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God had decided that humanity as a species is an overall disappointment. After wiping out all life with a flood, he decided to start from scratch. Humanity's new environment would be constantly changing, in order to create a species that is stronger, faster, and tougher.

The new earth would be a living biological organism that has direct control over the environment. The planet itself would be a tropical death world with a lush biosphere, but everything would be hostile and dangerous to humanity, as if the planet itself were trying to kill them.

I am using this planet as a template of what God wants:

https://warhammer40k.fandom.com/wiki/Catachan

All animals on the planet would act as predators who hunt species lower than them. They would be constantly adapting every generation to become omnivores that eat anything. Plants would also adopt to become more hostile. Some would be active carnivores, others would be poisonous. Every species would adapt, learn, and change rapidly, taking away the long term edge that humans have over the planet.

The point of this is to make it as difficult to survive as possible while not making it inhospitable. This is to force evolution to speed up its process instead of taking millions of years of trial and error. through this method, humanity will become tougher physically and mentally, eliminating weakness and becoming much smarter and cunning.

How can a strategy like this increase the pace of evolution in humans?

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    $\begingroup$ Humans are already evolving rather rapidly, all you are doing is making a lot of dead humans, it also does not make any sense, if you can directly alter the evolution of other animals why not just do the same to humans. $\endgroup$ – John Sep 24 at 4:42
  • $\begingroup$ All carnivore and no herbivore will make your ecosystem dead in no time. $\endgroup$ – user28434 Sep 24 at 14:18
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    $\begingroup$ I think you might not truly appreciate the way evolution works. It isn’t a journey with an end, or even a definition of ‘better’. ‘Speeding up’ evolution implies that you have a specific goal you want humanity to get to, at which point it’s not actually evolution any more: It’s just a complicated and sadistic form of selective breeding. $\endgroup$ – Joe Bloggs Sep 25 at 10:32
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    $\begingroup$ Any logic you could hope for went out by the window strapped to a wild, rabid donkey with his tail on fire the moment you used 40K as an inspiration for anything. $\endgroup$ – T. Sar - Reinstate Monica Sep 25 at 15:17
  • $\begingroup$ By definition, not all animals can be hunters, because you have no external energy source and will rapidly run out of prey. $\endgroup$ – jdunlop Sep 25 at 23:58
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Odd theological specifications and restrictions aside...

This is a terrible way to speed up evolution. Turning the entire globe into Australia won't help. The general theory of evolution is punctuated equilibrium, meaning that you have a group of say around a few hundred breeding pairs which are exposed to a single trauma, which only a specific few survive thanks to an innate ability they already possess. Then, fast forward a few hundreds years so that mutation can introduce some genetic diversity, rinse and repeat, and somehow macro-evolution changes get introduced during this period to change animals entirely.

Evolution is the survival of the fittest, not the arrival of said fittest. This death world park nightmare of yours, left on tap for a generation or two would do a good job of implementing a eugenics programs. But it wouldn't introduce any new genetic material, and thus would be all the evolution you get. And if you're artificially making everything else better, humans would die off after that. We're pretty resilient as a species, but we have out limits fighting a never-ending army of things getting better at killing us,

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    $\begingroup$ Or the inverse. We kill everything else leaving us with just a small handful of "safe" organisms that we selectively breed for our own nurishment. $\endgroup$ – Nosajimiki - Reinstate Monica Sep 24 at 18:03
  • $\begingroup$ Fun fact: Australian fauna is one of the most stagnant in terms of evolution and changes. It features lifeforms that went extinct everywhere else on Earth. $\endgroup$ – user28434 Sep 30 at 9:18
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As you state, each generation has to be better. Changes happens with random mutations during reproduction. If we take that for good and you want to increase the pace of evolution, you need to increase the pace of reproduction.

Why do cockroaches and flies adapt so fast to the chemicals we use against them? Well, they don't wait around 15 years to have offspring. A domestic fly can reproduce in 10 days! In the time your human has had the first baby, a fly would have had 540 generations. That's not even outpacing, that's me running against Usain Bolt while I am yawning in the bed early in the morning!

Another way is to increase the rate of mutations, i.e. by using a slightly more radioactive environment. But that would affect any species living in that environment, so it won't be beneficial to the humans only.

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    $\begingroup$ Increasing the rate of mutations would also increase the proportion of nonviable offspring (due to the mutations breaking something important). You'll want to increase population size to compensate. Affecting the mutation rate of other species is actually a benefit, if they're predators that also have the population to compensate. It helps keep selection pressure high. $\endgroup$ – Ray Sep 25 at 16:01
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"Every species would adapt, learn, and change rapidly" is not how evolution works.

