New genetic data shows humans and great apes diverged earlier than thought

Aug 15, 2012 by Bob Yirka report
Male silverback Gorilla in SF zoo. Image: Wikipedia.

(Phys.org) -- In trying to figure out when humans and apes diverged, researchers have had to rely on fossil evidence and the rates of mutations that occur when both groups propagated their species. The problem is, up till now, most of that data can from the analysis of human genetic evidence which was then applied to both humans and apes, which could of course have led to errors as it’s based on guessing that mutation rates in apes are the same as humans. Now, to get around that problem, a team of researchers has gathered genetic data from both chimpanzees and gorillas and has found, as they describe in their paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, that it appears that the two diverged some time earlier than has been thought.

To calculate when a species diverged, researchers look at the average age of members of the species when they give birth and mutation rates. The older the average age, the more time it takes for to cause changes. Insects that produce offspring in a matter of months, for example, can adapt much more quickly to environmental changes than large animals that produce offspring many years after they themselves are born. To find such data for both and gorillas, the research team worked with many groups in Africa that included studies of the animals that totaled 105 gorillas and 226 chimps. They also looked at fossilized excrement that contained DNA data. In so doing they found that the average age of giving birth for female chimps was 25 years old. They then divided the number of mutations found by the average age of birth to get the mutation rate. In so doing, they found it to be slower than humans, which meant that estimates based on it to calculate divergence times were likely off by as much as a million years.

The end result of the team’s research indicates that humans and chimps likely diverged some seven to eight million years ago, while the divergence of gorillas (which led to both humans and chimps) came approximately eight to nineteen million years ago. To put the numbers in perspective, humans and Neanderthals split just a half to three quarters of a million years ago.

The team suggests their research model could also be used to find the divergence points of other species as well, so long as a genetic record can be obtained.

Explore further: Bees able to spot which flowers offer best rewards before landing

More information: Generation times in wild chimpanzees and gorillas suggest earlier divergence times in great ape and human evolution, PNAS, Published online before print August 13, 2012, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1211740109

Abstract
Fossils and molecular data are two independent sources of information that should in principle provide consistent inferences of when evolutionary lineages diverged. Here we use an alternative approach to genetic inference of species split times in recent human and ape evolution that is independent of the fossil record. We first use genetic parentage information on a large number of wild chimpanzees and mountain gorillas to directly infer their average generation times. We then compare these generation time estimates with those of humans and apply recent estimates of the human mutation rate per generation to derive estimates of split times of great apes and humans that are independent of fossil calibration. We date the human–chimpanzee split to at least 7–8 million years and the population split between Neanderthals and modern humans to 400,000–800,000 y ago. This suggests that molecular divergence dates may not be in conflict with the attribution of 6- to 7-million-y-old fossils to the human lineage and 400,000-y-old fossils to the Neanderthal lineage.

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verkle
1.5 / 5 (40) Aug 15, 2012
Let's think out of the box. Maybe, perhaps, humans and apes didn't diverage after all. Maybe they were different to begin with. You don't have to try to prove evolution, or use the unproven theory as a basis for thinking.

Anyway, this article mixes up "mutations" and "adaptation to environment". They are separate.

Adapation to environment happen all the time around us, and it is not from a change in the gene pool.

Mutations are changes or breakages in the gene pool, which do happen some time, like is happening today in animals in the environment around the crippled Fukushima nuclear reactors. But in the thousands of cases observed of such changes, there has never been one which has been advantageous to the species. All have been detrimental to the animals.

Nonetheless, some people still want to believe that beneficial mutations can still happen randomly. There are no observations to back this up.

rod_russell_9
1.4 / 5 (30) Aug 15, 2012
What about when the human and earthworm diverged? Why focus on the chimp? There is no fossil evidence of any divergence from the ape to the human, unless a whole lot of imaginary body parts are penciled in. But earthworm DNA versus human DNA, now there is your evidence of evolution.
JGHunter
3.3 / 5 (7) Aug 15, 2012
What do you suggest instead, verkle? The only two other options are that apes appeared out of thin air, or they came from something else altogether.

You don't have to try to prove evolution


No, but it helps. When there appears to be a row of beads that stops and is followed by two slightly different rows of coloured beads, unless there is a reason to believe one of the rows started off where a yet unproven row of carrots finished, Occam's razor leads us to believe that the change was with the beads.

Pardon me if my use of metaphor was not as clear as it could have been.
JGHunter
4.5 / 5 (16) Aug 15, 2012

There is no fossil evidence of any divergence from the ape to the human


Correct me if I'm wrong, but the human did not diverge from the ape, they both diverged from a common ancestor. That's why apes our considered genetic "cousins", not "fathers", we didn't come from them, we arrived alongside them.

