Catalysts for Human Evolution

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posted on Mar, 18 2013 @ 06:02 PM
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So today I posted a thread in the Predictions forum asking this question: Where will we be in 100 years? The feedback I have received has been great so far and if anyone wants to give their own opinion on that topic feel free.

My previous thread has brought up new questions, and a very intriguing one presented itself to me. Since it has more to do with our origins and evolution I posted it in this forum instead. Here is the new question:

What, if any, have been previous catalysts for human evolution?

AND

Do you think there are any current catalysts that are viable within our lifetimes?

I would like to know everyone's opinion and hear some new ideas that maybe I haven't thought of before. I'm eager to learn and have my mind expanded. If a catalyst has already been posted, please give it a star instead of saying the same thing just with different wording so we don't crowd the thread.




posted on Mar, 18 2013 @ 06:10 PM
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What about your own opinion instead of making a thread asking a question, how about your two cents?



posted on Mar, 18 2013 @ 06:18 PM
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reply to post by Teikeon
 


I suspect (and hope) the next step in human evolution won't necessarily be some event of natural selection we're subjected to over time. The next step should be self guided, planned and engineered.

We need overcome intellectual escape velocity though.

What's intellectual escape velocity?
As a civilization grows increasingly more technologically sophisticated, it reaches a point in its natural evolution where the civilization becomes increasingly more reliant on the faculties of the technologies it invents and uses over a very short time such that over the long term, the reliance on technology as opposed to biology creates a biological deficit in the requirement for all the upkeep and maintenance of all that prodigiously expensive cognitive horsepower when it's not being used any more.
In nature, if you don't use it, you lose it.
As a result of technological reliance, the civilization then falls into a state of idiocracy, increasingly more reliant on their technologies more as prosthesis instead of augmentation or enhancement.

Eventually the idiocracy feedback loop either stabilizes to a comfortable norm, or the civilization implodes while the left over technology if AI might birth a machine-origin replacement civilization.

We thus must overcome this intellectual escape velocity and not become overly reliant and dependent on our technologies until such time we CAN self engineer replacement bodies, and or design ourselves to be smarter, faster, stronger, more adaptable super-versions of what we are now, and/or specializations.



edit on 18-3-2013 by Druscilla because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 18 2013 @ 06:32 PM
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Originally posted by Teikeon
What, if any, have been previous catalysts for human evolution?

AND

Do you think there are any current catalysts that are viable within our lifetimes?


I spend a lot of time studying human evolution, so I can provide some insight. The original catalyst a million-and-a-half years ago appeared to be learning how to make a stone hand-axe, which was basically a big sharp rock you held in your hand to kill things with. These rocks have been found stratified near remains of Homo Erectus spanning around a million years.

After that, controlling fire appears to have been a catalyst. Cooking food allows better food storage and more nutrients and easier digestion. With less time dedicated to constantly searching for food, humans began to think more and more tools started to appear at a rapid rate.

Now, at some point, all of the other species of human disappeared from the fossil record, and what became Homo Sapiens were left. The theory is that Some kind of climate change occurred, and only the ingenious humans in Africa survived, bottlenecking the genetic population and thrusting evolution forward as a result of reduced genetic variety. Those with greater intelligence survived.

Currently, I think evolution is at a very slow stage. There is micro-evolution everywhere, but the only way to see greater evolutionary change is if a population doesn't re-integrate its genes with the rest of the human population. The only catalyst I could see causing a massive evolutionary change would be some kind of disaster, or the colonization of space with small populations.



posted on Mar, 18 2013 @ 06:34 PM
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reply to post by RooskiZombi
 


Good point, sorry I'm new and I might be a little over-zealous in seeking information. I've been just a "reader" for a while and am actually able to make threads and I have great respect for the opinions of many of ATS's active members. You're right though, I should definitely give my opinion as well.

I believe there are some obvious ones, like standing erect, eating meat, and having opposable thumbs, but there is one that has always intrigued me much more.

