Evolution Revolution

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yogi
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Evolution Revolution

Post by yogi » 19 Sep 2015, 08:22

I read recently where a new human species was discovered and put a kink in the line of human evolution. Amazing as that discovery was, apparently something even more astonishing has happened in the Sima de los Huesos (‘Pit of Bones’) cave of northern Spain. Some 400,000 year old bones were unearthed and the DNA from some was sequenced to reveal that the origins of Neanderthals might not be as simple as previously thought. Plus, these old bones suggest us humanoids split off from the Neanderthal pack as early as 550,000 to 765,000 years ago, 100,000 to 400,000 years earlier than previously thought.

First of all I was stunned to learn that bones can survive for nearly a million years. It's truly an amazing discovery but seems to be purely academic. I guess somebody is happy to know all this, but it hardly affects me personally. It's interesting nonetheless

http://popular-archaeology.com/issue/fa ... -evolution

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Icey
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Re: Evolution Revolution

Post by Icey » 19 Sep 2015, 21:01

Yes, I read about this, and it IS interesting. There're probably even more different specimens to be found yet, but I've often wondered whether the species found so far, although seeming to share the same DNA, might just be a simple case of similarity, but not directly connected.

All life on earth contains 50% of the same DNA, but what's surprising, is that bonobos've been found to share the same genes as human beings, and that's just 1% less than a chimp has. The three are very closely related, and yet not the same, so I find it interesting to ponder why. If it was all down to evolution, then why didn't we all change at approximately the same time? This gives rise to my own personal thoughts that, despite sharing almost identical genes, we're of a different species and for whatever reason, just made like that.

Degradation of habitats, changes in weather patterns around the world ... there could be multiple reasons for certain ones to've died out, such as with the Neanderthals. I believe that to date, 400 of their bones've been found, which suggest a link to modern-day humans, but if everything shares a high percentage of the same genes, can we trace our ancestry back to one main source, or WERE there lots of different, but similar, creatures that developed on the earth? Either way, it certainly poses many more questions about how and why.

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yogi
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Re: Evolution Revolution

Post by yogi » 20 Sep 2015, 15:36

The traditional thought is that evolutionary progression is linear. Recent discoveries have shown that is not necessarily the case. Evolution is a random process. Some of the random mutations die off but the strongest ones survive. It's the surviving branches that you seem to be questioning and rightly so. If you only consider each branch, their origins would be unknown. But, we are more than a branch and came from a single trunk of the tree, thus the common genes. If we lived in a forest of many trees then that common gene pattern from each tree would be different for each newly discovered branch in the forest. But that is not how it's unfolding. That 50% commonality is consistent albeit going in many directions. That does not preclude the possibility of multiple independent origins. The way to think of evolution is not as a mighty pine tree with a solid core and many branches, but more like a brier bush going off in many directions, some of which root themselves and develop what looks like a separate species. But even those brier bushes have a single ancestor.

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Icey
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Re: Evolution Revolution

Post by Icey » 20 Sep 2015, 19:11

I don't know. This is what interests me, and funnily enough, gave rise to a debate about the subject this evening. What you say's perfectly logical, and yet amazing that so many species should look so physically different when we share so much DNA in common.
In the case of bonobos, which purport to have the same genes as human beings, I'm told that the reason they haven't developed into the same looking things as ourselves, is because whilst the genes may be the same, the proteins in them decide on which physical attributes we end up with - such as how hairy we are, for instance. Fair enough, but I still can't see why there's such diversity.
Each living thing relies on another to survive. It's a perfect balance in nature, and we were each given physical parts to adapt to our surroundings. This makes me ask why there had to be one common ancestor, and why there couldnt've been many different species of life at the "beginning"? Having genes is probably just a simple matter of what makes things live, as opposed to being inanimate.
I found this quite interesting as well ....
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-33621491

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Kellemora
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Re: Evolution Revolution

Post by Kellemora » 20 Sep 2015, 21:21

I get a chuckle out of all these finds, which keep pushing humans further and further back, and in many cases, even more intelligent than their later descendants.

