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Maximus Semprus Veridius

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Everything posted by Maximus Semprus Veridius

  1. Unfortunately, no. I remember the article well, just not the magazine name... sounds fishy i know!
  2. The point above reminded me of something I read (possibly in New Scientist) about how the adrenaline decreases reaction time so much so that people think things are going in slow motion. So i suppose it is possible to conduct a cruel and devious experiment, luring Usain Bolt with some chicken nuggets onto a race track, then unleashing a tiger to chase him. I think we'd have another world record!! But seriously they found fossils of "ancient people" in africa i think they were either H.sapiens or H. somethingelsethatican'tquiterecall. These fossils weren't of organic material, but instead they were footprints. The clever physics people could measure the force of downward pressure and the distance between each footprint and measure the speed that these runners were moving at. I think it was around 25 mph if i remember correctly. Now we have to concede defeat to the great Usain Bolt because he actually ran faster, BUT these ancient people haven't the same amount of training as USain Bolt, I highly doubt that their diet and life style was in any way complementary to being able to run faster and also the footprints were meansured in many different locations through-out africa, implying that many different individuals had this ability to run really fast, as opposed to just Usain Bolt outcalssing the world. Put one of these ancient africans in Usain Bolt's nice spiked running shoes and give him Usain Bolt's diet I think they would easily out-run him. But are these "humans"? I don't know!
  3. Hmmm, i think most of what is valuable to this point has been said already, i.e. "randomness" is only present at the mutations phase in cell division (meiosis - crossing over etc) then the natural selection takes over. The word selection is important because it denotes a systematic method through which evolution occurs. But that needn't mean that intelligence WILL arise. I mean we (H. sapien) only got intelligent because I presume we needed to. If the need for change/evolution is not there then that change will not occur (evidence from earth are the kakkapo and the dodo and many other island creatures, insulated from predation in which their visible characteristics (phenotypes) that help them escape from danger have disappeared). I don't know enough about the evolution specifically of intelligence to say if it is more or less likely for another, different planet to have advanced denizens in terms of intelligence however, but i do know its by no means a fore-gone conclusion. (It goes without saying that there almost certainly are intelligent life-forms other than ourselves in the universe though ) EDIT: I just thought of something though. Maybe after billions of years of evolution on a planet so many niches are filled that intelligence is, in a sense, the last "thing to do" (or evolve). It seems that intelligence is undoubtedly going to be an adaptation that takes many many genes to code for (I can only speculate at how many polypeptides code for just the creative aspect of the brain, not to mention the logical and everything in between). So in that sense intelligence could be an "end-point" of evolution, but I don't agree which Morris theory because we don't really have any evidence, other than human kind being the dominant species, which may sound hypocritical but we don't know what the future holds so it seems unwise, in my mind, to say that "the currant dominant species is the 'end-point' of evolution".
  4. Yeah I would largely agree with lemur's point, that organisms just do what they need to survive (not taking the point to literally *Looks at Ophiolite*). They wouldn't suddenly change if the need is not there however. Say, for example, that a beetle lives in the area south of the sahara, where there is a lot of vegetation. The beetles distribution becomes more widespread due to a growing population. They move north into a hotter, drier environment. This would mean the beetles with adaptaions (mutations) to suit to environment (fitness) would happen to survive. So, you see, that the mutations are completely random (I think that may even be in the definition of biological mutation - I would look that one up though), but they bring benefits that seem as though they have been "consciously", or "willfully" precipitated.
  5. Essentially they don't need to otherwise they would have evolved to make complex lane systems and round-abouts and other sorts of crazy and systematic ways to avoid catastrophical, species endangering bumps. On a serious note though, I think it would probably take a massive amount of 'intelligence' to form just one more line going in the opposite direction, or it would take almost none singularly but the "group intelligence" would have to be greatly increased and many DIFFERENT pheremones would have to be evolved to make it effective. Just a theory.
  6. Lots of niches are the same all around the world. Like eating small to medium mammals is a niche all round the world. Pythons have inhabited everywhere but america and Boas inhabit almost everywhere else (or the other way round, i can't remember). They have independantly evolved very similar adaptations to survive but they only share very primitive (comparivtively) ancestors. The group rat is almost cetainly like the python - boa analogy, meaning their taxanomic rankings are only related further back than is outwardly apparent.
