T Nation

Evolutionary Confusion


#1

What's wrong with this picture? I just can't figure it out.

All the various apes in the world aren't any smarter nor do they look any different today than they did 10,000 years ago. They haven't developed more advanced tools, they haven't started eating meat, they haven't started building huts... They're still swinging from trees.

What's so different between the early similarly sized early human brains and the apes that we can develop and evolve, yet they can't.

You can teach a chimp to do some amazing things which proves it isn't dumb, so why can't it use this same intelligence to evolve?

The reason why evolution will never be proved is because you'll never be able to conduct an experiment on it. You can't just get together a bunch of apes and watch them turn into homosapiens. The best you can do is speculate.

To be honest, some of the skulls at the Smithsonian don't look much different than skulls of modern day African tribesman - swept back brow and the whole bit. So after millions of years of evolution everyone's skull still looks different when comparing various races.

I really doubt those dating methods - simply because they have been known to constantly contradict each other depending on what method you use. I'm talking millions of years contradiction. Yeah, we got this down to an exact science don't we.

What was it about the last few thousand years that caused such a rush and acceleration in learning and social advancment. What was the factor that caused us to go millions of years as ape morons, then all the sudden we can walk, talk, learn, and invent in a matter of a blink of an eye. 5000-6000 years is truly a blink of an eye for the evolutionary time frame we've all been taught. Honestly I'd like to know what magic evolutionary process caused this exponential advancement?

If man slowly evolved from chimps, how come only some of us evolved and we still have unchanged chimps?

Did early man have sex with chimps? Did they produce truly have chimp baby's that had extra body hair and long arms?

Out of all the classes and lectures I've taken and heard on this no one has answered this. I don't mean to mock anyone or the info, I just want some possible answers. I'm frustrated with this. Thanks!


#2

Maaaaan... You have so many misconceptions I don't know where to begin. And it's also past my bedtime, so I'll point out a few quick ones, and ask you to wait for other people to fill in the gaps. Here goes:

Neither are humans any smarter or look any different than they did 10,000 years ago.

And they seem to be doing just fine. Why do you expect them to change? Dinosaurs ruled the Earth for 185 million years; if it hadn't been for their extinction (due to some major catastrophe) they may still have been here...and we wouldn't!

They did evolve! Just because they don't drive SUVs does not mean the haven't evolved. I believe you are confusing technological advancements, with biological (anatomical) evolution. One has nothing to do with the other. The fact that we now have aeroplanes, while 2000 years ago we were travelling by chariots in the best of cases does not mean we have evolved. We haven't, it means we have developed better technology. We started with the wheel, and took it from there.

One reason anthropologists believe we became better with tools and began to develp technologically was the ability to speak; apes and other animals lack that ability due to the way their throats and mouths are structured. This is a whole article unto itself, so I'll say no more. But just think of how you would learn all you know if there were no books or spoken language (writing appeared much later than speaking did).

Individuals don't evolve, species evolve! Again, you are confusing technological prowess with biological evolution. An animal doesn't decide to evolve; it suffers a mutation that gives it some sort of advantage over it fellow animals such that it is more proficent at getting food, fighting, or some other activity that will guarantee it will be stronger, live longer, have more mates, and leave more descendents. They, in turn, will also possess this beneficial quality, such that they'll be more successful than those without it, and so on and so forth until all memebers of the species possess this atribute. When the playing field is even, some other mutation will take place introducing another benefit and it starts again.

If the mutation makes the individual less proficient at Life, then it will die and leave few or no descendants.

I don't agree: You will never be able to conduct an experiment on fusing two protons to produce a helium atom. And yet, this process happens, in the centre of the Sun, which is why it shines.

Evolution happens through adaptation, a stable, succesful animal will not evolve if it has reached the pinnacle of its environmental niche. Aligators or scorpions have not evolved for tens of millions of years; they have no need to. Also, you need a fairly large population to ensure you have a sufficient amount of mutations occuring. So you're not going to see a bunch of apes become Homo Sapiens any time soon. This process would also take some millions of years. How much time do you have?

