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Thread: Just to clear some things out for he newbies

  1. #71
    caesium's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ant View Post
    Hmm, this may sound crazy but, are humans really failures? If life's main goal is to survive, wouldn't we be the best chance of that happening? If human advancement continues we might be able to protect the earth from extreme disasters like meteors, but more importantly we might be able to live on another planet or solar system. When our suns absorbs earth, (or simply roasts it if it doesn't get big enough) then with out us earth's version of life is almost doomed to fail. If we do succeed in creating self sufficient colonies in other solar systems that artificial nature is a skill we will most likely need as well as a few other things too.

    That was all a thought I had when I was half asleep, so I don't know how much sense it makes.
    Why? No matter what we do or where we go, nature is always going to trump us. There is nowhere we can go that is entirely free of solar flares, cosmic radiation, meteors, comets, earthquakes, volcanoes, drought, floods, plate tectonics, polar reversals, ozone depletion, oxygen depletion, global warming, global cooling, or evil aliens that want to eat us alive because ALL of that is nature. Every habitable place in the universe is going to have at least one of those problems.

    Regarding humans being a part of nature or not, we can never escape the effects of nature, so why should we say we are not part of it? We may think we are making huge differences by polluting the world and driving species to extinction, but nature includes the entire universe in my definition. Anything we do is like moving one molecule of silica on the smallest grain of sand in the Sahara. It simply isn't significant in the whole scheme of things.

    In my opinion, we cannot control nature to a very large extent at all. Look at what we have available now to control the world. Sure we can increase the average global temperature, but nature can do that too. If we were to fire off all the nukes we have in possession now, the earth would hardly notice. Life wouldn't notice either. Individual living things would, but life as a whole would not. We can try and kill every living species on this earth, but we will always miss something. There is basically nothing we can leave behind that nature won't eventually erase. We can totally isolate ourselves in a sterile chamber for the rest of our civilization, but as long as we have a biology, nature is going to win. Aggression and lust are always going to be present and causing problems. The very fundamental part of our psychology is rooted in the struggle to pass on our genes.

    If we went extinct tomorrow, life wouldn't care at all. Sure all the cows and other domesticated species would go extinct, but life doesn't care how many species there are as long as some piece of DNA somewhere is being replicated.

    In fact, it is the probably the simplest organisms that are fittest of all. Some have "learned" to exploit us for their benefit. Bacteria in our body outnumber our own cells by a billion I think. They will go wherever we go, and if we die, they can go dormant and wait for another host to pick them up. We can't kill them because they are essential for our survival.

    I think the biggest misconception people have is that natural selection and survival of the fittest works for the group as a whole. Your genes don't give a darn about any other living thing as long as you can pass on your genes. It is IMO wrong to think of any species manipulated by people as being detrimental or unfit, because from the point of view of their genes, if the animal is reproducing, the "point" of the animal is being fulfilled. Whether we like it or not, the "point" of a wolf is not to hunt smaller mammals to keep their populations in check, it is to reproduce its own genes.
    Madag ki alilid


  2. #72
    Eats genetically engineered tomatoes Sig's Avatar
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    We are gods to nature in the sense that we can do something simply because we WANT to. A plant may want to get more water. It needs water, it craves water, all of existence revolves around it... But it adapts based on success and failure. The plants that grow the fittest roots and can store more water survive. Instead, we decide we'll collect it from other areas, or MAKE IT. We have the amazing brains that can exploit whatever we want to, at a rate thousands, millions of times faster than evolution. Sure, a single human can be killed my an animal, or even millions by disease, but as a whole, I don't think we can be put on the same level as most things in nature.

    At a point, though we're horrible for all the other life, WE are a "Piece of DNA" that'll probably live on for a long, long time, because we WANT to. Some person in the world has prepared for every possible natural or artificial disaster. I imagine if something uber-extreme happened like the sun going out there'll be those couple of thousand people who made underground chambers filled with food and water for thousands of years. Hey, maybe we'll be "chemosynthesis farmers". Thing is, give us 50 more years or so, we'll have settled enough to be one of the last to go. My theory, anyway. Our genes aren't going to give up for quite a long time. In this way, we are "rulers".

