The Difference Between Animals and Human Beings

dogigniter

Ancient Mariner
What makes us different from Animals, in particular other mammals?

Some say we are 'Ultra-Intelligent' mammals. I dont subscribe to this view because if we are so intelligent, why are we destroying our own habitat?

People argue that the invention of the wheel was revolutionary and that the invention of fire was like wise. Why? If those inventions hadnt occured we would now no longer be polluting our planet and destroying its life! How intelligent is that?

Also if we are mammals and have evolved from a primitive form, how come no other species has done likewise? One answer would be that Human Beings have prevented this by attaining evolution first. Another, and the more likely in my mind is that we are not mammals at all. How can you explain the evolution of humans all across the Earth happening at the same time?

The idea seems at the back of most scientists minds, but it is surely a posibility that an intelligent race may have left some of their kind to populate or to form a colony here on Earth. Sounds far fetched, but think about it. We know now that there may well have been life on Mars at some point. They may have had a space program, as we do. A manned mission to Mars is possible now, but may happen in the next few years. Is it not entirely possible that, on discovery of our planet being able to support life, the Martians (corny name i know), their own planet, so awash with global warming that their oceans evaporated, came to Earth to escape the destruction of life support from their own planet.

OK, so I took that theory a bit too far.. but think about it and it could well be possible. I dont buy the whole evolution idea. Nor do I believe that God made man in his own image. What does everyone else think? Any theories?

[!--emo&^_^--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/happy.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'happy.gif\' /][!--endemo--]
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
1. Human beings ARE animals, you should not separate them from the Animal Kingdom to which they belong.

2. Intelligence is a preposterous and homocentric concept that hasn't got much place within the context of life in general.

3. Whatever life may have formed on Mars, it was definitely too primitive to have even considered leaving its planet (or have any other kind of awareness).



Now, as to what makes Homo sapiens different to other animal species, this is a difficult question.

Physiologically, it is the only animal to have a permanent two-legged locomotion. It is also the only one to make, use and keep tools (Chimps use some makeshift tools, but discard them after they've used them). Mastery (and not invention!) of fire is also a crucial element that changed the destinty of humankind.

Philosophers would also tell you that it's probably the only animal to have an acute sense of death. Humans know that they will die one day, as opposed to the other animal species who have no idea (although it can be argued that the elephants and probably the dolphins have a vague notion of what death is).


Last point: evolution is still happening within the kingdoms of life, as it always has. And it would also be a rather big mistake to consider that humankind is a final point of evolution....
 

SinisterMinisterX

Illuminatus
Staff member
Fire wasn't "invented". It is a natural phenomenon; it was discovered and harnessed by humans, but not invented.

Evolution is quite real. Every species on the earth has evolved, whether it is plant, animal, bacteria, fungus, protist, or anything else. Evolution did not occur all over the earth at the same time; species evolve in a specific area in response to the specific environmental pressures of that area.

No one knows exactly where or how life began, but we do know that every living thing on the planet is incredibly similar. Every living thing is made up of cells, every cell has DNA, and many cells have highly similar structures such as a nucleus and mitochondria. (Bacteria are the lone exception to the last part of that statement.) The odds of nearly identical cells evolving multiple times are astronomical, so it is virtually certain that life started one time at one place and every living thing is a descendant of the first living thing that ever existed (which, by the way, was probably a primitive bacteria). If an alternative version of life ever started somewhere, it died out and we've seen no evidence of it in the fossil record.

Several different versions of early humans came into being via evolution in Africa. Some of these species (the australopithecines) died out. Only the homo genus survived and eventually evolved into homo sapiens.

The definition of a mammal is a species that gives birth to live young instead of laying eggs. Humans are most definitely mammals. In fact, over 99% of our DNA is identical to chimpanzees.

As far as your Martian idea: it is possible that life started on Mars and anaerobic bacteria were carried to Earth by an asteroid of Martian origin. If the bacteria could somehow survive the trip, then Earth life could have evolved from the Martian bacteria. However, possible is not the same as likely. There is very little evidence to support this theory at this time. Right now, it still appears that life started on this planet.

Martian invasion? Still just science fiction.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
[!--QuoteBegin-SinisterMinisterX+Apr 22 2004, 06:07 PM--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(SinisterMinisterX @ Apr 22 2004, 06:07 PM)[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--] species evolve in a specific area in response to the specific environmental pressures of that area. [/quote]
That's selection, mate. Evolution is the result of random mutation(s) that confer a survival advantage to a considered species. Evolution and selection usually go hand-in-hand [!--emo&^_^--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/happy.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'happy.gif\' /][!--endemo--]

[!--QuoteBegin--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--]99% of our DNA is identical to chimpanzees[/quote]
Actually, the usual figure is 98.2%, which is already a lot, and has been revised to 97% and bit recently [!--emo&^_^--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/happy.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'happy.gif\' /][!--endemo--]

Other than that, I agree with you [!--emo&:)--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/smile.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'smile.gif\' /][!--endemo--]
 

SinisterMinisterX

Illuminatus
Staff member
Literally: nope. Homo neanderthalis died out some time ago. They were an evolutionary dead end.

