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A Mathematician's View of Evolution
The Mathematical Intelligencer ^ | Granville Sewell

Posted on 09/20/2006 9:51:34 AM PDT by SirLinksalot

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To: Red Badger
Man cannot outrun a wolf...

Are you sure of that? Perhaps a wolf can outrun a man in a short sprint, but I don't think any four-legged critter can outrun a human over distance.

Biomechanical research reveals a surprising key to the survival of our species: Humans are built to outrun nearly every other animal on the planet over long distances

51 posted on 09/20/2006 10:54:26 AM PDT by js1138 (The absolute seriousness of someone who is terminally deluded.)
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To: js1138

Yes, over long distances, but a wolf sneaks up on it's prey so long distances are not an issue..........


52 posted on 09/20/2006 10:58:57 AM PDT by Red Badger (Is Castro dead yet?........)
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To: MineralMan
Why is that? Gorillas are not human beings, nor are Chimpanzees. Since they are not human beings, they do not get to participate in human affairs. [. . .] Again, we're not better than other apes...we're just different.

Okay, now we are getting into a philosophical discussion that cannot be resolved in this thread. I understand that you are a non-evangelical atheist, so you must understand that "better" will mean something different to those of us that believe that man is made in the image and likeness of the Creator (regardless of the mechanism the Creator used to get us there).

This question opens up a Pandora's box of other questions. The line could be drawn to lock out people of different races or ethnicities and certainly those who have significant disabilities (e.g. Downs and autism). The original Social Darwinists of the 19th Cantury share that point of view. Or, you can push it the other way, saying that we are more like the chimps than different.

If human beings are moral agents, and animals are NOT moral agents, then yes, of course we can say that we are better than the apes. If you are a materialist, subscribing to a purely mechanistic view of the universe, your approach isn't much different than Marx's, even if your conclusions are. It IS much different than most of us on FR. You have been a regular presence for a long time, and help keep those of us who disagree sharp. I do wonder what you find in common with most of us.
53 posted on 09/20/2006 11:00:20 AM PDT by sittnick (There is no salvation in politics.)
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To: Red Badger

I don't think wolves typically sneak up. They hunt in groups, and gang up on the weakest individual. Just like sheep herding, but with follow through.


54 posted on 09/20/2006 11:01:22 AM PDT by js1138 (The absolute seriousness of someone who is terminally deluded.)
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To: ryan71

"What do you suppose that species was like? If apes and humans evolved from the same species, wouldn't skills needed to survive and environments have been the same? I wonder why only humans have mastered the use of fire for survival? Certainly all the apes could have benefited from the use of fire.
"

I don't actually know. Perhaps someone else here can point you to fossil remains of the proto-ape. I do know that it was a mammal, and probably an ape-like critter, but more than that I cannot say.

As for the same environment, animals move in search of food, water, and to avoid overcrowding. The proto-ape moved also, no doubt.

Separation is often a trigger for separate species to emerge. Here's how it might work with the proto-ape. Remember, this is just a thought experiment, not a description of the exact process that occurred.

One group of apes lives on the edge of a lake. Another species moves to the edge of a dry, broad savannah with little water available.

As adaptation occurs through random variations in genetics, the group that lives next to the water favors the development of apes that can swim well. These would be able to gather food from the water and escape predators by swimming.

The group that lives next to the savannah might favor apes that can run well in an upright position. These would be able to chase small animals and escape predators.

As evolution proceeds further, and as populations move into different areas or conditions change, more changes take place in both populations through the adaptive process, over many, many generations. At some point, the changes become too large for the two populations to interbreed, thereby creating two new species.

Repeat this separation and adaptation for a few million years and you have chimpanzees and human beings. That's basically how it works.

The question of the use of fire is a completely separate one. Until human beings evolved to a certain intelligence level, they would not have been able to utilize fire for their purposes. Fire is a dangerous thing to most animals, and confining it for use demands human-scale intelligence. Apes other than humans do not use fire because they are incapable of doing so. They don't need it, since their diet of raw food does not require it.


55 posted on 09/20/2006 11:05:12 AM PDT by MineralMan
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To: Red Badger
we do not use anywhere near the maximum capacity of the human brain

I'm thinking that the required knowledge to end this dispute is apparently above and beyond our current capabilities to understand.

