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Old 12-02-2010, 11:17 PM   #1
seaofsorrow
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Does Natural Selection still exist in modern human societies?

I was wondering if Natural Selection still occurs in human societies, since even people with severe conditions can live for a long time and are able to reproduce, therefore spreading bad genes that otherwise wouldn't be if we still lived in a hostile environment. I mean that is the point of Natural Selection right? Favorable genes increase their pool over time while less favorable ones have their pool decreased. Since bad genes aren't really being extinguished, does that mean that in the future bad genes will be as predominant as good genes?

Forgive me if I what I am saying is absurd, I am more of a math guy, but evolution and natural selection are really interesting. I'd appreciate if someone with more knowledge on this subject could elaborate a bit.
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Old 12-03-2010, 12:24 AM   #2
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Re: Does Natural Selection still exist in modern human societies?

there was a thread about this recently iirc
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Old 12-03-2010, 12:27 AM   #3
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Re: Does Natural Selection still exist in modern human societies?

of course it's still happening, biologically it's probably quicker than before, but still achingly slow. sociologically, it's incredibly rapid.
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Old 12-03-2010, 12:33 AM   #4
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Re: Does Natural Selection still exist in modern human societies?

Have you tried this?
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Old 12-03-2010, 12:57 AM   #5
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Re: Does Natural Selection still exist in modern human societies?

Of course its still happening. Tbh, I think the entire PUA thing grasps at bits of pieces of modern human natural selection.
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Old 12-03-2010, 09:21 AM   #6
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Re: Does Natural Selection still exist in modern human societies?

Yes, we’re still subject to natural selection. However technological advances and environmental/cultural changes occur at a significantly faster rate than most genetic adaptations. This is more pronounced in developed countries.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Stearns et al

Why humans continue to evolve despite the many benefits of hygiene and modern medicine

Within a decade of the publication of On the Origin of Species, the misconception developed that modern hygiene and medicine have caused natural selection to stop working on human populations. This was fuelled by another misconception: that selection operates only through differences in survival. We now know that natural selection on traits occurs whenever there is variation among individuals in fitness and in traits and when the variation in traits is correlated with the variation in fitness. A response to selection will then follow if some portion of the variation in the traits is heritable.

A good proxy for fitness is lifetime reproductive success (LRS) or number of children per parent per lifetime. LRS has both a survival component — one must survive to reproduce — and a reproductive component. Good hygiene and medical care that reduce prenatal, infant and child mortality rates reduce the variation among individuals in the survival component but that does not eliminate natural selection, as substantial variation among individuals in the reproductive component remains. For example, consider an extreme case in which medical and public health measures were so good that everyone who was born survived to age 80. This would not eliminate natural selection, as individuals would still differ in their LRS and that variation would drive natural selection.

The potential for natural selection only vanishes when all individuals have exactly the same reproductive success or when no trait is correlated with the variation in reproductive success that still exists. These states are unlikely ever to occur in any population. The effect of culture on biology raises interesting issues. Birth control, assisted reproductive technology and the increased prevalence of late marriage and divorce complicate the evolutionary genetics of reproduction. These factors can be dealt with by regarding them as part of a changing environment that is changing selection intensities. A more fundamental solution awaits the development of methods of analyzing gene–culture co-evolution that can be applied to large, longitudinal human data sets.
http://www.yale.edu/eeb/stearns/pdf/...tearnsEtAl.pdf

Particular heritable traits have been identified in women which are correlated with having more children, such as being slightly shorter, reaching menopause later etc. Traits like these will become more common if these people continue to have comparatively more children.
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Old 12-03-2010, 09:58 AM   #7
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Re: Does Natural Selection still exist in modern human societies?

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Originally Posted by danny8 View Post
Particular heritable traits have been identified in women which are correlated with having more children, such as being slightly shorter, reaching menopause later etc. Traits like these will become more common if these people continue to have comparatively more children.
But that's the entire point, this isn't happening. Most everyone that is born now reaches sexual maturity, as opposed to the strongest 25% a few hundred years ago. And someone like Brad Pitt might get laid a lot more than you or I but due to contraception he's not passing more genes to the next generation. Reproduction is now a choice instead of a biological reward.
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Old 12-03-2010, 01:23 PM   #8
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Re: Does Natural Selection still exist in modern human societies?

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Originally Posted by JayTeeMe View Post
But that's the entire point, this isn't happening. Most everyone that is born now reaches sexual maturity, as opposed to the strongest 25% a few hundred years ago.
This isn’t true, it is happening. Shorter women and women who go through the menopause slightly later are having comparatively more children.
Quote:
And someone like Brad Pitt might get laid a lot more than you or I but due to contraception he's not passing more genes to the next generation. Reproduction is now a choice instead of a biological reward.
The issue is whether natural selection is occurring, not whether it’s affected by modern medicine/contraceptives, which it undoubtedly is.

