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Vera Nova

Director Research Analysis, NOVA Town Futuristic Development

TEDCRED 30+

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Why did not we develop some beautiful, durable fur or feathers to protect ourselves from the harsh weather?

Why did not we develop some beautiful and durable fur or feathers to protect ourselves from the harsh weather, but in stead we keep producing tons of bizarre outfits;

or why did not we develop our sense of intuition for communicating with each other in a long distance, like plants and other living creatures do, but prefer to pile up our places with endless technological devices?

Can we revise our own intelligence in this respect?

How our possibly futuristic progress in developing and improving our own natural sense perceptions and intuition would effect our money-making industries, technology, and the whole mentality towards our success in life as truly intelligent living beings?

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  • Jan 31 2014: Our immediate ancestors practiced something called endurance hunting, which is basically running down prey at low speeds until the prey gets heat stroke and dies. This requires an efficient cooling system, and the absolute minimum in thermal insulation, hence we sweat much more then most animals (and also cool down much more effectively for it), and have very little fur.
    Its a pretty good system actually. Ask any engineer, heating up is easy, its keeping cool that's a problem. It makes much more sense to have a removable insulating layer (cloth, originally animal skins) then it is to have a built in insulating system like fur or feathers. You just take it off when its warm, and build a fire or put on some cloths when its cold.

    You've the same argument for the vast majority of tools. An integrated system is a liability whenever you're not using it; a detachable modular system is usually much better.
    Say you need to get in a fight. Would you prefer an integrated set of fangs (that'll also get in the way when you eat, and aren't very good weapons anyway), or a spear that you could put in the corner once you're done with it?
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      Jan 31 2014: Like your arguments.

      But I see that your example with an overheated-prey method has much more to explain...for instance, the hunted animal is not experienced in this very unusual to it situation, it is overstressed - loses control and strengths quickly then it gets overheated.. etc.

      A Wild hunter would not be so stubborn, unlike humans !! it's “designed” to live within the natural world somewhat in balance.

      While humans do some inventive tricks they waste a ton of energy and clothing, man-made material., chemicals. very unwisely “in a long run” and eventually destroying our own environment.

      Animals can be as Cunning as humans but they do not over-using (abusing) their "methods". Home possum trick is to be able to play dead. He is so reliable it cranks that predators are trying to get around the carcass side. The fact is that in a stressful situation, a small animal falls, remains stationary and starts to stink like a real carrion. Such food is unlikely to be interested in any predator.

      Or - Usually fireflies use their "shining" ability to attract a mate. It is this ability and adopted some predators: they reproduce like shimmer to attract potential victim for his supper.

      Or - Among the turtles there are predators, such as the loggerhead turtle. To hunt the animal uses its pink tongue that looks like a worm. Turtle just opens his mouth, tongue wiggles and waits until some silly fish will fall for the bait.

      It’s also well known: “The main problem for the zoo keeper is the ability of orangutans to open even the most cunning of the locks.”
      • Jan 31 2014: Endurance hunting is less about experience, and more about a very determined hunter and prey that simply isn't well optimized for long distance running. Most animals are built for short bursts of speed, either to chase down prey in the first couple of meters, or escape that same initial rush. Endurance hunting basically uses that optimization against them; its more about cooling mechanism then anything else.
        Ancient humans (and the odd modern tribal human) aren't the only animals to use this method, though it is comparatively rare. Again, its not psychology, prey animals don't just give up once they get tired, its about physiology, a combination of heatstroke and exhaustion. Energy expenditure is an issue, but the high success rate makes up for it (for sprinting hunters, 1 in 4 is considered phenomenal; endurance hunters go much higher).

        You'll notice that in terms of global distribution, there isn't any other animal half as widespread as humans, except perhaps domestic species and parasites/vermin that we bring with us.
        This is precisely because we have very few integrated systems. In such a wide range of environments, there are very few things which would be universally useful. Tools can be adapted to the situation at hand, and discarded once they're not longer useful. With an intergrated system, you're stuck with.

        Evolutionarily speaking, one of the most useful systems are things used to fight and/or hunt. Natural systems are terrible as weapons; a simple stone age spear I could make using nothing but some wood, vines and rocks that lend well to sharpening is superior to a more natural weapon like fangs or claws. I can also use it as aggressively as I like, or even throw it (a method so successful it mostly replaced endurance hunting), because if it breaks or is lost, I'll just make a new one.

        Besides, clothing isn't much of a threat to the environment. Furs may be unsustainable, but woven fabrics are perfectly renewable.
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      Feb 7 2014: The method of endurance hunting is used by wolves too, so why did they kept their fur, especially as their only method of cooling is via panting?

      Humans have both, sweating and panting to cool down and are not even close in endurance compared to wolves ...

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