Wednesday, April 14, 2010

To evolve or not to evolve

When I first started this blog, the purpose was to be able to post thoughts that I had but hadn't necessarily given a lot of thought to just to get feedback. That way, I could refine my thoughts. But as I began to accumulate readers, I became reluctant to post just any ole thought I had. I kind of felt obliged to be right, and to put forth some effort to make sure I was right before I posted it. I got to where I didn't want to post anything unless I was prepared to defend it. But I didn't like that feeling because it defeated the purpose for which I started this blog. I didn't start this blog to evangelize or to convince other people of my point of view, but as time went on, that's what I ended up doing.

Well, today, I want to post a random thought I had while driving home from work one day.

Supposedly, we're all the result of natural selection acting on random mutations. But as people become more compassionate, and technology improves (especially medical technology), natural selection is sort of disabled. That's one of the criticism Friedrich Nietzsche had about Christianity. Because Christian morality is concerned with the weak, it allows the weak to prosper instead of being weeded out. And that, in turn, prevents the rise of the over-man--the next step in human evolution. We are unable to evolve as a species because we are helping the weak survive and reproduce. I don't think Nietzsche was the only person to recognize the problem. That's why the Nazi's were trying to exterminate Jews, gays, and everybody they thought were inferior. It was a way of helping natural selection do its job. It was more like unnatural selection, but it did what the Nazis thought natural selection was SUPPOSED to be doing, but was being kept from doing by Christian morality. And here in America, we had eugenics. At least we weren't trying to kill people. We were just sterilizing them to prevent them from reproducing. I know the Nazi's were influenced by Nietzsche. I don't know whether the Americans were.

Compassion won out, though. The good guys won the war, and eugenics was outlawed. So, for several decades, we have done everything we can to prevent mankind from evolving. And the better our medicinal capabilities become, the more stagnant our evolution will be. In fact, I'd say we've pretty much stopped it altogether. We're as far as we can get because we keep the sick and the weak alive, and they breed.

But I think that could change with this whole genome thing. I read an article recently that was talking about how it becomes cheaper and cheaper to sequence a human genome. I think the first time they did it, it cost something like $50,000. I don't remember what it was. But now, it can be done for something like $5000. And it's going to continue to get cheaper. And we're going to understand the genome much better in the future.

So this is what I think might happen. Sequencing the genome will become so cheap and so useful that pretty much everybody will have their own genome sequenced. It will allow them to anticipate sickness and disease, which in turn will allow them to prevent it. But there's another practical use in sequencing a person's genome. If everybody is doing it, then everybody is going to have a record. And with everybody having a record of the genome, it's just a matter of time that people are going to want to know what kind of genes their significant other has before they get married. After all, if they're going to have children, they're going to want the best. And since you might be a little more reluctant to have children with somebody who has inferior genes, or to have children if your genes are inferior, people with better genes might end up procreating more than people with inferior genes do. And people with inferior genes may find it more difficult to get married than people with good genes. If that happens, it can act as natural selection. People with inferior genes will be attenuated in the gene pool.

On the other hand, we don't need our genes necessarily to make it more difficult for us to reproduce. There are plenty of other factors you might look at that are more obvious. There are pretty people, ugly people, smart people, stupid people, confident people, shy people, healthy people, unhealthy people, lazy people, and industrious people. Nobody is being weeded out of the gene pool because ugly people can find other ugly people, stupid people can find other stupid people, etc. If everybody's genome is sequenced, then people with inferior genes will find other people with inferior genes. Nobody is going to be weeded out.

I don't know why shyness doesn't get weeded out of the gene pool. Shy people and confident people are like cat people and dog people. Dog people can go to the park with their dog and meet other dog people. Cat people can't do that. So it's easier for dog people to connect than it is for cat people to connect. In the same way, it's easier for confident people to connect than it is for shy people to connect. So you'd think shyness would get weeded out of the gene pool.

Of course shyness isn't necessarily the result of genes. To an extent, it can be the result of your environment. It's both, although with some people it has more to do with their genes and with other people it has more to do with their environment. But at least genetic shyness ought to be weeded out.

Another thing to think about is the fact that everybody has good traits and bad traits. A person may be ugly but make up for it with a charismatic personality. A person may be shy but make up for it by being a genius. Inferior traits ride piggy bag on superior traits. Since a person with inferior traits may be sought after because of their superior traits, those inferior traits will stay in the gene pool.


At 4/15/2010 1:20 PM , Blogger brgulker said...

You should watch Gattaca:

At 4/26/2010 10:27 PM , Blogger B. Batista said...

HEy sam i'd like to chat with you, please email me at

At 4/27/2010 7:24 AM , Blogger Sam said...

I don't want to email you because I don't know you or what it is you want to talk about. If it has to do with this post, can't we talk about it here?

At 5/08/2010 4:56 PM , Blogger B. Batista said...

sure, if your willing to share here, i'd like to hear your testimony

At 5/10/2010 12:04 AM , Blogger Sam said...

It's a bit of a long story, but I'll give you the short version. Although I was not raised in a church, and my family wasn't all that religious, Christianity was at least the background noise. When I was about 13, my dad experienced somewhat of a revival and decided we needed to go to church. That lasted long enough for me to realize I needed to make a personal commitment to Christ, which I did, and I got baptized shortly after that. Then we stopped going to church. I read the Bible off and on as a teenager, always getting excited about things for a while when I was reading, and always burning out later on and putting it on the back burner.

