Is the human genome degrading over time and actually devolving?

Link

Interesting, but worrying.

First answer on Quora:

"Yes, the human genome is degrading. This is a well-established, noncontroversial finding. This phenomenon is called “increasing mutational load,” and is based on concepts developed by one of the great geneticists, H. Muller, roughly 70 years ago.[1]


The theory

Harmful mutations come into being all the time. The average newborn has 50–100 new mutations. Though most are harmless, about 0.9 to 4.5 of those are harmful.[2] Normally, natural selection causes people having those mutations to die out or not have children, so eventually, those mutations get eliminated.

But our lives aren’t natural anymore. At the beginning of the 20th century, people having genes predisposing them to diabetes would have died young. That’s the normal process of natural selection. Now, those people get life-saving insulin, so they live normal lives and have as many children as anyone else. (Type 1 diabetes, the kind that can appear before you start having children, is highly heritable.[3]) The children of diabetics inherit the genes that make one susceptible to diabetes, so those genes aren’t being eliminated.

The same thing is happening for many diseases that have a genetic component. People that would have died in the past now live nearly-normal lives, and pass on their genes to the next generation.

The evidence

A recent study compared the genomes of people that lived in previous centuries to those of modern people and found that:

…risk alleles have steadily increased in frequency over that period of time. Those that increased most are associated with diseases such as asthma, Crohn disease, diabetes and obesity, which are highly prevalent in present-day populations.[4]

It’s scary

Another investigator calculated that without natural selection, fitness will decline 1 to 3% per generation, and then went on to write the most frightening paragraph I have ever seen in a biological publication:

Thus, the preceding observations paint a rather stark picture. At least in highly industrialized societies, the impact of deleterious mutations is accumulating on a time scale that is approximately the same as that for scenarios associated with global warming... Without a reduction in the germline transmission of deleterious mutations, the mean phenotypes of the residents of industrialized nations are likely to be rather different in just two or three centuries, with significant incapacitation at the morphological, physiological, and neurobiological levels.[5]

If you don’t normally read biological publications, this paragraph may seem tame to you, but this is as alarmist as biologists ever get.

Not so scary

If medicine and biology keep advancing, they will always stay ahead of the increasing mutational load. Someday, there will be good treatments for asthma, Crohn’s disease, diabetes, obesity, and other genetic diseases, so it won’t matter if the genes causing them become common.

But if civilization ever crashes, people with multiple genetic defects might not survive."
 

VixR

Veritas
Neat post.

Type I Diabetes is serious, but what we should really be worrying about when it comes to diabetes is type II, which is preventable, but ppl are being diagnosed with left and right due to bad eating habits and lack of exercise leading to metabolic syndrome. It’s crazy, it’s EVERYWHERE.

And then there’s the really serious stuff I see technology managing the symptoms of nowadays. Like for instance, I know a lady with pulmonary fibrosis due to rheumatoid arthritis in the lung (it hardens the lungs so they have trouble expanding, which cause them to pant, experience chest pains and heart palpitations, and quickly drop in O2). This lady is on 6Lof oxygen (the highest setting with a regular cannula that looks like this):

But that’s when she’s sitting (which she does all day, except when she goes to the toilet). When she does need to go to the bathroom which is less than 20 steps away, her oxygen drops as low as the 50’s just from standing at first, and the walking exacerbates it. She needs this on 10L in a rolling tank to keep her from dying basically:



Sometimes I think, so this lady is in her 50’s, at least she gets to see her grandchildren. But I have to admit, there’s a lot of people with diseases like this where we’re literally keeping them on the brink, and you sometimes can’t help but think it’s kind of ridiculous that they’re alive and passing it on. But then what do wewant, to not take care of them when we have the tech? It would be inhumane. Of course, there’s the idea floating around with CRISPR that we might be able to change our genetic flaws altogether.
 
Neat post.

Type I Diabetes is serious, but what we should really be worrying about when it comes to diabetes is type II, which is preventable, but ppl are being diagnosed with left and right due to bad eating habits and lack of exercise leading to metabolic syndrome. It’s crazy, it’s EVERYWHERE.

