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Captiv8



Joined: 25 Aug 2006
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What's the bed news? Not every child or person is fat. I wouldn't even say most people are fat or obese. And this is a straw man. We now have the technology to tuck people's stomachs, remove fat, and otherwise make people live healthier, longer lives. The existence of fat people doesn't negate this point; it only shows that it's a matter of accessibility. Moreover, if fat people die at a faster rate, and people at a healthy weight live on, is that not natural selection?
Post Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:50 am
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coolerthanhot



Joined: 20 Jun 2011
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the article isn't arguing that fat people exist, its reporting on an study that indicates they exist in such record numbers that in some countries (USA/UK) the new generation will statistically be outlived by their parents. if correct this disproves what you said about people in these countries living longer than they have in the past, which you claimed as substantial proof that humans are still 'evolving' (a term still not defined by anyone using it in this thread. i'm pointing this out because it gets thrown around so much, and because i'm completely certain that you and DeadAwake are talking about totally different things)

as for your claims about the existence of technology making this a non-factor, i feel like you've defeated your own argument in acknowledging the problem of accessibility. who cares if a small rich elite can afford to have their physical ills surgically removed?
Post Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:04 am
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Captiv8



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You, sir, are mental. One article does not establish consensus, nor does it definitively prove anything. As for a definition of evolution, we can look at from a number of ways. It can a progression toward something greater, better, or otherwise improved from something previous. In this sense, regardless of whether people are becoming fatter, the human race as a whole is living longer because we have managed to eradicate a number of once fatal diseases (or made their occurrence non-life threatening), improved medicine, improved hygiene, improved the quality of water, learned more about vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, Omega 3 acids, and so on. These are scientific advances that have led to technological advances, which have in turn made the quality of life, again in general terms, better for humans. If only a percentage of the population has access to these advances, that still constitutes an evolution, as those that cannot will simply not survive. This is, as I said, the Darwinian aspect of evolution. Money here is not a factor in evolution itself; it is a factor in who evolves. You also need to take into account nations that are healthy - Japan, Italy, and Singapore, to name a few.

Or we can take the approach of phylogeny, which means that organisms in the same species class grow increasingly divergent from one another. If you subscribe to the notions that human beings are really just advanced primates, evolution applies here as well. We are becoming less and less like primates and more an entity unto ourselves.
Post Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:32 am
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coolerthanhot



Joined: 20 Jun 2011
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Captiv8 wrote:
You, sir, are mental. One article does not establish consensus, nor does it definitively prove anything.


if you actually read what i said, i never claimed or implied otherwise

Captiv8 wrote:
As for a definition of evolution, we can look at from a number of ways.

" a progression toward something greater, better, or otherwise improved from something previous"


you're arguing that our current state here on this planet is better, greater, or improved compared to what was going on in the past. i'm going to have to disagree on the basis that if we continue as we have been for a couple hundred more years this planet will no longer be inhabitable by us or the majority of other mammals on it. entitled to your opinion though

Captiv8 wrote:
In this sense, regardless of whether people are becoming fatter, the human race as a whole is living longer because we have managed to eradicate a number of once fatal diseases (or made their occurrence non-life threatening), improved medicine, improved hygiene, improved the quality of water, learned more about vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, Omega 3 acids, and so on. These are scientific advances that have led to technological advances, which have in turn made the quality of life, again in general terms, better for humans. If only a percentage of the population has access to these advances, that still constitutes an evolution, as those that cannot will simply not survive. This is, as I said, the Darwinian aspect of evolution. Money here is not a factor in evolution itself; it is a factor in who evolves. You also need to take into account nations that are healthy - Japan, Italy, and Singapore, to name a few.



i have to do something now, will respond to this^ later


Last edited by coolerthanhot on Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:06 pm; edited 2 times in total
Post Sun Jan 13, 2013 11:54 am
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T-Wrex
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Fat people is art evolved.

Post Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:04 pm
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GrantherBirdly
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Captiv8 wrote:
What's the bed news? Not every child or person is fat. I wouldn't even say most people are fat or obese. And this is a straw man. We now have the technology to tuck people's stomachs, remove fat, and otherwise make people live healthier, longer lives. The existence of fat people doesn't negate this point; it only shows that it's a matter of accessibility. Moreover, if fat people die at a faster rate, and people at a healthy weight live on, is that not natural selection?


