Humans Evolving into Two Different Species... Again

MA-Caver

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Strange News

Breakthroughs That Will Change Everything

By LiveScience Staff
posted: 01 January 2009 07:23 pm ET


http://www.livescience.com/strangenews/090101-future-breakthroughs.htmlWill humans go extinct? Or will we instead evolve into divergent species? Can we stop killing each other? Perhaps old-fashioned wisdom will return and save the day.
These are just some of the compelling thoughts generated when the forward-thinking Edge Foundation recently asked scientists, authors, futurists, journalists and other offbeat thinkers the question: "What will change everything?" To refine the question, Edge further asked: "What game-changing scientific ideas and developments do you expect to live to see?"
Among the dozens of responses, from such diverse sources as Alan Alda (actor and now TV science personality) to Ian Wilmut (cloned Dolly the sheep), LiveScience picked out five, each notable for its ingenuity and ability to provoke thought.
This portion of the article should be especially interesting to us.
The End of Harm
Karl Sabbagh, writer and television producer and author of "The Riemann Hypothesis"
Sabbagh speculates that there may be a discoverable pattern of brain nerve impulses that govern the aggressive behavior of rapists, murderers and anyone else who performs despicable acts of harm for pleasure of self-fullfilment. "If such a specific pattern of brain activity were detectable, could methods then be devised that prevented or disrupted it whenever it was about to arise?" Disabling such behaviors chemically or electronically would then create a world where crime would still be possible, "but robberies would be achieved with trickery rather than at the point of a pistol; gang members might attack each other with insults and taunts rather than razors or coshes; governments might play chess to decide on tricky border issues."

It's almost an analogy or a reference to H.G. Wells "The Time Machine" where thousands of years in the future the human race broke off into two distinct species, the Eloi and Morlocks. Though doubtful that the Morlock version will be the hulking green-skinned big eyed snaggle tooth versions of Wells' (movie) vision the probablity is still there for the mindsets of each. We already have groups of people who are self-proclaimed pacifists and refuse/denounce any type of violence even if it's committed upon themselves or their loved ones. And of course we have the so called predators of the streets that we discuss so frequently on this forum.

The other types are intriguing as well... the Rebirth of Wisdom http://www.livescience.com/culture/081215-wisdom-generations.html and the End Of Analytic Science
 

sgtmac_46

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Wouldn't it be ironic if we 'conquered' our aggression......only to find out it was our aggression that kept us on top, and THAT resulted in our extinction? ;)
 

Sukerkin

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That puts me in mind of an excellent short sci-fi novel that's a particular favourite of mine.

"The Time Mercenaries" by Phillip E. High postulates that we manage to suppress our aggressive natures and come within a hairs-breadth of being wiped out by an alien species because we can't fight back.
 

Twin Fist

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same as the story in the Firefly movie.They got rid of agression, and everyone ljust laid down and died
 

tellner

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...and everyone here predictably says "If we get rid of rapists, murderers, thieves and studly grunts like me the race will die out." And anyone who uses a work of fiction - which by definition is something that isn't true - to prove anything in the real world needs to think for a few minutes.

One of the most characteristic features of us as a species is our willingness to breed with anything that has more-or-less the right number of body parts. We seek out diversity when it comes to mating. Jan van Rieebeck landed in 1652. By 1653 South Africa had race classification issues.

Reproductive isolation leading to speciation simply isn't in the cards.

As to traits as generalized as "aggression" dying out, it simply won't happen. We have to restrain it. If we were still as aggressive and quarrelsome as cousins like Hamadryas baboons we'd blow up the world. But it's still a trait that gives a certain reproductive advantage to some people. And with another turn of the Wheel maybe it will give more or less. If nothing else there's Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium to keep it around against future need.
 

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Wouldn't it be ironic if we 'conquered' our aggression......only to find out it was our aggression that kept us on top, and THAT resulted in our extinction? ;)

Or perhaps, having conquered our aggression, it will reappear in the future as an evolutionary strain which gives those who have it a competitive edge over those who don't. In the land of the blind the one-eyed is king, and all that.
 
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...and everyone here predictably says "If we get rid of rapists, murderers, thieves and studly grunts like me the race will die out." And anyone who uses a work of fiction - which by definition is something that isn't true - to prove anything in the real world needs to think for a few minutes.

One of the most characteristic features of us as a species is our willingness to breed with anything that has more-or-less the right number of body parts. We seek out diversity when it comes to mating. Jan van Rieebeck landed in 1652. By 1653 South Africa had race classification issues.

Reproductive isolation leading to speciation simply isn't in the cards.

