Thursday, May 05, 2005

Degeneration Part II

I have considered the possibility that nobody bit into the supposition presented in my last post regarding one justification that mankind is in decline. I did receive one a well thought out response via email that presented an alternative possibility for the decline in intelligence evidenced by the study I referenced.

I accept that there are alternatives to this one phenomenon. However, when taken within the broader scope of the general decline I hope to demonstrate, maybe you will be left with the same question I have. That is, might there be a common thread.

Mankind has always suffered under the blight of plagues. Germs have indeed been a scourge of mankind. We have defeated many of these scourges with technology and science (again the result of ccumulated knowledge).

I contend that mankind has declined physically as well in metal abilities. What you say, life expectancy is at al all time high. Medical technology resulting certainly makes a dent in early deaths. It is easy to dismiss any thoughts that we have declined in such a way. Sure folks die now of old age related ailments simply because we live long enough to die of old age.

Our lifestyle is different now as well, less hardy despite our gyms and spas. So you may say if I mean we have declined physically as a result of living a less robust life you would probably agree with that much. That is not my meaning though.

I cannot prove it and I do not intend to attempt to. I am simply throwing this out as a possibility. I believe it is possible that we, humans and all life on earth for that matter, degenerate genetically a little each generation.

A simple discussion of genetics might in some small way validate that my proposal is at least possible. There is only so much genetic stuff available in all species. Sure slight mutations occur over time, but to assume that such mutations are for the good seems naive. I know evolutionist will disagree with that statement. I accept adaptation to a degree but to accept random mutations as a good thing in the gene pool seems foolish.

So there we are at the beginning of a perfect system. Each breeding member of the species has some number of pairs of genes and when mating occurs good and bad pairs are passed along. Bad traits, of recessive, only appear when both parents have the trait. We all know this, simple biology.

In the beginning of a perfect system there would be no bad pairs, no errors. With each generation and in each union there is the possibility that copy errors may occur. Each copy error become a bad pair and represents a negative trait. Over time, generations, more and more copy errors occur. In time the species is much less perfect than the original specimens.

Of course science fiction plays on this theme often; the advanced dying race of aliens searching the galaxy for new genetic material to heal their species. Some folks in the UFO believer community theorize that alien visitors are some form of mankind generations advanced suffering from some genetic ailment. The theory goes that they are interested in us for our less tainted genetic material. (Not that I buy into that but that is a theory that is out there among some.)

Evolutionist would say that my description of things is not what occurs at all. They would contend that natural selection eventually helps a species breed out bad traits or the species dies.

What of cancer, Alzheimers, asthma, and HIV (a disease heavily interactive with our genetic stuff)? Are these all simply a product of our environment and lifestyle? Could it be that we are so susceptible to these things because we are genetically weaker?

One could make the argument that these things exist for a myriad of reasons. I will not debate those justifications. I will simply say that it is possible that these are a result of a genetic decline.

My argument on this particular point is weak, I concede as much. I ask only that you consider that my point is possible and stick with me through the rest of this presentation.

I indeed do have a point to make, a point made simply and eloquently by many others but one that has recently struck me as the absolute and only possible truth.

Recedite, plebes! Gero rem imperialem
El Cid

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