Evolution is an illusion

Discussion in 'SciFi & Fantasy' started by WildBlueYonder, Nov 28, 2007.

  1. Using 2 models from sci-fi; the Zindi from ST: Enterprise & the ape hierarchy from “Planet of the Apes”, let’s discuss this

    Case in point, 1;
    Lets suppose that all things being equal, after so many millions of years Earth should have had several sentient species, as the Zindi, we have at least 5 species that dream; communicate & teach skills to their young; felines, canines, parrots, cetaceans, apes. Why after man split off & got his big brain, consciousness, tool-making ability, speech, & all that, did not said species evolve into a similar niche? It couldn’t be because we were the top predator, that didn’t happen until recently, with spears, bows & arrows
    So why did the dolphin stay in its niche, not evolving higher? Oh, "no opposable thumbs" you say, how about the ape then? What kept them fat & dumb?

    Case in point, 2;
    After millions of years of struggle, why did not the great apes evolve unto “Planet of the Apes” sentient beings? They’re stronger than us, they can learn sign language, use tools, so are they our “slow” younger ‘brother-species’ we don’t want to talk about, because they’re so less evolved? What are they waiting for, extinction? They’ve had the same period of time we had, why are we diff & they stayed the same?

    In the thousands of years of recorded history, no one has written about any species evolving (until Darwin, et al., recently), such as in cats turning into herbivores to better utilize resources or grow a prehensile tail to maneuver in the trees better, or evolve wings to get those pesky crows? Except in our myths; like dragons, vampires, werewolves, and were-jaguars? Or our comics like “Spiderman” or the “Hulk” Why is that, that there is no Cambrian Explosion every couple of million years, depositing new & fabulous creatures? Or a new species type evolving within historic times, not a mutated virus (like SIV/HIV or the Flu), but a truly alien virus? Like “Aliens” or “Species”, non-earth genomes, ET?

    Or let’s put it another way, is the cockroach so successful in its niche, that no other animal, or insect can evolve into or compete in that “cockroach’ niche? is that why there is no movement (Catastrophic Theory, Punctuated Evolution Theory)
     
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  3. draqon Banned Banned

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    this should be in religion
     
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  5. SkinWalker Archaeology / Anthropology Moderator

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    This should be in the SciFi forum.
     
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  7. Saquist Banned Banned

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    I think you're right Blue. As fanciful as sci fi makes evolution the question is with as grandiose the claims get for evolution they leave alot of unanswered questions and the answers they do provide just don't satisfy.
     
  8. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    anyone that denys evolution knows absolutely nothing about organic chemistry.
     
  9. Saquist Banned Banned

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    Yes I'm sure that theory works for you.
    Thankfuly most of us are quite able to doing research an one does not need an extraordiary amount knowledge but an inquisitive mind in order to determine that evolution is highly unlikely.

    What is more curious is how evolution is often overestimated in practicly every sci fi series. Intrestingly...the same is true in real life.
     
  10. BigBlueHead Great Tealnoggin! Registered Senior Member

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    It's odd that you should expect every trait of this biome to develop at the exact same time. Actually it's not odd at all, this is a common argument. Why would all traits need to coevolve in parallel?

    Notice a line from your "orchids require fungi to germinate" link:

    This states clearly that the fungi can exist without the orchid. Hence, the fungus did not need to coevolve with the orchid. The orchid capitalized on an available benefit from an existing fungus.

    However, you're presenting a straw man in the first place by claiming that orchids, specialized fungal mycorrhizae (which aren't actually specialized) and specific pollinators had to somehow appear all at once.
     
  11. Roman Banned Banned

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    11,560
    First; why are our nerves of such shoddy design? If we used fiber optics, like some members of Porifera, we would have sensory input at near light speed!

    But as to your question-
    Several reasons:

    Mostly because an animal doesn't need to. There's no direction to evolution. Being a top level predator isn't a goal- spreading offspring is a goal. The cost of evolving a new (and very likely, poorly functioning) trait is vastly outweight by the fact that you're already doing something else well enough to have existed for a long time.

    There was, at a time, multiple upright apes that were all rather intelligent. We outcompeted all of them. Any neandertals around? Those guys likely used language, and they did have tools.


