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  #1  
Old 12-10-2001, 03:34 AM
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Eassy by Ram Samudrala (source: ram.org)
Posted for FrostCloud.com:

An article in Time Magazine about how humans began starts off with "No single, essential, difference separates human beings from other animals..." The article is mediocre, and that statement is false. To me, evolution seems to have made a very great leap from other animals to humans.

Physically though, we are pretty much related (especially genetically) to our primate ancestors, such as at the chimpanzee. However, there are certain, at present rather unexplainable, characteristics that differentiate us from all other organisms. The fact remains that we are at the "top of the heap". We have truly managed to control our environment to a very great degree. There is no other animal that has accomplished this. We are, in a sense, "the best". This itself makes us very different. Our superiority over other animals is also evident in the way we have domesticated animals and can train them to do various tasks for us. We make animals our slaves and the thing that is different about other animals is that their "spirit" (if they have any) can be broken, unlike humans. Animals have been our "slaves" for ages, but yet if ones tries to impose the same constrains on a particular group of humans, then soon enough the group will rebel (even if they are weaker) and win their freedom! History has several examples of this. For whatever reasons, lower animals do not do this. Thus we are left to assume that there is something drastically special about humans that enables us to be indignant and righteous and fight for the expression of our "free will". (Note that I mean this in the specific context of self-adaptivity---it is by no means an absolute statement that humans are generally "better" than other animals.)

The article, however, addresses the issue of how humans evolved. The theory was that the species Homo erectus (an ancestor of Homo sapiens) evolved in Africa and and took off from there about 1.8 million years ago to populate the world as we know it now. So it was a case of divergent evolution and the reason for phenotypical differences was because of the earlier humanoids adapting to different conditions. However, new evidence has turned up that indicates the presence of Homo erectus (or very close relatives) in a DIFFERENT site (namely Indonesia) more than two million years ago. This would mean that Homo sapiens evolved separately after the spread of Homo erectus and thus evolution, in this case, occured in a more convergent form.

So which theory's right? The problem is that there's very little data. A skull here, a skull there, and it forces people to come up with new theories. But even with the limited amount of evidence, and some rational thinking, we can come up with certain properties that early protohumans must have.

There is sufficient evidence to indicate that some ancestral form of humans evolved in Africa and spread out. The environmental conditions there were "perfect". Perhaps, it wasn't Homo erectus, but there had to be one link from the apes that originated from Africa. The probability of seeing two ancestral species evolve into something convergently to Homo sapiens must be taken into account. That is to say, what is the probability of seeing Homo sapiens (taking into account the present "differences") evolve twice from an ancestral species given the separation between humans now and the ancestral species? This sort of an analysis would be hard to carry out since we would have to define what "separation" is. If we do this in terms of genetic material a rigorous analysis could be carried out, but this is not possible. However, we can hypothesise the degree of genetic similarity the ancestor must have had from fossil record, and thus come up with a very rough approximation to the probability and see if it would be plausible. This probability would give a firm hold on how far apart the divergence should be in order for convergent evolution to occur.

While I would argue it was only a single line that emerged from Africa, I'd also claim that that single line meets the required probability condition to evolve into humans. But during the process of evolution of that single line itself, I don't think it's as clear cut a single transition from ape to human. Clearly, to make the great leap I mentioned above, there must've been a lot of competition between human-like species and it is this competition that enabled the leap. "There were probably many false starts and dead ends. Modern Homo sapiens was clearly not the inevitable design for an intelligent being. The species seems to have been just one several rival products---the only one successful today in the evolutionary marketplace."

And the probability condition can be softened by the fact that these ancestors could've exchanged genetic material. That is, their evolution need not have been completely convergent---they could've interbred, and this would facilitate the convergence.

So, there's a lot of room for the merging of these so-called "rival" theories. While it might be nice to have a pet theory, there is no reason to, and when contradictory evidence shows up, archaelogists and anthropologists should find a way of reconciling them instead of fighting over it.
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  #2  
Old 01-04-2002, 08:59 AM
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The quest for our roots.