    Though sure, the simplest particles will live on the longest, but when you get to the basics of it, life is just a set of chemical reactions that create a circumstance more favorable for that chemical structure. That will always live on. Because if it didn't, it wouldn't be there, but it did, so it is! (does that make sense?)

  3. #73
    N=R* fs fp ne fl fi fc L Pyro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottychaos View Post
    No, you arent talking about physical fitness..
    but I am..and have been all along.
    No sir you are not.

    Your very first post:

    Quote Originally Posted by scottychaos View Post
    but anyway, just because a mutation is "natural" doesnt necessarily mean "its the way nature intended"..lots of mutations are BAD..and cause the death of the organism (plant or animal)..and these mutations are not necessarily what "genetics wants"

    genetics "wants" to improve the species..not weaken it.
    many "bad" mutations survive because of humans, when they *shouldnt* and wouldnt survive if nature was left to its own devices...

    Personally I cant stand the "bart simpson" type VFT mutations..I think they are an abomination and should all be destroyed (seriously..not joking) because they weaken the species..(and dont even get me started on Persian cats, Pug dogs, and parrot cichlids..ugh..)

    and lots of other things that "genetics wanted that way" arent good either..
    cancer, being born without arms or legs, downs syndrome..the list goes on an on..
    just because its "caused by nature" doesnt necessarily mean its "the best of what nature intends"!

    You are the one that started the (incorrect and inaccurate) talk about genetics. I was the one who pointed out that you were using the terminology wrong and the definition of "fitness" wrong.

    If you chose to ignore that I corrected your error then so be it but simply ignoring facts does not make them any less true.

    but physical fitness is definitely part of this whole concept..
    if you want to ignore that part of it, thats up to you..
    I am not ignoring anything. You ignore that one derives from the other and that they go hand in hand and that the biological definition of fitness is not what you seem to think/want.

    We are really debating on two different levels here..
    personally, I dont care about "genetic fitness"..
    its the results of your "genetic fitness" that makes the animal "physically UNfit"..
    I am arguing that you are not using that word correctly and until such time as you do use it correctly you are wrong. It is that simple.

    I really dont care if the genes themselves are fit or not..
    the end result of your fit genes is that you have a Persian cat who cant breathe properly..
    you have a Parrot cichild that cant eat properly..
    you have a Bart Simpson and Cup Trap VFT that cant even catch an insect!
    thats a pretty serious physical limitation..
    I never said they did not have physical limitations, in point of fact I admitted it. What I said was that they were fit and in that I am correct because I am using the term correctly and you are not. That has been my point all along.

    VFTS are designed to catch suppliment their nutrition..
    sure, maybe a Bart Simpson VFT will technically survive..but being able to only photosynthesize,
    it is missing out on a lot of nutrients it needs to be fully healthy..

    thats a seriously flawed VFT..
    Well by your argument the majority of CP in cultivation are in serious trouble cause I'd put good money on very few of them feasting on bugs like they do in the wild...

    Yes I very much can make that blanket statement..because its simply true.
    No it is not. But I see it is worthless to even try anymore. You hear no reason but your own, so be it.

    What you keep choosing to deliberately ignore is that there IS a point of reference..
    the point of reference is the natural form of the creature or plant in question.
    This statement is going to turn around and bite you in the butt in...





    Quote Originally Posted by scottychaos View Post
    I dont really agree with the "Man is part of Nature" theory..
    but its definately a matter of opinion either way!

    IMO, because we have such a radical capaicty for the destruction and change of nature, which no other animal has, there is a clear division between Humans and Nature..

    Im in an unusual minority, because I happen to be a Christain who believes in both God and me, there is zero conflict between the two..

    and to me, no matter which side you choose "literal biblical creationism, or "Godless evolution"
    either way, Humans are STILL outside of nature!