Natural selection is not just concerned with inferring increased survivability, it’s about increasing fitness. Fitness is both survivability and reproductive success. Since most people these days live to reach sexual maturity, fitness is hugely reliant on the number of offspring. Although the developed world may be ‘evening out’ the fitness it’s unlikely to ever reach a stage where there are no heritable traits correlated to increasing fitness.
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Old 12-03-2010, 06:04 PM   #9
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Re: Does Natural Selection still exist in modern human societies?

We are in a process of unnatural selection. Morons procreate like rabbits, intelligent people have max two children & ûberpeople have one or no children at all. Morons vote for morons, get pawned by brainwash & fold to physical intimidation.

Idiocracy the movie is the most probable expectation of the future.

My best guess is that in every generation there is a shift towards mediocrity that may be roughly 70%. Meaning that if there are 30% people adding value to humanity as a whole the next generation will have 9%. We are probably already as low as 1-5% value adding humans with maybe 30% neutrals who basically sustain themselves waiting to die.

There is still hope! Retards can make prodigal babies. Hard work can level ANYONE. Laws,rules & regulations make it very hard for people to level efficiently and reach their potential though.

PUT IN WORK, CONSUME LESS & FIGHT FOR FREEDOM. YOU ARE FAR FROM AS GOOD AS YOU THINK!

Sorry to rain on the humans parade, but mankind is going busto from a natural resource, evolutionary, philosophical & spiritual perspective. Still gambling on massconsumption, brainwash and aggression with everyones lives in the balance...

Ps. Taxes is just a PC term for free range slavery. The state is just the biggest mafia in a geographical location. Religion is just the easter bunny on steroids for grownups.
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Old 12-04-2010, 09:23 AM   #10
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Re: Does Natural Selection still exist in modern human societies?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PsiCloneB View Post
We are in a process of unnatural selection. Morons procreate like rabbits, intelligent people have max two children & ûberpeople have one or no children at all. Morons vote for morons, get pawned by brainwash & fold to physical intimidation.

Idiocracy the movie is the most probable expectation of the future.

My best guess is that in every generation there is a shift towards mediocrity that may be roughly 70%. Meaning that if there are 30% people adding value to humanity as a whole the next generation will have 9%. We are probably already as low as 1-5% value adding humans with maybe 30% neutrals who basically sustain themselves waiting to die.

There is still hope! Retards can make prodigal babies. Hard work can level ANYONE. Laws,rules & regulations make it very hard for people to level efficiently and reach their potential though.

PUT IN WORK, CONSUME LESS & FIGHT FOR FREEDOM. YOU ARE FAR FROM AS GOOD AS YOU THINK!

Sorry to rain on the humans parade, but mankind is going busto from a natural resource, evolutionary, philosophical & spiritual perspective. Still gambling on massconsumption, brainwash and aggression with everyones lives in the balance...

Ps. Taxes is just a PC term for free range slavery. The state is just the biggest mafia in a geographical location. Religion is just the easter bunny on steroids for grownups.
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Old 12-05-2010, 03:12 PM   #11
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Re: Does Natural Selection still exist in modern human societies?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PsiCloneB View Post

rant
Evolution has no direction. If someone reproduces and passes their genes on they are successful. It doesn't matter if they are thick as pig****. There is no lofty goal for the human race - we are just one more (slightly complicated) way for genes to be replicated.

Like Richard Dawkins said:

"They are in you and me; they created us, body and mind;and their preservation is the ultimate rational for our existence. They have come a long way, those replicators. Now they go by the name of genes,and we are their survival machines."
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Old 12-05-2010, 05:03 PM   #12
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Re: Does Natural Selection still exist in modern human societies?

If you think that natural selectioin doesn't occur then you probably don't understand evolution at all. Everything goes through the process of natural selection, even non living things.
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Old 12-06-2010, 10:17 AM   #13
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Re: Does Natural Selection still exist in modern human societies?

massive amounts of sexual selection going on. due to medical advances/ welfare the unfit arent going to die out, but in the future there will probably be speciation.
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Old 12-06-2010, 01:38 PM   #14
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Re: Does Natural Selection still exist in modern human societies?

I'd say promiscuity is favored with the advance of the medical science.

Spoiler:
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Old 12-06-2010, 04:24 PM   #15
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Re: Does Natural Selection still exist in modern human societies?

Just finished A Farewell to Alms where Gregory Clark argues England evolved to genetically exhibit more "middle-class" values like thrift, hard work, whatever. As evidence he showed the wealthiest people in 1200-1700 tended to exhibit some of these traits, and that these people averaged a higher number of surviving children over time. As to the question of whether natural selection is possible to substantially change observable characteristics in a short period of time, he cited in a study about rabbits that noticeably evolved over 9 generations.

