ZOMBIE FORUMS

It's a stinking, shambling corpse grotesquely parodying life.
It is currently Sat Jun 06, 2020 12:06 am

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]




Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 46 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Opinions on Evolution
PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2003 4:38 pm 
Offline
Addict
User avatar

Joined: Tue May 14, 2002 5:00 pm
Posts: 3446
Location: New York
I just figured I'd start a thread for general debate about evolution. This thread could conceivably be used for debating evolution vs. creationism, but I doubt there are any creationists at the forums. Most likely we'll be arguing about the specific nature of evolution.

So, if you have any interesting opinions on biological evolution that you'd like to share, feel free to post them here.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2003 4:46 pm 
Offline
PostWhorePornStar
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2003 7:47 pm
Posts: 6152
Location: somewhere in Canada
I've wondered if technology plays a part in influencing evolution by reducing the impact of natural selection. A long time ago, vision problems usually meant you were dead but now with corrective lenses and laser surgery, this no longer applies in most cases. Now with recent developments like the mechanical arm (in the unrelated forum, too lazy to link) we are close to overcoming physical disabilites and some birth defects. However I probably don't know what I'm talking about.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2003 6:12 pm 
Offline
Addict
User avatar

Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2002 5:00 pm
Posts: 3236
Location: Allentown, PA
I wish I had a link, but U.S. News had an interesting piece on 'what if evolution was meant to create humanity as a final result?' Apparently there's scientific proof for it. A Prof. Conway Morris--who I note is not a creationist--states that the overwhelming number of convergent evolutions for hands, feet, tool usage indicates that perhaps evolution (on Earth, anyway) has a limited number of solutions to the problems it faces and those solutions have formed a pattern that points towards the evolution of humanity as a result.

That last part is what it seems he's saying; if I have time, I'll gladly find the article and fully transcribe it here just so you can draw your own conclusions.

(One final note: Prof. Morris vehemently dislikes creationism AND intelligent design--he's called them 'unintelligent drivel' or something to that effect. So no, this is not meant to push the debate in either direction, just some interesting facts.)

_________________
I'm too damn pretty to die.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2003 7:44 pm 
Offline
PostWhorePornStar
User avatar

Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2001 5:00 pm
Posts: 5768
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
wolf346 wrote:
I've wondered if technology plays a part in influencing evolution by reducing the impact of natural selection. A long time ago, vision problems usually meant you were dead but now with corrective lenses and laser surgery, this no longer applies in most cases. Now with recent developments like the mechanical arm (in the unrelated forum, too lazy to link) we are close to overcoming physical disabilites and some birth defects. However I probably don't know what I'm talking about.


Maybe technology is just the next stage of human evolution, and the capacity to create it is our greatest adaption.

The more technologically advanced we become, the less natural selection takes its toll, so the less natural evolution affects us.

But that doesn't mean we aren't evolving at all. It takes millions of years to get from the first homonids (like Lucy and her Australopithecines pals) to modern humans, then in a few thousand years we can accululate and pass on knowledge through written language, domesticate animals and grow enough food to have a surplus, build cities, form organized states, work metal, sail around, cure all sorts of crazy diseases, kill somebody by pulling a trigger, make a city as totally cool as New York City, build planes to fly all over the place, develop electronic communications technology which allows any part of the world to instantly communicate with any other part, and launch enough nuclear missles to kill everyone but the cockroaches.

Of course, we're still fucked when some superbacteria created by natural selection due to overuse of antibiotics wipes us all out, so natural evolution still wins in the long run.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2003 7:55 pm 
Offline
Addict
User avatar

Joined: Tue May 14, 2002 5:00 pm
Posts: 3446
Location: New York
wolf346 wrote:
A long time ago, vision problems usually meant you were dead but now with corrective lenses and laser surgery, this no longer applies in most cases.


I just wanted to point out that most vision problems are a consequence of modern life, and not genetics. Most people who need glasses need them because they've strained their eyes by focusing on small areas for long periods of time (through, e.g., reading). In paleolithic times, this really wouldn't be that big of a problem.[/pedant]


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2003 8:27 pm 
Offline
Addict
User avatar

Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 9:43 pm
Posts: 1096
Rincewind MoG's Ghost wrote:
Maybe technology is just the next stage of human evolution, and the capacity to create it is our greatest adaption.


I don't really buy into the technological evolution theory because I don't think it affects most people directly. I can't build an airplane or a computer and neither can most other people, but I can use either one to my own advantage -- just like everybody else.

