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paolo
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27 Dec 2007, 4:01 pm

How much does is take for species to differentiate from one another? Sometime millions of years. But they still maintain something in common. For example whiskers (vibrissae). Whiskers are present in cats, wolves and other canines, seals, some whales, rats, and many other mammals (not apes and humans). They are very important sensory organs. They are not different versions of a solution to a sensory need. They are the same evolutionary solution to a need which is maintained across the differentiation of species.

A courting bird song and a human love song, are different solutions to some common need (courtship). But, attachment springing from maternal care (imprinting) is the same solution to the need to create social bonds among animals. They are behavioral pieces which are common to different species. They are not analogues, they are the same thing.

Reaction of flight, increased attention, predisposition to attack in presence of a strong noise are common to humans and most other animals.

The magnitude of the time spans required to differentiate and the communality of some of the evolutionary solutions is something that puts our lives in perspective and should reduce the drama of our experiences of suffering. After all we are al part of a huge thing, and our stories are only an eye wink.


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crazyllama
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27 Dec 2007, 4:16 pm

Over a hundred years ago, all parakeets in the world were blue. Now they have green, yellow, white, red etc... through breeding. Sometimes evolution happens quickly and other times it takes millions of years.

Crocodiles have been pretty much the same for tens of millions of years.



paolo
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27 Dec 2007, 4:37 pm

Yes, but breeding, as genetic engeneering is human manipulation of existing things, is mixing things up, hodgepodge, jumble, medley, miscellany, muddle, pastiche (Roget's synonims) for human short term finalities.



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27 Dec 2007, 9:19 pm

Breeding is not evolution. Breeding is a process directly controlled by another species (us). Evolution occurs gradually and is affected by many different factors. The time that it takes for observable changes to transpire should be measured in generations, not years. There is naturally a lot of variety between species and within species in terms of how fast reproduction takes place.

The rate of evolution can also be affected by genetic variables specific to the species, as well as sudden environmental changes (which tend to temporarily speed up the process).

This information comes from an Evolutionary Biology class that I took several years ago.



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28 Dec 2007, 4:26 am

I often wonder how much consciousness we as a species possess. If it is that which separates us from our ape ancestors, then maybe it is not so much. That, and the ability to kill and control other species. I was going to say, and communicate with each other, but of course other animals also do this but often in a way we cannot understand. If we are the most intelligent species, as scientists tell us, I wonder why our evolutionary path has given us the intelligence to control our environments so much as to effect changes that may one day wipe us off the planet. It doesn't seem to make sense from an evolutionary point of view. We seem to be 'over-evolved' and over-breeding.



paolo
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28 Dec 2007, 5:33 pm

We are over breeded certainly. Not overevolved in intelligence, if intelligence is, as I think, something different from the artificial intelligence of computers. Tenderness, intuition, ecstasy do not belong to artificial intelligence. Have you ever seen an ecstatic computer, an affectionate computer, a computer who makes "wild guesses"? In R.U.R by Carol Capek robots (he invented the word) become human when they discover love . But PCs built by men will never discover that thing.



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28 Dec 2007, 7:07 pm

all breeds of dogs were generated in less than 5K generations... but they are considered one species by most species definitions.


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29 Dec 2007, 3:01 am

Evolution occurs in response to environmental pressure.
The most important (i think) are diseases & virus's.
An organism occupying a niche can remain stable (i.e.not evolve) for millenia -e.g.crocodiles
If it goes extinct, new organism's will rapidly evolve into the new niche.
A species that is separated will slowly diverge genetically.


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Sedaka
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30 Dec 2007, 4:43 am

evolution produces diversity... on which environmental pressure select which is most fit.... there's no predicting what that will be... although there is a good base recipe for most things


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09 Jan 2022, 2:10 am

In the fascinating of evolution the truth of another is also the truth of mine, in evolution one cannot exist without another. In the image below you can see my very distant grandfather, but it is also a building block of how i am at the moment. There is only time difference.

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Fnord
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09 Jan 2022, 11:44 am

crazyllama wrote:
Over a hundred years ago, all parakeets in the world were blue. Now they have green, yellow, white, red etc... through breeding. Sometimes evolution happens quickly and other times it takes millions of years.

Crocodiles have been pretty much the same for tens of millions of years.
That is likely because no one wants to breed crocodiles.



Piri Alchami
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16 Jan 2022, 11:27 pm

Starr wrote:
We seem to be 'over-evolved' and over-breeding.



I don't think that is the case. Some speculate that we are decreasing in population size.

And we still have much more potential to evolve into something more. Hopefully something better.



Ettina
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18 Mar 2022, 11:04 am

It's not a matter of time, it's a matter of the number of generations. Short-lived, fast-reproducing creatures evolve more quickly than long-lived, slow-reproducing creatures. It's why there's a new type of influenza every year, because influenza viruses are very short-lived, fast-reproducing organisms, so they can form whole new species in a year.



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23 Apr 2022, 7:09 pm

Good fiction thriller by Kazuaki Takano, called Genocide of One. It speculates about what might happen if a new and improved hominid suddenly evolved. How would we, and our politicians, react if we were no longer earth's cool kids? Nice blend of science and action.



Piri Alchami
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23 Apr 2022, 11:49 pm

I have been thinking about this thing called evolution recently. We all seem to look at it mostly from genetic mutation and adaptation. I'm not convinced, however, that we're evolving only in the physical spheres. Cannot we also be evolving our consciousness--whatever that is--and its ancillary or corollary aspects?



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24 Apr 2022, 12:40 am

The audio is a bit choppy (John Stewart drops out a lot) but it's an interesting discussion and something like a revival of the question of where the thing is headed. If I understand John Stewart correctly he seems to be suggesting that its taking something like a repetition of steps at different levels (such as harsh competition, cooperation, then binding at a given scale and then repeating that pattern at larger scales). I'm a little less convinced of his read on politics but I do understand how this follows from his interpretations.


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