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Author Topic: Did humans ascend from apes, or descend from immortal ancestors?  (Read 8209 times)

SassyWitchin

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Re: Did humans ascend from apes, or descend from immortal ancestors?
« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2013, 08:52:12 pm »
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Re: Did humans ascend from apes, or descend from immortal ancestors?
« Reply #16 on: February 25, 2013, 09:08:12 pm »
Quote from: SassyWitchin;98424
sound point it's just the When did we lose the ability to do magic part seemed suspicious but I looked at his other threads and the dude don't seem to be trollin :D


Believe me, there are plenty of times I come across a post here and think to myself "that simply must be a troll" and am proven wrong.
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Dark Waters

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Re: Did humans ascend from apes, or descend from immortal ancestors?
« Reply #17 on: February 25, 2013, 10:56:42 pm »
Pentadragon, I am going to give you a first response because you have got a lot of stuff in there, and dealing with different subjects. Then I'll go through the responses and make comments there.

First, the thread title uses the common mistake a lot of people state using the evolutionary theory (remember in science - no matter how many proofs it passes, it is always a theory until it is disproved). Humans didn't come from apes but both came from a common ancestor, just as apes didn't come from monkeys - they had a common ancestor before divergence.

Quote from: pantodragon;98301
When palaeontologists are reconstructing human prehistory and are attempting to fit the various bits of hominid skeletons they have found into some sort of evolutionary story, they use brain size as a measure of intelligence.  They assume that modern people’s very big brains are due to the fact that they are the most intelligent creatures on Earth so that one of the major things they are looking for is the evolution of the big brain.

What puzzles me is the idea that brain size should be a measure of intelligence.


Brain size is a factor, but not the only one in trying to judge intelligence. Brain Mass to Body Mass Ratio, Composition and Organization are others. There are several creatures who have or had brains the size of humans (dolphins and velociraptors for example) and scientists are constantly upgrading how intelligent they think those are.

Look at this photo comparing a pig, dolphin and human brain. You can see the differences in complexity, composition and structure.




Quote
Whales have bigger brains than humans, but, as far as I understand it, that is put down to the fact that they have bigger bodies to control.  But Dinosaurs had notoriously small brains even though some of them could rival whales for size, so that does not seem to tie up.


Depends on the whale and depends on the dinosaur (that notoriously small brain thing has come into question as of late) - but raw size again was not the over-riding factor. Brain to Body ratio is usually the yard stick. A larger body uses more of  a brain's function to control, therefore less is available to raw intelligence. I have not seen where anyone has said that a T-Rex or Alliosaur was a smart as a whale, but likewise it is so far generally accepted that dolphins are more intelligent than whales.

Quote
Then there is the case of the person who led a perfectly normal life, no social or any other problems, and got a university degree, and then it was discovered, I think accidentally, that this person had only a thin layer of brain tissue lining the skull and the rest of the cavity was filled with water.  So this also seems to make nonsense of the idea that a larger brain means greater intelligence.


That is not an accurate representation of the story, check LINK HERE for summary of full study. It wasn't "that this person had only a thin layer of brain tissue lining the skull and the rest of the cavity was filled with water," the study actually showed "instead of the normal 4.5-centimeter thickness of brain tissue between the ventricles and the cortical surface, there was just a thin layer of mantle measuring a millimeter or so. His cranium is filled mainly with cerebrospinal fluid." That is the wrinkled convoluted portion of the brain was very thin over the core portion of the brain. He still had a fair sized brain, but the portion we generally associate with higher intelligence was much thinner (less than 1/4 the size). To me this brings to mind those cases were functions have been rerouted or reassigned after a part of the brain is damaged.

Quote
Then if one considers the world of computers: in the computer world small is beautiful i.e. all the effort is directed towards making computers smaller yet more powerful, and the best computer is the one that achieves the minimum size without sacrificing any power.  Partly, of course, minimization is a matter of the hardware being miniaturised, but that is only part of the story.  The other thing is making the software more efficient, so it’s not just about the amount of hardware the computer has, but how well it uses it.  So, in the computer world, there is no direct link between size and power.


