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Discussion in 'The Philosopher' started by Patrick R., Apr 28, 2008.
Who was i talking to?
"any of you"
I appreaciate that BMWG, I'll have to read it a few more times. Im not really sure it explains why we are... what we are and why chimps are still just chimps ?
I just read today they have discovered other important large differences between human and chimps, not that the terms used meant much to me. So in there somewhere there has to be more to the story than 98% DNA because the difference between man and a chimp is large.
I would guess its a by chance evolution thing but I cant understand why it has not reoccured then. It would appear that the chimp theory indicates a select few or even a single pair were just a bit smarter and set out as the foundation of homo sapiens, yet its assumed to have been 5 million years ago. But has it reocurred and if not how come ?
It also appears to me that pyhsically man is still changing where as the rest of the animals may remain the same, not that I would know maybe they are changing as well.
Sounds interesting, would you mind posting it?
Everything in evolution is by chance. However, mutations occur rarely and most of those that do occur are maladaptive and therefore never make it into the next generation. Considering this along with the vastness of our genome and the fact that a mutation can happen on one protein makes every mutation highly unlikely to occur once, let alone repeatedly. Essentially, after a mutation occurs once, the only probable way for it to ever be seen again is for the host organism to survive long enough to pass it on to its offspring.
A mutation occurs in a single animal and the liklihood of it reaching the second generation is usually proportional to the amount that it advantages or disadvantages the host. Consequently, a sufficiently smarter ape would likely pass its genes on to multiple offspring, all of which would also be advantaged by it. From this point onward, the frequency of that gene would increas within the population exponentially until the entire species, or entire population in that isolated area has it. Sexual competition would subsequently trigger augmentation of that genetic expression, while other (usually unrelated) mutations continue to occur at random. When enough mutations exist within an isolated population of a species that they can no longer produce fertile offspring with the rest of the population, they are considered to be a new species.
This process likely happened within a shared ancestor between chimps and modern man allowing for one population to develop characteristics more similar to our own, while another population viered off in the chimp direction. The rest of the population probably eventually died off for reasons that we may or may not know.
At this point, it continued to happen within both the more human and more chimp-like groups and in some cases, there were multiple hominid species all existing at the same time in geographically isolated areas. As some populations became smarter or better suited to their environment in other ways, they gained an advantage that other populations may have lacked. In this case, if members of separate populations ever migrated back together, they would either kill off or outcompete the lesser group, or they might still be closely related enough that they are still the same species and therefore still able to interbreed (this is the case right now with modern man, except that looking a little different is the only noticable distinction), in which case the advantages genes from both populations would spread between both groups until neither group resembles their former populations and they both something new, together.
This happens all the time, but over the course of thousands or millions of years, which is usually hundreds or thousands of generations. Eventually, in our case, all but one species went extinct and now we're the only ones left. In the case of chimps, there are two species left, both of which are more closely related to each other than to us, but more closely related to us than to their next closest relative, gorillas.
From an evolutionary perspective, chimps are still changing too, just not as quickly. Possible explanations for this are that there are a lot fewer chimps, meaning they don't have the capacity to reproduce as much, which reduces the liklihood of mutations occuring. Additionally, man now has the medical technology to keep people with all sorts of maladaptive conditions alive, allowing for a greater variety of (mostly deleterious) genes to remain in our population and spread.
All animals are changing, just some change more quickly than others. Factors that affect this include but are not limited to reproductive rate, size and complexity of their genome, environmental selection factors such as climate, geography, predation and of course, sexual selection between sexes and intra-sexual competition.
how long have you seen any primate walking around only on it's hind legs?
what's so special about flight?
only from an anthropocentric viewpoint.
