THROWBACK TO EYES

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Carolusclen's picture
Thats not entirely correct

Thats not entirely correct because its not the flexibility and adaptions of the brain that allow it to be better than that of other species. There are animals out there that put humans to shame with certain parts of the brain. Its the folds and complexity of said folds that give us the brains that are more functional than others. At the end of they day though, a brain is a brain and its root functionality is the same all round. Calculator and Computer example.

Our cognitive ability doesn't surpass our environment because the cities and machines we create are in themselves an environment. An environment is not just trees and nature. My room is an environment and my brain does not surpass it. I can navigate around it and survive in it no different than a rat can navigate and survive a man made maze. There is nothing spectacular about it on the surface. The reason we went to the moon had zero direct relation to evolutionary association, if that were the case and the version of evolution you described came into play, we could survive naturally on the moon, but we cant. Perhaps as a species in a few billion years of living there.... maybe, but doubtful.... then again, who knows.

Your last part makes no sense. Born with the ability to go to the moon? what about blind people that dont even know it exists, or in the old days where people didn't even know what it was and worshiped it. Its not our evolution that made us go, its our curiosity and instinctual desire to spread. We could have had 2 heads, 6 legs and 3 arms and still gone if the mental capacity was there.
If what you say was true about behaviors to exist then things like reflex actions and instinct, and the very cognitive ability you mentioned would not work.

Im not even sure where this whole topic is even going, its almost turned around and diverted so far from the the OP that it sounds like in some places that you are taking a stand for evolution

Sheldon's picture
"our cognitive abilities far

"our cognitive abilities far surpass our environmental needs. I mean, we even went to the moon, and we have no evolutionary reason being there."

Yes, it's almost as if the process of species evolution is completely unguided and has no end goal.

Can anyone evidence and explain why a deity would want us on the moon? Beyond the glib cover all sticking plaster of "free will" of course.

Sheldon's picture
Note how wheezy makes an

Note how wheezy makes an idiotic claim, it gets the forum equivalent of colonoscopy, and he skips passed that as if nothing happened. Lecturing people about how they should listen more, rank hypocrisy again.

His objection to evolution is it evolved a brain that can do things we don't need to in order to survive, like go to the moon. I point out it's an insentient unguided process so this actually makes sense, he ignores this of course. Then I ask why would a deity want us on the moon, and he ignores this as well.

He claims his religious beliefs are not his motive for denying evolution, so I ask if there any other scientific facts, other than species evolution, which don't refute any part of his religious beliefs, he ignores this, even risibly claiming the question has no relevance.

He claims he'd still deny the scientific fact of evolution if he was an atheist, I ask him if he is YEC, he ignores this.

He claims the small biblical passage prohibiting kidnap, denounce slavery, every one points out this law would only have been applied to other Hebrews, he ignores this. Everyone points out there are several passages, including one attributed to Jesus, that specifically endorse slavery,, and he...claims they're irrelevant.

Then he arrogantly lecture people to listen more so their contributions would be more valuable.

You have to laugh don't you. Then there was this...

I am asking myself, how a detrimental trait like blurry vision would be selected by nature and gain dominance in a gene pool?

Keep running away from the question John, it's hilarious after your arrogant showboating in this thread.

On and on and on go his evasion, lies, and sententious ad hominem. Cog was right, why do we all keep responding to someone that arrogant and dishonest.

chimp3's picture
John: "Humans are a very

John: "Humans are a very strange outlier, our cognitive abilities far surpass our environmental needs. I mean, we even went to the moon, and we have no evolutionary reason being there.

Yet, as strange as it sounds we are all born with the ability to go to the moon, otherwise we wouldn't have gone."

No! We are not all born with the ability to go to the moon. We went to the moon because we pass along knowledge through culture. Think for a moment about what it took to go to the moon and honestly ask yourself if you could do that.

ʝօɦn 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐy's picture
Well, this was uncharted

Well, this was uncharted territory, so the passing along of knowledge through culture only plays a small role. Regardless, even the abilities to store knowledge, form cultures, and communicate them to others, requires brains that are capable to do so.