As to traits as generalized as "aggression" dying out, it simply won't happen. We have to restrain it. If we were still as aggressive and quarrelsome as cousins like Hamadryas baboons we'd blow up the world. But it's still a trait that gives a certain reproductive advantage to some people. And with another turn of the Wheel maybe it will give more or less. If nothing else there's Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium to keep it around against future need.
Absolutely... it's a trait that has been examined time and again by sci-fi authors and screenwriters for a long time. Even in Star Trek it's come up time and again, an excellent example would be "The Cage" episode, where the aliens realized that "you humans are far too violent..."
Wells had us look at this throughout several of his novels. Bradbury with his Martian Chronicles and so forth.
We CAN surpress it and we do... otherwise crime rates in major cities would be up 80-90%. Wars would be much more massive and a nuclear exchange would've definitely occurred a long time ago.
But we are survivalist, each and every one of us. We will do what it takes to survive, including conducting violent behavior.
I think if you take a pacifist and corner/push them hard enough they'll erupt ... they may hate themselves (and you) for it but they would have to admit that it's inside them. They're just smug that they feel they're better at repressing the violence within better than the rest. Maybe they are and maybe they aren't but like a jar of Prego sauce... it's in there.

The other traits, are interesting as well. Wisdom seems to be making a come back (if it ever left). The realization that we can learn from our elders and betters. Comprehending insights that would've sounded like so much gobblygook or rhetorical nonsense are being taken more seriously. One of the things that make authors like the Dhali Lama a best seller.

I'm still in a grey area as far as the "end of analytical science..."
 

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One species two species.. it matters not… I still want to rule the world as Xue shi huang di since I would then be the first emperor of the Xue dynasty :mst: and rule the world with XUEFU :EG:

:D
 

CoryKS

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One species two species.. it matters not I still want to rule the world as Xue shi huang di since I would then be the first emperor of the Xue dynasty :mst: and rule the world with XUEFU :EG:

:D

Should be a rather short dynasty, given that all life will die out after the ensuing tree genocide.
 

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...and everyone here predictably says "If we get rid of rapists, murderers, thieves and studly grunts like me the race will die out." And anyone who uses a work of fiction - which by definition is something that isn't true - to prove anything in the real world needs to think for a few minutes.

One of the most characteristic features of us as a species is our willingness to breed with anything that has more-or-less the right number of body parts. We seek out diversity when it comes to mating. Jan van Rieebeck landed in 1652. By 1653 South Africa had race classification issues.

Reproductive isolation leading to speciation simply isn't in the cards.

As to traits as generalized as "aggression" dying out, it simply won't happen. We have to restrain it. If we were still as aggressive and quarrelsome as cousins like Hamadryas baboons we'd blow up the world. But it's still a trait that gives a certain reproductive advantage to some people. And with another turn of the Wheel maybe it will give more or less. If nothing else there's Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium to keep it around against future need.

I agree with you, although I think that to ignore sci-fi as discourse into humanistic and philosophical explorations is just plain willfull ignorance. True, they're works of fiction and shouldn't be solely relied on in such debates. But they do reflect past and current viewpoints, and in my opinion, make them a bit more accessible to those not as educated on the matters---which includes myself most of the time. :)

Regarding the whole isolating-the-aggression-nerve, that's kinda scary to me, mainly in that it's contemplating action against people before they've manifested aggressive behavior. What about the environmental factors that make people rape/kill/butcher for pleasure?
 

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RP, I like gedanken experiments as much as the next guy, even as much as the next science fiction reader. They let you play with possibilities. But they don't prove anything. The danger lies when you act as if the stories are real. cf. Stalin's purges, any speech by McCarthy, Hitler's "Germany was stabbed in the back" and Bush's lies about Iraq in 2001 and early 2002.
 

tellner

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The other traits, are interesting as well. Wisdom seems to be making a come back (if it ever left). The realization that we can learn from our elders and betters. Comprehending insights that would've sounded like so much gobblygook or rhetorical nonsense are being taken more seriously. One of the things that make authors like the Dhali Lama a best seller.

I certainly hope wisdom is coming into fashion. It's been thin on the ground for the last, oooh, ten or twenty thousand years. We seem to be abundantly supplied with aggression :)
 

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We could be more like bonobos........but, then we'd be relegated to a small population of Africa, living in trees, slowly going extinct.....YAY bonobos!
 

tellner

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The only reason bonobos are going extinct is that we destroyed their habitat and then began systematically killing them and every other mammal larger than a shrew for the bush-meat trade. Your beloved regular chimps are also going extinct for exactly the same reason, just a little bit slower.

As usual, it's the conservatives who make up excuses to avoid responsibility for the consequences of their actions while the rest try to figure out how to pick up the pieces and salvage what can be saved.
 
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