I forget who, unfortunately, but I recall one proposition that it's because we got our asses handed to us: that man didn't decide 'hey, the savannah, that looks nice, fuck the plentiful jungle, lets wander about' but instead got kicked the fuck out of the jungle by the superior adapted species of primates which remain there to this day. such evolutionary pressures as new challenges of a new environment may well be responsible for our misfortune (or fortune, if that's how you regard the human condition)... we have religion, cocaine, science...they don't need it.
a twenty year old and a 60 year old have brains of comparative grey-matter structure... but the distinction is in the details, the fine complexity of the neuronal networks which sets individuals of relatively equal brain capacity apart in their actual character and intellect.
about 20,300 genes in our genome have been discovered... so extremely roughly and incompletely we could say the chimps then might have 400 different genes to us... how many letters in the alphabet? 26...how many words?---more than 26, or 52... single genes alone are scarcely responsible for any recognizable trait in an organism, it's all in the combinations... flour and water is fuckin papermache glue, but with sugar and heat it's delicious bread, and with egg and butter and some chocolate chips you can get some biscuits... there is a world of complexity of end results from a very simple few differences, whether in DNA or a recipe.
evolution is the opposite of chance.
Dawkins' Climbing Mount Improbable is worth reading if you're interested in understanding this.
it's unlikely there was an Adam and Eve who created the rest of humanity. 'Species' definitions are difficult, essentially demarcating on who can breed with who. if X has a child, Y, and Y has Z, and Y can breed with Z's kids and X's kids, but Z can't breed with X...one wants to say they're a different species, though they're the same species as Y, which, for Y is the same species as X...which makes it all a subjective label. It's more likely there was a whole breeding pool slowly changing as it did ultimately into what we are at present, of which it would be impossible to say of each individual who gets to be counted as someone who'll be contributing to the human race 300,000 years from now, than that two individuals who couldn't any longer breed with any others just inbred their way to the whole human population as Christianity would have it.
as I proposed earlier, it's more likely that evolutionary pressures like bipedalism and environmental change facilitated and caused our increased brain size, longer infancy, and other traits unique of man, as opposed to us getting smarter out of nowhere and beginning to do things differently as if out of inspiration and volition rather than the same lack of genius which has one house cat submissive to the other in his house...you kinda do what seem to improve the pleasure/pain ratio.
There was recently an article about some lizards who've adapted massively in just the span of thirty years... and influenza seems to do a bang up job surpassing our technology to immunize against it, while we and our immune system remain rather stationary. You may just be making an observation bias.
First, humans didnt evolve from apes, but we do share common ancestry. Our hominid ancestors cerebellum doubled in 100,000 years. Apes share a completely separate linage from humans, this lineage split at a time estimated to be around 6 or 5 million years ago. The evolution of the hominid cerebellum wasnt as rapid as other sources of evolutionary chance documented in Philip D. Gingerich study Rates of evolution: effects of time and temporal scaling which is noted as a 0.06 % change per generation. This is the fastest rate in his study, compare this to the increase in the hominid cerebellum, which is 0.02% change per generation at detailed in George Williams Natural Selection: Domains, Levels, and Challenges. Change in an organisms character is dependent on genetic phenomenon, there is no reason why all organisms should change at the same rate with regards to brain size, function, or structure.
Humans did not evolve from chimpanzees
where on earth did you get this information from? Perhaps you meant to say we have common ancestry? Also, we arent even close to being genetically identical, we have a 2% difference between our genomes which is an enormous amount of genetic information. As far as a missing chromosome, this is related to an ancestral fusion, which created chromosome 2 in humans. This also answers German asshole.
Ok thanks... lol. For a change I will need some time to reread more of this so it sinks in and I can gather my thoughts... lol. Much of what has been said I knew, some is beyond my immeadiate comprenhension due to less fimiliar terminology.
