can anyone explain to me why humans a...

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Level 2

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#22 Mar 30, 2013
Bluenose wrote:
<quoted text>
Well, by that measure, koalas should have outstripped us, since they have two thumbs on each hand. Oh, and chimps have thumbs.
<evil grin>
Many rodents, and the ever-popular Raccoon has thumbs too.

So much for that....

:D

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Level 2

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#23 Mar 30, 2013
ChristineM wrote:
<quoted text>
What gives you the impression that humans are the only sentient entity on this ball of rock
Indeed.

Intelligence and sentience are both on a continuum-- likely a very smooth one (in that there are few, if any gaps along the matrix).

That means that neither intelligence nor sentience is a binary state; in that an organism can exhibit any level of sentience/intelligence from the very simple (such as the lowly flatworm or the miniscule hydra) to the very complex, such as sperm whales, elephants and some* humans.

In fact, I've observed behavior in animals that demonstrates superior intelligence and problem-solving skills than your average Fox News viewer.

So, clearly, it's not as simple as the words would seem to imply.

____

* but certainly not all

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Level 2

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#24 Mar 30, 2013
Nuggin wrote:
<quoted text>
Crows can not be operating on "instinct" when they bend a wire to make a tool to hook a basket that has a treat it in.
Wires, man-made puzzles, etc. This stuff hasn't been around long enough for instinct to become encoded.
Further, there are plenty of animals that show _CULTURAL_ differences in tool use. That CAN'T be instinct. It's taught.
I was gonna rebut that, but you did a superior job of it already.

:)

“Darwin was right..of course.”

Level 9

Since: Jun 11

Evolution is true.....

#25 Apr 22, 2013
christian wrote:
if you explain this too me then you have me on evolution no one can explain to me hy humans are the only creatures who think on the level that we do.
Evolution
Freeman

Alma, GA

#26 Jun 23, 2013
Well why primates? Why didn't canines begin to stand upright? Or any other animal for that matter. Or why didn't different animals all evolve in the way primates did.

“Be strong ...”

Level 6

Since: Nov 10

...I whispered to my coffee

#27 Jun 24, 2013
Freeman wrote:
Well why primates? Why didn't canines begin to stand upright? Or any other animal for that matter. Or why didn't different animals all evolve in the way primates did.
Are you saying that meerkats have not been known to stand upright?

Kangaroos

Bears

Some crocodiles are known to run on 2 legs, far outstripping a human in a race for who has the biggest teeth.

All birds

Why they donít evolve in the same was as humans did is down to several reasons, the main one being necessity, closely followed by environment.

Why did humans not evolve in the same way as kangeroos or crocodiles, in fact, please explain in goddidit terms why humans canít jump as far as a kangeroo? Or run as fast as a crocodile?

If you want to have a go at evolution from the goddidit point of view then I suggest that you study what you are attempting to put down so as not to make a fool of yourself. Your god does not like fools.

Level 6

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#28 Jun 24, 2013
Freeman wrote:
Well why primates? Why didn't canines begin to stand upright? Or any other animal for that matter. Or why didn't different animals all evolve in the way primates did.
Our upright stance is unusual, and our brain very unusual.

The current explanation for our stance comes from a particular sequence of events - the drying of East Africa leaving our ancestors having to cope with savannah when they were previously adapted to jungle life (as other apes are still). This is speculative, of course, but it seems that for that population, the ability to stand upright which apes such as chimps can do for short periods, became advantageous when they were forced to spend more time on the ground and see predators over the savanna grasslands.

Why haven't more animals made this switch? Again, speculation, but most land animals are already fast on the ground using four legs, unlike apes which relied on climbing to escape danger. Thus a smallish ape adapting to ground-life was an unusual event in itself. It may have been more advantageous to be able to see predators from a long distance (primates have excellent stereoscopic eyes, and good colour vision too), than to develop a faster way of moving on four legs.

For whatever reason, bipedalism was the first defining trait of the hominid line and the early hominids were little more than upright apes with a similar brain size to ordinary apes today.

However, the shift to bipedalism freed the hands, which became less robust, starting a cascade of evolutionary changes including finer hand control and an expanding brain case.
The Dude

Birkenhead, UK

#29 Jun 24, 2013
Freeman wrote:
Well why primates? Why didn't canines begin to stand upright? Or any other animal for that matter. Or why didn't different animals all evolve in the way primates did.
Well why not?(shrug)

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Level 2

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#30 Jun 24, 2013
Interesting synopsis Chimmney.

Quite good, as well.

Of course, you didn't mention that intelligence isn't an "either-or" proposition.

There are degrees of intelligence, even within populations.

And another major advantage humans have, is belonging to a social species, which works within groups.

