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Thread: Anyone care to take a stab at where human evolution may be headed?

  1. #1 Anyone care to take a stab at where human evolution may be headed? 
    Forum Sophomore somfooleishfool's Avatar
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    all species are always evolving thus it would be silly to assume we have finished evolving. That said, would anyone care to take an educated guess at where we might be headed?


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  3. #2  
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    We will be cuter & domesticated just like cats and dogs (they are cute & smart).


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    Dogs have actually less intelligence than their wolven brothers. Dogs simply have more of the desired intellect we have bread them for.

    I'll have a go at this.

    - Probably, less hair, arms and legs back and chest will be totally hairless.
    - Rudimentary organs disappear (tailbone, appendix)
    - Lung capacity will increase (less oxygen then a few years back)
    - Red blood cells will probably get smaller, and flatter.
    - Eyes will get slightly bigger, more focus on vision these days.
    - Hotter climate will most probably cause for more sweat glants, more water storage capacity.
    - Thinner weaker arms, slightly stronger legs.
    - Taller, but lighter bone structure.
    - ....

    Anyone other idea's?
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    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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    In order for evolution to occur, there would have to be some selection pressure. So, what characteristics will result in either death before reproduction or failure to reproduce, or reproduction at a lesser rate? I doubt that physical characteristics like hair, eyesight, vermiform appendix, and so forth play a major role in today's society. Social organization and customs probably impact reproduction rates more than any physical characteristics. Some future cataclysms, die-offs, and wars could play a big role so we probably cannot tell much from the current conditions.
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  6. #5  
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    That would depend on what the global environmental changes will produce in the future for selection to occur.
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  7. #6  
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    It seems that natural disasters--the 4 horsemen--eg: super cold snap in the middle of the last period of glaciation--reduces population size--incourages inbreeding and recessive genes prevail--for awhile.
    Then, as the climate becomes more hospitable, the survivors proliferate, expand, and interbreed with other surviving pockets of humanity.
    weeding out some of the less adaptive genes
    so
    if the time is right, we could have a new subspecies(evolution) within the next period of glaciation
    if the loss of habitation, and famine unleash the hounds of war, we could add a whole new wrinkle into the mix
    (wild guess)
    if the transition happens during glaciation, = shorter, stockier, even more societally adapted
    it it happens during milder climes, = more gracile, and multiculturally adventurous(free spirited)
    (allisaguess)
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    Dogs have actually less intelligence than their wolven brothers. Dogs simply have more of the desired intellect we have bread them for.

    I'll have a go at this.

    - Probably, less hair, arms and legs back and chest will be totally hairless.
    - Rudimentary organs disappear (tailbone, appendix)
    - Lung capacity will increase (less oxygen then a few years back)
    - Red blood cells will probably get smaller, and flatter.
    - Eyes will get slightly bigger, more focus on vision these days.
    - Hotter climate will most probably cause for more sweat glants, more water storage capacity.
    - Thinner weaker arms, slightly stronger legs.
    - Taller, but lighter bone structure.
    - ....

    Anyone other idea's?
    So... Elves.... Basically Elves... Ahhh Man... But I agree. Humans have been growing taller and less hairy for the past several generations. And I know minor mutation in the general population is on the rise as well.
    Not all who wander are lost... Some of us just misplaced our destination.

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  9. #8  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    Any population of organisms that reproduce are not done evolving.

    Last time I checked humans were still reproducing.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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  10. #9  
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    Well first I am going to say that humans will interbreed with other races of our planet. And eventually we will take on a look that will be a mixture of black, white, mexican, european and asian. slowly this is happening now, but in a thousand years imagine what we would look like (providing an alien race isn't introduced into the equation......
    Quote Originally Posted by somfooleishfool View Post
    all species are always evolving thus it would be silly to assume we have finished evolving. That said, would anyone care to take an educated guess at where we might be headed?
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by warthog213 View Post
    Well first I am going to say that humans will interbreed with other races of our planet. And eventually we will take on a look that will be a mixture of black, white, mexican, european and asian. slowly this is happening now, but in a thousand years imagine what we would look like (providing an alien race isn't introduced into the equation......
    Well Tanned with amazing cheekbones?
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    Not all who wander are lost... Some of us just misplaced our destination.

    I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of a man is to live, not to exist.
    -Jack London
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  12. #11  
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    We shall become less intelligent, which will make us fitter for watching reality TV shows and using e-txt.
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  13. #12  
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    all species are always evolving thus it would be silly to assume we have finished evolving. That said, would anyone care to take an educated guess at where we might be headed?
    The thing that drives our evolution will be the same as what got us this far. Whatever features allow some groups rather than others to survive plague, famine or other stresses - climate was the biggie 10s of thousands of years ago. We can't know in advance what will cause local, regional or widespread partial extinctions - initiated by say a plague of some sort. With the added spice of random mutations sometimes accumulating and thereby changing something noticeable.