And then there’s the really serious stuff I see technology managing the symptoms of nowadays. Like for instance, I know a lady with pulmonary fibrosis due to rheumatoid arthritis in the lung (it hardens the lungs so they have trouble expanding, which cause them to pant, experience chest pains and heart palpitations, and quickly drop in O2). This lady is on 6Lof oxygen (the highest setting with a regular cannula that looks like this):

But that’s when she’s sitting (which she does all day, except when she goes to the toilet). When she does need to go to the bathroom which is less than 20 steps away, her oxygen drops as low as the 50’s just from standing at first, and the walking exacerbates it. She needs this on 10L in a rolling tank to keep her from dying basically:



Sometimes I think, so this lady is in her 50’s, at least she gets to see her grandchildren. But I have to admit, there’s a lot of people with diseases like this where we’re literally keeping them on the brink, and you sometimes can’t help but think it’s kind of ridiculous that they’re alive and passing it on. But then what do wewant, to not take care of them when we have the tech? It would be inhumane. Of course, there’s the idea floating around with CRISPR that we might be able to change our genetic flaws altogether.
Reality is sad for some people. Sometimes we forget human frailty when we compare ourselves to the middle ages and pride ourselves on the progress made, but we are still exposed to many diseases. :holeup:

CRISPR sounds like the way to go. The Chinese or Russians should do some morally questionable experiments for the greater good. (That was a joke, but we all know they do it)
 

Ras

It's all so tiresome
VIP
That's just entropy doing its thing.

Answers the question why we don't find any other life in the trillion other planets out there.
 
Neat post.

Type I Diabetes is serious, but what we should really be worrying about when it comes to diabetes is type II, which is preventable, but ppl are being diagnosed with left and right due to bad eating habits and lack of exercise leading to metabolic syndrome. It’s crazy, it’s EVERYWHERE.

And then there’s the really serious stuff I see technology managing the symptoms of nowadays. Like for instance, I know a lady with pulmonary fibrosis due to rheumatoid arthritis in the lung (it hardens the lungs so they have trouble expanding, which cause them to pant, experience chest pains and heart palpitations, and quickly drop in O2). This lady is on 6Lof oxygen (the highest setting with a regular cannula that looks like this):

But that’s when she’s sitting (which she does all day, except when she goes to the toilet). When she does need to go to the bathroom which is less than 20 steps away, her oxygen drops as low as the 50’s just from standing at first, and the walking exacerbates it. She needs this on 10L in a rolling tank to keep her from dying basically:



Sometimes I think, so this lady is in her 50’s, at least she gets to see her grandchildren. But I have to admit, there’s a lot of people with diseases like this where we’re literally keeping them on the brink, and you sometimes can’t help but think it’s kind of ridiculous that they’re alive and passing it on. But then what do wewant, to not take care of them when we have the tech? It would be inhumane. Of course, there’s the idea floating around with CRISPR that we might be able to change our genetic flaws altogether.
Unrelated but Acudbilaah :9uoofqd: what's with your profile picture ma shaydaan ba tahay you should have never turned around:faysalwtf: if that's you then that's scary AF
 

Basra

LOVE wins over HATE
Let Them Eat Cake
VIP
Link

Interesting, but worrying.

First answer on Quora:

"Yes, the human genome is degrading. This is a well-established, noncontroversial finding. This phenomenon is called “increasing mutational load,” and is based on concepts developed by one of the great geneticists, H. Muller, roughly 70 years ago.[1]


The theory

Harmful mutations come into being all the time. The average newborn has 50–100 new mutations. Though most are harmless, about 0.9 to 4.5 of those are harmful.[2] Normally, natural selection causes people having those mutations to die out or not have children, so eventually, those mutations get eliminated.

But our lives aren’t natural anymore. At the beginning of the 20th century, people having genes predisposing them to diabetes would have died young. That’s the normal process of natural selection. Now, those people get life-saving insulin, so they live normal lives and have as many children as anyone else. (Type 1 diabetes, the kind that can appear before you start having children, is highly heritable.[3]) The children of diabetics inherit the genes that make one susceptible to diabetes, so those genes aren’t being eliminated.

The same thing is happening for many diseases that have a genetic component. People that would have died in the past now live nearly-normal lives, and pass on their genes to the next generation.