I was asked what was so important about flight ? I could ask what was so important about biped, but I know better. Same as the answer to flight would be mobility. Slithering on the ground seems to have some advantages as well but I was never jelous. However it surely appears that man has been intrigued by flight... no ? So obviously birds just never hit the lottery in the brain development department. Its seems this thought ability is what has set humans apart. Surely there are advantages involved with having our arms to put to work for our thoughts and has led to continued advanced evolutionary development. However excluding this mechanical option, by comparision to other mammals I do believe we are physically inferior and survived by resourcefullness alone. I believe there has been much said about other species of animals, for lack of a better term "holding us in awe" so perhaps our upright mobility and flapping of arms has had an intimidation factor, then increased by weapons and of course fire. So it seems to always lead back to the brain capacity and its continued development.
But what a jackpot that has seemed to excape other species... double edge sword that it is.
I can believe the idea of being run out of the forests to be true, by similiar example, the Inuit a peaceful, physically smaller branch of humans inhabited the extreme climate of the far north... happily no less. Possibly until the past century were one of the most primitive or at least mind boggling examples of humans left.
I am also wondering, there was once what was refered to as "the missing link". I realize this has possibly become a dated idea but has archaeology uncovered all the examples of homo sapien evolution yet?
To avoid confusion about this, I want to point out that I'm stating that all mutations occur by chance, while the factors determining which mutations survive are based on probability.
Yes, I caught this and stated correctly in another post that humans simply share an ancestor with chimps and didn't evolve from them. I didn't realize that I left such a glaring error in my other post though, so thank you for pointing it out, it's correct now
With regards to genetic identity, I'm aware of the 2% difference and my word choice "identical" is an over exaggeration that I used simply to explain to razoredge that chimps are our closest extant relatives.
Also, thanks for explaining the chromosome issue, I've been wondering about this for quite some time now.
Bipedalism has advantages other than those related to mobility, especially in a savannah. For starters, there are fewer trees to escape to, so being able to stand bipedally would allow us to see predators from much further away, enabling us to get a head start when escape is necessary. More limited food sources also means that bipedal walking would free our arms, allowing us to carry food with us as we migrated, rather than huddling around a dwindling resource.
With regard to bird intelligence, I believe I stated earlier that the type of intelligence that humans are primarily concerned with is an adaptation to social group size. In addition to primates, we can see the same correlation in canines, felines, other terrestrial predatory mammals and whales, which evolved from a terrestrial species. Even some bird species, particularly parrots and macaws, demonstrate this phenomenon. In fact, African Greys, which are considered to be the geniuses of the bird world have been estimated to possess the cognitive processing power of a five year old child, and the emotional equivalence of a three year old human.
We discussed the "missing link" in my evolutionary psychology class a few years ago and the guy who made the discovery was ridiculed for it, because he admitted to sculpting the hips of the fossil into what he imagined an intermediary stage would look like.
I don't believe in evolution, that would be silly, but I do accept it as a fact. I also accept the current theory of evolution as the most accurate (and also the only) existing scientific theory that explains the diversity of lifeforms on this planet today. There's really not much more that needs to be said, we might as well start debating whether the earth revolves around the sun.
It is clear that you believe in evolution then. :Smug:
In a way he's had the best answer
I believe the earth has evolved but I propose the human race came from another dying planet, but only the uneducated youth survived climate adaptation, thus explaining why all former knowledge was lost
Some birds are actually pretty intelligent. I read about a test done on crows in a magazine. The crows were given a stick to get food that was behind a bar, the stick wasn't long enough and there was a longer stick behind the bar, and so they used the stick to get the other one to get the food. Something people thought only apes could do.
But then again what is "intelligence"?
yep, alot of animals are very resourceful and adaptive
There is nothing worse in this world than an ignorant creationist.
Creationism in itself is reasonable enough. I find it funny that people are offended by it, I reckon it speaks more about them than the creationist. The problem lies in naming the said creator.
Reasonable in what sense exactly? It would seem there is more of an issue there than theological nomenclature, no?
I don't find the idea of a creator itself philosophically unsound. I take Creationism to mean only that - everything has a Creator.