john     Wed, Jan 2, 2008  Permanent link
see, i struggle with that idea.

the currently accepted theory of evolution states that if a species can survive and then procreate, its traits will be passed on.

so how is it that traits like text-adapted thumbs of car seat shaped bodies will grow to be more prominent? they clearly have nothing to do with our ability to survive or breed.

the characteristics you mentioned are mere conveniences, people who can text more comfortably are not going to be more likely to breed, than those who can't, right? and i doubt there will be a higher fatality rate for people who find their car seat slightly uncomfortable.

until a theory of evolution that can explain how a species can adapt to the minor nuances of their surroundings is founded, humanity will continue to grow more diverse, and will not progress in any particular direction.
Wildcat     Thu, Jan 3, 2008  Permanent link
Considering humanity as a whole, there is nothing about natural selection that suggests our optimal design. We are probably not even optimized for the Paleolithic, much less for life in the 21st century. And yet, we are now acquiring the tools that will enable us to attempt our own optimization. Many people think this project is fraught with risk. But is it riskier than doing nothing? There may be current threats to civilization that we cannot even perceive, much less resolve, at our current level of intelligence. Could any rational strategy be more dangerous than following the whims of Nature? This is not to say that our growing capacity to meddle with the human genome couldn't present some moments of Faustian over-reach. But our fears on this front must be tempered by a sober understanding of how we got here. Mother Nature is not now, nor has she ever been, looking out for us

the rest of this fascinating article by Sam Harris is here