Quite how humanity has developed much faster than any other creature (when you consider what we have achieved, from creating fire to sending people to the moon) is what eludes me. It would be interesting to find out how much extra evolution has been required to get us to where we are now. No matter how hard we learn, if our brains and bodies hadn't changed, we would be unable to pass the abilities down.
rod_russell_9
1.4 / 5 (21) Aug 15, 2012
... When there appears to be a row of beads that stops and is followed by two slightly different rows of coloured beads, unless there is a reason to believe one of the rows started off where a yet unproven row of carrots finished, Occam's razor leads us to believe that the change was with the beads.


... Or, that the guy who made the first set of beads liked them so much, he made three rows of them.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.4 / 5 (43) Aug 15, 2012
Let's think out of the box. Maybe, perhaps, humans and apes didn't diverage after all. Maybe they were different to begin with. You don't have to try to prove evolution, or use the unproven theory as a basis for thinking.
But since apes and humans share 97% of genetic material it is clear that god made us in the image of an ape. Why would he do that? If we resemble god then so do apes. So instead of some floating glowing gassy orb, god must also be very apelike.
There is no fossil evidence of any divergence from the ape to the human, unless a whole lot of imaginary body parts are penciled in.
-And they will repeat this nonsense even after presented with incontrovertible evidence. Because this is the very definition of faith - belief despite evidence.

Religionists have no very good explanations for these things except for the nonsensical ones which make them feel the best. 'We couldn't have come from apes - why just LOOK at them!'
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.2 / 5 (39) Aug 15, 2012
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the human did not diverge from the ape, they both diverged from a common ancestor.
Yes and this common ancestor was an ape. No need to pretty it up.

"Some or all hominoids are also called "apes". However, the term "ape" is used in several different senses. It has been used as a synonym for "monkey" or for any tailless primate with a humanlike appearance."
Quite how humanity has developed much faster than any other creature (when you consider what we have achieved, from creating fire to sending people to the moon) is what eludes me.
Once these apes began to use tools/weapons and became able to hunt the creatures which were hunting them, the only enemies left were fellow weapon-wielding apes. Tribal warfare became the main driver of human development.

Those tribes best at cooperating, communicating, scheming, and anticipating enemy actions would prevail in conflict, and won reproductive rights. War began selecting for large brains and tribalism.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (40) Aug 15, 2012
Technology-based tribalism accelerated wildly. This can really no longer be considered evolution. These advantages were cultural, not genetic and have no precedent in nature.

Brain size increased so quickly that human physiology didn't have time to adapt. Childbirth is a very painful and precarious affair. Human babies are born premature because the pelvis is not wide enough to accommodate human heads. The baby emerges face-down and so requires a midwife. It is weak and helpless in comparison to other animals as it's brain continues to grow until it's skull can solidify.

The human brain is delicate and energy-hungry. It is prone to damage and defect, and begins to deteriorate shortly after adolescence. It is a system pushed to perform far beyond it's natural limits, and very few function reliably for any extended period of time.

This is the result of unnatural selection over an insufficient period of time. It is akin to husbandry as opposed to evolution.
rod_russell_9
1.2 / 5 (23) Aug 15, 2012
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the human did not diverge from the ape, they both diverged from a common ancestor.
Yes and this common ancestor was an ape. No need to pretty it up.


And no need to prove it, either. Take it on faith.
JGHunter
2.3 / 5 (3) Aug 15, 2012
But since apes and humans share 97% of genetic material it is clear that god made us in the image of an ape. Why would he do that? If we resemble god then so do apes. So instead of some floating glowing gassy orb, god must also be very apelike.


We're not [i]that[/i] like apes.

And no need to prove it, either. Take it on faith.


Science is nothing if not evidence based.

foolspoo
1.8 / 5 (5) Aug 15, 2012
Quite how humanity has developed much faster than any other creature (when you consider what we have achieved, from creating fire to sending people to the moon) is what eludes me

as far as my understanding goes, our advances have been astronomical, but they were incredibly slow until we settled from our nomad lifestyles. this is, what i read, when the brain started to enlarge as well
rod_russell_9
1.1 / 5 (29) Aug 15, 2012
Science is nothing if not evidence based.


Then, evolution science is nothing. It is based solely upon a strong, abiding faith and similarities of appearences.
Deathclock
3.9 / 5 (18) Aug 15, 2012
Science is nothing if not evidence based.


Then, evolution science is nothing. It is based solely upon a strong, abiding faith and similarities of appearences.


You don't know the evidence, despite the fact that I'm sure it's been explained to you plenty of times...

There is TONS of evidence, I have studied some of it personally. Where did you go to school and who was your biology professor? (I'm not talking about high school...)
Dark Star
4.3 / 5 (12) Aug 15, 2012
Let's think out of the box.


You have to understand what the box is before you think in or outside of it. I don't think you have the necessary understanding, as evidenced by your comments.

Anyway, this article mixes up "mutations" and "adaptation to environment". They are separate.


Where is your evidence for that? What mechanism of adapation do you propose that does not have a genetic determinate? (that includes known epigenetic factors)

But in the thousands of cases observed of such changes, there has never been one which has been advantageous to the species. All have been detrimental to the animals.


