What does Evolution Mean to you?

Postby gyre » Fri Feb 06, 2009 5:07 pm

There is no missing link between monkey and man.
If a monkey could become man, they would be by now.

There are no doubt missing versions of where we did come from and that may be in common at some point.
It is so hard to grasp how much time has passed.
Imagine being in a world without sentient life!
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Postby ygmir » Fri Feb 06, 2009 5:12 pm

thanks Fishy, that explains a lot. makes sense.
It also does not preclude my idea, IMHO...........

if you went within one of your described "gaps", I'm sure they are many eons, and, inserted the experiment of taking apeapeman, or, whatever, and changing the dna sequence to make them "human, sentient, whatever term that would lead to us", and, that "line" is allowed to proceed.........it might look like an evolutionary step.........

I'm not saying it's true, I'm just saying it's intriguing to me to think it would be possible..........

Religion aside, it might explain some of the subtle differences without needing the climate model...........

I did love Twilight Zone and Outer Limits............
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Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Feb 06, 2009 5:21 pm

I've read a lot of science fiction in my lifetime, and it's interesting to think about.
I'm just devolving into a "I can't stand reading sloppy science everywhere" curmudgeon.
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Postby Simon of the Playa » Fri Feb 06, 2009 5:24 pm

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.....sloppy science.......
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Fri Feb 06, 2009 5:32 pm

I didn't know science education was so sparse these days. I guess I must be self-educated about it. :roll:

One reason we don't say "apeman" is that exactly so, between one and the other we'd have an apemanman. And that's assuming alot about their interelations, which we really don't know much about them by just digging up bones. (There's probably more in DNA, but that's not usually available.) So we think of family names like hominid.

I guess scientists learned their lesson with Piltdown man.

And there's more to evolution beside human evolution. We just don't care about the family tree of other animals.

But if we were, this one's fun: How did giraffes get long necks? Was it from generations of stretching?

Don't take this site too serious:
http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/05/giraffe.htm
Charles Darwin tried to give a more scientific explanation. Since it's written in an old-fashioned style, it may be hard to understand:
"...the individuals which were the highest browsers and were able, during [droughts], to reach even an inch or two above the others, will often have been preserved.... By this process long-continued... combined no doubt in a most important manner with the inherited effects of increased use of parts, it seems to me almost certain that any ordinary hoofed quadruped might be converted into a giraffe."

Old fashioned style, compared to what? The King James version???
They go on:
1. Has anyone found fossils of short-necked giraffe herds that prove an earlier stage of evolution?

Answer: No.

err... yes.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giraffidae
At least eight species of extinct giraffe. Maybe their neck weren't long enough to survive a drought a one point.

But we weren't there. That's why it's a theory.
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Postby dr.placebo » Fri Feb 06, 2009 6:52 pm

Gaps in the evolutionary record are quite common for most species. There is no way to rule out some "higher power" or "alien intelligence" or "the force" as providing direction for evolutionary change, but there is no evidence to support directed evolution, with one BIG exception.

Humans are actively directing evolution. Until recently directed evolution was used mostly for food crops and domestic animals, and used very crude techniques. However, as we develop knowledge about genetic techniques we are applying it to many species, and there is increasing pressure to apply it to ourselves. While I'm not an expert, I give the human species only about 100-1000 years until it directs itself into one or more, possibly many more, derived species. Of course, in the same time frame we might get the number down to zero.

On an interesting tangent, there is some evidence that humans are naturally evolving more quickly in the past 5000 (or so) years, possibly driven by rapid population growth. See

http://www.reuters.com/article/healthNews/idUSN1043228620071210

http://www.pnas.org/content/104/52/20753.full.pdf+html
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Postby Simon of the Playa » Wed Feb 11, 2009 6:52 am

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Postby ygmir » Wed Feb 11, 2009 7:05 am

and, without opposable thumbs, some people couldn't suck their thumbs and pick their noses at the same time............
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Postby Chief » Wed Feb 11, 2009 9:43 am

You know I can actually explain evolution in relation to creationism. They are both one and the same.

How we got here is an old question that has been answered the exact path is irrelevant now. It is where are we going?

