The End of Human Evolution, or the Beginning?

Recently, researchers at Washington University school of Medicine in St Louis announced that they had corrected a genetic mutation in a fish embryo prior to birth. More importantly, they announced that the research could lead to the prevention of up to one fifth of birth defects in humans caused by genetic mutation.

While I will avoid the over discussed topic of when does an embryo become a human, it made me wonder whether we would be actively interfering in human evolution. One of the precepts of evolution is that mutation id often occurring as a form of trial and error in which we bring about new and improved (read more successful) forms of life. Now, I do think a portion of the creationist argument against human evolution is the notion that we might continue to evolve. Afterall, if we are already in God’s image, how can that be improved upon?

 But even with the massive success of homo sapiens on this planet, nothing seems to assure us that a sudden mutation may not offer some improved form of human (the variety of possible mutations is huge). Additionally, as we go on to explore and possibly colonize other planets, the mutative effects of lesser gravity and increased radiation will forcibly engender changes in the humans born under those conditions. If they are to survive, I suppose the ones with improved adaptability will be displaying some features or functions that will help them be more successful in their environment. Remember that Darwin claimed that evolutionary success was not about survival of the strongest or smartest, but of those most able to adapt. In fact, although it may be difficult to imagine, a dumber human that had other attributes that permitted for better survival might be an evolutionary improvement from Darwin’s point of view.

 What the Washington U announcement got me thinking was what if we use this wonderous medical break-through to put a halt to hap hazard mutational changes.

Despite the political will to try to stop people from experimenting with stem cells and human genetic manipulation, it is rather unrealistic to imagine that it will not occur (even though we may legally declare that a genetically modified human is not a human , much the same way certain European politicians are trying to do with GM corn).

 So, if humans begin to prevent mutations and actively change themselves, does that mean evolution (in the traditional format that we have come to know and argue about) is coming to an end or are we just about to begin.

 To add a little extra thought to this, remember that dogs as a species are only about 10,000 years old (obviously human developed from wolves) and that the vast majority of dog breeds are less than 500 years old. We are not strangers to altering the evolution of life forms.


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3 Responses to “The End of Human Evolution, or the Beginning?”

  1. Frederick Buhr Says:

    I understood this blog! and I think that we are only at the begining of evolution. We are becoming God, what a feeling…

  2. quizaxehatrack Says:

    Hmm, I guess the dogs have been looking at us that way for some time?

    The dog says: This person feeds me, houses me, cares for my health and my well being. They must be a god!

    The cat says: This person feeds me, houses me, cares for my health and well being. I must be a god!

    All kidding aside, are we becoming gods or a collective GOD (as in the hive mind) that manipulates reality (and imagination) by manipulating itself as well?

  3. socratus Says:

    The Beginning.
    The Beginning of Light Quantum.
    The Beginning of Evolution.
    In the beginning it was Word.
    And the Word was written down
    by the formula: T=0K.
    This Word was not died, but It was Alive One.
    In the beginning it was Word and than became two.
    The Second One was written by another formulas:
    C/D=pi , E=Mc^2, R/N=k , h = 0 , i^2=-1
    And then the First Word said to the Second One:
    ‘ Enough to rest. Be Light quanta.’
    And It became the Light quanta.
    This Light quanta had the absolute speed of motion:
    c=1 ( Michelson’s experiment.)
    It flew all over the Universe amazing its beauty,
    and having a careless life.
    But one day the First Word said to the Second One:
    ‘It is not possible to have a careless life all the time.
    You must work’.
    And then the Light quanta began to work as an Electron.
    ‘Well’ , said the First Word, ‘now you can create
    all the living- being yourself’.
    And the long period of evolution began.
    How the God created our terrestrial world?
    ======== ========
    The God is unknown materialistic thing.
    No one knows what the external characteristics
    of this God are, a God who made himself known
    with the name ” I am who I am “.
    But in the Bible we can read that at first He took
    a “clay” and made a figure of a man
    and only after He gave him a “soul”.
    How can we understand this scientific?
    ====== ========
    The “clay” is a proton.
    The “soul” is a quantum of light / electron.
    Interaction between proton and electron is created
    simplest atom – atom of hydrogen.
    And atom is alive design.
    The atom of hydrogen lives 12 minutes.
    After is created a complex atom.
    The evolution is continuing.
    And someone a long time ago has already said, that if
    to give suffices time to atom of hydrogen, he will turn into Man.
    Evolution of consciousness.
    It was a hot summer day.
    In the zoo, near the cage of gorilla the gapers gathered.
    They laughed and threw bits of fruits and bread into the cage.
    And gorilla was twirling round in the narrow cage, not finding enough room for itself.
    Our eyes met and I saw agonizing pain in the eyes of gorilla.
    Its eyes were human ones.
    I gazed at it in astonishment.
    Then I transferred my glance on the people.
    They laughed and their eyes were brutal, soulless.
    Silently I observed this picture.
    Ones, having learned to walk on two feet and speak using human voice,
    preserved the ferocious hatred.
    The others, in the skin of an animal, already possess the human origin.
    Links of one chain, of one evolutional civilization.
    Best wishes.
    Israel Sadovnik. / Socratus.

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