Evolution

What is a human being? What is life? Can science give us reliable answers to such questions? The electricity of life. The meaning of human consciousness. Are we alone? Are the traditional contests between science and religion still relevant? Does the word "spirit" still hold meaning today?

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Re: Evolution

Unread postby webolife » Fri Mar 11, 2011 3:35 pm

Orthogonal and Aristarchus,
You both seem to be making relevant, valid, and potentially mutually inclusive points about the Neanderthals, so I'm not sure what you are arguing about. One thing the studies have been unclear about since about 1970 is whether H. s. neanderthalensis and H. s. sapiens interbred or not. Different studies seem to point in different directions. One thing that has rarely been disputed is that the two groups of humans have common ancestry, which implies that their parents did indeed interbreed, yes indeedy. It seems to me their divergence has little relevance to understanding humans today. It could be argued that Indonesian pygmies and African watusi have plenty of observable physical, geographic, and social reasons to be considered separate species. I'm guessing it would be very difficult to find a case of them interbreeding, and plenty of DNA differences to show they are distinct as populations. They are significantly diverged. Yet they are still clearly to be considered humans in equal right. What is the key issue of distinction between humans and neanderthals... is it that the latter had greater average brain capacity? or the slight differences between their average frontal and occipital bone topologies? or that the neanderthals associated in small groups? or...? Are these distinctions greater than the distinctions between the extreme "modern" groups of humans? Is it possible, as I asserted earlier [wasn't joking] that the fundamental neanderthal type exists today in humans? What is the most controversial issue for either of you? For me much controversy was solved over 40 years ago when both groups were officially renamed Homo sapiens.
Last edited by webolife on Fri Mar 11, 2011 3:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Evolution

Unread postby webolife » Fri Mar 11, 2011 3:41 pm

JaJa,
Elaborate for me what you are thinking when you declare that "light" is the organizing factor behind DNA. Let me phrase the question thus: What is it about light that asserts, provokes, or otherwise dictates the specific ordering of DNA? Or perhaps like this: What is informational about light action upon DNA [in the natural sense, not the laboratory laser sense]?
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Re: Evolution

Unread postby Riposte » Fri Mar 11, 2011 3:49 pm

Orthogonal wrote:I'm not going to get into human consciousness, there is just way too much speculation and we don't have enough data to really scratch the surface here.


Hmm, to which sources are you referring? We actually have a lot of very specific and concrete evidence for the nature of consciousness, but you really aren't going to find it within mainstream scientific literature. To get a handle on this subject is really beyond any intellectual understanding.

For example, you should take a look at what these two guys, among many others, have to say about the nature of reality and consciousness:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramana_Maharshi
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nisargadatta_Maharaj

They are speaking from direct experience. Which I guess you could entirely discount if you want to claim they are lying or completely delusional or something.

This subject is not speculative at all if you are willing to try seeing it for yourself, i.e. meditating and seeing what happens when the mind becomes quiet.
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Re: Evolution

Unread postby Orthogonal » Fri Mar 11, 2011 6:33 pm

Aristarchus wrote:It does appear that one could argue that there is a development of consciousness acting upon Homo sapien sapiens to manifest within an environment that has been cultivated to nurture this kind of social evolution. I could explain this further, but I really need to know where you're taking your argument.

In my view the kind of social evolution that takes place on the human scale does offer a unique role for the latter in the Animal Kingdom.


I reread through the thread now that I had a bit of time and I think we're on the same page now. Typically, when speaking of evolutionary theory it is explained in terms of mutation, genetic drift, gene flow as the mechanisms that drive change and natural selection as the boundary conditions for what becomes "successful" or allowable given the available energy sources or environmental conditions etc.

What you seem to be referring to is the ability for sociological, psychological or behavioral traits to influence and drive this process. That is certainly true. This process is recognized within evolutionary theory but it is not typically considered as a primary driver. I can see where it would be argued that the social qualities of homo sapiens has driven them to what they are today. The process of social constructs and behaviorisms within a species can in essence drive the evolutionary path within the framework as outlined above with natural selection. The social evolution of humans is certainly unique among all species and I agree.

However, even though human consciousness and social development is incredibly advanced, this same process happens among other species, but on a much more primitive level. The behavior and social networks of other species is what drives things like pecking orders, sexual dimorphism, bizarre mating rituals and numerous others that drive their evolutionary change. I will agree that humans have a unique aspect in this situation. The question now becomes, was it the evolutionary process that drove human consciousness to be unique, or is it human conscousness that came first and drove the evolutionary response in man. This is a big question and requires an interdisciplinary approach among biologists, psychologists and archaeologists. I'm interested in your further comments on the subject.