The Mayans where right on their guess, the world is going to explode but not for real. Not for a while and we will be able to see the signs way before that happens, and if we all do get "destroyed" well that is just the way it goes sometimes. Our energy or aura will always be around. Energy cannot be destroyed only dispersed.

What evolution to me is the awakening of the giant that is One. And we are all part of that giant. Evolution is happening, you don't have a choice.

As for science fiction as evolution, that can happen too, because when someone says "It is a food-a-rac-a-cycle" and if that fascinates you, you will eventually figure out a way to make it happen by getting ideas from things around you.

So I have to say as I sit here on my "big cloud in the sky" and look down. I have to think to myself, "Man I did not expect that. I wonder what is going to happen next? The odds go with the tilt to good, but evil is sneaky. I wonder if they have been listening? I did."
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Postby Simon of the Playa » Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:19 am

and, without further ado, a new species, "Psychedelica"


how cool is that?

http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/undated-p ... funky_fish
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Postby Oldguy » Sat Feb 28, 2009 2:18 pm

The purpose of life is to live. In years to come, Sol will burn out. All life will cease on this planet ...entropy will cease. Our only hope for survival is to leave this planet and find a new one.

Danger Will Robinson.

If we evolve into creatures capable for star travel we will survive. If not, we won't. Simple. Individualy, we all die anyway. Societies and cultures come and go. Mankind as a species will continue or it won't.

I am a gardener. I tend my portion of this Earth. My plants sustain me. My animals feed me. I help my neighbor and he helps me. We get by, or we don't. I am satisfied by my lot. The passage of years brings this wisdom.

Evolution to me is art. Art in the structure of DNA. Art in the flow of the solar wind. Art in the music of the spheres. Art in the love of a mother for its offspring. Art in the love of people for others. Art is seeing, feeling, being, wondering, disbelieving, questioning, learning......evolution.
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Postby Monkeypoo » Mon Mar 16, 2009 8:46 am

What does Evolution mean to me? I've been scratching my head for the past 4-5 days about this. Seriously, I have been thinking, pondering, asking myself this question ~ mainly because I have all these freaking newspapers piled up and, since I don't have a vehicle to take them to the recycling center, I thought about using them in an art project made from paper mache that would somehow reflect "Evolution". I'm real big on recycling/reducing/re-using. A fanatic. It's hard for me to throw things away. There's always a use for something. :wink: I'm stumped for an art project thus far. Or, actually not so much stumped as I am in the patience and waiting and instinctual knowing that there IS an idea about to pop into my head ~ but it just hasn't presented itself as of this time.
So, I get online and go to the dictionary.
Here's what it said:

ev⋅o⋅lu⋅tion ~ [ev-uh-loo-shuhn] –noun
1. any process of formation or growth; development: the evolution of a language; the evolution of the airplane.
2. a product of such development; something evolved: The exploration of space is the evolution of decades of research.
3. Biology. change in the gene pool of a population from generation to generation by such processes as mutation, natural selection, and genetic drift.
4. a process of gradual, peaceful, progressive change or development, as in social or economic structure or institutions.
5. a motion incomplete in itself, but combining with coordinated motions to produce a single action, as in a machine.
6. a pattern formed by or as if by a series of movements: the evolutions of a figure skater.
7. an evolving or giving off of gas, heat, etc.
8. Mathematics. the extraction of a root from a quantity. Compare involution (def. 8).
9. a movement or one of a series of movements of troops, ships, etc., as for disposition in order of battle or in line on parade.
10. any similar movement, esp. in close order drill.
11. unfolding, change, progression, metamorphosis.

My goodness! Evolution can be so many things! As I look over the above descriptions, my mind's eye (and heart) keeps going to #11. It's spells it out pretty simple. I need simple. I can mindfuck myself into a padded room, trying to figure out stuff sometimes. Evolution, in my crazy human brain anyway, is like this unfathomable non-concrete concept of a thing that doesn't have a solid beginning and doesn't have a solid end.

If it doesn't have a beginning, how do I start my art project?
And if it doesn't have an end, how can I complete or finish my art project?

