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A question... for those with a brain.


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Author Topic: A question... for those with a brain.  (Read 609 times)
DazzaMc
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« on: October 10, 2009, 11:30:32 pm »

Our current understanding of evolution is that life evolves because of need. It develops physical characteristics, driven by the adaptation of skills and behaviour which help it best adapt to it's current environment. The development of limbs such as arms, tails, fins/wings/legs or feet is driven by the excessive practice of the same activity over generations, skin gets tougher, muscles form, bone develops....  all rather simple and straight forward.

So simply (according to our current understanding) - life does not go beyond it's need to survive. If 2 legs or four fins are required to best survive then over many generations evolution will provide.
However - it wont say "hey - a few more arms could be handy in 2000 years time" and go on to develop those - evolution is driven by need only. Evolution has no 'brain' or foresight - it cant plan for the future or allow for future development, it can only adapt and evolve to the best it can within the environment in which it currently finds itself.



How is it then - that we humans have brains which are supposedly larger than we require?!?



I suggest that either something is seriously wrong with our understanding of evolution - OR - the Human race has forgotten skills and abilities which are strangely absent from ALL recoded history OR the brain operates on level which we are yet to see - and therefore understand.



And that's tonight's brain wave...... sleep well!







And no Gom - this has nothing what-so-ever to do with creation... that whole 7 days, earth center of the universe shit just doesn't run with me - so dont bother.


  
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pantherrr0
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« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2009, 12:08:43 am »

I would  go along the  same line as  sharks teeth which are constantly  growing ^^ its  sort of a  buffer.
shark  may or may not need  new teeth when the next set is comeing though  but if it did and the  next set wasnt on its way it would die.

with  humans  its  more "front loading" in that while  we dont  use all  of our brain  it  doesnt  regenerate. if it was at the point  where we used all of it and we took a nasty knock to the  head thats it. with the extra tissue there  we have some to lose   then even when  we do take damage to  important sections theres parts  where it can 're wire' to make up for it.

not 100% sure, will have to look it up later  but think in most cases where the  brain is relativly small, the frontal structure is relativly  big to protect it .  thick skulled if you will and that its especially prominant when the animal is likely to be taking impacts.

looking at fossil evidence our brains grew back  and we lost  alot of the thicker brow and skull structure. Might be  completly wrong but it seems to me that as this developed the ones that had bigger changes in size relative to protection would be more likely to survive some rough and tumble than the ones that  lost the protection but only had enough brain size to handle daily needs..

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robman
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« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2009, 09:14:50 pm »

And nothing evolves to fill a need. Accidental physical anomolies occur and some new characteristics just happen to make the recipient more likely to survive in a changing environment or they have an ability to exploit a niche unavailable to the others of their species.
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Lovelee
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« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2009, 07:54:50 pm »

Quote
How is it then - that we humans have brains which are supposedly larger than we require?!?

Ive always figured that some of the unused areas were those used way back




-- now unnecessary.  And some are what we use now, and develop as we learn, and the rest will be needed when we are using our minds to teleport things from point A to point B.
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pantherrr0
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« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2009, 01:21:04 am »

here we go Daz   =D  and  we have a prome example within our forum of what happens when it shrinks too much Wink


http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2009/10/19/2102460.aspx

How we're evolving Posted: Monday, October 19, 2009 7:20 PM by Alan Boyle



Our skulls and our genes show that we're still evolving, but not always in the ways you might expect.

For example, the typical human head has actually been getting smaller over the past few thousand years, reversing the earlier evolutionary trend. Meanwhile, East Asians are becoming lighter-skinned - and appear to have more sensitive hearing than their ancestors did 10,000 years ago.

John Hawks, an anthropologist and blogger at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, points to such trends as evidence that "recent evolution is real."

Hawks delved into a few of his favorite scientific tales over the weekend in Austin, Texas, at the annual CASW New Horizons in Science meeting.

You've no doubt heard some of those tales already. There's the one about the genetic mutation about 7,500 years ago that enhanced Europeans' ability to digest milk in adulthood - which in turn encouraged the rise of dairy farming. And then there's the still-debated claim that early humans' skin became lighter as they migrated northward because the need for vitamin D absorption outweighed the risk of skin cancer.

Other researchers have found that several genetic strategies for fighting off malaria have arisen among populations in sub-Saharan Africa, including a mutation that can also lead to sickle-cell anemia.

Such findings have come about thanks to detailed studies of how genetic mutations are passed along - and how beneficial mutations tend to become more widespread, even if those benefits are accompanied by secondary risks. The fingerprint of such changes, Hawks said, is a phenomenon known as linkage disequilibrium, in which characteristic snippets of genetic code show up in combination among members of a population. The level of genetic linkage can indicate how much of a role natural selection is playing in particular genes.

Hawks said about 3,000 of the genes that distinguish humans from chimpanzees show signs of linkage disequilibrium - and that suggests that a quarter of the evolutionary divergences between the two genomes are continuing today.

It's not just genes that are revealing these changes. One of Hawks' specialties is measuring how the typical shape of human skulls has changed over the course of thousands of years. The current view, based on skull measurements as well as genetics, is that the modern head isn't as "long" as it was 10,000 years ago, with a resulting reduction in brain volume. "Brains are shrinking," Hawks said.

