×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Chimps Evolved More Than Humans

kdawson posted about 7 years ago | from the our-chimp-overlords dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 541

jas_public writes "Since the human and chimp families split about 6 million years ago, chimpanzee genes seem to have evolved more than human genes. The results, detailed in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, go against the conventional wisdom that humans are the result of a high degree of genetic selection, evidenced by our relatively large brains, cognitive abilities, and bipedalism. The researchers found that 'substantially more genes in chimps evolved in ways that were beneficial than was the case with human genes.'"

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

541 comments

FIST SPORT! (-1, Flamebait)

ringbarer (545020) | about 7 years ago | (#18774017)

It's because humans have to share the same gene pool as niggers.

Mod parent up (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18774607)

Truer words have never been posted. Good show, sir.

Human=slave!=man. What about albino niggers? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18774631)

I found some strange specie of Albino Nigger. [youtube.com]

Look at them go bonk on their instruments.

I think they are from your village.

Just because you came from an ape, (-1, Troll)

RedElf (249078) | about 7 years ago | (#18774019)

doesn't mean that I did.

Re:Just because you came from an ape, (0, Offtopic)

RedElf (249078) | about 7 years ago | (#18774417)

Oh no! They modded me down, guess they haven't developed the "sense of humor" genes yet.

Re:Just because you came from an ape, (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18774429)

The nappy headed ho's probably came from apes.

I have to apologize to apes, though, for that comment.

"We ain't com fro na ape. Fo shizzle." --Nappy Ho

Creationists (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18774023)

The researchers found that 'substantially more genes in chimps evolved in ways that were beneficial than was the case with human genes.'"

Well, that explains the creationists, anyway...

Re:Creationists (2, Interesting)

eneville (745111) | about 7 years ago | (#18774203)

The researchers found that 'substantially more genes in chimps evolved in ways that were beneficial than was the case with human genes.'"

Well, that explains the creationists, anyway...
I think Darwin stated that domestication causes more variation. Therefore humans should have more variety in the genes than the chimps.. But were different genre. This is true when looking at things like genetic disorders anyway, things that would otherwise be killed in the wild, but under domestication can survive and create offspring.

Evolution vs Inteligence Re:Creationists (5, Insightful)

Forge (2456) | about 7 years ago | (#18774665)

Once man learned to manipulate his environment rather than evolve to fit it, the rate of human evolution slowed down. Not only that but it started going in strange directions.

Think about it. Gazels have been getting faster because the slowest gazel ends up in a Lions stomach before mating season. Humans have devised ways to protect even our paraplegics.

A chimp with the physical limitations of Stephen Hawkins would be lunch. As a human he not only survives but has managed to reproduce and even maintains high ranking in our social order.

Think about it. If you can be an Alpha Male without even being able to stand then genetic features become less relevant in determining who reproduces. Dramatically slowing the process of human evolution.

As for direction. Our professional athletes, scientists and Engineers produce far fewer children than those at the bottom of our social order. For the sake of our species, I would advise you all (Creationists and Evolutionist) to pray (To Jesus or Darwin) that human intelligence is not seriously impacted by our genetic makeup. If it is our society will collapse when we are no longer able to maintain what our parents built.

Re:Evolution vs Inteligence Re:Creationists (3, Interesting)

king-manic (409855) | about 7 years ago | (#18774869)

Think about it. If you can be an Alpha Male without even being able to stand then genetic features become less relevant in determining who reproduces. Dramatically slowing the process of human evolution.

Your selecting for different genes. Instead of beign faster, stronger, tougher. You get smarter, craftier, less moral, hornier, and better looking. Since these tend to be the features that get you more kids. Although the pressure in those direction would be weaker because you dont' get killed if your below a certain IQ. The pressure is weaker.

Proof! (4, Funny)

Psmylie (169236) | about 7 years ago | (#18774039)

All that means is that we perfected our design sooner than the chimps did.

Once again, we prove our vast superiority over the monkeys!

...

Apes! I meant apes!

dammit...

