1. Standard memberleestatic
    Hristos voskrese
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    18 Jun '09 20:59
    I know a decent amount about spiders and that nearly all UK spiders are harmless to humans, but i have arachnophobia BIG TIME as do millions of others and i don't understand why.
    A couple of years ago i watched a documentary on the discovery channel that suggested that if spiders could have coexisted as man did that they would more than likely have been the dominant species, now could this be instinctual knowledge passed down through evolution? I'm probably talking crap to most..but you don't learn unless you ask
  2. Standard memberpatauro
    Patricia
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    18 Jun '09 21:13
    Do you mean coexisted with man or coexisted as man??
  3. Standard memberleestatic
    Hristos voskrese
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    18 Jun '09 21:22
    Originally posted by patauro
    Do you mean coexisted with man or coexisted as man??
    as man
  4. Joined
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    19 Jun '09 13:09
    Originally posted by leestatic
    I know a decent amount about spiders and that nearly all UK spiders are harmless to humans, but i have arachnophobia BIG TIME as do millions of others and i don't understand why.
    A couple of years ago i watched a documentary on the discovery channel that suggested that if spiders could have coexisted as man did that they would more than likely have been t ...[text shortened]... down through evolution? I'm probably talking crap to most..but you don't learn unless you ask
    Your second paragraph makes no grammatical sense: co-exist with what? Do you mean if they were social animals?

    I don't think you can make the case that we instinctively knew that they were potential competitors. Firstly, I don't think they ever were (I would need to know far more about the documentary and the science it was reporting to be able to say much more than that) and secondly, we simply don't have those kind of instincts.

    No, our evolved fear is, I think, a consequence of the vast majority of our history being spent in Africa, where there are spiders that could do us harm. So it made sense back then to be wary of spiders (and many other 'creepy crawlies'😉. Since we have spread out of Africa there has not been enough time nore any significant evolutionary pressure to lose our wariness.

    That is, I believe, the current theory and I think you have to make a far stronger case to overturn it. For starters, we need a feasible mechanism how that 'instinctual knowledge' would work and how it could have evolved.

    --- Penguin.
  5. Germany
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    22 Jun '09 16:58
    Originally posted by Penguin

    No, our evolved fear is, I think, a consequence of the vast majority of our history being spent in Africa, where there are spiders that could do us harm. So it made sense back then to be wary of spiders (and many other 'creepy crawlies'😉. Since we have spread out of Africa there has not been enough time nore any significant evolutionary pressure to lose our wariness.
    Nail, head.
  6. Cape Town
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    22 Jun '09 19:42
    Originally posted by Penguin
    No, our evolved fear is, I think, a consequence of the vast majority of our history being spent in Africa, where there are spiders that could do us harm. So it made sense back then to be wary of spiders (and many other 'creepy crawlies'😉. Since we have spread out of Africa there has not been enough time nore any significant evolutionary pressure to lose our wariness.
    I am not convinced that Africa is really relevant. There are dangerous spiders in most parts of the world and it is likely his ancestors encountered some after they left Africa. I suspect too that you are totally on track with the 'creepy crawlies' idea. Most people are simply wary of all creepy crawlies. Interestingly I have no fear of cockroaches but I am still squeamish about touching them.
  7. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    22 Jun '09 20:29
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I am not convinced that Africa is really relevant. There are dangerous spiders in most parts of the world and it is likely his ancestors encountered some after they left Africa. I suspect too that you are totally on track with the 'creepy crawlies' idea. Most people are simply wary of all creepy crawlies. Interestingly I have no fear of cockroaches but I am still squeamish about touching them.
    I don't know. Some people eat spiders with gusto.

    I'm not scared of lethally poisonous spiders -- just very wary of them. However, I am quite likely to shriek if surprised by a large hairy baboon spider, even though it's not lethally poisonous. (Then I have to master my nerves and trap the spider with a glass jar to shake it out in the garden). Is that just irrational or is it something that the baboon spider does?

    My greatest phobia is reserved for centipedes. They truly give me the creeps. But scorpions don't. It's all a bit puzzling.
  8. Joined
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    22 Jun '09 21:29
    Originally posted by leestatic
    I know a decent amount about spiders and that nearly all UK spiders are harmless to humans, but i have arachnophobia BIG TIME as do millions of others and i don't understand why.
    A couple of years ago i watched a documentary on the discovery channel that suggested that if spiders could have coexisted as man did that they would more than likely have been t ...[text shortened]... down through evolution? I'm probably talking crap to most..but you don't learn unless you ask
    Problem with that one: there are social spiders. By far the majority aren't, but take a look at this: http://www.sciencenews.org/sn_arc99/5_8_99/bob2.htm .

    Richard
  9. Standard memberpatauro
    Patricia
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    22 Jun '09 23:30
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I am not convinced that Africa is really relevant. There are dangerous spiders in most parts of the world and it is likely his ancestors encountered some after they left Africa. I suspect too that you are totally on track with the 'creepy crawlies' idea. Most people are simply wary of all creepy crawlies. Interestingly I have no fear of cockroaches but I am still squeamish about touching them.
    So you'd be squeamish about touching them real hard, untill you could feel and hear their exoskeleton crack and brownish/black liquid squirting out on your hands and fingers and the cockroach is still moving and ...........oh god, that is squeamish. Never mind, forget I said that.
  10. Cape Town
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    23 Jun '09 10:45
    Originally posted by patauro
    So you'd be squeamish about touching them real hard, untill you could feel and hear their exoskeleton crack and brownish/black liquid squirting out on your hands and fingers and the cockroach is still moving and ...........oh god, that is squeamish. Never mind, forget I said that.
    I generally only step on the really small ones if I have bare feet. For the bigger ones I prefer to put shoes on first.
  11. Cape Town
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    23 Jun '09 10:51
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    I don't know. Some people eat spiders with gusto.

    I'm not scared of lethally poisonous spiders -- just very wary of them. However, I am quite likely to shriek if surprised by a large hairy baboon spider, even though it's not lethally poisonous. (Then I have to master my nerves and trap the spider with a glass jar to shake it out in the garden). Is ...[text shortened]... or centipedes. They truly give me the creeps. But scorpions don't. It's all a bit puzzling.
    I think our phobias vary, and can be largely controlled or totally eliminated with experience. In Zambia, certain types of caterpillar, flying ants and rat are delicacies. Most people in Zambia are terrified of Chameleons even though they are harmless.
    I once had a pet house snake - totally harmless and less than a foot long, but it still took a lot of courage to pick it up. However, a week or two after I got the house snake my mum walked in on evening with another. She was walking along a path in near darkness, saw a snake crossing the path and picked it up and brought it in the house. Clearly no phobias there.
  12. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    23 Jun '09 10:56
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I generally only step on the really small ones if I have bare feet. For the bigger ones I prefer to put shoes on first.
    The wording of this first sentence seems a little unfortunate ... tiny barefoot bug fetish, anyone? 🙂
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