I'm not sure what your point is, but you are actually giving evolution a pat in the back. If the Homo genus hadn't evolved, we would all have skulls with the same shape!

Let me contradict you, the dating methods you talk about (Carbon 14 maybe?) do not constantly contradict each other. It does happen, the same way your tax claim doesn't always agree with what the Government says you should be paying. OK, maybe not for the same reasons :slight_smile: But many skulls and bones have been dated by different methods and the values have coincided. You may sometimes hear about the precision in date being 50,000 years, and you might think this is crap, but if you're dating something that's 5 million years old, that's a 1% precision. With what precision do you know your body fat? It's not even 10%, I assure you!

Spoken and written Language? Entire books have been written on this matter!

Hardly morons! :smiley: And we didn't all of a sudden walk, talk, etc. I took time!

It is, which is why it took us about 3.5 million years to get from biped apes, to what we are today.

Theories abound. Magic is not mentioned in any of them.

Man did not evolve from chimps. Man and chimps share a common ancestor, that lived about 6 million years ago in Africa. Curiously, this ancestor diverged (evolved away) from the ape that would eventually evolve in the present-day gorilla much before that. This means that chimps are more closely related to man on a genetic level than to gorillas. By the way, the difference in DNA between a chimp and a man is about 2-3%.

Errrr.... I don't know what your taste in women is like, but I'm not going to go there, man!

Would you really like to learn more? Read this book: The Blind Watchmaker, by Richard Dawkins. It's well written, with the layperson in mind, and clearly explains what all this evolution gobbledegook is about.


#3

Actually as far as evolution not being able to be proven, if you look at the African Elephant you will see that due to poaching more and more elephants are being born without tusks. This genetic mutation was found in 1/100 elephants but because paochers kill the elephants with the tusks the non-tusked gene is becoming more dominant.

Outside forces exerting pressure on a species=evolution, austrolphicus(our earliest found ancestor) could stand upright and see predators in the grassland this is the begining of our evolution, predators eat us= standing upright to see predators, change over time. Makes more sense to me than people living to be 900 years old, or survivng in a whales stomach for a month, but hey I bet that water to wine trick was cool at parties.


#4

Anthropologist do believe that the various primates today are different than their ancestors. If there's no impetus to evolve, it doesn't happen. If there are no gene mutations that are advantageous and allow for better survival and reproductive success than they won't be passed on.

This was the case for other primates, and they didn't follow the same trajectory as humans. You also seem to be thinking about an end goal and or one finite line towards evoluation with current humans apparently being what other primates should have evolved to. This isn't really the case. They may still evolve and take a very different trajectory than humans if the mutations that allow them to better survive and reproduce in what's left their natural environments are different./


#5

Modern man did not evolve from what we see as modern apes, although it is possible we did share the same ancestor millions of years ago.

They went down a differnt evolutionary track.

They are not going to jump tracks to be like humans, no more than we will jump tracks to be more like apes or bears.

The evidence that evolution occurs is overwhelming.

If it your religion that gives you pause, don't let it. Much of the bible is metaphor.

Seven of gods "days" could be 7 billion years.


#6

it pains me greatly to read such an abysmally ignorant post...

I'm not going to argue whether or not evolution is factual (I don't fucking care if evolution happened or not), but it's as if you know absolutely NOTHING about the theory...

your questions are like that of a small child who has been dropped on his head once too often...

hell, you've got the entire internet at your disposal to investigate the theory and yet you come to a bodybuilding/supplement web site to ask you infantile questions...

have you ever considered cracking open a book on the subject?

I would suggest some reading material but I'm not at all sure that you would be able to comprehend any of it...

I guess no one pays model/musicians to be intelligent...


#7

good post on your part Miserere.

Very dumb post IHateGymMorons. I would suggest skipping the gym one day a week and taking a college level biology and genetics course.


#8

Amen to that. People need to stop taking religious documents - particularly the Bible - so literally.