There is a great deal of difference between electronics and biology. We are still trying to match the complexity, storage and abilities of the human brain with an electronic equivalent. And while it is likely your cell phone has more computing power than the whole of the space program when we landed on the moon, and despite the monkier "smart phone", I don't think anyone would claim a Blackberry is as smart as a human. Also there are all the things like intuition and imagination which we are not sure can be programmed yet.

Quote
There is a series of children’s fantasy books called The Astrosaurs, by Steve Cole, in which the dinosaurs left the Earth before the meteorite hit.  They supposedly developed space travel and are now living and going on evolving in some other region of the galaxy.  In the introduction the author explains this achievement by saying that, though the dinosaurs had small brains, they used them well.


Well, first it's fantasy, so normal rules don't really apply - but structure and density can be a greater factor than size. However, while it is now generally accepted that dinosaurs were (for the most part) very smart for reptiles, they were still below mammals on that ladder.

Quote
I wonder, then, if there is any justification for thinking that the big brain of humans has anything at all to do with intelligence.  And if one discounts the relationship between intelligence and brain size, I wonder where that will leave palaeontology.


Again it is not just size, but BtB ratio, complexity and structure that are factors. Humans have (so far as we seen) the largest BtB ratio, no heightened senses or extra features like echolocation taking up space and a highly organized and sectionalized brain putting us very high on the intelligence marks.

But also remember that we can have two humans with comparable brains, yet vastly differing in intelligence due to a number of factors including chemical/hormonal and developmental exercises/experience. The same runs true for other creatures.

Quote
If one takes the view that developing a larger brain may, in fact, denote a REDUCTION in intelligence, denote a species that is using its brain badly and is therefore having to develop a bigger brain just to survive, then one can completely re-interpret the finds of palaeontology: what the palaeontologists may be finding is evolutionary dead-ends.  Evolution is littered with oddities that became extinct for some reason or other.  One has to wonder if palaeontologists are doing anything more than unearthing ape-like oddities that became extinct because of loss of brain efficiency, which is to say, they died out due to stupidity.  It may be that few, if any, of the finds of palaeontologists have anything at all to do with human evolution.


There are always evolutionary dead-ends thanks to random mutations. But many die out because something better suited for the environment has come along and supplanted it. The biggest advantages that humans have is our adaptability and ingenuity that allows us to thrive in almost all environments including the deep ocean and the vacuum of space. A dolphin or a whale may have the same raw potential as a human, but I haven't see them come walking up the road, yet. Their intelligence is limited by environment.

Quote
It seems to come down to the old matter of the ‘missing link’.  There are relatively recent remains of creatures that can definitely be identified as human, with the big brain and all the attributes that we associate with ourselves – always allowing for insignificant variations, and then there are earlier creatures which come in a variety of shapes and sizes, have large brains compared with their nearest ‘relatives’ i.e. the apes, (and lemurs), may have walked upright, may have used primitive tools (there are numerous animals and birds that use tools) etc, but there is no justification for linking these other creatures with humans – more data, much more data, and more understanding of the brain is needed.  And that leaves one with the conclusion that, so far, there is no evidence for the idea that humans evolved from some ape-like, or lemur-like ancestors.  The whole question of where humans came from is still wide open, still a mystery.


The problem with the "missing link" is that people are looking in the wrong place for it. There isn't one between apes and humans. There is one before both from which they both evolved from to different degrees.

Quote
One can, therefore, go on and speculate about alternative possibilities for the history, or prehistory of humans.

Many old religions contain the idea that the humans of today are not the first humans, and that earlier humans lived longer, or were even immortal.  Some also contain the idea that these immortal humans were ‘better’ than those that succeeded them, that they were ‘incorruptible’.

Suppose this is more than just fanciful thinking, or myth-making.  If our ancestors really were immortal then they would have left no evidence of their existence in the form of bones that archaeologists can dig up.  So, if human bones suddenly start appearing as though from nowhere in the fossil record, it may be that this is the time when humans lost their immortality.

Furthermore, if these human had been able to perform magic, and the disaster that caused them to lose their immortality also caused them to lose their ability to perform magic, then they would have been faced with the difficulty of having to adjust to living without magic.  If the magic was of the mind, then they would have been used to just, as it were, wanting something and there it is, but suddenly, now, if they want something then they have to make it for themselves, using their hands.  They would have had to adapt to a whole new way of living.  This could account for why our stone-age ancestors seem so primitive: basically they had to start from scratch and invent a whole new way of doing things.