On the other hand, social evolution is speeding up. Think of all the complicated ways that you behave to get anywhere in society. You have to know how to dress, communicate with others, manage technology, etc. And it's not just about whether you get a promotion at work -- If you can't find some way to fit into modern society you're going to have a hard time finding a date too...

_________________
Always watching, ever vigilant


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2003 8:46 pm 
Offline
PostWhorePornStar
User avatar

Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2001 5:00 pm
Posts: 5768
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Thinman wrote:
Rincewind MoG's Ghost wrote:
Maybe technology is just the next stage of human evolution, and the capacity to create it is our greatest adaption.


I don't really buy into the technological evolution theory because I don't think it affects most people directly. I can't build an airplane or a computer and neither can most other people, but I can use either one to my own advantage -- just like everybody else.



You aren't directly affected by technology? How are you reading this post, chuckles?

We, as indivuals don't necessarily build technology ourselves, but we, certainly read the benefits. An individual modern primate has very little to do with they natural selection that led to opposable thumbs, but they are certainly are directly affected by it.

You said it yourself-- you can use the species' technological adaptions to your own advantage. Therefore, they directly affect you.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2003 9:19 pm 
Offline
Addict
User avatar

Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 9:43 pm
Posts: 1096
Okay fine, I wasn't very clear, but I still stand by it.

Technology is more or less available equally to anyone who can afford it, so it gives you very little advantage over your neighbors. It would you a huge advantage over say, a caveman, but we aren't competing with cavemen -- we're competing with other tech. users.

If you can control other's access to a certain helpful technology, /then/ you have an advantage over them. Thus, inventors can enjoy the most advantages from new technology.

But most people aren't inventors and besides, most non-military inventors make their inventions available to the public in a fairly equal manner.

_________________
Always watching, ever vigilant


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2003 9:28 pm 
Offline
Native

Joined: Wed Jun 19, 2002 5:00 pm
Posts: 903
One thing that doesn't make much sense to me in evolution is the concept of something that would provide a radical enough push to an organism to cause it to evolve into a completely different form; proto-whale dog-like creatures into whales, a branch of dinosaurs into birds, etc. Microevolution is easy to wrap my mind around, as is "unnatural" selection (breeding of dogs into different types by selecting for special traits, etc.), but what would give a proto-bird (with a few feathers but no specialized flight muscles or the ability to actually use those feathers) an advantage over a non-feathered organism, to the extent that the proto-bird would thrive and continue selecting for those traits?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Did feathers evolve from fur?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2003 10:01 pm 
Offline
Addict
User avatar

Joined: Sat Feb 22, 2003 1:42 pm
Posts: 1793
Location: Still Alaska
There have been a couple articles about good old Archy. Current theory is, I believe, his wings helped give him a little push when running away from predators.

Hox genes, I believe, also play a large part. As much of DNA is "junk," or of no understandable use at present, many genes play a very important role. Hox genes manipulation allows for a lot of effect with very little genetic change. With quite literally only a few changes, you have a fruit fly with legs and not wings. Since these things often reference each other, it's easier to effect change than many think.

I think this is why some ungodly high number (60%?) of pregnancies end before they are even noticed.

Does there have to be a "push," Ky? If it works, it often works repeatedly. Go random mutations that could.

Thinman, are we competing against any other species as a whole? The ability of a female bird to raise her children compared to the male's inability doesn't really invalidate anything, does it? Or for some creatures of the same species (i.e. a cat) being environmentally adjusted to different things (i.e. nasty biting alley cat vs. timid house pet)?

Anyways...

Creationism. Hah. HAH! At least by some omnipotent entity.

Intelligent Design. More reasonable.

Punctuated equilibrium. Makes sense to me.

Any other major options I'm forgetting?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2003 10:29 pm 
Offline
PostWhorePornStar
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 17, 2003 5:00 pm
Posts: 7672
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Part of the reason that mr. dino would evolve into a proto bird and then later into a bird could have a very lot to do with the changing earth of the day. The dinos pretty much had swamps and warm weather everywhere. As that started to fade out, feathers were developed to keep the creatures body temperature up, simply so it could survive. The eventual evolution of wings and flight could very likely have come from arms no longer being a necisity, and the primary food source in the new world that the proto-bird was forced in to could have been only up in tall trees, or possibly across a newly formed river as ice from an iceage formed. Macroevolution isn't so hard to contemplate after all, now is it. If enough change happens, a species will adapt. Simple as that. Over time, enough small adaptions become large ones.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2003 11:19 pm 
Offline
Addict
User avatar

Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 9:43 pm
Posts: 1096
Quote:
Thinman, are we competing against any other species as a whole? The ability of a female bird to raise her children compared to the male's inability doesn't really invalidate anything, does it?