It's kinda ridiculous to think any of us couldn't have done that. Perhaps those who don't study cognition have a tendency to idolize the Newtons and Einsteins of the world; but I have a career because brains are pretty much all the same. History often hides it, but many of the "great thinkers" often had contemporary competitors, that proposed the same ideas. We all have, and are, cognitive Doppelgangers.

Carolusclen's picture
"Well, this was uncharted

"Well, this was uncharted territory, so the passing along of knowledge through culture only plays a small role"

I wouldn't say that, in fact I would say quite the opposite. Its not our evolution or biology that sent us to the moon, its our cultures and what we became through history. If culture only played a small part, lets say 20% for example, then what was the rest of it that contributed towards us ending up on the moon.

Your second part is not fully correct
As a species we are not all actually capable of doing everything everyone else can do. This is why we are pack animals at heart and work better in groups. Due to the complexity of our brains, they evolve and develop different to other people. If what you said was correct then we would not have curriculum's in schools, people with different ideas, the arts and sciences and so on. I invasion commercial spaceflight as a day to day expense in the future, but just because in 100 years time someone does it, that doesn't make me a cognitive doppelganger or them for that matter. Having an Idea is not the same as being able to implement it. If what you say was also true then you could have a job as an artist and then when you get bored of it, become a neural scientist and after that probably become a chemist or whatever, because brains are all the same. So no, not all of us could have done that, and most of us are not even capable of attempting to try. This comes back to evolution. At a glance we are all humans, but we are not all extensions of a single organism so we evolve and develop differently.

ʝօɦn 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐy's picture
It's all the same thing. Our

It's all the same thing. Our culture, our behavior, our thoughts, they are all extensions of our biology.

The biggest things stopping anyone from being anything else are time, motivation, and opportunity cost. Beyond that, an artist can most definitely become a neuroscientist.

Carolusclen's picture
to say culture is and

to say culture is and extension of biology is like saying the alphabet is an extension of math. They effect it, but not extensions of it. There are numerous studies out there in regards to this. If memory serves me right (ironically) look for publications for Horst D. Steklis i think it is. He talks about Culture and Biology

motivation, opportunity and cost have nothing to do with the example in question. If a born artist wants to become a neural scientist, there are enough university plans out there to cover cost. Where im from there is so much free things its insane what you can take on. Opportunity is limited to working in the field, not so much studying it. and motivation is irrelevant to this situation because we have already established the desire for the artist. People have physical limitations in their brains when it comes to learning which is what causes the human race to be so diverse in everything. but if you want to throw time into the mix like a dead cat on the neighbors porch, then not even, this is becoming more hypothetical than relevant then.

ʝօɦn 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐy's picture
Culture is just the

Culture is just the multiplication of individual behavior. You can probably see it perfectly with the rise of religions, which tend to create cultures around them.

Certainly, different people have different limitations. Something that intelligence tests measure a lot is reaction times. Maybe you're faster than me at recognizing something, but that doesn't stop me from recognizing it. People hardly ever do work at the limits of their abilities. We all default to the slow, autonomous modes of thinking.

chimp3's picture
John: "It's kinda ridiculous

John: "It's kinda ridiculous to think any of us couldn't have done that."

No. No one person went to the moon. That feat required teams of experts in many fields. Physics, chemistry, aeronautics, physiology. metallurgy, mathematics, to name a few. No one brain has the ability to go the moon.

ʝօɦn 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐy's picture
You're going in circles

You're going in circles around the same thing. Teams are just society's with a smaller culture and specialized language. Lose the ability to communicate, and the team falls apart. The ability to form teams falls on the ability of the brain to allow it.

The things that populations of organism do, weather it's making anthills or a beesnest, all fall back to the individual's abilities.

Nyarlathotep's picture
Breezy - Actually, now that I

Breezy - Actually, now that I think about it, when it comes to these issues I do think I'm more qualified than a biologist.

Says the Dunning-Kruger who told us evolution has goals of the best and brightest or that students have to learn quantum mechanics before they can learn chemistry; you don't even have a clue.