If I recall, they found Flush Toilets in like 3,000 BC, yet we didn't have them until the late nineteenth century, and even then some folks didn't have them until the middle of the twentieth century.
Where did the technology go for 5,000 years before being reinvented?

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Icey
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Re: Evolution Revolution

Post by Icey » 21 Sep 2015, 08:05

You make a good point there Gary, and some of the technology actually goes MUCH further back than 5,000 years. Incredible artefacts and drawings've been found which point to intelligent races that appear to've mastered things which come from eons before our present time.
Vimanas (flying machines) were featured in Sanskrit texts of between 3000-5000 years old.

http://www.thelivingmoon.com/42stargate ... Vimana.jpg

Was there some kind of global catastrophe or nuclear war, which wiped out all but a few people who then had to start again? Maybe all of these theories've simply stirred our imaginations, but the proof's in the finds which've been made, even if we can't understand it.

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Re: Evolution Revolution

Post by yogi » 21 Sep 2015, 08:49

Civilizations come and go - where are those brilliant Inca's who invented a calendar that predicted the end of time a year or so ago? The Incas and their technology disappeared for some reason that is probably no more mysterious than the people who drew the flying machine plans 7000 years ago. But brilliant civilizations is not evolution. Icey inadvertently explains it in her comment, "the proof's in the finds which've been made." We obviously have not found everything and some missing links may never be found. That doesn't mean the process we can observe today is not valid.

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Re: Evolution Revolution

Post by Icey » 21 Sep 2015, 12:48

But what I meant, Yogi, was that some incredible things've HAVE been found. We have no explanation for them, and as you say, with links missing, it's doubtful if we'll ever get much further than guesswork.

The Inca - fabulous. One line of thought's that drought made them leave their cities, but it doesn't explain why they didn't take all of their possessions with them, or return when the climate got better (if that's what DID happen). Ruins're STILL being found within the jungle areas, and all of them just as inexplicable as the rest, so maybe we'll never know. It's the same with the Mayan civilisation. Their demise's been put down to drought conditions as well, during which literally millions of people perished when their crops failed. I don't know. It's a feasible explanation, but one would've thought that some of their people would've returned to the area and re-built what was probably half- ruined by then. They were obviously good at building, but for whatever reason, they, and subsequent civilisations just abandoned everything and didn't appear to build anything so magnificent again.

Of course, all this isn't about evolution, though just as interesting. The subject of evolution's intriguing, but it has to be said that much of it may just be conjecture, because as we learn more through genetics and other sciences, what we accepted as being the truth's often no more than theories of the time, and sudden advances and finds can throw all previous ideas into turmoil. Mind you, I suppose that's what always happens as we learn more and more about things. We once thought that the earth was flat, and everyone accepted it. Now that we know differently, it seems ludicrous, but definite proof's re-written the science and history books of the past. Maybe some of the unanswered questions of today'll be found in the future. In fact, I'm sure of it really.

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Kellemora
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Re: Evolution Revolution

Post by Kellemora » 21 Sep 2015, 19:31

Almost every great civilization fell when their tax base crossed 25% give or take a few points.
How come we are still here is amazing at our exorbitantly high tax rate.
We are held together artificially and it is collapsing under its own weight.

Even so, the Inca's and Aztec's had Chinampa's, floating man made islands where food was raised.
I think a disease more so than a natural disaster wiped out most of the early civilizations.
Today, we can combat many of them, but not all of them. We are losing the battle as the gene pool dwindles.

With all of our fancy electronics, and mass produced products. We may know how to use them, but do we know how to build them? Without our hi-tech industries, most of us would not know how to survive if suddenly we had nothing handed to us for a buck or two. I would say the vast majority would perish if they had to fend for themselves.
Even if they tried, the amoral society would kill them for whatever they were able to do on their own.
In 4,000 years, some archaeologist will dig up our artifacts and say, they must have been a great nation, I wonder why they died out.

