Search found 19 matches

by Smig
Wed Apr 07, 2010 4:39 pm
Forum: Evolution
Topic: Evolution of human intellect
Replies: 4
Views: 3351

Re: Evolution of human intellect

If we where to travel to 30 000 BC back in time, pick up a new- born, and raise the child in "modern ways", do you think anyone might say (judging only by behaviour, not appearance) : "Ahhh, yes, I can se now that you must have travled back in time and adopted that child! (traveling ...
by Smig
Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:49 pm
Forum: Ecology
Topic: Does it really matter?
Replies: 33
Views: 38143

I got your point Jack. My replies to you were a little off because for some reason I missed the part in the OP that talked about an "incredibly rare animal" so I went on and on about ecological danger of extinction without realizing that detail. I agree that on that regard, it would be saf...
by Smig
Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:37 pm
Forum: Ecology
Topic: Dysfunctional behaviors in natural selection
Replies: 2
Views: 3449

I don't know about that example or what kind of primitive people you're talking about but those food practices are probably the result of cultural traits, not natural selection. That would be a negative by-product of our brain's evolution, which probably provides those same primitive people with ben...
by Smig
Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:15 pm
Forum: Ecology
Topic: Does it really matter?
Replies: 33
Views: 38143

Another value is in research. For example, what if we can know more about the evolution of the great ape's brains by studying creatures on other branches that also developed big brains, like dolphins. If we were unable to study living dolphins we could potentially lose knowledge about our own specie...
by Smig
Fri Mar 19, 2010 3:15 pm
Forum: Ecology
Topic: Does it really matter?
Replies: 33
Views: 38143

I don't agree with neither premise, but it may depend on what you mean by them. About the 2nd point, even if there were no qualitative difference between each cause of an extinction there is surely a quantitative difference. The quantity of extinctions caused by mankind's desire to make money is not...
by Smig
Thu Mar 18, 2010 6:59 pm
Forum: Ecology
Topic: Does it really matter?
Replies: 33
Views: 38143

I don't know. I said that there was probably not much danger to an ecosystem as a whole if the extinctions were natural because they're usual a gradual process. Pointing an example of non-gradual natural extinction wouldn't disprove that its usually a gradual process. However, if I'm wrong, and I ad...
by Smig
Thu Mar 18, 2010 5:55 pm
Forum: Evolution
Topic: Reason for adapting the clutch size to the food available
Replies: 6
Views: 5329

You said that there *can* be big changes so I don't think we're disagreeing. I acknowledge that big changes are possible in only a decade, population booms and extinctions are probably the norm, the lemmings example in my first post is one of those extreme cases, they get almost extinct cyclically a...
by Smig
Thu Mar 18, 2010 5:43 pm
Forum: Ecology
Topic: Does it really matter?
Replies: 33
Views: 38143

The distinction I was thinking is for example, the sudden reduction of an habitat for economic purposes would be a human reason. Natural reasons would be changes in climate or biotic factors, which are usually gradual. I think that sudden "natural" changes are probably very rare.
by Smig
Thu Mar 18, 2010 5:28 pm
Forum: Ecology
Topic: Does it really matter?
Replies: 33
Views: 38143

There can be an objective value to the existence of a species if its an important species in its ecosystem. The interactions between each species and their importance is usually such a complex issue that the removal of one may have unpredictable consequences. If the rate of extinctions today is acce...
by Smig
Thu Mar 18, 2010 4:27 pm
Forum: Evolution
Topic: Why do women live longer than men?
Replies: 24
Views: 33810

I think that, before answering this question you need to ask another question. What causes people to die naturally? I honestly don't know what are the latest findings there but I'd bet we don't know for sure and answering this question is essential to answer yours. For example, is there a timer in o...
by Smig
Thu Mar 18, 2010 4:18 pm
Forum: Evolution
Topic: Reason for adapting the clutch size to the food available
Replies: 6
Views: 5329

Re: Reason for adapting the clutch size to the food available

Yes but I didn't mean that in a literal sense, I mean, some ecosystems at least are so stable that they give the impression of being in a steady state, depending on the timescale that we are observing. Like orbits for example, the moon is escaping the earth but it's doing it so slowly that in our ev...
by Smig
Wed Mar 17, 2010 7:17 pm
Forum: Evolution
Topic: Reason for adapting the clutch size to the food available
Replies: 6
Views: 5329

Yes, I had a bias towards my suggested explanation because I've tried to develop a simulation of an ecosystem but I could never achieve a steady state, I always had peaks and extinctions, and when I read about this clutch size adaptation caused by prey availability, it seemed like an easy way to mak...