Well, no. I don't think that we are competing with any other species at the moment. I haven't had to fight off any predators lately, or kill my own dinner. That just leaves competition with other humans -- where the technological playing field seems to be pretty level.

We're all looking out for our own personal genome, not the good of the species. And yes, females have a definite advantage over males -- they <b>always</b> know that their children are theirs biologically. Males have to trust the females not to trick them into wasting resources (In a purely evolutionary sense, of course.) raising somebody else's kid.

That's why most animal populations have more females than males. They're better off to begin with, and (once they out-number the males) they can have their pick of the herd.

(I seem to be drifting...)

_________________
Always watching, ever vigilant


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2003 3:18 pm 
Offline
Addict
User avatar

Joined: Fri May 17, 2002 5:00 pm
Posts: 2242
Location: http://the-expatriates.com/
Red Queen Theory. put in this debate context, every member of every species is running as fast as it can just to keep up the relative pace, evolution is the thing that gives us a little speed boost to get a bit further ahead than the rest of our species, once you get there you end up running on the spot again, just a few feet ahead of mr #2, but by that point we'll be able to do all sorts of things that little bit better than him and have more children who have a better start in life

today's evolution problems are just the same as they have always been, an M16 and car are just new versions oh a sword and horse or a club and pair of sandals, technology does have an effect on evolution, but not one outside of the theory as a whole, we invented it and we use it thus it's part of our development (ignoring alien intervention theories)

microbacterial apocalypse is just the same as a lion getting so big that it eats all of it's prey animals, evolution has played it a bad hand, it looks cool being a big lion, but you have to eat... it looks cool to be able to eliminate 99% of al viruses, but when you're suddenly extra susceptible to that last 1%, well, sucks to be you, lets see where dolphins get shall we?

_________________
ollie.
---------------
now your tears are worth it


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2003 4:29 pm 
Offline
Addict
User avatar

Joined: Tue May 14, 2002 5:00 pm
Posts: 3446
Location: New York
Thinman wrote:
We're all looking out for our own personal genome, not the good of the species.


See, here you are wrong. Your idea of Evolution seems to be based on Classical Darwinism, which was itself a product of 19th-century England. The interpretation of a scientific theory is sometimes dependent on the social environment in which the theory is developed, and Darwinism, in its original form, is a prime example of this. The original proponents of evolutionary theory were almost exclusively British, and the Britain of Darwin's time was fiercely laissez-faire capitalistic. As such, early evolutionary theorists (including Darwin) tended to emphasize the competitive aspects of evolution - "survival of the fittest" and all that.

However, later theorists (such as Peter Kropotkin) would contend that, at least within individual species, evolution encourages cooperation much more than competition. Anyone who studies a colony of ants, a hive of bees, or even a pack of wolves has to conclude that cooperation often ensures evolutionary survival. Remember that the "evolutionary goal"* of every individual is passing on vis own genes, not preventing others from passing on theirs.

Also keep in mind that relatives possess genes in common. Thus, if an animal sacrifices vis life to save two of vis siblings, and those siblings go on to have offspring, this would be just as "good"* for the animal as if ve had survived verself. This is the principle upon which ant colonies are founded - the worker drones are sterile, but by protecting their colony they are insuring that their queen, who shares half of their genes, goes on to reproduce.




* I really hate using terms like these, since they assign teleological significance to evolutionary processes, and thus anthropomorphize nature. But saying that an animal "wants" to pass on vis genes or that this is its "evolutionary goal" is a lot easier than saying that animals that do not do this wind up having less of a genetic impact on the next generation than those who do. What can I say, I'm lazy.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2003 5:59 pm 
Offline
Addict
User avatar

Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 9:43 pm
Posts: 1096
Cooperative behavior is great because everybody wins?

Sometimes, but not always.

Think in terms of the Prisoner's Dilemma. If we all cooperate, we all get a fractional pay off. But if I know that everybody else will cooperate, I should defect, and take advantage to get a larger pay off.