Re:Proof! (1)

Itninja (937614) | about 7 years ago | (#18774297)

Once again, we prove our vast superiority over the monkeys!
I think these were the exact words of Danny Bonaduce, but in regards to "The Monkees"; not "the monkeys"

Re:Proof! (1)

RedElf (249078) | about 7 years ago | (#18774695)

well at least some of us did...
best be careful what you say on the subject because someone modding this thread either is having that time of the month again, didn't evolve a sense of humor, or has a stick pertruding from where the sun doesn't shine.

Somewhere along the line I think I was trying to make a point, but it seems my family, the chimps are calling me out to play.

Re:Proof! (1)

krnpimpsta (906084) | about 7 years ago | (#18774835)

All that means is that we perfected our design sooner than the chimps did. Once again, we prove our vast superiority over the monkeys!


I know you're joking, but I actually think this may have some truth to it.
Little variations in the environment (like temperature) will cause certain species of things to die off, while causing others to strive. But we have these brains that we can use to alter our local environment to suit our needs. We can make and wear clothes when it's cold, we can hide in the shade when it's hot. There are other animals that can probably do similar things, but when we're faced with a totally foreign challange, some of us will figure out how to overcome it. Then we can communicate the solution to others around us, and they will survive regardless of whether their genes favor the new environment or not.

So.. whether we evolve in the positive direction or not, we will manage to survive (as long at least one person figures out how, and communicates the solution).

Difficult concept: that more complex != better (5, Interesting)

jakosc (649857) | about 7 years ago | (#18774053)

I work in a closely related field, and it's very hard even for those who work on evolutionary biology to hold in our minds the idea that things don't evolve towards greater complexity (with human beings at the pinacle), they evolve towards whatever works.

Often people giving scientific talks about some detailed aspect of evolutionary biology slip into terms like 'primative' and correct themselves with 'simple'. I think part of this is because we tend to organize organisms by appearance, and before the genomic era this was the only thing we had to go on. We now know that many of the organisms that seem simple have the same or greater gene complexity as ourselves.

Sometimes I think Evolution needs a better iconic image than the ape to man progression [google.com]

Re:Difficult concept: that more complex != better (5, Interesting)

TheMeuge (645043) | about 7 years ago | (#18774153)

Exactly. People tend to think of evolution as having some sort of a goal, an endpoint of a "perfect" being.

In reality, there is no "evolution" in the way that people understand it. There is natural selection, which results in changes that create animals that are more adapted to their environment. In this sense, it doesn't matter that chimps' genes have changed more than ours, because by developing a sophisticated brain capable of reasoning we have sidestepped the need for much of the adaptations chimps may have had to undergo. Once we learned to shape our environment to our tastes, rather than change ourselves, the game was over.

Re:Difficult concept: that more complex != better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18774673)

People tend to think of evolution as having some sort of a goal, an endpoint of a "perfect" being.

Isn't that the way Star Trek has always portrayed evolution?

Re:Difficult concept: that more complex != better (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | about 7 years ago | (#18774827)

Star Trek generally portrayed beings who took control of their own destinies and turned themselves into "superior" creations (although usually with some crucial failing) such as Khan Noonien Singh (Eugenics Wars), Sargon ("The mind of Man can become so powerful he confuses himself with God") or even Commander Data, who as a surrogate machine human created by a human, would be considered by some to be the next rung on the evolutionary ladder. It was rarely a game of chance with Roddenberry.

Re:Difficult concept: that more complex != better (2, Interesting)

Bondolon (1000444) | about 7 years ago | (#18774233)

It occurs to me that this bizarre "more beneficial genes" standard falls pretty short of giving a good indication of evolution. Wouldn't it be more accurate to compare two species with a common ancestor, and discovering which has diverged more from the original than to measure how beneficial the developments are? At least that way, you'd be able to show which species had undergone actually more evolution instead of the "more" that is used here, which seems to just mean better, which is hard as hell to show.