56 posted on 09/20/2006 11:05:13 AM PDT by Realism (Some believe that the facts-of-life are open to debate.....)
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To: MineralMan
So, there is no "present-day cockroach." There are many different species in the cockroach family. Yet, we call them all cockroaches. Evolution at work.

Yeah, and we call lots of different critters "bugs", that doesn't mean that one came from another. We can use a (purportedly) 50,000 year old horse, if you like. It would be harder to revive.

And of course, our naming system is somewhat arbitrary. We group things together according to similarities but the construct is of course, artificial by definition. (e.g. by one standard peanuts are regarded as nuts, but by others they are not nuts).
57 posted on 09/20/2006 11:05:50 AM PDT by sittnick (There is no salvation in politics.)
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To: MineralMan

"You'd probably not survive too well dumped into the Gorillas' environment, either, with no tools or clothing. In that regard, Gorillas are better adapted to their environment than humans. Gorillas, on the other hand, would not do well participating in human activities that require our special adaptations, like intelligence."

Their environment? Didn't "early man" live in the same environment as gorillas? NYC did not exist 10 million years ago. And you can't say "early man" built cities because they were social and apes were not. If the environment was the same, skills needed to survive were the same, and all have social behavior then why the vast difference in the evolutionary process?


58 posted on 09/20/2006 11:06:05 AM PDT by ryan71
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To: sittnick

"I do wonder what you find in common with most of us."

Well, we're all human beings. Most of us live in the United States of America. We all speak and write in English. We're all interested in political matters.

Really, about the only area in which we differ is in our beliefs regarding supernatural entities.

That's not a very large difference, it seems to me.


59 posted on 09/20/2006 11:08:53 AM PDT by MineralMan
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To: ryan71

"Didn't "early man" live in the same environment as gorillas? NYC did not exist 10 million years ago. And you can't say "early man" built cities because they were social and apes were not. "

Actually, "early man" didn't live in the same environment as gorillas. Indeed, the modern gorilla didn't even exist at that time.

"Early man" developed on savannahs, primarily, where upright bipedal locomotion was an advantage. Gorillas have always been creatures of deep forests.

"Early man" did not build cities.


60 posted on 09/20/2006 11:12:49 AM PDT by MineralMan
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To: js1138

Well on the WB cartoons they dress up in sheep costumes...........and punch a time clock......Mornin', Ralph...Mornin', Sam...............


61 posted on 09/20/2006 11:13:29 AM PDT by Red Badger (Is Castro dead yet?........)
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To: SirLinksalot; gobucks; mikeus_maximus; MeanWestTexan; JudyB1938; isaiah55version11_0; Elsie; ...


You have been pinged because of your interest regarding matters of Creation vs. Evolution - from the young-earth Creationist perspective.
Freep-mail me if you want on/off this list:
Add me / Remove me



This article provides quotes. Quotes are defined as quote-mining by definition. Therefore the article is complete hogwash. Isn't that the way this works? That way, we can sidestep all the math.

See also:
Argument: Probability of evolution

The difference between probability and odds.
62 posted on 09/20/2006 11:19:34 AM PDT by DaveLoneRanger (Lord, help me to be the Christian conservative that liberals fear I am.)
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To: SirLinksalot
The last paragraph makes a good point and is well written. There is a funny line in last paragraph. It is quite funny because of the size of understatement. (Meiosis is a figure of speech that intentionally understates something --sort of an opposite of hyperbole/exaggeration)

"Certainly we would not, and I do not believe that adding sunlight to the model would help much."


The first point an evolutionist will make whenever anyone advocating intelligent design mentions anything remotely close to the 2nd law of Thermodynamics [The entropy of an isolated system not at equilibrium will tend to increase over time, approaching a maximum value. Every isolated system becomes disordered w/ time.]....the first thing an evolutionist will point out is that sunlight provides the necessary energy to increase entropy....i.e. the earth is not a closed system; sunlight (with low entropy) shines on it and heat (with higher entropy) radiates off


for example from Tim M. Berra, "Evolution and the Myth of Creationism"

"For example, an unassembled bicycle that arrives at your house in a shipping carton is in a state of disorder. You supply the energy of your muscles (which you get from food that came ultimately from sunlight) to assemble the bike. You have got order from disorder by supplying energy. The Sun is the source of energy input to the earth's living systems and allows them to evolve."


This is funny in a couple of ways:

1) there is intelligence putting the bike together

2) It is so improbable that it is funny that someone could believe that sunlight+some ridiculous amount to time+chance and natural processes could arrive at life as we observe it today.


last paragraph deserves repeating...