Also, if magic was a function of the mind, a mental ability, then that might account for why humans have such large brains, and yet do not seem to need them to be so big (the case of people with water on the brain.)  It may be that our brains were large because they had the power to do magic, and that they still retain that potential – it’s just that we have lost the ability to use it.

The Big Question then would be: why did humans lose their immortality and their ability to do magic?  I would suggest that they became corrupt, became addicted to POWER, and the price of that addiction was the degradation of their minds.  I would go on to suggest that the human race is still addicted to power, and that if they can free themselves from that addiction, then there is the possibility of returning to that higher state where human were immortal and could do magic.

 
The rest of this is based on belief, and therefore not really subject to scientific evaluation, on par with the Garden of Eden or equivalents in other religions.
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pantodragon

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Re: Did humans ascend from apes, or descend from immortal ancestors?
« Reply #18 on: February 28, 2013, 10:49:05 am »
Quote from: pantodragon;98301
When palaeontologists are reconstructing human prehistory and are attempting to fit the various bits of hominid skeletons they have found into some sort of evolutionary story, they use brain size as a measure of intelligence.  They assume that modern people’s very big brains are due to the fact that they are the most intelligent creatures on Earth so that one of the major things they are looking for is the evolution of the big brain.

............................................

The Big Question then would be: why did humans lose their immortality and their ability to do magic?  I would suggest that they became corrupt, became addicted to POWER, and the price of that addiction was the degradation of their minds.  I would go on to suggest that the human race is still addicted to power, and that if they can free themselves from that addiction, then there is the possibility of returning to that higher state where human were immortal and could do magic.


To all:

Lord, scientists as are slippery as eels and change their colours as easily as a chameleon --- you'll never pin a scientists down!  That, of course, is because science is not about truth, it's about power.  You will not find pantodragon unwilling to state her case and stand her ground.  That's because pantodragon IS about truth and NOT about power.

For a longer spiel on the truth about science, see my new post "What is the reality of science?"

Sage

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Re: Did humans ascend from apes, or descend from immortal ancestors?
« Reply #19 on: February 28, 2013, 10:53:53 am »
Quote from: pantodragon;98888
That's because pantodragon IS about truth and NOT about power.

 
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pantodragon

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Re: Did humans ascend from apes, or descend from immortal ancestors?
« Reply #20 on: February 28, 2013, 10:55:21 am »
Quote from: SassyWitchin;98408
We never lost our ability to do magic. I think you may have a Very different defenition of magic to most of us. Is it possible to defy the laws of physics with magic, Theoretically yes but to break the laws of this universe you would have to destroy it and create a new one and there is not enough power available to the people of this earth or any one race for that matter to accomplish this pointless task.

There are other possibilities, you know, for the nature of existence.  Science chooses to preach the idea of a mechanical, dead universe, ruled by laws.  Science is ultimately based on a set of beliefs.  There are other ways of getting at the truth.  That is, there are ways of going beyond belief and discovering the truth about the nature of existence.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2013, 10:59:58 am by pantodragon »

HeartShadow

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Did humans ascend from apes, or descend from immortal ancestors?
« Reply #21 on: February 28, 2013, 11:26:59 am »
Quote from: pantodragon;98893
There are other possibilities, you know, for the nature of existence.  Science chooses to preach the idea of a mechanical, dead universe, ruled by laws.  Science is ultimately based on a set of beliefs.  There are other ways of getting at the truth.  That is, there are ways of going beyond belief and discovering the truth about the nature of existence.

Have you ever met a scientist?  Really?

Yes, power! And a boring mechanistic universe!  Suuuuuuuuuuure.

Maulus

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Re: Did humans ascend from apes, or descend from immortal ancestors?
« Reply #22 on: February 28, 2013, 03:05:38 pm »
Quote from: pantodragon;98888
To all:

Lord, scientists as are slippery as eels and change their colours as easily as a chameleon --- you'll never pin a scientists down!  That, of course, is because science is not about truth, it's about power.  You will not find pantodragon unwilling to state her case and stand her ground.  That's because pantodragon IS about truth and NOT about power.