Re:Difficult concept: that more complex != better (3, Interesting)

Chosen Reject (842143) | about 7 years ago | (#18774847)

I think the whole measurement is rather silly. So what if they had more genes change for the better. Would you rather have 100 deposits into your bank of $1 each, or one large deposit of $500. Measuring the number of changes is rather pointless in that light. But I suppose that leaves people trying to decide which developments are better. Money is easy to quantify, "better-ness" is not quite so easy. But who cares anyway? Let's pretend chimps have become genetically "better" than humans...

Oh for the love! I was going to say something witty here, but everything I came up with could be countered by pointing out people that act worse than chimps. Maybe they are better than humans. I quit. I'm going to go live in the trees and see if I can catch up to them evolution-wise.

Re:Difficult concept: that more complex != better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18774239)

Still, isn't evolution pretty much just a theory at this point, though?

Re:Difficult concept: that more complex != better (1)

Bondolon (1000444) | about 7 years ago | (#18774363)

A theory is a hypothesis that has been tested and shown to be accurate, if not almost assuredly true. To say that it lacks credibility because it's "just a theory" would be like saying that the Pythagorean theorem lacks credibility for the same reason. Now, if you said "just a hypothesis", you'd be on to something.

Re:Difficult concept: that more complex != better (1)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | about 7 years ago | (#18774245)

What exactly is wrong with the iconic "ape to man progression"? I don't know if the details are correct, but in broad outline it seems like a reasonable depiction of our lineage given our state of knowledge at this time.

Re:Difficult concept: that more complex != better (2)

jakosc (649857) | about 7 years ago | (#18774353)

What's wrong is that it isn't a progression, it's a branching tree [uga.edu] .

I.e. it's not that man's ancestor was an ape, it's that apes and man have a common ancestor that was neither ape nor man.

Re:Difficult concept: that more complex != better (3, Informative)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | about 7 years ago | (#18774779)

>it's not that man's ancestor was an ape, it's that apes and man have a common ancestor that was neither ape nor man.

Any objective taxonomy of primates includes Homo, Australopithecus, and the other human ancestors among the African great apes (family Hominidae). Not only was our ancestor an ape; we are apes.

Re:Difficult concept: that more complex != better (1)

phliar (87116) | about 7 years ago | (#18774785)

it's not that man's ancestor was an ape, it's that apes and man have a common ancestor that was neither ape nor man.

Well, I don't know... many of my ancestors are apes!

To be pedantic: humans are apes. So we could say that all apes -- including humans -- have a common ancestor, call it the ur-ape. (And that this ur-ape was not an ancestor of monkeys, baboons, or bears.) You could say gibbons and humans are evolved from an ancestor that was neither human nor gibbon.

Re:Difficult concept: that more complex != better (3, Insightful)

Xonstantine (947614) | about 7 years ago | (#18774383)

What exactly is wrong with the iconic "ape to man progression"?

Many people view chimps and other apes as our less evolved cousins, when, speaking from an evolutionary point of view, they are every bit as evolved as us, they just happen to have evolved in different directions.

Re:Difficult concept: that more complex != better (4, Informative)

cyborg_zx (893396) | about 7 years ago | (#18774471)

It reinforces the mistaken view that evolution is a progression towards a goal - the true picture of evolution is tree-like.

So, you get a whole load of species radiating off a single branch, some branches producing further branching, others being cropped and ending that particular evolutionary pathway.

Essentially the process should be viewed as such:

G encodes the information for a genome. The replication of G introduces mutations into that genome into the successors. This is mutation. If we take a simple asexual reproductive organism O1 then:
  • O1 is the parent with genome G1
  • O2 and O3 are the offspring with G2 and G3
  • O4 - O7 are the offspring with G4 - G7


And so on... we rapidly try out a whole range of G, some of which will be branches that lead to dead-ends (i.e. solutions that produce organisms that are poorly adapted), some will lead to better solutions and eventually some of these solutions will incorporate significant phenotypical changes.

So there was no 'progression' towards homo sapiens, we're just an end point of a huge exploration of a genetic search space.

