Fixing Evolution

So I was reading through Cracked and I happened upon this:
Basically, it talks about how hearing loss, nearsightedness, tooth decay, foot pains, and insomnia are in part caused by our modern way of life.

So it got me thinking. The basic philosophy of transhumanism is that humans have changed themselves faster than evolution can keep up. So how about before we build some rocket engines powered by mitosis and graft them to our ankles, we try to fix some of the things evolution has already fallen behind on?


  • Sounds like a good idea, but why not only do that if we cannot use the mistakes to our benefit.
  • Unless you could provide specific examples, that doesn't sound like a problem.
  • edited July 2015
    Haven't gotten around to reading the link yet, but if you're interested in this sort of thing I recommend looking into genetic load and CRISPR (in that order).
  • I'm confused. How has evolution fallen behind or failed or made a mistake? Evolution is a process, not some kind of drive towards betterment.
  • Ok so things like bad teeth.. at one point strong teeth that were suitable for a particular diet was relevant to breeding.. Is it now? Not really. It's not a factor in evolution because routing teeth or not... people can survive to breed. Evolution doesn't lead to stronger better faster smarter organisms... It just leads to the best procreators.
  • Totally! not to continue the off track conversation much, but this point needs to be nailed down. Evolution is not about being the best, just the least dead. This means that there is a lot of room for improvement. Do we know how? Probably not now/yet.  But there are no "mistakes". Mistakes are poor choices. Evolution is not a choice driven element.

    So! How do we address some of there things? I think Frank is asking if anyone has any ideas on addressing some of the pitfalls of only being just good enough to breed (which, when you put it that way, is a very low bar compared to future goals..)
  • I'm not saying that evolution, as a process, has failed or made mistakes, I'm saying that because we've developed artificial ways to cheat death, it doesn't really happen to us anymore. For instance, there are diseases that we've cured that maybe in a million years, we'd have systematically evolved to defeat. But, because we cured it ourselves, we'll never develop the ability to fight it biologically. So because we've pretty much mastered the art of surviving enough to breed, our bodies have no inclination to change.

    However, just because we aren't changing, doesn't mean our lifestyles aren't. Our diets have changed to the point where they're ruining our teeth. Our bodies aren't going to evolutionary fix that. So let's fix it ourselves. Maybe heading into laser eyes and new senses was a bit of a skip ahead. We're creating problems for ourselves that our bodies can't yet handle. Fixing those seems like step 1, and then rocket feet is step 2.
  • And I very much apologize for my lack of medical and biological experience to contribute to fixing these problems. I'm just trying to start a thought process, ya know.
  • *curbs terminology correction*

    I like this point. I think I have mentioned that everyone needs to think about some basic issues before we discuss rocket boots (as you say) or even why are we strapping explosives to our feet? Whenever someone asks where their jetpack is, I wonder why we are enthusiastic about strapping explosives to our bodies. It's counter productive.

    So, @DirectorX has a big list of intense biohack projects that get's tossed around every now and then. But if you could make cavities not a thing, that would be some real disruptive tech right there. Imagine, being the person who made dentists obsolete... 0_0

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