The evidence

A recent study compared the genomes of people that lived in previous centuries to those of modern people and found that:

…risk alleles have steadily increased in frequency over that period of time. Those that increased most are associated with diseases such as asthma, Crohn disease, diabetes and obesity, which are highly prevalent in present-day populations.[4]

It’s scary

Another investigator calculated that without natural selection, fitness will decline 1 to 3% per generation, and then went on to write the most frightening paragraph I have ever seen in a biological publication:

Thus, the preceding observations paint a rather stark picture. At least in highly industrialized societies, the impact of deleterious mutations is accumulating on a time scale that is approximately the same as that for scenarios associated with global warming... Without a reduction in the germline transmission of deleterious mutations, the mean phenotypes of the residents of industrialized nations are likely to be rather different in just two or three centuries, with significant incapacitation at the morphological, physiological, and neurobiological levels.[5]

If you don’t normally read biological publications, this paragraph may seem tame to you, but this is as alarmist as biologists ever get.

Not so scary

If medicine and biology keep advancing, they will always stay ahead of the increasing mutational load. Someday, there will be good treatments for asthma, Crohn’s disease, diabetes, obesity, and other genetic diseases, so it won’t matter if the genes causing them become common.

But if civilization ever crashes, people with multiple genetic defects might not survive."

Its the order of the world. Prophet Adam, was the first human. He was extremely tall and large. All the ancient prophets had human civilization of large humans. As time goes the humans shrink and mutate and dissolves. Baldness was not common in original humans. Today baldness is the new normal. That's just a small example
 
Its the order of the world. Prophet Adam, was the first human. He was extremely tall and large. All the ancient prophets had human civilization of large humans. As time goes the humans shrink and mutate and dissolves. Baldness was not common in original humans. Today baldness is the new normal. That's just a small example
So humanity will soon start to produce Gollum's is what you are saying?
 

Basra

LOVE wins over HATE
Let Them Eat Cake
VIP
So humanity will soon start to produce Gollum's is what you are saying?

Yep, pretty much. lol even testastrone quotient is disappearing. The alpha male specie is becoming extinct. Soon there will be 100 girls for every 10 men. Quran predicted it any way
 
Yep, pretty much. lol even testastrone quotient is disappearing. The alpha male specie is becoming extinct. Soon there will be 100 girls for every 10 men. Quran predicted it any way
If the women are going to outnumber the men 10/1, then is it logical to presume that women will rule the world? That is the only outcome if we don't find a way to make human decisionmaking in the political sphere obsolete.
 

Ras

It's all so tiresome
VIP
Entropy is a tricky concept. Can you elaborate on how it correlates with this?
Biological organisms are complex systems with a lot of order.

It takes a lot of time and energy to get to that state but like a pyramid of cards it doesn't take a lot of energy to take it down.

Entropy works by removing the order in complex systems untill they're at their lowest energy states. (

I.e things break.

Of course it won't affect our genes that much since evolution has made sure that not too many faulty mutations get passed on.

However before that evolutionary expansion pack was published I'm sure we had tons of instances of abiogenesis but it only took one cosmic ray to scramble them back into less complex systems.

However entropy isn't just applicable at the cells/genes/particles scale but also at the macro scale.

It's the reason why human kin groups never gotten past a certain number (50-150) or empires decaying once they expanded too much.

Complex systems require less energy to break them apart than they need to stick around.
 
Last edited:
Biological organisms are complex systems with a lot of order.

It takes a lot of time and energy to get to that state but like a pyramid of cards it doesn't take a lot of energy to take it down.

Entropy works by removing the order in complex systems untill they're at their lowest energy states. (

I.e things break.

Of course it won't affect our genes that much since evolution has made sure that not too many faulty mutations get passed on.

However before that evolutionary expansion pack was published I'm sure we had tons of instances of abiogenesis but it only took one cosmic ray to scramble them back into less complex systems.

However entropy isn't just applicable at the cells/genes/particles scale but also at the macro scale.

It's the reason why human kin groups never gotten past a certain number (50-150) or empires decaying once they expanded too much.

Complex systems require less energy to break them apart than they need to stick around.
Interesting.

The theory that entropy also works similarly in the macroscale, is it fact or just your personal informed opinion?

Because we know that the ordinary visible world behaves according to the laws of classical mechanics, but systems on the scale of atoms behave according to the laws of quantum mechanics. The quantum world is a very strange place, unlike the classical one. What I mean is sometimes the laws which are applied in the micro-scale can't be extrapolated on to the macroscale.