There are many times when I have wondered from whence we as humans came. There is lots of conjecture and hoards of speculation. However, there are many times that I find myself asking the question: Is it really that important that I discover from whence I came? If I can speculate all the probable and possible reasons behind human creation, is any one more important than another? Do not all questions of origin eventually lead back to the age old question of 'Why is everything?'

* * * * * * * * * All my questions have lead to that one, and it is rather annoying when anything arguable leads to ambiguity about the true objective nature of things, which eventually always leads back to the universal question of 'Why?'
I often wonder about the importance of such research.
Indeed, as I have come to understand it, that is the only justifiable reason for existence: To discern Ultimate objective truth, inasmuch as it is possible to do so.
Who knows? We might never find that answer...then again, we just might...
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Old 01-27-2002, 07:48 AM
Skean Dhu Skean Dhu is offline
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All that has been said is interesting. *I have some points that I find strange that I must add though.

Anthropologist have discovered that in early Viking society....it was an accepted truth that they were located on something which can be interpreted as a 'planet;' and that there were 8 more worlds also. *Basically, they believed there were 9 planets in the solar system. *The western world only accepted this as a fact rather recently.....How did they know this? Lucky guess maybe? *
Also, this same culture believed that humankind as we see it was brought from the stars. Hmmm........strange right? *If you look at what many astronomers are saying about the possibilty of Earth being 'seeded'; by a comet or even possibly Mars, they are once again similiar.
Thats 2 for 2.
Next, I would like to state that I do not count myself amoung those who call themselves 'christians';, but I challenge you to do some research into Viking mythology and Christian Mythology.....they are alot alike but evolved individually. I'll give an example for those who don't waste time looking through something as silly as Christian Myth. *The Vikings believed that an Armageddon-like event would happen or had happened(different schools of thought on that one). This event was called Ragnorak. *It would be a cellestial war of good versus evil(same old good versus evil), anyways, after this 'battle';, there would be 2 survivors...a man and a woman who would start the world anew. *It would be important to point out that this event would happen after a creature called the "Great Serpent", which lived at the bottom of a great powerful tree(think of Genesis in the bible) ate away all the roots which supported the tree and in turn supported the universe. *

What I'm getting at is that a group of war-like, and simple barbarians not only knew that there were 9 planets and that they inhabitated one, but also, their religion was much akin too many all over the globe........How?
I believe that mankind in itself is truly a very powerful mystery. *Why are people from different area's of the world so physically different? How did a culture from so small of an area such as europe storm the world in force and bring all other cultures to their knee's for decades? Did you know that white skin, and the capability to be born with blue eyes was isolated to the cultures that originated in europe? No where else was this present. *

Lastly, I disagree with the idea that we are alone the most powerful creatures on this planet. *We are surely one of the most complicated, but........this planets most basic lifeforms are the only ones who truly come toe-to-toe with us. *The virus, bacteria, and fungus still stand against us...far from 'slaves'.......This creatures have changed history in so many ways I cannot even begin to list all of them.......The Black Death in Europe, Smallpox in the New World.....AIDS, Cancer, and Infuenza.......think about the number of people killed by these diseases that could have had an enormous impact on our lives today. *Think about it........We ARE ahead of many creatures and more then likely.....behind a few...it's just a matter of perspective.
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Old 02-19-2002, 01:52 PM
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Do you believe in god ,human are create by God
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Old 02-23-2002, 10:38 AM
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How human began ... It seem like it is a complex question . But why you all didn't ask whether how lifes began . That's what I want to ask . Before the lifes began , there's no life forms such as : trees , animals , insects , and even unicel microorganisms . And how the cel form without protein and there's only rocks and water only ?
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Old 03-16-2002, 07:26 AM
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May I make a small comment.

Humans are not necessarily 'top of the heap'.

True humans change the environment to themselves, and true no animals do it, but changing the environment to suit us is probably going to destroy it in such a way that the only survivors are likely to be micro-organisms.