Then I imagine the construction of a gigantic computer model which starts with the initial conditions on Earth 4 billion years ago and tries to simulate the effects that the four known forces of physics (the gravitational, electromagnetic and strong and weak nuclear forces) would have on every atom and every subatomic particle on our planet (perhaps using random number generators to model quantum uncertainties!). If we ran such a simulation out to the present day, would it predict that the basic forces of Nature would reorganize the basic particles of Nature into libraries full of encyclopedias, science texts and novels, nuclear power plants, aircraft carriers with supersonic jets parked on deck, and computers connected to laser printers, CRTs and keyboards? If we graphically displayed the positions of the atoms at the end of the simulation, would we find that cars and trucks had formed, or that supercomputers had arisen? Certainly we would not, and I do not believe that adding sunlight to the model would help much. Clearly something extremely improbable has happened here on our planet, with the origin and development of life, and especially with the development of human consciousness and creativity.
63 posted on 09/20/2006 11:20:13 AM PDT by FreedomProtector
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To: MineralMan; BlackElk
Really, about the only area in which we differ is in our beliefs regarding supernatural entities.

That's not a very large difference, it seems to me.

It is an essential difference. It changes the basis for our rights and responsibitlies and the very meaning of our existence. It makes us come up with different results over the question of whether man is better than the dumb beasts of the world, or only different. The "Why" of everything changes. "why" shouldn't you kill a human. "Why" should you sacrifice your life for someone you know, or an idea, or someone you haven't met, "Why" mercy killing or suicide is right or wrong.

It is what changed Whitaker Chambers from being a hardcore Communist to risking his life fighting against them.

For me, anyway, it provides hope, the ability to continue to love those who died, purpose, a moral framework larger than any imperfect government can provide, a way to (imperfectly, I'm afraid) try to see good in people I'd just as soon not like, and finally a way of thinking and looking at the world that is consistent with my own nature: a desire for order, and a love of creativity and higher ideals and purpose.
64 posted on 09/20/2006 11:20:30 AM PDT by sittnick (There is no salvation in politics.)
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To: ClearCase_guy

Do you do chex mix?


65 posted on 09/20/2006 11:20:39 AM PDT by DaveLoneRanger (Lord, help me to be the Christian conservative that liberals fear I am.)
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To: sittnick

Oops, I meant to say that it IS a very large difference.


66 posted on 09/20/2006 11:21:52 AM PDT by sittnick (There is no salvation in politics.)
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To: WriteOn
They have to make the soup first.


67 posted on 09/20/2006 11:22:42 AM PDT by DaveLoneRanger (Lord, help me to be the Christian conservative that liberals fear I am.)
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To: MineralMan
Good discussion, MineralMan.

"That's not a very large difference, it seems to me"

I used to not think it was a very large difference either. As humans we all must have faith in something; God, beer, the environment, whatever. Since I've put my faith in God, it has made an enormous difference in my life.
68 posted on 09/20/2006 11:22:46 AM PDT by ryan71
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To: colorado tanker
Well, it works one of two ways. If you try to say evolution is random then evolutionists will say no, because natural selection is the acting force on those mutations. But when you try to say evolution is NOT random (IE, designed or something) they'll say no, because the thing natural selection acts on is random mutation.

It's a cute little catch-22!
69 posted on 09/20/2006 11:24:04 AM PDT by DaveLoneRanger (Lord, help me to be the Christian conservative that liberals fear I am.)
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To: colorado tanker
Well, it works one of two ways. If you try to say evolution is random then evolutionists will say no, because natural selection is the acting force on those mutations. But when you try to say evolution is NOT random (IE, designed or something) they'll say no, because the thing natural selection acts on is random mutation.

It's a cute little catch-22!
70 posted on 09/20/2006 11:24:04 AM PDT by DaveLoneRanger (Lord, help me to be the Christian conservative that liberals fear I am.)
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To: Phantom4

Yes, and Hutton, Wells, Matthews and Blyth already did much work on natural selection ere Darwin tackled the subject. But who's name is synonymous with evolution now?


71 posted on 09/20/2006 11:25:50 AM PDT by DaveLoneRanger (Lord, help me to be the Christian conservative that liberals fear I am.)
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To: ryan71

Are you being sarcastic? Please tell me you are...


