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Author Topic:   The Human Eating-Speaking System - Bad Design?
Jon
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 27 (706753)
09-16-2013 6:44 PM


In Found: The First Mechanical Gear in a Living Creature, discussion has spread off to the design qualities of the human eating-speaking system.

Perhaps we can have a separate thread for it here.

It starts here: Message 6

My argument is that the system as we have it is pretty good at doing what it needs to do; though it presents the risk of choking to death, the alternative designs presented are far more complicated and 'hardware heavy' than what they benefit the species in way of removing the choking hazard.

The counter arguments are that a system completely separating speech/breathing from eating would be ideal to such a degree as to warrant the excess hardware and all the complications that might come along with this.

Jon

(Any forum is fine.)


Love your enemies!

Replies to this message:
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Message 2 of 27 (706755)
09-17-2013 8:12 AM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the The Human Eating-Speaking System - Bad Design? thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.
    
nwr
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From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 4.5


Message 3 of 27 (706772)
09-17-2013 1:36 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jon
09-16-2013 6:44 PM


the alternative designs presented are far more complicated and 'hardware heavy'

I'm not at all sure that's true. Communication does not have to use the kind of sounds that we make.

Fundamentalism - the anti-American, anti-Christian branch of American Christianity

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Tempe 12ft Chicken
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Posts: 436
From: Tempe, Az.
Joined: 10-25-2012


Message 4 of 27 (706777)
09-17-2013 2:41 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by nwr
09-17-2013 1:36 PM


nwr writes:

I'm not at all sure that's true. Communication does not have to use the kind of sounds that we make.

This is exactly what I would state as well. Why is the assumption that the human method of speech/communication is the best? Perhaps dolphins have a far more eloquent communication system that we have not even begun to grasp at this time, such as how we are now discovering specific whistles for individuals within the pod.

Source

Simply because it was the system that we were raised to recognize and use should not force us into the thought that it is the end all, be all of communication. This falls into the trap of thinking about humans as some sort of epitome of evolution, rather than simply what it is, another branch in the bush of life.

Plus, the added bonus of not sending 16 million kids to the emergency room per year for choking related causes. I will admit that the amount of US deaths by accidental choking is minimal, but this does not mean that this is the most intelligent design implemented. I think you are falling into the trap of considering human beings as something special and not as something that could have achieved similar results of propogating the species without the same communication/breathing/choking problem.

Remember, if we had our same intelligence and were raised with a different method of communication, such as was used in the past with types of clicking and gutteral noises, then this would be what we would see as the best method of communication because we would understand it. Which is an issue when dealing with animal sounds, we were not raised to understand them. People are not saying how could we add onto the existing design to make it better, but rather, how would we have designed it from the start if we were an "Intelligent" designer. This is where the system falls flat, it was poorly designed, with many other viable options visible throughout the animal kingdom that allow for all three; Breathing, communication, and eating without the danger inherent in the human design of choking.


The theory of evolution by cumulative natural selection is the only theory we know of that is in principle capable of explaining the existence of organized complexity. - Richard Dawkins

Creationists make it sound as though a 'theory' is something you dreamt up after being drunk all night. - Issac Asimov

If you removed all the arteries, veins, & capillaries from a persons body, and tied them end-to-endthe person will die. - Neil Degrasse Tyson

What would Buddha do? Nothing! What does the Buddhist terrorist do? Goes into the middle of the street, takes the gas, *pfft*, Self-Barbecue. The Christian and the Muslim on either side are yelling, "What the Fuck are you doing?" The Buddhist says, "Making you deal with your shit. - Robin Williams


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Jon
Inactive Member


Message 5 of 27 (706790)
09-17-2013 5:55 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Tempe 12ft Chicken
09-17-2013 2:41 PM


Perhaps dolphins have a far more eloquent communication system that we have not even begun to grasp at this time, such as how we are now discovering specific whistles for individuals within the pod.

The dolphin system is not complex enough. We know this because their brains are not as complex as ours. If we relied on a system comparable to theirs, we'd be failing to communicate a huge amount of what we are capable of thinking.

A replacement system has to be able to achieve at least the same as the current system to be worth considering.

Remember, if we had our same intelligence and were raised with a different method of communication, such as was used in the past with types of clicking and gutteral noises, then this would be what we would see as the best method of communication because we would understand it.

But these systems aren't sufficient for us. Complex thought can only be transmitted through complex communication.

Breathing, communication, and eating without the danger inherent in the human design of choking.

But it can't just be any kind of communication; it has to be communication sufficient enough for carrying the complex thoughts of our complex brains.


Love your enemies!

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NoNukes
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From: Central NC USA
Joined: 08-13-2010
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 6 of 27 (706799)
09-17-2013 8:13 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jon
09-16-2013 6:44 PM


the alternative designs presented are far more complicated and 'hardware heavy' than what they benefit the species in way of removing the choking hazard.

What's the minimum amount of the eating system required for talking? I'd suggest that almost none of the eating system is needed. Talking birds manage to imitate human speech without teeth or lips.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy.
Richard P. Feynman

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


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caffeine
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From: Prague, Czech Republic
Joined: 10-22-2008
Member Rating: 5.3


Message 7 of 27 (706808)
09-18-2013 6:36 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Jon
09-17-2013 5:55 PM


The dolphin system is not complex enough. We know this because their brains are not as complex as ours. If we relied on a system comparable to theirs, we'd be failing to communicate a huge amount of what we are capable of thinking.

The question isn't really 'how complex is the dolphin communication system?'; but rather 'how complex is it capable of being, with a different brain in control?' That they haven't produced a system of complex grammar like ours doesn't mean they can't make enough noises to do so.

