# Why don't I have wings?

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I'm seriously pissed and you guys seemingly have no explanation.

If you disregard the video, I'll post more here. I literally want wings. I don't normally just come out and say things like this if they haven't been on my mind for a while already. I've literally thought in great detail of what is necessary for me to have wings and I've exercised the areas of my back where they need to be growing from. There are good ideas of general science that can help in the study of this topic, which I talk about in the video. Namely, pragmatic aspects of acquiring wings. If anyone has any logical formulation of what it would take for me to grow a pair of wings, please come out with it. I'm willing to be the experimental interface for this area of research, I've been wanting to fly for years now.

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I did not watch the video.

However, there is no legitimate reason, from a biological standpoint, for you to have wings. It's not a reasonable expectation.

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Mainly because you are not a bird or a bat, wings on a human would be quite a bit less than useless...

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I'm seriously pissed and you guys seemingly have no explanation.

How can your first sentence of your first post here accuse us of having no explanation?

I literally want wings. I don't normally just come out and say things like this if they haven't been on my mind for a while already. I've literally thought in great detail of what is necessary for me to have wings and I've exercised the areas of my back where they need to be growing from. There are good ideas of general science that can help in the study of this topic, which I talk about in the video. Namely, pragmatic aspects of acquiring wings. If anyone has any logical formulation of what it would take for me to grow a pair of wings, please come out with it. I'm willing to be the experimental interface for this area of research, I've been wanting to fly for years now.

Are you willing to give up your arms for wings? A wing or an arm is just a specialized leg, and we only have the capacity for four legs. There aren't any vertebrates with six legs since we all have common aquatic ancestors who only had two sets of fins. There is no way wings would ever sprout out of your back.

It's possible for our arms to evolve into wings (over a multi-generational period), but there's no selective pressure for such a thing to happen. It may sound cool but think about what a human would do in modern times with no hands with thumbs, no ability to wield tools? Wings would be a tremendous backslide, especially since we can build an ultralight plane for when we feel like flying, and still get to keep these nifty hand things.

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It's worse than not having hands if you have wings... a human is far to big to fly, it's simply not mechanically possible for a creature as massive as a human to fly (on the earth) so wings would simply cause you to be a helpless creature waiting to be eaten by a predator...

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It's worse than not having hands if you have wings... a human is far to big to fly, it's simply not mechanically possible for a creature as massive as a human to fly (on the earth) so wings would simply cause you to be a helpless creature waiting to be eaten by a predator...

I was afraid Popcorn would start starving himself if I mentioned the weight factor. He really wants wings.

But it's more than the weight as well. Birds have hollow bones and practically no muscles anywhere else, so having wings would require so massive a change that you wouldn't be human at all. Big brain? Has to go. Legs for running? Nix that, maybe little spindly clawed sticks for hopping.

Popcorn, don't get pissed, get an ultralight.

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In one of his fictional books John Varley described a flying human on an artificial world with 1/4 earths gravity and twice the atmospheric pressure... Still difficult to justify even in fiction...

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It's worse than not having hands if you have wings... a human is far to big to fly, it's simply not mechanically possible for a creature as massive as a human to fly (on the earth) so wings would simply cause you to be a helpless creature waiting to be eaten by a predator...

That's simply false. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human-powered_aircraft Besides, your argument, taken literally, was disproved no later than over a century ago by the Wright brothers.

Obviously it would take a lot to evolve or design biological wings to make human flight possible, let alone useful and efficient. You're probably right that it would be an evolutionary disadvantage. Any evolutionary mutations that could lead to wings and that may have happened in our past were not kept, so they probably offered no evolutionary advantage.

Edit: Also, bigger than humans: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quetzalcoatlus

Edited by md65536
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That's simply false. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human-powered_aircraft Besides, your argument, taken literally, was disproved no later than over a century ago by the Wright brothers.

I should have said bio mechanically...

Obviously it would take a lot to evolve or design biological wings to make human flight possible, let alone useful and efficient. You're probably right that it would be an evolutionary disadvantage. Any evolutionary mutations that could lead to wings and that may have happened in our past were not kept, so they probably offered no evolutionary advantage.

Edit: Also, bigger than humans: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quetzalcoatlus

And yet not human... but still a good point, my mind cannot wrap it's self around such a huge flying creature, the flightless hypothesis is equally silly, but designing a human that could fly in Earths gravity field and still effectively be a human would be...

Edited by Moontanman
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You guys aren't addressing the topic. My assumption here is that literally nothing is impossible if we had a theory of everything. So assuming that, it is possible for me to grow a pair of wings (and keep the rest of my limbs). Why do we have shoulder blades? I see no practical utility for them (i may be wrong), they may be remnants of something we once had that was wing like. If that is the case, then I indeed already am predisposed to acquiring wings, and like having the predisposition to acquire depression, I assume that that gene can be activated under the right circumstances. So, all the talk of impossibility aside, literally, what needs to be done for me to grow a pair? I know this has never been thought about in depth, but I think it is something worth investigating. Maybe I'll start by looking at genomes.

