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Up until the last century, natural selection was something that still affected the human race. Obviously that has stopped being the case and that is the way I personally like it. However this raises serious problems for the future. It is imperative to adress these issues before we are too far gone.

Nowadays anyone, regardless of anything, gets to survive and have kids as long as that is something he chooses not to do. More so, underdeveloped people and thugs often get to have a dozen children while civilized people have one or two. All this could prove a genetic disaster with roots starting at the half of the 20th century and it may be far too late to redeem when we finally adress the issue. Worldwide banning the having of more than two to three children must be enforced before the civilized people are drowned in the genetic sea. You can't kill them like the natzis. Not to mention overpopulation.

The second problem I would adress is genetic deterioration and misevolution by:

-no longer having natural selection;

-genome degradation due to pollution and toxic/inadequate foods;

A substitute for the needed/positive effects of natural selection or at least the prevention of degradation must be adressed. Adressing genetics in research and moral points comes to mind. Keep an open mind and think that through adressing the issue, a completely reasonable, moral and creative point could be found!

Genome degradation must be stopped! I would discuss nutrition and the issue of toxic food but not yet (too big, only with your request).

Any ideas other than spam welcome...

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Up until the last century, natural selection was something that still affected the human race.

Not true. The influence of natural selection over the human race started fading as early as 10,000 years ago, when we invented agriculture. As we started relying more and more on tools and machines, our physical condition became less and less important.

Obviously that has stopped being the case and that is the way I personally like it. However this raises serious problems for the future. It is imperative to adress these issues before we are too far gone.

The thing about natural selection is that it acts very, VERY slowly. It takes thousands of years for any visible changes to occur.

By the time we might start running into problems - a few thousand years from now - we will have technology so advanced that our bodies will probably be irrelevant.

Nowadays anyone, regardless of anything, gets to survive and have kids as long as that is something he chooses not to do. More so, underdeveloped people and thugs often get to have a dozen children while civilized people have one or two.

Is "civilization" a genetic trait? Is being a "thug" a genetic trait? Is being "underdeveloped" a genetic trait? Natural selection only affects those things that are genetic. If something does not depend on your genes (such as, say, your education) then it is not affected by natural selection.

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I've thought about this thing as well.

While anti-social people tend to have more children once they wind up in marriage, I don't buy that just because children are born in a large, troublesome family they're destined to turn out just like their parents. Some of them will work their way up. If the family situation is particulary bad, one has to wonder why those kids haven't been removed from the household all that time.

I don't believe genetics plays a big role in this at all- upbring is far more significant.

A more important issue IMO is that many western countries (mine especially) have an extremely low fertility rate for those of native descent, less then 2 per women. The fact that our population is still growing is because of the influx of immigrants and the fact that they tend to have more children then natives- it's not as big a problem as in say, Israel, but eventually it could be.

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Well, population growth in general (not just the growth of a specific group) is a looming problem that we will have to face. Human population cannot grow forever; some kind of balance will have to be achieved.

Right now we may worry about which group is growing faster, but, in the long run, we will have to ensure that no group grows at all.

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I digress, and I oppose this which still remains static/dead/bureauphiliac/unorganic:

Right now we may worry about which group is growing faster, but, in the long run, we will have to ensure that no group grows at all.

Relevant technology. Mars and colonization. Ultimately, the roots of the question remain closer to this since surface debates are incomplete (fascist programs look like an extreme of this). It remains a whole though, whatever the answers.

Therefore, Da_Ze_Ir, your approach also seems incomplete to me (and of course needs addressing what EdricO brought forth too).

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I've always considered China's way of limiting the population to 1 child per family was a good step in the direction of plateau-ing the population, but enforcing procedures are very drastic and brutal. Perhaps in the future it will be necessary to use such enforcement?

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Not true. The influence of natural selection over the human race started fading as early as 10,000 years ago, when we invented agriculture. As we started relying more and more on tools and machines, our physical condition became less and less important.

First, not just the physical condition is in question. Second, you should realise that up until the end of the second world war, natural selection in human form was still in effect, in that if you were unsuccessful you would die or at least have few or no kids, whereas nowadays that happens only in extreme cases.

The thing about natural selection is that it acts very, VERY slowly. It takes thousands of years for any visible changes to occur.

That is for animals. Since humans are much more subtle, its effects are more imposing. Don't expect to grow something extra to make a difference.

By the time we might start running into problems - a few thousand years from now - we will have technology so advanced that our bodies will probably be irrelevant.

