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Thread: The evolution of human female breasts

  1. #1 The evolution of human female breasts 
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    Male bird of some species are colorful despite this having no survival advantage other than mate selection, and that the non-colorful (camouflaged) females specifically seek males that are colorful. These are more likely to spawn offsprings that are colorful males and females that seek colorful males, thus enhancing the dismorphism and the preference.

    I think that the reason why many women's breast are somewhat developed when they are not pregnant is because many men are attracted to breasts.

    To me its the most logical explanation


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    Actually, certain breast sizes do different things for different guys. Normally, a certain breast size means that the female is "healthy." Thus, evolution wise, it'd be the best choice to pass on your genes.

    It's the same for birds and any other species. If they show certain colors or certain traits, it means they are healthy and good for breeding.

    I had a link once regarding evolution and sexual attraction, but I lost it. Sorry :S


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    Japanese men [apparently] prefer small breasts [on their women] and well you know they seem to have 'evolved' that way, African men seem to generally prefer to see large buttocks on their girls, so this to has become an almost 'trademark' of female African's.

    Or is there some other reason where Japanese and African men have just gotton used to it?

    I'm not sure I agree with Jeremy's last point though, I understand that most men would mate with almost any female, of course if there's a choice but that never (or rarely) is the actual case, It's only after you have married Brunhilda that Kylie comes out of hiding.
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    Evolution probably forged preferences for morphology associated with health.

    This being said, Imo, the "Health" rationale for having healthy women have breasts of a certain size only holds water after women already have developed breats but can certainly NOT explain how these breasts came about in the first place.

    The chest of a very healthy lioness in kick a*s peak shape is just as flat as that of a Male lion, the lioness breast like the overwelming majority of all mammal females Only develops when pregnant and breast feeding.

    I think that long ago, all human (or proto-human) women were flat chested when not pregnant regardless of health. So at some point in time a few women had small breasts instead of flat chests and the males of those tribes selected or protected or fed the small breasted women more often then the flat chested females (male looking or unpregnant looking?).
    When the trend started, its not impossible that the men that were more likely to select a small breasted women had offsprings whose males were also more likely to select small breasts to flat chest.

    Thats the way I imagine it anyway
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    Is there not also the possibility it is something to do with breast feeding, since we effectively went from 4 to 2 legs, maybe the way babies were fed [position wise] altered, and had a bearing?
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    Japanese men [apparently] prefer small breasts [on their women]
    I did not know that (I dont remember ever talking sexual preference with a japanese). Does this apply to chinese men too?
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    I understand they have a preference/fetish for small feet but I cannot verify their taste in breasts.
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    Is there not also the possibility it is something to do with breast feeding, since we effectively went from 4 to 2 legs, maybe the way babies were fed [position wise] altered, and had a bearing?
    I dont think so because both human womens breasts and mammals Do develop when pregnant and breast feeding, the difference is on the contrary precisely when women are Not breast feeding or pregnant (not to mention having arms to hold a baby offsets the walking on two legs part).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megabrain
    I understand they have a preference/fetish for small feet but I cannot verify their taste in breasts.
    actually, the japanese usually have a "fetish" for large things. Breasts included. What happens is, when someone sees something they don't usually see, they normally find it attractive (this helps to increase the gene pool of people that aren't very wide spread).
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    Does anyone else think that western women of the future will be less likely to be able to give birth naturaly without assitance?


    ...Although in the future physical characteristics might become equivalent to clothing fashion (with genetic engineering: this winter the blue eye fashion is making a come back, but blond hair it so out of style) :wink:
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    actually, the japanese usually have a "fetish" for large things. Breasts included. What happens is, when someone sees something they don't usually see, they normally find it attractive (this helps to increase the gene pool of people that aren't very wide spread).
    Hum thats quite interesting, maybe thats why I find that beautiful asian women have some appeal I cant quite explain, although I would prefer asian with moderate breasts to one with flatter chest. "But" on the other hand the large ass thing is really not appealing to me no matter how exotic or rare it is.
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    Maybe it's why we all drive wrecks, because we long for ferraris...

    'Western women giving birth without assistance' - It was jolly old Queen victoria [the prude] who decided to lay on her back - if you look at anatomy it's easy to see why in this position 'help' is needed - if a woman 'squats' then childbirth is gravity assisted, meaning the canal muscles do not need to 'strain so much' - it is becoming more popular [at least in the uk], not to lie back and scream, at the birth, but confine this to conception
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    The explanation offered by Desmond Morris in The Naked Ape is related to the change from a rear mating position to a front facing 'missionary' position. Breasts developed in order to provide a stimulus to the male that evoked the appearance of buttocks seen from the rear position.
    Sounds feasible.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megabrain
    Is there not also the possibility it is something to do with breast feeding, since we effectively went from 4 to 2 legs, maybe the way babies were fed [position wise] altered, and had a bearing?
    Only one person thinks breasts might actually have something to do with feeding babies, rather than providing something to ogle?

    Haven't any of you noticed that the human breast does increase significantly during pregegnancy and nursing?

