While reading along with the packet I realized recurring themes like creativity, culture, and innovation in technology and art. Along the lines with imagination for the future and construction and architecture. I chose the question of how modern technology made an impact on human evolution. I realized the common themes in document two, which talks about extrasensory perception and Scents and Sensibility: A Molecular Logic of Olfactory Perception. There’s not a single aspect of the human experience that hasn’t been touched by technology.
“Everything from industry, to medicine, to how we work has been fundamentally reshaped by the technologies which emerged in the second half of the 20th century.
All organisms have evolved a mechanism to recognize sensory information in the environment and transmit this information to the brain where it then can be processed to create an internal representation of the external world”. Technology made an essential contribution to the evolution of human intelligence. The reason is that tool use, and more so tool invention and tool manufacturing, require certain intelligence that is not required without technology.
For example; The evolution of larger brains from Homo erectus via H. heidelbergensis to modern humans was driven by the first use of fire. You need to be smart enough to keep a fire burning. This means that only those hominid groups that were bright enough could manage the use of fire. Fire meant cooking, which meant more efficient extraction of energy from food, which meant better nutrition for women, which meant shorter birth intervals and more babies.
Today the individual-level correlation between brain size and IQ is about 0.4.It took millions of years and countless genetic mutations for the earliest homo sapiens to eventually morph into what we look like today, and we owe a lot of the most significant changes—including why we developed a bigger brain—to early pre-humans development of tools and ‘technology.” Our immune system would be a lot weaker than technology in the medical field has had quite the advantages, without technology our medicine, treatment, and pills wouldn’t be as strong or have the impact they have on us nowadays. Our immune systems could not handle pathogens and diseases like it does today. Our memory capacity would be diminished, as there’s less of a burden for us to store or retain as much information as we once did. There will be a hierarchy of genetically modified people as Our achievements in medicine and technology have made it possible for humans to survive all manner of genetic mutations that natural selection would have otherwise killed off. Instead, we’ve entered a period that scientists refer to as ‘unnatural selection,’ in which we’re at the helm, modifying what we see fit.
As advances in genetic engineering continue, it will be possible for parents to select for nearly every element of their unborn child, from bone structure to musculature, which could eventually lead to a Gattaca-Esque divide between those with the resources to afford such visually striking and physically capable offspring, and those who are resistant to cancer. Technology — from antibiotics to improved nutrition — has greatly increased our average lifespan. This has made us more susceptible to cancer, a disease that more commonly strikes in old age. Cancer is highly resistant to medical intervention since harmful cancerous cells are nearly identical to non-cancerous cells (as opposed to, say, a bacterium that differs in many important ways from human cells). There are myriad mutations that would reduce our susceptibility to cancer — more active and redundant mutation detection and correction genes like BRCA1 and BRCA2, for example.
A person who has these mutations is less likely to develop cancer, leading to positive selective pressure on the trait. While cancer usually strikes after fertilization, with fertility treatments this is increasingly less the case. Also, even if you die after child-bearing age you can negatively impact your progeny who are still bearing children, leading to selective pressure on the gene copies you passed down.” The newer technologies are enabling embryonic assessments in early stages, hence alleviating the need for morphological assessments where a high degree of human skills was required.” There are thousands of ways we’ve expanded and evolved because of technology and there’s going to be plenty more. One of the most alarming ones is the invention of cleanliness, which means newborn babies are kept inside and away from the impurities of nature, causing their immune systems to not evolve as they grow up.
When they are old enough to go outside and play in the dirt they’ll catch a disease and perish. Here is the result of the lack of evolution due to technology, where technology is the many inventions that maintain our hygiene standards. Considering that new technology is changing our environment so rapidly, it can be hard to tell whether changes in our mental phenotypes are due to changes in gene frequency or consequences of changes in our environment. There have been many skills inquired that are used early in life rather than genetic changes. Through inventions, culture, and education we have evolved as well. Cooking food has led to minute jaws and teeth, and has enhanced our ability to grow large brains. It has also led to increased resistance to cancers caused by the compounds created in burnt meat. As we also have developed a taste for partly burnt meat.
Cooking is like moving part of the digestive system outside the body. It makes foods easier to digest, so we can get more energy and proteins and such out of the food we eat. Some vegetables are actually bad for us until cooked, and any roasted vegetable becomes much easier to chew and digest.It has had tremendous effects on our genes. Those first psychotic primates who didn’t run in terror from fire, but instead were fascinated by it and played with it, were the ones who survived and adapted. The ones who experimentally tossed vegetables and meat into a fire to see what would happen were the ones who survived and adapted. All those changes in behavior and development came about by genetic changes.