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Author Topic: Human Evolution  (Read 3782 times)
cbeast
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June 30, 2012, 10:10:00 PM
 #21

The fossil record does not support the aquatic ape hypothesis.



The fossil record doesn't support most individual species, let alone one as recent as ours. We need to develop genetic sciences to look for patterns in evolution as well.

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June 30, 2012, 10:44:30 PM
 #22

The fossil record does not support the aquatic ape hypothesis.



The fossil record doesn't support most individual species, let alone one as recent as ours. We need to develop genetic sciences to look for patterns in evolution as well.

That stuff is fascinating. The protein I study has been around for 2.1 billion years (since the first eukaryotes), we know this because it is present in yeast, plants, protozoa, animals, etc. Its original purpose seems to be stabilizing folds in cell membranes. If you trace back the history it looks like around 500 mya the gene got quadrupled in the early vertebrates, then around 450 mya, a transposon (like parasitic DNA) happened to cut out some of a sequence from a connective tissue gene and put it in the middle of this ones sequence. At the same time many other genes were also being mutated this way. Soon after this we see adaptive immune systems (antibodies, T-cells, etc) first appear, along with jaws, and increased brain size. Then an additional sequence got inserted at the beginning of one of the 4 copies sometime after primates split from rodents (100 mya). Now humans are trying to deactivate it in people with brain or spinal cord damage, since it stabilizes neural circuits...which is usually a good thing, but not so much in the context of brain damage. Nature didn't plan for a species to have the technology to keep alive so long after sustaining such injuries. So the theory is deactivation could kind of returns the brain to a younger, more plastic state thus allowing it to route around the damage.

The coolest part is you can double check all this yourself for free, or even do your own research, using BLAST.
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July 01, 2012, 02:23:54 AM
 #23

The fossil record does not support the aquatic ape hypothesis.



The fossil record doesn't support most individual species, let alone one as recent as ours. We need to develop genetic sciences to look for patterns in evolution as well.

That stuff is fascinating. The protein I study has been around for 2.1 billion years (since the first eukaryotes), we know this because it is present in yeast, plants, protozoa, animals, etc. Its original purpose seems to be stabilizing folds in cell membranes. If you trace back the history it looks like around 500 mya the gene got quadrupled in the early vertebrates, then around 450 mya, a transposon (like parasitic DNA) happened to cut out some of a sequence from a connective tissue gene and put it in the middle of this ones sequence. At the same time many other genes were also being mutated this way. Soon after this we see adaptive immune systems (antibodies, T-cells, etc) first appear, along with jaws, and increased brain size. Then an additional sequence got inserted at the beginning of one of the 4 copies sometime after primates split from rodents (100 mya). Now humans are trying to deactivate it in people with brain or spinal cord damage, since it stabilizes neural circuits...which is usually a good thing, but not so much in the context of brain damage. Nature didn't plan for a species to have the technology to keep alive so long after sustaining such injuries. So the theory is deactivation could kind of returns the brain to a younger, more plastic state thus allowing it to route around the damage.

The coolest part is you can double check all this yourself for free, or even do your own research, using BLAST.
Tracing retrotransposon signatures endogenous viruses to determine evolutionary migrations is gonna be a lot of work, but I think we will discover interesting anomalies in the tree of life. There is probably more morphological inference than direct evolutionary evidence in what we think are lineages. At the cellular level I'm hoping we do find such basic switches like your protein. I would like to be young for at least long enough to get off this rock and explore the galaxy. BTW, thanks for the link. I may learn more about this subject someday. The only knowledge I have is from a dinner conversation with one of the discoverers of viral retrotransposons endogenous viruses (which fascinated me), but Michael Newdow ended up dominating the conversation.

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July 01, 2012, 06:58:24 PM
 #24

The fossil record does not support the aquatic ape hypothesis.



The fossil record doesn't support most individual species, let alone one as recent as ours. We need to develop genetic sciences to look for patterns in evolution as well.

Oh please not! I have dealt all too often with "genetic sciences" in paleontology. Take the genetic clock as an example to know how NOT to do it...

About the fossil record: If the aquatic ape theory is right then there is of course no fossil record evidence for it since fossilisation is only hard to achieve at the shore.. Also we have a rule of thumb in paleontology: "Non existence as proof is not a proof for non existence". So a LACK of support through the fossil record is no falsification of the theory at all.
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July 01, 2012, 07:31:16 PM
 #25

The fossil record does not support the aquatic ape hypothesis.



The fossil record doesn't support most individual species, let alone one as recent as ours. We need to develop genetic sciences to look for patterns in evolution as well.

Oh please not! I have dealt all too often with "genetic sciences" in paleontology. Take the genetic clock as an example to know how NOT to do it...

About the fossil record: If the aquatic ape theory is right then there is of course no fossil record evidence for it since fossilisation is only hard to achieve at the shore.. Also we have a rule of thumb in paleontology: "Non existence as proof is not a proof for non existence". So a LACK of support through the fossil record is no falsification of the theory at all.
That's what they said about Africa *not* being connected to South America. You offer a 'rule of thumb' as an argumentum ad populum and I really doubt its veracity. No good scientist rules anything out, especially if there is good evidence for it. We need more Stephen J. Gould type scientists.

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July 01, 2012, 08:11:36 PM
 #26

I might add that paleontology gave the best explaination THAT South Afrtica and SOuth america once were connected Wink

Sure noone should never say never.. but as of now i have not seen anything useful coming from genetics aside of a-dna stuff for the past 20k years.. extend that timeframe and genetics become more and more useless and closer to esotherics.. Or to say it differently: How do you think you can extract genetic material from silicified wood or bones?
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July 01, 2012, 09:14:43 PM
 #27

I might add that paleontology gave the best explaination THAT South Afrtica and SOuth america once were connected Wink

Sure noone should never say never.. but as of now i have not seen anything useful coming from genetics aside of a-dna stuff for the past 20k years.. extend that timeframe and genetics become more and more useless and closer to esotherics.. Or to say it differently: How do you think you can extract genetic material from silicified wood or bones?
I was thinking more along the lines of endogenous viruses and their markers in junk DNA. As far as the Africa-South America connections, I learned about plate tectonics in grade school.

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July 02, 2012, 05:07:11 AM
 #28

Thanks for the aquatic ape bit. Never heard of it.

Actually, now that I think about it, I think I came up with it on my own one time when I used to get high.
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