Absolutely false, addressed 1000's of times now to the point that I call this a willfully ignorant, if not purposeful, misrepresentation of fact.

E coli cit genetic variant being one example.

See Talk Origins creationist claims CB101, CB101.1, CB101.2, CB102 and numerous other sources and cases.
JGHunter
2 / 5 (4) Aug 15, 2012
Thanks deathclock. I didn't pay attention in school when I was there (yeah I know I wasted my first opportunity), I didn't learn about evolution, but even I know there is plenty of evidence out there.
Dark Star
4.3 / 5 (16) Aug 15, 2012
Science is nothing if not evidence based.

Then, evolution science is nothing. It is based solely upon a strong, abiding faith and similarities of appearences.


I know right! I mean, when I see a big old skull with giant horns sticking out of it I cannot tell if it came from a fly, or a beetle or a longhorn. I mean it's ONLY similarity of appearance, not evidence of a cow that died. And for all we know that cow is still alive--sure an isolated skull of only bone is SIMILAR to a dead cow skull but we cannot know anything from a skull because it might only be similar.

Do you creationists really not see the absurdity of the positions you hold?

Skeletal, fossil, DNA, geologic timeline, radiometric dating & other data collected in TENS OF THOUSANDS of scientific papers by educated experts in the field... but oh no, Joe Bible Thumper knows better than those silly PHDees because his interpretation of an ancient book that says the Earth is immobile says otherwise.
rod_russell_9
1.1 / 5 (28) Aug 15, 2012
... Skeletal, fossil, DNA, geologic timeline, radiometric dating & other data collected...


What skeletals of transition species exist? None! What fossils of transitions exist? None! DNA is totally consistent with intelligent design and only superficially so with evolution. Geologic timelines are like three blind men analyzing different parts of an elephant. Radiometric dating does not support evolution over intelligent design.
Deathclock
3.7 / 5 (24) Aug 15, 2012
What skeletals of transition species exist? None!


The notion of "transition species" is faulty, the transition is continuous across many generations of individuals, not sudden. But... there are fossils that show transitional forms, Tiktaalik to name one of hundreds.

The real question is, how much time have you devoted to studying this topic before you deigned to speak about it as if an authority?
Deathclock
3.6 / 5 (25) Aug 15, 2012
I answer your question, you give me a 1 vote... makes sense to me.

You are shameful.
rod_russell_9
1.2 / 5 (21) Aug 15, 2012
... there are fossils that show transitional forms, Tiktaalik to name one of hundreds.


Tiktaalik was not a transitional. Trackmakers have been found that reportedly were 18 million years earlier than Tiktaalik. See, e.g., www.physorg.com/n...810.html So, thus far, you haven't named any.
Deathclock
3.5 / 5 (24) Aug 15, 2012
Do you know anything about tiktaalik? Do you know that it had both gills and lungs?

What the fuck do you call that if not a transitional form between fish and amphibians?

Why does it matter that something like it existed earlier? How does that mean it's not evidence of the transition for sea life to land life? You make no sense...

You take the evidence that exists, you run it through your filter of pre-conceived notions, and you come up with exactly what you want in order to maintain your fucking stupid beliefs.
Deathclock
3.4 / 5 (22) Aug 15, 2012
Childish, all the 1 ratings in the world don't make you right, they make you childish.
rod_russell_9
1.3 / 5 (20) Aug 15, 2012
Do you know anything about tiktaalik? Do you know that it had both gills and lungs?

What the [obscenity deleted] do you call that if not a transitional form between fish and amphibians?


Frogs have gills and lungs. I would not call a frog a transitional form.
kochevnik
3.4 / 5 (15) Aug 15, 2012
@fraud_hustle_lying Frogs have gills and lungs. I would not call a frog a transitional form.
Of course, because you have no qualifications whatsoever to do so.
Deathclock
2.9 / 5 (15) Aug 15, 2012
Do you know anything about tiktaalik? Do you know that it had both gills and lungs?

What the [obscenity deleted] do you call that if not a transitional form between fish and amphibians?


Frogs have gills and lungs. I would not call a frog a transitional form.


Really? Because we have fish that exist solely underwater, and then we have land animals that exist solely on land... amphibians exist either in the water or on the land, their choice... sounds like a transition to me.

Do you know what transition means?
rod_russell_9
1.2 / 5 (18) Aug 15, 2012
@fraud_hustle_lying Frogs have gills and lungs. I would not call a frog a transitional form.
Of course, because you have no qualifications whatsoever to do so.


OH, so you think the frog IS a transitional form. Interesting. I shall await your peer-reviewed paper on that.
rod_russell_9
1.3 / 5 (16) Aug 15, 2012
... Because we have fish that exist solely underwater, and then we have land animals that exist solely on land... amphibians exist either in the water or on the land, their choice... sounds like a transition to me.

Do you know what transition means?


