Evolution Through Natural Selection: Does It Apply to Humans?

This is the question I have been working on of late. We know that stick bugs, for instance, are well adapted to blending in with their surroundings. The slowly evolved this defense mechanism over millions of years until it is pretty well prefected now. As the evolutionary timeline moved forward the stick bugs that looked most like a stick survived as the bright green stick bugs were eaten by birds. (This is a hypotheitcal scenario to make a point) Over time the ones that survived produced offsring more adapted to surviving and looked even more like sticks.

My question is then how can the 'bright green' humans survive just as well as the more adapted, better suited humans? We can all see everytime we go out that don't fit the human archetype. Excessively overweight, low intelligence, lazy, etc seem to get by just as well as everyone else. How can this be possible if things evolve through natural selection? It's simple; humans are not constrained by natural selection. The reason why? Technology. We are now the top hunters on the planet even though we wouldn't be able to hunt without technology. We don't succumb to the elements and weather because of technology. We survive virus and bacteria invasions because of technology. This means that everyone can produce viable offspring with the chance to carry on unfavorable genes unlike in the 'natural' world.

Being genetically predisposed to heart disease, for instance, would noramlly get phased out over time as the organism with that predisposition would produce less offspring therefore not passing on the gene as much until it no longer exists within the breeding population.

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Comment by Adam Johnson on May 7, 2009 at 11:21am
To address the comment about heart disease. Heart disease is proven to have genetic origins. That aside, heart disease wasn't the focal point. It was an example to make a point. I could have made up a species and an unfavorable evolutionary adaptation, introduced technology and made the same point.

Daniel, you did a superb job with you explanation and I thank you for blessing my blog with your comment. My thesis in psychology was on myopia, cognitive myopia to be exact. You built the second floor to my arguement about humans being outside of natural selection.
Comment by The Nexus Group on May 7, 2009 at 10:15am
Carver, good point. Remind me to not post again unless I have time to develop my thoughts entirely.
Comment by The Nexus Group on May 6, 2009 at 9:06pm
Daniel, great stuff. Matthew, yeah that's what I was trying to say. ;)
Comment by Matthew F. on May 6, 2009 at 8:32pm
Natural selection can't apply to modern humans. We are diverting evolution with our brain power (or lack of it in some cases).
Comment by Mikey Granule on May 6, 2009 at 2:44pm
Who said you had a problem with vegetarians? I didn't.

Survival of the fittest can be made to fit any theory about human characteristics past or present, as I think you are neatly demonstrating.

Thanks for the debate by the way, sorry you're not interested in it.
Comment by The Nexus Group on May 6, 2009 at 2:13pm
Okay, you are missing the point entirely. Let me again say, I don't have a problem with vegetarians. My daughter is one. They are "we" as in "our" ancestors. "We" have benefited from what "they" did.

I'm really not interested in debating you. Just trying to give my comments on Adam's question. Do you have anything to add?
Comment by Mikey Granule on May 6, 2009 at 2:01pm
We? These meat-eaters are not part of my we. They are not even your we. They are their they. We have nothing to do with them.

Keep thinking!
Comment by zeeman barzell on May 6, 2009 at 1:54pm
Movie of the week: Idiocracy
watch it.
Comment by The Nexus Group on May 6, 2009 at 1:52pm
This is fine Mikey. I discussed this very thing with a friend of mine who is also a vegetarian. He agreed that the protein helped our brain development and that early man didn't have the luxury to chose vegetarianism. In fact, it could be argued that it was because of the addition of meat, that we were able to develop ways to make it easier to be a vegetarian and substitute the needed protein.
Comment by Mikey Granule on May 6, 2009 at 1:22pm
I think you need to take more time to answer this more thoughtfully. I'm a vegetarian.



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