Being nocturnal allowed our earliest mammalian ancestors to avoid the larger animals who were awake during the day. This adaptation meant that the small mammals had to rely more on hearing and smelling than purely on sight like many of the day time predators. Since it takes more brain power to use your ears and nose than it does to process visual information, it is believed the mammals began developing more powerful brains because of they were nocturnal, especially in a time when almost no animals were.

It is my belief that it is these often overlooked developments that are the largest catalysts for our own evolution, as well as the many environmental catalysts. Also sentience (emotional connections) and empathy have played a huge part in our development. It seems as though animals who live in family groups and actually care about each other; elephants, dolphins, pigs, wolves etc. are often much more intelligent. I left out apes because they should be obvious.



posted on Mar, 18 2013 @ 07:03 PM
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reply to post by Druscilla
 


This is an incredibly intelligent response, I agree very much with what has been stated here.
/thread



posted on Mar, 18 2013 @ 07:52 PM
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So in doing a little thinking I've come to the conclusion that the biggest "non-environmental" catalyst in our future would be quantum computer processing. I think once this is achieved it will give humans the jump they've been looking for technologically. Once we have quantum computers a whole host of advancements will be made in rapid succession. We should go from what we are now to what we could be virtually overnight. I could be off the mark but that is my answer and I'm sticking with it.



posted on Mar, 18 2013 @ 08:51 PM
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Originally posted by Teikeon
So in doing a little thinking I've come to the conclusion that the biggest "non-environmental" catalyst in our future would be quantum computer processing. I think once this is achieved it will give humans the jump they've been looking for technologically. Once we have quantum computers a whole host of advancements will be made in rapid succession. We should go from what we are now to what we could be virtually overnight. I could be off the mark but that is my answer and I'm sticking with it.


With a little research into computing in the Viet Nam era, the modeling of computer motherboards through human neural networks, etc., and some science fiction reading, you may find we already did what you are suggesting. And wouldn't be that the worst horror of all: because, by your own description, this is where we went to from there, this same repetitive cycle of crap, with people posting on CT websites.....even the idea and word "web," get it? Quantum entanglement, anyone, and oh, the tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.

As to the OP's question, I just posted this link on another thread, but find it pertinent here, in terms of evolutionary jumps, if there are such things, as you describe: the man's name is Andrew Collins. This is his website, about Cygnus and the ideas that certain neutrino influxes as specific times in our "his-tory" may coincide with advances in technology, and human thought and science, evolution, etc.; www.andrewcollins.com...Link: Cygnus Andrew Collins

Fromt the link:


Ever since the discovery in the 1920s that radiation can cause gene mutations, scientists have speculated on the role that high energy cosmic rays might have played in evolution. Indeed, as early as 1930 it became the theme of a science-fiction story in which cosmic rays were harnessed by a mad scientist in order to rapidly transform himself into a super being millions of years ahead of his time, while similar ideas must have been behind the entrance of the alien black monolith among a community of ape-men in Arthur C. Clarke's classic "2001: A Space Odyssey." Moreover, lone of the greatest scientific minds of the twentieth century, American Astronomer Carl Sagan wrote in 1973 that human evolution was the result of incoming cosmic rays from some distant neutron star, demonstrating how everything in the universe affects everything else. It was a bold notion, but one destined not to find favor among geneticists, simply because there was no hard evidence that cosmic rays--first confirmed during a series of balloon ascents in 1912 by Austrian physicist Victor F. Hess (1883-1964) - have any real impact on evolution, whatever their origin (since there is no consensus on this fact.)

Indeed, H.J. Muller (1890-1967), the American geneticist whose work with the fruit fly Drosophila led to the realization that radiation (he used X-rays and later radium) was a mutagen, addressed the topic in a paper published in 1930 and again in 1952. He concluded that the cosmic ray flux penetrating the upper atmosphere and reaching ground level was inadequate to explain spontaneous mutations in life forms, whatever their tup. Muller was not wrong, but had he been privy to modern scientific data that clearly demonstrates that at certain times in the Earth's history it has been bombarded with high levels of cosmic rays then he might have thought again.