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You guys aren't addressing the topic. My assumption here is that literally nothing is impossible if we had a theory of everything.

That's a bad assumption. We know that some things are impossible, which would not be overturned by a "theory of everything".

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Why do we have shoulder blades? I see no practical utility for them (i may be wrong), they may be remnants of something we once had that was wing like.

We have shoulder blades to connect 18 different muscles to.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scapula#Muscular_attachments

I'm not sure how we would do without them, but my guess is "cripplingly badly"

You really need to understand that, for all practical purposes, you can't fly.

You weigh too much, your muscles are not up to it and your lungs couldn't supply the oxygen to those muscles even if you had them.

Sometimes a "theory of everything" won't tell you how to do something: it tells you why it's impossible.

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You guys aren't addressing the topic. My assumption here is that literally nothing is impossible if we had a theory of everything. So assuming that, it is possible for me to grow a pair of wings (and keep the rest of my limbs).

Under the assumption that everything is possible, everything is possible. So, yes. It is possible. Under that assumption. Which, I have to admit, is ridiculous.

But reading the rest of your post, I think you might also be asking "what is the 'easiest' way biologically change a human body to make it able to fly?". That would still keep it within the realm of realistic (but possibly far-future) biotechnology.

I guess you need to make the shoulders a hell of a lot stronger. Your shoulders right now cannot support your weight the whole time. Heck, if you wear a backpack for an hour, it already becomes annoying.

Also, you would require much stronger muscles to flap those wings. And your legs would need to become skinner, as that is just useless weight. And your bones need to lose weight (become hollow). Basically, you need to become more bird like. But at the moment, pretty much everything in a human body is made to walk on two legs, and to use arms for precision jobs. You'd want to completely reverse that.

If you want wings on your back, and still have arms, then you need to completely redesign the human skeleton (including the bones we already have). It is like if you want to put a much stronger engine in a car, then you also need to rebuild the gear box, the drive shaft, and possibly the whole chassis. And there's your problem.

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I stopped the video at 1:21 when you made a comparison between our 'genetic capacity' to have depression and our genetic capacity to have wings. Not really equivalents are they?

Your best bet is to take up bungee jumping or sky diving, something close to flying, because you'll never have wings. Gliding is the closest you'll get to having them.

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Why do we have shoulder blades? I see no practical utility for them (i may be wrong), they may be remnants of something we once had that was wing like. If that is the case, then I indeed already am predisposed to acquiring wings, and like having the predisposition to acquire depression, I assume that that gene can be activated under the right circumstances.

You're actually more predisposed to have fins like a fish. Shoulder blades are NOT vestigial remnants of wings. No creatures in our ancestry ever had wings so there's no gene to activate. And as far as growing them out of your back, again, no vertebrate has EVER had six limbs. We're just not framed that way.

To paraphrase Wolfgang Pauli, what you're proposing is not even impossible. There's simply nothing there to build on, even if there were selective pressures that demanded it over thousands of generations. We'd actually be much more likely to eventually develop skin webbing down our sides between our arms and legs to glide like flying squirrels before we'd ever grow skin or feather-covered wings out of our backs.

So, all the talk of impossibility aside, literally, what needs to be done for me to grow a pair? I know this has never been thought about in depth, but I think it is something worth investigating. Maybe I'll start by looking at genomes.

http://www.scienceforums.net/topic/65966-wings-how-long-would-it-take-to-evolve-them-and-other-questions/?hl=wings

At this point I think you need to do the math to show you how big those wings would need to be just to get you off the ground. And as soon as you figure that, you'd need even more skeletal and muscle structure to support them, which means they'd need to be even bigger, requiring more and more structure.

Are you still human if your sternum is six feet long and you have a 60 foot wingspan? What do you do with a 30-foot wing when you're not flying?

The basic answer to your question is that Angel wings like Warren Worthington III are completely fictional. It's not a matter of difficulty, it's not about sociological or physiological predispositions. It's basic physical laws of the natural world that won't let you have something like wings without giving up a great deal of what makes you human.

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The simple answer is that there are no free lunches in evolution - phenotypic specialization comes at the expense of general function

Are you still human if your sternum is six feet long and you have a 60 foot wingspan? What do you do with a 30-foot wing when you're not flying?

To illustrate this point, the largest extant flying animal is the Kori bustard which stands ~150cm tall, has a wingspan of ~2.75m, but only weighs in at ~16kg. So, to get a human sized organism off the ground, you'll need impractically large wings, or to lose a considerable amount of weight, thus compromising the strength and functionality of the musculoskeletal strucutre of the body.

