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What prompted primitive man to become bipedal?


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Apes don't walk like baboons, though. Baboons stride much like cats or dogs, putting a preponderance of their weight on the front limbs. Apes put most of their weight on their hind limbs and live a surprising amount of their time upright in trees.[/quote']There is hardly any difference between them.. I feel you are clutching at straws!

Hey! What happened to the ROTFL smiley? Claiming "There is hardly any difference them between apes and baboons"? and then in the same breath claiming cdarwin is "clutching at straws"? Pot, meet kettle.

 

It's amazing how hostile people are to the aquatic theory despite it answering ALL the questions about human evolution (hair loss, sub cutaneous fat, babies swimming as soon as they are born, tears, dive reflex etc etc etc) - unlike the savannah theory.

No. What is amazing how some cling to outdated and falsified hypotheses, all the while ignoring or twisting evidence. Hostility? At times. Too many religious nuts and too many mixed nuts makes that happen. More often, the response is more along the lines of :rolleyes:

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Before we go heading off into bipedalism to far we have to use a degree of rationalism primitive man had to develop a system of removing him or her self from danger as time flowed i think the characteristics of life may have been an adaptive process which darwin explains .these processes take time animals adapt to there environment in the same way. Habitation in early evolution may have been a common bonding within a tribulistic setting.

But our we not in some way similar, sit up straight we tell our children ,posture . This in itself may also attribute to the fact that if people become overweight to the extent of damaging there back in some way ,the early learning process of man may have resulted in the more active participants within a system learning that . Well counter balance the argument and say four legged animals move a lot faster a leopard for instance . If we look at children they start off on all fours and then hey presto there off and running.

we show similar traits in some degree to our early ancestors , migration like the nomadic people in search of food , we have the same primitive needs in a modern setting athletics for instance people wanting to reach there physical peak , we look at hair for instance people who live in a colder environment tend to have more hair ,its kept electroylisis studios busy . so adaptive processes are there evolving and devolving i would say so the hotter environmet would definetly be a likely cause of less hair . What of size we find by early discoveries of primates a smaller skeletol structure im not suggesting

that the was a huge debate about size being important did we grow bigger

as time went on . we need to look at modern day diversity of race and track back or find a starting point by which evidence suggests that people of this period looked and lived in a system appertaining to this , the colouration of skin the adaptive processes of the human biological mechanisms to transmutate. natural selection and genetics. why bipedal adaptive genetic ,

transmutation , intelligence , and necessity.

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pantheon, please learn to write properly. That post is so poorly written that it is basically unreadable. This is not hard to do. Start your sentences with a capital letter. Write sentences, not fragments. Use proper spacing with commas and periods. Separate paragraphs with a blank line. You are just typing to yourself if people can't read what you write.

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Humans often project global attributes onto primitive man/woman. As an analogy of this projection, we may say modern man has the ability to invent technology that is changing the world. How many modern people actually do this. It is a tiny percent. Yet we all globally claim this as part of humanity as though we all invented. There is a reality detachment.

 

I would have to assume primitive man/woman may have only had a few representatives in terms of most globally attributed skills. Not everyone could draw in caves, yet we might often think in terms of cave dwellers drawing in caves as though this was an art colony. This creates a distorted perception of reality. The fire keeper may have been a single person, whose job was to keep the fire going. He might teach this to an apprentice. The rest of tribe might get modern credit for knowing the fire god. Or we may marvel at primitive herbal medicine and attribute this to all, even though there is maybe one witch doctor. There is maybe one story teller, etc. The global abstraction contains all of this, but the individual, very doubtful.

 

I tend to rule out things that makes walking upright due to global attributes that nobody had. A natural push makes more sense since any cultural push to be upright also implies the first odd duck has to be able to overcome the inertia of the primitive fear of novelty. Do that strange, upright thing, in the group and they will lynch you.

 

For global change, like walking upright, necessity works best. One has to think in terms of how to overcome instinctive inertia, fear of novelty in a specialty world, to create a global change. The best way to overcome the fear and inertia, is the strongest fear; survival. During droughts even opposing animals, lions and gazelles, walk together. We are not dealing with einstein caliber critters, so it has to be simple. I like thermal venting because it only takes tiny common sense. It shifts the brain-heart.

 

This could also explain how one aspect of the family tree suddenly changed drastically. The other aspect didn't have this same need and stalled. It could have also been simply due to the stalled aspect driving out part of the group or a forest fire that divides the species. They became the wanderers looking for a new forest home. They needed to migrate, being reduced down to those who had the needed survival skills. The children learn. We can add a nice long stick as a crutch to help take the pressure off the back. Now the hand is always working to hold the stick. Now that stick has many uses for survival and will become almost part to them. Now we have a drama.

