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  1. Standard member Thequ1ck
    Fast above
    13 Sep '12 09:17 / 2 edits
    I have compiled a series of articles that show how our understanding of lineage and survival-of-the fittest are only aspects to the ongoing forces which are shaping human evolution

    The first article gives a brief synopsis of recent human lineage and a more detailed explanation how the pure chaos of interacting lineages makes the concept of a 'missing link' non-sensical.

    The second two articles give a fascinating insight into forces other than 'natural selection' that have played a crucial role in the evolution of man's cognitive prowess and dextrous abilities.

    HAR elements (Human Accelerated Regions) are highly conserved non-coding regions that underwent rapid evolution about 4 million years ago (the time equated with the emergence of homo-erectus).

    The studies involved show how there was very limited adaptation of these elements before the split between humans and chimpanzees. The following period saw a period of rapid evolution, driven
    by 'fertile' regions of DNA and a strong push toward G-C based preferential bonding. The hypothesis involves an 'emergence' time when preferential adaptivity would create immediate, disparate
    differences in cognitive ability within hominid populations.

    The final article deals with more recent human developments due to the partial duplication of a SRGAP2 gene involved in neuronal migration and plasticity.

    It is believed that a recent relaxation in selective pressures allowed fixation of alleles to partially mimic the action of adaptive evolution.

    EARLIEST MEN, HOMINIDS AND APES

    There are two major groups, or genera of hominids: Australopithecus , which lived between 4 million and 1 million years ago and includes a number of species; and Homo , which appeared around
    2.5 million years ago and includes, Homo habilis , Homo erectus and Homo sapiens (modern man).

    Research by geneticist in the mid 2000s determined that the human genome and chimpanzees are only different by 1.23 percent. The one small percentage difference encompasses 35 million individual
    chemical changes accumulated over the 5 million to 7 million years during which the species evolved apart. Put another way humans and chimpanzees share 98.77 percent of the same genetic material.

    The study of early man has often been posed as a quest for “the missing link.” Most scientists bristle at the term. Tim White, a paleoanthropologist at the University of California, Berkeley,
    told National Geographic, “The term is wrong in so many ways, it’s hard to know where to begin. Worst all is the implication that at some point there existed something halfway between chimp and
    human. That’s a popular misconception that has plagued evolutionary science from the beginning.”

    New discoveries have also debunked theories that human evolution was marked by a series of nice, neat progressions and advancements. Sometimes new discoveries dated to a certain period seem more
    primitive than older finds.

    Scientists have also found genes and specific proteins within genes in greater numbers in humans than chimpanzees that appear to be involved in cortex development and cognitive processes. Among
    these are the DUF1220 protein and segments of genes that have undergone changes at a particularly rapid rate known as “human accelerated regions” or HARs. HAR1 is a gene associated with brain
    development that is at least 310 million years old and is found in chickens as well as chimpanzees and humans. Before chimpanzees and humans split—for over 300 million years—only two of its 118
    chemical “letters” changed. Since chimpanzees and humans split 5 to 6 million year ago 18 letters have changed—indicating that a high degree of change and evolution has occurred in hominids.

    http://factsanddetails.com/world.php?itemid=1493&catid=56&subcatid=360#

    GC-Biased Evolution Near Human Accelerated Regions
    The Human Accelerated Regions (HARs) are strongly conserved elements, ranging in size from 100–400 bp, that show an unexpected number of human-specific changes. This pattern suggests that HARs
    may be functional elements that have significantly changed during human evolution.

    HAR Region Results Are Consistent with Simulations of GC-Biased Evolution

    Human HAR1 and HAR2 both show evidence of specific function, the former by its highly specific expression pattern during neurodevelopment and the latter by its ability to enhance gene expression
    during limb development.

    Consistent with the idea that HAR regions may have experienced positive selection too long ago to be detected with population genetic methods, very few positively selected regions in the human
    lineage have been identified to date, despite the existence of numerous public databases.

    We find that the human substitution rate exceeds the expected neutral rate in all 49 HARs, while this is true for the chimp substitution rate in only 10 HARs.
    http://www.plosgenetics.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pgen.1000960

    Extra gene drove instant leap in human brain evolution

    "There are approximately 30 genes that were selectively duplicated in humans," said Franck Polleux, an expert in brain development at The Scripps Research Institute. "These are some of our most
    recent genomic innovations."
    Interestingly, the novel gene appears to have arisen just as the fossil record shows a transition from human's extinct Australopithecus ancestors to the genus Homo (as in Homo sapiens), which led
    to modern humans. That's also when the brains of our ancestors began to expand and when dramatic changes in cognitive abilities are likely to have emerged.