  7. Hmm i'm not sure about this one. GOOD QUESTION! I think that a biosphere is the largest realistic conglomeration of living things that interact. I think it's fairly unlikely (to say the least) that organisms can interact between planets. Although i suppose it is sort of possible, in a warped and hypothetical sense. If however a moon of a planet had an ecosystem, and an atmosphere the orbit could be quite close to that planet and particularly resilient organisms could fly between them (possibly), or atmosphere replishing organisms make the atmospheres so large that they overlap. A nice sci-fi book in the making there somewhere...
  8. Evolution is a process, so it can't be clever or stupid (I somehow doubt this is what you meant though). Also evolution happens constantly (as long as their are things able to compete or survive) so a crocodile that can strike faster than a wilderbeast can escape is more likely to survive and pass on its genes to its offspring, its offspring will gain these genes (probably) and will inherit the same traits as its parent. Other members of the crocodile's species may have quite slow strike times comparitively and die out due to lack of food because it can't catch the wilderbeast. This is evolution by the means of natural selection. Also: Yes that is exactly right. People like Richard Dawkins has have contributed massively to the understanding of genetic traits being passed on in the form of evolution by natural selection. And Albert Einstein's famous equation E=mc2 is actually more accurate as E2=m2c4+p2c2 or something like that. If you haven't read up on Richard Dawkins he is a great biologist and has written many books on evolutionary biology and argues passionately for atheism, his most famous and prolific work is The Selfish Genes (which is a fantastic read).
  9. I'm sorry did you say "...why wouldn't all animals have the taste and ability to digest all sources of food energy?" If so this is worrying. Mainly because you have failed to grasp a few fundamental concepts of biology and evolution! A cat cannot SURVIVE without Taurine. It gets Taurine from animal tissue it eats. Its enzymes (Taurase i think) digest this. A cow for example does not have taurase to digest and synthesis energy and perpetuate its life through taurine, unlike a cat. A cat has a niche at killing animals and eating meat. A cow has a niche of eating grass and other cellulose rich products. They cannot eat the same things and survive. And also to add, surely EVERYTHING can be determined through physical means? It's all just protons and electrons in different combinations and structures. But i know thats not what you meant. Even so its quite clear that physical things effect behavior and certain stimuli cause different reactions, like neurotransmitters travelling to different parts of the brain cause different reactions.
  10. Sugar and fat are very valuable nutrients when you need to 1) Store energy (lipids) for later on i.e. in the winter and 2) If you need fast release energy (like to escape from a charging wild boar or something). So if you think of a cave man he will almost never exceed the amount of fat or sugar he can eat and become unhealthy, mainly because there isn't that much around but also because he/she moves around and expends sooo much energy compared to modern day humans. Remember that almost all carbohydrates turn to fat if not used, so cavefolk would have expended their glucose merely by surviving whilst modern day man does not. Another point could be that the ice-age killed off lots of the population that didn't put on fat very easily so most of the world's population has a very efficient fat storage mechanism. But that's just a guess.
  11. Global warming (or more accurately called Climate Change) IS most certainly a man-induced problem. Look at the evidence. Also CC (climate change) is effecting more than just people, it could lead to far more indirect damage that could wipe out the massive populations of humans all over the globe. However that IS very unlikely (although not out of the equation), mainly due to population growth. Man's carrying capacity is very soon going to be exceeded (in fact it probably already has!) by a large enough margin to cause even the richest of countries to be drastically affected. The indirect consequences are what people should be worried about though. CC leads to species destruction, and eventually food chain destruction. This COULD cause many many very consequencial problems (caused primarily by man). Although i've got to say all this is very circumstancial and I think man-kind, although stupid at times, does also have great and ingenious minds which can salvage the planet.
  12. Yeah good question I have wondered what it would "look like" to have chameleon vision. I think that they search for prey primarily with BOTH eyes scanning their surrounding environment then they use both eyes to focus on their victim. I think it would need special parts in the brain to effectively read two things just as though they were reading and understanding one. I imagine that it could be compared to having two pages flashing quickly in succession of one another, as a human you would naturally just read one of the two pages.