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No. What is amazing how some cling to outdated and falsified hypotheses, all the while ignoring or twisting evidence. Hostility? At times. Too many religious nuts and too many mixed nuts makes that happen. More often, the response is more along the lines of :rolleyes:

 

Outdated, falsified hypotheses? That well describes the savannah theory. A Victorian theory, way out of date and contrary to the evidence.

 

I am right I tell ya. Just you wait and see!!!:D

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There is hardly any difference between them.. I feel you are clutching at straws!

 

Quite a substantial difference. Putting weight on the front limbs predisposes an entirely different posture than putting weight on the hind limbs. You can think of it two ways, in terms of balance and in terms of a gradation between a hand-stand and walking upright. In a hand-stand all the weight is on the front limbs, in a baboon the majority of it is, in an ape a minority of it is, and in an upright human none of it is. Also think about trying to balance yourself standing upright if most of you weight bearing muscles were in your upper body. It would be impossible. In apes the weight-bearing muscles are already in the lower body, as they are in humans.

 

It works both ways, too. Just as a quadrupedal monkey would be poorly prepared to evolve the bipedal posture of Australopithecus, an ape would be poorly equipped to adopt the efficient quadrupedal striding of a baboon. The ape would have to shift its body's primary support from its rear to its front, all along the way while experiencing positive selective pressure for these changes. This is quite an evolutionary gauntlet, and seems accordingly unlikely.

 

The females still have longer noses than most monkeys. The human nose flap I refer to is, well, the human nose. C/f other primates noses! I may be clutching at straws here...

 

They have noses of similar length to other colobine monkeys.

 

kali9060pj8.th.jpg

Female proboscis.

 

langurs.jpg

Langur of some kind, I believe a Douc langur.

 

Not much difference between the two. The female proboscis nose isn't any more significant that male nipples. It's not that important what the proboscis nose is used for though, since the human nose projects as it does as a simple consequence of the foreshortening of the face. When you bring an ape's jaw in, there's nowhere for the nose to go but to jut out.

 

Penguins don't walk quadrupally on land. The others have no choice, but the balance and ability to stand kinda upright shown by sealions, and otters for that matter, are abilities that an aquatic or semi-aquatic lifestyle can bring.

 

Holding your neck up doesn't count as bipedality, nor does the standing upright for short periods that otters might do when many other terrestrial weasels (think meercats) do it much better.

 

Homonids had long legs to start with though, so these would have been used in a fashion similar to frogs, which are also swimmers with long legs. So, our body form would become elongated and 'straight' effectively pre-adapting us for walking upright. Also look at our feet - they are flipper shaped.

 

Our feet aren't flipper shaped in any meaningful way. What they are is perfectly designed (down to the position of the toes) to give a surface to launch the body forward with each stride. The only thing our feet show any especial adaptation to is good, bipedal locomotion. On land. And the early australopithecine feet that have been found don't look like flippers either. They look like ape feet that have been jerry-rigged for efficient, bipedal locomotion. Any encounters with water during this evolution was by all appearances irrelevant to this trasformation. We never needed a stage where our bodies were preadapted by an aquatic lifestyle, the ape foot itself had enough plasticity to serve as the beginnings of a fine biped extremity.

 

Fossil evidence is already there - it just depends on the interpretation. It's amazing how hostile people are to the aquatic theory despite it answering ALL the questions about human evolution (hair loss, sub cutaneous fat, babies swimming as soon as they are born, tears, dive reflex etc etc etc) - unlike the savannah theory.

 

Promising to explain lots and lots of things and then offering piteous support is no virtue of a scientific theory. It may sell books, but that's about all.

 

It's almost certain that there were multiple reasons for our upright posture. I'll throw out a few potential ones:

 

All of those (or most, at least) are perfectly theoretically valid, but I think it would be safer to say they were possible selective pressures reinforcing bipedalism, rather than its reason.

 

Outdated, falsified hypotheses? That well describes the savannah theory. A Victorian theory, way out of date and contrary to the evidence.

 

Well, we have to agree there. That's why the savanna hypothesis isn't widely accepted by anthropologists today.

Edited by CDarwin
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All of those (or most, at least) are perfectly theoretically valid, but I think it would be safer to say they were possible selective pressures reinforcing bipedalism, rather than its reason.

 

To be honest, I can't tell the difference.

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To be honest, I can't tell the difference.

