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Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Compassionate Eugenics

This has to be one of the worst interpretations of evolution that I've ever read. Anti-science pioneers, hang your heads in shame. I started cringing around the second sentence:

There are 6,450,000,000 of us humans on earth right now. There have been at least that many who have already come and gone. Maybe a lot more. We are supposedly the most advanced species. Under theories of evolution, we should be seeing various kinds of mutations that would result in better humans, who would generally take over for the lesser humans. Ultimately, there would be some new species, identifiable as such, that would be a super human, I suppose.

For one thing, I think the current informed view is that there are more people alive now than the total number of people who have ever died. Exponential growth curves are funny that way. Least importantly, I prefer the term 'successful' because 'advanced' might suggest some movement towards perfection. Most importantly, is there even a strong case that suggests humans are evolving? Just for the sake of argument:

...For instance, we don’t have any 100 m dash folks beating the record by a full second, or milers taking the best mile down by 20 seconds. The new bests are always only fractions of seconds better than the last...

How do faster humans gain a reproductive advantage? I thought we were talking about evolution here.

...but surely there can be no ethical reason why we don’t try to develop super brains or super athletes...

Whoa, slow down there, Hoss. Whatever happened to compassionate conservatism?