No way. In a few hundred years, genome deterioration due to cancer-inducing stuff will be extreme unless we act NOW. Second, you keep implying the body is something separate from the mind. You should know that the brain is part of the body and that it complements the soul such that your mind depends on the body to a vast extent. Actually, 100 percent from the extreme views, for example diseases like Alzheimer.

Is "civilization" a genetic trait? Is being a "thug" a genetic trait? Is being "underdeveloped" a genetic trait?

Yes, yes and yes. Black, white and asian developed over thousands of years within their geographical boundaries. Violence is known to be a genetically induced condition in many cases. Underdeveloped peoples are significantly defined so by their collective's gene developement over the years.

Natural selection only affects those things that are genetic. If something does not depend on your genes (such as, say, your education) then it is not affected by natural selection.

Since your brain and your muscles are gene-affected, it all depends to a great extent. You might say that the rest is education and NUTRITION (I'd think there are none around here who know the power of nutrition). Besides, your education was influenced by your parents and your own capacity.

While anti-social people tend to have more children once they wind up in marriage, I don't buy that just because children are born in a large, troublesome family they're destined to turn out just like their parents. Some of them will work their way up. If the family situation is particulary bad, one has to wonder why those kids haven't been removed from the household all that time.

I don't believe genetics plays a big role in this at all- upbring is far more significant.

Violent behaviour IS affected by genes and just because some manage to reason with it doesn't mean that it isn't there. Over the generations, the "bad genes" still make trouble.

but enforcing procedures are very drastic and brutal

I was rather thinking of punishments like life prison for having more than two or three. Killing embrios is rather murderous.

Relevant technology. Mars and colonization.

Colonizing other worlds is rather fantasy than fact. Low G or no G at all produces grisly and ultimately lethal effects while gravity generators are likely to be as impossible as time travel.

A more important issue IMO is that many western countries (mine especially) have an extremely low fertility rate for those of native descent, less then 2 per women. The fact that our population is still growing is because of the influx of immigrants and the fact that they tend to have more children then natives- it's not as big a problem as in say, Israel, but eventually it could be.

If we allow the nations with large fertility rates to overwhelm in numbers, on cultural, not genetic, basis, then our genetic pool will be rendered to nothing over the generations.

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Violent behaviour IS affected by genes and just because some manage to reason with it doesn't mean that it isn't there. Over the generations, the "bad genes" still make trouble.

Of course it's affected by genes. But genetics is more subtle then that - having a single gene that causes a certain amount of agressiveness might actually help someone accomplish things in life, because he's more bold and assertive. Or a more specific example: having one gene that causes sickle-cell disease (=bad) has little effect on your general health, but gives you greater resistance against malaria.

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Natural selection on the level of the organism stopped when humans acquired morals. Darwin himself could not explain how morality got fixed. In all situations it looks like the person who is most moral and sacrifices himself for the groups would have less children and live a shorter life, so such characteristic would disappear, but it did not.

Right now natural selection is occurring on the group level, until we will reach the population size that will not allow us to share resources with those less unfortunate.

Our genes influence everything in our body including our mental development however other factors work in on it as well.

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First, not just the physical condition is in question.

Of course it is. Natural selection only affects the human body. But our main survival tool is knowledge, which is not genetic and is not affected by natural selection. Humans have the unusual ability to learn things - lots of things - from each other. We have no need to rely on genetic instincts like other animals do, and, since we can make tools, we have no need to rely on physical strength or agility either.

Second, you should realise that up until the end of the second world war, natural selection in human form was still in effect, in that if you were unsuccessful you would die or at least have few or no kids, whereas nowadays that happens only in extreme cases.

Oh really? Tell me, what exactly changed between the pre-WW2 and post-WW2 periods to account for this claim of yours? How were "unsuccessful" people less likely to reproduce before WW2 than after it? And what exactly do you mean by "success" anyway - I hope you're talking about something that is genetic, otherwise natural selection wouldn't have affected it in the first place.

That is for animals. Since humans are much more subtle, its effects are more imposing. Don't expect to grow something extra to make a difference.

Well then, stop talking in generalities. Tell me exactly what kind of genetic changes you're worried about.

No way. In a few hundred years, genome deterioration due to cancer-inducing stuff will be extreme unless we act NOW.

Got any proof?

Second, you keep implying the body is something separate from the mind. You should know that the brain is part of the body and that it complements the soul such that your mind depends on the body to a vast extent. Actually, 100 percent from the extreme views, for example diseases like Alzheimer.

