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Thread: Cavemen

  1. #1

    Default Cavemen

    Aside from our technology and knowledge base, do you think homo sapiens sapiens have advanced much since the subspecies first appeared?

  2. #2

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    "Advanced" implies that evolution has a direction or a destination. It's just a matter of changes that suit our environment and enable us to carry our genes forward effectively. It hasn't even been all that long since we were in caves, so I don't think there's much to see. One that leaps to mind is the spread of lactose tolerance, which was a pretty rare thing in humans. Otherwise, I would say that our main evolutionary activities have been cultural over that period of time rather than physical.

  3. #3

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    This:


    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor View Post
    "Advanced" implies that evolution has a direction or a destination. It's just a matter of changes that suit our environment and enable us to carry our genes forward effectively. It hasn't even been all that long since we were in caves, so I don't think there's much to see. One that leaps to mind is the spread of lactose tolerance, which was a pretty rare thing in humans. Otherwise, I would say that our main evolutionary activities have been cultural over that period of time rather than physical.
    I'll add the caveat that, although we've sequenced the entire human genome, we haven't yet identified the functions for huge portions of it. Tiny differences between modern man DNA vs. 40, 000 years ago could still mean there are significant differences in function that we haven't identified yet.

    So the answer is "don't know"

  4. #4

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    From what I have seen there is a sub species know as Homo sapiens archaic.
    To the best of my knowledge there is a distinction between them and "modern man", but that would require the genetic challenge of out breeding. So the answer is technically unattainable, unless you look at indigenous modern culture cross breeding. However I do not know that the indigenous are truly Homo sapiens archaic.

    As for "man" and an evolutionary differentiation I would say that yes there is change, and technically speaking there is distinct sub species (but is this true sub species or the "pigeon hole classification that has effected several species) . However there is a possibility that "IF" a catastrophe where to occur certain sub species would not survive while other groups would.

    So I would have to agree with Maxx and say "I do not know".

  5. #5

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    I think we've peaked and are de-evolving in to beings who require the mass media to think for us and the government to take care of us.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nam Repaid View Post
    I think we've peaked and are de-evolving in to beings who require the mass media to think for us and the government to take care of us.
    Haha....I like this. I've also noticed that there are the highly advanced species, such as my self, and then there are the Neanderthal throwbacks that are still around, pissing me off on the highway.

    I have to wonder as to what is the evolution of intelligence? Have we always had the highly intelligent and we simply seem smarter because we've had the time to build on top of the accomplishments of those who have gone before us.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nam Repaid View Post
    I think we've peaked and are de-evolving in to beings who require the mass media to think for us and the government to take care of us.
    Whilst I think that's a bit extreme, there's some truth there. As a species, we're far less resourceful and independent as individuals than we were going back thousands of years. It was once the case that most people had the skills to hunt animals for food, create basic shelter for one's own family, and even knew how to properly bury their dead, in a way which would be recognisable to 21st century humans.

    Sure, we're probably more intellectual and advanced as a collective species, but our personal capacity for independence and self-sufficiency is way lower than it once was. I think it's a result of living in a society where people are trained in a few specific skills, and rely on wider society to produce a lot of the things which individuals used to have to do for themselves.

  8. #8

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor View Post
    "Advanced" implies that evolution has a direction or a destination. It's just a matter of changes that suit our environment and enable us to carry our genes forward effectively. It hasn't even been all that long since we were in caves, so I don't think there's much to see. One that leaps to mind is the spread of lactose tolerance, which was a pretty rare thing in humans. Otherwise, I would say that our main evolutionary activities have been cultural over that period of time rather than physical.


    Quote Originally Posted by Maxx View Post
    This:


    I'll add the caveat that, although we've sequenced the entire human genome, we haven't yet identified the functions for huge portions of it. Tiny differences between modern man DNA vs. 40, 000 years ago could still mean there are significant differences in function that we haven't identified yet.

    So the answer is "don't know"
    I agree. The reason for the question was that, now and then, people seem to express what I would call evolutionary snobbery where they believe evolution is a continuous process of selecting the best specimens for survival of a species. They go on to assume this means humans are constantly evolving to become smarter, making us the smartest there ever was. While I accept this as a possibility I have some doubts about the concept.

    Columbia University has a nice, one page synopsis on the growth and spread of homo sapiens. It has one line that seems to reflect the above belief:"The consequences of this species cerebral growth and resulting intelligence have been enormous", but I may be misinterpreting it. Anyway, it is a good read and it brings up an interesting point: humans have introduced conscious selection as an additional option to natural selection in themselves and other species.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nam Repaid View Post
    I think we've peaked and are de-evolving in to beings who require the mass media to think for us and the government to take care of us.


    Quote Originally Posted by dogboy View Post
    Haha....I like this. I've also noticed that there are the highly advanced species, such as my self, and then there are the Neanderthal throwbacks that are still around, pissing me off on the highway.

    I have to wonder as to what is the evolution of intelligence? Have we always had the highly intelligent and we simply seem smarter because we've had the time to build on top of the accomplishments of those who have gone before us.
    I like that too. I've wondered what effect our technology will have on us as a species if we continue to depend on it over a long period of time. On the one hand it takes a high level of intelligence to understand, develop, and maintain this technology. On the other hand, it doesn't take a lot of intelligence to use most of it. It's mostly just a matter of learning the right sequence of button pushing. Maybe we'll evolve into two subspecies: homo sapiens smarticus and homo sapiens cattle. There might be a possible solution to food shortages in this arrangement.

    Neanderthals are always an interesting topic for me. As a species we have some of their DNA in us. They apparently had larger brains and more robust bodies than us so I have to wonder why they died out. The article I linked to above equates having a larger brain with having greater intellectual potential. I don't know if this is true but it does raise the possibility that the Neanderthals were smarter as well as tougher than us.

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    Quote Originally Posted by egor View Post
    From what I have seen there is a sub species know as Homo sapiens archaic.
    To the best of my knowledge there is a distinction between them and "modern man", but that would require the genetic challenge of out breeding. So the answer is technically unattainable, unless you look at indigenous modern culture cross breeding. However I do not know that the indigenous are truly Homo sapiens archaic.

    As for "man" and an evolutionary differentiation I would say that yes there is change, and technically speaking there is distinct sub species (but is this true sub species or the "pigeon hole classification that has effected several species) . However there is a possibility that "IF" a catastrophe where to occur certain sub species would not survive while other groups would.

    So I would have to agree with Maxx and say "I do not know".
    I haven't found specific information yet on "archaic" as a subspecies. I don't quite follow what you are saying. Are you saying that homo sapiens archaic exist today?

  10. #10

    Default

    If the article is equating the volume of the brain with intelligence . . . then nature's super-geniuses are clearly sperm whales.
    On the other hand, this is a fascinating new way of completely misunderstanding the concepts involved. I think I'll keep an eye on this topic for a bit.

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