Are their people in society that are farther on the evolutionary scale than others.

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by Mechapixel, Jul 10, 2009.

  1. Mechapixel Registered Member

    Theorectically could their be humans slightly more evolved than you and I? If there are could their offspring retain those traits, eventhough their mother or father is not on the same evolutionary level as their partner is?
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  3. Xylene Valued Senior Member

    Here's something which might help you, Mechapixel;
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  5. Hercules Rockefeller Beatings will continue until morale improves. Moderator


    Please define "more evolved". What traits would an individual have to have to be considered as "more evolved"?

    (Hint: there's actually no such thing as 'more evolved'.)
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  7. Dub_ Strange loop Registered Senior Member

    I'm afraid that's not quite how evolution works. It's a common misunderstanding, perpetuated in part by the ubiquitous yet misleading image of a chimp gradually rising to be a proud human being. This implies that evolution is a linear, simple-to-complex, worst-to-best sort of process -- and that just isn't so. (It also falsely implies that humans evolved from chimpanzees, but that's another topic.) With regards to your question, certain humans wouldn't have evolved "more" than other humans, they would only have adapted to slightly different conditions.
  8. WillNever Valued Senior Member

    That depends on what you mean by more evolved. If by more evolved, you mean by "more visibly mutated from the norm," then yes, I suppose that white skinned, light haired, blue or green eyed people fit into that category. However, such traits are not significantly better adapted to life in modern society... so to say that that those people are more evolved makes no sense.
  9. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    There exist today two species that we call "chimpanzees": the "true" chimpanzee Pan troglodytes and the bonobo chimpanzee P. paniscus. This may change, but until recently we didn't even realize they were different and we put them together in zoos with less than optimal results.

    Just as there are two species that we call gorillas and several species (or many species) that we call gibbons, foxes, owls, ants, etc. As the Head Linguist around here I don't think it's an egregious misuse of the language to call the ancestral species from which both the chimpanzees and the humans (remember there have been multiple species of humans) descended.

    Oddly, I haven't succeeded in Googling up a reconstructed image of that ancestor, but I'll bet money that most people who see it would call it a chimpanzee.
  10. Norsefire Salam Shalom Salom Registered Senior Member

    Isn't there no such thing as "more evolved"? I thought it was just "different".

    Still if the OP is asking the question "are there people that are different" in terms of species, I saw a documentary about people that posess a certain gene/trait that everyone has, except some people have an "older" pair, some have mixed, and others have exclusively the "newer" pair

    Not an expert on genetics so I can't get any clearer than that, sorry.
  11. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    My wife was born without wisdom teeth (that is, without the little starters that erupt as wisdom teeth later).
  12. Dub_ Strange loop Registered Senior Member

    It may well be true that our common ancestor with the chimps more closely resembled modern chimps than modern humans. And of course there are even zoologists today who insist that humans belong in the same genus as the chimps. However, my point is only that humans are not simply chimps who "kept evolving" while modern chimps somehow missed the evolutionary train, but rather a "separate but equal" evolutionary branch -- a crucial concept. The former notion is the one implied by the infamous image to which I was referring, which very clearly shows a member of Pan troglodytes morphing into a human. I truly feel that this image has been nothing but a barrier to a proper grasp of evolutionary theory.
  13. Dr Lou Natic Unnecessary Surgeon Registered Senior Member

    In retrospect you might be able to look back and see some of us were more evoled, but it all depends on what is favoured in the future.
  14. nietzschefan Thread Killer Valued Senior Member

    None of us were and I don't understand the "starter teeth"? I didn't have wisdom teeth show until I was 20.
  15. Baron Max Registered Senior Member

    Well, Dr., starting from this moment in history, can you look back and say which humans were more (or less) evolved than others?

    As to what animal is "favored" by evolution for the future, my bet is on the cockroach!

    Baron Max
  16. s6nculve Registered Member

    Specific Genetic Traits that are favorable

    At the 1964 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Eero Antero Mäntyranta, a cross-country skier from Finland who won two gold medals was later found to have a genetic mutation that increased the number of red blood cells in his body because he could not switch off erythropoetin (Epo) production. This mutation increased the athlete's capacity for aerobic exercise.

    I would consider Eero's mutation to put himself above his peers on the "evolutionary scale". His genetic mutation is favorable.

    Lance Armstrong, the six-time Grand Champion of the Tour de France is also blessed. Dr. Coyle (director of the Human Performance Lab at UT) has measured the physiological changes in Lance since he was 20 years old and in June 2005 published a scientific paper about this man, who arguably is the best endurance athlete on the planet.

    There is no doubt that Lance now possesses a big and strong heart that can beat over 200 times a minute at maximum and thus pump a exceptionally large volume of blood and oxygen to his legs. There are probably 100 other men on earth who have comparable abilities while each assumedly must have performed intense endurance training for at least 3 years and are now between the ages of 18-40 y. In testing hundreds of competitive cyclists over 20 years at UT, Dr. Coyle has found two other individuals with the physiological potential of Lance. Each possessed a maximal oxygen uptake of approximately 6 liter/min or when expressed per unit of body weight it is 75-85 ml/kg/min. Also they had a high lactate threshold and good cycling efficiency. Lance's maximal heart rate of over 200 bt/min was at least 5% higher than the others who reached typical values of 180-190 bts/min.

