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Discussion Starter #1
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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Curiouser and Curiouser
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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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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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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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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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Discussion Starter #6
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 :blush: That's a really interesting point though Azezel!

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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Angryman
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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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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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I am Alpharius.
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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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The Great Unclean One
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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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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.
Nope- no one in the Imperium knows when the Emperor was born, they barely know of anything that occurred before the Imperium itself existed.

Horus, a few of the other Primaarchs and their favoured warriors might have known- but that's it.
 

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The Great Unclean One
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The information about the big E comes from the old boek The Lost and the Damned and also details how he came into being so that's why I thought -8000 BC is the correct date
 

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I am Alpharius.
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Why would the Imperial Calender have started with his birth? Did he do something special? Did he not come to power around M.30 or something? With the unification wars or something?

So I kind of disagree with your point of view with the Imperial Calender... But thats just me...
 

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The Imperial calendar is obviously the Gregorian calendar, since their century numbering system matches ours. It's sad, though, that Imperial citizens have been so thoroughly indoctrinated that they feel no sense of loss about their 30,000 years of lost history.
 

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Bane of Empires
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The information about the big E comes from the old boek The Lost and the Damned and also details how he came into being so that's why I thought -8000 BC is the correct date
Indeed it does, but 8000 BCE is not necessarily the correct date, more of a theory in my eyes.

And in regards to the calendar, as others have said, it doesn't start with the Emperor's Birth (otherwise why would it state 8000 BCE?) - In fact as the Baron said, no one knows when the Emperor was born, in fact the vast majority of the Imperium don't know anything about the Emperor, the Horus Heresy etc.
 

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In terms of evolution, 38,000 years means almost nothing. Particularly in an environment where "weak" traits are not rejected with extreme prejudice. Genetically, we're more or less the same as we were 200,000 years ago when Homo sapiens sapiens rolled out.

Things may have changed if there was some sort of population bottleneck (say, the human population dropped to 10,000 breeding pairs), and it very well may have on particular isolated situations sudden climate changes, generational ships, a small sect deciding to colonize a planet on their own ect, but the Human population as the whole remained fairly large.

Of course the whole psyker thing emerged and the various mutants we see. And the ab-humans--Orgyns, rattlings, the Space Dwarves. So I suppose humans have come along much further than evolution could explain. That's fantasy for you, I suppose.
 

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Curiouser and Curiouser
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I forget the name of the evolutionary process but in any case, species can adapt very very quickly. I forget the lab experiment (I'll look for it later) but I think it was minnows were placed in a controlled pond with predators and different types of soil underneath. Within ten generations the pigments in their skin had come to almost completely match the rocks underneath because it provided better camouflage and thus those that could hide were able to pass on their genes.
 

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You're refering to Punctuated Equalibrium, Sasha - and like many people you have it slightly wrong.

PE (if it even occurs, and there is significant doubt) is pretty rapid compared to 'vanilla' evolution. PE can occur over hundreds of thousands of years, instead of millions.

I'm not familiar with the minnow experiment you describe, but it's not terribly relevant to the discussion at hand due to the tiny population of the fish tank. Whilst the colouration was no-doubt a survival trait the fact is that in a small enough population qany aberation, beneficial or otherwise has both a much higher chance of appearing (small populations encourage double-recessive traits to manifest) and flourishing (due to lack of genetic competition). Case in point, there is a village in Africa with no collar bones (cleidocranial dysostosis) - hardly a survival trait, but that's small populations for you. A sailor with the condition visited them in the 19th century, knocked boots with a local woman (or ten) and the whole village has it now.

Long story short, 38'000 years ain't long enough by an order of magnitude.
 

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We don't need evolution to posit significant change in 40k humans. I'm pretty sure they live longer than we do even without rejuvenat treatments, for example. All we need is Dark Age genetic technology. Given the other wonders invented during that period, I'd bet that in-utero genetic treatments to confer resistance to bacterial and viral diseases, long life, and eliminate genetic diseases like hemophilia would have been widespread and cheap. More importantly, the changes would be inheritable. You could create Space Marines with this stuff, if you had the vision.
 

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That's exactly what I believe (and said on the first page).
 
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