To capture the larger, stronger and more robust plains-animals? By a group if smallish, relatively weak walking-apes?

Required a great deal of sophisticated cooperation from the group.

This cooperation did not end with the capture, and spilled over into campfire time too-- as well as gathering of veggies and such.

One aspect of group cooperation and intelligence? It allows for a single, unusually-brilliant individual to **share** his or her brilliance with everyone in the group-- effectively raising the group's total intelligence to nearly that of the solitary brilliant individual.

So even if most of the group were relatively dim-witted? A single bright individual in the role of leadership, or even leadership-support, could have a profound effect on the overall groups' performance.

So intelligence did not need to rise all at once, either.

And?

We humans do tend to go for the strongest, when mating-- and a brilliant (relative-speaking) leader would be seen as strong.

And like a snowball rolling downhill? We began to self-select for smarter leaders... which had the most kids... which, on average, were smarter and so on.

We did it to ourselves.

:)

Level 6

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#31 Jun 24, 2013
Bob of Quantum-Faith wrote:
Interesting synopsis Chimmney.
Quite good, as well.
Of course, you didn't mention that intelligence isn't an "either-or" proposition.
There are degrees of intelligence, even within populations.
And another major advantage humans have, is belonging to a social species, which works within groups.
To capture the larger, stronger and more robust plains-animals? By a group if smallish, relatively weak walking-apes?
Required a great deal of sophisticated cooperation from the group.
This cooperation did not end with the capture, and spilled over into campfire time too-- as well as gathering of veggies and such.
One aspect of group cooperation and intelligence? It allows for a single, unusually-brilliant individual to **share** his or her brilliance with everyone in the group-- effectively raising the group's total intelligence to nearly that of the solitary brilliant individual.
So even if most of the group were relatively dim-witted? A single bright individual in the role of leadership, or even leadership-support, could have a profound effect on the overall groups' performance.
So intelligence did not need to rise all at once, either.
And?
We humans do tend to go for the strongest, when mating-- and a brilliant (relative-speaking) leader would be seen as strong.
And like a snowball rolling downhill? We began to self-select for smarter leaders... which had the most kids... which, on average, were smarter and so on.
We did it to ourselves.
:)
Yes, I think that the importance of our social structure is increasingly being recognised. Read a great book by Franz de Waal a while back about chimp group politics. Amazing and a little chilling too.

And the increased meat consumption.

But the anatomical changes were a cascade made possible by that original change to bipedalism, and that really is a question looking for an answer - the original point of departure from typical ape evolution. I gave it a shot, pure conjecture.

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Level 2

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#32 Jun 24, 2013
Chimney1 wrote:
<quoted text>
Yes, I think that the importance of our social structure is increasingly being recognised. Read a great book by Franz de Waal a while back about chimp group politics. Amazing and a little chilling too.
And the increased meat consumption.
But the anatomical changes were a cascade made possible by that original change to bipedalism, and that really is a question looking for an answer - the original point of departure from typical ape evolution. I gave it a shot, pure conjecture.
Yes, it all hinges on **why** our distant ancestors went from knuckle-walking to full-upright walking.

Your conjecture is as good as any I've read; sans a time machine (or time viewer--slightly more possible) we will likely never know for sure.

I've also seen some essays describing a possible upright posture, while still up in the trees.

It could simply have been a minor but critical mutation in one of the HOX genes that govern our spine's orientation with respect to the rest of our anatomy. I'd not be surprised if that turns out to be the case.

A rather reversal of "cause", if you will-- walking upright **enabled** moving out onto the plains, rather than the reverse.

And there would've been little competition for a cooperative meat-eaters, apart from lions. A new ecological niche for the nascent social hunting groups.

Decoding our DNA's past, if this becomes possible, may reveal this mystery--or not.

:)

Level 7

Since: Sep 07

Los Angeles, CA

#33 Jun 24, 2013
Bob of Quantum-Faith wrote:
<quoted text>
Yes, it all hinges on **why** our distant ancestors went from knuckle-walking to full-upright walking.
Your conjecture is as good as any I've read; sans a time machine (or time viewer--slightly more possible) we will likely never know for sure.
I've also seen some essays describing a possible upright posture, while still up in the trees.
It could simply have been a minor but critical mutation in one of the HOX genes that govern our spine's orientation with respect to the rest of our anatomy. I'd not be surprised if that turns out to be the case.
A rather reversal of "cause", if you will-- walking upright **enabled** moving out onto the plains, rather than the reverse.
And there would've been little competition for a cooperative meat-eaters, apart from lions. A new ecological niche for the nascent social hunting groups.
Decoding our DNA's past, if this becomes possible, may reveal this mystery--or not.
:)
Remember that our hunting predates our advanced tool making by quite a bit. In fact, our primary technique for hunting early on was "outlast".