Natural selection will not remove genetic diseases that do not harm your ability to reproduce. Take Alzheimer's Disease for example, or any other degenerative disease that affects the elderly. Because it only hits you when you are old - after you've finished reproducing - it does not diminish your ability to reproduce. Therefore, natural selection will not remove it from the gene pool.

As such, it is a mistake to assume that the increased presence of such diseases is due to a lack of natural selection. Natural selection never affected them in the first place.

Is "civilization" a genetic trait? Is being a "thug" a genetic trait? Is being "underdeveloped" a genetic trait?

Yes' date=' yes and yes.[/quote']

Prove it, prove it, prove it.

Black, white and asian developed over thousands of years within their geographical boundaries.

That has nothing to do with civilization - unless of course you are a racist and believe that economic development is somehow a function of skin colour.

Violence is known to be a genetically induced condition in many cases.

What kind of violence? What cases? How do you account for great variations in levels of violence - for instance, just a few centuries ago, our ancestors were brutally slaughtering each other without a second thought - without any accompanying change in the gene pool?

Underdeveloped peoples are significantly defined so by their collective's gene developement over the years.

To clarify: Are you a racist or not? I'm asking because I want to know what I should be arguing against. I don't want to attack a straw man by accident.

Since your brain and your muscles are gene-affected, it all depends to a great extent.

Gene-affected and gene-determined are two different things. Something may be affected by your genes (= your genes make you more likely to choose A rather than B) without being completely determined by your genes (= your genes force you to choose A and you are unable to choose B).

You might say that the rest is education and NUTRITION (I'd think there are none around here who know the power of nutrition). Besides, your education was influenced by your parents and your own capacity.

My education was probably more influenced by my schooling than my parents. Pure random chance also played a major part - much of my knowledge comes from talking to people that I met by chance, or reading books that I picked up by chance, or going through experiences that happened by chance.

Violent behaviour IS affected by genes and just because some manage to reason with it doesn't mean that it isn't there. Over the generations, the "bad genes" still make trouble.

Yes, there are genes that make aggressive behaviour more likely, but why are they necessarily "bad"? Do we want people to be less aggressive? Do we want them to be more aggressive? Who is supposed to decide these things, anyway - who should determine what genes are "bad" and therefore must be removed from the gene pool?

I don't think I need to explain why giving someone power over the human gene pool is an extremely bad idea.

If we allow the nations with large fertility rates to overwhelm in numbers, on cultural, not genetic, basis, then our genetic pool will be rendered to nothing over the generations.

What makes you think that the nations which have high fertility rates today will still have the same fertility rates 50 years from now? Fertility rates change. You only need to look at Europe over the past century to see how quickly they can drop. It is likely that what happened to European nations will eventually happen to ALL nations.

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I was rather thinking of punishments like life prison for having more than two or three. Killing embrios is rather murderous.
I've always considered China's way of limiting the population to 1 child per family was a good step in the direction of plateau-ing the population, but enforcing procedures are very drastic and brutal. Perhaps in the future it will be necessary to use such enforcement?

On this, we agree. The one-child policy is pretty much the only good thing the Chinese government is doing, as far as I'm concerned. It is true that they are not enforcing it as well as they should - on the one hand they can be unnecessarily brutal, but on the other hand they haven't succeeded in getting everyone to obey the one-child rule yet. The population of China is still growing; but at least its growth is much slower than before, and it continues to slow down.

Many people look at the demographic history of Europe and predict that the whole world will eventually follow the same pattern. In other words, as countries become more developed and children become more of an economic burden than a way to get cheap labour on the farm, people will start having less children and the world population will eventually plateau.

But if that doesn't happen, it will be necessary to force the end of population growth by punishing people who have more than 2 children. The exact nature of the punishment will have to depend on the situation - it may consist of fines, jail terms, or perhaps sterilization.

I find it interesting that so many human rights groups complain about China's one-child policy. This is one example of an issue where fanatical devotion to individual rights may endanger the future of humanity.

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To clarify: Are you a racist or not?

When your logic doesn't work, you call me a racist?

You just refuse to think over what I have said as I see my next reply would already have been written.

Genetics affect your brain, regardless of education, and influence generations as they go - not to say that I am ignoring education, but you are making use of your knowledge with the help of your genes and nutrition.

By the way, the difference in achieving potential is greatly influenced by nutrition, you would have an idea if you had read on the matter. For example, the brain contains omega 3 fatty acids(DHA) which you get from fish and a few vedgetable oils, otherwise the supply is very small. Without very little of them, you can imagine how bad it turns out (it's not that the brain didn't grow, but it suffers damage, makes less links and works poorly).