    Since you all seems to have missed some basic biology [including Megabrain], allow me to make a suggestion. Humans experience menstruation, not estrus. They also need to nurse infants for significantly longer.
    Why do they want us to believe Conspiracy Theories?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    The explanation offered by Desmond Morris in The Naked Ape is related to the change from a rear mating position to a front facing 'missionary' position. Breasts developed in order to provide a stimulus to the male that evoked the appearance of buttocks seen from the rear position.
    Sounds feasible.
    I discount this, it does not account for why breasts vary in size around world, (or for that matter buttocks), You are suggesting that man mates naked in full daylight, I suggest there is no evidence to support or deny such a proposition.

    And now for something completely different..

    Also buttocks from the rear? - shouldn't the nipples have closed and merged ? and dare I suggest that if stimulus were a prime, then males would have small 'breast's in the palm of each hand' :-D
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megabrain
    I discount this, it does not account for why breasts vary in size around world, (or for that matter buttocks),
    That is a singularily foolish statement, whose interest arises from the fact that you have provided an answer to your own implicit question.
    Given that buttocks vary in size it would hardly be surprising that breasts also vary in size, if the function was indeed to mimick buttocks.
    Quote Originally Posted by Megabrain
    You are suggesting that man mates naked in full daylight, I suggest there is no evidence to support or deny such a proposition.
    Point 1: I am suggesting nothing. I am relaying the suggestion made by Desmond Morris.
    Point 2: The suggestion is that mating took place in the daylight (or moonlight), not that it now takes place in the daylight.
    Point 3: 'Full' daylight? Get real! Just how bad does your eyesight have to be to distinguish buttocks.
    Point 4: Of course there is evidence. There is not, however, proof. You appear to be unable to distinguish between the two.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    The explanation offered by Desmond Morris in The Naked Ape is related to the change from a rear mating position to a front facing 'missionary' position. Breasts developed in order to provide a stimulus to the male that evoked the appearance of buttocks seen from the rear position.
    Sounds feasible.
    Tell me Ophie, do you honestly believe there is any chance of there being any reality in that explanation?
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  19. #18  
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    Yes.
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    the truth is that some beauty pattern exist in nearly all culutres :
    basically it's nearly A B A (B < A).
    Symmetry is also a constant pattern of beauty
    For the breast, in all cultures falling breast are not nice. The size vary and is related to different tastes, but it must be present.

    If you are not an homosexual male, you are attracted by female not men. So check the physical differences between males and females and you will get the idea.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Yes.
    Hmm initially thinks 'Thank heavens Desmond is not a cosmologist

    Okay, so on a serious note, what evidence is there that prominent breasts occured after the adoption of the missionary position? .
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megabrain
    Okay, so on a serious note, what evidence is there that prominent breasts occured after the adoption of the missionary position? .
    None that I am aware of, since breasts are notoriously poor at fossilising. Perhaps if you consult the original words of Morris you may find more detail available. In the meantime here is a quote from The Sex Contract - The Evolution of Human Behavior by Helen E. Fisher:
    "Human breasts have no physiological function. They are
    subcutaneous deposits of fat around the teats and mammary glands that
    can be cumbersome to the bearer. They play no role in nursing. In
    fact, they can even smother the child. Fatty buttocks don't seem to
    have much use either. They do store fat, and among African Bushmen,
    where hunger may have been a problem, women have the biggest rear
    ends in the world. (These women's buttocks are, in fact, so large
    that a small child can ride on his mother's back, standing with his
    feet on her buttocks and his arms arond her neck.) But fleshy
    buttocks appear on all women, from the cave-dwelling Tasaday of the
    Philippines to the disco dancers of Los Angeles, even though for most
    of these women malnutrition is no problem. Big breasts and buttocks
    appear superfluous, as does the female's high voice and hairless chin
    and chest."
    "Other anatomical features also evolved to entice mates. As
    Desmond Morris points out in "The Naked Ape", they all appear on the
    front of the body--as if to encourage frontal copulation. Fleshy
    earlobes, protruding noses, everted red lips (which Morris says were
    designed to mimic the genitals), and swelling breasts evolved as
    sexual signals to invite copulation from the front.


    And heere is another explanation:
    Female breasts enlarge during pregnancy and lactation. Since it is during these periods that provisioning the mother most benefits the child, males evolved to be more generous providers for women with enlarged breasts. Also, dominant males evolved to regard enlarged breasts as sexually unattractive. While this promoted their own reproductive success, it left such women free to be courted by the non-dominant males. Their courting involved provisioning the women, an act which also promoted their children’s well being. Thus, women with enlarged breasts were better provisioned. Since, for the two reasons given above, women with enlarged breasts were better provisioned, women with the genes for preferentially depositing fat in their breasts left more descendants, causing such genes to be selected. In non-human primates where male provisioning was unimportant, preferential fat deposits in the breasts did not emerge because such deposits could not lead to better provisioning.

    Source: http://cas.bellarmine.edu/tietjen/images/breasts.htm
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    No female mammal other than the human has breasts of comparable size when not lactating, and the human is the only primate that has permanently swollen breasts. Moreover, much of breast tissue contributes nothing to lactation. This suggests that the external form of the breasts is connected to factors other than lactation alone.

    The strongest theory is based in part on the fact that, unlike nearly all other primates, human females do not display clear, physical signs of ovulation. This could have plausibly resulted in human males evolving to respond to more subtle signs of ovulation. During ovulation, the increased estrogen present in the female body results in a slight swelling of the breasts, indicating fertility, which then males evolved to find attractive. In response, there would be evolutionary pressures that would favor females with more swollen breasts who would appear to males to be the most likely to be ovulating.

