Talk:The Naked Ape

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I've got a couple of problems with this. First of all it claims that anthropologists are scientists ;-) and secondly because of the phrase man also stands apart from the animals in many ways. Mankind is certainly relatively more intelligent and thus has a more complicated culture but, apart from that, what are these "many ways"?--Bobbing up 05:42, 4 April 2008 (EDT)

Is copy of Creation Wiki's article. SusanG 07:42, 4 April 2008 (EDT)
Oooo. Almost. The external references are the same as well.--Bobbing up 08:48, 4 April 2008 (EDT)
Straight lift without the cats. What to do with it? SusanG 09:05, 4 April 2008 (EDT)
Humans (with the exception of our own) are the most adaptive mammals on earth, living from the Arctic Circle to the equator. Rational Edfaith 09:10, 4 April 2008 (EDT)
Problem is that I've not read it, so I can't really comment. (With regard to animal ranges: mammals - I think that tigers, wolves and rats have or had extensive ranges. Going down the chain, cockroaches do rather well; and microbes beat humans hands down for adaptability.)--Bobbing up 09:19, 4 April 2008 (EDT)
Yes, you will notice that I wrote "mammals". Although I suspect cockroaches would have a hard time surviving very far north of the Arctic Circle except where humans have created a more comfortable environment inside an igloo. Rational Edfaith 09:21, 4 April 2008 (EDT)
Sticking with mammals, wolves once ranged from the arctic to the equator; tigers up to Siberia; elephants - in the form of mammoths - from equatorial regions to the arctic. I accept that humans are very adaptable, but I hardly think it's a unique biological characteristic.--Bobbing up 10:03, 4 April 2008 (EDT)

I've removed the "man stands apart" element, and re-worked other areas.--Bobbing up 11:43, 4 April 2008 (EDT)

Hey, I don't buy the "man is the crown of creation" bs, but our adaptability does actually amaze me. You'll notice, by the way, that wolves and tigers have been eliminated by humans. We are awfully good at eliminating any predator that presents a danger or competes with us for food or territory. Unfortunately, we don't know when to stop. I think there is definitely something unique about the creature at the top of the food chain. Rational Edfaith 12:39, 4 April 2008 (EDT)
You mean the rat? SusanG 12:46, 4 April 2008 (EDT)
Or pidgeon? DogP 12:48, 4 April 2008 (EDT)
Face it, the last living thing on the planet will probably be a bacterium. The last higher (sic) thing will probably be a cockroach (or some descendant thereof). SusanG 13:30, 4 April 2008 (EDT)
Susan, you are perfectly right. Some of us will be on another planet then: Mars. Will you join us? Editor at CPfor a change 15:17, 4 April 2008 (EDT)
wish I could, but I think I'll have fed my own bacteria & fungi by then. About 5 years ago, someone said to me "There's someone alive now who will never die." wonder when that will be true? SusanG 15:38, 4 April 2008 (EDT)

Real meaning[edit]

You see, I'm not talking about who will be the last survivor. I'm talking about the unique characterisitics of humans - the ability to live anywhere on Earth, use of technology, and a greater ability to change the environment, for better or for worse, than any other organism. Rats, pigeons and cockroaches actually have actually trhived thanks to humans. Rational Edfaith 13:37, 4 April 2008 (EDT)
OK, but that all comes from what I said at the beginning - we're relatively more intelligent and that's it. Intelligence is a very good trick. It enabled us to produce technology which could destroy the planet either by accident or design. But it's really the only trick we have. Other animals are naturally faster, stronger, better able to reproduce, have longer noses, better digestive systems or whatever. Apart from our intelligence - and the technology produced by that intelligence - how does man "stand apart from the animals in many ways".--Bobbing up 15:04, 4 April 2008 (EDT)
Yes, but using that technology wer have become faster, stronger and better adapted to an incredibly wide variety of climates and habitats. I'm not sure what the point about longer noses is, but we can even stay underwater for a couple of hours. Our brains have made the slow process of evolving adaptations obsolete. In fact, it could be argued that we are no longer subject to natural selection the way other animals are. We don't die just because we have poor eyesight or hearing. I'd say that puts us in a diferent category than the rest of the animal kingdom. Rational Edfaith 15:11, 4 April 2008 (EDT)

Given the ability to comprehend the topic, wouldn't any animal think that it was the pinnacle of evolution (as in fact it's likely to be in its niche). Our "intelligence" could also be our undoing - witness the Mutual Assured Destruction of atomic threat in recent times. With regard to not being subject to evolution, is this always seen as a good thing (see Eugenics)? SusanG 15:20, 4 April 2008 (EDT)