I thought about the evolution of man from amoeba to what we are now.
I thought of the evolution of one's spirit or personality from a child to (insert current age here).
I thought about the evolution of our planet Mother Earth.
I thought about the reversed-evolution and/or changes of Benjamin Button in that movie, and what it must feel like to change/metamorph from old to young physically, but intellectually and emotionally go the opposite. I can mindfuck my braincells all day on that one.

I've probably not made one single bit of sense, huh? :? Never mind. :wink: :)

unfolding, change, progression, metamorphosis....

It'll come. I'm an artist!
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Postby ygmir » Mon Mar 16, 2009 8:56 am

Oldguy wrote:The purpose of life is to live. In years to come, Sol will burn out. All life will cease on this planet ...entropy will cease. Our only hope for survival is to leave this planet and find a new one.

Danger Will Robinson.

If we evolve into creatures capable for star travel we will survive. If not, we won't. Simple. Individualy, we all die anyway. Societies and cultures come and go. Mankind as a species will continue or it won't.

I am a gardener. I tend my portion of this Earth. My plants sustain me. My animals feed me. I help my neighbor and he helps me. We get by, or we don't. I am satisfied by my lot. The passage of years brings this wisdom.

Evolution to me is art. Art in the structure of DNA. Art in the flow of the solar wind. Art in the music of the spheres. Art in the love of a mother for its offspring. Art in the love of people for others. Art is seeing, feeling, being, wondering, disbelieving, questioning, learning......evolution.


how does entropy cease?
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Postby Monkeypoo » Mon Mar 16, 2009 9:10 am

Oh! I almost forgot. I wanted to comment on this....

Oldguy wrote:Evolution to me is art. Art in the structure of DNA. Art in the flow of the solar wind. Art in the music of the spheres. Art in the love of a mother for its offspring. Art in the love of people for others. Art is seeing, feeling, being, wondering, disbelieving, questioning, learning......evolution.


This struck such a passionate chord within me as I read it. Truly beautiful!
Very very well spoken. I feel what you're saying, and the part that struck so deeply out of all of it was "Art in the love of a mother for its offspring." I felt this when I gave birth 23 years ago to my most awesome daughter Samantha. Over these years, I guess that feeling kind of got taken for granted ~ No, that's not the right word. Became so familiar that I just didn't think about it as much as I did when it was so fresh? I can't put it into the right words, but I am, so just shut up, Donita... :)

3 months ago Samantha had her first baby boy, and I am a grandma now. That amazing fresh wonder and feeling of Love came flooding back ~ the Art in the love, as you said, of a mother for its offspring...or, in my case, the Art in the love of a grandmother for its offspring's offspring. My heart feels so full and over-expanding again. The love I feel for my grandson makes me giddy and tingly!

Ack! All this feeling inside is just too much to explain, so I'm gonna stop and just go rip up strips of newspaper in anticipation of the beautiful art project that will be manifesting soon. The universe has heard my heart's desire and the answers are on their way.

*warm fuzzies all over*
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Postby Oldguy » Mon Mar 16, 2009 11:34 pm

yg, when the sun dies the energy sustaining life will cease. Since no emf, heat light, solar wind, or any other emmisions are produced then no work is performed. No work = no entropy; no change, no rate of change, nothing. I am speaking of course about our own miniscule solar system. Entropy will continue in other systems that continue to devolve. I recommend you read Issac Assimov's book on entropy.
......................
"So many stars, so many planets," sighed Jerrodine, busy with her own thoughts. "I suppose families will be going out to new planets forever, the way we are now."

"Not forever," said Jerrodd, with a smile. "It will all stop someday, but not for billions of years. Many billions. Even the stars run down, you know. Entropy must increase."

"What's entropy, daddy?" shrilled Jerrodette II.

"Entropy, little sweet, is just a word which means the amount of running-down of the universe. Everything runs down, you know, like your little walkie-talkie robot, remember?"

"Can't you just put in a new power-unit, like with my robot?"

The stars are the power-units, dear. Once they're gone, there are no more power-units."

Jerrodette I at once set up a howl. "Don't let them, daddy. Don't let the stars run down."

"Now look what you've done, " whispered Jerrodine, exasperated.

"How was I to know it would frighten them?" Jerrodd whispered back.

