[Textbooks] Evolving Ourselves: How Unnatural Selection and Nonrandom Mutation Are Changing Life on EarthAuthor Juan Enriquez – Multi-channel.co

Evolving Ourselves I have to say I really liked this book It s smart and visionary and irreverent and just plain fun A great summer read BTW It s featured on the edge.org summer reading 2015 list If you re not familiar with edge.org, do yourself a favor and go check it out.It s like new wave for old smart people Evolving Ourselves is authors Juan Enriquez of TED talk fame and Steve Gullans also a TED talk guy book length argument that the Neo Darwinian model of evolution via natural selection no longer applies to humans Not by a long shot In Evolving Ourselves they argue that the Neo Darwinian model needs a special modification if it s going to include us They assert that humans are only marginally effected by a natural selection and b random mutation due to our practices of c unnatural selection and d nonrandom mutation UNNATURAL SELECTIONLet me see if I can start from the beginning Although it s at times hard to believe People are like the animal kingdoms world champions of cooperation.Birds fly, whales are huge, giraffes have longnecks and people cooperate People think that what makes us bad ass is that were smart Nope We re smart so that we can cooperate We re actually only smart because we cooperate The only reason people can become super specialized in their field of knowledge and create cool technology and shit is because we can get together and work on stuff.Allow me to explain.Reciprocal Altruism Imagine two cave man dudes, 1 Grog and 2 Unk Both guys make less than spectacular axes Grog makes great axe heads 4 out of 5 stars but crappy axe handles 2 out of 5 stars 6 out of 10 stars total Unk makes great axe handles 4 out of 5 stars but crappy axe heads 2 out of 5 stars 6 out of 10 stars total It takes both Grog and Unk 2 hours to make 1 mediocre 6 out of 10 stars axe.For both Grog and Unk 2 hours 1 mediocre 6 out of 10 stars axe What happens if Grog spends 2 hours making 2 great 4 out of 5 star axe heads Unk spends 2 hours making 2 great 4 out of 5 star axe handles Grog and Unk spend.5 hours trading 1 great 4 out of 5 star axe head, for 1 great 4 out of 5 star axe handle Grog and Unk spend another.5 hours assembling their great 8 out of 10 star axesNow, for both Grog and Unk 3 hours 1 great 8 out of 10 star axe With a little extra effort and cooperation, they each get 1 great axe.That is a great deal right there, but it gets better.What happens if Grog and Unk become expert specialist in their respective fields both Grog and Unk focus and innovate, and now both of them can produce awesome 5 out of 5 star products, in less time.5 hours Now.5 hours 1 awesome 5 out of 5 star axe head handle further , they streamline their trading and assembly processes to.25 hours to trade and.25 hours to assembleNow.5 hours total market and assembly time.The whole process took.5 hours production of awesome 5 out of 5 star axe head handle,.5 hours market and assembly time, to make 1 awesome 10 out of 10 star axe each.Or, to put it simply For both Grog and Unk 1 hour start to finish 1 awesome 10 out of 10 star axe each.We started with 2 hours 1 mediocre 6 out of 10 stars axe eachWith a little cooperation and organization, we ended up with 1 hour 1 awesome 10 out of 10 star axe each This is a huge Win Win for both Grog and Unk.This is known as a nonzero sum transaction.Nonzero means that both participants get out of the cooperative transaction than if they had each gone it alone Nonzero transactions a.k.a Reciprocal Altruism is what allowed humans to dominate the planet for better or for worse.Other species demonstrate Reciprocal Altruism, but none to the extent that people do As previously mentioned, humans are the planets grand champions of cooperation.It took a team of millions of people to create the iPhone I m writing this review on, and the Internet infrastructure I m delivering this review over, and the web sight I m delivering it to.And that just this one little blip of human production.How exactly do we out cooperate every other species There are lots of theories about why humans are so dang good at creating and maintaining systems of Nonzero transactions But the single most salient factor that simply jumps off the page is language.Language e.g English and Mathematics engenders constructs such as ideologies, religions, rules, codes of conduct, laws etc These constructs and others like them are the foundation of culture and technology According to Enriquez and Gullans Once people stepped into the realm of culture and technology, we stepped out of the iron grip of natural selection on to the turbocharged escalator to obesity Unnatural selection ladies and gents.Of course the next chapter of Grog and Unk s story involves creating surplus, hiring others to do the labor, domesticating plants and animals, and you know the rest of the story It ends on your sofa Domestication Dmitri Konstantinovich