Figuratively: yep. Fred Durst, for one ... or anyone who likes his "music".
 

LooseCannon

Enterprise-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
I do enjoy the occasional Limp Bizkit tune. But that's not because I think it's particularly good music, but it's what I remember from junior high school.
 

dogigniter

Ancient Mariner
my first theory was a little outlandish . yes i know no-one INVENTED fire... im sure you understood. it was just an example. i dont buy the whole evolution thing, so can anyone else suggest another way?

and YES ALRIGHT! i made some gramatical mistakes like 'humans arn't animals' but you still shouldnt pull me apart because of those mistakes. course they are animals!


i just want some theories posted that arn't the norm


oh btw fred durst sucks
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I didn't pull you apart. If I had, you'd be so offended that you'd never come back to this board! [!--emo&:p--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/tongue.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'tongue.gif\' /][!--endemo--]


Anyway, have you ever heard of Occam's razor? When you have several theories concerning a particular point, the simplest is usually the right one.

You don't buy the theory of evolution? That's a shame because it's the only one that's really valid and that has evidence to it. The intervention of god or little green men is nice for science-fiction movies and literature, but doesn't stand in front of the simplest theory: that of evolution.

Now you can hypothesise all you want about the origins of humankind and I'll move the thread to the Madness Forum [!--emo&:D--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/biggrin.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'biggrin.gif\' /][!--endemo--]
 

gor

Ancient Mariner
I have seen these or similar to these arguments appear on anyone's list of arguments when trying to shoot down the theory of evolution...and on 100% of those cases the person trying to shoot down the theory infact knows very little about it and has a very distorted view of what it's about.

lets make the following points clear:

-"Also if we are mammals and have evolved from a primitive form, how come no other species has done likewise?"

Each species evolves by accidental mutations of the DNA that happen to create a life form more adequet for the inviroment it lives in. example: in an area with tall trees, a plant eating mammal, gives birth to offspring with different lengths of neck due to genetic mutations. the one with the taller neck will be able to reach most plantation, survive and will give birth to offspring with long neck, while the rest will die without offspring. result = evolution

now, each species has one object = survival. a chimp doesn't need to evolve into a human and a lizard doesnt have to evolve into a mammal, because it manages to survive just fine the way it is, nothing is forcing it to evolve... just like a gardener doesnt need to become a baker because both have succeeded in making a living.

the main thing that differentiates humans from other animals is the large area of brain surface we have, which has given us the possibility to have much greater intelligence.
 

dogigniter

Ancient Mariner
[!--QuoteBegin--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--]survival. a chimp doesn't need to evolve into a human and a lizard doesnt have to evolve into a mammal, because it manages to survive just fine the way it is, nothing is forcing it to evolve[/quote]

true. so then what made humans evolve? they were surviving fine as i understand.
 

Onhell

Infinite Dreamer
well, one idea is the increase of oxygen in our atmosphere. Aperantly the brain needs lots of it to function proporly, and if you don't get enough you might act tired. Also, going back to Mars. Life on Mars at ANY point in its development and history as a planet is HIGHLY unlikely, much less complex life. It has to be understood that though Earth MAY not be the only planet in the entire universe with complex life, it is still a VERY rare pheonomena. Mav is right in saying we are animals, but we are still very special animals. It is not only our awarness of death but our creativity. Look at all our art, architecture, philosophy etc. We are able to create things no other animal can. It it were only self-awarness...studies show Chimpanzees and Orangutans (i think those are the other primates) are also self-aware. But can they paint like Da Vinci? Now if you don't think God created us...that's fine, as many have said you can't test that. However Evolution is more than "just a theory". Theories are more than good ideas. They are GREAT ideas that have passed test after test after test and we begin go gain confidence in what they describe, explain etc. The Big Bang, Evolution, Nebular Cloud etc are theories that are not only the simplest (I've seen posts mentioning Ocham's Razor) but their is a great amount of evidence in their favor. In other words, scientists can't simply pull a theory out of their ass, they aslo have to back it up with evidence, no evidence, no theory. Now, you want another explanation? Saying that aliens put us here is as naive as saying God created us and has no proof. "There are a lot of claims of alien artifacts but never the artifacts themselves" -Carl Sagan.
 

SinisterMinisterX

Illuminatus
Staff member
[!--QuoteBegin-dogigniter+Apr 23 2004, 02:11 PM--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(dogigniter @ Apr 23 2004, 02:11 PM)[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--] true. so then what made humans evolve? they were surviving fine as i understand. [/quote]
Evolution often begins with a random chance, typically a mutation or other genetic variation that offers a slight survival advantage. One proto-human might be surviving fine, but his neighbor might be even better off. Evolution isn't just about getting by with the bare minimum; if something even better comes up, it will probably become dominant* eventually.

*Note to Maverick, before he starts nitpicking again: I mean dominant in its common, everyday, non-technical usage, not its technical genetic meaning. [!--emo&:p--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/tongue.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'tongue.gif\' /][!--endemo--]

That's why we have music, art, literature, etc. They're not necessary for survival at all. However, they do serve an evolutionary purpose. When civilization was first developing, shared art (such as oral history) served to unite tribes and other groups. A united tribe is able to acquire food and do the other work of living better than an isolated individual. Thus, tribes with primitive art tended to survive and pass on their genes. If we didn't have art, we might be alive, but we'd probably be pretty boring as a species.
 