You make it sound purposeful and controlled, when in fact evolution is totally random

Evolution involves two independent processes:

  • Mutation (the creation of new traits):

    Genes are randomly damaged. The vast majority of these changes either have no effect or are fatal. A very small fraction might introduce some new potentially useful trait.

  • Selection (the removal of currently bad traits):

    When the environment changes, some individuals have traits that help them to survive better than other individuals. I.e. they have more surviving offspring.


In your world:

  • Mutation:

    In practice, mutation normally happens very slowly. If you want to speed it up in your world (by radiation or chemicals), that there will be very high rates of miscarriage, and very high rates of deformed births.

    So your society will have to deal with this situation as a normal part of life, especially how to handle the deformed. It will require very high birthrates, with most women being pregnant for their entire fertile lives. Forget about having many interesting female characters.

    If they are lucky, some new trait will appear that might be beneficial. But it will be subtle and no one will notice it. The process that creates a new potentially useful trait is unlikely to create that same trait in more than one person. It will be many generations until the effect becomes common, not until most people that don't have the trait have died off. The vast majority of people will be descendants of that one individual.

  • Selection:

    The environment will be hostile to your people. Many of them will be killed or injured.

    People with traits that make them less likely to survive, such as not being able to run away quickly, or not being able to see well, will die more frequently than others.

    These bad (in the context of the current environment) genetic traits will not be passed on the the next generation as frequently.


There is a problem though. New mutations can take a long time to spread through the population, and meanwhile something must kill off everyone except for the one person with it and his descendants. Anything that will kill off most people within a few hundred years will already be killing them now. It will almost certainly be too late for any new beneficial mutations to spread through the population before the population becomes extinct.

Natural selection doesn't work well in a stable society. Without the sudden massive killing of large parts of the population, it isn't going to happen.

The question is, how to speed up this evolutionary process.

  • Mutation:

    There are chemicals that cause genetic damage. Radiation causes genetic damage.

    Perhaps your society can deliberately introduce artificial genetic damage as a normal part of life.

    This will increase the miscarriages and deformities, so it has to be controlled so as not to eliminate the population.

  • Selection:

    As noted, natural selection isn't going to work in a stable society. That society is going to have to implement an unnatural selection process (eugenics).

    Society is already handling the deformity problem, so perhaps they can expand the definition of deformity to include some of the more obvious weaknesses. For instance, should children with weak eyesight be allowed to survive? If not killed outright, perhaps they could be sterilized and used as slaves. Maybe remove people with short arms or fingers? Or if your world is very sunny, then get rid of people that don't have dark skin.

    It will be up to you, the author, to decide what the world is like and what attributes would help or hinder society.


The critical thing in your society will be to achieve a balance between the birthrate (which must be as high as possible) and the rate at which bad traits are removed from the gene pool (by death or sterilization).

How your society puts this into practice is up to you.

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A God that relies on evolution as a tool for creation has certain implications to consider depending on the extent of his knowledge and power:

CASE 1: God knows how he wants man, but not how to spontaneously create him

If God has a clear cut idea of what he wants man to be like, then a constantly changing environment is a bad idea. Instead he should create a mostly static and contiguous environment that rewards the traits he wants man to have and punishes the traits he wants to weed out. He may need to make tweaks here and there as he hones man into what he wants us to be, but as time goes on, the world would become less changing, to preserve the traits he wants us to keep as he gets them right.

CASE 2: God does not know how he wants man, or how to spontaneously create him

If God does not know his end goal for how humanity should be, then he would create an environment that encourages lots of diversity. This world would be generally easy to find a niche in and have lots of ecosystems where he could concurrently experiment with different forms of mankind until he finds one that suits him well. A hostile environment is bad for diversity; so, as long as God is still looking for new options, he will keep the world easy and diverse.

CASE 3: God does not know how he wants man, but he does know how to spontaneously create him to exact specifications

God may or may not rely on evolution at all. He will either make a world that resembles Case #2 or he will make lots of little test environments, run experiments on them, and then destroy the ones he does not like. Since he can just pop in new people based on his findings, he has no reason to make the world hard but survivable. He either sets that world aside and forgets about it, or he destroys mankind 100% and resets the planet for the next test.

CASE 4: God knows how he wants man, and he knows how to spontaneously create him to exact specifications

God skips evolution, and spontaneously creates man. No need for hostile environments at all.


These cases mean that it either makes since for God to make an environment that is easy and changing or hostile and constant. Hostile and changing only serves to kill off the human race because it will constantly limit our genetic diversity, and then punish us for not being diverse enough. The only situation where I see God doing more or less what you have described is Case #3 where God has finished with an experiment and he is trying to wipe out one version of man so he can reuse the world for his next test scenario.

