Paleoanthropologist AMA about evolution | Science | TORN
Paleoanthropologist AMA about evolution
  • NITE The_Opal [2623179]The_Opal [2623179]
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    Thread created on 00:39:07 - 11/12/20 (10 months ago)
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    Last replied 18:55:15 - 18/03/21 (7 months ago)
    Hi, I’m a paleoanthropologist. 


    That’s a scientist that studies human evolution and human fossil species.

    No, not dinosaurs.

    What would you like to know about human evolution?
  •   Cryptameria [2250388]Cryptameria [2250388]
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    Posted on 04:22:27 - 13/12/20 (10 months ago)
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    I would like to hear more. I am on the art history side and am always interested in new research in biology and archeology.
  •   Cryptameria [2250388]Cryptameria [2250388]
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    Posted on 04:23:25 - 13/12/20 (10 months ago)
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    Way cool
  • ~SA~ Sidgar [1828507]Sidgar [1828507]
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    Posted on 04:49:07 - 13/12/20 (10 months ago)
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    Please post short articles/essays targeted to laymen. Start with basic stuff, in general terms and make it easy to understand.
    I, for one, will read and R+. Some new general knowledge is always a delight.

    11:45:34 - 05/07/21 You used 10 energy and 6 happiness training your dexterity in Force Training increasing it by 1,111.11 to 2,307,004.07

    Your sergeant took you on to the rifle range where you hit 1 target using 1 round

    You gained 1,111.11 dexterity

  • HAKA Penetration [2340613]Penetration [2340613]
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    Posted on 05:08:18 - 13/12/20 (10 months ago)
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    Why do you think technology is making us devolve?

    I mean, as a species and individuals we have more access to information then ever before. Yet a vast majority of those with access to this information wouldn't be considered intellectuals by any stretch of the imagination.

    At the same time we are becoming physically less adapt. Most of the technological world has obesity and any number of physical ailments. We know whay causes problems but even as a society we add to the problems rather than solving them, and often accept them on a personal level.

    These decisions are not advantageous to survival in the wild, or in our present society. The potential for good mating is reduced when we are fat, lazy, ugly or stupid. Yet we as a society promote exactly this, while also promoting culture which rapidly uses resources.

    I get how some baser instincts which have been utilized for hundreds of thousands or millions of years could hinder our evolution, but we simultaneously willfully do things which prevent ourselves from being able to adequately feed ourselves, or find a mate, or even be able to function in society when we have always been a social creature.

    I'm interested to hear your take on all of this. Do you think people are devolving, or are we seeing something else?
  • PT SporkMonkey [2065017]SporkMonkey [2065017]
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    Posted on 05:14:46 - 13/12/20 (10 months ago)
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    What causes entitled women to turn into a Karen?

    Edit:
    Kirby2020 disliked your post
    Paleoanthropologist AMA about evolution


    I guess asking this question answers my question.
    Last edited by SporkMonkey on 14:22:09 - 21/03/21
  • NITE The_Opal [2623179]The_Opal [2623179]
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    Posted on 19:58:48 - 14/12/20 (10 months ago)
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    Penetration [2340613]

    Why do you think technology is making us devolve?

    I mean, as a species and individuals we have more access to information then ever before. Yet a vast majority of those with access to this information wouldn't be considered intellectuals by any stretch of the imagination.

    At the same time we are becoming physically less adapt. Most of the technological world has obesity and any number of physical ailments. We know whay causes problems but even as a society we add to the problems rather than solving them, and often accept them on a personal level.

    These decisions are not advantageous to survival in the wild, or in our present society. The potential for good mating is reduced when we are fat, lazy, ugly or stupid. Yet we as a society promote exactly this, while also promoting culture which rapidly uses resources.

    I get how some baser instincts which have been utilized for hundreds of thousands or millions of years could hinder our evolution, but we simultaneously willfully do things which prevent ourselves from being able to adequately feed ourselves, or find a mate, or even be able to function in society when we have always been a social creature.

