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Is Modern Medicine Impeding Human Evolution?

kzzlkzzl Posts: 7,548 ✭✭✭✭✭
So I ran across a guy that had an interesting view on cancer. Suggesting that it's a mutation and that curing it, along with other diseases, is halting human biological progression. Saying that most medicine is reversing the human body from "illness" to it's original healthy state. Keeping the biology of humans stagnate rather than allowing Darwinism to play it's role.



  • Rubato GarciaRubato Garcia Posts: 4,912 ✭✭✭✭✭
    We cured cancer? That's news to me
  • kingblaze84kingblaze84 Bronx, NY birthplace of hip-hopPosts: 14,288 ✭✭✭✭✭
    If cancer is supposed to move humans forward evolution wise, then it has a funny way of showing it. Maybe cancer is thinning the herd of weaker humans compared to everyone else but that's as far as it goes.
  • kzzlkzzl Posts: 7,548 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Certain types of cancer can be cured. But anyway...
    If cancer is supposed to move humans forward evolution wise, then it has a funny way of showing it. Maybe cancer is thinning the herd of weaker humans compared to everyone else but that's as far as it goes.

    That's how I was thinking.

    But I remembered an episode of Neil Degrassi's show having an episode on this. Explaining how mutations in the past are what progressed different species into what they are today. Going off that, since I don't know much else about it, it does look like man's intervention could be holding up natures selection of whats natural.
  • LUClENLUClEN Absence makes the heart grow fonder of someone else Posts: 20,559 ✭✭✭✭✭
    People who say things like one group is less evolved than another or that we stop evolving don't understand that evolution is constant and is not a matter of specific change but rather any change.

    If we reduce the amount of cancer in our species we aren't stopping evolution were just changing our evolutionary direction.

    Since we have the power to do it leaving human progress and the fitness of the species up to the random chance of genetics and nature makes less sense than intervening if we intend on achieving certain outcomes.
    The rapper from linkin park would body the dudes in the xxxtentacion cypher
  • zombiezombie Posts: 13,450 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2014
    The days of natural evolution are over we are quickly reaching the time in which we will be able to biologically design human beings into better creatures. Gattaca is coming

  • kzzlkzzl Posts: 7,548 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2014
    Considered that as well. Between immunization, stem cell, cloning, and etc. we are very close to creating our own evolutionary destiny. Science can speed up the process far faster than nature and what would take millions of years, can happen in our own lifetimes.

    There's a paper where someone has even considered some possible outcomes.

    The Panglossian View - past record of success gives us good grounds for thinking that evolution (whether biological, memetic, or technological) will continue to lead in desirable directions. This Panglossian view, however, can be criticized on at least two grounds. First, because we have no reason to think that all this past progress was in any sense inevitable‒-much of it may, for aught we know, have been due to luck. And second, because even if the past progress were to some extent inevitable, there is no guarantee that the melioristic trend will continue into the indefinite future.

    The Mindless Outsource Scenario- Technological progress continues to accelerate and at some point the technology of “mind uploading” becomes possible. [6] Some human individuals upload and make many copies of themselves. Meanwhile, there is gradual progress in neuroscience and artificial intelligence, and eventually it becomes possible to isolate individual cognitive modules and connect them up to modules from other uploaded minds.

    You can read the whole thing here at http://www.nickbostrom.com/fut/evolution.html

    There's also an article on it from National Geographic here. They mention something like what Zombie posted.

    Answering my own question, it looks like medicine isn't impeding evolution.
  • BoldChildBoldChild Born alone, die alone. Posts: 11,415 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2014
    Not really, I would guess most people manage to reproduce before they're affected by cancer

    They've already passed on their genes before the cancer manages to kill them.

    I mean they could stop, but by the time it makes a noticeable difference we would be extinct or near extinction, or would have came up with a complete cure by then.
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