I don't want to wade into this argument except to note that fat people dying at a higher rate than healthy people would not be natural selection, unless of course the fat people were fat because of some genetic mutation (or on the flip side the healthy people were healthy because of some genetic mutation). And even if it was genetically based, it wouldn't matter who dies earlier, it would matter whether or not it impacts the rates of reproduction of the two populations, which as far as I can tell it doesn't.
Post Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:40 pm
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Captiv8



Joined: 25 Aug 2006
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GrantherBirdly wrote:
Captiv8 wrote:
What's the bed news? Not every child or person is fat. I wouldn't even say most people are fat or obese. And this is a straw man. We now have the technology to tuck people's stomachs, remove fat, and otherwise make people live healthier, longer lives. The existence of fat people doesn't negate this point; it only shows that it's a matter of accessibility. Moreover, if fat people die at a faster rate, and people at a healthy weight live on, is that not natural selection?


I don't want to wade into this argument except to note that fat people dying at a higher rate than healthy people would not be natural selection, unless of course the fat people were fat because of some genetic mutation (or on the flip side the healthy people were healthy because of some genetic mutation). And even if it was genetically based, it wouldn't matter who dies earlier, it would matter whether or not it impacts the rates of reproduction of the two populations, which as far as I can tell it doesn't.


Fair play, Granther. Unnatural selection, then? Question: could it not be argued that people that eat healthier have adapted to their environment in a way that ensures their survival? This leaves out the genetic point, of course, though surely some people that are overweight are such because of genetic dispositions.
Post Sun Jan 13, 2013 4:23 pm
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GrantherBirdly
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I'd agree with that statement. However I don't think that kind of environmental fitness would be evolution per se. From my weed-hazed high school memory, evolution as scientifically defined is a change in the overall frequency of certain genes in a population. So unless a change has a basis in genetics, it wouldn't be evolution in the strict sense.
Post Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:19 pm
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DeadAwake



Joined: 17 Feb 2007
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coolerthanhot wrote:
iz u goin to provide a basis for your beliefs
hard to debate when u offer no reasoning


My basis for my beliefs are my observations. Look at architecture, how its changed over 1000 years. Architecture used to have great artistic merit. It doesnt have much anymore. On top of this i believe that ancient architecture fulfilled an actual purpose, that some were constructed in such a way as to invoke different states of mind to those receptive enough. Other than this, look at the diversity of art of ancient cultures, they seem to be mostly unique. Now it seems to be one cosmopolitan mish-mash, that there is less individual expression.

Listen to one classical composition, then listen to the radio for 30 minutes, then tell me art is evolving.

Captiv8 wrote:
Attendant to this is perhaps the more important point: that our conceptions of what art is are constantly evolving as well.


"Art is a diverse range of human activities and the products of those activities..." - Sincerely, Wikipedia.

Improved technology isnt US evolving. Im talking of the evolution of our consciousness and organism in themselves. Which is their improvment. Very difficult to divine as you need to be somewhat detached and impartial to even know what improvment is.

We seem to be using technology against our evolution rather than for it. Im willing to bet that we have become drastically lazier than people 200 years ago and our memories have degenerated significantly. To name two aspects of our devolution.

Technology is merely a by-product of our intellectual evolution, yet, we have mistaken it for our actual evolution. Moreover, for the most part our technology is more or less the product of the evolution of a hand full of individuals intellectual evolution. That being said, our technology provides us a tremendous oppurtunity to evolve our selves. The whole 7 billion and whatever of us are constantly changing between evolution and devolution, every moment. It is not a simple linear transition.

Longer lives, healthier, improved hygeine, improved medicine. This is evolution? This is nonsense!
Post Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:21 pm
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Captiv8



Joined: 25 Aug 2006
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Everyone is aware evolution is a process that takes thousands of years, and is continuous, right? If humans had not adapted to their environment then we would not be here, or at least not at our current position. Human existence has occurred over such a short timespan that it's difficult to assess a genetic shift. It is possible, however, to make guesses at how that shift is taking place. That's what I'm talking about. I also don't think it's crazy to say that humans have learned to self-evolve through technology, through a means of genetic manipulation. This exponentially speeds up the evolution process. It will be a while, I suspect, before we known for sure how sustainable this is, but right now the future looks quite promising in that regard.