The problem is, we are not anymore subjected to evolution. Not at the same rate as before. It is so "easy" and granted to reproduce, at least there is no direct positive correlation between "success" in life and number of offspring (probably negative - poor people tend to have more children who reach sexual maturity). Obviously I'm not advocating eugenics, and to be honest I'm not even advocating evolution for the human species. But Richard Dawkins have a couple of good examples. For examples the number of daltonic people is rising very fast. Still, this is more a curiosity than a serious issue. Editor at CPfor a change 15:29, 4 April 2008 (EDT)
Wha, huh? evolution has stop-ped? Stop the presses!
I think evolution is still alive and well but as a long term process for each generation (of humans) it has effectively "stopped"; that I could buy.
I was going to point out that Homo sapiens are very much like social insects, think bees or ants, where each individual "creature" is rather maladapted to the environment since we all rely on each other to a great extent. Sure, there are still, lone, self-sufficient human beings able to fend for themselves by themselves but this is increasingly rare. CЯacke® 15:37, 4 April 2008 (EDT)
Evolution still alive how? As long as we aknowledge that Lamarckian evolution is wrong, we can only hope for better gene activation (Europeans are still getting higher, Americans no), better health, better culture, better people (from a moral and ethical point of view: we are more sensitive and "good" than our ancestors. But what about Hitler and co.?). But we are completely lacking natural selection, which is a necessary ingredient. All survive, not only the fittest. Thus, we are going backwards in some areas - but we find means to fight its consequences, from eyeglasses to transport vehicles to hospitals to computers. Editor at CPfor a change 15:42, 4 April 2008 (EDT)
I think Cracker has the correct interpretation; think of the various nests of humanity as multicellular organisms & work from there. SusanG 15:45, 4 April 2008 (EDT)
meaning what? I'm at a loss here. Editor at CPfor a change 15:50, 4 April 2008 (EDT)
We have done an end run around natural selection. Even the behavior that leads to contracting AIDS is not a selective pressure because it is possible to reproduce after you get the disease, and also possible for your offspring to survive. Mental illnesses that might have resulted in the death of an individal before they could reproduce in a "state of nature" are not lethal in our society. I remember when I was a child I was told that the appendix was an organ that would eventually disappear, or that our little toe would eventually disappear. But there are no longer selective pressures acting on any of these traits. Even people who liked the disco music managed to reproduce. Rational Edfaith 15:54, 4 April 2008 (EDT)
Sort of "it's not men that'll evolve but humanity" The various tribes will prove their fitness - recessive traits (fundamentalism?) will prove less viable & the society that has them will die out unless they proves recessive. & so on ... SusanG 15:58, 4 April 2008 (EDT)
Hmm, maybe I understand: "social evolution" as opposed to biological. That's an interesting topic, but I'm not at all so optimistic. Maybe I'll come back to it when I'm sober. Editor at CPfor a change 16:03, 4 April 2008 (EDT)
By, George, Susan, I think you've got it! Rational Edfaith 21:48, 4 April 2008 (EDT)
So it is our technology that is the hereditary material we pass on, and which is evolving at a fantastic rate. We are the animal that transcended DNA. Rational Edfaith 21:50, 4 April 2008 (EDT)

No, it's our society that survives or doesn't. Communism is an example of a failing species as is e.g. Monarchy But theocracy is having a go with Catholicism & Islamic fundamentalism for example. The future is (Gott sei dank) unknown & unknowable but technology could be an evolutionary blind alley or even a lethal gene if it allows us to outbreed our living space. SusanG (on pda) 22:14, 4 April 2008 (EDT)

You're right, Susan, it is culture (including social constructions, technology and art) that is undergoing evolution and will determine whether or not any particular group survives. Rational Edfaith 12:20, 5 April 2008 (EDT)

Future evolution of humanity[edit]

Past & Future
I think we are focusing on the wrong part of evolution if we look only at survival. The real question is reproduction rather than survival. The question therefore becomes which potentially heritable traits or behaviors favor reproduction and which ones don't? Some studies have shown that religious belief can have a genetic base, and others have shown that religious people have a greater tendency to reproduce. So there is selective pressure in favor of religion. Another apparent tendency is that richer people tend to have less children than poor ones, and wealth may be regarded as being loosely correlated with intelligence. Consequently there is selective pressure against increasing intelligence. A further factor which improves the possibility of reproduction is risky sexual activity associated with overindulgence in alcohol. So there is selection pressure to increase alcohol consumption. Therefore we would expect people of the future to me more religious, less intelligent and to have a liking for beer. My question becomes, are Americans the most highly evolved humans on the planet? (And before the flames start I have my tongue in my cheek.)--Bobbing up 06:52, 5 April 2008 (EDT)
WRT to your closing question.... no, but they may very well be the most hydridized. humanUser talk:Human 12:21, 5 April 2008 (EDT)