JaJa wrote:The fact that human beings 'think' they have rule over the world because they control the food chain, technology and other species on the planet they have placed themselves "top of the metaphorical evolutionary tree" by default. This is not a subjective assertion - it is an objective fact. Do I think humans deserve to be in this position - no.


I think you are conflating domination with being advanced. Maybe we can agree to describe it this way.

Objective Fact: Humans are the most dominant species on the planet.
Subjective Assertion: Humans are the most evolutionarily advanced species.


@Riposte, I'll read the material, but I'm probably going to remain very skeptical at first.
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Re: Evolution

Unread postby JaJa » Sat Mar 12, 2011 3:09 am

Orthogonal wrote:Maybe we can agree to describe it this way.

Objective Fact: Humans are the most dominant species on the planet.
Subjective Assertion: Humans are the most evolutionarily advanced species.

Sure. When you can explain to me how you are separating domination from most advanced. It might help if you gave an example of a species that was more evolutionary advanced that humans (both biologically and pyschologically) and an explanation of why this species hasn't achieved domination over humans and the rest of the animal kingdom.

I am also looking for an explanation (from previous posts) about how a mechanism knows anything - what would be the underlying feature/quality of a mechanism that allows it to be selective.
Seasmith wrote:Elaborate for me what you are thinking when you declare that "light" is the organizing factor behind DNA. Let me phrase the question thus: What is it about light that asserts, provokes, or otherwise dictates the specific ordering of DNA? Or perhaps like this: What is informational about light action upon DNA [in the natural sense, not the laboratory laser sense

I think I'll refrain from offering a public explanation for now. Especially on this thread.
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Re: Evolution

Unread postby webolife » Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:49 am

That quote was from me, not seasmith. I'd be happy to receive a pm from you JaJa.
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Re: Evolution

Unread postby JaJa » Sun Mar 13, 2011 4:04 am

webolife wrote:That quote was from me, not seasmith. I'd be happy to receive a pm from you JaJa.

Sorry web not sure why I said seasmith. Yes i'd be happy to PM you when I get a free moment.
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Re: Evolution

Unread postby JaJa » Sun Mar 13, 2011 8:56 am

webolife wrote:JaJa,
Elaborate for me what you are thinking when you declare that "light" is the organizing factor behind DNA. Let me phrase the question thus: What is it about light that asserts, provokes, or otherwise dictates the specific ordering of DNA? Or perhaps like this: What is informational about light action upon DNA [in the natural sense, not the laboratory laser sense]?

Can we establish some common ground before we discuss this.

Do you agree the brain is a Node that receives and decodes information. Do you agree that Information comes from Light or that stuff which we apparently sense via the eyes and other senses. Would you agree there is supposed to be visble stuff and invisible stuff but we can only know the invisible stuff because there is so-called visible stuff.

I don't wish to argue or debate - I have done enough of that on the forum.

JJ
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Re: Evolution

Unread postby JohnMT » Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:02 pm

Hi all,

By all means, do continue your lengthy discussions concerning the intracacies.

However, this thread is about this most mysterious thing called 'Evolution', is it not?

So, how did this weird thing called 'EVOLUTION' actually begin?

Just enquiring,

John
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Re: Evolution

Unread postby Aristarchus » Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:28 am

Orthogonal wrote:I reread through the thread now that I had a bit of time and I think we're on the same page now. Typically, when speaking of evolutionary theory it is explained in terms of mutation


There's actually more empirical evidence for horizontal gene transfer (HGT) than there is for mutation. I believe also that JaJa had already referred to the aspect of evolution taking place on a very rapid place within some population of specices.

Orthogonal wrote:What you seem to be referring to is the ability for sociological, psychological or behavioral traits to influence and drive this process.


What I was specifically referring to was that the FOXP2 gene existed for hundreds of thousands of years prior to the advent of Homo spaien sapiens. Once activated in Homo sapien sapiens, it created an expedited growth of social evolution for the former. Apparently, the gene existed prior to anything that relates to mutation. It was activated, not mutated.