But if what you say is true, then it would be very disheartening. Knowing things will never be better due to a phenomenon intrinsic as entropy.
 

Ras

It's all so tiresome
VIP
Interesting.

The theory that entropy also works similarly in the macroscale, is it fact or just your personal informed opinion?

Because we know that the ordinary visible world behaves according to the laws of classical mechanics, but systems on the scale of atoms behave according to the laws of quantum mechanics. The quantum world is a very strange place, unlike the classical one. What I mean is sometimes the laws which are applied in the micro-scale can't be extrapolated on to the macroscale.

But if what you say is true, then it would be very disheartening. Knowing things will never be better due to something intrinsic as entropy.
Macro scale events and objects are the sum of their parts ... in this case microscopic events and particles.

The universe is expanding due to quantum effects that will lead to macroscopic elements losing their forms and turning back into their fundemental quark fields.

This is what people describe as a deterministic view of our universe/reality.

You're probably confusion our lack of understanding between quantum mechanics and gravity with QM & classical mechanics.

The links between quantum mechanics and classical mechanics is quite clear and has been studied for nearly a century now.

Entropy effects each and every part of reality but there's one thing that can partly counter it consciously... that's intelligence.

Humans are able to rejuvenate the sun so it lasts for trillions of years, manipulate our genes so we stay in our current format forever and who knows... maybe in the future we can do more.
 
Macro scale events and objects are the sum of their parts ... in this case microscopic events and particles.

The universe is expanding due to quantum effects that will lead to macroscopic elements losing their forms and turning back into their fundemental quark fields.

This is what people describe as a deterministic view of our universe/reality.

You're probably confusion our lack of understanding between quantum mechanics and gravity with QM & classical mechanics.

The links between quantum mechanics and classical mechanics is quite clear and has been studied for nearly a century now.

Entropy effects each and every part of reality but there's one thing that can partly counter it consciously... that's intelligence.

Humans are able to rejuvenate the sun so it lasts for trillions of years, manipulate our genes so we stay in our current format forever and who knows... maybe in the future we can do more.
Quantum operates at the micro level, and the macro world phenomenon can be more easily explained with the help of classical physics.

The thing about the microscopic world is it is so tiny. An equation that makes sense in the microscopic world doesn't fit in the macroscopic world. I hope you don't believe I claimed that there was no relation between the micro and the macro. What I said was that we use different ways to study both worlds, and one discipline doesn't always overlap, the reason why I questioned your claim that entropy is the reason why civilizations broke down in the past.

I understand the basics of entropy but found it fascinating how you extrapolated that to human behavior without any backing.

"In brief, the main difference between quantum and classical physics is the difference between a ramp and a staircase.

In classical mechanics, events (in general) are continuous, which is to say they move in smooth, orderly and predicable patterns. Projectile motion is a good example of classical mechanics. Or the colors or the rainbow, where frequencies progress continuously from red through violet. Events, in other words, proceed incrementally up a ramp.

In quantum mechanics, events (in particular) are unpredictable, which is to say "jumps" occur that involve seemingly random transitions between states: hence the term "quantum leaps". Moreover a quantum leap is an all or nothing proposition, sort of like jumping from the roof of one building onto another. You either make it or you break it! Events in the quantum world, in other words, jump from one stair to the next and are seemingly discontinuous

Electrons, for example, transition between energy levels in an atom by making quantum leaps from one level to the next. This is seen in the emission spectra, where various colors, indicative of energy level transitions made by electrons, are separated by dark areas. The dark areas represent the area through which electrons make quantum -- and therefore dis-continuous -- leaps between energy levels.

There are many other differences between quantum and classical mechanics involving, for example, explanations of the so-called "ultraviolet catastrophe", but these are too technical to discuss in detail here.

Let me just say the final difference between classical and quantum mechanics is the quantum notion of the "complementary nature of light", which states that light is BOTH a particle, which has mass, and a wave, which has none. This seemingly contradictory concept shows how weird quantum physics can be when compared to classical physics."
 

Ras

It's all so tiresome
VIP
the reason why I questioned your claim that entropy is the reason why civilizations broke down in the past.

I understand entropy but found it fascinating how you extrapolated that to human behavior.
Entropy is a physical phenomena in thermodynamics as well as a separate abstract concept that could be used to describe the degeneration or decay of real life events and objects.