72 posted on 09/20/2006 11:27:19 AM PDT by DaveLoneRanger (Lord, help me to be the Christian conservative that liberals fear I am.)
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To: betty boop

Since you can obviously "do" some philosophy, perhaps you can help with this question?

IF evolution is geared towards survival, that is, if species evolve and adapt, over time, hanging on to that which is useful for survival, discarding that which is not...and assuming that human beings are at the end of that process....THEN doesn't it also follow that a brain geared for survival is not capable of doing cosmology?

Or to put it another way, why should we believe the speculative arguments of brains which are produced from an evolutionary process?

Or to get to the heart of the matter: aren't evolutionary biological arguments ultimately self-destructive?

(Note: That is just one of the philosophical problems I have with evolution. There are plenty more but I have never really been able to dialogue philosophically with scientists. They either dismiss philosophy, or are simply incapable of it).


73 posted on 09/20/2006 11:27:26 AM PDT by ConservativeDude
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To: ryan71

"I used to not think it was a very large difference either. As humans we all must have faith in something; God, beer, the environment, whatever. Since I've put my faith in God, it has made an enormous difference in my life.
"

I'm sure it did make a difference in your life. That's true of most people with regards to their beliefs about the supernatural.

Still, there are so many other aspects of life than that. We have most of those in common, I'd think. I just believe in one less deity than you do. [grin]


74 posted on 09/20/2006 11:27:49 AM PDT by MineralMan
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To: DaveLoneRanger
Well, it works one of two ways. If you try to say evolution is random then evolutionists will say no, because natural selection is the acting force on those mutations. But when you try to say evolution is NOT random (IE, designed or something) they'll say no, because the thing natural selection acts on is random mutation.

Evolution is neither random nor designed. You're presenting a false dichotomy. Natural selection is exactly what it sounds like: natural (as in natural, not designed) and selection (as in non-random).

75 posted on 09/20/2006 11:28:06 AM PDT by Alter Kaker ("Whatever tears one sheds, in the end one always blows one's nose." - Heine)
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To: sittnick
We can use a (purportedly) 50,000 year old horse, if you like.

A 50,000 year old member of the equus genus would likely not have been able to easily breed with a modern horse. Equine evolution has been remarkably well documented.

We group things together according to similarities but the construct is of course, artificial by definition. (e.g. by one standard peanuts are regarded as nuts, but by others they are not nuts).

Huh? Peanuts are not nuts, they are legumes. I don't believe that there is any taxonimical controversy over their classification.

76 posted on 09/20/2006 11:39:18 AM PDT by Alter Kaker ("Whatever tears one sheds, in the end one always blows one's nose." - Heine)
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To: FreedomProtector
If we graphically displayed the positions of the atoms at the end of the simulation, would we find that cars and trucks had formed, or that supercomputers had arisen? Certainly we would not

Ah, the always popular proof by assertion. It may interest you to know that evolutionary algorithms are a common programming technique, using recombination and mutation and fitness functions which result in increasingly better solutions. ("But it takes intelligence to create the evolutionary algorithms!" Yes, and a creator could have configured the initial conditions of the universe, or even seeded the first life forms; the theory of evolution doesn't forbid either).

77 posted on 09/20/2006 11:44:04 AM PDT by ThinkDifferent
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To: DaveLoneRanger

You caught me. Not many people actually worship beer.


78 posted on 09/20/2006 11:45:16 AM PDT by ryan71
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To: ConservativeDude
THEN doesn't it also follow that a brain geared for survival is not capable of doing cosmology?

Exactly the opposite. Abstract reasoning and general intelligence are very useful for survival, and also allow us to examine the world scientifically.

79 posted on 09/20/2006 11:48:11 AM PDT by ThinkDifferent
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To: js1138
Are you sure of that? Perhaps a wolf can outrun a man in a short sprint, but I don't think any four-legged critter can outrun a human over distance.

Dogs are very efficient trotters. They push game to exhaustion before they sprint. Many of their prey animals are actually faster over short distances, but not over longer distances. Dogs are smart enough to switch tactics to suit the game & situation. I wouldn't want to be pursued by a pack without cover or weaponry.

80 posted on 09/20/2006 11:49:08 AM PDT by Tallguy (The problem with this war is the name... You don't wage war against a tactic.)
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To: Tallguy

"Dogs are very efficient trotters. They push game to exhaustion before they sprint. "

Well, I know one thing for sure. A golden retriever will wear me out long before I wear him out. That has been proven again and again in practical experiments.