Yes, I do know what a transitional form is. A modern amphibian is not a transitional form from a sea to land animal.
Scientist_Steve
4.2 / 5 (10) Aug 15, 2012
@rod_russell
I think you are a troll, but I will bite and engage in a friendly conversation. If we subscribe to ID and assume that an amphibian was Designed to fill two niches (which is a brilliant Design), whereas an aquatic species was confined to only one, where is the logic in that? When the aquatic species is faced with environmental pressure (lake drying up), they will die because they cannot occupy another environment. Why would an intelligent creator favor one species and not another>?
rod_russell_9
1.2 / 5 (23) Aug 15, 2012
...Why would an intelligent creator favor one species and not another?


Intelligent design does not ask or answer "Why?". It just gives the most plausible, rational explanation of what is observable, without any pre-conceptions or
prohibitions.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.3 / 5 (35) Aug 15, 2012
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the human did not diverge from the ape, they both diverged from a common ancestor.
Yes and this common ancestor was an ape. No need to pretty it up
And no need to prove it, either. Take it on faith.
There is more than enough evidence that gives us confidence that it is true. But your faith wont let you even consider the evidence, because faith b definition is belief DESPITE evidence, is this not so?
Trackmakers have been found that reportedly were 18 million years earlier than Tiktaalik
-This would be many many millions of years before creation wouldnt it??
DNA is totally consistent with intelligent design and only superficially so with evolution.
No its not. You recite screed without any thought. DNA would be evidence only of a totally inept and bumbling creator.
What fossils of transitions exist? None!
All species are 'transitional' including us. None are static because they respond to constantly changing environments.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.3 / 5 (36) Aug 15, 2012
...Why would an intelligent creator favor one species and not another?


Intelligent design does not ask or answer "Why?". It just gives the most plausible, rational explanation of what is observable, without any pre-conceptions or
prohibitions.
Well sure. It says 'God did it all'.

Religionists seem to resent things which are more complicated than they can understand. 'God did it all' is a convenient way around this uncomfortable situation. It allows them to retain the authority they need with which to bully their families and friends.

How else are you going to keep your kids from marrying outside the faith, and your wife pumping out babies far beyond the age where it is safe to do so? And your sons from becoming scientists and antireligionists for god sakes??

Faith is strongly authority-based.

This is why religions tend to be so nonsensical. Re the trinity. This is why the gospels all differ. Why? 'Because god did it. Of COURSE it makes no sense'.
rod_russell_9
1.2 / 5 (19) Aug 15, 2012
... -This would be many many millions of years before creation wouldnt it??


Obviously.

... DNA would be evidence only of a totally inept and bumbling creator.


You are displaying your ignorance of the complexity of DNA. It is more intricately designed than the most complicated computer program yet designed.

All species are 'transitional' including us. None are static because they respond to constantly changing environments.


That comment is just an avoidance from answering the question that was asked: Where are any fossilized transitional forms which lead from primordial slime to the human?
jsdarkdestruction
3.2 / 5 (18) Aug 15, 2012
why do you guys bother? he's not going to learn anything or change his views. they are totally faith based and all the evidence in the world wont convince him.....waste of time. his kind is getting rarer and rarer and soon will go extinct as humanity overcomes its religious dogmas of the past. thanks to evolution of our species no less.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.3 / 5 (33) Aug 15, 2012
You are displaying your ignorance of the complexity of DNA. It is more intricately designed than the most complicated computer program yet designed.
Ahahaahaaa say something else funny.
Where are any fossilized transitional forms which lead from primordial slime to the human?
The term 'transitional forms' is an example of religionist obscurantism. Propaganda. Species are in a constant state of flux due to mutation and stress. Including us. When subspecies diverge to a great enough extent they can no longer comingle. Voila! A new species is born.

YOU search around with an open mind and you will find more than enough evidence to convince you to surrender the drug that is your faith. Warning - it might not feel so good. Truth hurts.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (30) Aug 15, 2012
why do you guys bother?
Its fun?
he's not going to learn anything or change his views. they are totally faith based and all the evidence in the world wont convince him...waste of time. his kind is getting rarer and rarer and soon will go extinct as humanity overcomes its religious dogmas of the past. thanks to evolution of our species no less.
Religion is DANGEROUS. It is time for all who KNOW this to take a stand and DENOUNCE all superstition before it kills us all.

You do understand that this is what religion is DESIGNED to do dont you?

You read what these people have to say. They would END scientific enquiry, and are actively trying to make this happen. ALL of them. No matter how benign at the moment, the will one day SOON be angry and scared enough to radicalize.

This is the nature of overgrowth. This is what they ALL thrive on. They have been selected through unending conflict to excel at this.

"...fill up the earth..." - "with more of us and fewer of them."
jsdarkdestruction
2.4 / 5 (14) Aug 15, 2012
i just dont see them as a threat to be honest. i dont know, i might be a bit younger than you but people like him are a dying breed. rational people already see its nonsense and their(the religious dogmatists) ranks are shrinking quickly as they die are not replaced. theyve already lost the battle. what do you think they are going to do when they get scared and radicalize? they are already that way imo....this clutching at straws trying to attack science on some out of the way science site is evidence of their desperation and the fact they are in truth powerless to stop the inevitable ending of religious dogmas they so desperatley cling to.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.8 / 5 (29) Aug 15, 2012
The world is getting ready to explode.
http://world.time...th-iran/

-This is the fault of religion. This is because people like rod and kevin who think that the current peace in their little part of the world means that their faiths are benevolent. They read their books selectively just like they read the articles here.