Worth a read, OP,, if you are interested, as your posting seems to give that impression.

For me, especially having answered the above poster the way I did, I think very little is "natural," or left to chance in any way where we are here, wherever that is, and I do not think it is where we are all inculcated to believe it is, simply, a planet called earth, so many rocks from the sun.

If the above poster I answered is interested in more of what I was referring to technologically, and perhaps answers to why even industrialization may have taken place (and it wasn't for the so-called "progress" of humanity, IMHO) trwo short stories which I recommended on another thread as well: Zelazny's "For a Breath I Tarry," and , I think, the author Harlen Ellison's "I Need To Scream and I Have No Mouth."

As you can see, these days, I'm always the life and funnest part of the party. Sorry



posted on Mar, 18 2013 @ 08:58 PM
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The next leap forward in human evolution will be gene mutations accompanied by computer processing power and nano-technology.

Bascially they will find a way to attach tiny micro-processors to our brains, or even individual cells making us walking super-computers, but fully in control, and the nano-technology will facilitate that. It will also assist our cells in such things as fighting off disease, reparing the body when needed and keeping us healthy.



posted on Mar, 18 2013 @ 09:06 PM
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Originally posted by Hopechest
The next leap forward in human evolution will be gene mutations accompanied by computer processing power and nano-technology.

Bascially they will find a way to attach tiny micro-processors to our brains, or even individual cells making us walking super-computers, but fully in control, and the nano-technology will facilitate that. It will also assist our cells in such things as fighting off disease, reparing the body when needed and keeping us healthy.



Agreed, and I think those will be facilitated as soon as the quantum computer with all its calculating ability is finalized. From there on its just a matter of which direction we want to go. I can see some people preferring to remain in their original bodies, albeit like you said free of disease and much healthier, probably living much, much longer than we are currently. I can also see some people opt to full integrate and download directly into machines and achieve a certain level of agelessness in that manner. Both options are viable and will probably be available, unless TPTB hoard all the tech for themselves and cut the rest of us off from such incredible innovations. I can also see that happening.



posted on Mar, 18 2013 @ 09:10 PM
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reply to post by Teikeon
 


Environmental pressure is a big evolutionary push for any species and probably had the biggest influence on human evolution.

As for where we are going our understanding of ourselves and our technology have reached a point that we will soon be able to guide our own evolution. Many people fear genetic engineering and the idea that we might attempt to better ourselves by directly manipulating the gene pool in some way. People associate such alterations as "playing God" or as akin to Nazism's attempt to build a master race however I think such fears are small minded. Don't get me wrong, I do think we have to be careful of how much we alter ourselves and the species we share this planet with but genetic modification could end disease, produce super-strength of sorts, perhaps even switch off the genes for aging after we've reached our prime. It's important to weigh the benefits and risks of any trait we'd release into the gene pool.

So in the future we will likely be the masters of our own evolution, in a sense we will be artificially selecting ourselves.



posted on Mar, 18 2013 @ 09:13 PM
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Originally posted by Teikeon

Originally posted by Hopechest
The next leap forward in human evolution will be gene mutations accompanied by computer processing power and nano-technology.

Bascially they will find a way to attach tiny micro-processors to our brains, or even individual cells making us walking super-computers, but fully in control, and the nano-technology will facilitate that. It will also assist our cells in such things as fighting off disease, reparing the body when needed and keeping us healthy.



Agreed, and I think those will be facilitated as soon as the quantum computer with all its calculating ability is finalized. From there on its just a matter of which direction we want to go. I can see some people preferring to remain in their original bodies, albeit like you said free of disease and much healthier, probably living much, much longer than we are currently. I can also see some people opt to full integrate and download directly into machines and achieve a certain level of agelessness in that manner. Both options are viable and will probably be available, unless TPTB hoard all the tech for themselves and cut the rest of us off from such incredible innovations. I can also see that happening.


I absolutely agree with you. And you know that the people who go for the full upgrade will have a distinct advantage over those that do not which will lead to all types of court cases. People who have access to encyclopedia's full of knowledge in their head, with total recall, and the ability to process any mathematical equation will be far superior to those who cannot.

