future evoulution of the human species

future evolution of mankind

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In the near future humans will be genetically engineered to have desired traits and better unique abilities. The idea of the "X-Men" is very true to the near future because since so many couples will have their children genetically altered there is bound to have some mutations.This could result in the distant future in the creation of a new breed of humans. These mutations could result in good or bad social and physical consequences. With the increase of genetic experimentation there will be some that will push the extreme and we can either accept this or or reject it.
Totalitarian poll

Hey,darwin,both terms of the poll are identhical;you encourage evolution,all right,but this is extremist ,man...
About the text

I think that humankind will self- direct evolution(of course keeping in mind to avoid misuses) in a much faster,efficient and respectful(in the sense of not being brutal) way than the live-or die old fashioned one,getting to heights out of our imagination,not only in the medical and intellectual fields,but as well(in its moment) in the superior values of goodness and moral(as Darwin himself predicted;besides, who would want for their children otherwise?):

I like to think in ourselves as a non-refined golden rock(natural product):In the hands of a skilled artist we can have the golden mask of Tutankhamon...
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Genetic engineering

Genetic engineering is Pandora's box in waiting. On one hand, it could be everything you ever wanted. Your children would be the Einstein of the neighborhood, the Mark Spritz of the local YMCA; the Howard Costell of vocabulary, the Leonardo De Vinci of invention, all rolled into one package.

Mother Nature tends to be frugal with the bestowing of these gifts. Usually one maybe two such gifts to some. On rare occasions more. More often just a sprinkle to help one along. So I ask are such gifts really necessary? To be loaded with multiple talents usually leads to the social outcast role where the benefactor is bedeviled by thoughts of suicide, being left out of the social mix and knows that s/he misses what others apparently have. I guess what I'm saying is that these gifts bear a price. In the rush to see our children benefit from these now technologies, we may load a nonsurvival factor into the mix that assures that the very things we wish for our descendants may be short-lived. We still don’t know enough to go into wholesale genetic blending with the mixer running on full power.

It could be that you got something that looks human and has no concept of what human is or could even learn how to be. With no conscience and brainpower beyond imagination. The true mad scientist of Hollywood.

While all this is speculation, nature does tend to throw surprises into the mix. Like the flu that visits every year, always different but with the same ability to make you feel plumb miserable. I throw this into the subject because I don’t think there has been any reaction yet to these changes that we foresee ourselves capable of initiating. I also wonder sometimes at the concept of “Gaia” in that the whole planet may be a life source that takes care of it’s own. I don’t mean to come on like some weirdo but these are possible. We learn more each year in nearly every field of learning and there is always more that learning uncovers to be found a little deeper. And it seems without let up. There doesn’t seem to be one thing that is discovered that sooner or later doesn’t lead to the next discovery. It doesn’t have to be big, just a little thing. But every item of knowledge accumulates into something bigger.

This in reverse is what this is about. That there may very well be that flytrap waiting for the unwary. Just because we are capable of doing this or that doesn’t mean if we do everything will be all right. Look at all the drug companies that have had their products rushed into production with the nod and approval of the FDA and whatever other overlooking agencies may apply. 10 years, 20 years down the road it is found to help in the formation of cancer or those who take this particular drug are so many times more likely to come down with this or that. We hear it all the time.

While I’m not against this technology I do think we should proceed with a lot of caution. There is a lot we are releasing on the world. And we have no catch net to fall back on. Much like Kudzu being released into an unsuspecting environment.
Way I see it,is all about resources to live,and the form to get them:

As long as humankind becomes more powerful,i.ei.develops scientific and technological improvements,it s inevitable that society comes more civilized,and it s no coincidence that the word describing "civilized" and "human"are used as synonymes of respect and comprehension and kindness,because a large organized division of work to mantain running a modern economy can not allow tribal type wars between little groups,torture,executions without process,rape and burning,slavery,etc. without being desintegrated;but as the political-economical entities gain in complexity and thus in diversification of roles,the city-state becomes a country,this an alliance of them,and then you get to a globalized world,in which most part of the members has not only never fought for his life in any sense(REALLY FOUGHT I MEAN,AS I WILL KEEP REPEATING IN THIS POST,CHECK BACKWARDS CENTURIES)but never saw a man killed by a weapon:

But the key point is that technology applied in big scale not only brings food and shelter(the original reasons for brutality and violence)but the tools to overcome more threats of any kind that the more primitive(in every sense,no coincidence here)societies,even trained in an unimaginable fierceness,could never have faced,and this is a real fine deal:

You can get safety,health,food,technological comfort,all with a larger division of work only achievable by peace and cooperation...(this is a slow process and is far from being completed but advances always nevertheless)who would want otherwise?

Avoided the need that rises the violence, the civilized enjoy the pleasure of peace in a global scale NEVER ACHIEVED IN HISTORY(each century more,and if you think the 20th as hard check any previous other:no man died without being not in one but many wars in his short-ill-provided lives)for no sound person likes the slaughtering for joy...