If I were a marathon runner, I guess I could outrun the golden, but if it wanted to attack me, it would happen long before I got my second wind.

Of course, if it did catch me, it would just lick me to death, I suppose, or beat me to death with its tail.


81 posted on 09/20/2006 11:52:19 AM PDT by MineralMan
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To: DaveLoneRanger

(chuckle)


82 posted on 09/20/2006 11:52:47 AM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: SirLinksalot

THANKS MUCH.

BUMP

Hope you have your hazmat suit on.

Great doc.


83 posted on 09/20/2006 11:53:18 AM PDT by Quix (LET GOD ARISE AND HIS ENEMIES BE SCATTERED. LET ISRAEL CALL ON GOD AS THEIRS! & ISLAM FLUSH ITSELF)
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To: Tallguy

The question is not whether you as an individual could survive an attack by a wolfpack. The question I posed is whether you could outrun a dog in a marathon.

Even a modern American jogger can run a dog to death on a summer day. Dog's can't get rid of the heat fast enough. the same is true of nearly all four-legged mammals.

Being hairless has advantages.


84 posted on 09/20/2006 11:53:45 AM PDT by js1138 (The absolute seriousness of someone who is terminally deluded.)
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To: Quix

He has you. That should insulate him against penetration by mind rays.


85 posted on 09/20/2006 11:55:22 AM PDT by js1138 (The absolute seriousness of someone who is terminally deluded.)
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To: Alter Kaker
A 50,000 year old member of the equus genus would likely not have been able to easily breed with a modern horse. Equine evolution has been remarkably well documented.

A 2,000,000 year old modern horse (Equus stenonis) was believed to have been found in Italy.

Huh? Peanuts are not nuts, they are legumes. I don't believe that there is any taxonimical controversy over their classification.

The world is a lot bigger than taxonomy, which is a man-made construct. Nutritionally they are regarded as nuts, and are nutritionally classified in the meat group. Taxonomical categorization is only ONE way of thousands to categorize things. It is often impractical and dopey to insist on taxonomical classification, which is why a jar of mixed nuts can be up to 50% peanuts. If your grocery store put the Planters' peanuts by the lentils, it might be right according to the current system of taxonomy, but it would drive the customers crazy.
86 posted on 09/20/2006 11:57:25 AM PDT by sittnick (There is no salvation in politics.)
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To: SirLinksalot

BTTT


87 posted on 09/20/2006 11:57:46 AM PDT by murphE (These are days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed but his own. --G.K. Chesterton)
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To: js1138

Hmmmmm . . .

Not sure how to take such . . . sweetness . . . so early in the afternoon.


88 posted on 09/20/2006 11:59:12 AM PDT by Quix (LET GOD ARISE AND HIS ENEMIES BE SCATTERED. LET ISRAEL CALL ON GOD AS THEIRS! & ISLAM FLUSH ITSELF)
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To: ryan71
If apes and humans evolved from the same species, wouldn't skills needed to survive and environments have been the same?

One theory is that the common ancestor lived in the Forest that used to cover the sub-saharan region of the African continent. The forests receded and the grassy savana expanded. Apes generally stayed with the trees. The human ancestor (probably shared with the baboon) moved out onto the savanah. Walking upright helped cool the brain, freed up the hands, which then created a feedback-loop that spurred further developments in intelligence (toolmaking). Just passing this along... not saying I necessarily buy it.

89 posted on 09/20/2006 12:00:06 PM PDT by Tallguy (The problem with this war is the name... You don't wage war against a tactic.)
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To: sittnick
Nutritionally they are regarded as nuts, and are nutritionally classified in the meat group.

I can't believe you're making me argue that peanuts are not meat. My suggestion: go get a peanut plant. Look at it. The peanuts are encased in pods. It developes from a singal carpel. That makes it a legume, by definition. This is not a complicated concept. Take Botany 101. Grocers may refer to peanuts as nuts, but they're grocers, not botanists, and they're wrong.

A 2,000,000 year old modern horse (Equus stenonis) was believed to have been found in Italy.

Wrong. Equus stenonis was not modern (modern horses are Equus caballus), but an earlier species. It was likely a distant ancestor of modern horses, but it was not a modern horse by any stretch of the imagination.