It is clearly known that people are suffering genetic damage from polution and toxicity, and that passes on to to the next generation. It has to be stopped and reasarch made to find ways of undoing damage.

If the birth rates of various nations are severely imbalanced, out of developement and cultural reasons, it means that the swarmers soon override the genes of the few and this is especially unjust since those who don't swarm are doing the right thing.

Quote from: Da_Ze_Ir on Today at 06:44:58

Underdeveloped peoples are significantly defined so by their collective's gene developement over the years.

To clarify: Are you a racist or not? I'm asking because I want to know what I should be arguing against. I don't want to attack a straw man by accident.

Some nations lived in the tropics where they developed to hunt, eat bananas and so on. Others lived in temperate climate and had to become more inventive. And the japanese lived on their islands fighting each other, becoming more serious and more intelligent in the process. Do I have to be racist to say that?

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I find it interesting that so many human rights groups complain about China's one-child policy. This is one example of an issue where fanatical devotion to individual rights may endanger the future of humanity.

The issue of global birth control is something that's been bothering me. On one hand' date=' you shouldn't be able to unilaterally have as many kids as you want since the rest of the world has to deal with your offspring somehow. On the other hand, getting kids is something that's so personal and such an integral part of our human nature that it seems unjust to restrict it anyway.

I realize though that such an attitude is totally destructive though and untenable, and I'm glad you seem to think so too- if you and I agree, it's got to be the right way to go  ;)[/color']

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When your logic doesn't work, you call me a racist?

I did not mean it as an insult; even if you were a racist that would not make you wrong a priori. Any views, no matter how controversial or socially unacceptable, cannot and should not be dismissed out of hand - they should be debated. As I explained, I was asking that question because I wanted to clarify where you stood, not because I wanted to accuse you of anything.

Genetics affect your brain, regardless of education, and influence generations as they go - not to say that I am ignoring education, but you are making use of your knowledge with the help of your genes and nutrition.

Yes, I agree that genetics plays a part in human development; however, because it is only a part, and because genetic change is very slow, genetics cannot and should not be used to make predictions about the future course of human society.

By the way, the difference in achieving potential is greatly influenced by nutrition, you would have an idea if you had read on the matter. For example, the brain contains omega 3 fatty acids(DHA) which you get from fish and a few vedgetable oils, otherwise the supply is very small. Without very little of them, you can imagine how bad it turns out (it's not that the brain didn't grow, but it suffers damage, makes less links and works poorly).

You are correct that I know very little on this subject, and therefore I cannot make any judgements. But I'm sure you're right - I have heard it said numerous times that nutrition, especially during childhood, plays an important role in brain development.

It is clearly known that people are suffering genetic damage from polution and toxicity, and that passes on to to the next generation. It has to be stopped and reasarch made to find ways of undoing damage.

Ah, now we agree. Yes, it is true that pollution has negative effects on the human genome - many kinds of toxins can cause mutations. And yes, I completely agree that there should be more medical research aimed at fixing this problem.

I just don't see what this has to do with natural selection (or the lack thereof).

If the birth rates of various nations are severely imbalanced, out of developement and cultural reasons, it means that the swarmers soon override the genes of the few and this is especially unjust since those who don't swarm are doing the right thing.

Well, yes, the nations that breed faster today will be more numerous in the near future (though things may change in the far future as fertility rates change, and different nations take the lead). Some genes will become more prevalent and others will become less prevalent. For example, we will probably see less people with blond hair. Ok... so? I don't see the problem. You seem to assume that nations have (or should have) some kind of interest in preserving their genes. Why? No nation is inherently more valuable than another, so there is nothing lost and nothing gained if some nations become more numerous and others become less numerous.

Some nations lived in the tropics where they developed to hunt, eat bananas and so on. Others lived in temperate climate and had to become more inventive. And the japanese lived on their islands fighting each other, becoming more serious and more intelligent in the process. Do I have to be racist to say that?

Yes, different nations have developed differently, mostly due to their environment. I think we can all agree on that. The dividing line between racists and non-racists is whether one believes that those national differences are genetic or cultural. Since most nations have lived in their current environments for relatively short periods of time (a few thousand years at most), there can be no question that national differences are cultural. There was simply no time for Greeks to develop some kind of gene that makes them better sailors, or for Europeans in general to develop a gene that makes them better farmers - if it is even possible to develop such genes. Any nation - any race - would have developed like the Greeks if you put it in Greece.