THEY think that both science and their books should guarantee them that they are SPECIAL. Their books certainly tell them this. But when science disagrees they begin to get a little testy dont they?

This is THEIR world because god said so. He told THEM to fill it up, not heathens, not infidels, and certainly not unbelievers.

But then all the gods say these things dont they?
i just dont see them as a threat to be honest.
Religionism is all one thing. One sect supports the other. They all agree that god exists, they only disagree on who he loves best.
Estevan57
1.8 / 5 (33) Aug 15, 2012
It sounds like Otto is the victim of priestly diddling....
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.7 / 5 (30) Aug 15, 2012
It sounds like Otto is the victim of priestly diddling....
Hey esai got anything relevant to say or have you just become a vandal like so many? Even your little godman taught us to turn the other cheek. But then he said that all who did not believe in him would roast for eternity. Whats up with that? Does god want us to be BETTER than him?

Anyway have a nice day.
rod_russell_9
1.2 / 5 (19) Aug 15, 2012
... The term 'transitional forms' is an example of religionist obscurantism. Propaganda. ...


Well, then, Darwin, who used that term often, must have been a religious obscurantist.

If y'all keep eliminating your evolutist icons, you're going to have to count on faith alone.
Estevan57
1.8 / 5 (35) Aug 15, 2012
I have become Your Special Vandal, Otto.
My little godman? No thanks, dont stick that on me little godhate man.
Roast if ya wanna. Why ask me about God? Looking for a reason to rant?
No denial on the diddling I notice... Musta hurt you.
Have a nice day.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (32) Aug 15, 2012
Well, then, Darwin, who used that term often, must have been a religious obscurantist.
Indeed. I wonder what he would say today?

"Note that the nostril placement in Aetiocetus is intermediate between the ancestral form Pakicetus and the modern gray whale an excellent example of a transitional form in the fossil record!"
http://evolution....lines_03

I wonder what Aetiocetus would say if we could travel back in time and ask him whether he was a transitional form or not. If he understood evolution he would probably say 'Of course!' Just like us.

Darwin I bet had the confidence in his theories to conclude that we were not some final perfected iteration as godders would have us believe, but only a step toward something else.

Right?
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.8 / 5 (31) Aug 15, 2012
I have become Your Special Vandal, Otto.
My little godman? No thanks, dont stick that on me little godhate man.
Roast if ya wanna. Why ask me about God? Looking for a reason to rant?
No denial on the diddling I notice... Musta hurt you.
Have a nice day.
So... youre really paying your niece to downrate me? Isnt that corrupting her morals a little bit? I think it is. Pretty sad esai.
Estevan57
1.7 / 5 (34) Aug 15, 2012
Morals, Otto? Isn't that a bit holier than thou?
Sad is sockpuppets, Otto1923, OttoMagnificent, etc.
Don't believe everything you read, diddlepuppet.
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
4.6 / 5 (9) Aug 15, 2012
It is interesting to see that chimp generation times are comparable with humans.

But the neatest thing is that all the old hominin fossils now will reside comfortably within the split time, increasing the resolution towards the split. If they only could find more chimp ancestor fossils...

@ JGHunter:

"Quite how humanity has developed much faster than any other ... is what eludes me."

Development is individuals, evolution is populations. And it is unclear if we have evolved faster, chimps have a lot of traits our common ancestor lacked such as knuckle walk. These are modern rates.

Today we are among the fastest evolving animals simply because our population is so large. Then very small fitness differences can be picked up and if successful alleles "sweep" large nearby areas of chromosomes with. There are evidences of many late such sweeps, and some are partially fixed (lactose tolerance several times, sickle cell anemia against malaria et cetera). [Google John Hawks works.]
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
4.6 / 5 (9) Aug 15, 2012
@ Creationists should comment on science, it is hilarious to see.

Here the anti-science denialists comes out in force, precisely because improved science threatens their preconceived dogma made out of empty air.

Evolution is a well observed fact. Creationism has no mechanism so can never be a theory - it is Not Even Wrong.

Transitional fossils are misunderstood by many and misused by creationists, they simply signify lineages spanning biological transitions. Many such are known, such as tetrapods before and after transition to land, whales before and after transition to sea, hominids before and after transition to bipedal walk.

No fossils are "missing" as long as we can resolve such transitions into the usual tree of nested traits. If they were missing, we wouldn't know that tetrapods were our ancestors et cetera. And the observation of the tree, evolution, doesn't depend on specific fossils.
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
4.2 / 5 (10) Aug 15, 2012
Mostly, since genome sequencing has come about, we don't need fossils to tell us how the tree is structured as much as for dating the splits, at least for extant lineages. Sure, it is still useful, but the genetics is more ground truth.

