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Some Thoughts On The Uniqueness Of Mankind’s Evolution


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#1 SFX

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Posted 22 September 2006 - 08:24 AM

When Darwin published his view of the evolution of species he made very little mention of man, probably because of religious reasons but also because man's evolution just did not adhere to his theories.


Darwin's co-discoverer of evolution, Alfred Wallace, was a firm believer in interventionism and he has yet to be proved wrong, that missing link between man and apes still eludes us. In fact in 1911 Sir Arthur Keep listed the anatomical characteristics peculiar to each primate species and gave the following results :



Gorilla 75

Chimp 109

Orangutan 113

Gibbon 116

Man 312

now this is a very large difference



OK so there is 98 % genetic similarity between humans and chimps so why should 2 % difference account for such vast anatomical disparity ? also note that mankind has only 46 chromosomes compared to the chimps and gorillas who have 48, natural selection cannot explain this.



Now lets look at the process of natural selection, gene mutation. Most mutations are not beneficial to a species only a very small percentage are considered beneficial and the chances that they will be able to spread through the generations are slim ( just because one animal mutates beneficially it does not mean that that animal will reproduce and or pass on it's new genes)



Natural selection is very very slow, large evolutionary jumps - macro mutations - are unlikely to be preserved since they would more than likely be detrimental to a species which has already adapted to it's environment. In fact most changes will fail to be implemented. Imagine a novel, most changes to the text will damage the original to some degree it would be exceedingly rare for a change to have a beneficial effect.



Another fact to consider is that beneficial mutations will tend to be diluted, so to gain a foothold requires small isolated populations, for example the Galapagos islands of visited by Darwin during his famous " Voyage of the Beagle"



So evolution within a species is slow, now evolution to another species is slower still- the long goodbye, generally thought to be caused by geographical separation



Now though speciation statistically very difficult to achieve there are some 30 million different species on earth and an estimated 3 billion may have existed and died out. However with the exception of viruses evolution is still an incredibly slow process, 100,000 years for the emergence of a new species would be considered as sudden, in fact large changes occur over periods of 10's of millions of years and macro changes over 100,s of millions of years



Now the strange thing is that mankind BENEFITED from SEVERAL MACRO MUTATIONS in the course of only 6 MILLION YEARS, something is not quite right here.



The general consensus of anthropological opinion is that the chimps and the humans split from a common ancestor about 5- 7 million years ago, with gorillas having made the long goodbye a bit earlier. For this to occur 3 groups of common ape ancestors had to become geographically separated and thence evolve independently



There are 3 possible contenders for the claim to being the first bipedal hominid :



1 Lucy, found in Africa (Australopithecus Afrensis ) she lived about 3.6 - 3.2 million years ago, she is only about a 40 % complete skeleton



2. Australopithecus Ramidus, about 4.4 million years old found in Ethiopia, a 70 % complete skeleton



3. Australopithecus Anamensis, from Kenya, about 4.1 - 3.9 million years old



None of these have been defiantly proven to be bipedal and confusingly none seem to be closely related to each other. There is a complete lack of fossil evidence for the preceding 10 million years so we cannot determine when these 3 separated into different species from the apes or whether there were earlier Australopithecus types.



Now lets move forward in time, about 2.5 million years ago we have Africanus, 1.8 million years ago we find Robustus and 1.5 million years ago we have Advanced Australopethicus, this species is more man like than the others so is known as near man or Homo Hablis ( handy man ). Homo Habilis were the first truly man like beings that walked upright and used stone tools ( as far as the evidence we have shows)



Around 1.5 million years ago Homo Erectus appears, with a much larger brain size he designed more sophisticated tools. it seems that Homo Erectus left Africa and spread to China, Australasia and Europe about 1 million to 700,000 years ago



It seems likely that modern Homo Sapiens is directly descended from Homo Erectus..

EDIT...

