is sufficient for the next 1,000 years, which would allow fusion development to be fully developed.
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    skeptic would you be good enough to provide a source for the deuterium content/energy delivery numbers and address Zwolver's observation about the energy require to extract the deuterium.
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    I was going by memory. I long ago lost the original reference. But a simple google search reveals.....

    The Speculist: The Energy Race

    I quote :

    "the deuterium extracted from one liter of sea water will produce energy equivalent to 300 liters of gasoline."

    I do not know the energy required to extract the deuterium, but compared to the energy in the deuterium, it has to be insignificant.
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    Thank you for the prompt response. I cannot locate any specific costs for the vaired methods of heavy water extraction, but I agree that the net result would still be decidedly positive.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sigurdW View Post
    In all,or most, large scale theories the effect of life
    on the universe is left out of the calculations.

    Its an error...the universe can be destroyed
    in other ways but thinking this matter over...

    I suspect that life is the danger to our beloved universe!
    Other scenarios seems to take longer time to do their job.

    Is life (perhaps methaphorically speaking)
    A contagious (!?) disease of universes?

    To continue into the sublimely ridiculous:
    Is it our moral duty to cure our sick patient?
    Life has no effect on the universe.. We can destroy our own planet, and solar system, and our own milkyway... Even if we could do this, it would have no effect on the universe.

    Universe can be destroyed, yes, but this destruction has no effect on the universe. Energy will remain the same..

    Life is the danger to our universe? Grow up. Without life, there is nothing preceiving it, and it would have no point in existing. It's life giving meaning to the universe.

    Life shows several symptoms of a disease, but so do slurpies, air, and email. This does not make it a disease.

    The last thing is even more ridiculous then all others combined. Where do you get this crap from? It's our choice and moral duty to cure sick patients. YES. You want to end all healthcare because of the scourge life is to the universe? Really?
    Lets begin with: Destruction"

    Ilya Prigogine defined life as:
    "dissipative thermodynamical system far from equilibrioum".
    This is from memory so youd better do some googling.

    You eat or you die! To be is to degrade energy.
    Life speeds up a natural process.
    Read all about it in thermodynamics.

    Did I say that energy can be destroyed?
    If so I simplifyed.
    Do you say that energy cant be degraded?

    If a mass on top of of a mountain is smashed into pieces
    then the sum of the pieces has the same potential energy
    as the origunal "destroyed" mass.

    This "destruction" is not "energy distruction"
    Nothing changes...
    unless the mass alone or the pieces en mass
    drops to the base of the mountain

    Since theres a finite amount of energy,
    all energy will degrade to its lowest form...eventually.

    This so called "energy death" is far. far away in the future.
    Or it WAS! Until lifes exponential growth moved "The End" closer.

    How much closer? You tell me!
    Please measure the effect life has on the universe.

    How much longer will the universe "live",
    if no life exists in it?

    Now to my last question
    Didnt you...ahem... miss my point?

    Suppose the doctor IS the virus killing the patient,
    What shall we tell the doctor to do:


    To cure or not to cure...thats the question!
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sigurdW View Post
    Either we consume
    all available energy
    (including ourselves)
    or we FLEE!
    HOW? Can it be done?
    I call bullsh!t on that.

    Nuclear fusion energy from deuterium, for example. There is enough deuterium in the ocean to supply humanity with ten times our current energy demand for 100 million years.

    Run out of energy? Not likely!

    That depends on the rate of population growth. If humanity becomes immortal, and starts doubling its population every 200 years, then after 4,000 years there would more than a million times as many people as there are now. If we stopped multiplying then, for some reason, then that supply would only last 100 years.

    You see the problem? If we didn't stop multiplying at that rate, then after another 4,000 years there would be over a trillion times as many as there are now. We'd better hope there are enough planets to hold us.

    The worst part is: Darwinian selection favors breeders. That is to say the population group most interested in breeding is - interestingly enough - the one that is becoming more numerous by breeding. Even without dwindling in terms of their absolute number, the non-breeders gradually become a smaller and smaller percentage of the overall population. In a democracy, that means the vote is going to be gradually shifting more and more against them and their policies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sigurdW View Post
    In all,or most, large scale theories the effect of life
    on the universe is left out of the calculations.

    Its an error...the universe can be destroyed
    in other ways but thinking this matter over...

    I suspect that life is the danger to our beloved universe!
    Other scenarios seems to take longer time to do their job.

    Is life (perhaps methaphorically speaking)
    A contagious (!?) disease of universes?

