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Previously our evolution was due to circumstance, we can trace back all our body features to overcome some 'challenge' our ancestors were faced with. Now, in the modern time, with that large progression of science and technology, do we have methods to drive an organism to evolve to suit some artificially induced circumstance?

Further, have new species been formed this way?

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    $\begingroup$ Do you consider dogs and wolves to be different species? $\endgroup$ – jamesqf Mar 2 at 4:03
  • $\begingroup$ I hadn't known that came from the same lineage. It was quite an interesting thing to read about @jamesqf $\endgroup$ – Buraian Mar 2 at 7:29
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    $\begingroup$ Look up the term artificial selection. $\endgroup$ – John Mar 2 at 15:05
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Every species we've domesticated was the result of humans 'driving' the developments of desirable characteristics. Humans have been doing that for at least 10,000 years.

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  • $\begingroup$ I doubt that domestication was from the beginning a directed effort. Most likely it began as coecistence of species. There's also evidence that there was continuing gene flux between the "domestic species", such as dogs and horses, and their wild counterparts long after the domestication began. $\endgroup$ – Vadim Mar 4 at 17:42
  • $\begingroup$ For some species it absolutely was directed. Still is. The Bible has a story about an attempt to generate a desired phenotype in the next generation. The methodology is rubbish, but it shows that people were thinking about how to purposefully control the characteristics of the next generation $\endgroup$ – swbarnes2 Mar 4 at 18:20
  • $\begingroup$ Oldest parts of the Bible were written about the first millenium BC, i.e., about 3,000 years ago. If you have scientific references to actual "species" (rather then breeds) that evolved over this time, it is worth including it in the answer. On the other hand, the Bible mentions lots of the species that had been already domestic at the time of its writing. $\endgroup$ – Vadim Mar 4 at 20:35
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Three different concepts humans have already invented and attempted fit your qualifications: Artificial Selection (domestication), Eugenics, and Genetic Engineering. Obviously some more distasteful in their application than others, but yes, we have created new species in these ways, in the sense that they are not able to reproduce with their "natural" counterparts.

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Let me first note that the term evolution applies to species rather than individual organisms (the OP says do we have methods to drive an organism to evolve to suit some artificially induced circumstance?) Evolutionary changes happen over many generations, whereas the changes in a single organism during its lifetime are not really evolution - its genome remains pretty much the same.

Secondly, the obvious answer given by others - the artificial selection requires some qualification: while dogs, horses, cows and other domestic animals have evolved into separate species due to their cohabitation with humans, it is not always obvious that such evolution was a result of deliberate human efforts. Both in terms of its deliberateness, but also in terms of whether any such continuous effort lasted long enough for a new species to develop. We can however meaningfully speak of deliberately developing new breeds of plants and domestic animals.

Finally, there are multiple (sometimes ongoing) experiments of evolution in various closed ecosystems, experiments at deliberate development of microbial resistance to antibiotics (aka morbidostat) and so on. (I will add the references later.)

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Short answer, Yes.

As @swbarnes2 point it out, traditional artificial selection has been done in pets and agriculture for centuries. Nowadays this principle can be used to accelerate evolution on bacteria implementing in-vitro evolutionary algorithms

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