Also, most people believe that evolution is the changing of one creature to another which in a sense it is, however the older 'version' that is the predecessor creature can still exist after the newer 'version' comes into being. Also evolution isn't the advancement of a race - it's survival. A genetically flawed creature is more likely to die than a genetically superior creature.

Also, the snake eating the roots of the tree. It's important to realise that the viking mythology was based on the fact that the world was in fact a giant tree with three basic worlds in it.The root system was surrounded be cavernous dirt and was the underworld. Around the base of the tree was a disc - the normal world, and above that was Asgard - realm of the gods.

Christian mythos is similar to viking mythos because modern christian mythos isn't as it should be - it's been changed to suit 'pagan' rituals to convert more to christianity.
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Old 03-19-2002, 06:00 AM
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When were christian myths changed? Before the re-writing of the bible by King James VI or even earlier than that. Well the real question is: Are the changes present in earlier versions of the bible or was the changes made before the book was even written?
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Old 03-20-2002, 06:23 AM
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the changes were made when christians encountered other races and tried to convert them. Vikings, Gauls/Celts, etc. many other cultures influenced christian TRADITIONS and views. Note I say TRADITIONS - the bible itself probably wasn't changed.
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Old 03-22-2002, 06:07 AM
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Ohhh ok, the Gauls would probably be one of the first cultures to encounter christian traditions. When Caesar's de Bello Gallico and Cicero's Pro Fonteio conquered Gaul from 58 B.C. to 51 B.C. But they thought they were barbaric and thier appearance and modes of behavior violated the traditional Roman virtues.
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Old 03-23-2002, 06:24 AM
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Yes.
As well as that, the christmas tree and the easter egg, were both pagan ideas used to convert the original people who had the ritual.
(sorry I've forgotten who they were)
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Old 03-26-2002, 03:47 AM
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1. The Easter Egg

I think it was the Saxons (germanic people from around the second century that lived around the southern part of the Cimbric Peninsula) that celebrated the return of spring with an festival commemorating their goddess of offspring and springtime Eastre. And in second century christian missionaries encountered them and tried to convert them to christianity. So the missionaries had THIER celebrations during the same time but instead of commemorating the goddess Eastre they said it was a observance of the resurrection of Christ. I'm not sure if thats the earliest easter eggs were used (I think the Greeks and Persians used them too) but thats when christians took it in as their tradition.


2. The Christmas Tree

I know it was to recognize the winter solstice but who did it beats me too. I THINK it was the heathen Greeks and their worship of their god Adonia. But then the Egyptians could of done it too, (but with plam trees of course) to symbolize resurrection. Because they decorated their homes with its branches during the winter solstice too. Well I guess its all relative with your defintion of a Christmas tree';.

But anyways thanks for answering my first questions Kolriss.
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Old 03-26-2002, 07:25 AM
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Your welcome...
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Old 04-02-2002, 06:48 AM
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the old testement is right i belive but the new is wrong becase bornabes a disciple of jesies and paul a hellnest jew said to be inspired by god to come to cristan faith 'he was orginal sent to kill them'; i think he was wrong and he change the new bible becase he abd bornabes disargreed about stuff and the went whit paul becase he was to kill and now hes there frends i think

did you get that info about how the changed from the two babylons
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Old 04-09-2002, 05:23 AM
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I dont really believe in christianity as my personal religon but i have read most of the bible. Its a great source of advice and wisdom along with just being a great story. The Old Testement is filled with evil tyrants, unjust kings and lots of huge wars. But they New Testement is mostly about different prophet's messages and stories (except The Book of Revalation) to sinners. But anyways who did you said wrote the New Testement incorrectly Paul or Bornabes? And which book(s) of the bible is Bornabes found in?

Sorry, my post kinda go the topic of 'How Humans Began'.
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Old 04-10-2002, 07:47 AM
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paul and i have barnabus book at mom but im at dads =P but im not sure where i left it
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