Sometime between the ages of 20 and 22, I started thinking about how I had always assumed Christianity was true just because I had never been given any good reason to think otherwise, but that I really had no reason to think it was true. I became agnostic but didn't completely give up Christianity because I figured it might be true.

Then one day while out for a walk, letting my mind wander, I stumbled on a version of the cosmological argument that I found persuasive, and I decided it was almost certain that God existed. Two or three years later, I read The Case for Christ and was introduced to historical arguments for Christianity. I became a voracious reader for a while after that and slowly began to see the big picture of the Christian worldview and to see how it all fit together. I was pretty convinced by then that Christianity was true.

At 5/16/2010 9:51 PM , Blogger B. Batista said...

cool praise God just one more thing...

was your dad a carpenter? how and why did you get into woodworking, more specifically making archery things

At 5/17/2010 8:51 PM , Blogger Sam said...

No, my dad wasn't a carpenter. The only reason I got into wood working is because I wanted to make bows and arrows. And right now that's the extent of my wood working ability, although I'm trying to make a violin, too.

At 8/20/2010 1:55 AM , Blogger Abdullah said...

Sorry, I like your logic and your blogs or your ideas but I felt compelled to mention my own thoughts after reading some of your blogs. Take it as you will. I don't intend offense, these are my beliefs. Some prior info before you read this... I am a Muslim and as of today I'm 25. I don't believe pride serves any good purpose at all and arrogance should be a crime. therefore I say I am grateful to be a Muslim and not proud to be Muslim.
I don't necessarily believe in Jesus as associated with God(as father, son, etc with other beliefs, other then a creation/slave). But I do believe Jesus was the messiah and the prophet OF God and did teach his religion. I don't honestly believe that his teachings are anything close to original since politics and power played a role with governments and the history of Christianity(people, like "King James," wrote their own versions of God's word, How is that god's word anymore? it seems more like king James version of god). In my eyes if god's word is God's word then you should respect it and being it that the human beings who were sent a messiah from god tried to alter it at all even if his intentions were good, Makes you think why man ever thought he could make it better then the maker himself. My Idea is that those who altered It (as I believe here) Didn't respect or believe in God but wanted to harness power, because its a drug, and a powerful one at that. like sex, wealth, beauty, and other baser desires. My point is I don't believe that you can deny the man Jesus or even the Messiah Jesus except of your own free will. I do believe that he is real and will come back to destroy the anti-Christ but to say Jesus was in relation to God. That seems like conjecture. Like for instance you make bows...does it look like you? Can it be your begotten son? No, In many ways you are FAR FAR superior to its existence and for you it's a sport (I don't believe god created everything for mere sport). You get my idea at least. Like wise the creator of the heavens and the earth shouldn't necessarily be conceivable by his creation. You might say the inability to understand your maker is your only ability to understand the maker at all. Try explaining things to a bow...or even your cat... can it even respond were you understand it?. Bottom line is the life and example of Jesus, in my opinion, is not really examined or looked at much but power and authority to command is given to the priests with only the ceremonial significance of God to control the masses. In short my point is GOD EXISTS and JESUS was a MESSIAH but there's little original teachings or message left and only this overall shell of politically motivated writings...but there are Christians who believe in GOD and the Messiah Jesus with out attributing partners to god and they are not proud or arrogant and fall down with submission and prostration to their creator and I don't believe God will curse or damn those truly good hearted people.

Now my Opinion on Atheists is this. they disbelieve in god but believe in natural selection and all that. well. life is complicated...but something more simple...machines aren't anywhere near as complicated as the smallest living thing. If a tornado can't rip through a metal scrap yard and randomly assemble a Boeing 747 or simpler plane with the perfect engineering(engines wings, proportions scientific construction and computer programming) then the whole idea of an ever more evolving life randomly created in space time is even more unbelievable. Sometimes blind faith in disbelief has its mistakes and well un-sound thoughts and arguments. Basically Life REQUIRES ORDER, and the absence of ORDER creates Chaos. There is NO SUCH THING AS "ORDER OUT OF CHAOS." This is my argument against Evolution Theory (thank god they didn't make it into a proposed law. Theory is just that a theory) and atheism.

At 8/20/2010 8:53 AM , Blogger Sam said...

Abdullah, what do Muslims mean when they say Jesus was a/the Messiah? What is a Messiah?

At 11/29/2012 12:48 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

It has to do with the language at the least by my understanding. Messiah means the awaited/anticipated prophet of the children of Israel and his people. Note: children of israel (Israel by the Muslims understanding in that ancient language means servant of god). This would still incorporate the Christians and the Jews both. It also means guided one. The anti-Christ in Islam is referred to as "Messikh ad-dajjal" or the "Imposter Messiah." It is said He will be Young and powerfully built with curly hair and blind in the right eye, and he will seem immortal for a time. It is said that if you are confused about him Know that your lord is not one-eyed and the one-eye is the symbol for the anti-christ. In islam Jesus the Messiah and Son of Mary, is said to be smaller reddish complexion of a man with lank hair that will reach down to his shoulders. He will return close to the last days of time and he will kill the Imposter messiah.

I think I trailed off there, sorry about that. In short sum of events it means, the Anticipated guided one (specifically for the children of Israel and the people of that time period in the past "the people of the book"). The term Messiah specifically refers to the son of Mary alone. Not other messengers or prophets. according to Islam.


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