    If this gene duplication did indeed produce an immediate effect during evolution as Eichler and Polleux suspect, they expect there must have been a fascinating period in human history characterized
    by "huge variation" in human cognition and behavior. SRGAP2 and other human-specific gene duplicates might also help to explain the big differences between humans and other primates, despite few
    apparent differences in our genome sequences.

    Read more at: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-05-extra-gene-drove-instant-human.html


    Creationism - Becuase it's easier to read one simple book than a whole bunch of hard ones.
  2. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    21 Sep '12 01:49 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by Thequ1ck
    I have compiled a series of articles that show how our understanding of lineage and survival-of-the fittest are only aspects to the ongoing forces which are shaping human evolution

    The first article gives a brief synopsis of recent human lineage and a more detailed explanation how the pure chaos of interacting lineages makes the concept of a 'missing lin - Becuase it's easier to read one simple book than a whole bunch of hard ones.
    So there were smart ones amid the dumber, reminds me of the movie with Daryl Hannah, Clan of the cave bear, by Jean Auel. Remember the scene where the shaman is showing her the rocks and counting and she arranges them in series of 5 counting up and the shaman is shocked, saying don't tell this to anyone, this knowledge is dangerous?

    It's interesting that the article cited says the gene duplication happened twice, once 2.5 mil back and before that at 3.5 mil back. Does that mean in the meantime one species went extinct? I wonder what the conditions were, the ecological stresses that happened to cause the change twice like that. So 3.5 mil ago, some semi smart hominids came about then were gone and a million years later the same gene thing happened. That is amazing in itself.
  3. 21 Sep '12 03:15
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    So there were smart ones amid the dumber, reminds me of the movie with Daryl Hannah, Clan of the cave bear, by Jean Auel. Remember the scene where the shaman is showing her the rocks and counting and she arranges them in series of 5 counting up and the shaman is shocked, saying don't tell this to anyone, this knowledge is dangerous?

    It's interesting that ...[text shortened]... n were gone and a million years later the same gene thing happened. That is amazing in itself.
    Might have been social stress too. If there came to be a clan that was just enough more intelligent than the others, then they may have been able to defeat them in war. They could have laid claim to more habitable areas and taken what they wanted from others making their own survival more likely. Maybe they were just smart enough to be dangerous. Wonder when we will evolve out of that stage?
  4. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    21 Sep '12 14:44
    Originally posted by joe beyser
    Might have been social stress too. If there came to be a clan that was just enough more intelligent than the others, then they may have been able to defeat them in war. They could have laid claim to more habitable areas and taken what they wanted from others making their own survival more likely. Maybe they were just smart enough to be dangerous. Wonder when we will evolve out of that stage?
    Considering the low population of proto-humans, I would think the smarter ones would simply find better hunting grounds and stake claims to a homestead area as far from competition as possible. Their intelligence may have worked in that way just as well as implied superiority in new technology. They could have been better at communicating with each other as well, aiding hunting strategies. They could have simply out hunted the competition, winning by attrition.
  5. 21 Sep '12 16:35
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Considering the low population of proto-humans, I would think the smarter ones would simply find better hunting grounds and stake claims to a homestead area as far from competition as possible. Their intelligence may have worked in that way just as well as implied superiority in new technology. They could have been better at communicating with each other as ...[text shortened]... ing hunting strategies. They could have simply out hunted the competition, winning by attrition.
    The smarter ones may have know how to pick up the hot chicks and played the field even in their own clan just after the genetic change.
  6. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    21 Sep '12 21:19
    Originally posted by joe beyser
    The smarter ones may have know how to pick up the hot chicks and played the field even in their own clan just after the genetic change.
    It would have been difficult to do the genetic diversity thing though. You have a single clan of brights amid a bunch of chimps, you do have a problem with inbreeding.
  7. 22 Sep '12 02:45
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    It would have been difficult to do the genetic diversity thing though. You have a single clan of brights amid a bunch of chimps, you do have a problem with inbreeding.
    And after the inbreeding era we end up like we are now. It all makes sense now. Doesnt much matter how many base pairs changed all at once as long as the speech area of the brain developed. Now they could strategize against the enemies. Come up with a plan of attack and defense that all in the clan could understand. Same with hunting and sweet talking the lasses.
  8. Standard member Thequ1ck
    Fast above
    27 Sep '12 08:45
    It's a common misconception in evolutionary biology to assume that adaptive
    changes come about by environmental stressing.

    Indeed it has been shown that as conditions become harsher, it's often the less
    intelligent people that thrive (explains a lot about the welfare situation eh?).