    Therefore we can't know in advance whether surviving groups will have either ....
    a) some kind of genetic advantage that allowed them to escape the high mortality that knocked out other groups ..... or .....
    b) no genetic differences of any kind. Just the luck of the draw in being in the wrong place at that badly wrong time.

    Seeing as we're talking about "the future" both of these things will happen to greater or lesser extent over tens of millennia. And all the while, those random mutations will be appearing, disappearing, accumulating, combining and dissociating in various sub-populations.

    You'd do better playing poker.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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  14. #13  
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    Just a point, evolution takes thousands or millions of years to see the big changes in human/apes. Evolution has been running rampant for billions of years, but only till recently. How fast scientists are now progressing on understanding DNA from the past couple decades? Ethnic or not, Imagine the manipulations/customizations to be performed on DNA in a thousand years from now, or even just in the next 50 years?

    So saying that, we’ll probably be more intelligent, live at lot longer, etc. but not by evolution in the next million years but by scientific genetic innovations in and around the next 100 years.
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    We won't evolve into a more 'fitter' being, actually we will be weaker. This modern world we live today allow some of our trait (which are not needed) to be prunned down (removed) to increase efficiency (energy efficiency). For example: you might not need a toe anymore, and you might not need an appendix, or you might not need some of your brain, and maybe you might not need your face anymore, or height...

    Some of those feature are not even actively selected during real-world mating (there's always a real-world case to confirm this even if you don't logically agree with it)...

    I think we will be shorter and has smaller jaws. Your jaw will be soo small you can't even chew nuts. The proof is in the skull of ancient human (eg: Cro-Magnon) having nicer teeth without any dental care while us (all of us) having a crooked teeth and need to pay $ to correct it! :O
    Last edited by msafwan; May 30th, 2012 at 08:34 AM.
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by msafwan View Post
    We won't evolve into a more 'fitter' being, actually we will be weaker.
    In that case you will actually be fitter since you won't be wasting resources being unecessarily strong or smart. You will be more fit for the environment you are in. You seem to be confusing evolutionary fitness with strength.
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  17. #16  
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    We will have a greater utilization of memory storage of the mind. This will be brought about by the absorption of media content from personal devices, internet based content, and social media at younger ages.

    I've always found the following news item interesting as it relates to "superior biographical memory" in a few people.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-18560_162-7156877.html
    http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7166313n&tag=contentMain;contentBody
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autobiographical_memory
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  18. #17  
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    Nope, this is not evolution. It is education.
    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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  19. #18  
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    Evolution will go in while living things go on living. Eventually evolution will lead to more westwinds. And by the way, that Poster back there a bit was on about inbreeding being degenerate. Never did me anyharm. westwind.
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  20. #19  
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    pineapples has given the best answer so far.

    Evolution is too damn slow. Humans will be manipulating our own genome long before evolution has lifted its first toe off the starting block. We will choose the genetic changes we want. We will not want our descendants to be weak, so all those who claim humans will get weaker are just plain wrong.

    The new human will be stronger, taller, longer lived, healthier, more athletic, smarter, better looking, more resistant to cancer and other diseases, and will have any and all genetic features that the generations to come will value.
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  21. #20  
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    You are a good man skeptic. A Life Enhanser. But to achieve the optimum improvement that you are forecasting all the little breeders, ( like me, I have to stand on my Wallet to be able to see the football } will have to be discouraged from having lustful thoughts. There was another chap in recent world history who was looking forward to a brave new world full of beautiful people. Tall people give me a crick in the neck. The Specie you are espounding will become AFL ( Australian Football League ) Players. There will be much new Industry. Longer Beds will be needed. Doorways may have to be altered. Doctors will be out of work. These New Breed will also need to consume more food. While this may be desirable for Farmers and the like, we may be creating a problem for future peaceful co-habitation, competion for finite Earth Resources. No, skeptic, I think little weedy runts like myself may be the go, we will breed smaller and use less resources. westwind.
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  22. #21  
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    I love westwind's take on things too. Somewhat pessimistic and a bit true too. Our resourses will become low and that will trigger a change. Prices will climb and I'll say in 20 to 50 years people will be walking or riding bikes of some sort. Exept those whom are very wealthy and can afford fuels of some sort...
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  23. #22  
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    Well, Westwind.