Re:Difficult concept: that more complex != better (1)

pilgrim23 (716938) | about 7 years ago | (#18774519)

I am not a scientist but, it seems pretty straight forward to me: Chimps live in nature, react to nature, and due to nature changing, evolve to meet nature. Human, uses brain plus opposable thumb to adapt nature, change nature, and basically shape the environment. Humans do not evolve or at least arrested evolution quite some while back.

Re:Difficult concept: that more complex != better (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 7 years ago | (#18774809)

This shows a pretty big misunderstanding of what evolution is, and what drives it. Whether genetic drift or mutation, human populations are no less influenced than any other. Our control of our environment does not mean that variation lessens, it merely replaces some pressures with others. We are not separate from nature, and as of yet our ability to actually manipulate evolutionary forces is very limited, and that largely through selective breeding (though direct genetic manipulation is becoming much more common).

Re:Difficult concept: that more complex != better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18774549)

I've read articles that suggest that humans sacrifice some development in favor of others.
For example, to develop our brains more before birth, we leave our feet in the less-formed "foot" shape. The apes & monkeys form hands on all four limbs, instead.

Can we change how we express genes, without DNA changes? Is this an example of that? We can lift weights to strengthen arms, but not work the legs. Why can't we exercise one gene, but not another?

Re:Difficult concept: that more complex != better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18774587)

Well, I suppose you need some way to say better. Most numbers? Some bug, I expect. If you choose control of the world or over other species, maybe the ability to wipe out any other species on earth at will... actually the answer is probably "who removes dependence from the planet first." In that case nobody has won yet, but humans probably will.

I suppose in the long run the winner is the one with the least dependence. Humanity no longer depends on a particular environment, but we still need the atmosphere and the planet and the sun. Apes still need their particular environment, and humans to not destroy it. So we obviously are better in the evolutionary sense. Or at least more successful.

Re:Difficult concept: that more complex != better (1)

alexhs (877055) | about 7 years ago | (#18774773)

Sometimes I think Evolution needs a better iconic image than the ape to man progression
What's wrong with that one [designtimeline.org] ? ;)

(appears 4 times in the first page of results)

Conventional wisdom? (4, Insightful)

2nd Post! (213333) | about 7 years ago | (#18774083)

It's only conventional if you don't understand evolution.

The selective pressures on both species were/are different so different amounts of evolution will occur.

Re:Conventional wisdom? (1)

Arker (91948) | about 7 years ago | (#18774735)

A key factor is the ability to adapt by cultural evolution. Both chimps and humans display some level of that ability, but in humans it's obviously at a much greater level. The higher the ability to adapt culturally, the less pressure there is to adapt physically. So this finding is actually not surprising in the least - it's exactly what we'd expect to find.

Quality, not quanity, counts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18774103)

Apparently, the "correct" genes did not evolve more.

Re:Quality, not quanity, counts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18774761)

Bingo. How "beneficial" is it to be locked up in cages by your less-evolved cousins, who by the way are rapidly eroding your natural habitat with impunity? If they can't evolve a way of dealing with humans effectively, fuck them!

Anyway humans have bigger dicks.

Simple selection pressure (4, Insightful)

sakdoctor (1087155) | about 7 years ago | (#18774115)

Our relatively large brains, cognitive abilities, and bipedalism has allowed us to avoid selection pressure to a greater degree than the chimps.

Re:Simple selection pressure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18774241)

Heh. Stupid chimpanzees. Nobody likes 'em.

Re:Simple selection pressure (4, Insightful)

2nd Post! (213333) | about 7 years ago | (#18774269)

Which means our genepool is larger just in case there is a need for a classically unselected gene.

Re:Simple selection pressure (1)

jakosc (649857) | about 7 years ago | (#18774643)

Except the article says the opposite:

Bakewell, Zhang and a colleague found that substantially more genes in chimps evolved in ways that were beneficial than was the case with human genes.

...

Chance events could also explain why the scientists found more gene variants that were either neutral and had no functional impact or negative changes that are involved in diseases.
I.e. chimps have more gene variants (i.e. genes that might be useful for future selection), humans have less. They postulate that the smaller gene pool for humans might be because of periods in human evolution when the population size became very small.