Humans are the best endurance runners on the planet. No animal comes even close to our ability to run long distance especially in hot climates.

Early humans may have been exploiting and therefore selecting for upright walking as a means of obtaining protein. Run an animal until it collapses from overheating and then drop a rock on its head.

Level 6

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#34 Jun 24, 2013
Nuggin wrote:
<quoted text>
Remember that our hunting predates our advanced tool making by quite a bit. In fact, our primary technique for hunting early on was "outlast".
Humans are the best endurance runners on the planet. No animal comes even close to our ability to run long distance especially in hot climates.
Early humans may have been exploiting and therefore selecting for upright walking as a means of obtaining protein. Run an animal until it collapses from overheating and then drop a rock on its head.
That is true now, but the Australopithecus remains show our anatomy for at least 4 million years as bipedal, but still with shortened legs and elongated arms, though less than a chimp's.

Added to this, reconstructions as I understand it suggest no massive gluteus maximus, the spring-board of our running success. There are also changes to the way we sweat - high volume and very liquid compared to the gumminess of chimp sweat, an added tendon stabilising our neck, and changes in the shape of the ribcage.

Since these were not there from the start but the skeletal parts at least can be seen fully developed by H erectus, I would assume that our role in the savannah as a run-em-down to exhaustion apex predator came later rather than sooner.

PS played outdoor tennis here in Dubai last night. Two and a half hours in 40 degree (105 ish) heat. We can adapt to heat quite well, but I drank at least 2 litres of water and was still dehydrated by the end of it, a kg lighter than when I started. The quality of tennis played... Not high! The glutes helped.

Level 6

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#35 Jun 24, 2013
Bob of Quantum-Faith wrote:
A rather reversal of "cause", if you will-- walking upright **enabled** moving out onto the plains, rather than the reverse.
And there would've been little competition for a cooperative meat-eaters, apart from lions. A new ecological niche for the nascent social hunting groups.
Decoding our DNA's past, if this becomes possible, may reveal this mystery--or not.
:)
That is an interesting possibility.

One of the most intriguing alternatives I came across years ago was the Hardy theory. He suggested we might have become a water adapted ape as a first step, scavenging for fish and shellfish etc. This would explain our hairlessness, fat layer, and our strong breath-holding capacity. But instead of continuing in the direction of an otter or seal, we then transitioned to the savannah. This also explains the current gap between a common ancestor and the earliest Australopiths.

The problem is, there is no supporting fossil evidence so its just a conjecture that has to be left on the shelf. Its in the back of my mind when I go for a swim though. We are not bad in the water.

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Level 2

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#36 Jun 25, 2013
Nuggin wrote:
<quoted text>
Remember that our hunting predates our advanced tool making by quite a bit. In fact, our primary technique for hunting early on was "outlast".
Humans are the best endurance runners on the planet. No animal comes even close to our ability to run long distance especially in hot climates.
Early humans may have been exploiting and therefore selecting for upright walking as a means of obtaining protein. Run an animal until it collapses from overheating and then drop a rock on its head.
Good point, that. I would quite imagine though, that even those early hominids grabbing rocks and heavy sticks to use against the run-down prey. "tools" of a sort--not modified, but rather anything that came to hand at the critical time.

Our hands were smallish, compared to the animals we were attempting to bring down--exhausted or not. And scientists have observed other species using similar objects-to-hand for similar purpose.

I would quite imagine it was a gradual transition to "grab the nearest rock or fallen branch" to "this rock particularly fits my hand-- I think I'll keep it" to "I wish there was a rock that fit my hand better--maybe if I break this one up a bit" to...

... well, you get the idea. It appears to have taken many thousands of generations go make those first steps from "at hand" to "modified to fit the purpose".

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Level 2

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#37 Jun 25, 2013
meh.... "... generations **to** make these first steps..."

Typo.

Level 9

Since: Sep 08

Everett, WA

#39 Jun 26, 2013
Another Christain wrote:
<quoted text>
If we evolved from primates, why are there still primates?
If 'Mericans came from England why are there still Englishmen?

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Level 2

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#40 Jun 26, 2013
Another Christain wrote:
<quoted text>
If we evolved from primates, why are there still primates?
If you "evolved" from Europeans, why are there still Europeans?

Hmmmm?

Level 7

Since: Sep 07

Los Angeles, CA

#41 Jun 26, 2013
Another Christain wrote:
<quoted text>
If we evolved from primates, why are there still primates?
If you had a child, why are you still alive?

Level 9

Since: Sep 08

Everett, WA

#42 Jun 26, 2013
Nuggin wrote:
<quoted text>
If you had a child, why are you still alive?
I'm not. That kid is the death of me.

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