 

I don't know, maybe it's just how I think. I wouldn't say that there was any reason for the quadrupedal locomotion of the early tetrapods. You just had animals that happened to be pretty well preadapted for it, crossyptergian fish, in a particular ecological environment, pools on the shores of shallow oceans. Quadrupedalism happens.

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Quite a substantial difference. Putting weight on the front limbs predisposes an entirely different posture than putting weight on the hind limbs. You can think of it two ways, in terms of balance and in terms of a gradation between a hand-stand and walking upright. In a hand-stand all the weight is on the front limbs, in a baboon the majority of it is, in an ape a minority of it is, and in an upright human none of it is. Also think about trying to balance yourself standing upright if most of you weight bearing muscles were in your upper body. It would be impossible. In apes the weight-bearing muscles are already in the lower body, as they are in humans.

 

This entire argument is built on conjecture. Gorillas put huge weight onto their front limbs when walking, and so do chimps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not much difference between the two. The female proboscis nose isn't any more significant that male nipples. It's not that important what the proboscis nose is used for though, since the human nose projects as it does as a simple consequence of the foreshortening of the face. When you bring an ape's jaw in, there's nowhere for the nose to go but to jut out.

 

Well, it could be that it was an evolutionary advantage for swimming and so became an attractive feature that went into 'overdrive' in the males - like the peacocks tail. However, it's not a particularly important factor in the argument.

 

 

Holding your neck up doesn't count as bipedality, nor does the standing upright for short periods that otters might do when many other terrestrial weasels (think meercats) do it much better.

Ever seen a sealion hold a ball on it's nose? Meercats couldn't do that. I'd bet otters have much better balance than meerkats too.

 

 

 

Our feet aren't flipper shaped in any meaningful way. What they are is perfectly designed (down to the position of the toes) to give a surface to launch the body forward with each stride. The only thing our feet show any especial adaptation to is good, bipedal locomotion. On land. And the early australopithecine feet that have been found don't look like flippers either. They look like ape feet that have been jerry-rigged for efficient, bipedal locomotion. Any encounters with water during this evolution was by all appearances irrelevant to this trasformation. We never needed a stage where our bodies were preadapted by an aquatic lifestyle, the ape foot itself had enough plasticity to serve as the beginnings of a fine biped extremity.

 

Well I'd say they are pretty flipper shaped compared to other primates. Your note about the feet of australopithecines is interesting. It's possible that it was about this time that they homonids became semi-aquatic.

 

Promising to explain lots and lots of things and then offering piteous support is no virtue of a scientific theory. It may sell books, but that's about all.

 

It's simply not true that there is piteous support. There is loads. Even Sir David Attenborough is a recent convert to the theory.

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To bombus

 

There is a chance that pre-humans may have been waders, but not very aquatic apart from that. Untrained humans are actually lousy swimmers, so we are definitely not pre-adapted by evolution to a fully aquatic life style. It is also clear that our ancestors have not spent much time in salt water, because there are no fossils found in salt water deposits.

 

If our ancestors were sea water hunters, many would have died in the sea and been partly or wholly buried in sea sediment, and fossilised as such. After all, sea sediment is one of the very best ways of making fossils.

 

If you look at the fossils that exist of pre-humans, they are not marine fossils. Thus, pre-humans spent little time in the sea.

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This entire argument is built on conjecture. Gorillas put huge weight onto their front limbs when walking, and so do chimps.

 

No, it's based on biomechanics. Gorillas and chimps may put a lot of weight on their front limbs indeed. They're big animals. But they put the majority of their weight on their hind limbs.

 

Well, it could be that it was an evolutionary advantage for swimming and so became an attractive feature that went into 'overdrive' in the males - like the peacocks tail. However, it's not a particularly important factor in the argument.

 

Totally circular argument, but as you said, not that important.

 

Ever seen a sealion hold a ball on it's nose? Meercats couldn't do that. I'd bet otters have much better balance than meerkats too.

 

You're point? I couldn't hold a ball on my nose. Does that mean sealions are better bipeds than I am?

 

Well I'd say they are pretty flipper shaped compared to other primates. Your note about the feet of australopithecines is interesting. It's possible that it was about this time that they homonids became semi-aquatic.

 

But they show no evidence of that.

 

It's simply not true that there is piteous support. There is loads. Even Sir David Attenborough is a recent convert to the theory.

 

Well I'm sorry to hear that, because I like David Attenborough, but that's simply an appeal to authority.

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Maybe you can catch me on this, but I'd think the selective preference would be to remain inconspicuous over remaining vigilant. If you're a primate out on the grassland and you see a lion, what are you going to do? Run for the tree-line? Try and scare it off? Either might work but I'd say you'd be better off if the lion never saw you at all.