So,the old Darwinian brutal live-or die evolution is getting over,for we survive more and better than ever and find cures for sickness faster than any naturally evolved agent produce,and this is thanks to intelligence,than allows us to drive the sorrounding world directly to our selected goals through cooperation and enhancement of respect ;now,is obvious that having more control is more safe that having less,especially with a "mother nature"that I love so much,but is very slow and random and blind in its changes, and with which species survive and at which cost in its ruthless-decimating selection system,in few words I prefer to take care of myself than trust my life to the chance...

All here talk about enhanced intelligence and even muscles and worries about the future lack of ethics and sympathy and kindness and moral,as if some features wouldn t be as genetic as the others...

Progress is a general improvement process,or to be very graphic,and this is no dialectic coincidence, for I bet whatever that this is equal in every language on earth,the correctness in any field(to do a thing in the "right" way, from fix a car motor,to do a math problem) is synonym with the moral arrow:IS GOOD TO BE GOOD.
About Gaia

wet1,I agree with you in that we must be careful in the handling of our newly acquired capabilities,as always did as humankind moved along the discovery path;but for we are evolved from the natural world,is why we are fit to better its functioning,which,while mantains a balance between its parts,cannot keep the same speed that the intelligence given to us by "herself":

This doesn t mean that all will be perfect or at zero cost,but the benefits will be more than the losses,because nature doesn t favor any species in particular,and therefore moves along tracks that can be harmful for us,and we can select out which of them may be diseasing ...

We can protect nature the more,the more we are less concerned by our own survival,and the intelligent handling of the natural world proved to be the key of our success(by the way be successful in the intelligent handling of the survival of the catfish blue(ictalurus furcatus),that s some game,if you know what I mean) ;)
Like a race car....

Just like a race car that needs a special track to show off its capabilities and legally can not be driven on the street, any human with IQ of 200 or higher will have tough time adjusting to the society.

I came across a lot of very high IQ (Mensa level) kids in Utah. Due to their family social standing, they got in to a lot of trouble and settled for low level jobs, no higher education and so on. Society does not readily accept difference whether it is physical or mental.

But it is inevitable. Like X-Men, some will be properly nurtured and others will be smart criminals.
Well Darwin, the kind of genetic mutations represented in the various X-Men books were fairly bizarre and extreme compared to real-world mutations, but that's really moot. I think it's important to remember here that we still don't know for sure the cause of all mutations. Usually the first 'cause' to be noted is exposure to radiation, either long-term medium levels or short term high levels. Magnetic field exposure is noted as well. However, if you think about it, 4 generations of long-term, very low level radiation exposure for example, could be viewed, in a causal sense, as just as intense as a brief extreme level exposure to one person. What I'm trying to get at here is that when thinking about things like these, we have to remember that real genetic mutations take a long time to manifest, at least, from the point of view of one individual organism. It's like evolution, regardless of which particular evolutionary theory you subscribe to, it always takes place over a huge amount of time.

I have no doubt that we will get to the point where we do genetically customize ourselves. In certain respects I have no problem with this. However, I think that the systematic genetic eradication of certain traits in the human gene pool could be irrevocably devastating to us all. To make use of a current analogy, I liken this potential situation to our problem with antibiotics. We are weakening our immune system because it doesn't have to work anymore! Similarily, overusing any medicine, including simple vitamin supplements does the same thing. AIDS has been around for at least 40 years and yet, despite modern medicine, numbers of cases are increasing epidemically. Why?? Because through medicine, food additives, et. al., we are weakiening our immune system. One could say that on a very small scale, we are 'mutating' ourselves already.

So, ultimately I would have to say that although engineering ourselves could improve the overall human condition, unfortunately I think that after a couple of generations of this we could find ourselves in quite a bind. Yes, we've mapped the whole genome, but we can't say for sure what the relations are between all those various combinations. And by the time we realized that there was a problem, it would be too late.
Complex properties will need manipulation of multiple genes. Today we try just on or two and see what happens, like changing the color of the eyes. But changing genes to hear like bat (over 20KHz) will require adjustment of multiple genes. Any trial and error will produce a bunch of Frankensteins.

The solution is to do a computer simulation of the genetic code. Such a computer may be available by 2050. So let us wait before we tinker too much. I am all for single gene manipulation because even in nature that is a small error and acceptable.
gene manipulation

"Its not nice to fool with Mother Nature..." This will bite us on the ass.
We can select what to do with the knowledge

So is nice not to fool,this is,wisely handling the natural world,as we ve been doing so far,for not being bite,as very vividly so many of our hunter-gatherer ancestors would tell us...

Evolution is the SURVIVAL of the fittest,although you may need sometimes to risk your seat to face the challenge of the future(which is no other than the one of the past)... ;)