    One of the Biblical/Christian concepts I struggle with the most is the idea that "Humans are the ultimate pinnacle of God's creation" dont think so..
    to me, we are simply a failed branch of God's creation..we are an experiment that got way out of hand..
    (many species "fail"..even if you believe in God..they go extinct..)

    (I have said it before...IMO, if humans went extinct tomorrow, it would be the best thing that has ever happened to life on earth..)

    And if you take the evolution side of the coin, we are still outside of Nature in the sense that we have the ability to *change* the course of Nature..So we are the ones doing the changing, its not Nature doing it "herself"..(whatever you percieve "Nature" to be..)

    So IMO the Bart Simpson VFT, the Pug Dog, the Persian cat, are no more "Natural" than plastics, jello and nuclear bombs..they are life forms created by humans, not created by nature..

    To me, there is no conflict in the phrase "artifical nature"..
    and to me, most of the man-made artificial nature is not good.

    I would rather leave evolution up to nature or God..but not to humans..
    we arent smart enough, or moral enough, to do it properly..we should leave it alone.

    I have never been a big fan of humans..
    I like some individual ones well enough..but as a group, im not impressed..

    So, what is it to be Scot? Are we dealing with Nature or are we dealing with breeds that have been selected by the hand of man and are therefore (according to you) "no more Natural than plastics?" If the breeds have been removed from nature, as you say they have, then you cannot apply your argument that these "artificial breeds" are subject to the forces of the wild. Which is what I have been saying all along. Domestic breeds are no longer subject to "natural selection" so arguing that they are unfit in nature is, pure and simple, wrong. You cannot have it both ways and yet you are trying very hard to do just that. Pugs are not of the natural world so you cannot apply the selections of the natural world to them. Pugs are of the Human world so human selections apply. In the human world they are fit. And that is the way it is, whether you acknowledge it or not does not change that fact. You can tell a rock all day long it is not a rock and at the end of the day it will still be a rock.

    but since we are both deliberately ignoring the other's half of the argument, there is much point in continuing!
    I have not ignored a single thing you have said. I have heard your side and refuted it numerous times. But thanks for clearing it up that you have ignored me though I was already aware of that.

    Quote Originally Posted by GrowinOld View Post
    I know you all are having fun trying to get your point across to the other....

    And watching the way you feed off the others comments reminded me, there are many plant+animal symbiotic relationships in nature. And they have developed via natural selection and have survived as well as they have simply because another species finds them valuable! (An example would be: the ants that tend and grow a fungus and then feed off of it.)
    And there are lots of others!

    Anyway, I know this is just about the disagreeing and debating at this point, so while I would suggest this:
    I will let you get back to it!
    It has been interesting at times watching you go at it! Nothing like a pissin' contest!

    (Funny, we developed naturally with TWO ears and only ONE mouth, why do you think that is?) Perhaps there is something you AGREE about? Well.....
    Have fun kids! Play nice!

    Gotta say, I love your wit

    Quote Originally Posted by allegedhuman View Post
    Since you are talking about genes and use “fitness” that means you should be using the reproductive biological meaning of fitness. That is just what fitness means in genetics/ biological terminology. When you actually mean physical fitness you need to be explicit that you are talking about physical condition or weakness…otherwise there is the confusion about what you actually mean when you say “fit” since obviously people were coming in on fitness from two different meanings of scientific versus colloquial fitness.

    Blanket statements make me twitch and twinge in pain….