During the past decade, eight new early hominin species have been discovered, making it one of the most fruitful periods in paleoanthropology ever. Most of them are
older than Australopithecus afarensis, and several come from outside of East Africa. They are Ardipithecus ramidus(Ethiopia, 4.5 million years), Australopithecus anamensis (Kenya, 4.2 to
3.9 million years), Australopithecus bahrelghazali (Chad, 3 to 3.5 million years; see figure 19.7), Australopithecus garhi (Ethiopia, 2.5 million years), Orrorin tugenensis(Kenya, 6 mil-
lion years), Kenyanthropus platyops(Kenya, 3.5 million years), the specimen mentioned at the opening of this unit, Sahelanthropus tchadensis (Chad, 6 to 7 million years), and lastly, announced in March 2004, Ardipithecus Kadabba, represented mainly by teeth, and suggested as an ancestor of A. ramidus (Ethiopia, 5.5 to 5.8 million years). Clearly, a good deal of rethinking is needed about where the hominin clade arose, and the shape of the evolutionary tree.


Attached File  hominids.gif   31.41KB   13 downloads

EDIt Continued..so Salhelanthropus Tchadensis has pushed the line back to around 6-7 million years, some 2 million yeras or so from what i had earlier stated

The cranium is rather apelike, especially the prominent brow ridges, while the face
is much more humanlike, being quite flat, unlike in australo-pithecines. The position of the foramen magnum convinced Brunet that the species was bipedal


The Stangeness of Man



So why are we so different from the apes ? why have we developed at such an extraordinary rate whilst our ape cousins have remained virtually unchanged over 6 million years ?



The general opinion is that we evolved more quickly because we stood upright, thus releasing our arms to begin tool making and by a feedback mechanism our intelligence was stimulated to develop. Scientific experimentation seems to agree with this, increased stimulation leads to increased complexity of the neural pathways in the brain. But what of the kangaroo and otter, both extremely dexterous and could have used advanced tools, but never did; and there are many examples of animals that use tools but have never developed beyond rudimentary intelligence..



The advantage of an upright posture is linked to the migration to open savanna and the brain cooling effect of raising the head from the ground, however many other animals live on open savanna and are not bipedal.

Bipedalsism would in fact have been an initial disadvantage, making early hominids easier prey for animals such as lions



Does size really matter ?



An increased brain size does not necessarily mean increased intelligence, compare an elephants 11 LB brain to our 3 LB brain. improvements come through better "wiring" not larger size.. Improvements of the brain should, evolutionarily, have occurred over large numbers of relatively small steps, with natural selection driving changes in size and efficiency



Now remember that we have very little fossil evidence to go on and brain matter does not fossilize so we have to rely on skull cranium size for our figures.. Lets look at some cranial sizes :



Afrensis 500 cc



Habilis/Australopethecus 700 cc



Then as we move forward to 1.5 million years ago we have a sudden leap with Homo Erectus having a cranial capacity of 900 - 1000 cc, if we assume that this increase in size was accompanied by an increase in intelligence ( see my caveat on elephant brain size ), then what we have is a highly unlikely macro mutation. Unless of course Erectus is a totally separate species who's ancestors have not been found - quite possible.



Then after 1.2 to 1.3 million years with no major changes Erectus has spread out to China, Australasia and Europe and then, kapam !! Homo Sapiens appears with a cranial capacity of 950 cc - 1450 cc.. If as most anthropologists suggest we are the descendant of Homo Erectus then something remarkable occurred at the change over point.



So what we have is about 200,000 years ago an explosive evolutionary change from Homo Erectus to Homo Sapiens, Here is where we should be searching for a missing link, a Super Erectus, perhaps the Biblical nephillum ? "and the sons of gods saw the daughters of men and took them for their wives"



Cro-Magnon and Neanderthal



It had been generally believed that early Homo Sapiens ( Cro- Magnon man) appeared only 35,000 years ago and descended from Neanderthal who died out at the same time, however it is now known that European Cro-Magnon's are anatomically no different from the Homo Sapiens found in the middle east dating to 100,000 years ago.

Homo Sapiens did not descend from Neanderthal, evidence from Israel shows they coexisted 100,000 - 90,000 years ago, another fascinating discovery in Israel show that about 60,000 year old Neanderthal's possessed a hyoid bone very similar to our, the hyoid bone in the defining bone for speech capability, though their upper anatomy would have limited their range of sounds, they none the less were at least capable of speech, and speech is one of the prerequisites for advancement in civilization.



So we now regard Neanderthal as a fully fledged Homo Sapiens , though still different from us who anthropologists now suitably term Homo Sapiens Sapiens !!!. in fact modern opinion is that we both evolved from a common pre Homo Sapiens.