ʝօɦn 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐy's picture
Sometimes I wonder if you

Sometimes I wonder if you bring up old conversations as a means to distract others; because these are not battles you've won. These comments always represent conversations you've ditched in frustration, unable to accept that you were misrepresenting my position. You want my statements to be wrong so badly, that you're never willing to accept amendments or clarifications.

If you have an issue with a statement then address in the moment until a mutual understanding is reached or move on. Don't keep bringing them up in new threads like an old girlfriend that can't let go the past.

Edit: Not to mention that the few times I've bothered to summarize your positions, you've been quick to cry about any misrepresentations. I even have a vague memory of you saying you wouldn't talk to me again or regretted that you did. Yet here you are talking to me again. Very girlfriend-like behavior, I must say (the immature kind).

Nyarlathotep's picture
You don't need any help being

You don't need any help being wrong Breezy. You got that covered nicely.

Nyarlathotep's picture
Yes, I do regret it. Never

Yes, I do regret it. Never more.

aperez241's picture
You do not even need eyes or

You do not even need eyes, muscles or brains for detecting and reacting to light. Bacteria, microorganisms like Euglena and plants do it all the time. As the nervous system evolved, eyesight evolved too. Anything that improves reaction speed o visual accuracy and functions will be selected until you get to a very complex mechanism for detection and reaction. It all evolved as a whole and were always functional.

ʝօɦn 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐy's picture
Right, so I made a graphic to

Right, so I made a graphic to illustrate what I'm saying. Bacteria, because they have a "bacteria's body," and live in a bacteria's environment, don't need to have a beetle's visual system. They have a system that translates light directly into motor energy, and it works to achieve their unique goals.

Think of each "stage" of visual evolution to be like valleys. These valleys are the balancing point that each organism inhabits. In order to transition from one to the next, you will inherently need to fight an uphill battle. Sure, anything that improves these functions will be selected. But my point is that very few singular changes will provide improvements without causing imbalances. Things need to co-evolve and change simultaneously in order to transition.

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LogicFTW's picture
@ʝօɦn 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐy

@ʝօɦn 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐy

I like how you have human eyes in a valley :)

Our eyes are well adapted to our particular need for them. They are weaker in detecting movement then other species eyes, weaker at night then some eyes, but the ability to see detail and see more of the color spectrum are near the top. They are very well suited to access a lot of data with objects we can manipulate with our hands, to a very fine detail.

I certainly agree things need to co-evolve, but again, the timescale is important. For instance, humans current advantage and ability to spread and dominate all other life is so great it causing a major population retraction and major extinction event all by our selves, most every species cannot evolve fast enough and will instead go extinct. Life will adapt and co-evolve, but it may be a process that takes thousands of years, with mass extinction occurring because they cannot evolve fast enough. Animals that can adapt quickly, such as rats, pigeons, and others we frequently consider as pest, may do well, with 1000's of other species going extinct.

 
 

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ʝօɦn 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐy's picture
Responding to your other

Responding to your other comment, that we are in a constant state of transition B. Do you really thing that is the case, in light of my mountain/valley illustration?

Because I would argue that once an organism lands in one of these pockets, getting out is difficult. In other words, it isn't able to transition so easily. It stabilizes in its current environment and body, such that any changes are detrimental.

LogicFTW's picture
@ʝօɦn 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐy

@ʝօɦn 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐy
Perhaps we do not fully agree on what transition is. To me change on a graph is highlighted by anything other than a straight horizontal line, especially because I think it is far to say your "x axis" is time, so anything other than a straight horizontal line indicates change over time, there was not even any real "straight" segments at all, so your own graph suggests "change over time," aka: transition, at least to my understanding of how that graph reads.

I do agree if an organism fall behind in evolutionary advantage, catching back up can be difficult, especially if there is not enough population present to absorb the losses while it is behind and changes to "catch back up." This can be especially true within one's own species or close relatives. Humans have caused massive dies off of remote human populations when eastern europeans invented boats that can somewhat reliably cross oceans, and brought human disease with them to places like the America's where the local population had not yet had a chance to evolve a solid resistance to the new contagious disease like the humans in Europe already did. Native americans are 99% the same as their european brethren, but that tiny 1% difference wiped out huge portions of the native populations, but they did not go extinct through those tiny constant changes a small portion survived and their populations are on the rebound.