How do you compete?

It will be interesting.



posted on Mar, 18 2013 @ 09:22 PM
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reply to post by Hopechest
 


I wonder if you read my post above yours, to someone like minded with your fairiness. The reason I am in such a foul mood tonight, is the ad on my ATS page is a child with a very bad cleft palate.

Do you realize, at all, that if what I am asserting is true, and what you assert will happen has already happened, that it is being used to justify the continuing control over us "humanity," because we're just too violent, sick and perverted, buying guns as teenagers and killing elementary school kids and such, (which would then be happening BECAUSE that NANOTECH is already at work inside you, or EMF is already being used on people's brains to remotely control their behavior for the excuse that we need MORE OF THE SAME to fix what is obviously so very broken.....

well, then, you Do then realize that this kid in the ad on the ATS page living with this horrible cleft palate was probably part of the justification for the tech you are so cheerily predicting, that's probably what made him that way so someone could cheerily predict this crap and how it will FIX everything wrong now.........
edit on 18-3-2013 by tetra50 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 18 2013 @ 09:29 PM
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Originally posted by Teikeon

Originally posted by Hopechest
The next leap forward in human evolution will be gene mutations accompanied by computer processing power and nano-technology.

Bascially they will find a way to attach tiny micro-processors to our brains, or even individual cells making us walking super-computers, but fully in control, and the nano-technology will facilitate that. It will also assist our cells in such things as fighting off disease, reparing the body when needed and keeping us healthy.



Agreed, and I think those will be facilitated as soon as the quantum computer with all its calculating ability is finalized. From there on its just a matter of which direction we want to go. I can see some people preferring to remain in their original bodies, albeit like you said free of disease and much healthier, probably living much, much longer than we are currently. I can also see some people opt to full integrate and download directly into machines and achieve a certain level of agelessness in that manner. Both options are viable and will probably be available, unless TPTB hoard all the tech for themselves and cut the rest of us off from such incredible innovations. I can also see that happening.


I wonder if you also see that someone else can take TOTAL control of your consciousness and LAN you into a whole new body you didn't happily assess and choose, and maybe you aren't even the only consciousness in that body, maybe there's another there with the real control while you look out of the same, shared eyes helplessly while the controlling consciousness does something horrible to someone else and you can't stop it.
And later, there will be a "minority report" type of tribunal who say you were the only consciouusness there when the crime was committed........

I'm sorry....I know my version isn't nearly as fun and entertaining to think of , we could all have perfect bodies or minds or both, if only we get this thing perfected......but I am totally frigging AMAZED at the lack of thought of people who speak on this subject lately, their pollyannaish attitude, like I'll just buy a new body and mind with the credits in my chip.........

I'm not sure sobriety is really the way to go any longer. What's the point.



posted on Mar, 18 2013 @ 09:53 PM
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Originally posted by Druscilla
reply to post by Teikeon
 


I suspect (and hope) the next step in human evolution won't necessarily be some event of natural selection we're subjected to over time. The next step should be self guided, planned and engineered.

We need overcome intellectual escape velocity though.

What's intellectual escape velocity?
As a civilization grows increasingly more technologically sophisticated, it reaches a point in its natural evolution where the civilization becomes increasingly more reliant on the faculties of the technologies it invents and uses over a very short time such that over the long term, the reliance on technology as opposed to biology creates a biological deficit in the requirement for all the upkeep and maintenance of all that prodigiously expensive cognitive horsepower when it's not being used any more.
In nature, if you don't use it, you lose it.
As a result of technological reliance, the civilization then falls into a state of idiocracy, increasingly more reliant on their technologies more as prosthesis instead of augmentation or enhancement.

Eventually the idiocracy feedback loop either stabilizes to a comfortable norm, or the civilization implodes while the left over technology if AI might birth a machine-origin replacement civilization.