What racists believe is that differences between nations or races are genetic; they would argue that Europeans, for example, have a gene that makes them more likely to develop good agriculture or start an industrial revolution - or just that Europeans are inherently smarter than everyone else. Not only are such views dangerous because they can justify oppression and genocide, but they are scientifically wrong. There is no known "agriculture gene" or "industrial revolution gene", and intelligence is a complex thing - some of it genetic, some not.

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The issue of global birth control is something that's been bothering me. On one hand, you shouldn't be able to unilaterally have as many kids as you want since the rest of the world has to deal with your offspring somehow. On the other hand, getting kids is something that's so personal and such an integral part of our human nature that it seems unjust to restrict it anyway.

I realize though that such an attitude is totally destructive though and untenable, and I'm glad you seem to think so too- if you and I agree, it's got to be the right way to go  ;)

Of course, hehe. :)

My ethics, as you know, are utilitarian. If something benefits humanity, it should be encouraged. If something harms humanity, it should be discouraged or stopped. If some people object - well, that's their problem; we should not put the future of humanity in danger for the sake of personal preferences. Whenever the interests of humanity are in conflict with the interests of an individual, you know where I stand.

By the way, do you watch Battlestar Galactica?

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I am not sure about how much do we really need birth control laws. In developed world lately the trend showed towards decreasing population )only upkept by immigration, and in some place even that is not helping) so here this is already occurring as natural thing. In undeveloped world population growth is always checked by lack of resources to support it. Only developing countries as the ones with growing population but they also do not look like they will not be keeping that growth up at the  level they are at.

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we allow the nations with large fertility rates to overwhelm in numbers, on cultural, not genetic, basis, then our genetic pool will be rendered to nothing over the generations.

There was a similar situation, end of Roman republic. Augustus feared that the elite would be flooded by uncivilized mobs or something, as he acted onto this by external (structural, state force-oriented) measures. It failed utterly.

It might tell some things. Like "Ending up addressing the effects might just provoke resistance and indifference." Or "These preoccupations seem pretty dependent on trends and, addressed out of this context, led no-where." Or else (it'd also be interesting to know more about it).

If we allow the nations with large fertility rates to overwhelm in numbers, on cultural, not genetic, basis, then our genetic pool will be rendered to nothing over the generations.

Well historically, I think that exploration and technology have shown their potentials and limits. Crossing the ocean sure didn't seem too realist neither.

Regarding China's one child policy, I remember vaguely that an American president was visiting. He made a critique regarding the policy. He was answered (privately I suppose) something like "Well, we can send you the second child if you accept", after which he suddenly changed topic.

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Of course it's affected by genes. But genetics is more subtle then that - having a single gene that causes a certain amount of agressiveness might actually help someone accomplish things in life, because he's more bold and assertive. Or a more specific example: having one gene that causes sickle-cell disease (=bad) has little effect on your general health, but gives you greater resistance against malaria.

That is why more debate and research is needed.

the person who is most moral and sacrifices himself for the groups would have less children and live a shorter life, so such characteristic would disappear, but it did not.

First, you don't think of such things directly when you are making an instant moral decision. However, good morals do improve thigs for those around, therefore a society with good people will thrive in better ways.

The best choices/actions that one can make are those which are the most good, but this is impossible to interpret for everyday life while being easy to see in critical moments or just regarding decisions/choices as in management.

Natural selection will not remove genetic diseases that do not harm your ability to reproduce. Take Alzheimer's Disease for example, or any other degenerative disease that affects the elderly. Because it only hits you when you are old - after you've finished reproducing - it does not diminish your ability to reproduce. Therefore, natural selection will not remove it from the gene pool.

As such, it is a mistake to assume that the increased presence of such diseases is due to a lack of natural selection. Natural selection never affected them in the first place.

Actually, from what I have read, Alzheimer is vastly a nutrition disease. It seems rather ludicrous, doesn't it, that so many should suffer for the lack of information and interest in the subject. The disease is horrible to the affected AND their family. However, I was giving an example of how the brain, a part of the body, affects you, as a counter to separating the mind from the physical.

What makes you think that the nations which have high fertility rates today will still have the same fertility rates 50 years from now? Fertility rates change. You only need to look at Europe over the past century to see how quickly they can drop. It is likely that what happened to European nations will eventually happen to ALL nations.

Ok, you could be right. Most likely, birth rates wil drop soon, but not sooner than several decades.

you shouldn't be able to unilaterally have as many kids as you want since the rest of the world has to deal with your offspring somehow.

If some people have exaggerated numbers of kids, they effectively cut from the others' place in the future giving it to themselves, as in time the population will plateau and genes will naturally be mixed. That is what the rest of the world has to deal with in the long term.