Some scientist might be able to proposs a link between quantum mechanics and human behavior or even macro scale events but I was using the abstract concept version of entropy when linking it to the decay of empires.

The empires of old were complex systems that are held up by scotch tape and inertia.

Overtime, internal pressures would force those empires to expand which in turn increased domestic issues and this led to a repeat until it couldn't be held together anymore.

The more complex a system gets the easier it is to topple it. Entropy is just a description of that.
 
Entropy is a physical phenomena in thermodynamics as well as a separate abstract concept that could be used to describe the degeneration or decay of real life events and objects.

Some scientist might be able to proposs a link between quantum mechanics and human behavior or even macro scale events but I was using the abstract concept version of entropy when linking it to the decay of empires.

The empires of old were complex systems that are held up by scotch tape and inertia.

Overtime, internal pressures would force those empires to expand which in turn increased domestic issues and this led to a repeat until it couldn't be held together anymore.

The more complex a system gets the easier it is to topple it. Entropy is just a description of that.
That was my understanding of it also, and it's great how you drew the parallel of entropy and human interconnection an abstract concept to explain the reason why empires crumble. Though it's a bit misleading if you try to pass it off as a valid theory.
 

Ras

It's all so tiresome
VIP
Quantum operates at the micro level, and the macro world phenomenon can be more easily explained with the help of classical physics.

The thing about the microscopic world is it is so tiny. An equation that makes sense in the microscopic world doesn't fit in the macroscopic world. I hope you don't believe I claimed that there was no relation between the micro and the macro. What I said was that we use different ways to study both worlds, and one discipline doesn't always overlap, the reason why I questioned your claim that entropy is the reason why civilizations broke down in the past.

I understand the basics of entropy but found it fascinating how you extrapolated that to human behavior without any backing.

"In brief, the main difference between quantum and classical physics is the difference between a ramp and a staircase.

In classical mechanics, events (in general) are continuous, which is to say they move in smooth, orderly and predicable patterns. Projectile motion is a good example of classical mechanics. Or the colors or the rainbow, where frequencies progress continuously from red through violet. Events, in other words, proceed incrementally up a ramp.

In quantum mechanics, events (in particular) are unpredictable, which is to say "jumps" occur that involve seemingly random transitions between states: hence the term "quantum leaps". Moreover a quantum leap is an all or nothing proposition, sort of like jumping from the roof of one building onto another. You either make it or you break it! Events in the quantum world, in other words, jump from one stair to the next and are seemingly discontinuous

Electrons, for example, transition between energy levels in an atom by making quantum leaps from one level to the next. This is seen in the emission spectra, where various colors, indicative of energy level transitions made by electrons, are separated by dark areas. The dark areas represent the area through which electrons make quantum -- and therefore dis-continuous -- leaps between energy levels.

There are many other differences between quantum and classical mechanics involving, for example, explanations of the so-called "ultraviolet catastrophe", but these are too technical to discuss in detail here.

Let me just say the final difference between classical and quantum mechanics is the quantum notion of the "complementary nature of light", which states that light is BOTH a particle, which has mass, and a wave, which has none. This seemingly contradictory concept shows how weird quantum physics can be when compared to classical physics."
We're missing a lot important pieces of the puzzle. For all we know the connection between QM and classical mechanics could be quite straightforward and obvious but we're not seeing it yet.

It might seem discontinuous to us now but there also clues that when you get to those energy levels most the interactions might be happening on a much wider field instead of just between local particles.

Quantum mechanics gets really weird when it comes to locality and there's where some of the most interesting debates are located (no pun).

Don't really follow the science but there was this theory that's mathematically in line with current mainstream quantum mechanics theories but described a more deterministic reality vs a probalistic/but mainly random QM universe. Think it was pilot wave theory but I could be wrong.

Maybe once we get to higher energies with the LHC we should be able to get a better idea on what kind of universe we're in.
 

Ras

It's all so tiresome
VIP
That was my understanding of it also, and it's great how you drew the parallel of entropy and human interconnection an abstract concept to explain the reason why empires crumble. Though it's a bit misleading if you try to pass it off as a valid theory.
That wasn't what I was aiming for but hopefully that's cleared up.
 

Trending

Top