    To continue into the sublimely ridiculous:
    Is it our moral duty to cure our sick patient?
    Life has no effect on the universe.. We can destroy our own planet, and solar system, and our own milkyway... Even if we could do this, it would have no effect on the universe.

    Universe can be destroyed, yes, but this destruction has no effect on the universe. Energy will remain the same..

    Life is the danger to our universe? Grow up. Without life, there is nothing preceiving it, and it would have no point in existing. It's life giving meaning to the universe.

    Life shows several symptoms of a disease, but so do slurpies, air, and email. This does not make it a disease.

    The last thing is even more ridiculous then all others combined. Where do you get this crap from? It's our choice and moral duty to cure sick patients. YES. You want to end all healthcare because of the scourge life is to the universe? Really?
    That also depends on the rate of growth. Exponents are often more powerful than we intuitively realize.
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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    Kojax

    Look far enough into the future and anything can happen.

    However, in the world of here and now - reality - population growth has been slowing since the invention of good contraception and its dissemination. Fertility, from 5.5 average, some 50 odd years ago, has dropped to 2.5 today as a global average, and according to the UN, will reach 2.0 by 2050.
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    To bad this is average fertility.. It'll always seem to me that careless people, and people who should never have children, actually get more of them. Succesfull, smart and well educated people tend to die without offspring. That makes me hope, that intelligence, or talent is not genetic... However i fear for the worst. That in several years all people will genetically be as smart as Snooki, or jessica simpson, tom cruise (etc), and as talented as any chick from "Girls Aloud"... The horror..

    Here where i live, 20% of all people walking behind a baby carrier, are living on welfare, jobless, and without ambition. While that group is actually only 5%... So as being a quick mathmatician, they have a 4 times higher odds to have children..
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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    Suppose:
    1 Every primordeal cloud creating a sun also produces life.
    2 Life grows(everywhere) exponentially.

    How long will it then take before the "bottom" is reached?
    Is the end near?
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    I don't think life expands exponentially beyond it's environmental limits. Has the total mass of living matter on Earth kept on rising, hit a plateau or (perhaps due to human activities) begun to drop? Expanding into space may be possible but the capacity to make artificial habitat and thus extend those limits that way remains hypothetical.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Fabos View Post
    I don't think life expands exponentially beyond it's environmental limits.

    Has the total mass of living matter on Earth kept on rising, hit a plateau or (perhaps due to human activities) begun to drop?

    Expanding into space may be possible but the capacity to make artificial habitat and thus extend those limits that way remains hypothetical.
    Your thinking.

    Could you expand your thoughts before i kill them...please!

    Hint: Why is there a plateau before the exponential increase returns?
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    SigurW, the total amount of living matter on Earth is not constantly expanding. If life had constantly grown exponentially on Earth the mass of life would have soon exceeded the total mass of the planet. Clearly it's not true that life expands exponentially. Over the long history of life on Earth the total mass of living matter will have contracted as well as expanded. For example, periods of deep glaciation would have reduced overall mass of living matter compared to interglacials.

    In ideal conditions exponential growth of a species may occur but growth will slow, stop and reverse as limits are reached and passed. Within a long running ecosystem like Earth's that growth would mostly involve consuming and or out-competing other living things without necessarily increasing the total amount of living matter on Earth; as the total mass of that species increases, the total mass of others will be reduced.

    Technologically equipped species like our own are a special case and can expand those limits but I don't believe that is what is actually occurring. We appear to be eating into the limits of the world we have to support all life at least as much as our technology is expanding it's capacity to support human life. I just suspect (no proof) that the total amount of life on Earth is currently in decline. Number of species is in decline with processes like forest clearing resulting in a loss of total mass of living matter that is not compensated fully by increase in cultivated species or human population. A technological capacity to dramatically expand the total by creating new habitats for life - example: space habitats - is hypothetical; I don't deny it's possible but I think it's likely to be very challenging to achieve in reality. If we can't deal effectively with the consequences of humanity approaching the limits of this world in the present/near future I think we will reduce our opportunities to expand into space. In that sense it is a possibility that human numbers could grow exponentially - until the limits of space habitat construction and use are reached. There will always be limits.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Fabos View Post
    SigurW, the total amount of living matter on Earth is not constantly expanding. If life had constantly grown exponentially on Earth the mass of life would have soon exceeded the total mass of the planet. Clearly it's not true that life expands exponentially. Over the long history of life on Earth the total mass of living matter will have contracted as well as expanded. For example, periods of deep glaciation would have reduced overall mass of living matter compared to interglacials.

