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I read this the other day from my grandson's school textbook - "Second example. Hundreds of thousands of years ago (The Stone Age) humans were just discovering tools and weapons and using them to hunt for food. Now fast-forward to the present day and look at any example of humans around now (eg tall, slim built, unfit, computer bound office worker or short, overweight, unfit computer bound office worker) and take him or her back in a time machine to the paleolithic era and see if he or she will survive. That’s evolution in humans.

I can see how it would be understood by children . . . .but is it right?  As in scientifically right

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Nope, that is not an example of evolution per se. What is mentioned is technically just different selective pressures but it is wrapped in an easy to misunderstand context.

And even the use of stone age is problematic. It covers a range of ~ 3.4 million years  and tools were  found over 2 million years old. I.e. while they were simple, it is not that they just discovered, they were used for an extended amount of time within a time frame that is roughly covered by the term stone age. 

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On 11/27/2017 at 4:56 PM, jonnobody said:

I read this the other day from my grandson's school textbook - "Second example. Hundreds of thousands of years ago (The Stone Age) humans were just discovering tools and weapons and using them to hunt for food. Now fast-forward to the present day and look at any example of humans around now (eg tall, slim built, unfit, computer bound office worker or short, overweight, unfit computer bound office worker) and take him or her back in a time machine to the paleolithic era and see if he or she will survive. That’s evolution in humans.

 

I can see how it would be understood by children . . . .but is it right?  As in scientifically right

I think this confuses the evolution of technology and lifestyle with biological evolution. Computers (electrical processing) didn't exist a hundred years ago and do exist now. That isn't an example of human evolution. Just human putting accumulated knowledge to use. A child from a hundred years ago, or ten thousand years ago for that matter, could be taught how to use a computer no different that children today.  

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I wonder if this is a textbook created to fudge the whole concept of evolution ("we can't introduce creationism into the classroom, but at least we can make sure the children are completely confused about the topic")

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3 hours ago, Strange said:

I wonder if this is a textbook created to fudge the whole concept of evolution ("we can't introduce creationism into the classroom, but at least we can make sure the children are completely confused about the topic")

Create the controversy, then demand students be shown there is one. It's a bit like riling people up to commit crimes, then pointing to the rise in crime and claiming you're the only one that can help.

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Height in modern humans compared to humans from a few hundred years ago is nothing more than nutrition. Ancient hominids, Homo erectus, I think, were on average taller than modern humans, averaging something like 6 feet. 

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Try to walk under deck on an old sailing ship, those guys were short! 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_height

 

Quote

Attributed as a significant reason for the trend of increasing height in parts of Europe are the egalitarian populations where proper medical care and adequate nutrition are relatively equally distributed.[10] Average (male) height in a nation is correlated with protein quality. Nations that consume more protein in the form of pork, dairy, eggs, and fish tend to be taller, while those that attain more protein from cereals tend to be shorter.

 

Edited by Moontanman
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We would probably struggle to survive back then, but so did they, our ancestors. We still have our adaptive systems that evolved, in part, through that time...including the ones that helped make us unfit (physical fitness unfit) from our lifestyle, such as ones that recycle (atrophy) muscle we don't use. They would help us adapt to the varied conditions we might encounter, or not, depending on our inherent survival fitness for those conditions.

Maybe 10,000 years from now we might not get so unhealthy from excessive time spent in front of a computer...we can probably all help speed this process up by not exercising regularly, especially for those that have Doctors recommending that they in particular should do so.

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I remember a few years back my grandfather, 83 years old, took a trek into the back country of WV. He was planning to live for a few days in an old log cabin he grew up in. He got there and found the cabin had fallen down due to disrepair. A ice storm followed by heavy snow had started just after he left. He started back home but the snow and ice became too deep to travel. He backed up a against a cliff face, built a huge fire and survived five days with him and his dogs in what was later called a blizzard. 

He was surprised anyone had been worried, just a little snow was his off hand remark. Modern people are tougher than we think, I am confident that under similar conditions I could have survived as well. His dogs killed and brought a couple rabbits rabbits into camp which he cooked before the fire and shared with his dogs. They kept warm in a pile against the cliff and in front of the fire. 

Attitude has a lot to do with survival, being prepared at least minimally is a bit of an obsession to me and many of my relatives. Nearly all of us carry, fire, a decent knife, and an attitude of being will to make a decision that allows us to do what is necessary rather than what everyone else thinks you should. Of course where he was at lacked ay dangerous animals but the presence of fire and dogs would have helped with that. 

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