 

You are better off seeing the lion first. So the preference is remaining vigilant. Remember, the lion doesn't have to see you; it can smell or hear you. However, the primary sense for apes is sight. So make the best use of that sight. If you have to run, then bipedality is faster than knuckle walking. And, of course, bipedality favors going long distances over knuckle walking. So just moving about away from trees to forage for food may have been a stronger selective factor than avoiding predators.

 

Back to the OP. Basically, we don't know for sure. The data indicates that bipedality evolved first in the hominid lineage, long before large brains. As you point out below:

 

Some of the earliest hominids that have been discovered, like Ardipithecus ramidus, were discovered in what appear to have been full-blown forests,

 

Yet, as I recall, ramidus shows some adaptations for bipedality. So why?

 

That's another solution that's been proposed, but again it doesn't really explain efficient bipedal movement. A lot of primates can stand up, but not a lot can move that way for long distances.

 

"Efficient bipedal movement" is different from "first bipedal". The selection pressure to get bipedality to begin with doesn't have to be the same selection pressure(s) for evolution of efficient bipedal movement. Bipedality could be partly an exaptation. Once bipedal, then that conferred new abilities unrelated to the pressure to become bipedal to begin with.

 

I'm sorry I'm being mostly negative in this thread, but I don't think that bipedalism really something that has a simple, positive, clean, answer. It just kind of happened at some point toward the end of the Miocene, probably beginning in the forest, and then suddenly became the object of selective refinement.

 

I would agree. All we can do is list the various hypotheses that have been proposed and the caveat that we don't have enough data to choose between them. The idea the bipedality arose by swimming can be falsified, but the others are on the table.

 

Fossil evidence is already there - it just depends on the interpretation. It's amazing how hostile people are to the aquatic theory despite it answering ALL the questions about human evolution (hair loss, sub cutaneous fat, babies swimming as soon as they are born, tears, dive reflex etc etc etc) - unlike the savannah theory.

 

First, the fossil evidence is not present. Early hominid fossils are not found near water or in aquatic environments. If early humans spent a lot of time in the water, then we would expect some of them to drown or be eaten by water-borne predators such that the bones would be found in sediments that had once been streams or lakees. We don't. All the hominid fossils so far have been found on what was once dry land or in run-offs from streams. The famous cache of A. africanus fossils in S. Africa were killed by land dwelling predators and dropped between bolders in a semi-arid savannah.

 

Second, the aquatic ape theory does not explain all the questions about human evolution. What you have is a selective list. As just one example, most aquatic mammals have hair! Only a few -- such as the hippo -- do not. All the aquatic primates have hair!

 

There are other adaptations that are not explained by aquatic ape.

http://www.aquaticape.org/

Langdon JH (1997). "Umbrella hypotheses and parsimony in human evolution: a critique of the Aquatic Ape Hypothesis". J. Hum. Evol. 33 (4): 479–94. doi:10.1006/jhev.1997.0146. PMID 9361254

Pagel, Mark (2003). "A naked ape would have fewer parasites". Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 270 (0, 07 Aug 2003): S117. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2003.0041. (inactive 2008-06-25).

http://rationalwiki.com/wiki/Aquatic_ape_theory

 

Your note about the feet of australopithecines is interesting. It's possible that it was about this time that they homonids became semi-aquatic.

 

No good. Aquatic ape says that our ancestors of 5-7 million years ago went thru an aquatic phase. Australopithecines are 2-4 million years ago. By that time, the adaptations should already have happened according to Aquatic Ape. As CDarwin noted, Australopithecines don't have the adaptations prediced by AA.

Edited by lucaspa
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There is a chance that pre-humans may have been waders, but not very aquatic apart from that. Untrained humans are actually lousy swimmers, so we are definitely not pre-adapted by evolution to a fully aquatic life style. It is also clear that our ancestors have not spent much time in salt water, because there are no fossils found in salt water deposits.

 

 

Human babies can swim as soon as they are born. They automatically hold their breath, rise to the surface and do not breath until their face is out of the water. They retain this ability until around 3 months old. Humans are actually far better swimmers than they deserve to be, and our ability to hold our breath underwater far surpasses any terrestrial mammal. In fact it is almost on par with seals. We would not have been fully aquatic at any time, it's a bit of a misnomer, but semi-aquatic. maybe living on and foraging in coastal areas. I doubt fossils would be found in the way you suggest. they would probably be found in what were coastal areas (and possibly are?).