Some time during the last 1 million years there was a major, though very brief transition from archaic, pre Homo sapiens to modern Homo sapiens. This resulted in the reorganization of the brain and the anatomy as well as the development of a culture with it's attendant reliance on advanced tool making. We also see the emergence of art and symbolism as well as language



But when did this change occur ? unfortunately radio carbon dating is just not up to the task of pinpointing a specific era. using a range of more reliable techniques we have been able to guestimate the earliest know appearance of this archaic Homo Sapiens to about 120 - 110,000 years ago, these remains were found in Israel



Not impossible, but highly improbable



After millions of years of relatively little progress with stone tools Homo sapiens suddenly leaps onto the stage about 200,000 years ago, with a 50 % larger brain capacity, advanced anatomy and the capability of speech. Then for some reason he lives quietly for another say 160,000 years tinkering with stone tools until about 40,000 years ago some spark triggers something within him. He expands northwards at a rapid rate encompassing much of the globe by 13,000 years ago. 1000 years later he discovers agriculture, 6000 years later and he has created great civilizations and has acquired advanced astronomical knowledge, and now 6000 years later he is looking to journey to those stars.



The rate of evolutionary and cultural change simply does not fit in with the natural selection process, it should have taken us 100's of million of years, perhaps 1000's of millions of years to get where we are to day



No..something just is not right here !!

#2 Dark Crypto

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Posted 23 September 2006 - 03:31 AM

wow, that really spoke to me, i am myself above average in intelligence for my age, but even so i never thought about the excellent points you have presented here!

#3 yarko75

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Posted 23 September 2006 - 12:29 PM

So, that just makes me wonder, where will humans end up later in the evolutionary process? will we get smarter or stronger?

#4 SFX

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Posted 23 September 2006 - 12:43 PM

Thing is there is little or no natural selection for us, we have overcome most "weeding out " processes with advancements in medicine ans our enviroment no longer drives our evolution, in fact we are now changing the enviroment And because of those advancements genetic disorders that would normally kill people before the reproduce are being controlled so genetic disorders are more likeley to be transfered from generation to generation Natural selection will only come back into play when we gat a pandemeic viral outbreak, but this does not necessarily lead to an advancement of the species, just the survival of those immune to the virus

#5 Digital Awakning

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 01:35 PM

I have a feeling that in 100 years or so their will be a life changing event that will make Human evolve. Much the same way that insects have evolved over the last million years. Humans may never envolve into another life form, as I don't believe are gentics have the capacity to make this change. But I do believe that with the way the world is changing sooner or later we will control the natural selection by removing certain genes that cause disorders, and deformities, along with mental and physical limitations. Eventually mankind will evolve to the point where only certain people will be able to reproduce, which in turn will create a new race of humans smarter, and stronger over time. Of course it could take another thousand years before this happens, but I believe it will happen. Cheers, Ryan

#6 impaler

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Posted 24 November 2006 - 06:46 AM

Indeed, are we just a construct of improbable genetic evolutionary advancements based on conditions of our enviroments which simply adapts in a struggle of identity?

Not that I was ever gave genetics a go, but check this podcast that explains some things about evolution, you guys might find it intriguing http://www.twit.tv/fib1.

#7 yarko75

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Posted 24 November 2006 - 04:44 PM

I have heard if we survive untill the year 3000 our brains will be at our smartest capacity after that we will become so dependent on technology that the human race will become less intelligent, but thats just a theory yet i can still see this hapening if no life changing event hapens in that period of time.

#8 SFX

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Posted 09 March 2007 - 01:05 AM

It now seems form recent scientific discoveries that humankind has some 223 genes that are not found in other vertibrates, or for that matter most invertibrates

these genes were not aquired from evolutionary pathways so where did they come from

It seems that some are present in bacteria but as i said since they are not found further up the evolutionary tree untill humans they cannot have been aquired by evolution and it has been argued that there must have been some sort of "horizontal transfer" from bacteria to humans

These genes seem to code for important neurological enzymes and have a major role in our mental makeup. then arise form the mitochondrial portion of our DNA, the socalled EVE DNA that is only transfered along the maternal line (what are they doing in bacteria ? and why was there not other crossing over to other species ?)

is it not psooible that the genes transfered FROM humans TO bacteria ? if so where did we get them from ?

