TED Conversations

Sebastian Helenius

This conversation is closed.

Human Evolution

Evolution is one of the most tested theories present in the scientific community today. The fact is that it appears to be hardening into substance - more fact that theory.

Modern evolutionary theory discusses two principle pathways of evolution - punctuated vs. gradualism.

So who are we, the humans?

Our rate evolution is beyond understanding in comparison to pretty much all other species.
Or is it?
I believe that yes it is and that there lies something bizarre hidden in the facts of our evolution.
I short summary of what we have accomplished as since homo sapiens in 50,000 years -

traveled the globe.
settled across the globe.
brutally slaughtered all our relatives or absorbed all other directly related species into our gene pool (theories differ).
developed a diverse network of cultures.
built skyscrapers.
built spaceships.

Now, i hate to sound pretentious but are we not one fantastically competent species? Give yourselves a pat on the back! No, don't. really.

Anyway, the question is how have we achieved this feat of evolution? Other animals require millions of years before they are able to fly.

I would like to hear some opinion.


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Aug 21 2012: A note on terminology. And respect.

    There is nothing in my dictionary that would prevent a theory from also being a fact.

    A fact is a specific instance of objective reality. 'The sun will rise tomorrow' is a fact. People can disagree with the statement 'the sun will rise tomorrow'. People can disagree with "'The sun will rise tomorrow' is a fact." Disagreement does not change objective reality.

    Please do not state that a theory is not a fact as a general statement. This is a matter of understanding the definitions of the terms. Some theories are facts and some are not. The theory of Relativity is not compatible with the theory of Quantum Mechanics, so stating that either of these theories is a fact would be misleading (at least). Acoustic Theory is a fact, and arguing otherwise would have the same validity as arguing that the sun will not rise tomorrow.

    IMO, the Theory of Evolution, as it is understood by most laymen, is a fact. You certainly have the right to disagree with this statement, argue and make a case for why you think this statement is false. I have a right to my opinion as well. In addition to you and me, there is the scientific establishment. The following is a true statement: "Science considers the Theory of Relativity a scientifically established fact." You are still free to argue that the Theory of Relativity is not a fact. If you do make this argument, you should not expect that your opinion will be respected by people who respect science.

    Whether someone respects your opinions or not, WE SHOULD ALL SHOW EACH OTHER RESPECT AS PEOPLE.
    • thumb
      Aug 21 2012: Dear Barry,

      So what is your opinion regarding the 'Theory of Evolution', and forgive me for being a layman?
      • Aug 21 2012: I am a layman too.

        "IMO, the Theory of Evolution, as it is understood by most laymen, is a fact."
        • thumb
          Aug 21 2012: OK. However the point of this debate is to search for ideas regarding reasons for the rate of human advance in comparison to the evolutionary pace of the wilderness.
      • thumb
        Aug 24 2012: If a scientific theory or part of it is correct, it or part of it is correct.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.