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Are humans the pinnacle of evolution?

Discussion in 'Educating Doctors' started by Jack Kruse, Apr 23, 2018.

  1. Jack Kruse

    Jack Kruse Administrator

    The idea of humans being the “evolutionary pinnacle” reminded me of a trap we’ve fallen into time and again—the temptation to place ourselves at the center of all things. We once believed the cosmos revolved around the Earth. Now, we know the Earth is a vanishingly tiny fragment of metal and rock revolving around an average G class yellow star.

    The solar system is neither unique nor centrally located in the galaxy. We’re on the outskirts of the Milky Way—one of hundreds of billions of galaxies. Our galaxy is rather ordinary.

    If we now know our place in space isn’t at all special, the same may be said of our place in time and on the evolutionary ladder. Humans are perhaps the first rung to develop consciousness (on Earth), but by no means will the process end with us.

    Most of us are probably aware that humans are the result of four billion years of evolution—but we tend to think we’re the apex of the process. (not)

    Most folks have little notion of what he calls the “far future.” Astronomers, on the other hand, know that the sun is middle-aged and that the Earth has at least as much life ahead of it as it has behind. The universe itself may have an infinite future. We’re perhaps only halfway (or less) “in the emergence of ever greater complexity.”

    Any creatures who will be alive to witness the death of the sun won’t be human as the sun changes its thermodynamics—they could be as different from us as we are from protozoa. Indeed future evolution is going to take place not on the Darwinian time scale, of natural selection, but on the technology timescale because we’re obtaining the capacity to modify the genome in ways nature would never consider with unauthorized use of the electromagnetic spectrum of light.

    Add accelerating evolutionary processes to cosmological deep time, and a future when intelligence has evolved beyond humans, indeed, a future far surpassing even our wildest guesses becomes an inevitability—if our descendants can make it that far. (won't) We are too arrogant and ignorant of nature to make it.
     
  2. KalosKaiAgathos

    KalosKaiAgathos New Member

    https://phys.org/news/2015-02-sun-wont-die-billion-years.html

    Plus: the speed of evolution is increasing. With the new technologies that have become available - such as gene editing - it's almost stupid to think that "evolution has ended" in humanity, and that we're the pinnacle.

    Hopefully, our successor species has a greater brain capacity, just like Homo sapiens have a greater brain capacity than the Homo habilis or Homo Heidelbergensis...

    That newfound intelligence will probably also come with its own problems.
     
  3. Jack Kruse

    Jack Kruse Administrator

    When things are on the pathway to death or thermal equilibrium things expand........Bart's paper shows it in stars.

    This is the basis of the EMF 2 blog post. Obesity is not a disease of excess.

    It is a disease that is a loss of energy and INFORMATION quanta.

    Chew on that.
     
  4. Jack Kruse

    Jack Kruse Administrator

    We are built to be far from equilibrium.
     

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