The point is, cooperation is good only if it doesn't conflict with winning (a good chance of zero pay off), or there is no sure way to cheat the system (assuming I don't have to come back and deal with my victims again later.)

We cooperate only when it seems to be the best way to advance our own genome. In the long run it usually seems to average out, on the side of cooperation, but that doesn't mean competition isn't continuously going on.


Interesting note: Worker bees are NOT sterile, they can reproduce asexually. Workers can lay drone eggs, which share 50% of the parent's genome. But a full-sister worker (same drone-queen parents) has 75% shared genome. Thus, a worker is better off taking care of her sister than her son.

Weird.

_________________
Always watching, ever vigilant


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2003 6:04 pm 
Offline
Addict
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2002 5:00 pm
Posts: 3730
Location: DELETED FOR SECURITY REASONS
Non-cooperative game theory.

Read it, understand it. Shut the fuck up and leave me alone.

So basically what it says is that the most logical decision is not always the best, sometimes the illogical (cooperating, for example) way has the potential for the best outcome, the problem is trust, you have to get people to actually trust each other for them to genuinely cooperate.

-MiB

_________________
delenda est communism


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2003 8:40 pm 
Offline
Addict
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 01, 2002 5:00 pm
Posts: 2885
Location: San Antonio
Just dropping by to poin out that evolution is not an anti-creationist theory, I happen to believe in both, the big bang vs. creation? Yeah those two oppose.

_________________
We used to play for silver, Now we play for life.
One's for sport and one's for blood
At the point of a knife, Now the die is shaken
Now the die must fall,
There ain't a winner in this game
Who don't go home with all, Not with all...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2003 10:30 pm 
Offline
PostWhorePornStar
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 17, 2003 5:00 pm
Posts: 7672
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Clay_Allison wrote:
Just dropping by to poin out that evolution is not an anti-creationist theory, I happen to believe in both, the big bang vs. creation? Yeah those two oppose.


Not necisarily. The big bang could have been the beginning of creation. The "let there be light" part or something...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2003 11:26 am 
Offline
Local
User avatar

Joined: Mon Dec 16, 2002 5:00 pm
Posts: 239
Location: Oregon, then California, now Virginia.
"Let there be light" could very easily be a euphamism for the big bang. It'd work just fine, because I assume that all the matter in the universe exploding from an infinitely small point (read that as 'non-existant', for that is how 'infinitely small' translates over in layman's terms) is going to be rather bright. A supernova made of the entire universe.





Now, I'm a religious man myself, and I don't see any reason why God doesn't fit RIGHT along with it all.


Now, I'm for evolution, totally, but there's a couple instances that kinda irk me...


Archeopteryx....or however the hell you spell that ugly bird's name. It went from lizard - lizard with feathers - lizard with feathers and flappy arms - birdish lizard - lizardish bird - bird, near as we can figure. Best explanation for the feathers? Warmth. But, lemme ask ya', aren't feathers a bit....complex? I mean, after all, hair is much simpler, and just as effective, as per the vast majority of mammals. It's easier to grow, too, and it could grow up between the scales, if need be. There, armor AND warmth, together! Beautiful. Or thicker scales, perhaps, that'd keep warmth in, but with the proper texture to 'em, they'd absorb heat from the sun quite well.

Eh, I dunno, I'm probably just missin' something vital. I'd love a bit of enlightening.

_________________
We'll wipe out all the nasty crawly things that come into your home, regardless of whether they have jobs, families, or even personal firearms. Call Quadruple-E right this fucking second!

Before your neighbour does.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2003 11:55 am 
Offline
Addict
User avatar

Joined: Fri May 17, 2002 5:00 pm
Posts: 2242
Location: http://the-expatriates.com/
Crashman wrote:
Archeopteryx....or however the hell you spell that ugly bird's name.


i don't see any of them fluttering around today. why? because they were crap, thus evolved out of it or died out and were replaced by the partialy shaven monkeys that you come into contact with every day

and i can see how a god * can come into standard evolution theory, but only from an outside position, ie it got the ball rolling by accident or design with the big bang, just as when you leave food in the fridge and various molds start growing, taking teh fridge as a 'universe' closed system, you are playing god every time you start off the catalyst of life with an old bit of toast in there

not quite leaning out of the clouds and imparting the essence of life onto a species, but still

(*ollie worships no gods and as such is on equal terms with any deities that you deem to worship)

_________________
ollie.
---------------
now your tears are worth it


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 46 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group