    The HAR regions themselves were expected to have gone through such dramatic
    changes due to a time of relative ease rather than the contrary.
  9. 27 Sep '12 10:07 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by Thequ1ck
    It's a common misconception in evolutionary biology to assume that adaptive
    changes come about by environmental stressing.

    Indeed it has been shown that as conditions become harsher, it's often the less
    intelligent people that thrive (explains a lot about the welfare situation eh?).

    The HAR regions themselves were expected to have gone through such dramatic
    changes due to a time of relative ease rather than the contrary.

    It's a common misconception in evolutionary biology to assume that adaptive
    changes come about by environmental stressing.



    yes, it is not particularly environmental 'stressing' that is an impetus for evolutionary adoptive change but rather when the living thing is forced to live in either a changed environmental or a different environmental ( different from what it is adapted to ) that acts as an impetus for evolutionary adoptive change.



    Indeed it has been shown that as conditions become harsher, it's often the less
    intelligent people that thrive



    haven’t heard of this one. Why could that be true?
  10. 27 Sep '12 11:13
    Originally posted by Thequ1ck
    Indeed it has been shown that as conditions become harsher, it's often the less
    intelligent people that thrive (explains a lot about the welfare situation eh?).
    Which would result in evolution. You seem to have the mistaken impression that evolution=greater intelligence.

    In our current world, poorer people have more children and thus there is fairly strong selection towards those that are poor. Of course this does not mean less intelligent.
  11. Standard member Thequ1ck
    Fast above
    27 Sep '12 12:15 / 1 edit
    yes, it is not particularly environmental 'stressing' that is an impetus for evolutionary adoptive change but rather when the living thing is forced to live in either a changed environmental or a different environmental ( different from what it is adapted to ) that acts as an impetus for evolutionary adoptive change.

    And what of the situation whereby a specific mutation allows an individual or group to alter the environment to better suit their needs?

    Some believe this may be the evolutionary 'dead end' we are travelling towards today with respect to global warming.

    Yet we still consider intelligence to be an evolutionary advancement. Why is that?

    haven’t heard of this one. Why could that be true?

    I'd have to take you on a night out in Essex to really answer that one.
  12. Standard member Thequ1ck
    Fast above
    27 Sep '12 12:31
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Which would result in evolution. You seem to have the mistaken impression that evolution=greater intelligence.

    In our current world, poorer people have more children and thus there is fairly strong selection towards those that are poor. Of course this does not mean less intelligent.
    Personally, I do believe evolution = greater intelligence but that's just my opinion.

    If human's are too stubborn and unintelligent to react accordingly to their environment
    then eventually (and actually relatively quickly) they will get wiped out.
  13. Subscriber 64squaresofpain
    The drunk knight
    27 Sep '12 15:11
    Originally posted by Thequ1ck
    Personally, I do believe evolution = greater intelligence but that's just my opinion.

    If human's are too stubborn and unintelligent to react accordingly to their environment
    then eventually (and actually relatively quickly) they will get wiped out.
    A dumb fat kid walks on thin ice and falls in.... That is just natural selection doing it's work XD
  14. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    27 Sep '12 16:31 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Which would result in evolution. You seem to have the mistaken impression that evolution=greater intelligence.

    In our current world, poorer people have more children and thus there is fairly strong selection towards those that are poor. Of course this does not mean less intelligent.
    No, but poor will invariably mean poor education as well as poor health as well as poor living conditions.

    Occasionally, vary rarely, however, you get this:

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/18/world/africa/maud-chifamba-university-zimbabwe/index.html
  15. 28 Sep '12 13:09
    Originally posted by Thequ1ck
    Personally, I do believe evolution = greater intelligence but that's just my opinion.
    Then you haven't fuilly understood evolution. Evolution leads to greater net procreation rates. It only leads to greater intelligence in so far as its influence on procreation is positive.
    In beetles, for example, it is highly unlikely for more intelligent individuals to be favoured over less intelligent ones; the life of a beetle does not call for a great deal of self-reflection. That energy is better spent catching more aphids or sucking more plant sap. In fish, well, some fish (sharks, for example) need more brains than others, but many more recently evolved species have developed towards large numbers of offspring rather than towards more clever individuals.

    More to the point, in humans, intelligence has served us very well up to now, but it is also unlikely that we will become much more intelligent than we are now; not without some more fundamental changes to our bodies, and for those to happen, there would have to be a reason for those changes to have a positive influence on our procreation and survival before our brains grow bigger. So, unless you can explain why evolution should find an in advance reason to enlarge the opening in a woman's pelvis, I don't think you can look forward to much larger brains for your descendants.

    Richard