Saturday, January 23, 2016

Saturday evening musings: Have we peaked, and a question about black holes

Just musing recently and came across this thought: according to the theory of natural selection (AKA evolution), looking at modern humanity, we cannot progress. Natural selection emphasizes the "prospering" of genes (traits, and beneficial mutations) that increase the likelihood of survival. However, in general in modern humanity, people live past childbearing years without regard to their natural abilities: stamina, athleticism, intelligence, perception. Thus, all humans have (essentially) the same chance of reproducing and passing on their genes. (In some ways, some might argue that beauty or charm might be the genes that have the best chance of reproduction and passing on their genes, and thus the human race might move towards charming beauty, but I'd counter that seemingly everyone has essentially the same chance or rate of reproducing based on the variety of parental units I have observed in my lifetime.) With the exception of the remaining tribal societies scattered throughout the globe, there is little to affect the gene pool in terms of natural selection causing higher or lower probabilities of reproducing in modern societies. Sure, "bad" genes that could lead to mortality before reproductive age might be passed on, but then those genes would die off before being passed on too far, thus leading to a status quo as far as health-related genes.

Thus, without reverting to "artificial selection" (which, somewhat frighteningly, may not be that far off: "designer babies" from genetic engineering of humans), the human race has reached its peak of natural selection. I wonder if biologists who support natural selection would support this view?

On another note, consider black holes. These are the remnants of stars that have collapsed to the point that their gravity is so massive that not even light can escape its pull. Nothing can escape from the gravitational pull of a black hole. Instead, anything pulled into the object just adds to the mass of the black hole and increases its gravitational pull. With that in mind, consider the universe from the perspective of big bang creation theory. In the early stages of the big bang, supposedly all the matter of the universe was contained in a very small volume. Wouldn't this "object" fit the concept of a black hole? Something with massive gravitational pull, from which nothing can escape? With that in mind, how did all the matter in all the stars and galaxies (and in you and me) escape the small volume, high mass, ultra-gravitational young universe?

Just some Saturday evening musings.