Perhaps a better example is birds. Some birds can produce a much greater variety of noises than ours, and they do so without the oral apparatus of humans. We could make do with a fairly simple hole - no teeth or tongue necessary. What we'd need is some sort of internal apparatus similar to a bird's syrinx. It wouldn't need to be as complex as the most complex amongst birds, since we don't need to be able to make noises like a lyrebird for human communication. We'd need to make the anatomy somewhere in the trachea a bit more complicated, but in exchange you wouldn't need the complex anatomy that we currently have around the junction of trachea and oesophagus, and choking on food wouldn't be an issue.


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Taq
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Posts: 6787
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.9


(1)
Message 8 of 27 (706845)
09-18-2013 12:44 PM


The real question is why we would even need to use our lungs and move air in order to produce complex sound. The speakers in your car are not hooked up to an air compressor, are they? Why does speech even need to come through our mouths? Surely an intelligent designer who is supposedly all knowing and all powerful could have come up with an infinite number of better designs.
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Jon
Inactive Member


Message 9 of 27 (706853)
09-18-2013 4:13 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Taq
09-18-2013 12:44 PM


The real question is why we would even need to use our lungs and move air in order to produce complex sound. The speakers in your car are not hooked up to an air compressor, are they? Why does speech even need to come through our mouths? Surely an intelligent designer who is supposedly all knowing and all powerful could have come up with an infinite number of better designs.

Well, something realistic would be preferable.


Love your enemies!

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Jon
Inactive Member


Message 10 of 27 (706855)
09-18-2013 4:28 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by caffeine
09-18-2013 6:36 AM


Perhaps a better example is birds.

An example of your example would be helpful.

Any videos? Audio recordings?


Love your enemies!

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ringo
Member
Posts: 13313
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 11 of 27 (706856)
09-18-2013 4:31 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jon
09-16-2013 6:44 PM


Jon writes:

The counter arguments are that a system completely separating speech/breathing from eating would be ideal to such a degree as to warrant the excess hardware and all the complications that might come along with this.


The existing system does seem to reflect the "just good enough" method of evolution. We only "need" a system good enough or some of us to reproduce before we choke.

A designer would be more likely to build in backup systems, "just in case" instead of just good enough, like a spacecraft.


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New Cat's Eye
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From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 12 of 27 (706860)
09-18-2013 5:45 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jon
09-16-2013 6:44 PM


In Found: The First Mechanical Gear in a Living Creature, discussion has spread off to the design qualities of the human eating-speaking system.
Perhaps we can have a separate thread for it here.

It starts here: Message 6

For the context of what I was talking about, here's the NDT clip I mentioned:

http://youtu.be/oEl9kVl6KPc?t=3m59s

The counter arguments are that a system completely separating speech/breathing from eating would be ideal to such a degree as to warrant the excess hardware and all the complications that might come along with this.

Nobody said its ideal. We're talking about an Intelligent Designer, it just has to make more sense from an intelligent perspective, as opposed to the old blind RM+NS way.

Here's my last post in that other thread that awaits reply:

quote:
We eat through the same hole we speak out of. Without changing that, there isn't any way to get the lungs to supply the speaking apparatuses with air unless we cross tubes somewhere.

Dolphins!. They talk out of their noses. And fairly well. Throw some kind of tongue-thingy in there and viola.

Here's a fairly interesting article that says:

quote:
its pitch is not defined by the size of its nasal air cavities, and hence that it is not whistling," Madsen said. "Rather, it makes sound by making connective tissue in the nose vibrate at the frequency it wishes to produce by adjusting the muscular tension and air flow over the tissue."

"That is the same way that we humans make sound with our vocal cords to speak," he added.


It was just a general point that it is rather common for creatures to have separate breathing and eating tubes.

Are you talking about mammals? Because its totally irrelevant that frogs breath through their skin, or bugs through their legs, or whatever the hell it is you're talking about.

The only mammals that I can think of right now that have that is the cetaceans. And they all can talk pretty good from an animal perspective. The dolphins are just the poster child for cetaceans and that's why they were used. If your response is that other creatures, that aren't even mammals, can breath through a non-eating tube, then you've horribly missed the point, which is what I suspect is the case given you're avoidance of clarifying.


The point is that having separate eating and breathing tubes is not that difficult, especially for an Intelligent Designer. Dolphins are a great example of the idea working. They're mammals, so they're already not that different from us, and they are also pretty smart.

You bring up audible communication as an issue, but dolphins have a good ability at that, as well.


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Taq
Member
Posts: 6787
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 13 of 27 (706861)
09-18-2013 5:47 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by Jon
09-18-2013 4:13 PM


Well, something realistic would be preferable.

It is only our bias towards evolution that makes one solution realistic and another not realistic. For an all knowing and all powerful deity, what design would not be realistic?


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caffeine
Member
Posts: 1307
From: Prague, Czech Republic
Joined: 10-22-2008
Member Rating: 5.3


Message 14 of 27 (706900)
09-19-2013 9:22 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by Jon
09-18-2013 4:28 PM


An example of your example would be helpful.

Any videos? Audio recordings?

Allow me to help


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Diomedes
Member
Posts: 636
From: Central Florida, USA
Joined: 09-13-2013
Member Rating: 5.5


Message 15 of 27 (706919)
09-19-2013 4:01 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by Taq
09-18-2013 5:47 PM


It is only our bias towards evolution that makes one solution realistic and another not realistic. For an all knowing and all powerful deity, what design would not be realistic?

Agreed. I would think that non-verbal transmission, such as radio (leveraging the electromagnetic spectrum) would be far more preferable. Has a far longer range and is not bound by a specific medium. i.e. sounds waves through air. Could work underwater too! :-)


Our future lies not in our dogmatic past, but in our enlightened present

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