Me again on Evolution

Richard M Kliman rkliman at runet.edu
Fri Sep 1 18:31:42 EST 1995

In article <41qk0d$418 at elmo.tju.edu>,
Darin Trelka  <trelkad at jeflin.tju.edu> wrote:
>I hate to disagree, but natural selection and humanity don't go together 
>anymore.  With the onset of modern medicine, we had effectively removed 
>ourselves from the process, much to our species detriment.  
>Interestlingly though, as I'm sure you're aware, it is at that point that 
>we began harnessing fire, changing our environment to suit ourselves, 
>that we were free of the bondage of natural selection, thereby allowing 
>our species to exponentially grow in relative safety (because we then 
>abrogated many parasitic infections by cooking meat), and new found 
>comfort (as any caveman will tell you, a cave is alot more cozy when its 
>25 degrees C as opposed to 4--in addition to keeping us warm enough to 
>fight off any chill that could result in a mortal viral infection).  At 
>this point, however, it is difficult for any of us, as rational and 
>feeling human beings, to allow such natural processes such as disease and 
>death to bolster our species, thereby allowing the forces of selection to 
>choose whose genes are deposited into the next gene pool.  I mean, who 
>would allow their son or daughter to die of polio when we have such an 
>effective vaccine to prevent it?  Just a perspective...
>D P. Trelka

One of the key aspects of Darwinian evolution: selection pressures don't 
necessarily remain constant over time.  In fact, this is the aspect that 
bothered (and bothers) so many people - that there is no direction or 
goal to evolution, that evolution is not necessarily progressive.

So, are you arguing that there is no (or little) natural selection acting 
on humans, or are you suggesting that the pattern of selection has changed?

- Rich Kliman

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