    A more sophicated treatment for why breasts/large breasts evolved can be found here: http://cas.bellarmine.edu/tietjen/images/breasts.htm

    "Abstract

    Female breasts enlarge during pregnancy and lactation. Since it is during these periods that provisioning the mother most benefits the child, males evolved to be more generous providers for women with enlarged breasts. Also, dominant males evolved to regard enlarged breasts as sexually unattractive. While this promoted their own reproductive success, it left such women free to be courted by the non-dominant males. Their courting involved provisioning the women, an act which also promoted their children’s well being. Thus, women with enlarged breasts were better provisioned. Since, for the two reasons given above, women with enlarged breasts were better provisioned, women with the genes for preferentially depositing fat in their breasts left more descendants, causing such genes to be selected. In non-human primates where male provisioning was unimportant, preferential fat deposits in the breasts did not emerge because such deposits could not lead to better provisioning."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    The explanation offered by Desmond Morris in The Naked Ape is related to the change from a rear mating position to a front facing 'missionary' position. Breasts developed in order to provide a stimulus to the male that evoked the appearance of buttocks seen from the rear position.
    Sounds feasible.
    Then wouldn't one expect the vulva to become enlarged? And wouldn't one also expect lots of "titty sex" with no reproductive value
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    Also notice that we rely on vision much more than many animals, our sense of smell is relatively weak, so visual differenciation could play a more prominent role as in birds where the female and males are of different colors, since our colours do not vary our body shape takes on importance in broadcasting our gender. Individuals with greater capacity for sexual dismorphism (having dauthers and sons that have a divergent appearance, female looking more female and male looking more male) are apparently advantaged in the long run because both their female and male offsprings attract mates where as individuals with less gender variance(males and females that somewhat look like males, or males and females that somewhat look like females).

    Anyway, vision is important to humans, and imo appearance has importance in broadcasting our gender to a greater extent than animals with more acute sense of smell or with weak vision(rino).
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    Breasts as ive heard it was evolved cause males liked it and that it was sign of that the female could bring healthy babies to this world and also nurish them. And for the unusual size of the human penis, lets just say girls like it in the bed XD
    I am zelos. Destroyer of planets, exterminator of life, conquerer of worlds. I have come to rule this uiniverse. And there is nothing u pathetic biengs can do to stop me

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    Human females have a higher percentage of fat in there body's make up then primates, which is also extended to the breasts, probably as a adaption to survive different climate variations since we dont have any hair or fur. The same reaon why seals have a large fat percentage living in a cold climate. I dont believe in evolution or what i just said, but atleast i know Im smarter then your stupid asses and can come up with better ideas that fit in the frame work of your assanine evolution theory. And what about woman that get back pain from big breasts and also theyre less mobile to protect their children. It would be a disadvantage.

    MOD WARNING:
    I do not see any provocation or justification for your comment in the middle of the above paragraph - I will not tolerate a reccurance.
    Megabrain.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbrandy2
    Human females have a higher percentage of fat in there body's make up then primates, which is also extended to the breasts, probably as a adaption to survive different climate variations since we dont have any hair or fur. The same reaon why seals have a large fat percentage living in a cold climate. I dont believe in evolution or what i just said, but atleast i know Im smarter then your stupid asses and can come up with better ideas that fit in the frame work of your assanine evolution theory. And what about woman that get back pain from big breasts and also theyre less mobile to protect their children. It would be a disadvantage.
    That is so damn HILARIOUS it's not even funny. First of all, this is not a climate variation adaptation, since the fat in ones breast is a disadvantage in a predominant amount of situations. The current breast sizes you see now days were not likely to have been in existence thousands of years ago (D, for example, which is a damn scary breast size if you ask me).

    furthermore, in order for it to be an advantage in adverse conditions, this fat would have to cover the entire body. It does not.

    Your reason is not better than ours, nor does it even fit into the framework of evolution. All you have done is prove you don't understand evolution at all.
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    The fat does cover the entire body. Thats why women get cellulite on their legs Fool. last time i checked woman had overall higher percentages of body fat on their bodies. And the human male has a higher percenatgae of over all body fat then primates.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbrandy2
    The fat does cover the entire body. Thats why women get cellulite on their legs Fool. last time i checked woman had overall higher percentages of body fat on their bodies. And the human male has a higher percenatgae of over all body fat then primates.
    It depends on the female. Furthermore, that fat is non-beneficial, and only the result of overeating. I'd also like to mention that the fat percentages on the human body are far to low to act as heat-cold resistors to any extreme extent.
    Also, most primates live in warm areas. Humans were the same. Their body fat is not meant to ward of cold conditions to any good extent, and it's mostly used for other things.

    And you also failed to understand my rebuttal. The fat I spoke of was of the breasts, regular body fat wasn't even in-context.
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    Then why do white males have alot of hair on their bodies? it isnt enough to ward off cool conditions, theres not enough to make a difference, and its probably not beneficial in any way. I submit that humans, if they did evolved, evolved in the northern hemispehere. Black people survive just as well as white people in northern climates. Going from white skin to black in africa would be alot more beneficial and make more sense. Why would there be such a drastic change in human skin color when there isnt that much benefit for it. White skin isnt going to make you more successful to any measurable extent in northen climates. Also eskimo lived in colder climate then most european and their pretty dark. Humans evolved in Cold Climates theres more ecidence for that.
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  32. #31  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbrandy2
    Then why do white males have alot of hair on their bodies?
    Quite frankly, that isn't a lot of hair. The density and type of hair on the human body is far too small to provide any protection. It's a trait the human race is steadily losing, as less and less are insanely hairy.

