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Author Topic:   Why are there no human apes alive today?
Wounded King
Member (Idle past 2479 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 16 of 1075 (512597)
06-19-2009 10:19 AM
Reply to: Message 15 by Doubletime
06-19-2009 9:56 AM


Well humans are to be considerd as our own species quit frankly. Do you know why ? Because our brain capacity is far superior to any other creature.

This seems to be a rather unique species concept all of your own. Should giraffes be considered their own species because of their superior neck length? Suppose we just found 1 really tall guy, should he be a species all of his own because of his far superior height? Many creatures have some feature at which they excel, this is not really a reasonable criteria for identifying species though.

You yourself defined species as 'Something that can reproduce with something else.' that seems almost completely divorced from why you now say humans should be considered their own species.

Are you saying im agaisnt science just because im against evolution ?

I think he is saying that the objections you are making against evolution suggest you know little if anything about either evolutionary biology or the operation of science.

TTFN,

WK


This message is a reply to:
 Message 15 by Doubletime, posted 06-19-2009 9:56 AM Doubletime has not yet responded

Wounded King
Member (Idle past 2479 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Joined: 04-09-2003


(1)
Message 175 of 1075 (618935)
06-07-2011 7:02 AM
Reply to: Message 172 by Portillo
06-07-2011 6:29 AM


Somehow getting “better” made us much, much weaker.

That is because you have a naive concept of what 'better' means in evolutionary terms.

All others must cover themselves with clothing or frequent shade or both, or sicken from radiation poisoning.

Well you certainly could characterise sunburn or melanoma as radiation poisoning I guess, but it isn't how the term is usually used. This also totally ignores the fact that the strength of sunlight is not consistent over the whole Earth, I could probably walk around Scotland naked 10 months of the year without ever having to worry about sunburn, hypothermia is another matter entirely.

This is the most inexplicable difference of all. Primates have 48 chromosomes. Humans are considered vastly superior to them in a wide array of areas, yet somehow we have only 46 chromosomes!

Again a naive and simplistic understanding of evolution. Chromosome number is not the first thing that springs to mind as to an area in which humans are superior to other primates, the obvious one would be mental ability and indeed genes associated with neural development are very frequently more divergent than we would expect by chance and show strong signs of having undergone positive selection.

As to the difference in chromosome this is pretty well established, chromosome 2 in Humans is homologous to 2 distinct chromosomes in the great apes which appear to have undergone fusion in the human lineage.

This begs the question of how such defects could possibly get into the human gene pool in the first place, much less how do they remain widespread?

They get into the gene pool by mutation, without knowing what specific mutations you are thinking of the rest is hard to answer to. Some genetic diseases are recessive and are maintained in carriers, some principally occur as spontaneous de novo mutations, some like sickle cell anemia are maintained by environmental pressures. One other possibility, as you yourself suggest, is that modern medicine means that some syndromes that would otherwise be weeded out may be being maintained in the population. Another possibility is that we may simply not recognise many genetic disorders in apes because there isn't the same investment of time and effort in studying their health as there is in humans.

I'm not really sure what your overall point is, that humans are different from other primates/great apes? Well of course they are. But then so are all the other primates, every species has its own unique distinguishing features. But in terms of both morphological and genetic phylogenies the overwhelming evidence is that chimpanzees are our closest relatives and we theirs.

TTFN,

WK


This message is a reply to:
 Message 172 by Portillo, posted 06-07-2011 6:29 AM Portillo has not yet responded

Wounded King
Member (Idle past 2479 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 188 of 1075 (620822)
06-21-2011 8:51 AM
Reply to: Message 186 by anglagard
06-21-2011 5:42 AM


Re: Usual Misquote
Hi Anglagard,

I don't really see how what you quote in any way rebuts Portillo's claim that Darwin at least saw human races as being on an evolutionary scale.

The page you linked to gives Portillo's quote as one used to suggest that Darwin was advocating the extermination of the 'savage races', which would indeed be a quote mine. But the fuller quote actually seems to support Portillo's point ...

At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked, will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.

So Darwin clearly seems to be suggesting that there is less of an evolutionary gap between 'the negro or Australian and the gorilla' than between a Caucasian and a gorilla.

While this may have been a view that Darwin held it certainly doesn't form any part of modern evolutionary theory, indeed modern comparative genetics strongly suggests that there is no such differential gap between different 'races', which isn't to say there are no genetic markers of ethnicity.