Belyaev was a Russian geneticist who conducted a remarkable experiment to see if it was possible to turn wild Siberian foxes into cute, cuddly domesticated pets The experiment has been described by the New York Times as arguably the most extraordinary breeding experiment ever conducted Just to qualify It was done in the 1950 s, so it s the most remarkable breeding experiment ever conducted before the invention of the internet The Internet is actually one big breeding experiment, and it s actually remarkable than this one But this one is still really good It goes like this.Beginning in the 1950s, in order to uncover the genetic basis of the distinctive behavioral and physiological attributes of domesticated animals, Belyaev and his team spent decades selectively breeding the wild silver fox for friendliness.The way they did it was they only bread those individuals in each generation that showed the least fear of humans.After several generations of controlled breeding, the silver foxes no longer showed any fear of humans and often wagged their tails and licked their human caretakers to show affection But it gets better Not only did their behavior change Their outward appearance changed too They started displaying the typical features lap dogs.They began to display spotted coats, floppy ears, curled tails, larger heads, as well as other physical attributes commonly found in domesticated animals, thus confirming Belyaev s hypothesis that both the behavioral and physical traits of domesticated animals could be traced to a collection of genes that conferred a propensity to tameness.Neoteny Refers to the retention, by adults in a species, of traits previously seen only in juveniles.In neoteny, the physiological or somatic development of an animal or organism is slowed or delayed.Ultimately this process results in the retention, in the adults of a species, of juvenile physical characteristics well into maturity.One way of thinking about domestication, is that the features of juveniles of the species are conserved into adulthood In other words, our cute little lap dogs are like wolves who have been selectively bread to be perma puppies Some evolutionary developmental evodevo theorists posit that humans are essentially neotenos chimpanzees In a sense, we are domesticated chimps.But it gets even better than that.According to the authors, we are becoming even neotenos as we become even domesticated.Think about it.What happens to our cultures most aggressive men The ones who don t become CEO s or cage fighters pretty much end up in prison.The men who are valued as workers and fathers in our culture are increasingly the tame as fuck gortex vagina Seattle dads They even look and frequently act like big babies Not that there s anything wrong with that.So anyway Enriquez and Gullans claim were domesticating ourselves Whereas Darwin pretty much shook western civilization down to its foundation and essentially revolutionized the way we se ourselves and the world we live in by asserting that we humans are have descended from apes.Enriquez and Gullans make the rather plainly incontrovertible claim that were all becoming a bunch of giant toddlers I can t exactly see another Inherit The Wind type trial emerging from what ever debate happens over this earth shatteringly obvious position NONRANDOM MUTATIONHologenome Enriquez and Gullans Posit that humans have least four parallel evolving genomes 1 Core DNA2 Epigenome3 Microbiome4 ViromeMore on all of these in mere moments.But suffice it to say, every human, plant and animal possesses these four genomes, which considered as a whole, are referred to as the hologenome The sub genomes 1 4 interact with one another, evolve at very different rates, and define your basic biology and attributes throughout life Eventually they come together and encode the heritable traits and behaviors that you pass on to your descendants and future generations.1 Core DNAAccording to The authorsHumankind s core DNA genome has been essentially stable for tens of thousands of years And that s a good thing right Each generation historically experiences tiny, random mutations 50 to 100 of the 6.4 billion letters that make up your DNA are different, at birth, from those of your parents.Apparently it takes a really long time for DNA to mutate It s hella stable Again, that s a really good thing.This is particularly true post Grog and Unk, as societies made it illegal for you and anyone else for that matter, we re not just picking on you to impregnate your mom and sister Another good nay great thing This lead a lot of biologists to assume people stopped evolving.But there is a whole lot of adaptation going on, just below the core genome.2 EpigenomeEpigenetics refers to the domain of cellular and physiological trait variations that are caused by external or environmental factors that switch genes on and off.This means that some of our genetic expression is influenced by mom and dads environment, and our environment.An epigenome