But expect the anti-scientists keep on drumming on methods abandoned, because they a) can't keep up, b) will misuse what they can pick up and throw around as so much monkey feces.

Well, at least scientists have split off from monkeys. Dunno about the creationists tho'. =D
Jaeherys
4.2 / 5 (5) Aug 15, 2012
There is a major disconnect between the cells that make up an organism and the organism itself, that I think is quite detrimental to the understanding of evolution as a whole. It's amazing how varied different organisms can look but once you view them on a cellular level (assuming you compare similar or same cell types) the similarities are blatantly obvious.

I love using the progression from village to town to city to metropolis to illustrate evolution and just general cell function. The cell has similar functions to a city like energy production, waste treatment, transportation, material production, hierarchical control, protection, etc, etc. With the analogy of a small village to city, the small village does some of the same things a city does but in small scales and with a much greater vulnerability to the environment. For example, with no fire department, a whole village could burn down from one small fire; the fire is analogous to viruses or bacteria for example.

con't
Jaeherys
4 / 5 (4) Aug 15, 2012
So as the village grows, not only does it add on to its overall functionality, e.g. a fire department, but the previous functions go through iterations of change and hopefully improvement, ie. the progression from much less protective fire suits from 80 years ago to modern fire suits. The fire department could be represented by changes to the cell membrane or associated/embedded receptors and proteins that help protect the cell from damaging organisms (eg rival tribe) or molecules (brush fire, flood, etc).

A neat aspect of this analogy is that cities that exist today that started many, many years ago, normally still have parts of the original city in them. This is analogous to the additive behaviour of mutations and genetics.

The main point of this is simple though, the village increases its functionality to protect itself from the environment in order to survive and this happens as the city grows in size, analogous to the evolution of some small prokaryote to very large eukaryotes
Deathclock
2.6 / 5 (15) Aug 15, 2012
I've noticed on this site that the creationists always get the first word, but the rational individuals who know what they are talking about get the last, and for that, at least, I am thankful.
PinkElephant
4 / 5 (6) Aug 15, 2012
@Otto,
Tribal warfare became the main driver of human development. Those tribes best at cooperating, communicating, scheming, and anticipating enemy actions would prevail in conflict, and won reproductive rights. War began selecting for large brains and tribalism.
Chimps use tools, live in tribes, cooperate, communicate, scheme, and engage in warfare. Oddly, over the last 8-9 million years their brains have not ballooned like those of humans.

While not tool-users, wolves and lions (to name but a couple) are at the top of their respective foodchains, live in tribes, cooperate, communicate, and engage in warfare. Though much older species than any hominids (with far more time to have evolved sophisticated brains), next to a chimp both are dumb as a box of bricks.

Many would say a typical elephant is far more intelligent than a typical wolf or lion. But they don't engage in tribal warfare, and are not territorial. Worse still, they're vegetarians. (The horror! The horror...)
PinkElephant
4 / 5 (4) Aug 15, 2012
ctd.

Not to play into the hands of the resident creationists; my point is that evolution is not a logical and directed "arrow of progress" with us modern humans as the inescapable "apex". Evolution only occurs insomuch as a species is fortunate enough to receive a particularly beneficial mutation into its gene pool at an appropriate moment in time. Just because it faces one pressure or another from its environment, doesn't necessarily mean it will adapt to it (rather than just continuing to bear its brunt), more so if such adaptation would decrease fitness along some other important dimension.

The origin of our oversized brains (compared to chimps) may lay in the fact that our ancestors didn't remain jungle-bound, venturing into the open savannas and deserts, evolving bipedalism and opposable thumbs in the process and eating more meat (or conversely, mutations in the direction of bipedalism and opposable thumbs forced them out of the jungle and into the savannas and deserts...)
PinkElephant
3.7 / 5 (3) Aug 16, 2012
ctd.

As for war shaping and molding humanity (as is your tireless refrain), consider this question: who bears more offspring, the compulsive warriors who go to die in battle, or the goat-herders who stay behind (with all the women)? Yes, yes there's rape in war, but the odds of a woman getting impregnated from just a single mating are rather small (all incidental anecdotes aside), and more likely than bearing the conqueror's progeny she's apt to be murdered after or during the rape (or to die of her injuries or of starvation or of disease at some later time.) If war-like societies bred more offspring (a direct measure of fitness within the larger population of the species), they'd be the ones with the worst overpopulation problems. The world would be overrun by the Spartans and the Amazons. But it's the humble peasantry of China and India who handily outbred the various erstwhile world-conquerors.

War is a factor, but it's not THE factor. Our bodies are not combat-optimized.
Shabs42
4.2 / 5 (5) Aug 16, 2012
Where are any fossilized transitional forms which lead from primordial slime to the human?


I was going to type out a long response, but I'll just do this instead:

http://en.wikiped..._fossils
JGHunter
2 / 5 (7) Aug 16, 2012
I used to think ratings on here were of value.