 
 

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ʝօɦn 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐy's picture
Well, to be fair, I am

Well, to be fair, I am borrowing from chemistry when I talk about transitions and states. So electrons and energy levels; thats the analogy I'm using, applied to biology.

Sheldon's picture
Breezy "my point is "

Breezy "my point is "

Entirely at odds with all the scientific evidence, no matter how much sententious BS you post. Or how stroppy you get.

Carolusclen's picture
Unless you can prove this,

Unless you can prove this, the argument you made makes no sense in the least. Your statement makes it sound very personified. Evolution is not an uphill battle because it is not a battle to begin with. Evolution does not happen because the organism wants it to. It happens due to the effects of whatever happens at the time... sometimes.....

To say that one things need to co-evolve is not correct either. Its not a false statement as it happens, but it doesn't have to happen for it to work. Look at the mantis shrimp. Its eyes make ours look like a moles eyes in comparison. It has the most complex eyes in the animal kingdom. It can see colors on the spectrum that we can not, yet it doesn't have the other senses that we have that "co-evolved" because its situation did not call for it to happen. Not to mention that just because several things co-evolve on the organism, doesnt mean that the parts are even related to each other. One could be a visual change, one could be a protein for digestion...etc

aperez241's picture
Yes, some species can end up

Yes, some species can end up in a valley, they are so specialized that when an environmental change comes, they do not have mutants in their population that can survive the change and all go extinct. The dodo bird was well adapted to its environment until people arrived, then as it could not fly or run fast, they were all killed. It is a lottery. If you become too specialized to run the risk to go extinct. Organisms like bacteria that can live almost anywhere and/or can mutate really fast are hard to eradicate. Most organisms fall in-between, they can adapt to reasonable environmental change, so they do not end in a valley.

ʝօɦn 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐy's picture
You bring up an interesting

You bring up an interesting dimension, that of being "too specialized." The idea makes sense, but at the same time, I'm not too sure what it could mean. Perhaps a better way to frame it, is that species differ in how much the require from the environment. Bacteria are more adaptable because they require less, whereas dodo birds are less adaptable because they require more, or more specific things. What they require then becoming a function of their unique anatomy and physiology.

LogicFTW's picture
There is advantage both ways.

There is advantage both ways. Simple, highly reproducible, short life cycle, feast or famine organisms, which in some scenarios excel, and then their is the other end highly specialized species, with slower reproduction cycles that in their own scenarios can excel. Humans are highly specialized with long reproductive cycles, yet humans have come to dominate all life on earth like no species before it, yet for most of the evolution of humans and our closest cousins, humans barely could outcompete other species for survival. It was only recently that humans dominate all other life to such a great extent.

What many animals evolutionary process did not account for was humans, with our enormous power to input new change that species could never account for because it has never been encountered before. Like the ability to cross oceans, in modern times, less than a day with jet airplanes. Humans could easily introduce new invasive species the local life has no counter to in great numbers so quickly evolution cannot possibly change quick enough.

 
 

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ʝօɦn 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐy's picture
You should look at the paper

You should look at the paper I shared with Carolusclen, on the evolution of tools.

So yeah, bacteria, dodo birds, and humans exist in their on niche of the environment. Bacteria have a wider niche, and dodo birds have a more narrow niche.

When it comes to humans, things get rather strange and interesting. Our niche is highly dependant on tools. It is very hard to think of a modern human surviving anywhere without some sort of tool, be it fire or knives, etc. I mean unable to survive due to physical issues, not a lack of knowledge. We are a fish out of water everywhere without tools. Typically archeologists and anthropologists viewed cognition as the thing that comes first, and the tool second. The authors of that paper argue that the two must co-evolve. Tools shaped our cognitive evolution as much as we shaped the evolution of tools.