    In the case of evolution, traits that aren't used are removed to better adapt. In fact there is a weak muscle in your fore-arm that is becoming less and less popular because we don't need it. I forget the name of it though.

    it isnt enough to ward off cool conditions, theres not enough to make a difference, and its probably not beneficial in any way.
    Welcome to why it's a trait that we are losing. It used to be beneficial, and we used to have a lot more hair, but it isn't any longer. Hence why we are losing it steadily.

    I submit that humans, if they did evolved, evolved in the northern hemispehere. Black people survive just as well as white people in northern climates. Going from white skin to black in africa would be alot more beneficial and make more sense. Why would there be such a drastic change in human skin color when there isnt that much benefit for it. White skin isnt going to make you more successful to any measurable extent in northen climates. Also eskimo lived in colder climate then most european and their pretty dark. Humans evolved in Cold Climates theres more ecidence for that.
    this comes from a misunderstanding of what skin color is. Differences in skin color rely on a lot more than just heat. You also forget one thing, UV rays. Black people block them out a hell of a lot better than whites, and if you live in a snowy region it's better to have darker skin due to how much you will be blasted with from the sun.
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    trait we are losing? if we all evolved from africans how are we losing it? blakcs have alot less hair on their legs and arms then whites. Also my point has been proved. Blacks would neevr evolve into having white skin in the north which is the popular view today./
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  34. #33  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbrandy2
    trait we are losing? if we all evolved from africans how are we losing it? blakcs have alot less hair on their legs and arms then whites.
    Africans? evolved from? are you joking?
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    wasnt the oldest human found in africa?
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  36. #35  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbrandy2
    wasnt the oldest human found in africa?
    Yes, the oldest human known was found in africa. However, there are many bodies strewn through the entire planet. Regardless of age. Claiming they all came from one point is foolish, since they could not cross the ocean like that (and the continents were too far apart by that time).

    Another thing, is that climate has changed quite rapidly and drastically over different periods. I'm unsure as to how your statement here means anything.

    EDIT: I should also mention that the age in which it was dated is quite "early" on a geological scale. Little to no evolution would have occurred given the short time span.
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    Your trying to tell me that races of humans evolved from isolated groups of primates separately in different parts of the world? How are we so the same then? How could the same positive mutations appear at almost the same time in different groups of primates across the globe, which would be needed to make us almost exactly alike? that is very, very far fetched. The only way you could explain how we are so alike, but with just a few slight racial differences, is that the human species evolved first as one race and then spread out and adpted to the new enviroments. Anything else would have a probablity of very very very low. Atleast not high enough to be taken seriously. I mean the chances of the human race accaully evolving is very low, let alone numerous evolutions of the same ilk taking place at the same time in different parts of the world.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbrandy2
    Your trying to tell me that races of humans evolved from isolated groups of primates separately in different parts of the world? How are we so the same then?
    Not exactly, they all evolved from a common point of origin, but they spread out whilst the continents drifted apart from one another. We did not really evolve from africans at all, if anything, we all evolved from that one species and it spread it further and further and continued evolving in slightly different ways (the environment wasn't severe enough to evolve vastly different).

    How could the same positive mutations appear at almost the same time in different groups of primates across the globe, which would be needed to make us almost exactly alike?
    It is not just mutations that drive evolution, had you known anything about evolution to begin with you'd know that's the case. Small adaptations made to the body over time are more responsible than rapid mutations (mutations are quite by accident, and thus they are only responsible for rapid changes in a species, not minor ones).

    Take, for example, all of the cells in your body right now. Every one of them is presently having the task of adapting to germs, learning, improving, and slowly but surely will add genetic data about the environment if it's changed.
    It's no surprise that body builders end up with children that can surpass even them sometimes. As the environment both lived in all of their lives ends up making some genes dominant after a time.

    that is very, very far fetched. The only way you could explain how we are so alike, but with just a few slight racial differences, is that the human species evolved first as one race and then spread out and adpted to the new enviroments. Anything else would have a probablity of very very very low. Atleast not high enough to be taken seriously. I mean the chances of the human race accaully evolving is very low, let alone numerous evolutions of the same ilk taking place at the same time in different parts of the world.
    not really, the chances of evolution are actually very high. If a super computer could handle all of the variables required for the "directed chance" (evolution is not purely random, it's directed chance based on environment factors), it would be made quite clear.