Back to art: its evolution cannot be based on taste, which is subjective, but its intrinsic properties, which are objective. It is not whether it matches your particular sensibilities or not, but whether it has measurably changed from what came before. For better or worse, it has. Even modern classical music is different from what was written 200 years ago. Even if you enter in the subjective, there is a wealth of really good art out there, against a host of really bad art. What matters is what lasts. Everything else that falls by the evolutionary wayside is just a part of the process.
Post Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:45 am
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coolerthanhot



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i was going to leave this alone, but, just so happened to recap the bread and bones of darwinian theory in anthro yesterday

turns out there was absolutely -no- conception of "progress" or things becoming "better" over time in darwin's theory. it was all centered around adaptation [NO VALUE JUDGEMENTS]

in fact, he apparently wrote a quite to-the-point letter to some pro capitalist who had inferred otherwise and was showing a great deal of public support to darwin, believing that darwin's mindset was in line with and support of his own



was interesting to me anyways. since i'd been kind of grappling with this as soon as the 'debate' here started, and never took the time to actually read it up. convenient
Post Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:01 am
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Captiv8



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My reference to Darwin was not about progress, but about survival of the fittest, i.e. fat people dying off while the healthy population survives. Was Darwin, or Spencer for that matter, if you want to get technical, talking about physical health? No. But he was talking about the ability of organisms to adapt to their environment. If the environment makes physical activity less necessary through advances in technology, and if the marriage of capitalism and the food industry has produced an excess of non-essential but utterly delicious food items, this poses a situation in which the human can either adapt and maintain a relatively healthy lifestyle (which shows that health and natural selection are not mutually exclusive) or become a fat bastard that dies earlier for a number of reasons. See above exchange with Granther Birdly about the genetic question.
Post Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:31 pm
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GrantherBirdly
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sorry if I'm coming off as a nitpicker here, but I think we're still on different pages on this, and that you're still somewhat misunderstanding how evolution in the strict sense functions.

Lets say we have a homogenous population of individuals. Then half of them start grubbing McDonald's on the regular and become fat and die earlier then the others. Let's even say that the fat group die so much earlier that they fail to reproduce at the same rate as the healthier group. So now the next generation of kids is raised by healthy parents who instill healtheir habits in them, while the fatter parents feed their kids McDonald's and so the cycle replicates. Over a few generations lets say there are a lot more healthy people than fat ones.

Quesiton: Does this constitute evolution as described by Darwin? Answer: It depends but probably not.

The reason is that unless the healthier population is not getting fat because of some genetic advantage, then really it's just culture that is leading to population changes, and the overall frequency of specific genes within that population is unchanged.

An actual example of evolution would be:

Let's just consider the group that eats at McDonald's regularly. As we've seen, this decision is leading to a dramatic decline in their longetivity and subsequently in their likelihood of reproducing, or of reproducing in the same volumes as their healthy counterparts. Completely by chance, one of the children of the unhealthy population has a genetic mutation that makes it so they can process Big Macs without adverse health impacts. This leads the person to live considerably longer and reproduce at twice the rate as the other unhealthy people. Then, his children benefit from this genetic advantage and also reproduce more readily. Over time, the frequency of that original mutation is growing in the population because it provides a genetic advantage to those who possess it. That would be proper evolution, not just that there are now more healthy people, but that their health is the consequence of a randomly spawned genetic advantage.

Sorry if I come off like a scolding professor or something...
Post Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:16 pm
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Captiv8



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I get what you're saying, and I appreciate the examples to help make the distinction. However, are we assuming that the genetic disposition is inherent, always present and just waiting for the time when it can be used? Or is this something that develops within the individual over the course of hundreds of generations? Without knowing it, I was referring to the latter, though I understand that in order for the change to be evolutionary on Darwin's terms it must be within a homogeneous population, like a group of fat people, as opposed to a mix of fat and healthy people. It's certainly, huhhuh, food for thought.

Perhaps the better question then is whether or not the concept of evolution can be revised to better explain factors that Darwin could not have conceived of, like biomedical technologies, genetic engineering, stem-cell research, and so on.
Post Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:46 pm
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futuristxen



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I won't draw anything without my monkey's paw
Post Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:08 pm
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