So given my mountain/valley analogy. We exist in a tool valley that we cannot escape from very easily.

Carolusclen's picture
Dodo's niche was not that

Dodo's niche was not that small. They died out due to human intervention.
Bacteria do not have the complexity of larger organisms. If a bacteria has...say... 100 things that make it up. It has a 1/100 chance of changing a specific thing. whereas something like a mammal in comparison would have 10000 billion things. So the one thing that evolves in us could be so small and pointless that we dont even know it. We would need more time than is thinkable for all the changes to show but a bacteria is so small that a single change could be massive.

Our niche is not highly dependent on tools because as a species, we evolved and survived LONG before the invention of tools. We just found them convenient and evolved to use them more and more to a point where technically we no longer need to change as we have the tools capable of changing our surroundings rather than the surroundings changing us. If we took all tools away from human kind in a blink, this would not make us become extinct. This would bring evolution into effect on a detrimental level. Humans will survive. and if we could not have the ability to use tools there on out then there is enough food to forage that we would still survive as a species but change to who knows what!

What is happening here is that we are comparing here and now, with the evolution of the past billion years or so. we are comparing apples with eggs..... there is no common denominator in all these comparisons

ʝօɦn 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐy's picture
It really doesn't matter how

It really doesn't matter how long whatever "we" were survived before the emergence of tools. As the article I gave you presents, tools change the selection game. Individuals born in a world with tools, are progressively selected and adapted to live in a world that is modified by them. The man makes the tool which shapes the man, and so forth.

So, I do think taking away all our tools, and preventing us from making more, will make us go extinct. For example, its been suggested that individuals on raw food diets, run into nutritional problems; among other things women stop ovulating. That alone suggests issues with trying to live without our tools. Other apes have their bodies; their teeth are strong enough to grind, their digestive systems strong enough to eat raw food. Whereas we cook our food, chop it up, in preparation for digestion.

Unfortunately, the present is all we have. Even the fossils people study, we only have them in their present forms. Assumptions about the past have to be made from the knowledge available in the present. If we are comparing apples with eggs, all conversations about evolution become futile.

Carolusclen's picture
Your first part is very

Your first part is very misunderstood;
It does matter how long we evolved before the use of tools because the structure of what we are today stems from that. Thats why we don't have wings or gills etc. I mentioned that I don't agree with that article in its entirety. tools don't change the selection game for us on that level within this time frame of using them. Evolution does not work quite like that. If the kids today grew an extra finger to hold something or a different type of eye to filter blue radiation from monitors or smaller legs due to the capacity of transportation then yes, that is an evolutionary change made by the environment we created. What you are talking about is the lack of or addition of knowledge of the tools we invent and how to use them. Knowledge on how to use something is not evolution for the ability to use it. We have hands, so the tools we make fit said hands. Children today that are born into this world are taught how said tools are to be used and how they function. A newborn is not born a doctor, farmer, mechanic etc, if they never learn to use the tools, they will never know how to. Even things like knives and forks. There are people that dont even know how to use them because they were never taught, but they have the ability to learn them because we have designed our tools for our species. Our inventions are slowly killing us... well most of us, and in a very long time from now, who knows where man kind will be as a result of this.

What is your basis on going extinct due to the taking tools away and the means to create them. There are a lot of people that eat raw foods. of cause some are better cooked etc but this would not render 7.5+ billion people to die out. There are tribes that dont eat meat and don't cook the veggies. the nutritional problems is an immune system thing now to an extent. If someone goes sterile from eating raw food, then that is a defect in them. The malnutrition from raw food comes from artificially ripened and grown foods that have no nutrition these days. We don't have to cook everything we eat. In fact if you look at the amount of raw food we do it, that makes this argument invalid already. And we don't chop it up for preparation to digest. If i hand you an apple, or carrot or raw dried meat, you don't have to chop it up for digestion, that's what saliva and teeth are for. two of probably our oldest evolutionary traits.

Evolution is progression, change, adaptation etc comparisons would not render it futile, that is only dependent on how narrow you make your vision on a specific part of the whole

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