Orthogonal wrote:However, even though human consciousness and social development is incredibly advanced, this same process happens among other species, but on a much more primitive level. The behavior and social networks of other species is what drives things like pecking orders, sexual dimorphism, bizarre mating rituals and numerous others that drive their evolutionary change.


Humankind can achieve much more that pecking orders, sexual dimorphism, and bizarre mating rituals. In fact, sexual desire in humankind acts upon the species beyond mere procreation. Only Social Darwinism seeks to inhibit the higher aspects of human existence. This brings me back to the video I posted earlier, The Next Million Years by Charles Galton Darwin where humankind is identified between the elite and the lower human, with the latter designated as something that is little more than a base animal. This is an incredibly radical position based upon an evolutionary theory that was accepted 200 fossil fragments.

JaJa wrote:Do you agree the brain is a Node that receives and decodes information. Do you agree that Information comes from Light or that stuff which we apparently sense via the eyes and other senses. Would you agree there is supposed to be visble stuff and invisible stuff but we can only know the invisible stuff because there is so-called visible stuff.


JaJa,

I think that you'll find the following rather interesting in support of your position:

Biocommunication ability

In 1995 in the Russian Academy Of Sciences quantum biologist Vladimir Popnin and Peter Gariaev were experimenting and obtained results that suggested that human DNA directly affected the physical world through a field of energy that connect them. It is called “Phantom effect”. The scientists took am empty tube, got the air out so it will be a vacuum. They looked at the photons (particles of light) and saw that the photons were scattered in the tube without any order. Then they put DNA into the tube and they saw that the photons arranged themselves in an order. The implication here is that DNA; the substance we are composed of was observed and found to have a direct effect on the quantum particles that our world is made of! When the scientists removed the DNA they expected the photons to go back to being out of order, but instead they remained in order. The scientists were forced to ask if the DNA left behind a residual force that stayed after the physical DNA was removed? Were the DNA and photons connected in some way or on some level? The scientist concluded that some new force structure was being excited. This experiment showed us that as old traditions and spiritual texts say, we have a direct effect on the world around us
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Re: Evolution

Unread postby JaJa » Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:46 am

Aristarchus. Thanks for the link. I am still reading through other research related to this. It's not easy trying to articulate some-thing not learned. I am always taken aback by the level of information you provide however, either you are linked directly to the akashic record or you have mastered google search terms into something of an art form.
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Re: Evolution

Unread postby webolife » Mon Mar 14, 2011 11:35 am

JaJa,
I am seriously intrigued by your thoughts and do not consider our dialogue as a debate at this point.
I understand the assertion that information is communicated by means of light, but the light itself is not the origin of the information, or do think it is? I think much can be inferred about the invisible from the visible, no doubt.
But if light is actively programming DNA with new information, where is that information originating or by what process? I don't consider the random alterations of mutation to be "information". While theoretically [according to evolution theory] these may become information, they are no more informqtive than the q is in this sentence.
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Re: Evolution

Unread postby tolenio » Tue Mar 15, 2011 5:36 am

Hello,

You are not looking close enough to how EMF, DNA, and Darwinism are interconnected;

Solar cycles and their relationship to human disease and adaptability

George E. Davis Jr., Walter E. Lowell

Received 3 March 2006; accepted 6 March 2006. published online 24 May 2006.

Summary

In this paper, we show that 11-year solar cycle peaks predispose humans to disease, but also endow creativity and adaptability. We give several examples of diseases that are modulated by light and present evidence for an effect of intensity and variation in sunlight, primarily ultraviolet radiation (UVR), on the human genome. The birth dates of nearly 237,000 unique clients in the Maine Medicaid database collected from 1995 to 2004, inclusive, were related to solar cycle irradiance for the past seventy-one years, encompassing seven solar cycles. The sample was divided into four general categories of disease: mental/behavioral illnesses; metabolic diseases; autoimmune diseases; neoplasms. The birth months for those clients born in any given year were arranged in the form of a winter/summer ratio in order to more clearly appreciate the seasonality inherent in each disease category. Solar cycles were separated into chaotic (∼three times as irradiant) or non-chaotic according to the Gutenberg–Richter power law and the uncertainty inherent in predicting solar storms. The results show that radiation peaks in solar cycles and particularly in chaotic solar cycles (CSCs) are associated with a higher incidence of mental disorders, suggesting the sensitivity of ectodermal embryonic tissues to UVR. Autoimmune diseases have intermediate sensitivity, while the neoplasms in the study, primarily of endoderm, appear suppressed by peak UVR intensity. The ratio of the number of clients born in CSC cycles to non-CSC cycles was highest for the more genetic mental diseases, like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, but as that ratio decreased, the clients with diseases like multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis showed more environmental features manifested as a greater winter/summer birth month ratio that was significantly different than that of the average client in the whole data set. The paper presents evidence that latitude, e.g., variation in light, is an added stress to the immune system (especially at 53–54°N. latitude) that is involved in nearly all human disease. We hypothesize that introns, the presumptive engenderers of gene control, modulate the effects of UVR, particularly for the neoplasms studied. We conclude that intermittent and largely unpredictable peak solar cycle radiation has been the fundamental engine of evolution, forcing organisms to adapt to mutagenic UVR and producing enough damage to instigate genetic variation. Probably a chance genetic mutation over 80,000 years ago produced a human brain capable of abstract thought and consciousness. The slight genetic instability that favored an adaptable, creative brain also produced other somatic variations that present phenotypically as disease, but largely expressed after natural selection (reproduction) and associated with the inexorable entropy of aging


