T Nation

What's Up With Chimps?

We all know that chimps, along with any other primate that isn’t really small, are a lot stronger than humans. At what point did we lose that strength? Is it truly gone, or are we just unable to tap into it?

It doesn’t make much sense to me that we would lose strength as a result of evolution. Sure, our bigger brains could take down a strong yet dimwit ancestor. But why haven’t we kept the strength anyway? Is it really that much trouble for an organism to develop lots of brain power and still have strong muscles? It’s not like the chimps have freakishly big muscles. Is having a more powerful CNS or whatever chimps have really so much trouble that it evolved into weakness?

(I’m skeptic of the reasoning that we simply didn’t need it anymore. It would take the death of the stronger early “humans” to get rid of the trait. Perhaps this is more evidence that we simply don’t tap into it anymore).

yes, it does take that much to create and maintain brain power.

just like all things, specialization in one area drops the ability to specialize in competing areas and drops the ability to specialize in any other areas in general.

good Q, BTW, let’s hope to get a good discussion going.

[quote]NateN wrote:
We all know that chimps, along with any other primate that isn’t really small, are a lot stronger than humans. At what point did we lose that strength? Is it truly gone, or are we just unable to tap into it?

It doesn’t make much sense to me that we would lose strength as a result of evolution. Sure, our bigger brains could take down a strong yet dimwit ancestor. But why haven’t we kept the strength anyway? Is it really that much trouble for an organism to develop lots of brain power and still have strong muscles? It’s not like the chimps have freakishly big muscles. Is having a more powerful CNS or whatever chimps have really so much trouble that it evolved into weakness?

(I’m skeptic of the reasoning that we simply didn’t need it anymore. It would take the death of the stronger early “humans” to get rid of the trait. Perhaps this is more evidence that we simply don’t tap into it anymore).[/quote]

Neanderthals were exponentially bigger and stronger than us. Some major structural differences as well. One of the leading theories as to why they died out is that they just couldn’t handle the lean times. They just needed to eat too many calories to maintain basic functioning for the circumstances they would face.

I remember reading something several years ago in “Power to the People” I believe that said the average person has the joint and muscular potential to perform superhuman feats and that the efficiency of our CNS was the limiting factor. I don’t have the background to give a concrete answer, but I would think that our higher brain functions necessitate a sacrafice in neuromuscular efficiency.

[quote]jsbrook wrote:
NateN wrote:
We all know that chimps, along with any other primate that isn’t really small, are a lot stronger than humans. At what point did we lose that strength? Is it truly gone, or are we just unable to tap into it?

It doesn’t make much sense to me that we would lose strength as a result of evolution. Sure, our bigger brains could take down a strong yet dimwit ancestor. But why haven’t we kept the strength anyway? Is it really that much trouble for an organism to develop lots of brain power and still have strong muscles? It’s not like the chimps have freakishly big muscles. Is having a more powerful CNS or whatever chimps have really so much trouble that it evolved into weakness?

(I’m skeptic of the reasoning that we simply didn’t need it anymore. It would take the death of the stronger early “humans” to get rid of the trait. Perhaps this is more evidence that we simply don’t tap into it anymore).

Neanderthals were exponentially bigger and stronger than us. Some major structural differences as well. One of the leading theories as to why they died out is that they just couldn’t handle the lean times. They just needed to eat too many calories to maintain basic functioning for the circumstances they would face.
[/quote]

An interesting fact that I learned in my human Anthropology class many moons ago is the theory that despite the fact that Neandertals had larger brains than we do, humans have a more developed frontal lobe (higher thinking, reasoning, etc.) than Neandertals did while they had more developed occipital and parietal lobes (visial, coordination, etc).

Swing from tree branches all day every day for a year, and you’ll see amazing gains in strength.

Well, there does seem to be an evolutionary advantage for trading brawns for brains. After all, the human population is still exlpoding while chimps are an endangered species, and we’re the ones that can capture them at will, not the other way around.

Also, that one chimp hangs around with Michael Jackson - that can’t be a good sign for chimps.

[quote]reddog6376 wrote:
Swing from tree branches all day every day for a year, and you’ll see amazing gains in strength. [/quote]

greater than the most elite male ring specialist?

I thought this was a thread about Deisel Weasel.

My bad. Please excuse me.

[quote]Panther1015 wrote:
jsbrook wrote:

Neanderthals were exponentially bigger and stronger than us. Some major structural differences as well. One of the leading theories as to why they died out is that they just couldn’t handle the lean times. They just needed to eat too many calories to maintain basic functioning for the circumstances they would face.

An interesting fact that I learned in my human Anthropology class many moons ago is the theory that despite the fact that Neandertals had larger brains than we do, humans have a more developed frontal lobe (higher thinking, reasoning, etc.) than Neandertals did while they had more developed occipital and parietal lobes (visial, coordination, etc). [/quote]

Yes. From what I learned, that’s true. It is really interesting.

