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Author Topic: Adaptation
The Drake
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We're having some problems on this Earth of ours and evolution is not moving fast enough. Please suggest ways in which you would change the biology of humans to make us more Earth-friendly.

Once we transform ourselves from Homo Sapiens into Homo Viridis, all our problems will be over.

I'll start it off.

Human beings burn much of our energy to provide lighting. My modification gives humans powerful night vision, so that we can eat, work, read, and perform other tasks by the light provided from the moon and stars.

And please, no Waterworld jokes. [Wink]

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pickled shuttlecock
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Wish granted! Unfortunately, because photons localize on any given photoreceptor in a Poisson-distributed manner, everything you see at night is fuzzy, and shimmers like the dancing lights at the edge of vision when you close your eyes.

If that bothers you, you could play with the photoreceptor response (which is rather like playing with a camera's shutter speed) and endure crazy motion blur instead, and be unable to drive. Maybe make it adjustable, so you can either drive or read road signs, but not both.

I like this one!

Anyway, the ironic twist comes from the fact that a finite number of photons strike your photoreceptors in any given time interval, and they don't do it uniformly. If you have to do things in the dark, you'll collect a bare fraction of photons you'd normally collect. (So you can't get away with the claim "Oh, but it's really powerful night vision.") There are a few ways to overcome this:

1) Increase the amount of ambient light (current situation).

2) Widen the aperture (which loses sharpness). This is what your eyes do naturally.

3) Fiddle with the receptor response (which causes motion blur).

Those three all deal with just getting more photons per picture. More samples = more discrimination. My personal favorite:

4) Reduce discrimination. That is, you may not be able to tell navy blue from black anymore (if you could in the first place) or more than, say, 8 levels of gray, but at least things look sharp.

Everything but #1 amounts to running a low-pass filter over something, which loses high-frequency information. Personally, I'm not willing.

You may be able to tell that I like this subject. [Big Grin]

I wish we didn't crave processed sugars and fats more than everything else. Junk food would disappear, along with its icky wrappers and garbage.

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Loki
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human evolution has become technological evolution, to fix our current problems all we need to do is build devices that can alleviate the world of our menace, oh wait, we have...hello neutron bomb.
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pickled shuttlecock
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You're a right little ray of sunshine, you know that?

[Razz]

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javelin
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Pickled - it would perhaps be best accomplished by changing the "light" that we are using to see by. For example, "night-vision" goggles give us a route we could use - perhaps if humans were able to change the spectrum of light, etc. that we are viewing, we could have better night vision, when we need it.
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LoverOfJoy
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We all need to go blind and develop radar sense like Daredevil. [Wink]
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NSCutler
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Rapid evolution of our species would require for the majority of our population to die before being old enough to breed for several generations. That's a tough thing to wish for. Species don't evolve because they want to. They evolve because they have to. I'm hoping that we can figure out a way not to have to.

[ November 13, 2006, 10:57 AM: Message edited by: NSCutler ]

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javelin
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quote:
Originally posted by NSCutler:
Rapid evolution of our species would require for the majority of our population to die before being old enough to breed for several generations. That's a tough thing to wish for. Species don't evolve because they want to. They evolve because they have to. I'm hoping that we can figure out a way not to have to.

Ah, but that's what gene therapy is all about - we can change ourselves without waiting for children - just introduce the changes into our own DNA, whenever the technology is tested and ready to go.
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Colin JM0397
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Seems everyone is looking at physical characteristics and, therefore, the limits of physical evolution.

What about evolution of the mind? Of the spirit/soul?

If the mind can control the physical, then there is no limit - time or physical - that matters.

However, a leap forward in consciousness for an enlightened mind would probably seem like heaven, while the same leap forward to someone grounded in keeping things as they are would probably seem like hell.

So, if something like this was to come to pass, as with NSCutler's comment, there would be a culling. That, or reality would fracture so those who choose to can move on, and those who chose not to move on stay behind in the mess.

Anyone up for a little evolutionary rapture?

quote:
Jesus said, "If your leaders say to you, 'Look, the (Father's) kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you. Rather, the kingdom is within you and it is outside you. When you know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will understand that you are children of the living Father. But if you do not know yourselves, then you live in poverty, and you are the poverty."
The Gospel of St Thomas
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rightleft22
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Become part of the collective, resistance is futile
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0Megabyte
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hot damn, that quote from the Gospel of Thomas reminds me a lot of what certain mystics I'm currently reading (Anthoyn De Mello!) are speaking of.

As Spock would say: fascinating.

Edit: *is reading more* I'll be damned. This is essentially the same message...

Edited Edit: Or at least... part of it is...

[ November 13, 2006, 04:09 PM: Message edited by: 0Megabyte ]

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RickyB
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Truth is surprisingly uniform, across cultures. You can find the same messages in Zen, hassidic stories, greek myths...

[Smile]

Back to adaptation, I would think that having the lungs better able to deal with polluted air would be highly desirable. Then again, evolution has remarkably little interest in whether we live to 60, 80 or 100. By then, we've usually long since done our job - even if you factor the evolutionary purpose of the grandfather [Smile]

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The Drake
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pollution protection is good. But what if our lungs could scrub CO2 from the air instead of expelling it? Goodbye, global warming!
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JoshuaD
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L O L
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Haggis
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Being able to photosynthesize would end starvation and solve global warming.
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scifibum
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knobbier joints and longer muscles, or whatever it would take so we could be strong like gorillas and fast like cheetahs. if we were stronger and faster we could give up a lot of our short-distance transportation needs. Oh, and a stronger "high" from exercise would help - give us all a nice dopamine kick from physical exertion.

Ability to digest cellulose for energy.

We all get maximum melanin for UV protection.

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kenmeer livermaile
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A capacity to love in great abundance and depth while retaining a highly advanced level of integrated rationalty, would be a good thing.
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