#9

I agree with your points above regarding evolution (I was a Physical Anthropology major in college about 10 years ago) BUT why the need to assault religious beliefs. So far, this thread hadn't devolved into an evolution vs. creation debate. There's no need to add insults.


#10

You CAN conduct experiments. In my undergrad genetics course we did laboratory work with fruit flies. Their short lifespan allows you to study changes over several generations. Imagine what experiments can be done with bacteria whose lifespans are even shorter. In my microbiology lab we exposed bacteria to antibiotics and plated it out, those that were resistant survived and grew.


#11

Dawkins "the selfish gene". It answers most of your questions.


#12

I think its valid to point out that evolution is a fact. Darwin's theory of evelution BY natural selection is what can be debated. You can create evolution in an artificial way quite easily. With dog breeding for example.


#13

http://dsc.discovery.com/news/briefs/20040126/neanderthal.html
A little reading to add food for thought


#14

Not much left to say that hasn't been said, but the point that tends to aggravate me is that many people look at evolution as a deliberate or intentioned thing by individuals or a species, rather than the random thing that it is. Which is why evolution by natural selection is such a better term for what we're speaking about than evolution.


#15

This is also covered in Drs. Berardi and Williams' 'Eat like a Neanderthal' series.


#16

I'm beginning to wonder what's the point of these threads.

If people unfamiliar with evolution are really interested in learning more, there's tons of resources on the web and in libraries. Access and read.

In the newsgroup alt.binaries.e-book, someone has just dumped every issue of Scientific American from 1993 to present in PDF format. Download and read.

As a bonus, you'll also be able to read on nutrition, vegetarianism, nuclear weapons, neanderthals, bulking up, string theory, the Big Bang, fusion, and many, many other topics that come up from time to time on these threads.


#17

...and because this thread has started to go this way...I offer an alternative. I believe that "Science" and "Religion" aren't mutually exclusive. Despite examples of the contrary (and many of them post here) you can be both a religious person and an intellectual. The post below is an excerpt from the Handbook of Christian Apologetics by Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli. Peter Kreeft is a professor of Philosophy at Boston College and the author of serveral books related to the Catholic faith.

If one were to accept that man exists as a psychosomatic union of body and soul, there is no contradiction in believing that the material physical body of man, evolved from an animal ancestor, but that the psyche (soul, mind, man's rational part) was what was made in the image and likeness of God and that the "creation" of man was when this gift of reason was given.

A strict materialist however, will reject this notion and will subscribe to the third definition of evolution above, which has already been stated, is a philosophical stance and not a scientific one.

My intention in posting this is not to attempt to "prove" that the Bible has offered a true account of the creation of man (that is a theological question and it is up to each individual to decide what to believe), but only to suggest that it does not contradict science or reason to believe so.

In faith,
WS


#18

This subject is way to complex to discuss on a thread, however, it should be pointed out that evolution and adaptation are not necessarily the same thing. For instance an individual species can adapt to an environmental change with genetic mutation; over many, many (about 10000) generations or so only the species with the right genetic makeup survives and breeds out the "weaker" genes thus evolving into a new subspecies. However, if instead of adapting to the new environment they were to simply move to an environment that suited their needs (no genetic selection) this would certainly be adaptation but not natural selection (consider the early inhabitants of the North American continent about 10,000 years ago that emigrated thru the Bearing Straits land bridge). Of course there are many other ways in which genetic selection will occur; environment is just an example as it is the most obvious.


#19

I would argue that macroevolution is not a theory at all; it is not observable, repeatable, or refutable, and therefore cannot be defined as fact or theory. It is probably more appropriately called a hypothesis.

Calling evolution a fact does not make it so any more than calling creation a fact makes it so. The scientific method cannot be applied to either one.

The above mentioned fruit fly experiment shows adaptation, not evolution. The fruit fly did not become a bluejay, it "survived and grew". No reasonable creationist or ID proponent would refute adaptation or microevolution occurs.

I would agree that these "arguments" are pretty pointless. They deteriorate into a pissing match more than anything useful.


#20

Yes.