You have not delved deep enough into cryptochrome found in the human eyes, brain and skin and how cryptochrome acts as a magnetosensitive mechanism for entraining circadian rhythms with the diurnal magnetosphere intensity.

You have not looked deep enough into melatonin protecting DNA from magnetic field damage.

You have not looked into the "active magnetic shielding" offered by the charged ionosphere on the day side of the planet.

You have not theorized that possibly the soul is simply the magnetic field of the brain and how nature re-animates magnetic fields (all electrical and magnetic events being totally scalable);

Researchers Crack the Mystery of the Missing Sunspots
http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/sc ... otlesssun/

“When sunspots begin to decay, surface currents sweep up their magnetic remains and pull them down inside the star; 300,000 km below the surface, the sun’s magnetic dynamo amplifies the decaying magnetic fields. Re-animated sunspots become buoyant and bob up to the surface like a cork in water—voila! A new solar cycle is born.”


EMF explains a lot more than you give it credit. Darwinism is the process that follows EMF action.

Later,
Tom
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Re: Evolution

Unread postby Orthogonal » Tue Mar 15, 2011 7:14 pm

Aristarchus wrote:There's actually more empirical evidence for horizontal gene transfer (HGT) than there is for mutation. I believe also that JaJa had already referred to the aspect of evolution taking place on a very rapid place within some population of specices.


HGT is a higher order process in evolution. This certainly happens on a broad scale, I never denied that, however these gene's do not exist in a "vacuum". They arrive through many mutations over many generations before they become active. I already linked to a study on Bacterial E. Coli and its evolution of a gene that enables it to digest Citrate. Something that E. Coli is known NOT to be able to consume. The study shows how evidence of the gene was first found thousands of generations before it became active and dominant in the population. Genome sequencing has begun on samples from before, during and after adaptation. This will be worth following up on when complete.

http://www.pnas.org/content/105/23/7899
http://arstechnica.com/science/news/200 ... evolve.ars

Also, I personally have no problem with "rapid evolution".

Aristarchus wrote:What I was specifically referring to was that the FOXP2 gene existed for hundreds of thousands of years prior to the advent of Homo spaien sapiens. Once activated in Homo sapien sapiens, it created an expedited growth of social evolution for the former. Apparently, the gene existed prior to anything that relates to mutation. It was activated, not mutated.


I don't know the exact source of the FOXP2 gene, but it did evolve over time through mutations many generations before it was activated. Whether that occured in Homo Sapiens or some other hominid and then transferred later, I don't know.

Aristarchus wrote:Humankind can achieve much more that pecking orders, sexual dimorphism, and bizarre mating rituals. In fact, sexual desire in humankind acts upon the species beyond mere procreation.


Yes, humans achieve much more than other species. I made that clear in my original message. I was just pointing out that this is not a unique human aspect. It is just on a more primitive level among other species.



JaJa wrote:Sure. When you can explain to me how you are separating domination from most advanced. It might help if you gave an example of a species that was more evolutionary advanced that humans (both biologically and pyschologically) and an explanation of why this species hasn't achieved domination over humans and the rest of the animal kingdom.


