[extropy-chat] accelerating evolution?

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Sat Mar 31 13:21:51 UTC 2007

On 3/29/07, kevin at kevinfreels.com <kevin at kevinfreels.com> wrote:

I tend to agree. In fact, I think that the one key evolved characteristic of
> human beings that gave us an edge over all other hominids is an ability to
> rapidly evolve. This is the thing that has allowed us to live through major
> environmental changes while other hominids never quite made it. Our mind is
> simply a part of that flexibility and adaptability. One day I hope to find
> time to follow up on this idea further.

Do you think this would be relevant today? For example, traditional
evolution would have seen humans grow hairier if the climate grew colder,
but clothing and heating would almost completely negate hairiness and other
genetic changes as fitness characteristics. And as discussed recently on
this list, even such factors as wealth and intelligence don't seem to lead
to more offspring in modern societies. It seems that aside from genetic
drift we are mostly stuck with the genes we now have, unless we set about
re-engineering them ourselves. That would certainly constitute accelerated
evolution, but it won't be the traditional random mutation and natural
selection model.

Stathis Papaioannou
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