    Furthermore, you are the one that said we evolved from africans. I merely corrected you above, that the species at the time the continents were still connected were definitely not african-humans so much as a prior species.
    Skin color has not been around for a very long time, as most humanoids still had some fur or other protection from UV rays rather than requiring black skin. In fact, evolution wise, black skin is probably something more recent on the adaptation scale.
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    If human evolution is so simple and can happen numerous times, Why did it take 1 billion years to make as complex as us. why didnt the dinosaurus develop intellegence to rival us? Small adaptations could never explain macro evolution. Darwin never talked about adaptions. Adaptations are a product of mutations and nature selection. Give me examples of smaller adaptations. If you get the chicken pox and your body, after it gets over it, becomes immune to it, Your child still will get chicken pox when he or she is born not immune to it like you already are. What the heck are you talking about. No one has ever claimed that if you lift a whole bunch of weights your child will be stronger then you were when you were born. Lifting weights doesnt get into the DNA you pass to offspring. I guess if your an 80 year old man and you impregnant someone, you child will come out old like you. Thats about as asanine as your claim is. I never heard of small adaptations being a big part in the scheme of macro-evolution.

    From wiki[pedia: Evolution consists of two basic types of processes: those that introduce new genetic variation into a population, and those that affect the frequencies of existing genes.[9] Random copying errors in genetic material (mutations), migration between populations (gene flow), and the reshuffling of genes during sexual reproduction (genetic recombination) create variation in organisms. Genetic drift acts to randomize this variation, and natural selection acts to filter it by favoring beneficial traits.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbrandy2
    If human evolution is so simple and can happen numerous times, Why did it take 1 billion years to make as complex as us. why didnt the dinosaurus develop intellegence to rival us?
    Sorry, but it has been far longer than 1 billion years. The first single celled organism was...what? 3 billion?

    Evolution takes a long time. Those small adaptations are responsible for that, and when a planetary catastrophe (which would be expected in a few billion years) has wiped out many species (causing the need for more and better advancements).

    Also, Dinosaurs did not need cognitive ability. Again you show gross ignorance of how evolution works, please read the Wikipedia article, or buy a book "evolution for dummies," as this is getting sickening.

    Small adaptations could never explain macro evolution. Darwin never talked about adaptions.
    Darwin was hundreds of years ago. Since him, the theory has vastly improved. It is a big mistake of theists to insist that the theory is the same now as it was back then, as there are many new methods based on newer research and such.

    Also, you are failing (like many) to comprehend such long time spans. Please think about the time here: 3 billion years.

    3,000,000,000.

    Now stop to think about that number, don't read on and don't skip thinking about it. Imagine a day, 24 hours. How much do you do in a day? how much could you do in a day?
    Now think about how much your body does.

    Then think about how much happens in a month. A months worth of experiences? Can you remember half of them? Perhaps two months? Four?

    Keep doubling the number. Go to years, how much happens in ten years? A hundred years? think about how much has changed in a hundred years society wise, and even micro-evolution wise (the viruses today are increasingly worse than they used to be, hell HIV and AIDS are even recent "evolved" forms of viral infections. Bird Flue is another).

    Now keep on pondering years. Go deeper and deeper (I advise meditation for this, as it helps you comprehend things better) until you're at ten thousand years.
    What has happened in ten thousand years? Civilization has improved drastically. There is also another change that most non-educated people forget: We lack muscle fibers that our ancestors had ten thousand years ago. Why you ask? Civilization has become pathetically relaxed, and weaker-humans have been allowed to breed.
    There is no longer any survival of the fittest, as the weakest are allowed to live and breed.

    20 thousand years? Humans were nomads basically. they'd not even started to develop farming or started to eat heavy foods. Few humans survived, and if there were too many in one area food would be scarce. Indeed, only small bands (sometimes only two people) could survive in any one area.
    Archaeological evidence suggests that due to their diet they didn't get much protein either. In fact, few had the energy for much cognitive thought other than basic forms. They had no time to sit and think, and only inventions for survival let them continue (survival of the fittest is a hard thing).
    In fact this diet is what humans were originally evolved to eat. It's called the Paleolithic diet, and cuts out most if not all heavy-foods and other "poisonous" things that provide little vitamins compared to our evolved-to-eat foods. I tried this diet for a week myself, and I can say I never felt better in my life than that week. Unfortunately due to lack of money I have to settle for heavy food rather than good food :/

    Now keep going with this. Soon you'll reach millions, billions, etc. Surely you can comprehend such time spans if enough thought is put into it. Really, evolution is not a simple concept, nor a simple process, as it depends on thousands and millions of variables to do anything.

    And aside from this, screw (again) what darwin said. Your religious leaders once ordered culling's of witches and heretics. Does that mean you do so now?

    Adaptations are a product of mutations and nature selection. Give me examples of smaller adaptations. If you get the chicken pox and your body, after it gets over it, becomes immune to it, Your child still will get chicken pox when he or she is born not immune to it like you already are.
    Actually, few if any get chicken pox now days. In fact I was in direct contact with a few kids who had it and I never got it. Chicken pox is a far less deadly disease than it used to be, as people used to die from it (for numerous reasons).

    However, chicken pox is (again) a very recent form of viral infection. Newer viral infections are not quickly adapted to, as it takes long periods of it to do so.

    And...wait...are you telling someone who actually knows the theory of evolution, that adaptations are ONLY mutations? You, sir, are not only arrogant, but you are egotistical. Also, natural selection is a mechanism, NOT a process of evolution.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution#Basic_processes

    Educate yourself for a change.