    You have a marketing problem. When humans take control of their own genome, you will just have to persuade everyone to introduce the genes for shorties.

    Good luck with that.
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  24. #23  
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    i was thinking the same thing as pineapple! we will be controlling our own genome very recently. im extremely psyched to have a tail! not only that, i think natural and artificial selection will play a role. people will have more brain capacity, have less genetic diseases, be more disease resistant, etc. i think selection such as complection, intelligence, and strength will go up, perfect for building gizmos.
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  25. #24  
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigratlover View Post
    i was thinking the same thing as pineapple! we will be controlling our own genome very recently. im extremely psyched to have a tail! not only that, i think natural and artificial selection will play a role. people will have more brain capacity, have less genetic diseases, be more disease resistant, etc. i think selection such as complection, intelligence, and strength will go up, perfect for building gizmos.
    Why stop with that? Why not become different then humans? Why not make your offspring more like lions, bigger, stronger, faster, and bigger teeth. But with table manners, and opposing thumbs.

    As skeptic knows, i'm not a supporter for this, i like to study some genes in specific, but not change them (not yet at least). As we will stop to be human when there is no bound to genetic alteration.
    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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  26. #25  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    As skeptic knows, i'm not a supporter for this, i like to study some genes in specific, but not change them (not yet at least). As we will stop to be human when there is no bound to genetic alteration.
    Got sad news for you Zwolver.
    Whether you, me, or anyone alive today supports or does not support this is irrelevant. This will happen in our great grandchildren's time, and they will make their own decisions.
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  27. #26  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    As skeptic knows, i'm not a supporter for this, i like to study some genes in specific, but not change them (not yet at least). As we will stop to be human when there is no bound to genetic alteration.
    Got sad news for you Zwolver.
    Whether you, me, or anyone alive today supports or does not support this is irrelevant. This will happen in our great grandchildren's time, and they will make their own decisions.
    actually, i would think this could happen well before the end of this century. with the rate at which technology is increasing, i think we could have small businesses that specialize in genetic reconstruction by 2085.
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  28. #27  
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    perhaps, we will evolve an ever more symbiotic relationship with our technological wizardry
    eventually developing machine oriented neural pathways
    and of course, 24,000,000 clones of an extreemly wealthy egomaniac
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  29. #28  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post

    As skeptic knows, i'm not a supporter for this, i like to study some genes in specific, but not change them (not yet at least). As we will stop to be human when there is no bound to genetic alteration.
    yes there is. we cant give ourselves superpowers, sadly. (by the way, Zwolfer, are you in Germany? i notice you capitalize nearly all nouns, have a username that means twelve, and your quote is in german!)
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  30. #29  
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    perhaps, we will evolve an ever more symbiotic relationship with our technological wizardry
    eventually developing machine oriented neural pathways
    Before we start getting all fanciful about acquiring comic book hero super abilities and six million dollar man hardware, you lot might like to consider all those folks who are born with genetically mis-wired neural pathways.

    I have a mild version of a congenital, degenerative neurological disorder - another 15 or 20 years and I may be unable to write this sort of stuff because my hand muscles will have shrivelled away to nothing. (And my hands will be a very, very odd shape.) But there are lots of people who have serious forms of this condition and need splints to support their useless ankles right from childhood - and wheelchairs later when the muscles further up the leg deteriorate so that the knee is no longer functional.

    And there are many less common conditions that are not just restrictive or degenerative, but life threatening from birth. Getting these and other genetic problems sorted out would be a great boon to many people.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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  31. #30  
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigratlover View Post
    yes there is. we cant give ourselves superpowers, sadly. (by the way, Zwolfer, are you in Germany? i notice you capitalize nearly all nouns, have a username that means twelve, and your quote is in german!)
    Zwolver means lavishness. In an Austrian dialect. My quote is in Dutch though.

    We can't give ourselves superpowers? I'm pretty sure breathing underwater would be concidered a superpower, and this seems possible to do with genetic alterations. X-Ray vision, seems also possible, as why not increase the eye's visible spectrum. Though increased strength would be possible as well, i strongly doubt we could ever stop a moving train (full size, and full speed).
    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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  32. #31  
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    X ray vision, no.

    Ultra violet, maybe, since birds and lizards can do it.
    Increased strength, sure, within limits.
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  33. #32  
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    I overstated the x-ray vision a bit. I meant more of an increased visible spectrum indeed. But x-ray vision is a known superpower, increased visible spectrum is not.

    Some other idea's; Poison glands, and immunity to certain poisons. The ability to spit fire? Walk like a tetrapod with 4 legs, while still having 2 free arms.