Thumbs up to psiclone and the post immediately following his

edit: cites Trut study

Last edited by vetiver; 12-06-2010 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 12-06-2010, 05:11 PM   #16
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Re: Does Natural Selection still exist in modern human societies?

Do parents pass traits on to their children? Do these traits differ from person to person? Are there different levels of reproductive success? Are these different levels of reproductive success related in some way to these heritable traits?

If the answer to all these questions is "yes," then natural selection is still active. And in the modern world, the answer is "hell yes."
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Old 12-06-2010, 05:32 PM   #17
Central Limit
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Re: Does Natural Selection still exist in modern human societies?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karganeth View Post
If you think that natural selectioin doesn't occur then you probably don't understand evolution at all. Everything goes through the process of natural selection, even non living things.
I love watching non-living things procreate.
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Old 12-06-2010, 05:42 PM   #18
runninfiend
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Re: Does Natural Selection still exist in modern human societies?

e.o. wilson once put it like this:

"the brain exists because it promotes the survival and multiplication of the genes that direct its assembly. the human mind is a device for survival and reproduction, and reason is just one of its various techniques."

yeats put it like this:

though leaves are many, the root is one
through all the lying days of my youth
i swayed my leaves and flowers in the sun
now i may wither into the truth
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Old 12-06-2010, 06:05 PM   #19
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Re: Does Natural Selection still exist in modern human societies?

Quote:
Originally Posted by runninfiend View Post
yeats put it like this:

though leaves are many, the root is one
through all the lying days of my youth
i swayed my leaves and flowers in the sun
now i may wither into the truth
this just reads like gobbledygook to me
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Old 12-07-2010, 08:54 PM   #20
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Re: Does Natural Selection still exist in modern human societies?

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of course it's still happening.
.
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Old 12-08-2010, 12:51 AM   #21
Central Limit
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Re: Does Natural Selection still exist in modern human societies?

Yeats and Wilson are saying different things here, if you ask me. Wilson's is a memento mori.




Memento mori is a Latin phrase translated as "Remember your mortality", "Remember you must die" or "Remember you will die" - literally " [in the future] remember to die", since "memento" is a future imperative of the 2nd person, and mori is a deponent infinitive. It names a genre of artistic creations that vary widely from one another, but which all share the same purpose: to remind people of their own mortality. The phrase has a tradition in art that dates back to antiquity.



Quote:
Originally Posted by runninfiend View Post
e.o. wilson once put it like this:

"the brain exists because it promotes the survival and multiplication of the genes that direct its assembly. the human mind is a device for survival and reproduction, and reason is just one of its various techniques."

yeats put it like this:

though leaves are many, the root is one
through all the lying days of my youth
i swayed my leaves and flowers in the sun
now i may wither into the truth
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Old 12-08-2010, 03:11 AM   #22
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Re: Does Natural Selection still exist in modern human societies?

Natural selection is alive and well and living in Las Vegas, alongside the poker pros. And it isn't selecting for intelligence! kidding! Seriously though, observable indications would seem to imply a long slow slide of intelligence rates among the general populace, with an increasingly smaller elite group of scientists, engineers, and computer experts. And unfortunatly, it won't be effected by hard work. Genetic predisposition is powerful. It denies the normal guy careers in advanced science, or as a linebacker. Nerds Rule! And before long they'll rule over everyone.
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Old 12-08-2010, 04:42 AM   #23
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Re: Does Natural Selection still exist in modern human societies?

Of course it only takes one great culling of the herd to change the whole ballgame. Everyone assumes stasis, or at least minimal flux, but evolution is a long term mother with no memory. Geographic catastrophe, pandemic, nuclear war, all could result in rapid and calamatous devolution of society if not the biological species itself. Is there a point at which evolution becomes the enemy? Where you have a repeating sequence of increasing population and technology, supporting those people who would otherwise die before reproducing, resulting in greater numbers of intellectually challenged persons who reproduce prodigously, untill overpopulation and global stupidity creates conditions favorable to massive die-offs. If the only goal of evolution is survival of the species, shouldn't it have a pause button? Maybe thinning the herd is exactly that. Or maybe it's self limiting. Noone can argue intelligence has survival value. As the numbers become incresingly top heavy (Of the cared for versus cared by) eventually it will become unsustainable. There won't be enough intelligent people born to maintain the technology which feeds the people. They'll die out. It's a do over. Or maybe we'll have a war. Dawkins would say it's all reproductive drive.....
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Old 12-08-2010, 12:33 PM   #24
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Re: Does Natural Selection still exist in modern human societies?

Wtf are you talking about?
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Old 12-08-2010, 02:28 PM   #25
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Re: Does Natural Selection still exist in modern human societies?

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Wtf are you talking about?

Just thinking out loud. Trying to figure this forum thing out. Having a little trouble following along? I understand. Nature may select for or against intelligence: or curmudgeon-ry. Although that may be partly behavioral.
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