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Nature adaptation to Human





Peterssidan
I have been thinking about what will happen to the Homo sapiens species in the future. Will it keep its dominant position forever? Will it become extinct? Here are some of my thoughts about it.

Things have been happening very fast especially in the latest years so nature has not had time to adapt to the humans very well yet. It is likely that the overconsumption and overpopulation will lead to a population crash in the near future but the human species will most likely survive.

If we look in the perspective of millions of years things should have time to adapt. Plants and animals will adapt to live in the human environments like cities, houses, pipes etc. We can already now see that bacteria and viruses adapt to our medicine. Bigger animals will have harder to adapt because we easily kill them if they become a problem. I'm not sure about the birds though. They already now live in cities and their ability to fly make it easy to move around. If they become a big problem like stealing food and killing babies, will we be able to wipe them out? I'm not sure.

Humans have the advantage of advanced technology which makes it possible to adapt very quickly but will this be enough to keep us on the top? With less resources will it even be possible to keep the technology level we have in developed countries today?

Maybe one day we will return to be just one of all the other species.
Dennise
Good 'food for thought' all. I'm surprised there have been no replies.

In other words, what you may be asking is this: how much are humans influencing evolution now and will influence evolution as we know it in the future ... a difficult question indeed. I raised a similar question in another thread.

In the known universe, and baring any MAJOR natural catastrophes, or visitation by superior extraterrestrial intelligence, I think Homo Sapiens will remain dominate because humans have the capability and knowledge to deal with the consequences of lesser catastrophes ... natural or human created. Such lesser events could severely reduce our numbers, but I think there would be enough survivors for humans to carry on and remain a dominate species.

Adaptability and an unquenchable thirst for knowledge .... we are consciously driven by these and it's in our genes big time.
Bikerman
I think the problem (insofar as there is one) is that humans have no had time to adapt to their 'power' rather than the environment not having time.
Our ethical/moral development seems to me to be way behind our technological development - this is, I think, a problem.
ocalhoun
Peterssidan wrote:
I have been thinking about what will happen to the Homo sapiens species in the future. Will it keep its dominant position forever? Will it become extinct?

People tend to forget, sometimes, that forever is a very long time!
Of course we won't be dominant forever! If we manage to escape the dangers of destroying ourselves or being offed in a big astronomical accident, there's still evolution to be taken into account.
I see no reasons why humans would stop evolving at this current level. Eventually (even if it takes a billion years or so, though it will probably happen much sooner*), the human species will develop into something no longer recognizable as human by today's standards.

Or who knows? Maybe some other species might develop enough to out compete us before then?

*especially given the possibility that we may take it upon ourselves to make self-modifications outside of the normal evolutionary channels
Quote:

If we look in the perspective of millions of years things should have time to adapt. Plants and animals will adapt to live in the human environments like cities, houses, pipes etc. We can already now see that bacteria and viruses adapt to our medicine. Bigger animals will have harder to adapt because we easily kill them if they become a problem. I'm not sure about the birds though. They already now live in cities and their ability to fly make it easy to move around. If they become a big problem like stealing food and killing babies, will we be able to wipe them out? I'm not sure.

We've wiped out several species of birds already... I don't think it would be that much of a challenge.
Quote:

Humans have the advantage of advanced technology which makes it possible to adapt very quickly but will this be enough to keep us on the top?

There is, of course, the possibility that the technology itself will out-compete us.
It also doesn't protect the current human genome from experiencing further evolutionary changes, becoming something else... Rather, I'd say it encourages the opposite -- giving new situations to be adapted to, encouraging change.
(And that's not even mentioning the (probably inevitable) advent of genetically modified humans.)
Quote:

Maybe one day we will return to be just one of all the other species.

I doubt whatever out-competes us will tolerate having remnants of the competition hanging around... Just ask the Neanderthals...
Dennise
Quote:
I doubt whatever out-competes us will tolerate having remnants of the competition hanging around... Just ask the Neanderthals...


But the Neanderthals were humans. New evidence suggests Cro-Magnon and Neanderthal inter-breeding. If that is not true, are not we - Cro-Magnon - just evolved Neanderthals?

Even today we try to eliminate many of our own species. We call it ethnic cleansing and war. Actually this may be a form of evolutionary self preservation in disguise ...... intended to suppress overloading a region's (the planet's?) capacity?
boltrun
Nah, not likely that homo sapiens will be one of the species on earth. The dominance of human intelligence over the other species inhibits all the other species to develop similar capacities. All the other animal species will eventually either be the "pets" or be in the zoo. In this sense, the whole nature is evolving to fit our developmental path.
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