    What the heck are you talking about. No one has ever claimed that if you lift a whole bunch of weights your child will be stronger then you were when you were born.
    Psh, how limited can you get. Ones body uses different genes if your environment changes. This is not so much evolution as a heredity adaption based on prior genetic experiences. While DNA isn't very changeable, ones environment causes certain traits to surface.
    Thus, your child will be stronger/smarter if you have it in your genes to be so. It's a simple case of the child getting genes which were most used during your lifetime up until that point. As that determines which genes are passed on to an extent.

    Also, aside from basic heredity, also take into account environment. Someone who trained to do so most his/her life will probably instruct the child at a younger age (thus better development, and faster). You see this everywhere. A mother who has large breasts will most likely give birth to a female who will develop the same thing.
    A small and skinny female will most likely give birth to the same thing. How you live your life (and what your genetic structure is) usually decides what kind of child will result.

    Lifting weights doesnt get into the DNA you pass to offspring. I guess if your an 80 year old man and you impregnant someone, you child will come out old like you. Thats about as asanine as your claim is. I never heard of small adaptations being a big part in the scheme of macro-evolution.
    That's a very stupid version of what I said. You basically created a straw man argument and shot that one down instead of mine. Ones age would merely change (again) what genes the child gets. Of course it wouldn't bypass aging, as that has absolutely nothing to do with ones starting genes (aside from how long you'll live).
    However, it's obvious that heredity decides how many muscle fibers your body will create. Both environment and heredity factors play a part in that. The more generations pass on that trait, the more generations will have a stronger trait in that area.

    See: Eugenics (go to wikipedia).

    And you haven't heard of it, because you haven't studied evolution. Micro-evolution is the main point of macro-evolution.

    From wiki[pedia: Evolution consists of two basic types of processes: those that introduce new genetic variation into a population, and those that affect the frequencies of existing genes.[9] Random copying errors in genetic material (mutations), migration between populations (gene flow), and the reshuffling of genes during sexual reproduction (genetic recombination) create variation in organisms. Genetic drift acts to randomize this variation, and natural selection acts to filter it by favoring beneficial traits.
    Cute, but you only took a damn small excerpt from the page. Try reading the entire page first.
    Also, those are generalized TYPES, nothing more. I have absolutely no idea what that has to do with anything. Furthermore, I dislike Wiki's use of the word "random", as any educated person who has been educated in evolution knows it's "directed chance" based on environmental factors.

    In this case, wiki should have used better wording.
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    Adaptations arent a mechanism either. What i said was that an adaptation to the enviroment that a species is equiped with are the PRODUCT of Mutations that are favored and passed on by the rule of natural selection. the mechanism, which is mutation, in evoultion is based on chance and randomness. theres an infinite amount of mutations possible whats the chances of them all appearing in a limited time frame. And animals as we know know them began only 500 million years ago, not a billion. So the process of simple life evolving into complex life happened in the time frame of only 500 million years.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbrandy2
    Adaptations arent a mechanism either. What i said was that an adaptation to the enviroment that a species is equiped with are the PRODUCT of Mutations that are favored and passed on by the rule of natural selection. the mechanism, which is mutation, in evoultion is based on chance and randomness. theres an infinite amount of mutations possible whats the chances of them all appearing in a limited time frame. And animals as we know know them began only 500 million years ago, not a billion. So the process of simple life evolving into complex life happened in the time frame of only 500 million years.
    Incorrect. animals as we know them began from the very start. After every catastrophe there were major changes, but we originate from those surviving species. And animals as we see them today are the same.

    And apparently you did not read what I wrote. Evolution by definition is not pure chance, randomness, and mutations. The mechanism ranges from mutation to environment, and evolution is directed chance. Listen to what I'm saying, and maybe then you'll learn something about evolution.

    also, adaptations are the result of mechanisms. They aren't the mechanisms that start it themselves. I never said they were.
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    The precambrien period lasted up to 500 million years ago. And: from an internet source: The Precambrian Era is the first geologic time period of the earth. The earth took form about 4.5 billion years ago. For the first 4 billion years of that time, the Earth was growing and changing. The only living things during this time were one-celled organisms. 500 billion years isnt a very long. so dinosuarus all evolved to what they were in 260 million years? I doubt if evolution could work that fast. Chimps have stayed basically the same for 6 million years. It took humans 6 million years to change from a primte to a homo sapien. How did evolution produce soemthing, single celled organism into dinosaurus, that reuqired alot more change in only 260 million? Didnt you say animals were 4 billion years old?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbrandy2
    The precambrien period lasted up to 500 million years ago. And: from an internet source: The Precambrian Era is the first geologic time period of the earth. The earth took form about 4.5 billion years ago. For the first 4 billion years of that time, the Earth was growing and changing. The only living things during this time were one-celled organisms.
    ...and?
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    I thought u said animals existed from the beginning of life. thats false. animals only started evoling 500 million years ago.

    It is not just mutations that drive evolution, had you known anything about evolution to begin with you'd know that's the case. Small adaptations made to the body over time are more responsible than rapid mutations (mutations are quite by accident, and thus they are only responsible for rapid changes in a species, not minor ones).
    It sure sounds like your saying that small adapation is a driving mechanism in evolution.
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    psst...it's not a mechanism. Learn definitions.

    as I said in my writing, it's a process. Just like mutations. PROCESS. NOT MECHANISM.
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    I don't have the time to read all this but from a small portion that has contaminated me:-

    Whichever one of you is suggesting man existed in Africa before anywhere else on the planet is in line with reality. The other should take a shower and go and read that page again.