  13. As already stated several times in this thread, Species is in fact a man-made creation, of taxonomic ranking. So "Species" (or taxonomic ranking on the whole) just makes collecting and categorizing things a lot easier for scientists, and shouldn't be used to answer questions like these really.
  14. I'm not positive on the subject, however I think I do agree that there are more females than males in the Animal kingdom. If this is the case (which isn't a cetainty ofc) then if you think of females as being able to produce new members of a species through egg-laying or what-not they can only "focus" (I don't know the correct word) on rearing those offspring. A male on the oher hand can go and impregnate as many females as they want, so, One male can impregnate an almost limitless number of females, whilst females can only rear eggs from one male. Sorry I don't think I did very well explaining there, but I hope it helps.
  15. Even if we could somehow travel at the speed of light to propel even an everyday car you would need most of the energy in the Universe to do it, so it's not gonna happen in my lifetime!! However we don't know enough about....well...everything I suppose to make claims like the one I just made .
  16. Nope you only need one parent to have the dominant gene. They don't just suddenly change species because they have a different characteristic, although that would be pretty funny. And you've gotta remember billions of different mutations take place, the chances are actually quite high if you take into account the amount of mutations that a few are going to benefit the species in some way. We only remember the good mutations because those particular mutations are perpetuated through the species.
  17. Thanks everyone who gave information towards my question! I think my Geology teacher will be most impressed, (btw that was the answer to your question the lesson is Geology at AS level, however our group seems to grasp things quick so he goes on to some better and more interesting stuff!). CHEERS!
  18. Hi all! I have a little bit of homework I need to do, however i'm trying to make a good impression early on in the year to my teacher, (i've alrerady asked him bout angular momentum!). I wondered how comets form, can I have a semi-technical explanation please? I have searched on the web but most places just say " Oooo they come from the Kuiper belt or the Oort cloud" which isn't particularly helpful. Also if you have the time how do asteroids form?? I think this one is a bit more simple though. THANKS!!
  19. I have several different solutions to why that plants release CO2 when they die. (Btw these are essentially GUESSES, so please correct if I am wrong, although I don't have to tell you that!!) 1) Because the lifeforms that are perpetuated because of the fallen tree respire and release CO2. or 2) Something (i'm not sure), to do with the Nitrogen cycle.
  20. If i am correct in saying that if there is a niche fillable then an organism may well evolve into it. So I think that even though certain plants had evolved before certain Single-celled organisms then the niche for the Single celled organisms was available (and lets be honest how many plants infringe on single celled organism's niche). I may well have got the whole point of your thread wrong but it seems quite obvious that just because there are more advanced organisms (PLEASE IS THERE NO ABBREVIATION FOR THIS WORD???!!) that doesn't mean that less "advanced" organisms go extinct. (of course there are certain circumstances when exactly this happens!!!). Please correct me if im wrong. I would like to know if my logic (or lack of it) serves me well, for I do not acctually KNOW ther answer.
  21. Hmm what is this thread meant to say??? Technically life started (probably) from atoms in a pool having a charge sent through them, so yes early life was first created due to a reaction (I mean, what else? Other than the proposterous existance of a Deity). More so we are relatives of those creatures. Generally threads are discussions or questions or even arguments. Not (probably) incorrect statements.
  22. I personally believe that there are many more sciences than most people think. I would in fact call Economics, biology, Psychology, Geology and many more Sciences, sciences. It is just researching a subject through certain means, then consolidating them into easily (some not so much) understanable rules, laws and theories.
  23. LOL! Yeah to PANDORA! But seriously I think birth control COULD be a viable option if we can "equalise" wealth through out the world first. Equalise is probably (definately) the wrong word though. It may be a harsh solution but ultimately I don't see things getting better very soon so drastic action should be taken in the near future, we are already using up rainforest at a stupid rate, for Darwin's sake!
  24. So?? I was saying that human's DNA has stayed similar enough to factions of one another to not be radically different. Other animals aren't really relevant. And also im fairly sure that most large animals 2 million years ago are the same or very similar to how they are now. You've gotta bare in mind that humans (Homo sapiens) have acctually stuck together for most of their history as well, we only established ourselves in the americas 10,000 years ago, and 10,000 years isn't long enough for realetively long lived animals to evolve in the wild, to the extent you are referring to.
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