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CarbonRobot CarbonRobot
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Posts: 65
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2 weeks ago
Are there certain things that threaten human evolution or at least threaten to make us less functional?

If for example we started living twice as long due to medical intervention with better health and started having children at twice the average age? Would it hurt much to have children less frequently, or can we evolve within generations to a good enough degree that we don't need to depend on procreation?
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wrote...
Educator
2 weeks ago
Hi CarbonRobot, I'm reading a disconnect between the two questions asked.

First off, without procreation the human race would seize to exist. Now, if we could somehow stop the aging process in both males and females, increase longevity, and have women reproduce in their later years, say 60, the total population of humans would initially spike. Because, women who regretted not having children would suddenly all want to become pregnant.

Evolution is a continuous process, and it is dictated by nature. Nature selects the traits that increase an organisms fitness, and the long-term side affect of natural selection has always been survival and reproduction. The traits that nature favors is what eventually gets passed on, since people who've inherited the unfavorable traits will be less likely to reproduce and survive. We can't stop evolution from happening in the human race, even if we consciously tried.
wrote...
2 weeks ago
Technology is progressing rapidly, and it is changing the way we live, work and play. New inventions are happening, and new paradigms are born almost every day. Conventional concepts we are used to as a human race for decades or even centuries are being disrupted by cutting edge technology.Whether we like this technological revolution or not — we can clearly see how it is affecting our daily lives.

Technology is changing the patterns of our life. There was a time when we were very physically active, but now we rely on devices to do most of our work. The changes in our behavioral patterns and adaptations that are caused by these technological advances could prove to be the primary driving forces behind the next stage of evolution for our species.

Even though Darwin’s theory has been able to explain the evolutionary cycles of many species including homo sapiens — it seems like it is proving to be ineffective as of late especially when it comes to humans. And this phenomenon could be directly attributed to the increasing power of technology in the field of healthcare. Multiple deadly diseases have been completely eradicated by the use of sophisticated cures like anti-biotics. As a result, even the weakest and most vulnerable amongst us can live their lives relatively comfortably. In some case, they can also reproduce with advanced techniques like in vitro fertilization (IVF). So the phenomenon of the survival of the fittest is no longer at work here.

We can say that human evolutionary cycles will definitely be affected by this rapid growth in technological advancements. These technologies have already significantly changed the patterns of life thus making the standard evolution considerably fast. People of all physical strengths and capabilities can live healthy and fruitful lives; making it possible for their mental genes to mutate and create a better result. Additionally, artificial evolution is also not too far off in the future, and soon people might be able to select the different characteristics of their offspring like mental capabilities, physique, and energy levels.
wrote...
2 weeks ago
I wasn't suggesting we stop having children. I was wondering if modern medicine extended Lifespan and Healthspan so people could have children later on average. Later perhaps twice as many DNA mutations occur and can be passed on. Do we know enough about which DNA changes are harmful that we can repair it using ways that our own body can't? I am hoping the antiaging research won't make our species worse off.
wrote...
Educator
2 weeks ago
I wasn't suggesting we stop having children. I was wondering if modern medicine extended Lifespan and Healthspan so people could have children later on average.

To date, there are no medicines or advancements that can prolong a woman's capacity to conceive beyond menopause. Most antiaging products are superficial in nature -- older woman want to appear youthful not so that they can have more children, but so that they can attract more men. There's no medicine or treatment that can circumvent menopause either, so while we're living longer due to modern day medicine, this has remained constant since the beginning of human history. Now, if we could somehow make menopause happen later on in one's life, it'd only lead to more mutations found in the egg. In turn, this would lead to greater chances of genetic defects in the offspring.

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I am hoping the antiaging research won't make our species worse off.

Agreed...
wrote...
2 weeks ago
Do we know enough though about bad genetic changes? One letter or another? And can we change a cells' DNA with a man made virus? Or at least fix particular known errors?
Post Merge: 2 weeks ago

Maybe women won't need to freeze their eggs in the future even with extended period before menopause?
wrote...
Educator
A week ago
We've found that most changes that occur naturally aren't favorable, in the sense that they don't increase the fitness of the organism. Some genetic defects are caused by a single nucleotide change. For instance, in sickle-cell anemia, the gene for beta globin is mutated. Where there should be a glutamine amino acid, it is replaced with valine.

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And can we change a cells' DNA with a man made virus?

Absolutely. Genes can be engineered where they get inserted into human DNA. Many viruses are infectious solely due to this reason, such as herpes simplex virus and HIV. The viral DNA gets inserted into the DNA of the individual and gets transcribed into viral protein using the protein-making machinery of the host.

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Maybe women won't need to freeze their eggs in the future even with extended period before menopause?

There are multiple genes that control the production of eggs, it's not just one where it's turned on again and things are back to normal. In fact, all the eggs a woman has leading to menopause, she was born with. The development of eggs occurs during fetal development. In other words, women are born with a limited, finite supply of eggs, and eventually they will run out.
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