My ethics, as you know, are utilitarian. If something benefits humanity, it should be encouraged.If something harms humanity, it should be discouraged or stopped. If some people object - well, that's their problem; we should not put the future of humanity in danger for the sake of personal preferences. Whenever the interests of humanity are in conflict with the interests of an individual, you know where I stand.

By the way, do you watch Battlestar Galactica?

It is impossible to outright know what benefits humanity. There few moments when a combination of all the ethical views you listed supply an answer, let alone what you decribe to be your view. Much effort which seems wasted will most likely turn out to have been a way for experience never possible when you are all the time making decisions for what seems being the best.

Filming and watching Battlestar Galactica would be considdered a waste of time, therefor it would have to be stopped. ;)

You seem to assume that nations have (or should have) some kind of interest in preserving their genes. Why? No nation is inherently more valuable than another, so there is nothing lost and nothing gained if some nations become more numerous and others become less numerous.

For the purest utilitarian view, loosing human variations on the genome would be very bad. A race's hope for genetic health lies in this diversity.

I have seen a post where you said you didn't want any children. You should considder, for once, that if all people had no children, the human race would die off within a century or so. Think of it as the logic of the vote.

Then you should considder those people who have and care for their children. By having other nations with ten times the children, you are basically reducing their right to exist by 90%(just an approximation), as in the end the population will plateau and mix.

Ah, now we agree. Yes, it is true that pollution has negative effects on the human genome - many kinds of toxins can cause mutations. And yes, I completely agree that there should be more medical research aimed at fixing this problem.

I just don't see what this has to do with natural selection (or the lack thereof).

I suggested reseach for the matter of repairs. Since you ask, natural selection would have, over a long time, made some repairs if it still existed.

Yes, different nations have developed differently, mostly due to their environment. I think we can all agree on that. The dividing line between racists and non-racists is whether one believes that those national differences are genetic or cultural. Since most nations have lived in their current environments for relatively short periods of time (a few thousand years at most), there can be no question that national differences are cultural. There was simply no time for Greeks to develop some kind of gene that makes them better sailors, or for Europeans in general to develop a gene that makes them better farmers - if it is even possible to develop such genes. Any nation - any race - would have developed like the Greeks if you put it in Greece.

What racists believe is that differences between nations or races are genetic; they would argue that Europeans, for example, have a gene that makes them more likely to develop good agriculture or start an industrial revolution - or just that Europeans are inherently smarter than everyone else. Not only are such views dangerous because they can justify oppression and genocide, but they are scientifically wrong. There is no known "agriculture gene" or "industrial revolution gene", and intelligence is a complex thing - some of it genetic, some not.

I do not considder myself to be a racist since I would not discriminate. As I have said, in time the nations will mix - that is hardly a racist view on how things are supposed to turn out.

I think that differences between nations ARE both genetic and cultural. In fact, you said it yourself that genetics play a part:

Yes, I agree that genetics plays a part in human development; however, because it is only a part, and because genetic change is very slow, genetics cannot and should not be used to make predictions about the future course of human society.

However, there really are differences today: for example, black people have generally better physical capabilities. I was saying that natural selection is practically over and we need to preserve diversity instead of loosing to percentages.

There are no genes for industry or agriculture but there are subtle differences.

"Ending up addressing the effects might just provoke resistance and indifference."

The causes are supposed to be adressed and they have been so for a long time. Of course, a combination of incapability, incompetence and carelessness surrounds it.

I think the matter should be fought on both fronts, cause AND effect.

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Do a test like erasmus ...

I am of middle class upbringing and also supposed to have a good genetics but ... but take a child from a so called third world nation ( take a bastard of a prostitute and a thug ... no offense just hypothesis ) and give him/her the chance to have a good education and decent living, I can assure you the hunger of the child for education would drive him/her so bad that I would feel like a total airhead beside him/her ... and now finally tell me why do my neighbour down south [ neighbouring country ] keeps on taking millions of immigrants even when the govt in power is supposed to be redneck??? the answer is simple -> they need to get skilled labour and skilled labour needs opportunity ( the country being messed up not being able to provide the opportunity ).

genetics is important, and most of us have perfect genetics ( atleast we do not born mutated ) but  the factors Edric O mentioned are vital ... and there also the rules of actions reactions causes and effects.

perhaps another solution for you is the destiny plan [ watch gundam seed destiny :D ).

ps : lets see how much you can hate me for this ... will it turn to despising me :D lets see how that feels.

The population problem is troublesome ... perhaps the way to solve it is to educate people more about the consequences and try to put some common sense in, though common sense can not be pushed in :D, it really is troublesome.

ps2 : you never saw me , I do not exist I am just a figment of your conscience ... Sher out.