"Ask the Microvac," wailed Jerrodette I. "Ask him how to turn the stars on again."

"Go ahead," said Jerrodine. "It will quiet them down." (Jerrodette II was beginning to cry, also.)

Jarrodd shrugged. "Now, now, honeys. I'll ask Microvac. Don't worry, he'll tell us."

He asked the Microvac, adding quickly, "Print the answer."

Jerrodd cupped the strip of thin cellufilm and said cheerfully, "See now, the Microvac says it will take care of everything when the time comes so don't worry."

Jerrodine said, "and now children, it's time for bed. We'll be in our new home soon."

Jerrodd read the words on the cellufilm again before destroying it: INSUFFICIENT DATA FOR A MEANINGFUL ANSWER.

He shrugged and looked at the visiplate. X-23 was just ahead.


.....................
From Wikipedia:

Entropy began with the work of French mathematician Lazare Carnot who in his 1803 paper Fundamental Principles of Equilibrium and Movement proposed that in any machine the accelerations and shocks of the moving parts all represent losses of moment of activity. In other words, in any natural process there exists an inherent tendency towards the dissipation of useful energy. Building on this work, in 1824 Lazare's son Sadi Carnot published Reflections on the Motive Power of Fire in which he set forth the view that in all heat-engines whenever "caloric", or what is now known as heat, falls through a temperature difference, that work or motive power can be produced from the actions of the "fall of caloric" between a hot and cold body. This was an early insight into the second law of thermodynamics.
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Postby ygmir » Tue Mar 17, 2009 8:26 am

would that not happen only when everything attains "absolute zero"?
or, can anything ever attain said state?
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Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Mar 17, 2009 3:49 pm

ygmir wrote:would that not happen only when everything attains "absolute zero"?
or, can anything ever attain said state?
At a certain point the universe has expanded so much that matter can't really find other matter and yeah, maybe it's not absolute zero, but for all practical purposes it is.
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Postby ygmir » Tue Mar 17, 2009 5:28 pm

I thought absolute zero referred to the motion of individual atoms.........not their interaction with others..........dang...........

anyway,
I would assume that if there is "any" energy" left, anywhere, entropy could still take place.
I don't see how it can cease to exist, is it not a "law", as opposed to a "thing"?
I can see it not occurring, though, at that point.........

but, to not exist, would not the laws of physics have to be altered?

I know, semantics...........but, I'm just making sure,.. or hoping.... to........understand..........
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Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Mar 17, 2009 7:10 pm

Okay, I admit, I was kinda faking it.
Also, I was thinking about measurements--as if you could take a thermometer to the heat death of the universe.
Okay, what I do know is that things move so far from each other that nothing matters any more.
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Postby chiefdanfox » Wed Mar 18, 2009 5:01 pm

If everything in the universe was evenly spread, all motion had stopped, in an absolute "zero" state, then it would be a singularity, and if you had that "god thermometer", it would measure nothing, since there would be no energy transfer a measurement. But it probably wouldn't stay that way long, since the probability of something being exactly at one point is of an infinitesimally low order.
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Postby penguin » Wed Mar 18, 2009 6:12 pm

You all are giving me a headache -- I just thought I should let you know that. :cry:

Maybe this is exactly what people currently believe in the whole "big bang" vs. "expanding/contracting" vs. "god did it" vs. "whatever debate" and I'm just not up to speed on things... :oops:

But, if the universe expands to the extent that everything is evenly spaced and nothing can act upon anything else and that would be a singularity, and since a sigularity can only occur "once" (else it wouldn't be a singularity). And also since the universe supposedly was created from a singularity (immediately prior to the BANG) wouldn't that mean that the end of the universe would also be the beginning? ie., a closed-loop? And if so, since we'd have to assume that the laws of physics don't change; if the universe "reset" and went BANG again wouldn't every particle move in the exact same way, so at some point the the future (which wouldn't really be the future, it would be some point in the now; wouldn't I be sitting here typing this exact same message? (like some cruel cosmic Groundhog Day?) :?