It is a jump that does not follow current evolutionary theories, said Steven Scherer, director of mapping of the Human Genome Sequencing Center, Baylor College of Medicine.
We did not identify a strongly preferred bacterial source for the putative horizontally transferred genes, states the report in Nature. The Public Consortium team, conducting a detailed search, found that some 113 genes (out of the 223) are widespread among bacteria though they are entirely absent even in invertebrates. An analysis of the proteins which the enigmatic genes express showed that out of 35 identified, only ten had counterparts in vertebrates (ranging from cows to rodents to fish); 25 of the 35 were unique to humans.
It is not clear whether the transfer was from bacteria to human or from human to bacteria, Science quoted Robert Waterson, co-director of Washington Universitys Genome Sequencing Center, as saying.
But if Man gave those genes to bacteria, where did Man acquire those genes to begin with?


however it is worth reading these :

http://www.genomenew..._transfer.shtml

http://www.genomenew..._transfer.shtml



http://www.sciencema...l/291/5507/1177

http://www.nature.co...l/409814a0.html

http://www.sciencema...l/291/5507/1304

#9 fitbikeco88

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Posted 16 March 2007 - 09:55 AM

I think this stuff is so interesting. I'm actually learning about it in my anthropology class right now. I didn't know that 97% of our genes are common with chimps.

#10 impaler

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Posted 03 April 2007 - 03:15 AM

I wonder if evolution in a life form actually starts occuring whilst it is alive. Some of the problem solving leaps lifeforms evolves into help solve the needs of the environment. These can be so abstract you wonder if there is a 'higher consiousness' capable of determining the 'needs' in the lifeform something must be doing the 'programming' for the evolutionary changes to happen.I cant image how much 'data' there would be in DNA etc. It would be cool to know when the changes actually happen, it seems that it is over large amounts of time and generational reproduction... is it everytime the life form reproduces a 'programmed':)/> evolutionary change happens? It would be so cool to understand this better :)/>

#11 SFX

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Posted 18 August 2007 - 06:41 PM

Don't you just love it when the "experts" start to agree with you !!

An Associated Press article titled “African fossils paint messy picture of human evolution” explains that common popular conceptions of human evolution are incorrect: “Surprising fossils dug up in Africa are creating messy kinks in the iconic straight line of human evolution with its knuckle-dragging ape and briefcase-carrying man.” Indeed, the inappropriateness of such "straight line" depictions of human evolution was one of Jonathan Wells' main points in chapter 11 in Icons of Evolution, "From Ape to Human: The Ultimate Icon." A Harvard biological anthropologist stated the newly reported fossils reveal, "how poorly we understand the transition from being something much more apelike to something more humanlike." The Associated Press article goes on to explain why Homo habilis can no longer considered a direct ancestor of humans:

The old theory was that the first and oldest species in our family tree, Homo habilis, evolved into Homo erectus, which then became us, Homo sapiens. But those two earlier species lived side-by-side about 1.5 million years ago in parts of Kenya for at least half a million years, Leakey and colleagues report in a paper published in Thursday's journal Nature. In 2000 Leakey found an old H. erectus complete skull within walking distance of an upper jaw of the H. habilis, and both dated from the same general time period. That makes it unlikely that H. erectus evolved from H. habilis, researchers said.
In other words, habilis can no longer be considered the ancestor to the rest of the genus Homo.


read more:

http://www.evolution..._disown_ho.html

Thing is this confirms my strongheld belief that what the vast majority of people think of as hard "facts" about science and history are often based on very old and possibly inaccuarte theories.

Foe example egyptology has become so set in it's belief that the history of egypt is pretty well mapped out, but a lot of the core of egyptology is based on victorian/edwardian ideas and theories that are held so sacrasanct that to question them is considered academic blashpemy.

Our view of the past changes over time, yesterday's demons can become tomorrows saints, history, archaeology and anthropology are dynamic areas of study and it should never be a shock when some of the pillars that hold up long held beliefs come crashing down