    Can you tell me which breed is more fit or physically weaker when you are comparing a Clydesdale or other European draft horse versus an Arabian? Don’t take any personal breed preference or consider what you use or think an ideal horse should be used for into account. Both breeds are incredibly athletic and strong so unless you look at the context and environment in which the two breeds are in I don’t think anyone could make the judgment which is fitter or physically weaker than another. Each breed has its own strengths. For pure power the drafts have the Arabian beat, but endurance, agility and athleticism the Arabians have the advantage. Each breed arose in different environments for different purposes. Drafts have broad barrels and have chunkier bodies to conserve heat, heavy coats for winter, etc, all for colder climates and size, strength and gentle personality to be used by all members of the family for plowing, hauling loads, etc. because you can’t have essentially a temperamental tractor when you NEED to get those crops planted if you are going to get a harvest that season. Arabians are finer built with a proportionally larger surface area to allow cooling in hot climates and much smaller since their primary purpose was a fast, spirited riding horse. Both breeds are great, both survive just fine in a barn but due to the environment they were bred in they have different traits that make them better suited for particular conditions and uses. If you say environment doesn’t matter (and I will disagree till the end that it does) and you want to compare it to the natural form of the horse…what natural form are you using? Basically all domestic horses ancestors are extinct. I believe Przewalski's Horse is the only one left which is smaller like the Arabian but stocky like the drafts. Other than that all wild horses are just from feral domestic stock so back to the question what is the natural form domestic breeds were derived from originally? What about using a very early horse ancestor which was just a few feet tall? The closest breed to that is a Fallabella and those are just pure novelty although very cute in my opinion (opinion mind you) so that would imply any horse you can ride would be inferior compared to the original natural form of the horse.

    What about comparing the fitness of different species? Who is to decide which large wild cat is the “natural form” when comparing tigers, cheetah, leopards, puma? You'd have to use their most recent shared common ancestor and how would you determine fitness from bones to see if the new species is more fit or less than their extinct ancestor?

    Context is always important and in this case the context is environment and ability to reproduce in that one particular environment. The fitness of the exact same individual can change just by changing the environment so even with the same individual there is no one blanket fitness score without the environmental component.

    Sure with some breeds that seem obscenely deformed like the pug, Persian, etc you think blanket statements may apply that they are physically weaker but what about the majority of the breeds which are more along the lines of degrees of variation and not as obviously weird?

    I agree, squished noses make for weaker breeds IF all humans disappeared tomorrow and all breeds interbred. But in that case natural selection would remove deleterious traits which humans originally selected for artificially. But in the current domestic environment pugs live and breed just fine..sure they have additional health concerns which affect their physical condition but their fitness is no less than your average mutt and often higher.

    I want a dog that is athletic and active so I'm looking for a different breed than someone who wants a nice quiet companion and would love a pug. Different environments makes different breeds more suited for that set of conditions. If I got a pug and went for a "short" little jog I'd probably kill the poor thing or have it slumped in a wheezing mess while if my great aunt got a border collie or husky that would not end well at all either...I'd foresee that situation ending in the dog dragging them both into traffic killing them both or getting sent to the pound and put down for being psycho when all it really needed was a more active environment to burn off and focus that energy.

    Wonderful arguments and explanations. If the day comes that you and I get into a debate I see I will have my hands full LOL.

    Quote Originally Posted by SDCPs View Post
    Ironically, this thread has become a "clear some stuff up for the newbies" time. There is some deep discussion going on...even though it can get confusing.

    What did Timmy do to get you guys to help him with this thread
    Ummm... Just to clear something up, Timmy was not asking to clear things up. His original post was that he was going to clear somethings up for the rest of us.

    Quote Originally Posted by Raven01000 View Post
    Since plants in cultivation are no longer in the same environment as wild plants, new conditions of fitness apply. In the human environment, that which best guarantees survival, and therefore indicates fitness, is that which is unique, eye-catching, and aesthetically pleasing. In the human environment, VFTs are no longer competing with each other in such contests as who can most efficiently catch food or who can avoid predation. In the human environment, it's all about satisfying, interesting, and alluring humans. Which ever plants are best equipped to do that are those which will continue to be cultivated and thus will continue to survive and prosper.
    Exactly the point I was making Raven. You get it And this same argument applies to dog breeds and cat breeds and fish breeds and bird breeds and all domestic what evers...
    'My love was science- specifically biology and, more specifically, when placed in a common jar, which of two organisms would devour the other.'

    See You Space Cowboy

    Hagerstown, Maryland


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  5. #75
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    OUCH LOL...Way to go Pyro!

  6. #76
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    The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

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