TTFN,

WK

Edited by Wounded King, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 186 by anglagard, posted 06-21-2011 5:42 AM anglagard has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 191 by Dr Adequate, posted 06-21-2011 11:17 AM Wounded King has responded

Wounded King
Member (Idle past 2479 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 193 of 1075 (620858)
06-21-2011 12:04 PM
Reply to: Message 191 by Dr Adequate
06-21-2011 11:17 AM


Re: Usual Misquote
Well I'm glad you had your Ouija board to hand to give us those insights into the mind of the deceased. Care to parse that conclusion out of anything that Darwin actually wrote?

Or alternatively would you care to explain how his statement makes any sense except with Caucasians or his hypothetical 'more civilised state' being further removed from the great apes than were negros or aboriginals?

Appealing to genetics hardly helps since Darwin didn't actually know any genetics. Indeed the quote that Anglagard provided strongly suggests that Darwin associated civilisation with ...

The aid which we feel impelled to give to the helpless is mainly an incidental result of the instinct of sympathy, which was originally acquired as part of the social instincts, but subsequently rendered, in the manner previously indicated, more tender and more widely diffused.

Which he clearly seems to have felt did have a heritable basis. Earlier on he wrote ...

It must not be forgotten that although a high standard of morality gives but a slight or no advantage to each individual man and his children over the other men of the same tribe, yet that an advancement in the standard of morality and an increase in the number of well-endowed men will certainly give an immense advantage to one tribe over another. There can be no doubt that a tribe including many members who, from possessing in a high degree the spirit of patriotism, fidelity, obedience, courage, and sympathy, were always ready to give aid to each other and to sacrifice themselves for the common good, would be victorious over most other tribes; and this would be natural selection. At all times throughout the world tribes have supplanted other tribes; and as morality is one element in their success, the standard of morality and the number of well-endowed men will thus everywhere tend to rise and increase.

So if you can use your psychic connection to once again tell us what Darwin really meant, instead of what he actually wrote, I'm sure that would help us out a lot.

The attitude hardly reflects badly on Darwin given the times he lived in, your attitude is harder to explain . You seem to wish to represent Darwin as the sort of infallible genius creationists and IDists often mistakenly claim all evolutionists regard him as. If he was such a genius about genetic properties what was the whole pangenesis thing about?

TTFN,

WK


This message is a reply to:
 Message 191 by Dr Adequate, posted 06-21-2011 11:17 AM Dr Adequate has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 205 by Dr Adequate, posted 06-22-2011 5:03 AM Wounded King has responded

Wounded King
Member (Idle past 2479 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 206 of 1075 (620978)
06-22-2011 5:34 AM
Reply to: Message 205 by Dr Adequate
06-22-2011 5:03 AM


Re: Usual Misquote
Sorry Dr A, I don't see how that addresses the point at all, you are excluding morality and civilisation from heritability, while Darwin seems to be explicitly including them.

I agree that taken on its own the quote about "The break between man and his nearest allies" could be interpreted as simply being about lifestyles and cultural behavioural differences, but now this really is quote mining, since the context makes it clear that he considers these lifestyle and cultural behavioural differences to be part and parcel of the heritable traits that are being selected.

You can argue that he was getting at some sort of cultural memetic heritability but I don't see any evidence for it in what he wrote.

And can you tell me what the similar significant non-heritable behavioural and social differences are between the baboons and great apes that Darwin was thinking of?

At all times throughout the world tribes have supplanted other tribes; and as morality is one element in their success, the standard of morality and the number of well-endowed men will thus everywhere tend to rise and increase.

I entirely fail to see what relevance you think this has to the discussion. Are you saying that it means Darwin thought that 'All Men Are Created Equal'?

TTFN,

WK


This message is a reply to:
 Message 205 by Dr Adequate, posted 06-22-2011 5:03 AM Dr Adequate has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 225 by Dr Adequate, posted 06-23-2011 7:52 AM Wounded King has not yet responded

Wounded King
Member (Idle past 2479 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 224 of 1075 (621055)
06-23-2011 6:13 AM
Reply to: Message 223 by Huntard
06-23-2011 6:04 AM


Lions find a way
There are also lions that live in the desert, specifically in the Namib desert.

TTFN,

WK


This message is a reply to:
 Message 223 by Huntard, posted 06-23-2011 6:04 AM Huntard has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 227 by Huntard, posted 06-23-2011 10:27 AM Wounded King has not yet responded

Wounded King
Member (Idle past 2479 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 719 of 1075 (623125)
07-08-2011 8:57 AM
Reply to: Message 718 by Percy
07-08-2011 7:58 AM


Because I'm a picky sod
Hi Percy,

I'm not really sure where you are getting this ...