#12 SFX

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 12:33 PM

Neanderthals might have spoken just like humans do now, new genetic findings suggest. Neanderthals are humanity's closest extinct relatives. Since their discovery more than 150 years ago, researchers have found out they could make tools just like our ancestors could, but whether Neanderthals also had advanced language, rather than mere grunts and groans, has remained hotly debated. To learn more, scientists investigated DNA from Neanderthal bones collected from a cave in northern Spain, concentrating on a gene, FOXP2, which is to date the only one known to play a role in speech and language. People with an abnormal copy of this gene have speech and language problems. Genes similar to FOXP2 are found throughout the genomes of the animal kingdom, from fish to alligators to songbirds. The molecule that human FOXP2 generates differs from chimpanzee FOXP2's by just two amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. Past research suggests the gene's modern human variant evolved fewer than 200,000 years ago. Now scientists find the Neanderthal FOXP2 gene is identical to ours. The ancestors of Neanderthals diverged from ours roughly 300,000 years ago, according to the latest thinking. Some studies have suggested that the two species might have intermingled after that, however. "It is possible that Neanderthals spoke just like we do," paleogeneticist Johannes Krause of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, told LiveScience. "Of course many genes are involved in language," cautioned Krause, the new study's lead researcher. As scientists discover more of such genes, these will have to be examined in Neanderthals as well, he said. Krause noted that some might suggest that interbreeding or "gene flow" (aka sex) between modern humans and Neanderthals led to us having FOXP2 in common. "However, we see no evidence for gene flow in the Y chromosome sequences," he said. Instead, the modern human and Neanderthal Y chromosomes are substantially different genetically. Krause and his colleagues detailed their findings online Oct. 18 in the journal Current Biology

#13 SFX

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 01:24 PM

OK so where am I going with all this ? I am sure some of you have guessed !! Firstly let me state: I do believe evolutionary theory has a good foundation in fact, i think it is continual need of refinement but the basic concepts i agree with. I do believe primates and hominids were subject to evolutionary forces But ..and this is a big but..i have a strong feeling that there was some direct outside influence on mankind's evolution. whether this was a "natural" influence, some "cosmic" effect.. i don't know. If you read my earlier posts you will see that although i believe that early hominids did evolve naturally i cannot see how modern man could be the result of simple natural selection in the form that we understand today, I think there are a lot of surprises in store for us in the field pf Anthropology I have no direct evidence for this apart from the evolutionary anomalies stated in my first post and the increasing discoveries about Neanderthal man

#14 SFX

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Posted 21 December 2007 - 09:15 AM

I have been updating some of the info on the early hominids in the first post and will reproduce and continue the ammendments from here

EDIT...

During the past decade, eight new early hominin species have been discovered, making it one of the most fruitful periods in paleoanthropology ever. Most of them are older than Australopithecus afarensis, and several come from outside of East Africa. They are Ardipithecus ramidus(Ethiopia, 4.5 million years), Australopithecus anamensis (Kenya, 4.2 to 3.9 million years), Australopithecus bahrelghazali (Chad, 3 to 3.5 million years; see figure 19.7), Australopithecus garhi (Ethiopia, 2.5 million years), Orrorin tugenensis(Kenya, 6 million years), Kenyanthropus platyops(Kenya, 3.5 million years), the specimen mentioned at the opening of this unit, Sahelanthropus tchadensis (Chad, 6 to 7 million years), and lastly, announced in March 2004, Ardipithecus Kadabba, represented mainly by teeth, and suggested as an ancestor of A. ramidus (Ethiopia, 5.5 to 5.8 million years). Clearly, a good deal of rethinking is needed about where the hominin clade arose, and the shape of the evolutionary tree.


Attached File  hominids.gif   31.41KB   13 downloads

EDIt Continued..so Salhelanthropus Tchadensis has pushed the line back to around 6-7 million years, some 2 million yeras or so from what i had earlier stated

The cranium is rather apelike, especially the prominent brow ridges, while the face
is much more humanlike, being quite flat, unlike in australo-pithecines. The position of the foramen magnum convinced Brunet that the species was bipedal


However there are some objections concerning the facial structure

With an age of between 6 and 7 million years (based on faunal correlation), it is very close to the split between hominins and African apes. Unique morphologies, and combinations of morphologies, would be expected from this time frame. But this particular combination was quite
unexpected, because the flat face is characteristic of hominins one-third its geological age, in Homo habilis, for example. If tchadensis is indeed a hominin, and if australopithecines are
indeed intermediate between it and early Homo, then the facial anatomy would have gone from being relatively flat, to projecting, to being flat again. Such evolutionary reversals are viewed as unlikely.


Another thing that i failed to mention earler were the 2 differnet appoeaches to defining early homo species, the lumpers and the splitters.