consists of a record of the chemical changes to the DNA and histone proteins of an organism these changes can be passed down to an organism s offspring.So not all phenotypic changes are caused by changes in the DNA sequence.Unlike the underlying genome which is largely static within an individual, the epigenome can be dynamically altered by environmental conditions.Human diversity and evolution is highly concentrated in our epigenetic switches how genes are turned on or off, expressed with greater potency or silenced.The authors assert that human culture and technology are driving the fuck out of evolution on the epigenetic level So what happens to humans after 10 generations of sofa surfing and concurrent surfing of the world s most remarkable breeding experiment I guess we re finding out.3 MicrobiomeRefers to the squadrillians a large number of bacteria that live in and on us, without whom we would simply die Within the microbiome, evolution occurs quickly some bacteria can go through 2,600 generations in just over a month.So what happens when people seriously alter i.e totally fuckin upend the microbiome As humans declare broad warfare on microbes, as they radically alter ecosystems, adding toxins, antiseptic soaps, mouthwashes, pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, global travel, urban lifestyles, changing diets, and leave rural existence behind, they guide influence rapid microbial evolution.Toss antibiotics into the mix and this is yet another way humans are driving the fuck out of our own evolution So while you inherited your intial microbiome from Mom, they aren t your great grandma s microbes any.That s right The re engineering of the microbiome may be one of the major reasons for the obesity epidemic Apparently livestock are given antibiotics so they will gain weight I guess reducing your guts microbiodiversity equates to increasing the size of your ass Anyway, it s such a common practice that the antibiotics are leaching into everything, including farm fresh produce via manure fertilizers Dude You mean those big salad s and green juices are making us fat too Oh fuck, were fucked 4 ViromeFinally, our fourth genome, the virome the viruses we depend on for dear life , mutates and evolves at a blazingly rapid rate We have only begun to catalog the actual specific actors with the virome, so it is still early days with regard to understanding exactly how it affects us, from day to day or from generation to generation One thing is certain With our domesticated lifestyles, global imprint, and unnatural activities, the typical virome today must be very different from the one Darwin indirectly observed And we are now also beginning to tame and deploy viruses, learning to rapidly edit them for our own purposes.So why are viruses so important to our genetic expression Sometimes viral DNA simply embeds itself in your own human DNA, where it can lie dormant or sometimes come back to life when you least want it, as occurs with recurring cold sores, shingles from a long past chicken pox, and even some cancers particularly when our immune systems become weak On some occasions, viral code can end up in the DNA in your sperm and eggs, which then gets passed on to future generations.Okay, I m beginning to get it When we create antiviral shit, we radically nuke the virome This could lead to a crazy new viromic landscape God knows what could emerge from the wasteland I guess that s yet another way we are pushing the envelope with unnatural selection.Let s just hope the envelope comes back with a paycheck in it instead of a maxed out credit card bill.Great book.4 stars The Complicated Made SimplerAn extremely educational book by two authors who have so much to say covering a broad spectrum of complicated issues and opt to summarize them in the simplest language possible I am grateful for this book as I was grateful for As the Future Catches You. I am still in between speechless and a stunning achievement Is humanity now driving the evolutionary bus Are we bypassing the slow, scenic route and speeding it down the expressway Do we know where we re going Have I just overextended a metaphor Seldom do I find a nonfiction book that I can t put down This is one It is a fascinating account of the complex interplay of things beyond genes that affect how species evolve I highly recommend it.Not that I don t have a gripe It s probably petty, but unnatural selection Really Unnatural It s not that the term is inaccurateexactly What the authors are emphasizing is that human actions rather than the unguided hand of natural selection is now directing how evolution proceeds Got that, but the word unnatural has negative connotations, and the thrust of the book is that humanity guiding its own continued evolution isn t necessarily a bad thing In fact, it may be essential to our survival Also, the word implies that what humans do, and perhaps even humans themselves, aren t natural But it is and we are We evolved through natural selection