Notice that the human and A. afarensis tarsals are much more similar to each other than to the chimp and gorilla tarsals, but they're only similar. The A. afarensis tarsal is not a match for the human tarsal.

From that figure, certainly the two samples they show for illustration aren't identical but the graphs suggest that for the 3 morphometric measures they use the A. afarensis sample falls within the range of human variability for all of them, making it as similar as another human 4th metatarsal might be. In fact looking at the supplemental data from the original paper (Ward et al., 2011) there is only one measurement they make, out of 11, where the A. afarensis sample is outwith the human margins, and only by 1mm at that, two measurements if you separate the humans by sex.

species/sex LengthDP prox endML prox endDP
midshaft
ML
midshaft
DP dist
end
ML dist
end
Al 333-160 59.917.113.19.16.113.48.5
Human Male (n=13) 60.8-81.914.4-19.710.5-15.18-12.15.4-8.313.8-16.38.3-11.6
Human Female (n=6)65.1-76.415.3-18.110.7-12.99.3-11.16.1-7.612.3-14.88.1-10.1

I've left out the 4 angular measurements from the data as the A. afarensis sample was within the margins for all of those and they are essentially summarised in the figure you posted.

Given that n for the human samples was 19 in total I think it is reasonable to suggest they didn't encompass the full spectrum of human variability and that the AL 333-160 4th metatarsal specimen probably falls within that spectrum.

That aside your point is well made that even if they are identical it in no way means that the skeletons they came from, let alone the whole organisms, were identical or even of the same species.

TTFN,

WK


This message is a reply to:
 Message 718 by Percy, posted 07-08-2011 7:58 AM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 720 by Percy, posted 07-08-2011 9:45 AM Wounded King has responded
 Message 721 by Percy, posted 07-08-2011 9:48 AM Wounded King has acknowledged this reply

Wounded King
Member (Idle past 2479 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 722 of 1075 (623140)
07-08-2011 10:24 AM
Reply to: Message 720 by Percy
07-08-2011 9:45 AM


Morphometrics
But there are many shapes that can produce the same measurements. That the measurements are close says nothing about the actual appearance

This is a bit disingenuous, by the time you have 11 morphometric measurements of a smallish bone like the 4th metatarsal you have got a fairly good description of its shape, in fact looking at the paper again there another 2 measurements I missed before which have the A. afarensis samples values within the human margins, there aren't that many more shapes which will allow you even to distinguish the necessary features to make such measurements.

I found the table code pretty easy to use and I'm pretty happy with the result.

TTFN,

WK


This message is a reply to:
 Message 720 by Percy, posted 07-08-2011 9:45 AM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 724 by Percy, posted 07-08-2011 12:48 PM Wounded King has responded

Wounded King
Member (Idle past 2479 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 726 of 1075 (623197)
07-08-2011 3:11 PM
Reply to: Message 724 by Percy
07-08-2011 12:48 PM


Re: Morphometrics
Are you saying that that is wrong and they actually look the same?

No, but then all human 4th metatarsals don't look the same as each other either.

That if someone gave Dr. Ward casts (to disguise signs of age) of the human and A. afarensis 4th metatarsal that they'd be indistinguishable and she'd be unable to tell them apart?

Well obviously I can't speak as to that, but then neither can you. I would say that I think we took a large enough sample we could probably find a human 4th metatarsal fitting all the same morphometric criteria as the A. afarensis one.

If we had such a sample and another A. afarensis sample, I think it would need to be different sample since presumably the doctor is very familiar with the sample she has studied, then I think it would be very hard to tell which was which.

TTFN,

WK


This message is a reply to:
 Message 724 by Percy, posted 07-08-2011 12:48 PM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 730 by Percy, posted 07-08-2011 3:52 PM Wounded King has not yet responded
 Message 732 by Mazzy, posted 07-08-2011 4:35 PM Wounded King has not yet responded

Wounded King
Member (Idle past 2479 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 897 of 1075 (625005)
07-21-2011 5:08 AM
Reply to: Message 896 by Pressie
07-21-2011 4:31 AM


Nowhere does the theory entertain any of the ideas that humans decended from apes

Modern apes surely, after all the most recent common ancestor of modern great apes and humans, or chimpanzees and humans, would almost certainly have been an ape of some kind.

TTFN,

WK


This message is a reply to:
 Message 896 by Pressie, posted 07-21-2011 4:31 AM Pressie has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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