 

If our ancestors were sea water hunters, many would have died in the sea and been partly or wholly buried in sea sediment, and fossilised as such. After all, sea sediment is one of the very best ways of making fossils.If you look at the fossils that exist of pre-humans, they are not marine fossils. Thus, pre-humans spent little time in the sea.

 

As the answer above, I doubt we'd have been sea hunters, but maybe we lived off seafood (shellfish etc). In fact, a seafood diet is the healthiest for humans as its full of omega 3 and oils that keep our arteries clear.

 

CD Dawin,

 

I have seen that anti AH website before. It is full of strawman arguments, and inaccuracies. Your point about most aquatic mammals being 'haired' is interesting, but not actually that important. Most aquatic mammals have short or no legs but frogs have long legs - it all depends on what the starting point is and what evolutionary processes then come into play. Maybe we were living in muddy waters or boggy areas where hair was a disadvantage. Also cetaceans have no hair, as do hippos, elephants, rhino's, all of which are either semi aquatic or have had semi aquatic ancestors.

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To bombus

 

Humans are lousy swimmers, unless trained and experienced. The fact that babies can survive for a brief time in water can be explained by evolutionary processes apart from actually being aquatic. Survival from drowning for long enough for a parent to rescue them is something else. After a relatively short time without rescue, even that capability is not enough, and the baby will die. The baby cannot swim to shore, which seems to me to be a very basic and essential skill for even a semi-aquatic mammal.

 

The ability to swim as adults is widespread among fully terrestrial animals. Even elephants are much better swimmers than untrained humans as adults.

 

And the adult human ability to breath hold dive is not natural. I know. I am a keen scuba diver and snorkeller. That ability is one obtained by training and practise - something other terrestrial animals do not do. And the vast majority of people, despite training, cannot come within an order of magnitude of what a seal can do. Only a tiny percentage of human divers can develop to the point of even spending two minutes swimming underwater while breath holding. Personally, even after many years of snorkel diving, my comfortable limit is less than a minute. A seal would laugh at me!

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To bombus

 

Humans are lousy swimmers, unless trained and experienced. The fact that babies can survive for a brief time in water can be explained by evolutionary processes apart from actually being aquatic. Survival from drowning for long enough for a parent to rescue them is something else. After a relatively short time without rescue, even that capability is not enough, and the baby will die. The baby cannot swim to shore, which seems to me to be a very basic and essential skill for even a semi-aquatic mammal.

 

Lets face it, humans are pretty lousy at everything until trained and experienced, but the ability of human babies is NOT that easily explained. Nor would the ability to survive from drowning for a short period be something a terrestrial mammal would evolve. IMHO it points to humans giving birth in water - probably as a protection from predators. It gives the mother enough time to gather it in its arms.

 

Drop a new born puppy, or even chimp into water and see what happens!

 

The ability to swim as adults is widespread among fully terrestrial animals. Even elephants are much better swimmers than untrained humans as adults
.

 

They can't hold their breath as well though!

 

And the adult human ability to breath hold dive is not natural. I know. I am a keen scuba diver and snorkeller. That ability is one obtained by training and practise - something other terrestrial animals do not do. And the vast majority of people, despite training, cannot come within an order of magnitude of what a seal can do. Only a tiny percentage of human divers can develop to the point of even spending two minutes swimming underwater while breath holding. Personally, even after many years of snorkel diving, my comfortable limit is less than a minute. A seal would laugh at me!

 

Oddly much of the ability to hold breath underwater is actually psychological. Free divers can overcome the natural desire to breath and stay submerged for much longer than most of us could. The point is that humans have a physiological ability to do this far in excess of what we should be expected to have.

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Lets face it, humans are pretty lousy at everything until trained and experienced, but the ability of human babies is NOT that easily explained. Nor would the ability to survive from drowning for a short period be something a terrestrial mammal would evolve. IMHO it points to humans giving birth in water - probably as a protection from predators. It gives the mother enough time to gather it in its arms.

 

I think this is because we can afford to give our babies a longer learning curve. Most animals, especially prey animals, can't afford to let their babies grow and develop. Humans have a highly protective social unit and good access to highly nutritive food (even in our evolutionary past). This would give human babies plenty of protection in order to become better adapted to perform tasks that require a high degree of physical and intellectual skill, that's in terms of growth and development and education.

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I actually made a post on anopther site the other day dealing with this exact thing. I actually might have got the original idea from this website. Here it is:

 

"I've recently been thinking about this a lot recently and have come up with a likely scenario that lead towards the separation from man and apes.

