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Everything posted by bombus

  1. Thermal randomness does not explain why human willpower alone can affect the production of random numbers by a computer. There have been numerous experiments which show this, but the results have largely been ignored by the scientific community as they can't be explained by traditional scientific explanations. QC would explain this.
  2. Yes, it is as big an issue as there is in the entire universe - and that's the point!
  3. Let us also be wary of single scientific papers which possibly hint rather than prove! Although some of the traits mentioned above may well be the result of other processes rather than neoteny. The human spine/skull articulation is unlikely to have arisen via any other process though IMO.
  4. No, its not a strong argument really. Its just that we are all actually just brains and everything we perceive is subjective through our various organs. We could all be just brains in jars or even just algorithms in a big computer game. The point is, science is based on accepted truths because we have to start somewhere and the basic truth is that what we perceive is real, and what we can't perceive is irrelevent. From that base, science is built upon experimental proof and is able to predict. ID is not based upon any experimentation and cannot predict (unlike natural selection as a theory of evolution which can be proven via genetic experimentation and predictions which can be checked).
  5. I think it's already been done. Its called FossilRecord2 and is available at http://www.biodiversity.org.uk Hope this helps:-)
  6. If there are no muscles in the brain, and brain cells act on impulses they receive from other cells, how are we able to control our thoughts?
  7. bombus


    Are cows parasitic on grass then? I suppose it could be mutualistic symbiosis, as grazing stops other plants colonising and shading out the grass (which is good for the grass), but at the same time prevents the grass from flowering and seeding (not so good). There is only benefit to the cow.
  8. bombus

    Triple-helix DNA?

    Triple or quadruple helices are unlikely to evolve as a standard as they are not generally needed as the having two works fine, and nature likes to keep things as simple as possible. That's why we only have two eyes to produce binocular vision (more than two is of no benefit) and two sexes (hermaphrodites are just two sexes in one creature) and ...err...other stuff. I'm sure you can think of other examples.
  9. We already have killed off other intelligent life forms, the last being Neanderthal man! Ok, technically the same as us, but it signifies how ruthless we'd be with any other intelligent rivals.
  10. You may be right, but as intelligence is so useful it may be inevitable eventually wherever life exists. However, intelligence (sentience/sapience) may actually be a really bad idea as perhaps intelligent creatures always destroy themselves one way or another. We are destroying our environment and although we know it ('cos we are so intelligent!) we seem unable to stop ourselves due to basic human nature. Life may carry on but we (Homo sapiens sapiens) may be gone in 500 years, and so would have existed for less than 50,000 years! Would we even show up in the fossil record when intelligent land dwelling octopi start developing their own theories of the 6th great extinction!?
  11. Yeah, but panting can be controlled when things get tough. Sweating can't. Also, the amount of water lost through panting is nowhere near what humans lose through sweating. As I said, sweating is a brilliant way of losing heat quickly, even better if hairless, but only good if you can carry water around with you.
  12. A few points in no real order: If losing heat was the reason, our heads would have been the first place to lose it and bald men would be seen as extremely sexy! Re: Aquatic ape theory: Points 1 and 2) We would have lost our hair long before Homo erectus evolved. Think of the common ancestor of us and chimps - its around then it would have happened. 3) We have flipper shaped feet - great for swimming and also pre-adapted for life on land. We also have a nose that stops water going straight up the nostrils. We can hold our breath. If we lie still in water we naturally float with our mouth and nose just above water. Human babies can swim as soon as they are born (they really can!). Lots more stuff that I won't go into here! Sweating is a great way to lose heat on a savannah once you are a bipedal hairless ape with the intelligence to carry water with you (or dig to find it). Its a crap way to lose heat otherwise as one dies of dehydration very quickly. I doubt it would have evolved just as a result of being on a savanah.
  13. The parasite idea is unlikely to be the reason. It would apply equally to apes and they still have hair. Also, they are usually picking off salt crystals from each other - not ticks and fleas as is commonly thought. Human evolution is, however, mostly due to sexual selection. The question is why were certain features thought of as sexy? Someone earlier made the point about hairlessness being a by product of having a big brain and I think that is at least partly correct. But having a big brain would be an advantage to any ape, so why didn't chimps and other apes get bigger brains when we did? Something happened around 5 million years ago that made us get big brains but didn't work for other apes. There is the Omega 3 fatty acid arguement which I am sure is correct, and seafood is rich in Omega 3. That might have been enough, but somehow I think it would have required more. I think a semi-aquatic lifestyle pushed our ancestors into liking neotenic features. Dolphins, Whales, seals, sealions, otters, elephants, hippos, - all exhibit neotenic features to varying degrees, as it is helpful for an aquatic (or semi aquatic) lifestyle. Once pushed in a certain direction, sexual selection has done the rest and our brains have got bigger and bigger - and will continue to do so as sexual selection is still occurring and we humans still find neotenic features attractive.
  14. Someone above commented regarding the AAT "On the surface, perhaps, but they don't stand up to scrutiny. Here is a critique." I'd just like to point out that the critique we are guided to is totally full of holes. It also contains loads stuff that sounds like it makes a point but doesn't, e.g., "So contrary to the AAT claim, humans are not the only non-aquatic mammal which can hold its breath. Various monkeys, for instance, can and do hold their breath, and so do dogs. (Another common and related AAT claim is that non-aquatic animals have no control over their vocalizations, which should also surprise any dog owner.) " AAT says that apes cannot hold their breath. Apes are completely unable to hold their breath - even chimps cannot do this. Interestingly dolphins are unable to breath unconsiously. We are in between, being able to hold our breath and breath unconsiously. The only animal so far recorded able to utter human speech using the same mechanisms as a human (so birds don't count) was a sealion that had been kept in captivity. I have heard it speak and it sounds like a human - really wierd! It's ability is dependant on it being able to control its breath in a way only aquatic animals (and humans) are capable of. Without going on and on about the many innacuracies in this critique (its like reading one of those critiques on evolution by a believer in intelligent design!) I'll just say that one should be aware that many of the arguments presented are based on a false understanding of the AAT, and backed up by irrelevant scientific studies. AAT is going to be the new paradigm, so get on board!
  15. Heh heh heh, I love the way creationists and IDers make utter fools of themselves because they just fail to understand the theory of evolution. What Zyncod says above is spot on though...
  16. As Mokele has pointed out, sexual selection is still at work, and has probably been the major influence on human evolution for the last 2 million years. In order to cope with our environment we developed bigger brains by making big brains sexy! This programming (finding big brains sexy) is still at work. I should point out that we probably don't directly select for big brains, but focus on other more visible factors that correlate with having a big brain, such as neotenic features.
  17. Humans unlike all other apes have a liking for youthfulness. Thusly, in a million years we will all look like big skinny babies with massive heads. Cosmetic surgery may scupper this though and instead we'll look the same as we do now! We are still evolving - not due to our environment but due to our genetic programming - sexual evolution, if you will (re Red Queen etc).
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