just like everything else, and human constructions are no less natural than termite mounds or beaver dams All creatures affect their environment We re just a bit blatant about it The term Darwin used for selective breeding was artificial selection , but I m not crazy about that term either for pretty much the same reasons How about something like intentional selection or even just human selection Either of those, I think, would be a better choice.Oh, and I caught one typo It s on page 226 The Cretaceous Tertiary extinction was not about 6 million years ago It was about 65 million years ago Somehow, the 5 got dropped in the edition I read ISBN 978 1 61723 020 2.Despite all that, this is still one of the best books I ve read recently It s informative, thought provoking, and even hopeful with all due cautionary qualifications, of course If you re interested in evolution or the future of humanity, this is a must read. Really enjoyed this book and the many jumping off points it provided for future research. timo livro e leitura extremamente recomend vel O autor passa por diversos temas de forma r pida, sucinta, bem fundamentada e did tica De explica es b sicas sobre conceitos biol gicos a discuss es filos ficas muito pertinentes, ele comenta sobre evolu o humana contempor nea e sua rela o com tecnologia, questiona paradigmas que boa parte da sociedade sequer pensa sobre, e levanta hip teses sobre o que podemos esperar e como proceder no futuro. If I had to pick one person to have a conversation with at a party, it would be Juan Enriquez This book talks about all the things I ponder all day, everyday It s a must read. Amazing Ebook, Evolving Ourselves How Unnatural Selection And Nonrandom Mutation Are Changing Life On Earth By Juan Enriquez This Is Very Good And Becomes The Main Topic To Read, The Readers Are Very Takjup And Always Take Inspiration From The Contents Of The Book Evolving Ourselves How Unnatural Selection And Nonrandom Mutation Are Changing Life On Earth, Essay By Juan Enriquez Is Now On Our Website And You Can Download It By Register What Are You Waiting For Please Read And Make A Refission For You 5.5h 2x Contents view spoiler Enriquez J Gullans S 2015 10 50 Evolving Ourselves How Unnatural Selection and Nonrandom Mutation are Changing Life on EarthWhat Would Darwin Write Today 1 Symptoms of Real Time Evolution Is Autism a Harbinger of Our Changing Brains The DarWa Theory Revisited and a Glimpse at a New Theory Twenty Generations to Domesticate Humans Violence and the Lack Thereof Allergies Another Harbinger of Our Evolving Bodies Our Unnatural All Natural World Fat Humans, Fat Animals Another Symptom Brave New Sex2 How Does Evolution Really Work The Nature Versus Nurture Wars Missing Heredity, Mysterious Toxins Transgenerational Inheritance aka Voodoo Biology WWIV Nuking Our Microbes The Yucky Stuff Inside You Autism Revisited Three Potential Drivers Viruses The Roadrunners of Evolution A Perfectly Modern Pregnancy Bringing It All Together DESTINY Is Propelling Evolution3 A World of Nonrandom Mutation Playing with the Building Blocks of Life Humans Hijacking Viruses Editing Life on a Grand Scale Unnatural Acts, Designer Babies, and Sex 2.0 Boyden Brains4 Evolving Ourselves Better Living Through Chemistry Forever Young, Beautiful, and Fearless Unnatural Attraction Sports Quandaries and Beyond Designer Organs and Cloned Humans Evolving Brains Revisited The Robot Computer Human Interface Perhaps an Ethical Question or Two Technically Life, Technically Death Trust Whom 5 The Future of Life I Don t Remember You De Extinction Humanity s Really Short Story Evolving Hominins Synthetic Life Humans and Hubris Does Nature Win in the End Leaving Earth EPILOGUE New Evolutionary TreesAcknowledgmentsAppendix Darwin True or False Did He Get It Right GlossaryNotesIndex hide spoiler This is a fascinating book about the speed up of evolution in a largely human controlled for now world I disagree with the point of view of the authors that modern technology, including genetic engineering, is mainly a good thing, and that science is leading us in largely positive directions I may own and use all the modern conveniences, but I m a neo Luddite at heart, and very concerned about human caused climate change, the extinction of other species, etc In fact, I think science and technology is going to lead to the extinction or near extinction of our own species The authors of Evolving Ourselves acknowledge that it s only by luck that our species survived and other hominids did not, and don t believe that our survival means we re some kind of crown of creation At the same time, however, they seem to believe it s okay for humankind to continue to manipulate our planet and, ultimately, the universe solely for our own benefit In fact, they recommend space exploration and colonization only better this time so that our species will have a chance to survive a catastrophic event for planet Earth like an asteroid they skirt the issue of climate change.