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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-28-10, 12:19 AM Thread Starter
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Default Comparison, human biology now and in the 41st millenium

So 38 odd thousand years is quite a while. Plenty of time to evolve one might think (comfortably 1000+ generations). So what developments have there been in human physiology in the intervening years? Potentially a short thread I guess, but other than prevelant psychic abillities (which infact you could put down to the presence of the warp/humans accessing an allready existing potential through making use of warp travel)

The existing fluff seems to skip over this to a degree, other than the presence of psychers as mentioned above what do you think the effect of 38 thousand years of shagging produced?

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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-28-10, 12:42 AM
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Well that really depends on how the environment on Earth changes. I've actually been discussing this concept with one of my ethics teachers and I'm glad I have a chance to bring it up here. So natural selection enables those with greater fitness to spread their genes around because those with less fitness are unable to pass on their genes. With the advent of rational human beings however, altruism assures advantageous genes are not spread like they once were. Because of this we do have a greater overall population but disadvantageous genes are allowed to remain in the gene pool.

There would have to be some extreme environmental changes to force us as a species into the mindset of abandoning the weaker of the species so only the strongest and smartest survived.

I suppose there do exist some counter examples like how humans have been steadily growing taller / larger as centuries have passed but that also owes itself to an environmental innovation. That innovation being able to supply more food, etc.

To sum this all up, I really don't see there being a significant change in the anatomy or physiology of humans on Earth. This is all assuming however that our environment stays fairly constant but in the universe of 40k that's just not a good probability.

Space marines, servitors, etc all prove that humans have developed ways of enhancing humans through biological and technological means themselves so environmental influence I'm sure matters very little when compared to evolution in our universe.
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-28-10, 12:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King Gary View Post
So 38 odd thousand years is quite a while. Plenty of time to evolve one might think (comfortably 1000+ generations).
Sorry, not even close. H. Sapiens Sapiens (that's us) has been pretty much the same for the best part of a quarter-million years (which in the grand scheme of things isn't that impressive there are spider species that haven't changed a jot since the Triassic).

That said - it's my belief that the humans of the 40k universe have had some artificial tinkering - both intentional and otherwise. Intentional improvements, probably by the Emperor in several different guises during the Dark Age of Technology and the Unification Wars seem likely.

We know that genehanced super-soldiers were common during the unification wars and many of these were probably not sterile or monks - they might have unintentionally passed some heritable characteristics to the population at large.

Case in point - stubbers are largely the same as modern balistic weapons (They probably aren't any worse!), and if you get shot by one then you will know about it. In rules terms a 40k human has fair odds of surviving. It's my belief that modern humans would be toughness 2/strength 2/Initiative 2 in game terms, possibly even 1.

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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-28-10, 01:25 AM
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Well considering the size of the Imperium, human biology would probably be quite different from planet to planet. However, I think that the average human physiology would be worse than that of humans now, what with terrible pollution, absurd working conditions and the over-reliance on technology.

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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-28-10, 01:26 AM
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40k is set 38,000 years in the future but 10,000 years or so into the future humanity has already spread across the galaxy, leaving any specualtion as to species changes moot as each world would have vastly different environmental and hereditary variations.

To be honest the human race would be even more diverse than it is now.

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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-28-10, 02:26 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Azezel View Post
Case in point - stubbers are largely the same as modern balistic weapons (They probably aren't any worse!), and if you get shot by one then you will know about it. In rules terms a 40k human has fair odds of surviving. It's my belief that modern humans would be toughness 2/strength 2/Initiative 2 in game terms, possibly even 1.
Just after posting I remembered the ogryns and rattlings of the IG. I missed those passing nods by the fluff writers towards evolution That's a really interesting point though Azezel!

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Originally Posted by Sasha Nein View Post
Well that really depends on how the environment on Earth changes. I've actually been discussing this concept with one of my ethics teachers and I'm glad I have a chance to bring it up here. So natural selection enables those with greater fitness to spread their genes around because those with less fitness are unable to pass on their genes. With the advent of rational human beings however, altruism assures advantageous genes are not spread like they once were. Because of this we do have a greater overall population but disadvantageous genes are allowed to remain in the gene pool.
Maybe this isn't really the place to get too deeply into it, but I would argue that having those 'disadvantageous' genes hanging around in the gene pool somewhere, having them reproduced and giving them a chance to mutate would actually increase the chances of some more interesting developments to occur.

Larger number of genes (must suerly) = larger number of potential changes.

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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-28-10, 02:36 AM
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Abhumans are evolved from humans. As a result in the time frame mentioned we have developed Ogryns, ratlings and squats. That is some pretty serious development right there. With a little tinkering you could produce intelligent ogryns. Then the rest of the universe would be in trouble.

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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-28-10, 03:11 AM
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Maybe someone else had read it in the fluff somewhere but I find it funny that we as humans in the 41st millenium inhabit so many planets. Honestly the chances of us finding a habitable in reality is slim to none considering the unique conditions a world must have to support life and then that world having the exact same conditions as earth to support human life. But I'm sure there's some fluff (possibly involving the STCs) that supports how each of these planets were terraformed for human survivalbility.

That said as has already been mentioned it would take extreme changes and millions of years of time for a race of beings to evolve in some extreme necessity (like how Ogryns, Ratlings, and Squats developed). If anything due to science, technology, and well in this ficitional universe psychi abilities humans should be better off, to survive to such vast numbers and over such a wide range of space with the constant wars against alien races and chaos humanity must be one "tough nut to crack".
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-28-10, 06:37 AM
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"Mutation among humanity is especially meaningful: as mankind undergoes a long process of evolution into a new, psychic race, the birth of mutant humans accompanies it; and as the metamorphosis slowly approaches its distant conclusion, mutation becomes increasingly common. This constant and random warping of the human gene pool threatens to destroy the human race before it can reach its final form." - Lexicanum

Is that still on the subject? Well anyway, we would probably evolve to survive on the planets we live on, for example, on some planets people might be taller and stronger, and on another the might be shorter and weaker... It really depends on how long the human race as existed on the planet, and what kind of conditions it has...

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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-28-10, 09:01 AM
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The Emperor was "born" 8000 BC and the Imperial Calandar starts with his birth, so in 40k terms we are actually living around 10k already and starting our first age of technology.



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