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Anthropological Fact Of The Day


halconero

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Because I'm bored, I figured I'd post one of these daily:

 

Unique among the world's species, humanity gives birth to pre-mature infants. That's right, your child born at 9 months was still born biologically immature. For almost every other mammalian species, infants are born with their brain mostly developed, with some basic motor functions and the ability to remain upright or cling to parents.

Human children develop at in utero rates for nearly a year after birth, until the brain is fully formed. Were we terrestrial quadrupeds (knuckle-walked like a gorilla or a chimp) or suspensory brachiators (hung from the trees like orangutans) we would most likely carry our young in utero for close to 20 months before giving birth. Inconveniently though, bipedalism (walking on two legs) has narrowed the birth canal in the pelvis to the point where a baby's head any larger than that of an infant's of 9 months would not be able to fit through.

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Because I'm bored, I figured I'd post one of these daily:

 

Unique among the world's species, humanity gives birth to pre-mature infants. That's right, your child born at 9 months was still born biologically immature. For almost every other mammalian species, infants are born with their brain mostly developed, with some basic motor functions and the ability to remain upright or cling to parents.

Human children develop at in utero rates for nearly a year after birth, until the brain is fully formed. Were we terrestrial quadrupeds (knuckle-walked like a gorilla or a chimp) or suspensory brachiators (hung from the trees like orangutans) we would most likely carry our young in utero for close to 20 months before giving birth. Inconveniently though, bipedalism (walking on two legs) has narrowed the birth canal in the pelvis to the point where a baby's head any larger than that of an infant's of 9 months would not be able to fit through.

Sounds like natural selection to me.

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I struggle with finding the survival advantage of producing evermore weak and helpless offspring. We should have evolved to be more marsupial-like if that is the goal. Sorry, my mistake . Blind random mutations being acted upon by natural selection can't be said to have a " goal ".

 

It is not random. We inadvertently selected for that trait. Just like the human jaw is getting smaller.

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I struggle with finding the survival advantage of producing evermore weak and helpless offspring. We should have evolved to be more marsupial-like if that is the goal. Sorry, my mistake . Blind random mutations being acted upon by natural selection can't be said to have a " goal ".

It is not random. We inadvertently selected for that trait. Just like the human jaw is getting smaller.

Are you implying that Adam and Eve walked on their knuckles?   That their descendants got tired of putting so much weight on their knuckles and put more of a premium on walking upright?  That in turn caused them to "inadvertently" narrow their pelvis?   That simply does not make any sense.  I agree with Strappinglad that evolution would "favor" marsupial-like surviability of human offsprings.

This condition is evidence of a Loving God who desires greater care and bonding for human families to put a lot more effort into teaching and rearing offsprings. It takes human children much longer to train and prepare to become "marriageable" by 15 to 25 years of age (hopefully with enough emotional and mental maturity).

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Are you implying that Adam and Eve walked on their knuckles?   That their descendants got tired of putting so much weight on their knuckles and put more of a premium on walking upright?  That in turn caused them to "inadvertently" narrow their pelvis?   That simply does not make any sense.  I agree with Strappinglad that evolution would "favor" marsupial-like surviability of human offsprings.

This condition is evidence of a Loving God who desires greater care and bonding for human families to put a lot more effort into teaching and rearing offsprings. It takes human children much longer to train and prepare to become "marriageable" by 15 to 25 years of age (hopefully with enough emotional and mental maturity).

 

 

Nope. Adam and Eve walked upright. It has nothing to do with weight distribution. It is the shape of our pelvis. Ours is more cup shaped than the more flat shaped of our closest ancestors the Chimps, and the Bonobos.  We continued to select for it because it allowed for the unrestricted use of our hands. We have to most dextrous hands of any animal.

 

Evolution does favor those that reproduce.

 

Biologically we can begin to reproduce at about the age of 10-14. The Chimps can begin to reproduce at about the age of 9-14. We are incredibly similar in that respect.

 

Marriage is a sociological function, and unrelated to biological ability.

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I'm dealing with my fourth newborn and I believe it.  These little goobers are a LOT of work that first year!!

Ha, I call my kids, "Goobs" all the time. THey are goobers. No way around it.

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I struggle with finding the survival advantage of producing evermore weak and helpless offspring. We should have evolved to be more marsupial-like if that is the goal. Sorry, my mistake . Blind random mutations being acted upon by natural selection can't be said to have a " goal ".

 

Don't read too much into my fact. I'm not trying to turn this into an evolution debate in this thread. Just read my post as upright walking = narrow birth canal = need to push the baby out prematurely. In nature there are always genetic tradeoffs. Bipedalism allows us to go further, run longer, stay cooler in the sun, but at a cost as well. It's kind of like a cost-benefit analysis, with the overall net benefits of bipedalism outweighing the fact that we have to give birth to weaker infants.