Re:Simple selection pressure (1)

dan828 (753380) | about 7 years ago | (#18774331)

Not really. The article suggests it had more to do with population size than anything else. large brains, cognitive abilities, and bipedalism only serve to change what is selected for, not to blunt selection itself.

Re:Simple selection pressure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18774605)

Selection favors survival and reproduction, that hasn't changed though from our perspective it's almost invisible because of our dominance.
My thoughts on this is that once our brains became sophisticated enough to serve as a platform for a sort of evolution of abstract information rather than genetic information, genetic evolution became less relevant to our survival. Instead cultural, linguistic and social development became critical.

Re:Simple selection pressure (1)

bl8n8r (649187) | about 7 years ago | (#18774671)

I don't know that I buy bipedalism as a sign of superior evolution. After all, chimps (monkeys) have evolved an adept adaptation that uses four limbs simultaneously and sometimes even a tail. Most people are not even ambidextrous let alone have enough balance to stand on one foot. Is it wise to say we are superious because we can walk upright, or is dexterity in multiple libs a sign of higer evolution?

Humor? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18774119)

I find this article very fascinating, but I have to wonder why it is classified as humor. I mean, maybe if you're a creationist you thin the whole thing is funny...

Re:Humor? (5, Funny)

eln (21727) | about 7 years ago | (#18774385)

It is classified as Humor because it was posted by kdawson, whose method of category selection is, ironically, very similar to monkeys throwing feces at a wall.

Is this really surprising? (0, Redundant)

MrTester (860336) | about 7 years ago | (#18774137)

I just don't find this surprising.
Darwinism defines how our genes change in order to help us survive our environment.

At some point the human gene set allowed us to change our environment to help us survive. This would logically mean that our genes would have less impetus to change.
The Chimps genes have not had that sheltered environment so have been forced to continue adapting.

No big shocker here.

Re:Is this really surprising? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18774281)

In fact, I would imagine that our intelligence and adaptability, especially with our medical knowledge, would counteract evolution to a large degree. I'm not in favor of eugenics at all, but part of me wonders if our species will suffer over the long term because of our (possibly) short sighted medical practices.

Re:Is this really surprising? (1)

thryllkill (52874) | about 7 years ago | (#18774479)

"In fact, I would imagine that our intelligence and adaptability, especially with our medical knowledge, would counteract evolution to a large degree."

I liked that statement. Very interesting, and better worded than I would have had I try to express the same thought. However...

"I'm not in favor of eugenics at all, but part of me wonders if our species will suffer over the long term because of our (possibly) short sighted medical practices."

What sort of suffering do you mean? Are we in a race with someone to evolve faster/stronger/better, and all this damn medicine and science is just screwing it up?

Re:Is this really surprising? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18774873)

not stronger/better medicine allowing those with genetic defects to grow old enough to breed and thus pass along their defects.

Devolution (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 7 years ago | (#18774145)

Not to put too fine a point on it, but society currently rewards stupidity, and tends to punish intelligence, rather than the other way around. It should look like planet of the apes in no time.

Re:Devolution (3, Interesting)

MPAB (1074440) | about 7 years ago | (#18774511)

Back in time, the intelligent ones were more able to survive and raise their children to breed, whilst the less intelligent perished or killed their children because of their own stupidity. Nowadays, however, too many of the more intelligent and able dedicate most of their efforts to help the less intelligent ones to survive instead of breeding themselves. Intelligence has become a handicap in building a society that's intended to live off the intelligent and able. As we get higher on Maslow's Pyramid, our efforts become less egoistical.

There will be the inflection point, however, where the less intelligent outbreed by far and even destroy the most intelligent out of plain envy (seen in cases such as Pol Pot's Cambodia). Then the lack of intelligence will again play against the group and roll the changes back to the point where the intelligent (and egoistical) will prevail again.

Re:Devolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18774531)

May I recommend the movie "Idiocracy" [imdb.com] as a humorous view on this issue? (A "suppresed" Fox movie btw.)

Especially the Devolution Into [youtube.com] there :)
Still, leaves a bad eugenics-taste in your mouth...