This isn't necessarily a bad thing: The brain is the human body's hungriest organ, consuming half of the glucose we take in. The modern brain may be packing more power into a smaller space and as a result cutting down on the biological energy requirements - with the help of external memory devices.

"What do we need these brains for? We've got iPods," Hawks joked.

But often we're too close to the situation to second-guess what natural selection is doing to us. "Efficiency demands that the brain should be smaller," Hawks said. "Maybe we got better with smaller brains, but I gotta tell you that maybe we're getting dumber. How can we know?"

That aura of uncertainty applies to other ongoing evolutionary changes as well. One of the genes under heavy selection in East Asian populations plays a role in the development of the inner ear's machinery. That suggests that more sensitive hearing may be conferring some sort of advantage on those populations, and Hawks speculates that it may have something to do with the tonal character of most Asian languages. That's only a guess, however.

The guesswork becomes even murkier when it comes to figuring out why genetic coding linked to redheadedness and lighter skin color is becoming more prevalent among Asians. "Our species is evolving like crazy in pigmentation in different ways in different populations, presumably because of the same underlying selection pressures," Hawks said.

Hawks doesn't think the vitamin D factor alone can explain why skin color is being affected by natural selection. Some theorists, including Charles Darwin himself, have suggested that sexual selection may be at work - that having lighter skin somehow improves an individual's reproductive prospects. But in this more evolved age, voicing that kind of view can make your typical researcher sound like a Neanderthal.

So what does Hawks think is behind the skin-color issue? "That's a box I don't want to open," he told me.

Further thoughts from John Hawks:

Some genetic mutations confer clear benefits on the folks who have them but may not spread widely among populations because they don't enhance reproductive fitness, Hawks. Classic examples would be mutations that tend to extend longevity, such as the one that gives Italian villagers in Limone sul Garda extra resistance to cardiovascular disease.


The recent analysis of a 4.4 million-year-old hominid fossil known as Ardi could lead to big changes in how we view our evolutionary family tree. "It's not a tree. It's not a bush. It's like a network where things reconnect," Hawks told me. The latest findings suggest that the common ancestor for chimps and humans was less chimplike than previously thought. In some areas - for example, the hands - humans may be considered more "primitive" than chimps, Hawks pointed out.
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robman
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« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2009, 09:23:02 pm »

I can believe humans are getting dumber, being a bit of a mong is no barrier to living to a ripe old age and passing on your mong genes nowadays.
I don't think a dumb cro-magnon would have been too successful in the longevity stakes..
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pantherrr0
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« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2009, 10:12:34 am »

not  so sure about that rob, think it plays into the relative % use and  potential danger i put forward.  I think its likely while  we have less brain matter  we would be using a higher % of it.  As it is now we dont really take many  knocks to the head.
How ever reading some of gommies posts your idea does have alot of merit
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Sir Blodsnogger
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« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2009, 06:07:14 am »

The answer to your question dazza is this. Small brain syndrome.
In yourcase your swollen head is too big for its contents.
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DazzaMc
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« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2009, 06:13:35 pm »

I can believe humans are getting dumber, being a bit of a mong is no barrier to living to a ripe old age and passing on your mong genes nowadays.
I don't think a dumb cro-magnon would have been too successful in the longevity stakes..


You could be right there Rob...
Not dumber in the way we measure intelligence today - but perhaps less connected with our environment could explain a large part of it.
 Smiley
 
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Sir Blodsnogger
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« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2009, 06:30:33 pm »

dazza oh yes I forgot
AND you have balls for brains
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AnFaolchudubh
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« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2009, 02:09:10 pm »

I can believe humans are getting dumber, being a bit of a mong is no barrier to living to a ripe old age and passing on your mong genes nowadays.
I don't think a dumb cro-magnon would have been too successful in the longevity stakes..


You could be right there Rob...
Not dumber in the way we measure intelligence today - but perhaps less connected with our environment could explain a large part of it.
 Smiley
 

Religion has something to do with it too, just look at many of those who follow a religion, solid ivory from the eyebrows up!
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Stupid people are not an endangered species so why are we protecting them
R. S. OhAllmurain
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« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2009, 07:19:29 am »

solid ivory is preffered toworm guts
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AnFaolchudubh
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« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2009, 08:51:57 am »

solid ivory is preffered toworm guts

See Dazza, what did I tell you?! Theres a prime example of solid ivory from the eyebrows up with gommie, Ive said it before and I'll say it again not the sharpest knife in the draw is gommie!
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Stupid people are not an endangered species so why are we protecting them
R. S. OhAllmurain
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« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2009, 09:18:36 am »

I can believe humans are getting dumber, being a bit of a mong is no barrier to living to a ripe old age and passing on your mong genes nowadays.
I don't think a dumb cro-magnon would have been too successful in the longevity stakes..

You could be right there.

There is ample evidence that the lower educated, dumber members of society are the ones more likely to have larger families.

More of their children are suviving too. So on the balance more of the next generation are coming from that sort of background than from more learned types who limit their child bearing.

Trying to balance that with the out of control growth of the human population on this planet and you could build a good case for putting contraceptives in the water supply.
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