survival or evolution? | Forum

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Guess who
Guess who Oct 11 '14
Do we evolve to survive or survive to evolve?

I think it's most likely the former.

Discuss...
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JamesSTL Chapter Head
JamesSTL Oct 11 '14
The evidence suggests that organisms evolve to survive, or more precisely evolution occurs to allow an organism to become more adept to its environment.


Humans are special creatures, for we are the only organisms on the planet with the increasing capability to take charge of our own evolution.


Will the great undertaking of harnessing our own evolutionary destiny be our undoing? That is the real question.


"I don't want to be a product of my environment. I want my environment to be a product of me." - The Departed (2006)

Berardo Rodriguez Member
Berardo Rodriguez Oct 11 '14
The evolution of other species is faster and sometimes slower than ours  (Human beings) , in the process of evolving we have to survive to keep up with the rest of nature.
Guess who
Guess who Oct 11 '14
Possibly, though wouldn't the desire to preserve the self as it is make us resistant to adaptations?
sonofject Member
sonofject Oct 11 '14
I think it's the former also. Most living creatures have the ability to biologically adapt to or in their environments, eventually evolving/changing their attributes where it suits them, depending on the environment.

Natural stratification always begets a form of evolutionary survival that favors organisms that have the ability to adapt and thrive in this process (think of insect species). I think humans have an instinctual, cognitive will to survive, but some may lose this instinct if they have adapted to an environment that doesn't cultivate that drive for self-preservation (think of someone on life support). One can survive but not evolve, yet to evolve is oftentimes essential for a species' survival.
nith
nith Oct 11 '14

I would say both and the percentage of each depends on the person and their life style. Then again at what stage would evolution be called devolving?


If someone does not have to work at survival then not only would their skills be lacking but their bodies would also change over time. What interests me is how many generations of couch potatoes would it take to change at an inherent physical level?


So in my opinion fully adapting to today's western world is a step away from actual survival and more like being pet animals. Back when all the syndromes were popping up I added one I called “electric blanket syndrome”. When a person relies on an electric blanket too much the body does not need to warm it's self, so over time it stops. So if a person becomes so reliant on an outside source that even their body forgets how to work with out it then this is devolving.

Quote from sonofject I think humans have an instinctual, cognitive will to survive, but some may lose this instinct if they have adapted to an environment that doesn't cultivate that drive for self-preservation (think of someone on life support). One can survive but not evolve, yet to evolve is oftentimes essential for a species' survival.

I kind of agree with Sonofject but see the life support analogy as wasting away or to devolve.

Guess who
Guess who Oct 11 '14
Brings up an interesting thought. If we intentionally and systematically subjected ourselves to harsh conditions, we could evolve to be incredibly tough. Conversely, if we are dependent on our technology, we will become weaker (though it's only a problem if the technology's availability is low, as it could otherwise be seen as a correct termination of an unnecessary trait).

I think (artificial) genetic modification in humans would be extremely useful (though controversial and potentially problematic if not handled properly) for this reason.
The Forum post is edited by Guess who Oct 11 '14
Pilgrimm
Pilgrimm Oct 13 '14
Generally, life forms evolve to survive.  However if a life form can see past it's immediate base wants and needs, it can see down the line and anticipate what it will need to survive.  Driven by either that or a simple hunger to grow more powerful, intelligent or otherwise, more powerful forms survive to evolve.
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