The abstract of the story (1, Funny)

roman_mir (125474) | about 7 years ago | (#18774169)

Over the past few million years chimps fucked around more, while humans had a tendency to stick to their tribes, thus genes that provided advantage spread to the entire population more readily.

The conclusion is, we need to fuck around more.

Re:The abstract of the story (2, Funny)

Mockylock (1087585) | about 7 years ago | (#18774219)

Exactly. Chimps are smarter because they don't get fucking married. I myself am guilty of slowing evolution.

Re:The abstract of the story (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18774593)

"The conclusion is, we need to fuck around more."

Well you are posting to slashdot....

In other news... (2, Funny)

Mockylock (1087585) | about 7 years ago | (#18774173)

A chimp writes, "Those damned dirty humans keep shoving probes up our asses to find out if we evolved faster than they did. They should leave us alone and let us fling our poo."

Not absolute #s but value of them... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18774181)

It isn't about the absolute numbers ('substantially more genes') but the benefit of those evolutionary steps.

To put it simply: if the chimps had 100 genes that evolved each with a value of 1 and humans had 2 genes that evolved each with a survival value of 75 and 1 with a value of 200 (e.g. brain development) then humans have the advantage. The numbers are obviously completely arbitrary.

While it is VERY interesting to see the raw numbers of changes, the real question is the value of each of the changes. ;-)

I am sure that the original research didn't phrase it "Chimps more evolved than humans" but the press simplification and "wow" factor made it a nice eye-catching headline.

Signs this article is stupid (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18774195)

"If we see an excess of functional changes (compared to silent changes) the inference is these functional changes occurred because they were positively selected, because they were useful in some way to the organism," said study team member Margaret Bakewell, also of UM.
What a moronic inference. Without understanding the effect these protein changes have it is silly to say it was beneficial. These fools think of everything as black and white, ignoring the idea that there are changes to which natural selection may be indifferent. Just another example of people overcome with such zeal to crush creationists that they embrace bad science.

It makes sense (1)

DrWho520 (655973) | about 7 years ago | (#18774209)

When was the last time a genetic predisposition to heart disease, diabetes or MS trumped feeling of genuine love? Or glasses for that matter. Until GATACCA [imdb.com] comes to pass and genetic descrimination is a way of life, "genetic progress" will be halted. And I am fine with that.

It's all in your perspective (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18774235)

"On the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much - the wheel, New York, wars and so on - whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But, conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man - for precisely the same reasons." - Douglas Adams

Doing more with less for 6 million years (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18774249)

What they don't tell you is most chimp genes involve throwing feces. They got a whole fucking chromosome for it!

Oh man (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18774275)

Oh man, this is seriously problematic for Slashdot to be promoting any sense of this phraseology ... yeah, saying that things are "more evolved" than others isn't entirely correct at all. Evolution and natural selection are topics that have to be explained carefully, but this of course doesn't mean that we shouldn't say anything at all.

What's wrong with the idea of things being "more evolved"? Well, first of all, it assumes that there is some linear scale or progression that keeps track of how far evolution has gone. There's no way to track that ... all molecules in this universe are of the same age, in other words they are made from the same components as with the origin of the universe, and for this reason we cannot really say that there's any "more evolved" than anything else.

Hope this helps. Heh, the captcha is "colonize". How appropriate.

Technology evolves faster than biology (1)

Lou-ice (1066052) | about 7 years ago | (#18774277)

Human intelligence allows us to use technology to adapt our environments faster than evolutionary timescales. If people move to a colder climate they soon figure out how to make hardier clothing and they don't need to wait many generations for natural selection to give rise to make them particularly hairy. This is the great advantage of evolving into a technology-capable species and the reason humans live everywhere on earth and at least one place orbiting it. Human survivability is now more strongly governed by our technological evolution than our biological evolution.