    But there was a time when there were a bunch of different ape species stood up and walked around Africa. We just happened to catch on first, and outcompete the rest. Any reasons given are ad hoc, but nonetheless, it happened.

    In the thousands of years of recorded history, the bible doesn't know how many legs a grasshopper has. Mice were believed to be spawned from moldy rags- spontaneous generation wasn't totally dead until the 19th century. People never critically looked at nature until the scientific revolution. It's no wonder no one noticed anything change; no one was paying attention, or taking notes that had to hang out for 1000s of years.

    Now that we're looking, we're finding micro evolution all over the place. Darwin's finches, for instance.

    Because that sort of stuff takes a long time, not the 5 thousand years or so of recorded history. Explosions also require huge extinctions. We probably won't see the next, as we'll be one of the 60% of all species that goes extinct due to a catastrophic meteor (though it's interesting to note, the rate of extinction due to humans is unprecedented since the K-T).

    There may be.
    Or maybe, God created all the cockroaches for that special purpose?
     
  12. Roman Banned Banned

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    The problem with your God dun it theory is that it's worthless. It offers no predicative powers, it fails to explain tons and tons of phenomena, and in fact, the core tenet is- "God's mysterious; don't ask questions."

    That doesn't seem like very good science, does it?
     
  13. Hipparchia Registered Senior Member

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    Intelligence has not demonstrated much potency as a survival tool until humans emerged. The price of that intelligence is high - dangerous gestation and childbirth (tell me about it); hel;pless infancy; extended childhood; large demands made by the brain in terms of energy and nutrition.
    Maybe we just got lucky.
     
  14. Pandaemoni Valued Senior Member

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    3,634
    I think this is the answer. Evolution doesn't "strive" for intelligence (or anything else) and intelligence is not the end-all, be-all trait that aids most in a species survival. It is a great thing, to be sure, but only if you have the nutrition available (both quantity of food and relatively high levels of protein) and if you have the luxury of being able to survive the troubles with childbirth (big baby heads, small birth canal) and child rearing (our poor ancestors, not having the TV and Internet, had to reaise their kids themselves).

    The opposable thumb point does play a role, as well. If dolphins were as smart as people, they still would not get the same benefit from it that we do, because we can use it to design and use tools. Dolphins could form more complex hunting strategies and the like, but they can't build themselves new tools, so they get less of a benefit from the intelligence boiost than we do. They could be wonderful poets and philosophers, but those traits don't aid in survival just as any philosophy major!).
     
  15. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    24,690
    Only the meticulous authors who are career scientists like James P. Hogan and Robert L. Forward strive for scientific rigor in their writings, and largely achieve it. Otherwise all sci fi is at least partially fantasy, just to make a more interesting story. All the space operas about galactic civilizations postulate some FTL technology that is never convincingly explained, in order for there even to be a galactic civilization!

    But visual sci fi is vastly worse than print sci fi in that regard. Their goal is to entertain us with a cool-looking universe, not to adhere to the principles of science. Sci fi movies and TV shows have always been full of technology, conditions, and relationships that defy logic.

    Occasionally they toss us a tidbit of scientific explanation for a plot device that is particularly annoying. One episode of Star Trek TNG gave a half-assed excuse for why all the sentient beings in the galaxy look like humans, something to do with an extinct race scattering bits of its DNA everywhere. Farscape explained that aliens could understand each other's languages because they were all injected with customized microbes that spread throughout the language center of their brain and intercepted the signals. Babylon 5 and to a lesser extent Stargate did the best job IMHO: We just found this stuff leftover from a long-dead civilization and we managed to get it working, but we have absolutely no idea how.

    Don't expect visual-medium sci fi to respect the principles of evolution or any other science, if it gets in the way of a good story.

    If you want to talk about a preposterous plot, it's not that the Xindi had five competing intelligent species on one planet. It's that they all looked so very similar to animals on earth! Insects, reptiles, and then mammals that are broken down into orders just like ours.

    Robert L. Forward invented lifeforms that don't even fall into the terrestrial paradigm of animals vs. plants. Now THAT is science fiction!
     