90 posted on 09/20/2006 12:10:50 PM PDT by Alter Kaker ("Whatever tears one sheds, in the end one always blows one's nose." - Heine)
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To: sittnick

91 posted on 09/20/2006 12:22:56 PM PDT by onedoug
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To: ThinkDifferent
It does interest me :) , in fact... I have written a few programs based on the paradigm often called "evolutionary algorithm"... is it essentially a probabilistic search technique for optimal values. Evolutionary algorithms don't produce anything new, just find different parameters..

x[t+1] = s( v( x[t]) )

where x[t] is the population under a representation at time t, v(.) is the variation operator(s), and s(.) is the selection operator

These algorithms are nifty but only if the selection operator and variation operator, and termination condition are very carefully designed. "But it takes intelligence to create the evolutionary algorithms!" You are absolutely correct....In fact I know from experience that it is actually easy to write one which will never converge on the optimal set of parameters especially if the search space doesn't have natural "hills and valleys" (doesn't fit hill climbing algorithms). These algorithms require a highly ordered/designed computational device capable of running the same set of designed instructions over and over and over again with out error.


An interesting probability model is calculating the probability of trying to assemble life from non-life purely by chance and natural process:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1689062/posts?page=185#185

a) Calculations of Sir Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe for random generation of a simple enzyme and calculations for a single celled bacterium.
b) Calculations of Hubert Yockey for random generation of a single molecule of iso-1-cytochrome c protein.
c) Calculations of Bradley and Thaxton for random production of a single protein.
d) Calculations of Harold Morowitz for single celled bacterium developing from accidental or chance processes.
e) Calculations of Bernd-Olaf Kuppers for the random generation of the sequence of a bacterium.
92 posted on 09/20/2006 12:27:40 PM PDT by FreedomProtector
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To: js1138

Perhaps but the short sprint can be pretty critical. It doesn't seem like it would matter if the human could outlast the wolf in the long run if in the short run, the wolf catches and eats him.


93 posted on 09/20/2006 12:31:47 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: FreedomProtector

"You need to find yourself a girl, Mate."


94 posted on 09/20/2006 12:32:20 PM PDT by ryan71
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To: MineralMan

If man is so less suited physically in terms of strength, speed, agility, etc. to survive in the same environment as apes, or other hominids, then how would the fledgling species have managed long enough to discover firs and use it to enhance his survival? It doesn't seem reasonable that the discovery of fire alone could account for man's survival with so much else against him. Nor does it make sense that there would have been an evolutionary advantage for man to develop as he has.


95 posted on 09/20/2006 12:36:30 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: ryan71
And if early humans evolved from apes, why are there still apes?

If early Americans came from Europeans, why are there still Europeans?

Why did they not evolve even slightly over the millions of years it supposedly took humans to evolve?

Who says they didn't?

96 posted on 09/20/2006 12:37:52 PM PDT by ahayes (My strength is as the strength of ten because my heart is pure.)
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To: DaveLoneRanger

If it's not random, there must be a purpose to it. Where'd that come from, I wonder?


97 posted on 09/20/2006 12:39:20 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: metmom

Not likely in real life. There are few, if any documented instances of wolves attacking a healthy adult human, at least in North America. Rabid wolves don't count. Rabid squirrels will attack. Wolves raised by humans don't count. They have little fear of humans.

In any case, a single wolf would be suicidal to attack an adult human. And the original question, in case you just forgot to respond, was whether a human could outrun a wolf, or any other four-legged mammal over a long distance.


98 posted on 09/20/2006 12:41:58 PM PDT by js1138 (The absolute seriousness of someone who is terminally deluded.)
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To: metmom

"If man is so less suited physically in terms of strength, speed, agility, etc. to survive in the same environment as apes, or other hominids, then how would the fledgling species have managed long enough to discover firs and use it to enhance his survival?"

Well, I never said that humans were less suited to particular environments than the other apes. Obviously, they were, since they survived and prospered.

Fire is not a real factor, in my opinion. It was useful to humans, certainly, but nobody really knows which of the hominid species first used it.

Tool-making is more of a factor.


99 posted on 09/20/2006 12:42:15 PM PDT by MineralMan
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To: js1138
Being hairless has advantages.

And disadvantages; like sunburn, sun poisoning, exposure, and frostbite. Seems like those would present a greater handicap than the ability to lose heat more quickly in a warm environment only while running.

100 posted on 09/20/2006 12:44:58 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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