I now realise that ratings are given depending on the basis of disagreeing, regardless of your ability to reason. I swear on numerous occasions I have been downrated for nothing more than disagreeing with interpretations.
Bog_Mire
3 / 5 (8) Aug 16, 2012
JGHunter - if you don't feed the trolls they will try and feed on you. Either way I recommend ignoring them - as you can see they eventually fade away to a whimper anyway!

As one younger poster pointed out, ID nuts and creationists are on the wane and despite Otto's claims of their inherent danger he does tend to see danger in most things.......gotta admire the boy's enthusiasm though!
rod_russell_9
1.2 / 5 (17) Aug 16, 2012
I've noticed on this site that the creationists always get the first word, but the rational individuals who know what they are talking about get the last, and for that, at least, I am thankful.


You only think you get the last word. You have not heard the last word yet.
Deathclock
3.3 / 5 (21) Aug 16, 2012
You only think you get the last word. You have not heard the last word yet.


By which of course you mean your horrible god is going to condemn me to an eternity of torture because I used the free will he gave me to question his existence?

Here is my impression of your god:
"Here you go guys, have some free will, so you can do as you please"

"Wait a minute, you aren't acting the way I want you to? Time to flood the entire Earth and kill all of you."

"Oops, that was a mistake, I just raged for a minute there, here's a rainbow as a sign that it will never happen again."

- fast forward-

1755: "100,000 people die in tsunami"
1887: "2,000,000 people die in flood"
1908: "123,000 people die in tsunami"
1931: "3,500,000 people die in flood"
1938: "600,000 people die in flood"
2004: "300,000 people die in tsunami"

Your god is a piece of shit... Give people free will, kill everyone for not acting the way you want, promise it will never happen again, happens all the time...
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (26) Aug 16, 2012
Chimps use tools, live in tribes, cooperate, communicate, scheme, and engage in warfare. Oddly, over the last 8-9 million years their brains have not ballooned like those of humans.
?? Humans and chimps diverged and inhabited different niches. Obviously, chimps didn't need spears to be successful in their niche. Humans hunted all close competitors to extinction.
Not to play into the hands of the resident creationists; my point is that evolution is not a logical and directed "arrow of progress" with us modern humans as the inescapable "apex".
We crossed a threshold in weapons use. At this point culture became the force behind human development.
Evolution only occurs insomuch as a species is fortunate enough to receive a particularly beneficial mutation into its gene pool at an appropriate moment in time.
Evolution for us ended with tool use in the same way it ended for the animals we domesticate. Our cultures direct both.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (26) Aug 16, 2012
The origin of our oversized brains (compared to chimps) may lay in the fact that our ancestors didn't remain jungle-bound... eating more meat
Hunting animals is easy. Hunting humans who are hunting you in turn, is hard. Brains which could organize others, anticipate enemy movements, devise complex tactics, and refine weapons would tend to prevail over others.

These are cultural aspects. We don't have to evolve better claws and fangs to help us hunt - we can improve our weapons and methods of using them, which is MUCH FASTER. Those whose brains were better at these things were selected for.
War is a factor, but it's not THE factor. Our bodies are not combat-optimized.
-Because they dont HAVE to be do they? Brains trumps brawn. All of war is deception. David slew Goliath. Etc. Apes are strong but they are no match for blowguns.

Resources which in apes go to support muscle, in humans go to support our energy-hungry brains.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (28) Aug 16, 2012
As for war shaping and molding humanity (as is your tireless refrain), consider this question: who bears more offspring, the compulsive warriors who go to die in battle, or the goat-herders who stay behind (with all the women)?
Well of course the warriors who overrun the goat-herders and ASSIMILATE all their women. This was the NORM throughout all of human development.
odds of a woman getting impregnated from just a single mating are rather small
God directed Joshua to kill all the people in a particular town save for all the young virgins, which they were told to assimilate. Marauders are people too. Vikings had families. They were only trying to earn a living.

Humans ARE optimized for combat. We can run nonstop for hours which is essential for outflanking and ambushing an enemy. We can throw spears and rocks overhand very accurately. We can devise and communicate intricate directions and info. These ALL developed specifically for combat, and as a direct result of it.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (26) Aug 16, 2012
If war-like societies bred more offspring (a direct measure of fitness within the larger population of the species), they'd be the ones with the worst overpopulation problems... But it's the humble peasantry of China and India who handily outbred the various erstwhile world-conquerors
I often wonder how you developed such a myopic view of humanity and it's history. You have this backwards; the cultures with the greatest propensity for overgrowth are as a result the most warlike. this would of course be the religionist ones at the apex, which were DESIGNED for the Purpose.