Re:Technology evolves faster than biology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18774421)

Re: technology/intelligence allowing for changes at greater rates than otherwise. Check out some of the meme concepts promoted by Dawkins and others, which suggest that there is an ecology of memes, thoughts, ideas that can be (more or less) tracked through populations of written statements and so on. Considering this, these are too still "evolutionary timescales"-- it's just a matter of what scale of evolution or what type that we are talking about. Don't be so quick to think that gradualism can only occur on large scales, for even Zeno's paradox requires some motion at one point or another and not just random half-half-half-ad-infinitum steps going nowhere.

Moo (1)

Chacham (981) | about 7 years ago | (#18774285)

Why is it taken for granted that humans came from monkeys? I think monkeys devolved from humans who drank too much beer!

Techonology... (1)

the dark hero (971268) | about 7 years ago | (#18774301)

...stifles our evolution.

if we need to fly we dont grow wings we make planes.

if we need to swim we don't grow gills or fins we make SCUBA gear

if we get too cold we don't grow fur we make clothes

if we need to eat we don't hunt we go to McDonalds.

so on and so forth...

The real question is... (1)

creimer (824291) | about 7 years ago | (#18774317)

If monkeys are so much evolved than humans, why do they still swing monkey poo at each other?

Re:The real question is... (1)

uberjoe (726765) | about 7 years ago | (#18774427)

If monkeys are so much evolved than humans, why do they still swing monkey poo at each other?

Humans have been known to engage in that behavior [wikipedia.org] as well.

Re:The real question is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18774483)

Because its much more civilized than gunning eachother down in cold blood.

Remember how evolution works! (4, Funny)

Chemisor (97276) | about 7 years ago | (#18774367)

It should be remembered that in the context of evolution, "beneficial" always refers to an individual's ability to pass along his genes through reproduction. And, as most of Slashdot readers surely know from personal experience, larger brains and advanced cognitive abilities are not particularly beneficial in this task.

Re:Remember how evolution works! (1)

melikamp (631205) | about 7 years ago | (#18774505)

On a serious note, the vast amount of the artificial selection might have been detrimental to the human evolution. I have nothing to back up my guess, though; it's just a thought.

Re:Remember how evolution works! (1)

Don Sample (57699) | about 7 years ago | (#18774591)

And given that the human population is about 6 billion and growing, while the chimp population is about 150,000 and dropping, it would seem that people have the more beneficial set of genes.

Re:Remember how evolution works! (1)

Naloz (818321) | about 7 years ago | (#18774831)

I agree our brains are at fault but mainly due to scenarios such as.

Little Billy grabs 3 marbles and tosses them in his mouth and chokes. He gets rushed to the hospital and saved. Next day little billy grabs 3 marbles and tosses them in his mouth and chokes. He gets rushed to the hospital and saved. etc etc etc Little Billy is now Big Billy and knocks up Big Suzy and continuation of a faulty line of genes...

What I'm trying to say is we are not progressing because we are not being mortally punished by stupidity anymore. If a damn monkey (APE, I MEAN APE) stuck some marbles in his mouth and choked, he'd be DEAD.

Anyway, I could go on and on with how many ways we have completely destroyed any chance of progressing as a species... We're DOOOOOOOMED.

Half of all apes agree... (2, Funny)

GonzoTech (613147) | about 7 years ago | (#18774425)

Half of all apes agree. The other half believe in creationism and think a giant banana yielding, intangible, hairy father figure made them in his likeness.

Chimps had to work for the things we cheat on. (1)

cskrat (921721) | about 7 years ago | (#18774521)

Think of all the things that we do and use that allows us to make up for physical deficiencies. Our digestive tracts are susceptible to a large variety of very harmful parasites and micro-organisms, so we cook our food prior to eating it. Many highly, human, populated areas have climates where we would have a high mortality rate from exposure if we didn't wear clothing and warm ourselves with artificial heat sources. We have various forms of medical treatment for different injuries and illnesses, ones that would disable or kill us in the wild. And we have weapons that make up for our natural lack of strength and speed.