    What do we want? Doesn't sound very believable to look trough a catalogue and see those options, just for the ritch. As bullying would really get out of hand, when kids can spit fire...
    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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  34. #33  
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    (wild guess)
    evolution (as/re adaptation) remains primarily within the realm of possibilities of that which has gone before
    (reference the "junk" dna, which may actually be our reference library of all the mutations of all our ancestors?)
    and, then there is the change of mutational adaptation which leads to occupying new niches

    as we live in an age of technological miracles
    we are creating a new niche
    can we not evolve to take greater advantage of this new niche?

    does the baldwin effect enter in here?
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  35. #34  
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    One quality I thought might be of value, if humanity is to expand off Earth. Space is a radiation hazard, with high levels of cosmic radiation. If we are going, eventually, to the stars, journeys will be decades long. Radiation exposure might be fatal.

    So, to insert a DNA repair gene, from an organism with much better radiation resistance, into the human genome might well be a major advantage.
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  36. #35  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    So, to insert a DNA repair gene, from an organism with much better radiation resistance, into the human genome might well be a major advantage.
    Hurrah! We are all going to be cockroaches. All hail Franz Kafka.
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  37. #36  
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    I was thinking more of the genes from Deinococcus radiodurans.
    Deinococcus radiodurans - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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  38. #37  
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    Quote Originally Posted by somfooleishfool View Post
    ... would anyone care to take an educated guess at where we might be headed?
    Long term I think that ultimately our future evolution will transcend biology. We will cease to be biological entities (not all of us, perhaps).
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  39. #38  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwirko View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by somfooleishfool View Post
    ... would anyone care to take an educated guess at where we might be headed?
    Long term I think that ultimately our future evolution will transcend biology. We will cease to be biological entities (not all of us, perhaps).
    sounds interesting, but i fear that I'd miss the sexual coupling
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  40. #39  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwirko View Post

    Long term I think that ultimately our future evolution will transcend biology. We will cease to be biological entities (not all of us, perhaps).
    Such a speculation in the absence of a credible mechanism is religious in nature.
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    You think speculation on machine-based life is religious thinking? I don't see the connection myself.
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    That is not what you said, Zwirko.
    You said "cease to be biological entities." Is your meaning that humans will merge with machines?
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    A merger of man and machine would fit in with what I had in mind, yes. Although the merger bit is actually not necessary, at least not in a physical sense. All that needs to be kept is our "humanity" if we thought that worth preserving. A wholly non-biological existence is a frontier that's out there if we want it; whether we choose to explore it or not is not something I have the answer to.

    Alternatively, merely creating such beings in the first place could likely achieve the same result since the wet and soggy stuff would eventually go extinct. With the result that over immense time scales it may be all that's left of us.
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  44. #43  
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    OK.

    Though I think such an event is far enough in our future to be non predictable.
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    im still in the zone of private gene munipulation businesses. but i do think that we could create robots in a few centuries that act and think and function like humans and truly believe that they are humans, while still having the permanent knowledge that they are physically robots.(to clarify, thinking and believing you can fly, while still knowing deep within that there is no possible way you will ever fly by your own power.)
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    Forum Professor Zwolver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigratlover View Post
    im still in the zone of private gene munipulation businesses. but i do think that we could create robots in a few centuries that act and think and function like humans and truly believe that they are humans, while still having the permanent knowledge that they are physically robots.(to clarify, thinking and believing you can fly, while still knowing deep within that there is no possible way you will ever fly by your own power.)
    There is no point in that. Why would a machine have programming that he's an organism, while still having RAM rooted to be a machine. There would be no point in this connection. Robots should know they are different, if we ever program them, otherwise they would consume food, instead of recharging. Which would be a waste.
    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's interesting to think about the physical connections between ourselves and our ancestors or descendants. Physically, in a sense, the link is very tenuous to the point of being non-existent - a dozen picograms or so of DNA and the nanogram-scale mass of the ovum. What really matters is the information contained. With that in mind, you could ask: does it really matter if this physical connection is broken? Is that biological information really that valuable? Or is it a hindrance? Can we do better?

    Would we see it as utterly abhorrent to simply decide to cease reproducing and make our next generation of descendants all artifical? Would it actually matter if the chain of biological information was severed? I'm not sure how an enlightened and technologically advanced civilisation would view this. Perhaps, as I like to speculate, this would be seen as the obvious next step - an escape from the biological prison. Would anything really be lost? The things that make us "human" - all the things we might think that define us - would be simulated or produced through technology.
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