For a longer spiel on the truth about science, see my new post "What is the reality of science?"

 
Science is not about truth, it is about FACT and the search for those facts. Okay, theories will change over time, but that is all part of working your way through to a fact. That is what makes the universe appear mechanical, working out what makes it tick.
There are still plenty of unanswered questions when the HOW has been answered, there is always the WHY? that is the realm of philosophy and therefore the realm of truth.

Truth is not about fact, though it is based upon fact, you take any 10 people who witnessed an event (the fact), you will get 10 different versions of that event (the Truth).

It is a fact that the earth orbits the sun. It is also a fact that the earth was formed as a direct result of the sun's formation.
It is a truth that X God(s) created the earth. Every religion has a different version, while still a truth, it is not a fact.

You cannot, therefore, claim that Humans descended from immortals (who, by your argument, would still be alive today!) is fact as you are unable to prove it. It may still be, in your eyes at least, a truth.

Dan

MadZealot

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Re: Did humans ascend from apes, or descend from immortal ancestors?
« Reply #23 on: February 28, 2013, 05:37:39 pm »
Quote from: pantodragon;98301
Evolution is littered with oddities that became extinct for some reason or other.


It is not a single, simplistic, progressive thread; more like a tangled skein.
Spider Man 3 never happened. Change my mind.

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Re: Did humans ascend from apes, or descend from immortal ancestors?
« Reply #24 on: February 28, 2013, 05:52:15 pm »
Quote from: pantodragon;98893
There are other possibilities, you know, for the nature of existence.  Science chooses to preach the idea of a mechanical, dead universe, ruled by laws.  Science is ultimately based on a set of beliefs.  There are other ways of getting at the truth.  That is, there are ways of going beyond belief and discovering the truth about the nature of existence.


But are those ways available for easy monthly installments of only $19.99?
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MadZealot

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Re: Did humans ascend from apes, or descend from immortal ancestors?
« Reply #25 on: February 28, 2013, 05:54:20 pm »
Quote from: pantodragon;98301
Also, if magic was a function of the mind, a mental ability, then that might account for why humans have such large brains, and yet do not seem to need them to be so big (the case of people with water on the brain.)

Or perhaps that surplus of saline in the brain cavity, rendering it more elementally powerful and electrically conductive, is such a wondrous wellspring and reservoir of raw arcane power that one born so gifted becomes a prodigy; so naturally gifted a student and wielder of eldritch lore is he that he transcends Manhood* itself and becomes more like the Old Ones, who were giants in those days, who were immortal in that Time Before Time, who were fhtagn.  

This was Before the Dark Times, before the Battlestar, the Empire, or the Republicans.  

Or... not.
Hydrocephaly is a (very bad) thing.




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« Last Edit: February 28, 2013, 05:55:37 pm by MadZealot »
Spider Man 3 never happened. Change my mind.

Dark Midnight

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Re: Did humans ascend from apes, or descend from immortal ancestors?
« Reply #26 on: March 01, 2013, 01:55:59 am »
Quote from: pantodragon;98888
To all:

Lord, scientists as are slippery as eels and change their colours as easily as a chameleon --- you'll never pin a scientists down!  That, of course, is because science is not about truth, it's about power.  You will not find pantodragon unwilling to state her case and stand her ground.  That's because pantodragon IS about truth and NOT about power.

 
Wow. Just ....wow. Do you really believe the absolute tripe you are spouting?

Science is about fact. Pure and simple. It's about the the questions 'Who, What, Where, When, Which and How'. It's about getting answers that are proven FACT.

All you seem to be about is the POWER of hearing yourself speak!
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Re: Did humans ascend from apes, or descend from immortal ancestors?
« Reply #27 on: March 01, 2013, 02:06:01 am »
Quote from: Dark Midnight;99030
Wow. Just ....wow. Do you really believe the absolute tripe you are spouting?

Science is about fact. Pure and simple. It's about the the questions 'Who, What, Where, When, Which and How'. It's about getting answers that are proven FACT.

All you seem to be about is the POWER of hearing yourself speak!

 Exactly, Science is about discovering how the universe works. And that's done by gathering information to conclude facts.
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