    In ideal conditions exponential growth of a species may occur but growth will slow, stop and reverse as limits are reached and passed. Within a long running ecosystem like Earth's that growth would mostly involve consuming and or out-competing other living things without necessarily increasing the total amount of living matter on Earth; as the total mass of that species increases, the total mass of others will be reduced.

    Technologically equipped species like our own are a special case and can expand those limits but I don't believe that is what is actually occurring. We appear to be eating into the limits of the world we have to support all life at least as much as our technology is expanding it's capacity to support human life. I just suspect (no proof) that the total amount of life on Earth is currently in decline. Number of species is in decline with processes like forest clearing resulting in a loss of total mass of living matter that is not compensated fully by increase in cultivated species or human population. A technological capacity to dramatically expand the total by creating new habitats for life - example: space habitats - is hypothetical; I don't deny it's possible but I think it's likely to be very challenging to achieve in reality. If we can't deal effectively with the consequences of humanity approaching the limits of this world in the present/near future I think we will reduce our opportunities to expand into space. In that sense it is a possibility that human numbers could grow exponentially - until the limits of space habitat construction and use are reached. There will always be limits.
    On the contrary: There will always be adaptions!
    The exponential stops when resources arent there no more...yes. And the growth has reached a plateau.
    But for every environment theres an adaption making it possible for life
    to find the way into the surrounding environment.

    Where the exponential again is realised.
    You are correct in a short time perspective. Also note how we, ourselves limit our opposition on Earth...

    Space is no longer a limit for mankind,
    we will soon expand exponentially in it.
    What ultimately will be our effect on life elsewhere
    and the fabric of spacetime itself is yet not clear.
    By Casimir! Watch Out Emptiness!
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    I am surprised that you needed to point this out to SigurW. He somes unaware that Malthus identified and described this issue over two centuries ago.

    sigurW, asking good questions is good. Asking the same good question repeatedly and expecting a different answer is unproductive. Yes?
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    I am surprised that you needed to point this out to SigurW. He somes unaware that Malthus identified and described this issue over two centuries ago.

    sigurW, asking good questions is good. Asking the same good question repeatedly and expecting a different answer is unproductive. Yes?
    In general yes. But Malthus didnt examine our Universe,
    lifes effect on it and its eventual expansion into an outside infinity.

    There are large scale "myopic" theories forgetting life also is a natural phenomenon.
    Lifes total effect on our universe is not properly researched yet. Start working john

    Meanwhile, Earths Neighbourhood is the first obstacle, but as long as the USA
    leads the way, sitting here looking at the deserted Moon ...Im not optimistic.

    It looks as if the chinese will win: Good night USA, we will miss you
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Kojax

    Look far enough into the future and anything can happen.

    However, in the world of here and now - reality - population growth has been slowing since the invention of good contraception and its dissemination. Fertility, from 5.5 average, some 50 odd years ago, has dropped to 2.5 today as a global average, and according to the UN, will reach 2.0 by 2050.
    I'm just thinking about what would happen if one day we suddenly achieved technological immortality.

    The last major population explosion was created largely by modern medicine lowering mortality rates (especially infant mortality rates), and then people continued having children like they had before, trying to overwhelm a (now much lower) death rate with a high birth rate. Now we're starting to realize that a number just slightly higher than two children per female is the balance point.

    If technological immortality became a reality, the birth rate required to sustain the population at a steady number would drop to an even lower value. Far less than 1 child per female. We'd essentially have to tell something like half the women in the world that they're not allowed to bear children.
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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    Worry about that if or when it happens. There is no sign it is likely any time soon.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Kojax

    Look far enough into the future and anything can happen.

    However, in the world of here and now - reality - population growth has been slowing since the invention of good contraception and its dissemination. Fertility, from 5.5 average, some 50 odd years ago, has dropped to 2.5 today as a global average, and according to the UN, will reach 2.0 by 2050.
    I'm just thinking about what would happen if one day we suddenly achieved technological immortality.

    The last major population explosion was created largely by modern medicine lowering mortality rates (especially infant mortality rates), and then people continued having children like they had before, trying to overwhelm a (now much lower) death rate with a high birth rate. Now we're starting to realize that a number just slightly higher than two children per female is the balance point.

    If technological immortality became a reality, the birth rate required to sustain the population at a steady number would drop to an even lower value. Far less than 1 child per female. We'd essentially have to tell something like half the women in the world that they're not allowed to bear children.
    If we haven't learned to live away from Earth by the time we make ourselves immortal, our extinction will be a testament to misguided priorities and a severe lack of foresight.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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