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Icey
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Re: Evolution Revolution

Post by Icey » 22 Sep 2015, 06:36

Well, yes, that's possible as well.

Wonderful topics.

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yogi
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Re: Evolution Revolution

Post by yogi » 22 Sep 2015, 17:02

http://www.techinsider.io/why-aliens-ha ... ans-2015-9

I found a wonderful article speculating why we have not yet encountered aliens from outer space. Oddly enough it relates to what we have been discussing here.

The article delves into the Fermi Paradox which is the idea with so many bilions upon billions of possible earth like planets in the universe, why haven't we run across any? One possible answer is that there are no aliens and we are unique in the universe. The alternative is that there are aliens, but they haven't found us yet. The reasons for not being found revolve around the level of civilization that is possible. One interesting analysis involves the The Kardashev Scale where technological capability divides civilizations into three types:
Type-I civilization has figured out how to harness all the energy on its planet. Humans are getting close to achieving this, but that's just the first tier.
Type-II civilizations are so intelligent they've figured out how to harness all the energy of their own star — an incomprehensibly larger amount of energy than what's available on one puny planet.
That's nothing compared to the
Type-III civilizations, though. Those have harnessed all the energy available in their galaxy.
This typing is based on the assumption that evolution is a given, but the most enlightening part of the article is where the author describes The Great Filter. This is a point in civilization where it becomes extinct, perhaps because they knew too much and killed themselves. Thus there are no aliens left to find us. The big question is are we at the Filter point, or did we somehow pass it?

The last part of the article explores the possibility that there are aliens but have not found us yet. I favor the theory where they are far superior to us and don't give a hoot. The equivalent would be humans trying to communicate with cockroaches. Why bother?

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Kellemora
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Re: Evolution Revolution

Post by Kellemora » 22 Sep 2015, 21:48

If one considers the age of the earth and at what stage we are currently at technologically speaking.
Think about it. We've only had radio for what now, about 100 years, TV for about 50 years.
Sputnik was one of our earliest satellites.
Even we only made it to the moon in 1960's, and other space travel objects came later, within our own lifetimes.

The chances of another planet being at the exact same technological period that we are in at present is highly unlikely.

Just look at the different cultures on our own planet and how diverse they are. If those of higher technological advances did not interfere with cultures who were far behind in technology, they still would not have advanced to the point of catching up.

I don't doubt other planets in other solar systems have sentient life forms, but I would think they are either way ahead of us, way behind us, or have been through all phases and died out, like our ancient civilizations have done.
After all, I've not seen too many Babylonian-Americans or Incan-Americans running around wanting handouts yet.

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Re: Evolution Revolution

Post by yogi » 23 Sep 2015, 08:18

The article I linked to cites some theories about how civilizations come and go. There is one theory that postulates there is a limit to the growth, after which point it does itself in and vanishes - a filter of sorts. Given the known age of the earth, several such civilizations could have preceded us. If we look at the types of civilization defined by The Kardashev Scale, it is clearly possible for sentient beings elsewhere in the universe to have mastered space and time, and presumably could have visited planet earth. These Type 3 beings would have come here and thought earth was infested with a bunch of cockroaches (us mere humans) and discounted us as not being worth the effort to communicate. It's interesting to speculate on what form those type of sentient beings have taken - most likely it's something well beyond what us mere mortals have evolved into.

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Icey
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Re: Evolution Revolution

Post by Icey » 23 Sep 2015, 12:53

Great reading!

I'm personally in favour of other intelligent life forms being found, due to the vastness of the universe and perhaps others beyond.

Maybe aliens HAVEN'T visited us yet, simply because they're too far away, but they might've visited or settled on planets nearer to themselves, even if it's not in a way recognisable to humans.