SinisterMinisterX

Illuminatus
Staff member
[!--QuoteBegin-LooseCannon+Apr 22 2004, 09:33 PM--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(LooseCannon @ Apr 22 2004, 09:33 PM)[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--] I do enjoy the occasional Limp Bizkit tune.  But that's not because I think it's particularly good music, but it's what I remember from junior high school. [/quote]
Damn, I forget how young you kids are sometimes. [!--emo&:D--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/biggrin.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'biggrin.gif\' /][!--endemo--]
My junior high crappy metal was Shout At The Devil. And yes, I still love it! [!--emo&:rock:--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/headbang.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'headbang.gif\' /][!--endemo--]
 

SinisterMinisterX

Illuminatus
Staff member
[!--QuoteBegin-tabor+Apr 22 2004, 09:59 PM--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(tabor @ Apr 22 2004, 09:59 PM)[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--] i could name a few neanderthals in music.. monolithic bastards that cant revolve [/quote]
Umm, don't you mean evolve?
Or do you mean musicians who can't turn around? [!--emo&:D--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/biggrin.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'biggrin.gif\' /][!--endemo--]
 

gor

Ancient Mariner
[!--QuoteBegin-dogigniter+Apr 23 2004, 08:11 PM--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(dogigniter @ Apr 23 2004, 08:11 PM)[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--]
true. so then what made humans evolve? they were surviving fine as i understand. [/quote]
here's a theory:

humans had a disadvantage in relation to other primates: they had no oposing digit (thumb) on their feet! -> they couldn't easily live on the trees -> man goes down, on the land -> variations that walk on 2 survive because they can work with their hands and walk at the same time plus they see potential danger faster. also, not having the protection of the trees, man is pushed to find other means of defence -> weapons, fire -> man learns to cook meat, it becomes more nutricious and SOFTER -> variations with smaller jaws can survive because the food is softer. that gives the rest of the cranium the space to grow -> larger brains -> higher intelligence, more chances of survival.

ps. smaller jaws have caused another problem, wisdom teeth were designed for bigger jaws! hence the problems they can create...


this ofcourse isnt a factual turn of events but it is simplified enough to give you an idea of how it could have worked...
 

infliction

Invader
I see that intelligence is being thrown around, but can we say what it really is? On the part of the larger brain, I think that it is our forebrain that is actually larger than any other animal/species or whatever - now I may be wrong because I think that the dolphin may have us beat in that area. But going back to intelligence, intelligence is a qualitative word used to include such constructs as: adaption, knowledge, creativity, etc. All have been touched on thus far in this thread! What we all know as intelligence is what was made up by Binet to seperate kids that didn't seem to move along as others did in school. Intelligence then, may be what the subject (person, dog, dolphin, whatever) does to adapt and survive in new surroundings - or ever changing environment. Maybe that's why man became able to walk upright: he didn't have his opposing digit on his foot and he didn't need to be crouching in the trees. So, he slowly loses what he doesn't need and what seems to be needed is enhanced and the particular functions of the brain needed to use this is altered as well - which could lead to the smaller jaw, larger brain. I tend to ride the theory of evolution myself - it just makes sense.
Some ask that if that is the case with evolution, why haven't we evolved today? First of all, it doesn't happen over night, right? Second of all (and yes this is a loose interpretation from Darwin's The Decent of Man), we, as a species, haven't had the opportinity to evolve because of things such as war. We send off our most fit to fight and get killed......... and so who gets left behind to 'reproduce'?
Isn't a theory, just a theory until proven fact?
 

Onhell

Infinite Dreamer
[!--QuoteBegin-infliction+Apr 26 2004, 12:44 AM--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(infliction @ Apr 26 2004, 12:44 AM)[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--] Some ask that if that is the case with evolution, why haven't we evolved today?  First of all, it doesn't happen over night, right?  Second of all (and yes this is a loose interpretation from Darwin's The Decent of Man), we, as a species, haven't had the opportinity to evolve because of things such as war.  We send off our most fit to fight and get killed.........  and so who gets left behind to 'reproduce'?
Isn't a theory, just a theory until proven fact? [/quote]
We are evolving, today we have smaller bodies (muscle anyway) than say... 500 years ago. I would like to see Bill Gates wield a Broad Sword and carry over 200 pounds of armor. Even todays "most fit" soldiers carry lighter armor. This of course is to allow more mobility, but it also means they ARE physically weaker. Our brains however, are evolving (this can be debated with a few neaderthals still walking around lol). We have gone from: only the (physically) strong survive to: the (mentally e.g intelligent or whatever you want to call it) survive. I posed this in another thread long ago, Medicine increases our life expectancy but detiriorates our immune system and vital orgams (mainly stomach and liver). In the end it's a trade off.
 

LooseCannon

Enterprise-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
Correction, Onhell. The standard military kit today is 75 lbs, the exact same amount a Roman legionnaire carried.
 
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