In terms of frontiers explored and utilized, resources controlled and energy sources harnessed, humans are second to none. Humanity has an astounding planetary dominion. This is quantifiable and objective. I know you are trying to argue that human's dominance is a result of their "evolutionary advancedness", and that may be true, but it does not logically follow. In terms of planetary dominance, an extremely distant second place would probably be the Orca. Does this mean the Orca is the second most evolutionarily advanced species on the planet? Why not the chimpanzee which has the closest genetic match to humans on an "evolutionary advancedness" scale, but have a dearth of planetary domain.

To make this an objective criteria, you would need to enumerate some type of metric for "evolutionary advancedness" and compare humans with other species. If they have a larger quantity, then it will be fact. Perhaps I'm just not very creative, but I can't think of what that metric would be. If you could do that, I will concede the point to you.

JaJa wrote:I am also looking for an explanation (from previous posts) about how a mechanism knows anything - what would be the underlying feature/quality of a mechanism that allows it to be selective.


I don't know where you get this from. There is no "knowing" in the mechanism. It just IS. "Knowing" implies sentience acting on the process. This is an inquiry more suitable for Intelligent Design. Not Evolution.


webolife wrote:You both seem to be making relevant, valid, and potentially mutually inclusive points about the Neanderthals, so I'm not sure what you are arguing about.


Thanks, I was beginning to wonder that myself.
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Re: Evolution

Unread postby Aristarchus » Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:55 am

Orthogonal wrote:I already linked to a study on Bacterial E. Coli and its evolution of a gene that enables it to digest Citrate. Something that E. Coli is known NOT to be able to consume. The study shows how evidence of the gene was first found thousands of generations before it became active and dominant in the population. Genome sequencing has begun on samples from before, during and after adaptation. This will be worth following up on when complete.


Your links/studies do not state any empirical evidence for mutations, and this is why the language in them use words like "suggest." What is being found empirically is that information can be lost, rearranged, or added. That is all. Let's look at the abstract of the research you provided following your above statement, paying heed to the emphasis I provided:

The role of historical contingency in evolution has been much debated, but rarely tested. Twelve initially identical populations of Escherichia coli were founded in 1988 to investigate this issue. They have since evolved in a glucose-limited medium that also contains citrate, which E. coli cannot use as a carbon source under oxic conditions. No population evolved the capacity to exploit citrate for >30,000 generations, although each population tested billions of mutations. A citrate-using (Cit+) variant finally evolved in one population by 31,500 generations, causing an increase in population size and diversity. The long-delayed and unique evolution of this function might indicate the involvement of some extremely rare mutation. Alternately, it may involve an ordinary mutation, but one whose physical occurrence or phenotypic expression is contingent on prior mutations in that population. We tested these hypotheses in experiments that “replayed” evolution from different points in that population's history. We observed no Cit+ mutants among 8.4 × 1012 ancestral cells, nor among 9 × 1012 cells from 60 clones sampled in the first 15,000 generations. However, we observed a significantly greater tendency for later clones to evolve Cit+, indicating that some potentiating mutation arose by 20,000 generations. This potentiating change increased the mutation rate to Cit+ but did not cause generalized hypermutability. Thus, the evolution of this phenotype was contingent on the particular history of that population. More generally, we suggest that historical contingency is especially important when it facilitates the evolution of key innovations that are not easily evolved by gradual, cumulative selection.


This is not empirical evidence. It is simply based upon a preferred scientific conceptualization and applying it to the observed data. The latter is demonstrated in the debate and dispute between Darwinists, like Gould, as opposed to NeoDarwinists, like Dawkins. Gould states “punctuated equilibrium." Dawkins deflects by criticizing religion in an attempt to blur the distinctions between Darwinists & NeoDarwinists.

Orthogonal wrote:I don't know the exact source of the FOXP2 gene, but it did evolve over time through mutations many generations before it was activated. Whether that occured in Homo Sapiens or some other hominid and then transferred later, I don't know.


You don't know the exact source of the FOXP2 gene, but you're sure it evolved over time from mutations, and yet, you do not source this contradictory claim? You even punctuate your positing with, "I don't know" - twice. With all due respect, but I believe I must establish at this point in our discussion that we're not even on the level playing field of science, but rather, seeking to identify logical constructs. I must also state that you do provide evidence for one of my main themes and interests about how science comports to conceptualizations and not true observations.

Orthogonal wrote:It is just on a more primitive level among other species.


Really? What other species is seeking questions about its origins or its role in nature on a metaphysical level? What other species defends ideals and ideas? What other species examines the specifics of what constitutes scientific methodology?
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