 

Recent geological evidence has shown that millions of years ago Africa began turning from a lush jungle area to a desert climate through desertification and that areas between different jungle environments were separated by vast stretches of savanna. It is my belief (Although I'm fairly certain this has been proposed before) that our ancient mammalian ancestors lived on the borders of these jungle/savanna wildernesses. To forage and hunt for food they needed to travel outside of the safety of the jungle, both armed with weapons such as sticks or clubs and in packs, to gather what they needed. Having a weapon in one hand and a pile of food in the other didn't really allow for movement on all fours. They needed to walk bipedally back to the safety of the jungle. Eventually their bipedalism grew enabling them to carry more food as well as enabling them to protect themselves better. With bipedalism becoming more common it allowed our ancestors to free up their hands which would then provide them the means of more tool use, better tools and subsequently bigger brains.

 

The question of how we lost our body hair is one that I agree with the experts on. We lost it because with the more active lifestyle of foraging and hunting for food on the savanna caused our ancestors to overheat. When our bodies adapted to this more active lifestyle it resulted in the loss of hair as means of cooling. Why do some animals still grow hair in that part of the world you ask? My answer is that the animals that do grow hair use it as a means of protection from the Sun. The animals that live in that part of the world are built for short bursts of speed in order to catch their prey (Or if they are herbivores they spend most of their time merely standing around eating plants). They wouldn't overheat they way our ancestors, who weren't built for running long distances on the savanna, did because they don't have to work as hard to travel such vast distances.

 

The loss of body hair would lead then directly into the darkening of the flesh that formerly laid underneath the hair due to the protection of radiation from the Sun. It is a commonly held belief that the whitening of the skin for certain races occurred because of the amount of UV radiation from the sun at more northern climates. My belief is that while this is only partly true it is nowhere near the whole story. If it was merely due to UV radiation from the sun then chances are that the northern population would still be dark skinned because there would be no reason at all why the skin would become lighter. Dark skin is a better protection for radiation from the sun. Proof is in the fact that the darker skinned you are the less of a chance you have of getting cancer due to the Suns radiation and in effect less of a chance in the radiation from the Sun causing genetic alterations.

 

On the other hand it is a well known fact that our bodies metabolize vitamin D through certain types of radiation they take in from the Sun. Dark skinned people in northern climates have a greater chance of having vitamin D deficiency because of the less direct sunlight than in equatorial climates. This is the reason why milk and other products are often fortified with vitamin D. It is my belief that human flesh began whitening because protection from the Suns radiation was not needed in more northerly climates as well as the amount of Vitamin D lighter skin could take in."

 

I'm wondering if anyone sees any flaws in this argument?

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To Bumfluff

 

A couple of points.

 

First : Apes do not carry food in their hands. They carry it in their stomachs. Our early ancestors would have done likewise. However, carrying tools or weapons is a good reason for upright stance.

 

Second ; Relating to hairlessness. Your theory is not new. Loss of hair as a cooling mechanism has been proposed many times. In fact, one of the few special physical attributes humans have is extreme stamina - if you are young, male, and physically fit - and at least some in each tribe fit that description. This permits a special kind of hunting. To chase a gazelle or similar prey animal until it keels over from exhaustion. This is still done by some African tribes. One reason humans can do this is due to lack of hair and a cooling system that is far superior to most terrestrial mammals.

 

The problem with that theory is that it does not deal with the downside. That is : if you lack hair, how do you deal with the very cold conditions that crop up from time to time - usually early morning - and happen even on the equator. It is my belief that no other terrestrial mammal in our size range has lost hair because they cannot cope with this problem. Humans and pre-humans, however, had simple technology. The use of fire or clothing would permit humans to stay warm when it got cold, and thus lose hair, giving the benefit of better cooling for hunting. No other animal has technology and can do that.

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To Bumfluff

 

A couple of points.

 

First : Apes do not carry food in their hands. They carry it in their stomachs. Our early ancestors would have done likewise. However, carrying tools or weapons is a good reason for upright stance.

 

Second ; Relating to hairlessness. Your theory is not new. Loss of hair as a cooling mechanism has been proposed many times. In fact, one of the few special physical attributes humans have is extreme stamina - if you are young, male, and physically fit - and at least some in each tribe fit that description. This permits a special kind of hunting. To chase a gazelle or similar prey animal until it keels over from exhaustion. This is still done by some African tribes. One reason humans can do this is due to lack of hair and a cooling system that is far superior to most terrestrial mammals.