Which then would mean that ultimately evolution leads us no where other than right back to where we started? :shock:

Nevermind, don't answer; I think I remember what you all said the last time around... :cry:

*reaches for the bottle of aspirin and tries to remember if it did any good any of the times before*
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Postby ygmir » Wed Mar 18, 2009 7:04 pm

penguin wrote:You all are giving me a headache -- I just thought I should let you know that. :cry:

Maybe this is exactly what people currently believe in the whole "big bang" vs. "expanding/contracting" vs. "god did it" vs. "whatever debate" and I'm just not up to speed on things... :oops:

But, if the universe expands to the extent that everything is evenly spaced and nothing can act upon anything else and that would be a singularity, and since a sigularity can only occur "once" (else it wouldn't be a singularity). And also since the universe supposedly was created from a singularity (immediately prior to the BANG) wouldn't that mean that the end of the universe would also be the beginning? ie., a closed-loop? And if so, since we'd have to assume that the laws of physics don't change; if the universe "reset" and went BANG again wouldn't every particle move in the exact same way, so at some point the the future (which wouldn't really be the future, it would be some point in the now; wouldn't I be sitting here typing this exact same message? (like some cruel cosmic Groundhog Day?) :?

Which then would mean that ultimately evolution leads us no where other than right back to where we started? :shock:

Nevermind, don't answer; I think I remember what you all said the last time around... :cry:

*reaches for the bottle of aspirin and tries to remember if it did any good any of the times before*



did you ever read "The Dark Tower" series, by King?..........
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Postby penguin » Wed Mar 18, 2009 7:51 pm

ygmir wrote:did you ever read "The Dark Tower" series, by King?..........


I knew you were going to ask that. But, no I haven't read it, at least not yet this cycle. :)
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Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Mar 18, 2009 8:03 pm

Sadly, the last time I asked my father, the erstwhile cosmologist, it seemed like the science wasn't supporting the Gnab Gib. Instead the universe was going to expand forever. It's odd how much I mourned the cycle, even as an ostensible atheist, the idea that it would all start over again (but different) was a comfort in a way that the heat death isn't.
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Thu Mar 19, 2009 9:34 am

Does he study the erstwhile cosmos?
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What is Evolution really??

Postby Pygromanche » Fri Mar 20, 2009 6:42 am

I think of evolution in a way that isn't so radically threatening. We as human beings have been evolving for years and we just haven't been aware of it. If humanity began in Africa or Africa proxy we were all one color and as we moved from the equator (just hot regions in general) humans got lighter, hair began to cover our bodies (warmth), our vessels became smaller and deeper within our bodies (High Altitude), Noses became narrower (warm cold air). Our bodies adapt to surroundings, it's a form of evolution.

Personally I feel that the over stimulation of our youth is a trigger of Autism and it may possibly be something that will prove to be an evolution of assistance, once harnessed. Same with cancer, it is a genetic mutation which kills people at the moment, but who is to say that we will not be able to harness the reproductive abilities of cancer to trigger limb regeneration.
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Re: What is Evolution really??

Postby ygmir » Fri Mar 20, 2009 7:42 am

Pygromanche wrote:I think of evolution in a way that isn't so radically threatening. We as human beings have been evolving for years and we just haven't been aware of it. If humanity began in Africa or Africa proxy we were all one color and as we moved from the equator (just hot regions in general) humans got lighter, hair began to cover our bodies (warmth), our vessels became smaller and deeper within our bodies (High Altitude), Noses became narrower (warm cold air). Our bodies adapt to surroundings, it's a form of evolution.

Personally I feel that the over stimulation of our youth is a trigger of Autism and it may possibly be something that will prove to be an evolution of assistance, once harnessed. Same with cancer, it is a genetic mutation which kills people at the moment, but who is to say that we will not be able to harness the reproductive abilities of cancer to trigger limb regeneration.


I've thought along these lines too.........

