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Joined: 05 Jun 2004
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Captiv8 wrote:
I get what you're saying, and I appreciate the examples to help make the distinction. However, are we assuming that the genetic disposition is inherent, always present and just waiting for the time when it can be used? Or is this something that develops within the individual over the course of hundreds of generations? Without knowing it, I was referring to the latter...

I think the misunderstanding might be that you're thinking along Lamarckian evolutionary lines, who was a forethinker of Darwin's and whose main these has since debunked. His ideas was that the behaviors of ancestors will be carried down to their progeny. For example, giraffes started with short necks. To survive, it was beneficial to be able to reach leaves higher up on a tree. So a generation of giraffes would spend a lot of time straining their necks to reach higher leaves, and maybe through the course of their lives flex their necks half an inch further than it naturally would have been. Their children then have slightly longer necks, and they in turn strain themselves further upwards, etc, and over generations giraffes have long ass necks.

You seem to be suggesting that if healthy people continue certain behavioral patterns of eating good food, exercising, etc, over generations we would have healthier people. The problem is that our actions / behaviors do not write back down to our genes. So even if for 100 generations we were all fitness freaks, that would not increase the likelihood that generation 101 had a better chance of being fitness freaks (except for cultural reasons).

Darwin's idea was that the genetic advantage spawns completely randomly from a freak mutation in genes. A gene mutation might be as likely to be a disadvantage as an advantage. You're right that a gene mutation might not be an advantage or disadvantage for generations, and then suddenly due to an envioronmental change it becomes beneficial.
Post Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:10 pm
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Joined: 25 Aug 2006
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I see. Do we know with absolutely certainty that genetic mutations don't occur over X amount of generations? How would that kind of knowledge be possible unless we had data on every single generation? Or perhaps the process takes much longer. I don't really know, and I'll admit that science has never been my strong suit. It's why I stick to the humanities. But it is interesting, nonetheless.
Post Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:32 pm
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