I love all the conjecture, possibly because (at the moment) it's one of the few areas which we haven't been able to explore properly. This is one reason why I hope they try to colonise Mars. From there, they could eventually send craft further afield, or send exploratory satellites which're able to view the surfaces of distant worlds with more accuracy. If I could move into the future by several thousand or million years, I think it'd be fabulous to see how we'd advanced - or not.

The way we're heading now, no one'll be able to live in earth soon, so we need to find a new home that's compatible not only for human beings, but for animals, plants and other forms of life. I'm sure it's out there, but we've scarcely scraped the tip of the iceberg.

IF, as Gary's said, man IS the only "intelligent" living life form in the whole universe (or others), then we ARE truly unique, and it begs the question of why. I can't imagine that out of the endless billions of planets that even just one other doesn't sustain life as we're used to seeing. Supposedly, we have the over-rated "Goldilocks's Zone", which, if astronomers and other scientists're right about, should be able to find something one day, because we expect these places to have similar conditions to those on our own planet. However we got here originally, and whether others'd come from the same or similar source, it fascinates me. It's also possible that intelligent life exists in a completely different form, and lives by means which we don't understand yet. Look at this way, our knowledge of things's only just developing really. We gauge findings by the scientific methods we know of today, but tomorrow - who knows? It's exciting for those who'll progress and find more definite proof of what can only be dreamed about at the moment.

Then again, just because we have brains which enable us to interact and communicate verbally with others of our species, I don't think that makes us any more intelligent, for use of a word, than things which're much smaller. If you look at the nucleus of DNA, that minute item does an incredible job. DNA converts chemical messages into proteins, without which cells wouldn't live and work. What we see as simple building blocks of life, are very complex, and in a way, are far superior than the human brain - which's formed via these things anyway.

Perhaps alien life relies on chemical interaction in order to "communicate" with others? We only judge human intelligence by perception and comprehension, but it might be extremely backward to how other life forms're able to do the same.

Wonderful.

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Kellemora
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Re: Evolution Revolution

Post by Kellemora » 23 Sep 2015, 15:25

Great points Icey.

I don't agree with the Goldilocks Zone simply because it doesn't make sense to think along those lines.
We have creatures living in our oceans near the deadly vents where scientists said no life could exist.

To an alien viewing our planet, they would Think we are Nitrogen breathing creatures, when in reality Oxygen is what we require. We are basically immune to the affects of Nitrogen.

A planet could have a civilization who breath Ether or some other Gas found in their Atmosphere. It also might be in a smaller quantity in the atmosphere as our Oxygen is. Maybe their atmosphere is mostly Hydrogen and no Oxygen at all exists on their planet.

By the same token, their plant life may take in what they exhale, and give off what they use to breath, if it followed the same formula as planet earth.

And one last closing remark:

What If - Planet earth was originally comprised solely of dark skinned people.
What If - The Red skinned people on planet earth traveled here from Mars, as their planet dried out.
What If - Mars had an underground civilization who also traveled to planet Earth, and were nearly snow white.
Our atmosphere and sun caused them to tan slightly, and then as they traveled the planet, they may have brought some Red skinned people back to their continent, and a couple of more predominantly white races were the outcome. After all, whites are really pink skinned peoples.
Asians may have developed from snow white with dark skinned, and their children mixing with red skinned may have created European and India races.

My son had a lithograph on his wall for years. You know the picture, it has an ape (monkey) at one end, and a human at the other end, with all the supposed links in between.
What is unique about his picture is the captions. Over the monkey, and over the human, it reads, Earth has millions of these. And over the supposed links in between it simply says, Where are the Millions of these?

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Icey
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Re: Evolution Revolution

Post by Icey » 23 Sep 2015, 18:35

Indeed, Gary, yes. I'm beginning to appreciate evolution a little more, but perhaps not in the accepted way. I can't accept that we've gone from primates to present-day man. Even if we take a dozen different types of skulls, their different shapes don't necessarily denote evolved human beings. Skulls and other bones can be of different thicknesses within different races, and the variation's quite stark sometimes, with some having sloping foreheads or enlarged craniums. This could've been caused by diet or disease, or maybe simply a deformity within certain tribes.