  16. Frud11 Banned Banned

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    567
    Slightly OT, but germane to the way SF is displayed on the viewscreen:

    In CSI-type cop shows, you often see something like a "blow-up" of some image (I recall seeing a prog once, maybe Alias, which is fairly gadget-heavy, that did it with a reflection from someone's cornea, an image of this person's eye, right), and get a full-scale, high-def 'image', with the aid of magical technology.

    This magic appears unlimited; the presumption being that they might image the proteins and atoms in the retina, as well, just by zooming in. If the information isn't in the image at the outset, the only way to 'get' it, is to 'put' it in there.

    There's a big resolution brick wall that these shows appear to be able to walk through.
     
  17. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Messages:
    24,690
    Only the meticulous authors who are career scientists like James P. Hogan and Robert L. Forward strive for scientific rigor in their writings, and largely achieve it. Otherwise all sci fi is at least partially fantasy, just to make a more interesting story. All the space operas about galactic civilizations postulate some FTL technology that is never convincingly explained, in order for there even to be a galactic civilization!

    But visual sci fi is vastly worse than print sci fi in that regard. Their goal is to entertain us with a cool-looking universe, not to adhere to the principles of science. Sci fi movies and TV shows have always been full of technology, conditions, and relationships that defy logic.

    Occasionally they toss us a tidbit of scientific explanation for a plot device that is particularly annoying. One episode of Star Trek TNG gave a half-assed excuse for why all the sentient beings in the galaxy look like humans, something to do with an extinct race scattering bits of its DNA everywhere. Farscape explained that aliens could understand each other's languages because they were all injected with customized microbes that spread throughout the language center of their brain and intercepted the signals. Babylon 5 and to a lesser extent Stargate did the best job IMHO: We just found this stuff leftover from a long-dead civilization and we managed to get it working, but we have absolutely no idea how.

    Don't expect visual-medium sci fi to respect the principles of evolution or any other science, if it gets in the way of a good story.

    If you want to talk about a preposterous plot, it's not that the Xindi had five competing intelligent species on one planet. It's that they all looked so very similar to animals on earth! Insects, reptiles, and then mammals that are broken down into orders just like ours.

    Robert L. Forward invented lifeforms that don't even fall into the terrestrial paradigm of animals vs. plants. Now THAT is science fiction!
     
  18. Saquist Banned Banned

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    Don't give me that "good science" hog wash that's been bandied about and appears to be a ggod arguing.

    Let me be Frank. The Fool...that attempts to prove or disprove God (as outlined by the Hebrew and Greek scriptures) deserves nothing less than to be PUNTED out of the scientific community for wasting valuable time.

    I mean really...:bugeye:
    That's like giving a super computer the task of calculating Pi to last decimal place. It's an impossible endeavor. According to the bible there is no associative connection, distinction, or dependent relationship between God and any phonomenon on Earth. How would even begin to analyze this relationship?

    Communication is the only previously known method and it's strictly at will. History on numerous occasions whether biblical or not documents some sort of supernatural occurence of some sort. So we're just going to dismiss that for no other reason but to be incredulous and arrogant? You might as well tell us you as a man have the secrets to the universe.
     
  19. flameofanor5 Not a cosmic killjoy Registered Senior Member

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    Sci-ence:
    1.Must be sensible with your five senses
    2.REPEATABLE
    3.Only in the present

    I dont see any evolution happening. There is addaptation, but not evolution, and I cannot feel evolution happening. Also, please do not say "If you don't believe in evolution, you know nothing about science and genetics!" Actually, lots of people do know A LOT about science and genetics, that do not believe in evolution.
     
  20. Roman Banned Banned

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    What the fuck are you talking about.

    I never said anything about science addressing the issue of God; my point that you so poignantly missed was that religion has no ability to replicate what science does.

    Tell me, what does your precious bible tells us about trinucleotide expansion and genetic disease? What does your faith tell you?

    Absolutely nothing, that's what.
     
  21. Roman Banned Banned

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    Yet you are not one of those people who know A LOT about science OR genetics. In fact, you know very little about either.
     
  22. Saquist Banned Banned

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    What are YOU talking about?
    Your comparing science to religion. Do you have anything better to do or is this entertainment?
     

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