[quote]wufwugy wrote:
reddog6376 wrote:
Swing from tree branches all day every day for a year, and you’ll see amazing gains in strength.

greater than the most elite male ring specialist?[/quote]

Now do it for 200 generations…

But if you think about it, who would win. If you sent one man into the jungle alone with a silverback, with no way of escape, 99% of the time the chimp would win, the only time it wouldn’t is if a person smart enough to create a means of defense from there enviroment was place into this situation.

So in the long run, any gorilla could kill 99% of humans, while 1 man out of 500 million could kill a gorilla. The only difference is, us dumb people piggyback on the smart guys, we gave it a few thousands years and bam we are ruleing the earth.

[quote]rainjack wrote:
I thought this was a thread about Deisel Weasel.

My bad. Please excuse me.[/quote]

ROFLMAO!!!
I have tears in my eyes.

Assuming those that were best in swinging from branches all day also did all of the mating.

[quote]reddog6376 wrote:
wufwugy wrote:
reddog6376 wrote:
Swing from tree branches all day every day for a year, and you’ll see amazing gains in strength.

greater than the most elite male ring specialist?

Now do it for 200 generations…[/quote]

I only play a scientist on tv, but here’s my take:
I think that if there’s one thing humans are no longer tapping into it’s our “killer instinct”. Suppose we were locked with a gorilla or chimp. Yeah, it would mop the floor with us. But what about a human from 100,000 years ago? Same body, same brain. (If that’s going too far back, I mean whatever was the earliest date when humans became what we are today).
I bet he sure as hell wouldn’t be freaking out. He’d harness his brain to find whatever weapon or advantage needed. If he had a decent blade I bet he’d dice that gorilla into finger food.

But then again maybe this situation isn’t realistic since modern humans probably won out by working together.

[quote]Superman wrote:
But if you think about it, who would win. If you sent one man into the jungle alone with a silverback, with no way of escape, 99% of the time the chimp would win, the only time it wouldn’t is if a person smart enough to create a means of defense from there enviroment was place into this situation.

So in the long run, any gorilla could kill 99% of humans, while 1 man out of 500 million could kill a gorilla. The only difference is, us dumb people piggyback on the smart guys, we gave it a few thousands years and bam we are ruleing the earth.[/quote]

[quote]reddog6376 wrote:
wufwugy wrote:
reddog6376 wrote:
Swing from tree branches all day every day for a year, and you’ll see amazing gains in strength.

greater than the most elite male ring specialist?

Now do it for 200 generations…[/quote]

Doing something for 200 generations will not increase the ability to do that thing. That is not what evolution is about.

Lifting wieghts (or swinging from trees) for your whole life will not alter your genetics, which is what you will pass on to your decendants.

[quote]reddog6376 wrote:
wufwugy wrote:
reddog6376 wrote:
Swing from tree branches all day every day for a year, and you’ll see amazing gains in strength.

greater than the most elite male ring specialist?

Now do it for 200 generations…[/quote]

good point. but then again, that would make us chimps.

[quote]Chris (NZ) wrote:
reddog6376 wrote:
wufwugy wrote:
reddog6376 wrote:
Swing from tree branches all day every day for a year, and you’ll see amazing gains in strength.

greater than the most elite male ring specialist?

Now do it for 200 generations…

Doing something for 200 generations will not increase the ability to do that thing. That is not what evolution is about.

Lifting wieghts (or swinging from trees) for your whole life will not alter your genetics, which is what you will pass on to your decendants.[/quote]

uh what? what, then, is responsible for evolution?

[quote]Superman wrote:
But if you think about it, who would win. If you sent one man into the jungle alone with a silverback, with no way of escape, 99% of the time the chimp would win, the only time it wouldn’t is if a person smart enough to create a means of defense from there enviroment was place into this situation.

So in the long run, any gorilla could kill 99% of humans, while 1 man out of 500 million could kill a gorilla. The only difference is, us dumb people piggyback on the smart guys, we gave it a few thousands years and bam we are ruleing the earth.[/quote]

are we ruling the earth? i wonder if nitrogen thinks it’s ruling the atmosphere, or if black thinks it’s ruling the nighttime, or if cancer thinks it’s ruling the human earth.

when we get hit by a big enough asteroid, get unknowingly disintegrated by much more advanced and jealous aliens (lol), or something of our future technology goes awry and we change our own environment too quickly for our adaptation im sure we wont rule the earth.

Death. And lots of it.
Let’s say a fish evolved to swim really fast to escape a shark. For evolution to have taken place, every slow fish would have had to be eaten before it could produce offspring. Then the naturally fastest fish got to do all the mating resulting in fast children.
There’s also evolution based on sexual selection but that’s a whole other, and more interesting, story.

[quote]wufwugy wrote:

uh what? what, then, is responsible for evolution?[/quote]