    Jim,

    Jeremy's reputation is legend throughout this forum and probably further. :wink:
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megabrain
    I don't have the time to read all this but from a small portion that has contaminated me:-

    Whichever one of you is suggesting man existed in Africa before anywhere else on the planet is in line with reality. The other should take a shower and go and read that page again.

    Jim,

    Jeremy's reputation is legend throughout this forum and probably further. :wink:
    Actually, megabrain, the continent wasn't called "africa" at the time the first humanoids existed. Indeed, that continent wasn't even fully broken away yet. However, in the region that is now called africa, whilst it was still pretty much joined with the other land masses, yes humans existed there first.

    Also, what exactly is my "legend"?
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    Although I have not studied the subject of plate techtonics in any great depth, I'm not sure in the time man has been around things have changed to the degree one may infer from your statement. As I understand it the Ice ages have had more to do with migration paths.

    I am sure you are right that at the time the continent was not called 'Africa', that would imply man, at that time, had a system of classification extending beyond his knowledge of his immediate geography.

    Yes humans existed there first, and, it is believed all humans originated from there. I understand there were two migrations, the first may have been of a type of hominid leading to neanderthal, the second a much more successful wider migration leading to man colonizing almost the whole planet. The exact mechanism of this is again, is not of my knowledge.

    As to the legend of 'Jeremy' your style of debate is in the opinion of some, [myself included], passionate.
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    Um, megabrain...you do know this is off topic right? Perhaps you could split the off topic content into something on evolution?

    Also, enough flattery. Or I will burn ye at the stakes! o.o
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    I disagree, I see it as an allowable off-topic, that is clarification of a fundamental point relevant to the 'evolution of man' and now it has been cleared up we return to the main point of the debate which was?
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    And return we shall.

    I'm unsure if this was mentioned prior or not, but a popular suggestion is that the breast sizes are a result in estrogen. What the human females began eating, or drinking, or anything else.

    As a result, however, breasts today are exceedingly large. Due to lack of exercise, increased estrogen intake from foods, and other factors. Evolution has thus far leaned towards healthy females/males for the best possible child, and I find it disturbing then why so many prefer freakishly large sizes.

    Most breasts today, aside from smaller sizes, are really not what females are supposed to have.

    EDIT: However, it appears wikipedia disagrees with me http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breast#Function . For reasons I find probably more accurate than my own. However, my point about the increased estrogen/fat/etc rates (which is bad) still stands.
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    Short of isolating groups of humans for perhaps many generations I see no way to objectively decide the 'reason(s)' for this 'phenomina'. There are clearly valid contradictory arguments for both sides. What I do find interesting is that even within close families there are quite noticeable differences, I know of one 'portly' lady who appears to have smaller breasts than perhaps even some males. From this I draw only that it is genetic. that they (a particular size of breast) may 'pop-up' anywhere at anytime rather like auburn hair (as I understand it). My own daugther has Auburn hair yet neither in my family or her mother's is there any recollection of any relative with the same trait. Clearly there is another possibility [Yet since her mother died of Huntingtons Chorea at 35yrs and our entire family volunteered genetic samples for research in this field there is no question of my not being her biological father.]. I try to see it as the arguments put forth by Desmond Morris (as pointed to earlier by Ophi) may provide a stimulus for enhancing the variation, but not neccessarily being the original cause.
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    psh, I hate geneticists and people who blame everything on genetics; they ignore what comes after birth. For example, if that lady with smaller breasts than men were to take certain drugs, or eat certain foods, they would definitely increase in size.

    But yes, there are many possibilities. Both working and contradictory, but all seem likely. Heh
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    I prefer to think geneticists do not 'blame' anything on genes, they merely seek to understand the mechanisms of genetics. It is not the geneticist who blames 'genes' for a murder or miscreant behaviour they may look for a gene common to deviants that's as far as it goes. My point was simply, that variation within a group or family can be so diverse that it is difficult to consider environment as a cause, breast surgery muddies the water, that is, in advertising, pornography, and other channels there is undoubtedly a large proportion of 'tampering'. It seems it the girl with the larger size we remember, they are ones men seem to look at, just like cars the ordinary are passed by without a second thought, it is the sight of an extraordinary motor that you remember. Could this be a factor clouding objectivity I ask?.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremyhfht
    Actually, megabrain, the continent wasn't called "africa" at the time the first humanoids existed. Indeed, that continent wasn't even fully broken away yet. However, in the region that is now called africa, whilst it was still pretty much joined with the other land masses, yes humans existed there first.
    i'm sure it had fully split of by then, The continants broke away 250 million years ago whereas the evolution of man only occured 400 thousand years ago

    http://geology.com/pangea.htm
    http://www.answers.com/topic/timeline-of-evolution
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    It is not man as we know it today I referred to, but their ancestors.
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    um, well if you actually compared the links it show that at the time that africa was fully split (65 million) that this was happening:

    "65 Ma The Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event (sixth extinction event) wipes out about half of all animal species including all non-avian dinosaurs, probably because of a cooling of the climate precipitated by the giant impact of an asteroid: iridium powder from the asteroid forms a layer that covers the whole Earth. Creation of the Chicxulub Crater (170 km across, now half-submerged off the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico).
    Without the presence of the giant and diurnal dinosaurs, mammals can increase in diversity and size. Some will later return back to the sea (whales, sirenians, seals) and others will evolve flight (bats). A group of small, nocturnal and arboreal, insect-eating mammals called the Archonta branches into what will be the primates, treeshrews, and bats. Primates have binocular vision and grasping digits, features that help them to jump from one tree branch to another. One example of a proto-primate is Plesiadapis which is extinct by 45 million years ago. Except the Neornithes lineage which exists today, all birds become extinct in the catastrophe."

    so nothing that was like humans existes, not even primates existed at that point
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    actually i am not posting about the topic, though i do believ they have evolved so that baby's can actually suckle, go try it on a peice of glass, it's hard, you would need something rounded for maxumum efficiency. i was just talking about pangea and the evolution of man
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    Mod note - I have split the offtopic crap and placed it in the trash can - where you are free to continue if you must. none has been editied or deleted.
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    trait we are losing? if we all evolved from africans how are we losing it? blakcs have alot less hair on their legs and arms then whites. Also my point has been proved. Blacks would neevr evolve into having white skin in the north which is the popular view today./
    Obviously nobody could possibly have evolved from any population alive today nor can it be said that any local population is more representative of our common ancestors than any other. There is no meaningful way to measure differences in evolutionary "distance" between any two *species* (alive at the same time) and their most recent common ancestor let alone any two individuals or subsets of the same species as is the case for us humans.

    It is not just mutations that drive evolution, had you known anything about evolution to begin with you'd know that's the case.
    I'm not sure what you mean by "just mutations" and "drive". If you mean that mutations (errors in transcription of DNA not necessarily physical abnormality) are necessary but not sufficient for evolution than I agree. But if you are referring (as the rest of your post suggests) to offspring inheriting parental traits influenced by environment or experience (Lamarckian Inheritance?) I would be surprised if many people who have studied evolution exhaustively would agree with you. This theory has not been popular for a long time and is largely incompatible with Darwinism. However I am hesitant to disregard it entirely as I have a vague recollection of hearing about some recent theories that are similar but have not investigated them. Could you explain the proposed mechanism or point me to any information on what you mean?

    I agree that our environments effect our development at all stages from embryology to death. Genes are just instructions, how these are carried out are of course subject to our environment. Isn't this apparent by the fact that some birth defects are much more dependant on environmental factors such as the mother's diet, smoking, alcohol consumption etc than any genetic predisposition. Only the instuctions are inherited though, I am not aware of any way in which information about the parents environment can/are passed on.

    Also, natural selection is a mechanism, NOT a process of evolution.
    What is your point here other than to play semantics? In any case I would certainly consider natural selection to be a process and replication to be the mechanism. As an engineer I would define a process as something that has an input (eg the gene pool) on which it operates to produce (via a mechanism such as reproduction/replication) an output (or result eg evolution ie a change in the relative frequency of particular genes in the gene pool between generations). Obviously this is a simplification as an entire population does not reproduce simultaneously and there are other factors (disturbances?) involved.

    This post is probably too long already but I guess I should address the breast size issue as it is the topic. I think the reason (or more likely reasons) for larger breasts are probably along the lines of those suggested by MM6. Correct me if I'm wrong but human evolution has veered away somewhat from the more "promiscuous" sexual habits of chimpanzees. Females came to prefer males that took a greater interest in ensuring the survival of one or few offspring and males would want to protect their investment by choosing females that were proficient nurturers. Perhaps breast size is/was some indication of the amount of resources put aside for child rearing. Maybe it was a necessary store of body fat if the mother was to provide more nourishment for longer.

    One author who's name I can't remember suggested (in more depth and detail than I will put here) that more nurturing fathers meant more childlike male specimens who would be attracted to larger breasts as a result of their juvenile qualities. The book was called "The Eternal Child" if anyone wants to look it up.
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    Am I digging this topic up from its grave? If so, I apologize, but nonetheless would like to share my theory here.

    I first came to this theory when reading the following passage from Latin American Civilization:

    Those who have children sucking at their breast ... carry them on their shoulders, in order to have their arms at liberty; and when the infants are hungry, they give them the breast either under the arm or over the shoulder, without taking them from their backs. [T]heir breasts, being left to grow without any pressure on them often hang down to their very waist, and are not therefore difficult to turn over their shoulders for the convenience of the infant.¹

    It is my belief that for this reason longer breasts are a selective advantage in that they allow females to work without having to take breaks to nurse their children. Populations in which longer breasts would've occurred would have been more productive because of this, and would've been able to out-breed populations that were less productive, i.e., populations where woman were flat-chested. In our modern society where work is not nearly as demanding and life not nearly as harsh, flat-chested populations will not be out-bred when they occur, and so flat-chested women will be more likely. And even if the last condition is not completely true, it would still follow that on a population-wide level larger breasts would be more common.

    Why would a man ‘select’ this trait in his mate? A woman with larger breasts would be a more productive member to the family than one who had to take breaks to nurse, and his family unit could out-compete the others more easily.

    Regards,
    Rv. Jon

    _______________________
    ¹ Benjamin Keen, ed., Latin American Civilization, History and Society, 1492 to Present, 4th ed. Rev. (Boulder: Westview Press), 4.
    :-)
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