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Author: Subject: Evolution-try again

Fanatic




Posts: 580
Registered: 31/12/1969
Status: Offline

  posted on 11/12/2004 at 07:12 PM
Starlight: I was also making a blanket statement about the cloaca issue in order to dispel further confusion. A cloaca is a simpler structure than a separate and discrete waste removal/reproductive system, and can therefore be described as more "primitive" if you look at it merely chronologically. I wanted to step away from the idea of "forward" and "backward" because too many people lose themselves in the implied value judgement of the terms.

As for humans with cloacae, this is not atavistic or recessive, nor is it even a true cloaca; it is a birth defect. Similar structures arise in nature all the time entirely independently of one another (the squid's eye is the classic example) and it is for this reason that organisms can not be reliably placed into a taxonomy based upon their phenotypes alone. We humans like to fall back into hierarchical patterns of thinking when we use shorthand terminology, and this leads us to chase down "straight lines" and "missing links" that do not, necessarily, exist...

*fingers crossed before I continue...*

 

____________________
"I believe that woman is planning to shoot me again."

 

Fanatic




Posts: 580
Registered: 31/12/1969
Status: Offline

  posted on 11/12/2004 at 07:18 PM
W0rmW00d: Unfortunately, intermediate stages are often more of a problem than a solution. The bipedalism debate springs to my mind. I forget the precise numbers here, but the argument runs basically as follows: Chimpanzee quadrapedalism is something like 40% efficient for travelling long distances like the African savannahs where bipedalism is thought to have arisen. Modern human bipedalism is closer to 80% efficient for covering those same distances. Easy top imagine making the leap, right? Unfortunately, an intermediate form between the two brings down the efficiency rating to closer to 16%. Presuming that there is no divine guiding hand here who has an interest in taking a loss for a long term investment, there is absolutely no reason the species should have survived that interim stage. The numbers favour the original quadrapeds, and they should have out-competed those organisms who were on their way to bipedalism. The only solution is that there was no interim stage and the bipeds won out.

Incidentally, your croc scenario illustrates punctuated equilibrium fairly well. I agree with it.

~M.

 

____________________
"I believe that woman is planning to shoot me again."

 

Occasional Poster




Posts: 33
Registered: 5/12/2004
Status: Offline

  posted on 11/12/2004 at 07:31 PM
And here i bow out, foot in mouth. Just hope i knew enough to pass my paleobiology exam. Next time mono I'll ask you for a tutorial beforehand. Though i think i'll be sticking to the hard stuff from now on. Biology gets me down. It's just too.... squishy.

 

____________________

 

Fanatic




Posts: 580
Registered: 31/12/1969
Status: Offline

  posted on 12/12/2004 at 04:49 AM
NIF: "And here i bow out, foot in mouth... "

NOT AT ALL! We are discussing theory, nothing more, and neither of us is expert enough to be conclusive. We are dealing in probabilities (which is all I ever do). I am not the final authority here, I am only presenting things as I see them. I made the mistake of saying that "no serious academic believes that" in response to something... I immediately regretted having done it, not only because what I was refuting was, in fact, partially true as I understand it, but for personal reasons as well.

Flash back to a classroom in which I suggested to my archaeology professor that the Bering Strait hypothesis might not account entirely for the peopling of the Americas... and that people might have migrated earlier than is generally accepted and from places like Europe, Africa and Polynesia. I outlined how this might have been done and the evidence I saw for the idea. His response was to ridicule me in front of the class and the entire basis for his ridicule was that "no serious academic believes that".

Three months later the entirety of what I had suggested was the cover story for Newsweek magazine. I felt slightly vindicated, but still very angry. If you have reasons to support your ideas and conclusions, share them. Do not be bound by dogmatic thinking. If people disagree, consider the likelihood of the case you are presenting and the reasons you have reached the conclusions you have... but DO NOT be intimidated simply because somebody else is perceived as a "higher authority" than yourself.

Goes for everyone.

~M.

 

____________________
"I believe that woman is planning to shoot me again."

 

Fanatic




Posts: 355
Registered: 5/8/2004
Status: Offline

  posted on 12/12/2004 at 08:43 AM
Mono, with the bipedal quadrupedal argument are gorrillas and such not a classic example of an intermediate stage? They can perform fully bipedally, but also travel virtually quardupedally over either short or long distances (i forget which, it could even be for acceleration or something) can't they?
I know that this is one specific example rather than a general rule, which is what is probably needed in the evolutionary argument, but i think it is relevant.