Basically once we took the path for intelligence all other evolutionary paths were either suspended or put in regression. Whereas other primates still needed to develop natural ways to cope with environmental challenges since they did not develop the intellectual ability to solve problems that they were ill fitted to survive against.

maybe big brains prevent evolution? (0)

Bob-taro (996889) | about 7 years ago | (#18774535)

I don't believe in the theory of evolution (seriously, I'm not trolling), but assuming for the sake of argument that it's true, this absolutely makes sense.

You could argue that the human "big brain" is an evolutionary dead end of sorts, because we now respond to environmental pressures by inventing tools and medicines. Humans who would be very "unfit" from a purely physical point of view (and I'm not just talking about /.ers), are very able to survive and pass on their genetic information.

I could get into why I don't believe in evolution, but I'm not in the mood for that kind of abuse today :-)

Monkey spanking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18774569)

Me must steal their secrets. I volunteer to do the monkey spanking personally. I mean...at least until we find out better ways to steal their genes.

Just remember.. (2, Insightful)

Arceliar (895609) | about 7 years ago | (#18774599)

Quantity doesn't necessarily beat quality. Ask yourself what's more efficient: making hundreds of minor adaptations to an environment, or making a few really good ones? Most animals grow what they need to gather food and defend themselves. We make what we need. Ideas change faster than genes.

Chimp In Chief (-1, Troll)

WED Fan (911325) | about 7 years ago | (#18774611)

I knew it, Bush is an evolved chimp. I just take exception to calling him "more evolved".

sdhit (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18774661)

Come on 3aby...and that Support risk looking even the last night of

I knew it! (1)

mcneely.mike (927221) | about 7 years ago | (#18774685)

When was the last time a genetic predisposition to heart disease, diabetes or MS

I knew Microsoft was a terrible disease!

Chimp on XM right now (1)

MrP- (45616) | about 7 years ago | (#18774693)

Speaking of chimps.. if you have XM tune to 202 right now. O&A are interviewing Mikey the chimp (replay from earlier today)

Hello? Natural Selection? (3, Insightful)

javelinco (652113) | about 7 years ago | (#18774747)

This should be obvious, people. The whole point of evolution is that a species changes over time to deal with pressure from its environment. Humankind has been "coddling the weak" for thousands upon thousands of years now. We protect and nurture those who would not, could not, make it on their own. This means that evolution, as it functions for say, apes, isn't working the same way for us. Our "large brains" and the technology and advantages that come from the abilities we get from it, mean that our genes do not need to change as much as most other species - because instead of changing ourselves, we develop technology, etc. to deal with our environment. Again, I'm guessing that most scientists are looking at this data and saying, "Well, no shit. I would certainly be surprised if the data showed something else, but this? It's confirmation - nothing exciting."

Amount of Evolution? (2, Insightful)

camperdave (969942) | about 7 years ago | (#18774791)

Chimps evolved more? So what does that mean?
  1. Maybe chimps have shorter lifespans. Thus there have been more generations of chimps to mix and mingle the chimp gene pool.
  2. Perhaps chimps have a bigger gene pool. More chimps=more genetic variety=more chance for beneficial genes to surface.
  3. Maybe human DNA doesn't have the same genetic variety as chimp DNA. Thus the variability in chimps could be greater than in humans.
  4. Perhaps the population density has kept chimp DNA in greater flux. Humans have ranged all over the planet, thus human genes don't get as much of a chance to mix.
  5. Maybe human evolution has slowed because there are different social pressures on our mating practices. It's not all about physical prowess and attractiveness with people. Certain families/tribes don't mix with certain others, or perhaps only mix with others. Religion, money, power, history, language, etc all affect how (with whom) humans mate. Chimps are free from these pressures.
In short, perhaps chimps are more evolved, but so what? Cockroaches are probably far more evolved than either of us.

Why isn't this obvious? (1)

BobPaul (710574) | about 7 years ago | (#18774871)

Am I the only one who is completely not surprised by this? Human evolution slowed once we were able to adapt our tools rather than our bodies. While a fur covered man might be better suited for a cold climate, the naked man could don fur ensuring both were equally fit and able to pass on their genes. Apes don't have that luxury, so those that can't cope die. Humans just invent instead...
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...