Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Is Darwin's Theory of Evolution still relevant ?

I've thought about this quite a bit over the past few months.  On the basis that humanity is ensuring old age for the infirm, unstable, disabled and injured can Darwin's theory still hold as the majority of the populous is getting more and more 'unfit' ?

There are many examples of this, for example, according to Darwin's theory death would ensue from the following problems, which humans deal with on a routine basis:
  • Caesarian birth
  • Appendicitis
  • cardiac arrest ...the list goes on
So as we're getting more obese and dealing with issues like Aid's, Cancer, stroke & dementia (The top 10 causes of death) we need to ask are we bypassing evolution and therefore preventing the human race from progression ?

I don't think so.  I used to think that we were doomed (and we still might be.  Read 'Breeds There a Man…?' by Isaac Asimov) but not for the reasons I thought originally.

Because I believe that the survival of the fittest is still relevant when measured by a different yard stick.  If you consider intelligence,creativity and cunning then we're still up there.  Society at large is getting more educated and the more successful people are either creative or cunning (or both).  We're still a success story in spite of the sedentary masses.

You can (possibly) deal with cancer in one of two ways

1.) Let cancer take it's course and over millennia we (may) beat it (or we may not).  This is Darwins theory by the measure of strength.

2.) Try drugs and other forms of radiation therapy etc until we (possibly) find a medicinal way to beat cancer.  This is Darwin's theory by the measure of intelligence.

The same goes for Aids, aging, dementia and everything else. It depends on perspective and interpretation of the theory.

Just my thoughts.


  1. Evolution is all about breeding success. What happens to you after you have raised offspring is of little consequence. So Cancer and dementia is not really in the picture. Caesarian definitely is relevant. It is the factors that will stop you reaching a breeding age and giving birth to babies which themselves will reach adulthood that is the main thing to consider. Intelligence, looks, fitness, etc. What about IVF leading to many women being born which cannot get pregnant naturally and they in turn needing IVF. etc.
    I think that we are seriously weakening the gene pool to the extent that half the civilised world would die within a few generations if we did not have electricity and modern science/medicine.

    1. I agree entirely. But given that the entirety of society is now dependant of cows, sheep and crops which use excesses of antibiotics, weed killer and other artificial intervention developed by humans, the only conclusion can be that we've meddled so much already that we can't stop without society grinding to a halt.

      It's a shame about consumerism though, we buy so many things we don't need which end up on the scrap heap in 2 years that we're accelerating our decent in to poverty. 80 years ago a rake would last you a lifetime, now we end up with 3-4 of them, and at least 2-3 of them will be broken to the extent that current skills will not fix them without it being more expensive to buy new ones. Oh well.