 

The problem with that theory is that it does not deal with the downside. That is : if you lack hair, how do you deal with the very cold conditions that crop up from time to time - usually early morning - and happen even on the equator. It is my belief that no other terrestrial mammal in our size range has lost hair because they cannot cope with this problem. Humans and pre-humans, however, had simple technology. The use of fire or clothing would permit humans to stay warm when it got cold, and thus lose hair, giving the benefit of better cooling for hunting. No other animal has technology and can do that.

 

We are not descended from apes. We descended from the same ancestor as apes have. (Which I am sure you are aware of since I have been reading this forum for quite some time now.) If the food sources were beginning to dry up due to desertification and less vegetation you don't think that early man, with his superior knowledge, would have stored some away to eat later much as mammals of lesser intelligence are doing even today?

 

I'm aware the hairlessness part isn't knew. I actually have been reading many websites on this topic and the hairless loss due to cooling is the most accepted throughout.

 

Another belief I have is that ancient man began wearing clothes, not because he wanted warmth, but because it was more of a status symbol. When traveling in packs one of the members of that pack would be the leader and they would be wearing the clothing or markings to signify as such. Eventually, as it began getting colder, man began wearing more clothing to keep warm. Archeological discoveries dealing with clothing turned up first I believe at most 10,000 years ago. (As I believe has been stated earlier in this thread or in another dealing with much the same thing.) However I do believe that man has been wearing clothing for quite a lot longer than that.

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To Bumfluff

 

I am going to be nit picky here. Humans are descended from apes. In fact, we are still apes. We belong to the Great Ape group of primates. The only thing is that we are not descended from modern apes.

 

Re clothing. I agree with you that clothes were worn a hell of a long time ago. I think that simple clothing was invented way back when our ancestors were hairy apes. It was only after this invention that our ancestors could access the advantages of hairlessness without the disadvantage of dying of hypothermia. Once clothing was worn during the cold hours of the day, and shed for hunting, the evolution of hairlessness would have been rapid.

 

What was the earliest clothing like? Lots of artists draw pre humans wearing animal skins. I doubt it. Untanned skins go rotten really fast. And tanning is not easy. It can be done with tree bark, but that leaves a lump of leather like a sheet of plywood. Not well suited to clothing.

 

I think it is more likely that the first clothing was a variation on woven plant fibre. If you weave a mat of that type, and interlock animal hairs or bird feathers into that mat, you will end up with a type of blanket that will keep you warm very well. Sleeping under that mat during the cold hours would add to warmth. Wrapping it around you would keep you warm later.

 

Making actual clothing (as opposed to a simple blanket) would be more difficult, but pre-human intelligence was probably up to the development.

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We are not descended from apes. We descended from the same ancestor as apes have.

SkepticLance never said that we are in his post.

 

We are descended from apes. Just as the dire wolf is an extinct species of canids, Australopithecus is an extinct species of hominids, aka great apes. As Australopithecus is one of our direct ancestors and Australopithecus was an ape, we are descended from apes. Furthermore, not only are we descended from apes, we are apes.

 

Some object to saying that we are descended from apes on religious grounds. These religious objections have made some who do ascribe to evolution reject the claim that we are descended from apes. These non-religious objections are based on invalid of the claim by those who believe in creationism. One such objection with saying that we are descended from apes implies we are no longer apes. We are apes. End of story.

 

Another objection is that saying that we are descended from apes implies we are descended from the apes extant today. This is the stupid "if humans are descended from monkeys, why do monkeys still exist" non sequitur. The only way to answer this question is "it is said most Americans are descended from Europeans, so why do Europeans still exist?"

 

These objections yield to the creationists. Take the high ground: Not only are we descended from apes, we remain apes to this day.

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SkepticLance never said that we are in his post.

 

We are descended from apes. Just as the dire wolf is an extinct species of canids, Australopithecus is an extinct species of hominids, aka great apes. As Australopithecus is one of our direct ancestors and Australopithecus was an ape, we are descended from apes. Furthermore, not only are we descended from apes, we are apes.

 

Some object to saying that we are descended from apes on religious grounds. These religious objections have made some who do ascribe to evolution reject the claim that we are descended from apes. These non-religious objections are based on invalid of the claim by those who believe in creationism. One such objection with saying that we are descended from apes implies we are no longer apes. We are apes. End of story.

 

Another objection is that saying that we are descended from apes implies we are descended from the apes extant today. This is the stupid "if humans are descended from monkeys, why do monkeys still exist" non sequitur. The only way to answer this question is "it is said most Americans are descended from Europeans, so why do Europeans still exist?"

 

These objections yield to the creationists. Take the high ground: Not only are we descended from apes, we remain apes to this day.

