Humans Have Stopped Evolving

[I]Human beings have stopped evolving and should be persuaded not to have large families, Sir David Attenborough has said.

The TV naturalist, 87, said he was not optimistic about the future and “things are going to get worse”.

He said he did not believe humans would become extinct, but told the Radio Times: "I think that we’ve stopped evolving.

"Because if natural selection, as proposed by Darwin, is the main mechanism of evolution - there may be other things, but it does look as though that’s the case - then we’ve stopped natural selection.

"We stopped natural selection as soon as we started being able to rear 95% - 99% of our babies that are born.

“We are the only species to have put a halt to natural selection, of its own free will, as it were.”

The broadcaster said of the future: "I don’t think we are going to become extinct.

“We’re very clever and extremely resourceful - and we will find ways of preserving ourselves, of that I’m sure. But whether our lives will be as rich as they are now is another question.”

Speaking about the one-child policy in China, Sir David said: "It’s the degree to which it has been enforced which is terrible, and there’s no question it’s produced all kinds of personal tragedies. There’s no question about that.

"On the other hand, the Chinese themselves recognise that had they not done so there would be several million more mouths in the world today than there are now.

“If you were able to persuade people that it is irresponsible to have large families in this day and age, and if material wealth and material conditions are such that people value their materialistic life and don’t suffer as a consequence, then that’s all to the good.”

Do you think that he has a point? Have we stopped evolving and has that cost the human race something with regard to evolution of the species?

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He certainly does have a point - the world will eventually ‘tip’ from the billions of people on it !! :-p :shock:

To be honest, I’ve never thought of it the way he said it and just assumed we were still evolving - maybe we’re not!

I smiled at you saying the world will eventually tip from the millions of people on it, I’ve often wondered if it will be like a big custard tart and just collapse under the strain and we’ll all sink into a mushy middle :lol:

Yea - thats another way of looking at the worlds demise ! :-p
Oooo - Fracking might help that along …:shock:

If you look at a few of the celebs in celebBB this year you would imagine we are devolving - bed wetting, pooing herself, bragging about sexual encounters Charlotte is really taking us back a few thousand years !

Unfortunately too few a people take heed of people like Sir David Attenborough and we still celebrate birth as something special when it is a causal factor of overpopulation which will become unsustainable on earth.

Furthermore to feed all the people humans breed to excess animals like cattle and sheep which does not help the environmental balance.

Please tell me that was a joke … surely no one did all that on screen ?:shock:

What a load of cobblers. How does he know? A new specie could already be evolving from us and we won’t know for thousands of years.

Presumptuous galah.

He knows because it is obvious. If 95-99% of babies survive to live to old age, then the “survival of the fittest” has ceased to operate. In fact, we are probably going backwards as it appears that the most intelligent members of the species are having less children later in life, while the least intelligent are having more children from an earlier age. The result of this is that the mean intelligence of the species will drop and evolution may go in reverse.
For an example of the implications of this, see the film Idiocracy - a comedy with a very serious theme running through it.

Well of course humans are devolving. I’m surprised anybody would be surprised at the idea that it isn’t.

Humans today are more likely to commit crime than has happened in our history. Crimes of murder, rape, sexual abuse, animal abuse, vandalism, drunkeness, unacceptable behaviour, peeing and defacating in the streets, kids having kids, all of which happened in the past, so we haven’t come a long way, have we, because this still happens?

Fortunately, the majority of our species knows right from wrong and don’t commit such ugly and unacceptable behavioural patterns, but there are still the sub-humans amongst us so no, human behaviour has not evolved, despite technology, many are regressing, and those regressing are having children who will follow their patterns.

Animals don’t do that, and I hate it when a killer or abuser is called an animal because that’s an insult to animals. Animals don’t murder; animals don’t rape in the truest sense of the word; animals don’t get drunk and pee in your gardens - I’ll stop there, but I think you’ll get my meaning.

For those of you who remember the 60s, think back and remember how gentle those times were. Yes, there was still crime, but nothing like it is now.

I agree with MickB, but indeed a new species of human is now developing, and most certainly not for the better.

Sorry but that shows a complete lack of understanding of the process of evolution.

‘Survival of the fittest’ does not refer to living longer but whether a trait allows an organism to survive better than one without that trait which over time means that those with that trait will tend to reproduce more and those without tend to reproduce less.

It doesn’t matter about living longer because evolution relies on reproduction. Humans don’t reproduce longer but they do currently (in the west) reproduce later which is particularly important for mutation. What effect that will have long term who knows?

As for the rest there is no evidence that human intelligence is decreasing not that intelligence is needed for the survival of a specie - bacteria do very well thank you.