    I'm interested to hear your take on all of this. Do you think people are devolving, or are we seeing something else?
    There are a lot of assumptions to unpack here, so I’ll answer the main question:

    Are humans devolving?


    No. There isn’t any such thing as ‘devolution’ in biological evolution.

    Evolution isn’t directional. It’s not about tiers, intelligence, or even species fitness. There’s no drive. There’s no hill climbing, upward movement, or downward movement. There aren’t better/worse species, and species aren’t improving themselves. In the history of the study of evolution, and especially human evolution, all of these assumptions have had to be challenged in order to reach unbiased understandings of the science.

    Evolution simply refers to how species have changed over time in reaction to changes around them.

    Are humans changing? We can assume that we are because every species is always changing. Even in stable environments random mutations in genetic codes introduce change. I will assume you’re referring to the past 100-200 years or even less. Except for extreme events which remove large percentages of population from gene pool, species evolution is generally gradual. Hominin species (members of the human family) have been around for 4-6 million years. Most of our study of those species involves studying sometimes absolutely minuscule differences in fossil morphology. In specimens divided by more time than modern humans (the species) have existed.

    Are humans changing assumes we’re discussing all humans. Are all humans changing so significantly that we can see measured changes to skeletal morphology? There’s not enough high quality longitudinal studies to answer that. Let’s say the answer was yes. Is there any evidence that those changes are negative? Well no, because there is, again, no moral value ascribed to evolutionary change. Even if ‘technological’ cultures collapsed, it’s extremely unlikely that all humans would become extinct. Human history has seen repeated cultural collapses, none of which caused human extinction.

    Most of the rest of your post I will leave. Your essay involves a lot of presumptions, which involve moral judgments, the presumed existence of a human cultural golden age or norm that we have deviated from, the presumed existence of a normal/good human health, places moral value on good health/absence of disability, presumes that there is a species wide norm of body mass, etc. As judging culture is inherently non-anthropological, I’ll leave it there.
  • NITE The_Opal [2623179]The_Opal [2623179]
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    Posted on 20:03:19 - 14/12/20 (10 months ago)
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    Sidgar [1828507]

    Please post short articles/essays targeted to laymen. Start with basic stuff, in general terms and make it easy to understand.
    I, for one, will read and R+. Some new general knowledge is always a delight.
    I would recommend Sapiens or The Third Chimpanzee for lay-reading. With the proviso that the thinking may have moved forward since writing of most lay books on the subject. I haven’t read Sapiens myself and I can’t watch most TV shows because I get too annoyed over missed or incorrect tiny tiny details. ?
  • RoC TornFalcon [2042205]TornFalcon [2042205]
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    Posted on 20:25:50 - 14/12/20 (10 months ago)
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    Does our current evolutionary trajectory show we are moving toward technological singularity or a deeper integration between human/machine?

  • NUKE Kaosala [2606412]Kaosala [2606412]
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    Posted on 00:23:51 - 15/12/20 (10 months ago)
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    Chad wow I never knew that's what you did, I'm an archaeologist, my otherhalf is an osteologist.

    🦾 It's no fluke; we are Nuke 👊


  • NITE The_Opal [2623179]The_Opal [2623179]
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    Posted on 02:17:35 - 28/12/20 (9 months ago)
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    Not directly evolution per se, but am putting here because this article is potentially good for how it follows the progression of science as improved equipment and gradual exposure of biases combine over time to improve scientific understanding of biological processes that are more difficult to directly observe. 

    https://aeon.co/essays/the-idea-that-sperm-race-to-the-egg-is-just-another-macho-myth?
  • NITE The_Opal [2623179]The_Opal [2623179]
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    Posted on 02:18:40 - 28/12/20 (9 months ago)
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    TornFalcon [2042205]

    Does our current evolutionary trajectory show we are moving toward technological singularity or a deeper integration between human/machine?
    No.
  •   Refl3xX [1672091]Refl3xX [1672091]
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    Posted on 01:00:16 - 09/01/21 (9 months ago)
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    what do fingers look like?