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take a child from a so called third world nation ( take a bastard of a prostitute and a thug ... no offense just hypothesis ) and give him/her the chance to have a good education and decent living, I can assure you the hunger of the child for education would drive him/her so bad that I would feel like a total airhead beside him/her ...

Here in Romania we have a "minority" called roms, Edric O would know being from the same country. They tried to educate them, but they just sold their licenses to romanians who then pretended just to get their education.

Most of these people steal the first chance they get and that is not only so for their poor but especially for their rich who make organised crime. They have it in their BLOOOOD. :D

and now finally tell me why do my neighbour down south [ neighbouring country ] keeps on taking millions of immigrants even when the govt in power is supposed to be redneck??? the answer is simple -> they need to get skilled labour and skilled labour needs opportunity ( the country being messed up not being able to provide the opportunity ).

I know that the US import 80 percent of their brains. Sorry folks, just popular knowledge. ;)

Now we all know that in this era quality people are not always from the RICHEST nations or always from the upper classes either.

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I can't help but be nervous when people attach values to genetics, more specifically to genes. There is nothing moral about a gene, it is simply a collections of chemicals. And yet some people insist on using genetics to further their own beliefs, in the mistaken conviction that since genes are solidly scientific they can be used to support arguments that are less so. In other words, using science in arguments that might be social, political, cultural or economic.

But genes, tricksy things that they are, do not play this game. There is no 'stupid' gene, nor a 'fat' gene or a 'thug' gene. Granted there are some genes that could make say, obesity more likely to occur, by overproduction of ghrelin (appetite-inducing hormone, among other things), but that does not by any means indicate that a person will be overweight. It just makes them hungrier, more likely to eat, and thus more likely to get fat. But not definately.

The same applies to other superficial or cultural attributes of a human body. Someone whose parents failed everything at school is still quite capable of getting a degree (barring an abnormal genetic background, which might for example cause learning disorders). A person whose parents were 'thugs' in the traditional sense of the word may not choose to follow the same lifestyle. Because while genes do make some things easier and others more difficult, they rarely - when functioning correctly - prohibit or enforce a particular lifestyle or behaviour, though there are exceptions.

Similarly, there is no way to preserve a genetic population. Whether you are trying to preserve "true-blooded Irish" or "the Anderson legacy" or "the civilised classes," I assure you that it cannot be done.

What happens when you isolate a population? Sooner or later the genes have mingled as much as they are going to and the only variation will arise from mutation. Not only will this likely weaken the population (recessive genes have a nasty habit of popping up in situations like this), but it will in no way preserve the genes you had at the start because these things change in a single generation. The only way to ensure that the same genes are consistantly recycled (rather than 'watered down') is through prolonged inbreeding. I hope I don't need to go into what a very bad idea that is. Even with that, mutations and recessive genes make it an uncertain prospect at best.

The result is that populations will occasionally benefit from an outside influence. It's called 'hybrid vigour.' Look it up. And it is one of the primary reasons that population isolation is a bad idea. Worried about 'civilised people' not having enough babies? Well not only is there no such thing as a 'civilised' gene, but if the upper classes had only themselves to depend on for genetic variation they would be in a rather unfortunate position.

Genome degradation. Hmm. I wonder exactly what the phrase is supposed to mean in this context. Because generally speaking it is used to describe the shrinking of a genome over several (hundred) generations, usually by removing the many structural or simply useless bits of DNA that hang around without much purpose. It is almost universally a good thing, because the structure can then be supported more simply and the 'junk' DNA was just getting in the way anyway. It allows organisms to survive in more hostile environments (obligate parasites, for example), and saves resources that can then be applied elsewhere. A mitochondrion with as much DNA as the nucleus would be a waste of material and space, a great disadvantage.

So then, I can only imagine that it is supposed to mean something else in this case. And the assumption that comes first is that the genes of a specific group of people (lets assume white middle class, for sake of argument) are somehow supposed to be 'better' than everyone else's, and that anyone from this group breeding with someone who is not is 'degrading' their genetic lineage, producing tainted offspring that will go on to fill the world with a plague of devil-spawn. Right?

Or possibly, and I'm prepared to give the benefit of the doubt here, what was meant is that some people should be discouraged from reproducing because, a long time ago, they would have died before having a chance to reproduce. Therefore 'weak' genes are entering the population and are not being weeded out by natural selection. Well.