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Anthropology fact of the day!!!

The two best ways to date and individual's age at death is by observing their dentition and the fusion marks along bones! Permanent adult teeth consistently erupt at specific ages, with some, but very little variation. For example, if the deceased if a child, we can usually age them between around 7 years old if the first molar has erupted with the second about to do so.

 

If the deceased is in their adult years, we can estimate their age by looking a little fusion lines along their bones, usually the tibia or the femur. Different bones finally fuse together at different ages, with the latest taking almost 30 years to fuse. Depending on which bones are fused and which are not, we can comfortably guess the age of a deceased young adult.

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It is not random. We inadvertently selected for that trait. Just like the human jaw is getting smaller.

Are you talkin evolution? Gasp !

No.  Natural selection within a species is not evolution.  It is adaptation.  The polytypism we see among humans and among canines is merely adaptive, not evolutionary.  Different environments require different adaptive responses.

Edited by Robert F. Smith
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No.  Natural selection within a species is not evolution.  It is adaptation.  The polytypism we see among humans and among canines is merely adaptive, not evolutionary.  Different environments require different adaptive responses.

That is a train of thought that I have not heard of before, and I like it.

 

Keeping morality out of it for a moment, I have heard some evolutionists speculate that the variation in what we see as gender expression is sort of like a pin ball machine trying out different combinations to see what is most helpful with survival. As Earth fills up with people, should we survive, it would be interesting to see if the rate of non "Normal" gender expression increases.  The final proof would be to see if that rate went down if we suddenly had efficient space travel and Earth emptied out such that there was little or no population pressure. Would this rate fall back to zero? It is all speculation and I will likely never know the answer.

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That is a train of thought that I have not heard of before, and I like it.

 

Keeping morality out of it for a moment, I have heard some evolutionists speculate that the variation in what we see as gender expression is sort of like a pin ball machine trying out different combinations to see what is most helpful with survival. As Earth fills up with people, should we survive, it would be interesting to see if the rate of non "Normal" gender expression increases.  The final proof would be to see if that rate went down if we suddenly had efficient space travel and Earth emptied out such that there was little or no population pressure. Would this rate fall back to zero? It is all speculation and I will likely never know the answer.

Normal, traditional gender expression has reproductive and survival value.  That does not mean that avant garde societies cannot have abnormal sexual mores, but there is a cost, as psychiatrist Jonathan Shay has found for the Classical Greek fascination and engorgement in male homosexuality;  Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character (1994), and Odysseus in America: Combat Trauma and the Trials of Homecoming (2002).  So, yes, the rate of abnormal gender expression could increase (as it did in Classical Greece), but with a very high cost.

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Normal, traditional gender expression has reproductive and survival value.  That does not mean that avant garde societies cannot have abnormal sexual mores, but there is a cost, as psychiatrist Jonathan Shay has found for the Classical Greek fascination and engorgement in male homosexuality;  Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character (1994), and Odysseus in America: Combat Trauma and the Trials of Homecoming (2002).  So, yes, the rate of abnormal gender expression could increase (as it did in Classical Greece), but with a very high cost.

I have no doubt that my gender expression is pleasing to God. In some ways it would be interesting to live a million generations to see the cause and effect of so many things.

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No.  Natural selection within a species is not evolution.  It is adaptation.  The polytypism we see among humans and among canines is merely adaptive, not evolutionary.  Different environments require different adaptive responses.

 

Incorrect. There is evolution/adaptation below and at the species level. Our modern day house dogs are all different breeds of the same animal family the gray wolf.

SEE http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canidae

 

We are the only living members of the hominid family.

http://discovermagazine.com/2011/evolution/23-how-we-won-the-hominid-wars

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Anthropological Fact of the Day:

 

If you feel the upper first molar (not the two premolars in front of it towards the canine) on either side of your mouth right now with your tongue, it is highly likely that those of European ancestry will feel an extra cusp, or enamel growth on the lingual (inside) side of your tooth. This has traditionally been a consistent indicator of European genetic ancestry and is still a (fairly) good indicator today. Its name is the Carabelli cusp.

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Anthropological Fact of the Day:

 

If you feel the upper first molar (not the two premolars in front of it towards the canine) on either side of your mouth right now with your tongue, it is highly likely that those of European ancestry will feel an extra cusp, or enamel growth on the lingual (inside) side of your tooth. This has traditionally been a consistent indicator of European genetic ancestry and is still a (fairly) good indicator today. Its name is the Carabelli cusp.

It's also found in Neanderthal and Homo antecessor.

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