I could see humans changing into a more specialized group, like ants or bees.....and, autism allowing people to "super specialize"........IE; Savants

and,
a friend of mine is a cancer researcher dealing with pancreatic cancer, and, with some success........
he feels his angle is that cancer cells become "immortal", not knowing when their life span is over......and so keep reproducing but not dying.......and has had success treating them, as such.

well.
what if cancer is the beginning of a longer life span, or, as you suggest, regeneration, advance?
perhaps, when it mutates a certain way, it'll provide that. Perhaps, it'll take couples, carrying a gene that now causes/allows cancer, to have children and with genes from both parents, will develop a positive outcome..........IIRC there are other "diseases" that, when both parents carry the gene, are actually beneficial. Is not sickle cell anemia, like that?
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Postby chiefdanfox » Fri Mar 20, 2009 1:52 pm

penguin wrote:You all are giving me a headache -- I just thought I should let you know that. :cry:

Maybe this is exactly what people currently believe in the whole "big bang" vs. "expanding/contracting" vs. "god did it" vs. "whatever debate" and I'm just not up to speed on things... :oops:

But, if the universe expands to the extent that everything is evenly spaced and nothing can act upon anything else and that would be a singularity, and since a singularity can only occur "once" (else it wouldn't be a singularity). And also since the universe supposedly was created from a singularity (immediately prior to the BANG) wouldn't that mean that the end of the universe would also be the beginning? ie., a closed-loop? And if so, since we'd have to assume that the laws of physics don't change; if the universe "reset" and went BANG again wouldn't every particle move in the exact same way, so at some point the the future (which wouldn't really be the future, it would be some point in the now; wouldn't I be sitting here typing this exact same message? (like some cruel cosmic Groundhog Day?) :?

Which then would mean that ultimately evolution leads us no where other than right back to where we started? :shock:

Nevermind, don't answer; I think I remember what you all said the last time around... :cry:

*reaches for the bottle of aspirin and tries to remember if it did any good any of the times before*


Maybe. Maybe there is no big bang, but a mad rush of the "grains" of this singularity (post probability "bang") to reform matter, and what we see as an ever accelerating and cooling universe is in fact just matter coalescing, and with it dragging time from a standstill to infinity. Sooner or later, it would take you nearly infinity to go from any point to another. The next step is infinity, which is really sort of a big zero. Maybe this happens over and over, but little tweaks along the way substantially change things, or inconsequentially change things. Maybe next time around, I don't nearly rip my little fingernail off on my way to BM2006. Maybe I drown in a bathtub 3 days after my 3rd birthday.
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Re: What is Evolution really??

Postby Ugly Dougly » Fri Mar 20, 2009 3:32 pm

ygmir wrote:and,
a friend of mine is a cancer researcher dealing with pancreatic cancer, and, with some success........
he feels his angle is that cancer cells become "immortal", not knowing when their life span is over......and so keep reproducing but not dying.......and has had success treating them, as such.

well.
what if cancer is the beginning of a longer life span, or, as you suggest, regeneration, advance?
perhaps, when it mutates a certain way, it'll provide that. Perhaps, it'll take couples, carrying a gene that now causes/allows cancer, to have children and with genes from both parents, will develop a positive outcome..........IIRC there are other "diseases" that, when both parents carry the gene, are actually beneficial. Is not sickle cell anemia, like that?


Unfortunately, when regular cells turn into cancer cells they lose their specialized character and become generalized cells - like stem cells, and basically can't do anything except make more cancer cells. :(
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Postby ism » Fri Mar 20, 2009 9:29 pm

I'm just about drunk enough to go out, but after reading through this thread at work...I see the smarty pants'ers. I eat fish, "ah hem".

I likes anchonives, but a stonefish would do.

All these questions about "sentience"? Most apes will see themselves in a mirror, and they will realize that IT IS THEM. Might take a bit, but they'll get it. What constitutes "sentience", again? Is it self realization...or a recognition of a similar facimile? Could they copy the "norm"? Could they follow that "norm", and say, go to Burning Man and dress in tights, faux fabrics, and act like all the people there...maybe just a little hairier?....

...In some cases, I think I would take the monkey. It would react more and be more interesting...probably play frisbee better.

There is no "constant" on animal behavior, as we understand it, hence, no understanding how they "feel". We as humans haven't given them the capibility to "feel", yet. They have that, inherent in themselves.

They've proven thenselves as capable of following commands and orders, but who's to say they can't teach us more? I only ask the question, because this whole line of logic is as old as my grandmother...animals exhibit sentience.
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