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stronger, faster, and tougher.

We do this all the time with animals without waiting for evolution.

Selective breeding for the desired traits. Results in a few generations rather than millennia and more and climate change etc,.

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in short: Yes

The speed of evolution is largely dictated by the speed in which the environment changes. If there are big changes, species either adapt rapidly or go exinct.

Currently, humanities evolution is slowed down by the fact that we started changing the environment to suit us, rather than the other way around.

When it got colder again, we started wearing clothes. If we didn't do that, we would have likely started growing thick furs again, for example. The other reason that we aren't evolving quickly now is becouse of our medicine: "Bad fits" (people with mutations that would not procreate in the wild) are kept in the genepool, instead of being weeded out in favour of improvements

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  • $\begingroup$ I think that the main reason the human evolution had slowed down is because the medication has gone too advanced! Many people who would be "wiped out" by the evolution standard all had survived! And that defeat the purpose of "natural selection"! Plus the human's STUPID, if I would say, moral standard of "1 husband 1 wife and you can ONLY have offspring with that person" had also put a big dent on the evolution! $\endgroup$ – PiggyChu001 Sep 24 at 10:24
  • $\begingroup$ @PiggyChu001 Monogamy was actually a smart evolutionary trait for humans. In the wild, being a single mother is a death sentence. Either the baby dies w/o constant attention or they both die because the mother lacks resources. This means a selectively fit male will stick around to keep his children alive. He also invests so much into raising his partner's children, that allowing cuckoldry becomes selectively unfit; so, he must protect himself by preventing his partner from having other mates. To the woman it may be all the same, but to a man in the wild, monogamy = genetic survival. $\endgroup$ – Nosajimiki - Reinstate Monica Sep 24 at 16:49
  • $\begingroup$ @Nosajimiki In the wild, only the BEST MALE got the privilege to have his genes passed down (unless you're talking about wild dogs or cats where they just mate with anybody they want). That ensured that only the "best gene" had survived. In the human world, "best male" often "monopolized" by the "best female", the "lesser females" have no choice but to go to the "lesser male", and "even lesser females" can only have "even lesser males" to choose, and the cycle get worse! When their offspring get born, what advantage do they get to compete with the "best offspring"!? (To be continued) $\endgroup$ – PiggyChu001 Sep 25 at 6:27
  • $\begingroup$ @Nosajimiki I understand that if let be, we human being will act like wild dogs or cats instead of lions or apes, that's why "monogamy" is a necessary exist. But if we really DO want to improve human evolution, I believe that we should somehow "loose that bound". $\endgroup$ – PiggyChu001 Sep 25 at 6:32
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A few possible options.

You do what we do to speed evolution in other species:

(1) Get a large group of genetically diverse individuals and subject them to your evolutionary pressure-- in this case killer animal plant. (2) Allow the survivors to reproduce. Ideally you want to have the youngest members of the species reproduce so that you can select for decreased generation times which will speed your evolutionary rate (3) Subject them to a medium level of radiation to mutate their germ line and introduce more genetic variation into the population. (4) Build up their numbers again and then subject them to steps 1-3. (5) You can also cross them with a closely related species to introduce genetic variation into the population so I guess try cross-breeding them with chimps or bonobos?

A more interesting possibility might be to have the humans use CRISPR to edit their own genomes which would allow for 'evolution' within a single generation and turn it from a purely accidental process to something more deliberate.

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What exactly do you want humanity to become? As superior as possible in as many disciplines as possible? "Darwin's monster" is not very likely in the real world. And if humans have to spend every moment to survive a hellish planet, how could they evolve emotionally and spiritually? There is either way an upper limit for how fast and strong humans can be, and there is always a trade off when you reach the limit.

Again, it would help if you had been a little more specific about God's goal. Stronger and better in what context?

There is a comic story dealing with a similar topic called Dominus: https://www.zipcomic.com/starstream-issue-1

(Then there is Deathworld by Harry Harrison, and Microcosmic God by Theodore Sturgeon, in case you want inspiration.)

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I would highly recommend you read:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/61535.The_Selfish_Gene

Its pretty accessible and explains evolution through the use of analogies.

Essentially the only way for evolution to make humans "stronger, faster, and tougher" would be by selective breeding. If the environment is hostile to those individuals that are "weaker, slower, and feeble" then they would die out pretty quickly anyway, if those that were becoming "better" didn't do it fast enough then humanity would die out. But evolution wouldn't care, as Dawkins would put it - the human survival machine wasn't up the task and so got wiped out - the genes themselves would continue on in other species.

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