The tendancy to name new species on the basis of small anatomical differnces is called spliiting, howver we know that considerable anatomical differences can occur within a species, this is the view taken by lumpers Consider mordern homo sapiens, we have pygmies but we do not consider them a differnet species from europeans.

So there has been much debate as to wheter Habilis is a different species positioned between Australopethicus Africanus and Homo Erectus or wheter, as lumpers would have it, Habils belongs to either Austro Or Homo

General opinion is that Hablis IS a distinct species but just to confuse us more this is growing evidence for there being 2 species of Homo at this time H. rudolfensis anf H. habils !!

In 1986 an fragmented hominin skeleton was found Olduvai Gorge, it was named OH 62 (Lucy's child) it was deemed homo hablis and dated 1.85 to 1.75 million years old. Howver the year befor another Homo Erectus had been found at lake Turkana which lived some 200,000 yaers later that OH 62

If Habils is the ancestor of Erectus then evolution from an apelike to a human like species must have occured at a fanatstic rate, it woukld also havew required an evolutionary reversal from moderate apelike limbs in H Afrensis to more apelike limbs in H Habilis to Human like limbs in H Erectus

The earlist known Homos are now thought to be around 2.4 million years ago found in Central Kenya, 2.3 to 2.5 mill years ago found in Malawi ( this is assigned to Homo rudolfensis a contemporary of H. Habils)

But again we are dealing with only a few finds and even these are fragments. So we can only tentaively say that Homo appeared around 2.5 million years ago in Africa but who knows with such little in the way of finds who can say that many more earlier finds may not turn up in say Asia ?

#15 SFX

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Posted 16 January 2008 - 12:36 PM

Here is a short essay i wrote some time ago, it is a bit crazy but fun and as it fits it with several posts ( the one on hermetics, space travel and this one i am going to cross post !! Sitting down with my son recently to watch star wars and looking at the sheer fascination in his eyes got me to thinking back to a time when I was a similar age to him, sat in a cinema watching 2001 a space odyssey. A film that had me enthralled and perplexed at the same time. It also stuck a cord that had been lying dormant for many years when at last I heard the mention of the “Force” being another life form living as a symbiotic partner within the Jedi. It wasn’t until some time later when I found out about the missing scenes of 2001 that I stared to put together an idea for a book of my own, the idea sort of grew piece by piece as my understanding of cosmology and biology grew but never made it to fruition, maybe some one has already written it, may be some one will read this and write it who knows?? The missing scenes here intended to put the Megaliths in perspective, that is to show them for what they were- Von Neumann probes The most mathematically efficient method to explore space is to send fleets of "Von Neumann probes" throughout the galaxy (named after John Von Neumann, who established the mathematical laws of self-replicating systems). A Von Neumann probe is a robot designed to reach distant star systems and create factories which will reproduce copies themselves by the thousands. A dead moon rather than a planet makes the ideal destination for Von Neumann probes, since they can easily land and take off from these moons, and also because these moons have no erosion. These probes would live off the land, using naturally occurring deposits of iron, nickel, etc. to create the raw ingredients to build a robot factory. They would create thousands of copies of themselves, which would then scatter and search for other star systems. Similar to a virus colonizing a body many times its size, eventually there would be a sphere of trillions of Von Neumann probes expanding in all directions, increasing at a fraction of the speed of light. In this fashion, even a galaxy 100,000 light years across may be completely analyzed within, say, a half million years. If a Von Neumann probe only finds evidence of primitive life they might simply lie dormant on the moon, silently waiting for the civilization to evolve into a stable higher civilization. After waiting quietly for several millennia, they may be activated when the emerging civilization is advanced enough to set up a lunar colony Some years later in the mid 1970’s I was introduced to cell biology and in particular the Mitochondria, these are small organelles that reside inside our cells and act as the power supplies of our bodies. Creating the energy that we need to survive. They act in a way that some at the time thought they may well have been external organisms that found there way into cell structures and evolved with them in a symbiotic partnership, that is a living together of two organisms in such a way as to mutually benefit each other and such that neither could live efficiently without the other (much like the force and the Jedi) A few years later and I was preparing for university and whilst doing my studies on genetics I was introduced to the ideas of Richard Dawkins and his selfish gene theory. Continuing the work of others in his field he was tackling the age old problem of consolidating Darwin’s theories of survival of the fittest with the actual observations on animal behaviour which showed that most animals are altruistic. That is they often act in a way that is detrimental to their own livelihood in order to enhance the survival of other members of the species. Now this was pretty much understood in terms of close relatives but why this occurred between non related members of a group was harder to explain. Dawkins and others put forward the proposal that although the two animals were not directly related they were in fact of the same gene stock and that by laying down ones life for another member of the species albeit non related you are actually ensuring the survival of the gene pool and enough of your genes are mirrored in the other’s genes as to make this a worthwhile proposal Then I got my idea what if the von Neumann probes were not mechanical but genetic? What if some how alien species spread not robots but their DNA across the universe, programmed to activate the host once the host had reached the acceptable level of intelligence. And I could then see a sort of explanation for the feeling I have always had that we are never really discovering anything new but merely remembering things we always new, knowledge that is in fact encoded into our DNA Later at university whilst studying the puzzle of memory and instinct, and seeing how “knowledge” could be passed from generation to generation, and hearing about theories of the “collective memory” and the “collective intelligence” my idea finally matured however there it has lain…..until today, and no, I am not smoking anything other than tobacco There it’s out….free at last