How do you go about defining 'weak' then? People with low resistance to disease? People with heart conditions? People with learning disabilities? Fat people? Where exactly is the line drawn between normal human being and fatal genetic flaw? And how are you going to justify that line?

Simple answer: you can't. Which is why China had the right idea with limiting offspring rather than deciding who should reproduce and who shouldn't. It's not perfect, and has caused a lot of problems, but it may have to do.

Further, as Edric has already pointed out, humans are relying less and less upon our physical forms to sustain us. We have machines that breathe for us, pills that regulate our bodies, injections and surgeons that cure us of otherwise deadly diseases. A tiny machine implanted near the heart keeps it beating regularly. It's called a pacemaker. That kind of technology will, if it continues apace, turn the human body into little more than a place for the mind to live. Blood pumping, filtering, signal conduction, all these could concievably be carried out by sufficiently advanced technology. Perhaps even the mind itself could be digitalised, completely removing the reliable upon flesh (and genes).

But that's another kettle of fish entirely. The point is that it will not matter if there are more 'weak' genes in the population, because genes no longer determine our survivability, as the original post already stated.

In other words, natural selection, while a wonderful process, has been left behind by the human race. It no longer applies to us, and we do not need an alternative.

Also, I don't like it when people turn to genetics in an attempt to support non-scientific arguments. They inevitably twist the facts to fit with their own ideals. Genes aren't some magic device by which everything can be explained, you know.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Up until the last century, natural selection was something that still affected the human race. Obviously that has stopped being the case and that is the way I personally like it.

I'm sorry you feel that way because...well...not to put to fine a point on it...you're wrong.  Natural selection is alive and well.  Women still have many of the same physical preferences as they've always had.  Men even more so.  But beyond the obvious things such as women being attracted to tall men with big shoulders and men being attracted to big boobs and "childbearin'" hips as they've always been, natural selection works in much more subtle ways. (I'm over simplifying and grossly generalizing of course, but you get the idea)  

Lets say you have a guy that happens to have bad vision.  He gets into his car, crashes and dies because, due to his less than perfect vision, he didn't see that pothole that made him lose control of the vehicle. Now he's out of the gene pool.  There's a bit of natural selection right there. 

The bear sprint model...Lets say two hunters come across a big mean grizzly.  They both start running.  The bear catches the slow one and eats him.  The faster guy gets away and goes on to have six kids...natural selection.

I could go on and on with this...but to reiterate...natural selection still plays a huge factor in human genetics.

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Lets say you have a guy that happens to have bad vision.  He gets into his car, crashes and dies because, due to his less than perfect vision, he didn't see that pothole that made him lose control of the vehicle. Now he's out of the gene pool.  There's a bit of natural selection right there.

That is why we have glasses, contacts and laser eye surgeries, the natural propensity to having bad vision doesn't matter if medicine can fix it.

People used to die from diabetics but modern day science provided insulin. We stopped our own natural selection, we can cure diseases and can reinforce immune systems. Modern science even can cure genetically passed diseases.

Being disabled doesn't mean instant death, and they continue to live their lives almost to same extent as all others. They even reproduce and pass on those genes that made them disabled into the genetic pool.

Ability to run fast is no longer much of an issue if you have a car.

Modern day science is stopping our own evolution, it is not like it is a bad thing.

according to evolution theory the successful organism would reproduce more, however the rich countries are experiencing reduction in birth rates and population, while undeveloped countries have much higher birth rates.

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No offense, but is seems like Aristeas is of those who think that others dont understand and don't see the obvious truth that in fact the people replying opposing his view do understand (natural selection) and simply DISAGREE with him rather than misunderstanding his point. So I don't about you guys, but if I see a repetition of the ''you guys don't get it, natural selection works like this and is major as it used to be'' post I'm going to pretty much ignore it.

Right now ''natural selection'' simply favors the genes of the people who want (I think it's accurate to say: stupidignorant enough to want more children in most cases) to have more children, if there is such a gene, which there probably isn't. Most people choose to have the number of children they do for non-genetic reasons, and it seems difficult to imagine genes that somehow influence childrenno children decision making. Nowadays there exist only the odd situations such as the forementioned ''grizzly'' chase and even then with current technology and lifestyles the relative influence of genetics in even such a situation as that is lower before to the extent that the technology of the future will probably wipe out the genetic influence at all before the thousands of years required for such a minimal influence of average chance to significantly alter teh genepool.

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I wonder... would this "grizzly chase" example actually apply to technology or ideas nowadays (or especially nowadays)? Could the hardware have been slightly put aside in favour of software?

The better it'd get and the less we would need to worry for "survival of the fittest".

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