 

I am aware that he didn't say in his posts directly that we are descended from apes however it was what was implied than as is what you are implying now. I am not religious. I am aware that man and apes are of the same family. However continuing to say that 'man descended from apes' drives the theists to continue to ask the argument later in your post. I think it better to state 'Man and apes are descendants of the same ancestor' than say 'man descended from apes' because as long as we continue with this statement the longer the ignorance of the statement will continue to effect those that are unknowledgable on the subject and they will continue to ask, out of ignorance, 'If we are descended from monkeys why are there still monkeys?'

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I think it better to state 'Man and apes are descendants of the same ancestor' than say 'man descended from apes' because as long as we continue with this statement the longer the ignorance of the statement will continue to effect those that are unknowledgable on the subject and they will continue to ask, out of ignorance, 'If we are descended from monkeys why are there still monkeys?'

That silly monkey objection keeps coming up. It is a non sequitur, and I gave one way to beat it show it for the silly argument that it is. That the same people continue to raise the same objection over and over even after having been told that the objection is invalid means they are not doing so out of ignorance. They are lying. This is OK because lying in the defense of ones religion apparently is not a sin.

 

We both know that we are descended from Australopithecus and that Australopithecus was an ape, so why join them in the lie and say we aren't descended from apes?

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To Bumfluff

 

I am going to be nit picky here. Humans are descended from apes. In fact, we are still apes. We belong to the Great Ape group of primates. The only thing is that we are not descended from modern apes.

 

Re clothing. I agree with you that clothes were worn a hell of a long time ago. I think that simple clothing was invented way back when our ancestors were hairy apes. It was only after this invention that our ancestors could access the advantages of hairlessness without the disadvantage of dying of hypothermia. Once clothing was worn during the cold hours of the day, and shed for hunting, the evolution of hairlessness would have been rapid.

 

What was the earliest clothing like? Lots of artists draw pre humans wearing animal skins. I doubt it. Untanned skins go rotten really fast. And tanning is not easy. It can be done with tree bark, but that leaves a lump of leather like a sheet of plywood. Not well suited to clothing.

 

I think it is more likely that the first clothing was a variation on woven plant fibre. If you weave a mat of that type, and interlock animal hairs or bird feathers into that mat, you will end up with a type of blanket that will keep you warm very well. Sleeping under that mat during the cold hours would add to warmth. Wrapping it around you would keep you warm later.

 

Making actual clothing (as opposed to a simple blanket) would be more difficult, but pre-human intelligence was probably up to the development.

 

I completely agree that pre-human intelligence was, most likely, perfectly capable of making clothing. What do you think is more likely though: Prehistoric man began wearing clothing because they were cold and wanted to stay warm or prehistoric man began wearing clothing as a means of showing their rank in society much as Darwin's savages did.

 

Do you think that clothing came before or after man became bipedal? And where does bipedalism fit into the evolution from ancestor to man?

 

That silly monkey objection keeps coming up. It is a non sequitur, and I gave one way to beat it show it for the silly argument that it is. That the same people continue to raise the same objection over and over even after having been told that the objection is invalid means they are not doing so out of ignorance. They are lying. This is OK because lying in the defense of ones religion apparently is not a sin.

 

We both know that we are descended from Australopithecus and that Australopithecus was an ape, so why join them in the lie and say we aren't descended from apes?

 

I think it comes from me surfing so many forums and arguing again and again why there are still monkeys around today. It's just one of my pet peeves that has grown stronger and stronger with each argument I have with someone stating the contrary. However what I was trying to get at with my original argument of "we are not apes" was that we are not directly linked to modern apes. They are not in the same line of lineage as us and they went through different evolutionary trends than modern man did. Arguing that modern apes do not carry food in their hands today is in no way proof that ancient man, after being separated from prehistoric ape, did not carry food in their hands as a means of storage.

 

My argument is that ancient man separated from apes because apes lived in an area that didn't go through desertification at that time while ancient man did, then forcing them to forage and scavenge for food which then forced them to become bipedal. something prehistoric apes didn't have to do.

Edited by BumFluff
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In saying we are not descended from apes (or monkeys), you are in a way making things worse. We are descended from apes (and monkeys). Just not today's apes (or monkeys).

 

Most creationists are Caucasians from the United States. Turn the question around on them: "I would guess that your are an American of European ancestry. If you're descended from Europeans, why are there still Europeans today?" Then say how this shows the question to be a lie, a misrepresentation of the theory of evolution. Then you can go on with "every non-emotional argument against evolution is a misrepresentation of evolution, and an intentional misrepresentation at that."

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