TED Conversations

Theodore Holden

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

An rigorous case can be made for the proposition that modern humans cannot be native to this planet.

Hominid eye sockets and nasal areas were much larger than those of modern humans. The huge eyes of hominids and dinosaurs and even a few leftover creatures like lemurs and tarsiers, were adaptations to a very dark sort of a world. In the case of dinosaurs, the large eyes pertained in carnivores and herbivores alike

Humans by way of contrast have the smallest relative eye size of advanced creatures.

If you want to believe that humans evolved from hominids on this planet, you need to believe that some hominid/human-wannabee:

Lost his fur coat while ice ages were going on.
Lost 99% of his sense of smell while trying to make it as a land prey animal
Lost almost all of his night vision at a time when night was the only time of day to be had.

You say that doesn't sound like a formula for success?

If, on the other hand, you prefer to believe that God created modern man fully formed on this world, then there is a question as to whether God would create a creature on a world for which the creature was spectacularly ill-adapted. There's nothing in the Bible about God being stupid....

There actually is a reasonable thesis to be had for human origins, but it does not involve this planet.

0
Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Sep 5 2013: Night vision was removed when our shiny new brain began requiring many more hours of sleep for maintenance, and fire allowed us to see short distances in the dark.
    Jaw musculature was removed because cooked food and butchering knives remove the need for a strong jaw. This allowed our skull to grow to facilitate more brain instead.
    Fur was removed because of a combination of fire and clothing for warmth, both less vulnerable to parasites which fur attracts.
    The foot grew less hardened because of use of shoes, which negate the need to walk barefoot through the wild, and easily exceed the natural design.
    We have no built-in weapons for the reason that even a simple spear or stone axe is easily superior to anything in nature's arsenal.

    Humanity is actually superbly adapted. Its all about the large brain.
    Without it, we're nothing. With it, we just don't need things other animals can't get by without. Though the fossil records indicates quite clearly that the natural solutions and the man made ones all co-existed before the man made ones won out. The fossil record suggests humanity has been using stone tools and discovered how to cultivate fire more than a million years ago, plenty of time for evolution to catch up.

    The evolutionary theory explains the lot of it just fine. There's no need to turn to extra-terrestrial origin stories with no evidence to back them up.
    • Sep 5 2013: Why would monkeys or hominids hunt at night?
      Considering the effect of limited relative mobility, the limiting visual aspects of 'night vision' , necessity to recognize fruits and other plants...

      http://bjo.bmj.com/content/85/12/1405.full
      "The hominids evolved from the Old World monkeys as trichromats, suggesting that trichromacy may have a very important role in primate evolution. "

      What possible benefit or advantage would a 'nocturnal' hominid gain while acknowledging the obvious pitfalls?

      In addition, and again if I'm not mistaken...
      The pineal gland has been there since the beginning for hominids/early man, maintaining adherence to its current wake/sleep cycle with adaptive capabilities in the young to adjust to seasons.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2003/08/19/science/why-humans-and-their-fur-parted-ways.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm

      "Hominids first started occupying areas with few shade trees some 1.7 million years ago. This is also the time when long limbs and an external nose appeared. Both are assumed to be adaptations to help dissipate heat, said Dr. Richard Klein, an archaeologist at Stanford University. Loss of hair and dark skin could well have emerged at the same time, so Dr. Rogers' argument was ''completely plausible,'' he said."

      The 'parasite vulnerability' theory to support both evolution of clothes along with the loss of fur carries little weight. This logic would imply that monkeys and just about every other furry animal should be like humans. Wearing clothes and fire was not the catalyst, those are intelligent effects result of cognitive evolution.

      "The fossil record suggests humanity has been using stone tools and discovered how to cultivate fire more than a million years ago, plenty of time for evolution to catch up.." Nadav Tropp

      Please elaborate... what are you implying?

      Language and Tool-Making Skills Evolved at the Same Time
      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130903102003.htm

      Coevolution
      • Sep 6 2013: On the night issue, if anything, its advantageous to be active during the day.
        Lions, leopards, hyenas and other large African predators are all most active at night. Hunting during the day makes it less likely to need to deal with them. Easy identification of eatable plants also helps.
        In fact, humans are known to have practiced endurance hunting, which specifically requires prey items to get heatstroke before you do (another reason to get rid of your fur), and requires daytime heat.

        As for fur, its primary function is to keep you warm. Once you have clothing and fire for that, you don't need fur, especially considering that cloths can be taken off during the heat. Ask any engineer, its keeping things cool that's a problem, not the other way around.
        As fur does attract parasites, its actively bad to keep it around if you don't need it for insulation. As death due to hypothermia (again, not a problem for homo sapiens in Africa) is worse than parasites, a lot of animals still keep theirs.

        As for what I'm implying with co-existance, let me explain via example.
        Once you get your hands on a knife and fire to butcher and cook meat, as well as eat tough roots, you don't need a strong jaw. A strong jaw requires a fair bit of musculature, which is both energetically expensive in terms of upkeep, and due to skull design limits growth of the brain in future generations. Therefore, evolutionary pressure to get rid of the strong jaw due to the use of tools and fire. As evolution takes time to work, you have a period of co-existence of knives, fire, and a strong jaw, despite the jaw now being obsolete. The fossil record supports this.
        The same is true for any number of adaptations. Human evolution was shaped, partially, through fire and early tool use.

        Language is harder to pin down, as the fossil record doesn't display it. There are plenty of theories here as well, but they all have less evidence.
    • thumb
      Sep 7 2013: "1 day ago: Night vision was removed when our shiny new brain began requiring many more hours of sleep for maintenance, and fire allowed us to see short distances in the dark."

      The huge eye sockets you see in hominid and dinosaur remains correspond to huge eyes, adapted to a world in which the entire middle part of the light spectrum was missing:

      http://saturndeathcult.com/the-sturn-death-cult-part-1/a-timeless-age-in-a-purple-haze/

      Turns out our solar system was originally in two parts, a bright part and a very dark part, and Earth was in the very dark part.

      Schools teach that planets form up from swirling masses of solar material. That being true, you'd expect the spin axes of the planets in our own system to all be roughly perpendicular to the plane of the system. Our sun, Jupiter, and Mercury in fact do look like that, but the others don't.

      http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axial_tilt

      Sun 7.25 (to the Ecliptic)
      Mercury ~0.01
      Venus 177.4
      Earth 23.439281
      Moon 1.5424
      Mars 25.19
      Ceres ~4
      Jupiter 3.13
      Saturn 26.73
      Uranus 97.77
      Neptune 28.32
      Pluto 119.61

      The explanation which the data suggests is as follows:

      Our sun, Jupiter, and Mercury with their near zero axis tilts, amount to an original system.

      Uranus and Venus are special cases with their own separate stories.

      Mars, Earth, Neptune, and Saturn with their roughly 26-degree axis tilts must have comprised a separate small system which was captured by our sun as a group. This would result from flying into the plane of the sun's system in the form of a Herbig/Haro string at a 26-degree angle from the South. Those planets kept the ~26-degree tilt as they began to orbit as they do now.

      Saturn would have been a brown dwarf star and planets (Earth/Mars) orbiting a dwarf star typically do so inside the heliosphere of the dwarf star. Radiant energy would bounce back from that heliosphere to all points of the planet so that you wouldn't freeze, but you'd be living in a deep, dark purple sort of a world.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.