With regards to the peat bog man: Is three thousand years not a pretty short time in evolutionary terms? Also, though I am far from beleiving that humans are the final evolutionary step towards which all change has been heading forever (that would make each newly born baby the new culmination of science; something their parents may beleive but not my precise point of view), is it not possible that with our toolmaking abilities we have somewhat surpassed the need for drastic evolution? Because we can now survive virtually any standard climate, situation or whatever, and because the individual has now been subsumed into the whole (society?) there is no longer any significantly helpful adaptation. Also, genetic differences are seen as bad rather than good in humans, we are after all made in God's image, so a toe less is WRONG goddamnit [sarcasm, in case anyone thought I had suddenly found religion]. The little toe has been on its way out for a while I once read (i forget where unfortunately) and our damnable species has been getting taller and weaker. I feel that this is where human evolution is headed because of the ease with which we live. We may end up destroying ourselves, or ending up like HG Wells' martians, just one big motherloving hand with a brain in it, having surpassed all need for physical ability.

Just my quite ill-informed opinion. I lost real interest in studying biology a few years back and all the knowledge that is left is from my four year past biology lessons and what I have gleaned from general seeing things.

 

____________________
Eritis sicut Deus scientes bonum et malum.

And the third angel sounded, and a troll army did descend upon the world.

 

Fanatic




Posts: 478
Registered: 22/9/2004
Status: Offline

  posted on 12/12/2004 at 10:10 PM
Did mono just have an argument. Iím confused about that just happened there.

 

____________________
fucking classy.

 

Fanatic




Posts: 580
Registered: 31/12/1969
Status: Offline

  posted on 13/12/2004 at 07:38 AM
Posting problems again (still)... so I'll have to keep my answers brief and not let how homocidally pissed off it makes me to retype things three and four times show through in my responses...

 

____________________
"I believe that woman is planning to shoot me again."

 

Fanatic




Posts: 580
Registered: 31/12/1969
Status: Offline

  posted on 13/12/2004 at 07:44 AM
W0rmW00d: RE: Quadrapedalism:

Great ape locomotion is classified as quadrapedalism (this covers Gorillas, Chimpanzees, Orangutans and Bonobos) and it is why I specifically called it "chimpanzee quadrapedalism". If we redefine our terms and say that THAT is the "intermediate phase" and there is nothing between it and human bipedalism, we are saying the same thing.

RE: Peat Bogs and the Lonely People Who Inhabit Them: 3,000 years is a drop in the bucket in geological terms (but, Christ, pick a number and it is a drop in the bucket in "geological terms"), but it represents 150 generations worth of human development. If gradualism is true, then change occurs constantly and 150 generations is more than sufficient to produce macro as well as micro changes. I posit that no such change takes place.

RE: The Littlest Piggie: I've not heard that the little toe is on the way out and that it serves a function in balance and walking. Of course, this is the computer age, so entire limbs may well be on the way out.

~M.

 

____________________
"I believe that woman is planning to shoot me again."

 

Fanatic




Posts: 580
Registered: 31/12/1969
Status: Offline

  posted on 13/12/2004 at 07:50 AM
quote:
Did mono just have an argument. I&#8217;m confused about that just happened there.


Pale-face: I'm confused about your statement; there are a number of ways to read it. If you are asking if I was being combative, then the answer is "no". If you are sarcastically asking if I presented a connected series of statements designed to reach a proposition, then the answer is "Go fuck yourself". If you are asking if there was a problem, then the answer is "I was afraid that I had given NFI the impression that he wasn't discussing things well and wanted to let him know that this wasn't the case".

Hope that clears things up!

~M.

 

____________________
"I believe that woman is planning to shoot me again."

 

Fanatic




Posts: 254
Registered: 31/12/1969
Status: Offline

  posted on 14/12/2004 at 02:02 AM
"I for one would like to see the male sexual organs looking slightly more attractive than a 'the last chicken on the shelf'."

"Like male genitalia... I was thinking that they should be more colourful. And should definately be in a less vulnerable position, maybe with a retractable shell or something."

First a little background on myself. I'm a gay male. I am the authroity on cock, and to let you know, self-loathing gets you nowhere.

I have a pretty penis as well. No old meat look about it. Maybe that is due to the fact that I am not circumcised. This gives me advantages that you claim mother nature has short changed you.
To begin, I have color. My glans is lavender when flacid, and the inside of my prepuce is pink. My meatus can become a deep red when erect and my glans changes color depending on my arousal. It can be a light purple turning to a deep red purple*. That's just obvious color, I have several different subtle shifts in skin tone throughout where it developed in the womb, creating my remus.
And the prepuce IS a retractable shell that protects the head. It protects the real sensitive and vulnerable part of male genitalia. It shouldn't be exposed to light, dry air, and the awful scratchy fabric inside of your BVDs.
Also mother nature gave you a pretty nicely shaped head. Appreciate it.
If left alone, the penis is an amazing organ that does it task quite well. Keep in mind, while we don't have flashy blue scrotums like mandrils, the human penis is actually adapted to feel good, and not as much to look good... I still love them.

*(by the way there is no study on the erotic value in glans color change during foreplay. maybe because this color change is lost due to circumcision, thus lack of interest or awareness that this color shift happens as a normal part of a male's arousal)

 

____________________
The OBOLISK is Divine.

 
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