There is very little divergence within our species, no doubt from all the overrunning and assimilating we have done. You cite china? Chinese history is RIFE with unending conflict. The taipei rebellion, which killed 20M, and the communist/nationalist conflagration come to mind. And supposedly 1/3 the people in Asia can claim to be descended from ghengis khan, significant evidence for the success of the warlike.
Scientist_Steve
3.3 / 5 (6) Aug 16, 2012
@rod_russell
Sorry I hadn't check the conversation since my previous post. It looks as though its traveled a bit off track since then. Anyways,
per your response
"Intelligent design does not ask or answer "Why?". It just gives the most plausible, rational explanation of what is observable, without any pre-conceptions or
prohibitions."
Correct, but oversimplified a tad. ID, makes the assumption that the simplest and most rational explanation for complex designs that we see like the nervous system, is that they exist and cannot arise without an intelligence behind it. Its does not make (what i would consider) objective observations about complex biological systems, because you DO have preconceived notions about how it was created to begin with. Does that viewpoint make sense to you?
Deathclock
2 / 5 (12) Aug 16, 2012
"Intelligent design just gives the most plausible, rational explanation of what is observable, without any pre-conceptions or prohibitions."
Correct


I know you're just trying to throw him a bone, but saying that statement is in any way correct is too much of a concession.

1) Assuming the existence of an ill-defined perfect all powerful being is not the most plausible or rational explanation... it is perhaps the LEAST plausible and LEAST rational explanation, for anything.

2) You do have pre-conceptions and prohibitions. Your pre-conception is that a being of unimaginable complexity and ability exists when there is no evidence of such a thing, and your prohibition is evidence found from the entire study of all branches of the physical sciences.

I couldn't make rod_russel's statement any more incorrect if I tried...
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (26) Aug 16, 2012
Morals, Otto? Isn't that a bit holier than thou?
Sad is sockpuppets, Otto1923, OttoMagnificent, etc.
Don't believe everything you read, diddlepuppet.
Lots and lots of sockpuppets here, too bad you find that so disturbing. Only one though who pays little girls to fight his battles for him. Most people would find THAT disturbing. Yes?
Bullshit, your a votebully, committed to nothing but yourself. I am aligned with noone, but your obsessive ego demands otherwise. So I let my neice downvote you. I don't need to bother. 5 cents a vote, thats all you're worth.
-is what esai says. Makes me want to cry.
Scientist_Steve
3 / 5 (6) Aug 16, 2012
@deathclock
Yes, i realized that after i posted (too lazy to fix). I certainly wasn't suggesting that i thought his description of ID was correct. I agreed with some of the terminology his comment contained,just not in the way he represented or stated it. I was only trying to refine his OWN viewpoint. Since he misrepresents the constraints of ID theory numerous times throughout this whole discussion.
Estevan57
2.1 / 5 (35) Aug 16, 2012
Strange you would call downvoting a battle Oddo, since it appears to have been a game of yours for years. Sad is not the same as disturbing. Changing what people say is an all too common tactic in your "battles". Cry if you need to.

So what was this about? http://phys.org/p...ctivity/
Did you make multiple sockpuppets to upvote yourself?
So very close to masturbation, I am disgusted.
rod_russell_9
1 / 5 (9) Aug 16, 2012
... Does that viewpoint make sense to you?


Nope.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.9 / 5 (27) Aug 17, 2012
Strange you would call downvoting a battle Oddo, since it appears to have been a game of yours for years.
Perhaps noob you need a history lesson?
http://phys.org/p...activity

-You will note that all the 'ghostof____' sockpuppets used against otto1923 and soulman were also used against TDK, which is a sockpuppet of the mega-sockmaker zephyr/jigga/alizee/xaero/hodzaa etcetc who was, and is, the venerable dense aether theory guy terriva/et al, and who is still here.

So why would I be downrating myself? Otto was just defending himself. And he wasnt paying little girls to do this for him.

Sockpuppetry is a cultural phenomenon. This 'ghostof__' gangrater team has been used against others as well. If you look at vendicars earlier posts you will see that some of them have been rated 0/0 over 40 times.
So very close to masturbation, I am disgusted.
-They are both fun yes?

I have noticed that people who get slammed here tend to deserve it. This is how we learn.
Objectivist
3.7 / 5 (3) Aug 18, 2012
Let's think out of the box.

That's exactly what Darwin did. Then he helped us all to do the same. Now you're going back to thinking inside the box, silly goose.
packrat
2 / 5 (4) Aug 20, 2012
Just out of curiosity would one of those mudfish or walking catfish qualify as a transitional form? They seem to be slowly switching over from a water creature to a land creature. How long does it take to really happen?
Shabs42
5 / 5 (1) Aug 20, 2012
Pretty much every species is a transitional form, possibly leading into multiple new species. That or they go extinct before they give rise to a new species.

How long it takes is still a matter of some debate. Some believe that evolution works in a mostly straight gradual line; others believe it goes more by spurts. One thing that is sure though is that it is impossible to predict what any species will evolve into without knowledge of an unreasonable amount of variables. One population of mudfish could potentially become a new type of land animal in a couple hundred thousand years, or they could go back to fully being in the water. One population could go one way while another went the opposite direction. It will definitely take too long to directly observe by any human, at least naturally.
omicsjournals
Aug 22, 2012
This comment has been removed by a moderator.