    To put this in perspective, a recreationally active and lean male in college typically possesses a maximal oxygen uptake of 40-50 ml/kg/min and if they became couch potatoes for a few months, they would be 30-40 ml/kg/min. We estimate that if Lance were to become a couch potato, his VO2max would not decline below 60 ml/kg/min. assuming he did not become over-weight. Furthermore, if the normal college student were to train intensely for two or more years, his VO2max would not increase above 60 ml/kg/min. In other words, if Lance were to become sedentary, his cardiovascular fitness would remain at the highest level possible for a normal person. In other words, Lance would not have to train in order to be able to ride with a person with average genetic potential, even if this person trained as hard as possible for a few years.

    Lance was also born with a "head start" or we can even consider him above his peers on the "evolutionary scale." His specific genetic traits are favorable.
  17. s6nculve Registered Member


    We now know that cell lose without replacement, oncogenic nuclear, mutations and epimutations, cell senescence, mitochondrial mutations, lysosomal aggregates, extracellular aggregates, random extra cellular cross-linking, immune system decline, endocrine changes all are factors in aging.

    Now that we know the causes we might one day be able to extend are lives to hundreds of years through genetics and other tools.
  18. s6nculve Registered Member

    Improvement of Inherited Human Traits

    The potential to alter genes to build better athletes was immediately realized with the invention of so-called "Schwarzenegger mice" in the late 1990s. These mice were given this nickname because they were genetically engineered to have increased muscle growth and strength (McPherron et al., 1997; Barton-Davis et al., 1998). The goal in developing these mice was to study muscle disease and reverse the decreased muscle mass that occurs with aging. Interestingly, the Schwarzenegger mice were not the first animals of their kind; that title belongs to Belgian Blue cattle (Figure 1), an exceptional breed known for its enormous muscle mass. These animals, which arose via selective breeding, have a mutated and nonfunctional copy of the myostatin gene, which normally controls muscular development. Without this control, the cows' muscles never stop growing (Grobet et al., 1997). In fact, Belgian Blue cattle get so large that most females of the breed cannot give natural birth, so their offspring have to be delivered by cesarean section. Schwarzenegger mice differ from these cattle in that they highlight scientists' newfound ability to induce muscle development through genetic engineering, which brings up the evident advantages for athletes.

    Genetic testing also harbors the potential for yet another scientific strategy to be applied in the area of eugenics, or the social philosophy of promoting the improvement of inherited human traits through intervention. In the past, eugenics was used to justify practices including involuntary sterilization and euthanasia.

    Preimplantation genetic diagnosis may be perfected and could technically be applied to select specific nondisease traits (rather than eliminate severe disease, as it is currently used) in implanted embryos, thus amounting to a form of eugenics.

    Because the technology needed for trait selection is not yet available this is purely hypothetical. In fact, such technology may be impossible, considering that most traits are complex and involve numerous genes.

    To answer your question Mechapixel, there is no such thing as 'more evolved'; but there are favorable mutations.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2009
  19. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

    As the head linguist it would have been helpful if you had given the verb call an object. Your sentence is grammatically incomplete.

    Most people would also believe that there can be animals (and humans) that are more evolved. The point of the better replies in this thread is that most people are wrong. There can be 'better adapted', 'more suited' and, when you factor in chance, 'plain damned lucky', but not in the sense intended 'more evolved'.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2009
  20. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    They don't erupt until later, but the early stages are there, buried in the gums, from early childhood.

    Or not, as in the advanced, "farther evolved" people among us. Such as my wife.
  21. dazzlepecs Registered Senior Member

    people who are more adapated maybe...... perhaps those jungle-dwellers are more "evolved" than cityfolk due to their environment being more stable thus time for adaptions to refine (talking bollocks here)
  22. s6nculve Registered Member

    Eero Antero Mäntyranta and Lance Armstrong are not more "adapated" through their environment, they were born with favorable mutations through recombination of genes and/or mutation(s). There are other cases of favorable mutations in humans.

    Genetic recombination is the process by which a strand of genetic material (usually DNA; but can also be RNA) is broken and then joined to a different DNA molecule. The crossover process leads to offspring having different combinations of genes from their parents, and can occasionally produce new chimeric alleles. In evolutionary biology this shuffling of genes is thought to have many advantages, as it is a major engine of genetic variation.

    mutations are changes to the nucleotide sequence of the genetic material of an organism. Mutations can be caused by copying errors in the genetic material during cell division, by exposure to ultraviolet or ionizing radiation, chemical mutagens, or viruses, or can be induced by the organism itself, by cellular processes such as hypermutation.

    Mutations create variation within the gene pool. Less favorable (or deleterious) mutations can be reduced in frequency in the gene pool by natural selection, while more favorable (beneficial or advantageous) mutations may accumulate and result in adaptive evolutionary changes. For example, a butterfly may produce offspring with new mutations. The majority of these mutations will have no effect; but one might change the color of one of the butterfly's offspring, making it harder (or easier) for predators to see. If this color change is advantageous, the chance of this butterfly surviving and producing its own offspring are a little better, and over time the number of butterflies with this mutation may form a larger percentage of the population.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2009
  23. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    I disagree vehemently. I'm perfectly adapted for my environment, and more so than any of you heathens. Why, my office chair even has just the right shape for my rear end. I don't know how it could be any more obvious.

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