Dark-skinned people developed it for a purpose, as a protection from the sun in hot climates, and, as some've suggested, maybe as a natural camouflage amongst those living in the jungle. Evolution might've caused this, but maybe everyone was born with brown or black skin until they moved away from their territories, where weather conditions made them evolve into beings with lighter skin, which would've suited the climates they found themselves in. Again, I could appreciate the evolution process there, because all living things adapt to their habitats, but I don't think we came from any sort of ape. I don't think animals, fish, birds and insects etc. all came from the same source either. I think they're separate species which rely on each other to keep life on earth. Nearly everything's just part of the food chain.

This's quite interesting ....
http://europe.newsweek.com/why-homo-nal ... ems-332804

As for your theories about Mars, well, there could well be underground denizens which either existed in the past or are still there today. We don't know yet, although some of the NASA pics appear to show rocks and other structures which look like statues or fossils, and since they've spotted a statue-like head of what looks like President Obama - well there you go! Oh LOL. Bless him. : )

All in all, there's still a vast amount of things to learn. Nobody's actually right or wrong, because we just don't know. Our own existence, and that of others's is pure guesswork at the moment, but I still find it interesting.

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yogi
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Re: Evolution Revolution

Post by yogi » 24 Sep 2015, 10:17

It's interesting how "adaptation" to the environment can be acceptable but evolution, the process by which adaptation takes place, is rejected. I could go out on a tangent even further off topic by suggesting that entropy and equilibrium are the factors at work on all life forms of this planet, and the entire universe as far as we know. Why do we bother to adapt in the first place?

The other concept that is misleading is that life in the universe has to take on human form. To me that is looking at the universe through a keyhole. There may be other human-like creatures out there, but if there is then they would be suffering from the same filtering that all civilizations are susceptible to, i.e., extinction. We will never meet human type creatures simply because they are like us and incapable of going the distance. Although, I would like to meet a few just to find out what their viewpoint of evolution might be.

In my opinion it's likely that the universe is teaming with life that we simply are not equipped to sense. As far as invasions or migrations from other celestial bodies are concerned, I think there is ample evidence such a thing has occurred and is perfectly observable. All those damned insects out there are aliens from some other world. In spite of our apparent course toward self-destruction, the insects are winning the war of survival. I'm thinking cockroaches here. :crazy:

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Icey
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Re: Evolution Revolution

Post by Icey » 24 Sep 2015, 11:29

You make some good points Yogi, especially as adaptation and evolution can be viewed as being the same, or very similar. I think maybe the difference is that adaptation might only be temporary, and when conditions're favourable again, life can return to the habitat it survived in, in the first place? With evolution, you're talking about permanent changes - possibly because adaptation's required in order for survival and reproduction in the long-term, and thus a life form evolves, by necessity or genetic drift, in order to carry on with this, so yes, they're closely aligned.

I agree with you that life inside our own or other universes wouldn't have to resemble human form at all. They might not even be visible to us. Their ability to breathe may not require oxygen, as Gary said - or, in fact, any of the elements or compounds which we know of.

Cockroaches can withstand high doses or radiation. Some've even been found to be living quite happily within nuclear reactors, but it's thought that several other creatures can do the same. Radiation attacks bone marrow. Invertebrates and crustaceans don't have this, so the nucleus of these cells can't be killed off, and survival's possible.

Roaches might be fascinating to some, but yuck - don't they look horrible?!! : )

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yogi
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Re: Evolution Revolution

Post by yogi » 24 Sep 2015, 17:25

Icey wrote:Roaches might be fascinating to some, but yuck - don't they look horrible?!! : )
They are the aliens among us. My guess is the arrived from Pluto on an asteroid that crashed into the earth.

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Re: Evolution Revolution

Post by Icey » 24 Sep 2015, 18:41

LOL - why Pluto?

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