    Babbbbbsm2bbsmsmrnd

  • NITE The_Opal [2623179]The_Opal [2623179]
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    Posted on 21:46:20 - 09/01/21 (9 months ago)
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    Refl3xX [1672091]

    what do fingers look like?
    Last edited by The_Opal on 21:46:55 - 09/01/21
  • NITE The_Opal [2623179]The_Opal [2623179]
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    Posted on 22:17:40 - 09/01/21 (9 months ago)
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    Fun fact: One of the shared traits of Primates (our phylogenetic family) is that we have fingernails instead of claws, (with the exception of some lemur species which have evolved claw-shaped specialised nails and have a combination of nails and claws. These are sometimes referred to as grooming claws.

    For instance, Daubentonia madagascariensis (common name Aye-aye) where the fingers have evolved to be quite long and thin, with one particularly thin finger which they use for “percussive foraging”: tapping on tree bark to locate grubs and extract them with the long middle digit.



    In captivity, they have been observed eating egg yolks from eggs with this finger.

  • tBP yreew [1989745]yreew [1989745]
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    Posted on 13:24:58 - 16/01/21 (9 months ago)
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    do you think its possible that monkeys like chimpanse/orangutan will be as inteligent as us, in the future?
  • PT ORAN [1778676]ORAN [1778676]
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    Posted on 03:51:57 - 17/01/21 (9 months ago)
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    yreew [1989745]

    do you think its possible that monkeys like chimpanse/orangutan will be as inteligent as us, in the future?
    What makes you think they're not already more intelligent than you?

  •   Refl3xX [1672091]Refl3xX [1672091]
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    Posted on 04:17:32 - 17/01/21 (9 months ago)
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    yreew [1989745]

    do you think its possible that monkeys like chimpanse/orangutan will be as inteligent as us, in the future?

    ORAN [1778676]

    What makes you think they're not already more intelligent than you?
    swoosh

    Babbbbbsm2bbsmsmrnd

  • COVY Styledcurve [2493033]Styledcurve [2493033]
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    Posted on 12:05:37 - 19/01/21 (9 months ago)
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    Do you honestly subscribe to the out of africa theory or do you give any credence to the aquatic ape theory?

    I think the aquatic ape theory has more merit myself.
    We may be the only creature that sweats but that doesnt mean the first logic jump should be that we ran our fur off till pores started secreting saline. To say nothing about our skins water retention abilities which wouldnt have much room to evolve in savannahs. Them elephants and rhinos got much drier skins

    More over as i look at manatees , walrus, dolphins, they all went with skin themselves. Walrus kept its wiskers. Its a fascinating subject for me.

    So where do you sit or swim on the matter?
  • DAM Sepulchrave [2092631]Sepulchrave [2092631]
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    Posted on 09:15:15 - 21/01/21 (8 months ago)
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    The_Opal [2623179]

    Hi, I’m a paleoanthropologist.


    That’s a scientist that studies human evolution and human fossil species.

    No, not dinosaurs.

    What would you like to know about human evolution?
    When I did physical anthro (shortly after the disappearance of the Bering Land Bridge) I spent a good deal of time playing with old bones and writing creative papers on topics such as "The Evolution of Hominid Dentition". (I still have the paper...you'd laugh at its pre-PCR guesswork and naivete). How things have changed.

    Cladistics, cladograms, apo- and synapomorphies, paraphyletics etc., as well as the modern reliance on mathematical models, took me a few years of casual reading to get used to. I was just starting to think I was comfortable with it all, when I encountered the Tattersall vs. Cartman debate. Now I'm not sure what to think. Cartman, to my admittedly out-of-date, under-educated mind, advances a really good argument against the "Big Narrative" view of evolution, whereas Tattersall seems to be on the defensive. Could Cartman be right? Are biologists barking up the wrong (phylogenetic) trees?

    What are your thoughts, if any, on the end of higher taxa, and does it impact, if at all, your field of study?
    Last edited by Sepulchrave on 09:15:28 - 21/01/21

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