Next, you'll need a heart and lungs capable of the metabolic output required for flight. So a lot of your other internal organs will need to shrink to accommodate your bigger heart and lungs.

Finally, if you "look at genomes" you'll probably find that a lot of the phenotypic differences between birds and mammals are associated with regulatory and expression differences during development.

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Unless your mother is a human and your father is a genetically modified Eagle then no you can have wings.

Cross-Species Genetic...only prob is if the eagle takes over 70% your DNA the you'll be Dumber than a 3rd Generation Incested Family of retards lol

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retards lol

I, along with many of our other members, would greatly appreciate it if you would

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To the question in the thread title: Not enough red bull, maybe

Thanks also to Phi for the worthy repetition of a public service announcement.

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Thanks for the depth of your responses. It does make a lot of sense that I would have to jeapordize other areas of my body (which I am not willing to do for survival purposes). But if I can think hard enough about the topic, so hard that it becomes strongly embedded within my DNA, maybe future generations have a chance at developing them. I'd rather have computers that mimick human intelligence and technology that will allow us to do those things, but that is just simply not going to happen in the near future, unless I am able to do something about it. The only thing within my power of doing (which is at the peripheries of modern science and hence, progressively useful) is to write a computer program that will dissolve and segment input, and with a little work, we could get it to generate output. So it could show what a human with wings would look like (if it were prompted to do so), and it would also be able to generate technological blueprints of what the technology would need to be like in order to fly the way I want.... but thats besides the topic.

In all reality, my main studies concern computational cognition, and through those studies, I am developing a lot of insight into what to look for biologically (mostly neurologically at the moment seeing as how I'm often dealing with sense).

Another question I would like to ask the biologists is this. We know we have knowledge, and language and cognition in general seems to be reducible to knowledge, does knowledge exist physically? What is it?

I can elaborate on that one too if you guys think you don't know the answer. It requires thought.

Then, once we know what knowledge is, we may be able to alter it somehow (pill? invasive procedures?), and if that is the case, maybe we could alter it enough to start sprouting wings from our backs.

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If we grew wings we would need a new spinal column to deal with the extra input of nerves, then we would need extra ribs for structural support of the ribcage, we would also need new layers of muscles to be able to move those wings. If the body stretched for all that our lungs would then have to extend because the tissue connecting the lungs to the body cavity have a habit of ripping in long torsos, this would cause problems for our diaphram being able to sufficiently pressure our lungs. And those are just the beginning of all the problems one would encounter to have even mildly functional wings, let alone ones that would allow flight.

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Thanks for the depth of your responses. It does make a lot of sense that I would have to jeapordize other areas of my body (which I am not willing to do for survival purposes). But if I can think hard enough about the topic, so hard that it becomes strongly embedded within my DNA, maybe future generations have a chance at developing them.

How exactly does that work? How do you propose that thinking alters DNA?

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The only thing within my power of doing (which is at the peripheries of modern science and hence, progressively useful) is to write a computer program that will dissolve and segment input, and with a little work, we could get it to generate output. So it could show what a human with wings would look like (if it were prompted to do so), and it would also be able to generate technological blueprints of what the technology would need to be like in order to fly the way I want....

In looking for a technological way for individual humans to fly, no engineer is going to waste time on a design that mimics a bird flapping its wings. It's too inefficient with regard to weight vs the power needed to achieve and maintain flight. Even if the design didn't require taking off from the ground (which is very difficult even for some of the bigger natural avians), there are many other paths to sustainable flight using fixed wings. Flapping is hideously expensive in terms of propelling something as heavy as a human.

Another question I would like to ask the biologists is this. We know we have knowledge, and language and cognition in general seems to be reducible to knowledge, does knowledge exist physically? What is it?

I can elaborate on that one too if you guys think you don't know the answer. It requires thought.

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But if I can think hard enough about the topic, so hard that it becomes strongly embedded within my DNA,

Thinking hard about being able to fly won't cause mutations in your genes towards that phenotype any more than thinking really hard about having long hair will make your hair grow faster, or thinking really hard about how I wish I could telepathically make coffee with my mind so it's ready when I get out of bed is going to actually give me that ability - something I'd probably appreciate more than flying.

Technological solutions for personal flight already exist:

For a measly $100,000 you can have all the advantages of functional wings whilst still being able to fit inside of a building and walking upright, albiet only over water, with a vertical range of 30 feet and a horizontal range of 80 miles. http://jetlev.com Or this thing - It'll set you back$1.25 million but allows a range of 184 miles over any surface.

http://www.gizmag.com/the-springtail-exoskeleton-flying-vehicle-ideal-for-the-quick-getaway/11593/

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I vaguely remember some years ago a guy who used to make a fool of science forums. It was a young actor IIRC.

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