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 04:56 AM

Oldest hominid discovered is 7 million years old: study Wed Feb 27 2008, 5:58 PM ET



CHICAGO (AFP) - French fossil hunters have pinned down the age of Toumai, which they contend is the remains of the earliest human ever found, at between 6.8 and 7.2 million years old.

http://news.yahoo.co...VR3WAUAPIZFeQoB

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 03:09 AM


Then I got my idea what if the von Neumann probes were not mechanical but genetic? What if some how alien species spread not robots but their DNA across the universe, programmed to activate the host once the host had reached the acceptable level of intelligence. And I could then see a sort of explanation for the feeling I have always had that we are never really discovering anything new but merely remembering things we always new, knowledge that is in fact encoded into our DNA

Later at university whilst studying the puzzle of memory and instinct, and seeing how “knowledge” could be passed from generation to generation, and hearing about theories of the “collective memory” and the “collective intelligence” my idea finally matured however there it has lain…..until today, and no, I am not smoking anything other than tobacco

There it’s out….free at last





I am intrigued by you theory I am sure if such a thing was true it would answer a lot of things on many levels of understanding ourselves. As much as we like to think we know so much about our place in the world there is an infinite amount we still cant comprehend. I do believe that our unique 'conscious' thoughts and awareness as is due for a new step 'up' in our evolution. If evolution is based on the environment we are in our constant curiosity and thought processes by most of us will direct 'natural' evolution in a 'higher' state of awareness and understanding.

Sorry to geek out on you now, but you reminded me of sci-fi story that follows along your thinking, I suggest you watch it.

http://memory-alpha....ncient_humanoid

from this episode;

http://memory-alpha..../wiki/The_Chase

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 06:34 AM

This was released on VHS in 1993 ( Geek or Wiki Freak !!) so i suppose it was made some time earlier. I had my idea start in the 70's and get to its final form around 2000, i rarely watch ST so i doubt if i was influenced by it But now i will have to see if i can hire a copy from my local vid shop Thanks for pointing this out

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 07:12 AM

Lol yeah just reading what you wrote made a light bulb flicker as its one of my favorite 'stories' in ST. Its nice how some sci fi stories bring real theories to life so others can appreciate the scope of some of this thinking. I saw a ST docu not too long ago where it was explaining how the first mobile phones were inspired by ST among other things. I am sure you will find it, will be quite entertaining for you ^_^/> When I saw that I was quite amazed by the 'concept'. On another note I was reading a bit about a collective consciousness you might find this interesting. In one study, for instance, a group of individuals completed a newly created crossword puzzle, and their average completion times were recorded. The same puzzle was then broadcast to millions via TV, for the viewers at home to complete. Subsequently, a new group, who had not seen the puzzle at all, finished it significantly faster than the original group, suggesting that as a result of so many individuals having done the puzzle, knowledge of the puzzle was somehow etched into the field of collective consciousness, making it increasingly easier for others to solve. So maybe the ST writer picked this idea from you! If you were having these ideas in the 70's then its before I was even born, nice work ;)/> ...**beep** spammers!@

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 07:14 AM

It is a fact that in order for humankind to survive we MUST leave this solar system. The sun has a sell-by date




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