We thus must overcome this intellectual escape velocity and not become overly reliant and dependent on our technologies until such time we CAN self engineer replacement bodies, and or design ourselves to be smarter, faster, stronger, more adaptable super-versions of what we are now, and/or specializations.



edit on 18-3-2013 by Druscilla because: (no reason given)


I find this extremely intelligent and thought provoking, and thank you. However, I would say to you what I've said here to others: industrialization happened for a reason, and it wasn't for the "progress," of humanity, nor did it mean that. We became something totally different, separated from our original focuses which our biology was created around to serve: survival was shelter, warmth, mating and sustenance,,,,i.e.food for energy, not pleasure.
Once we solved these issues with industrialization, it changed our motivations in regards to what I descrbie above and yet our biology stayed the same, and then there is that whole pleasure thing.....because there couldn't be that much of it, at least of a certain kind (I'm talking immediate gratification, or even relatively empty gratification, such as, accelling at a video game or something). These dynamics changed so much environmentally for us in our survival and actualization, but our biology? What happened there? And what could that have meant to what we deal with now, and so now look to more technology to provide a solution and an escape, which I think, could even further complicate things. As though, we seek to be Gods and creating when we have no idea what is it we even are yet, or are about, or what all we've created so far, with what we really started as, has affected us now.....



posted on Mar, 18 2013 @ 10:08 PM
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Might I bring a different Idea for a current and future catalyst.

Drunk Theists.

With evolution favoring those who procreate more often (make more babies ) I thought of which group in our human population will reproduce more ?

I thought about it some.

Then I have come to the conclusion that intoxicated humans are more likely to have fewer inhibitions and the religious are less likely to abort unwanted young ones.

A little non PC I know.

But with all the talk about technology and all the cosmic rays I feel the obvious lays out in the open.



posted on Mar, 18 2013 @ 11:12 PM
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reply to post by Druscilla
 


As a result of technological reliance, the civilization then falls into a state of idiocracy, increasingly more reliant on their technologies more as prosthesis instead of augmentation or enhancement.

Indeed.


Or, to look at it another way, the problem of what to do with bulk of the human race remains intractable. Enslaving them, sending them off to war, wiping them out in genocides, drugging them with faith, exploiting them as serfs and peasants, making Socialist workers and welfare-state scroungers of them, bamboozling them into becoming avid consumers of rubbish we make them produce themselves – all have been tried. All work for a while but not for ever. A generation or two of peace and quiet is all we get before the great ungrateful unwashed start making a nuisance of themselves again.

It's an old, old problem. As some long-haired troublemaker once said: ye have the poor with you always



posted on Mar, 19 2013 @ 11:41 AM
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It's believed viruses are the key to each step in human evolution, per Fisher and Darwin. They apparently can inject themselves into the DNA strand, and either replicate, or mutate before replicating. It makes sense, given viruses are the oldest and smallest form of life we know of so far.



posted on Mar, 19 2013 @ 01:24 PM
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reply to post by Teikeon
 


I would like to hear it as well.

A lame excuse that keeps surfacing is that individuals don't evolve, species evolve. So in other words we would not have any comparable differences to look at.

However allopatric speciation clearly states that populations of species can evolve different from one another thus causing them to no longer be able to breed with each other.

I say the whole thing is a crock, I don't buy it. My population on the west coast of the USA is a perfect candidate for comparison to people in asia. Yet I can breed just find with people in that area.
edit on 19-3-2013 by itsthetooth because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 19 2013 @ 05:12 PM
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Wow, people are really throwing random terms and thoughts around in this thread! Some of them are pure speculation, but stated as facts, and others have nothing to do with evolution.

But to answer the OP's questions, before I go to bed - And then I'll tackle the remaining stuff tomorrow:

Originally posted by Teikeon
What, if any, have been previous catalysts for human evolution?

All the usual mediators of evolution. It is a pretty vague question.

Do you think there are any current catalysts that are viable within our lifetimes?

Absolutely. The development of health care and especially medicine, have been the major driving factor of accelerating human evolution the last 150ish years. This development will of course continue, with the current focus on medicine, and that will drive the more rapid evolution of our species.





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