Selection can be as you say, a trait that is more successful, better adapted in the habitat that the plant or animal exists in. As the habitat changes the traits that work change.
This can be slow or fast. If there is a catastrophe that eliminates much of the life, then surviving species will fill in the niches that were opened up by that event. Like what happened during the Cretaceous Extinction.
When the dinosaurs became extinct, mammals and birds (left over dinosaurs) took over the “newly” opened habitats and developed traits that worked in those habitats.
Evolution is also slow and incremental. But it is constant and species become extinct or change no matter what.

Humans have not been on earth very long, in fact humans are not even a speck in earth’s history.
We have done a lot of changing of habitats by our industry and large population. We have eliminated many species because of these activities. That is in just a speck of geological time.
It’s possible that we have changed things enough to insure a change in our situation and we might shrink in population rapidly. In my opinion that is very likely. I don’t think we will become extinct in the short term. We have degraded our food sources, water and air. Perhaps enough to create a mass famine, degradation of infrastructure and wars. We will definitely will suffer great consequences.
It might happen in fits and starts. It might take a few generations. It might happen rapidly, even by our standards.
Perhaps some humans will adapt to these changes and succeed or survive for some time. We might evolve into a different species entirely or become extinct.
The earth does not care, it goes on and the geological processes go on and life in general adapts to these things. Life will be on earth long after we are gone. All of our structures and monuments will disintegrate and we will become fossils or remnants in the stratified layers of earth’s geology.

Have a nice day! :wink:

After reading the initial post, Sir David is wrong in my view. Even if there is a “pause” so to speak we are evolving. Because there is a person that is adapted for the next change in the environment. Let’s say transportation, rapid transportation across oceans and from continent to continent collapses. So human populations become isolated. Then adaptation begins again. Humans become more location specific. There are many possible futures and man is still evolving. Could be (take) a couple of thousands of years but that is nothing in earth time.
I say it is happening now. Right under our noses. :shock:

Thats why I dont watch it - Celebs are not my cuppa …
Idiots :twisted:
God - they are the ‘role models’ for the youngsters ! What are we gonna ‘evolve’ into - I ask meself :shock:


No joke she has wet the bed, and wet herself when too drunk to get to bed and brags about the rest she has done it all on her normal tv show, Geordie shore, never seen that myself and her descriptions of it have convinced me I never want to see it. She lists her biggest talents as farting to order and giving the best oral sex ever - really key talents for a successful life

Can’t disagree with any of what you wrote. Actually I don’t really know why you quoted me you say exactly the same thing as I did, even to disagreeing with the stupid statement Attenborough made

Blimey, you have been watching too many apocalyptic disaster movies :shock:.

Why should we keep evolving? We are the most successful species by far. We might be more or less perfect now. We have good or even great mobility, fingers and thumbs and a brain capable of adapting rapidly to any chance in circumstance.

I don’t worry about having to face huge environmental issues such as outlined about - famine or whatever. I find it absolutely astonishing that we can successfully keep shops stocked to the roof with all we can possibly want and more besides all over the world. We are incredibly resourceful.

We could very well evolve in the future as we will probably end up living in isolated habitats glued to monitors and where gadgets cater for our every need. In to what I have no idea but by then I should think they will have found a way to cure obesity and God knows what else.

What could we possibly evolve in to now?

Again a misunderstanding of evolution. Evolution doesn’t have an aim (other than survival), nor does it go backwards to end up with something better. It is a random mutation or trait where every change has to be an improvement in the survival stakes so it is impossible to predict what the next stage is other than it will be better at surviving than we are now.

Intelligence, bigger brains, the cognitive process, opposing thumbs etc only came about because they improved survival they were not a thought out process just chance.

Dinosaurs didn’t rule the earth for millions of years because they were more intelligent than mammals but because they had traits which enabled them to survive better in their environment. it was chance that made them so and chance that wiped them out. There is no plan.

Fair enough but we are no longer under any threat from anything whatsoever are we. Everything is there for us, all we could possibly need and more besides. About the only changes I can see taking place now would be physical ones but even then if something causes a problem - such as repetitive strain injury from using a phone or something for instance - then the media becomes aware of it and the gadget evolves in to something else instead of us.

It seems to me we could reach a point where everything is geared to keep the status quo - a nirvana type existence where we are kept in total equilibrium physically and mentally where the rigours that trigger evolution are nowhere to be seen - Utopia.

No matter how much drivel is attached to evolution being a fact…one species changing to another… it is still only a theory. as per Darwins’ theory of evolution, adaption is probably more the fact where humans adapted to where they finally settled, With all the accumulated knowledge and wisdom on how to relate to one another we still only wear a veneer of acceptance, as we see by the violence around the world where death is the reward for being different.

We wont evolve - cos we wont be here …