Did we essentially stop evolutionary progress by using modern medicine?

Question by BOB: Did we essentially stop evolutionary progress by using modern medicine?
If it weren’t for antibiotics, surgical advances and life supporting devices, most of the crippled, deformed and retarded/crazy people would not be able to reproduce like they do now. Are we ruining it for future generations by perpetuating “weaklings”. (Not trying to be offensive here, but can’t think of another way of phrasing this question) Is “Survival of the Fittest” doomed?

Best answer:

Answer by Fisherman
Cyborgs are the future.

What do you think? Answer below!


  1. Absolutely not. MRSA proves that point beyond debate.
    For those who do not know, MRSA is Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. It’s a Staph bacteria that has EVOLVED to be resistant to Methicillin based medications. The fact that a life form has evolved to resist our medications would infer that our bodies, specifically our immune systems, will have to continue to evolve resistance and tolerance to such bacteria in order to keep us alive.

  2. That and the fact that there exists no other species that can compete with us. If there arose another rival species that could craft and use modern technology evolution would definitely be back on.

  3. No, but it would have some influence on the evolutionary process. For example, antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria. Also, many people in the world don’t have access to “modern medicine” and are still dying of diseases that are virtually unknown in the USA and Europe.

  4. We also have a very large population that constantly interbreeds. Sudden and macroscopically noticed evolution is slowed by large population size, no environmental breeding isolation, and our medical science efforts. The most noticeable examples of human evolution are seen in the isolated pockets of humanity, such as the Tibetans. 30 of their genes show differences from their close (geographically) neighbors the Han Chinese who live at lower elevations (citation linked).

  5. Do not tout modern medicine as a great thing. Prescription drugs do not cure a damn thing. They treat symptoms, and nothing more. In most cases, the symptoms that they treat are not as bad as the side effects and adverse reactions that they CAUSE! ALL prescription medications CAUSE sickness and disease, and cure nothing……… but who the hell cares, right? They get you on the drugs and tell you to take them for the rest of your life. You die, they get rich. Nice.

  6. In a way, yes. However, this isn’t simply down to modern medicine, it begins happening whenever altruism is displayed. There’s evidence that Neanderthals did the same thing. Modern medicine does allow people with less stable immune systems to thrive, and modern life allows those not fit to hunt do the same. Evolution doesn’t stop, because it can’t. But it does start becoming much more diverse, allowing people that wouldn’t otherwise survive to do so.

    The simplest way to understand it is first to remember that “Survival of the fittest” is misleading. Natural selection operates on a “Survival of the fit enough” principle. All that has happened is the environmental definition of “fit enough” is now much wider.

    Same principle, broader definition.

  7. As far as I can see, yes. I also think the burqa and arranged marriages might have played a part in this as they completely destroy sexual selection.

    I should point out that keeping “weaklings” alive isn’t a problem as they generally don’t have as many children.

  8. A few months back a biologist on British television commented that evolution amongst humans had been brought to a halt for the moment, but it would only need a virus to mutate, and cut through the population in a new black death, for evolution to be under way again.

  9. That along with taking control of our environment. Man has showed his gift of objectivity that makes us more like God and causes us to rule over the whole earth. We show some traits of godhood like our Creator. Atheist for the most part still identify more with the animalistic emotions and desire and are unable to use objectivity when it comes to controlling the self and therefore morality is like a cage to them in which they still struggle to escape. We are all mixed and must decide which to identify with God or the animal.

    Evolution does not disprove the bible or God but only someones theological interpretation. On the idea of whether there is a God or not, good science yet remains neutral.

    The things spoken about in Genesis 1 that God did in an instant mentally/Spiritually is still unraveling in the progress of time and Genesis 2:1-3 from the point of view of the physical has not yet happened. Now Adam was the start of a new segment of time called the Adamic age (of which the bible deals with) within a much older segment of time that could be millions or billions of years old. Adam was something new introduced to this world. Time is actually insignificant to the God. Genesis 6 speaks about Adam’s offspring (called the Sons of God) being mixed with the humanoid evolved creatures that were here through their daughters. Noah was mixture and so are we. Adam’s offspring introduced language and objectivity to the purely subjective and emotional world of the animal. Adam is the missing link that science has yet to find because of his origin as an angelic genes that were placed in a physical body his bones dissolved after death and so did his descendants that were giant. Not all were physical giants though but some mental and spiritual giants. Adam’s genes remain on this planet but only mentally and spiritually.

  10. Stop, no. Has it rendered effectively impotent in the developed world? Yes. I don’t think it is in the way you mean however. I think modern technology has crippled evolution by natural selection not at the level of the individual, but because it allows for more humans to live concurrently. This makes it harder for a change in the genotype of any individual organism, by way of genetic mutation, to spread around to a degree that would satisfy the cumulative effect of natural selection, speciation.
    It may propel it if we were living in more concentrated pockets (or it could easily be largely negative for reasons I’ll avoid for brevity’s sake) but because this a globalized world, mutations will be diluted very quickly.

    Natural selection may still prevail as successful, intelligent people mary each other and produce children. In other words, long term segregation on the biases of class (linked to intelligence) would be natural selection, just in a more subtle form. Note: The converse may be true for the poor.
    There are two problems with that hypothesis of mine however: human brain size shrinking and a few hundred decades has no impact on evolution. This also assumes intelligence will be rewarded with wealth.
    However, I doubt this society is anything more than a transition stage which has only been going on for about 100 years. I think our species will end up, or leave its legacy in, something like the matrix within the next 100 years. Evolution wouldn’t be so much impotent if such a prediction were to transpire, but conditionally irrelevant.