Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Creationism, Intelligent Design, and Evolution.
User avatar
landrew
Has More Than 7K Posts
Posts: 7018
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 5:51 am

Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby landrew » Wed Dec 03, 2008 3:49 am

Matthew Ellard wrote:
landrew wrote: Some authors have proposed that humans were beginning to adopt a semi-aquatic niche, and were it to continue for a few million years, might have produced a fully aquatic species, similar to seals, or even eventually like dolphins and whales.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aquatic_ape_hypothesis


I'm open minded about humans having an aquatic influence into their evolutionary origins. However on one tiny point, pigs do not have hair either and they do not swim. I cannot see how not having hair can be an advantage in swimming or fishing unless there was some unique parasite like sea lice or something.

I would love to know why humans are hairless. ( Imagine if we had full pelts....what a pain dealing with hair products....I would be a scruffy mixed tabby....Pyrrho would probably look like Sylvester from the Bugs Bunny show...Bigtim would be a fluffy white Persian)

Hairlessness as a strictly aquatic trait aside, wild pigs aren't hairless. The domestic varieties were bred to have fewer hairs and bristles to make them easier to handle and to skin.

I think I know why humans are mostly hairless. When an organism has the ability to steal the fur of other animals, it makes little sense to burn up valuable protein growing fur of your own. Other advantages are to make it easier to control ticks and fleas and to make washing easier and to provide hygiene benefits.

I'm not defending the aquatic ape theory, nor do I think that's why humans are hairless, but I do think it's an interesting hypothesis.
The job of a skeptic is to investigate the unexplained; not to explain the uninvestigated.

Matthew Ellard
Real Skeptic
Posts: 26370
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 3:31 am

Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby Matthew Ellard » Wed Dec 03, 2008 4:00 am

landrew wrote: I think I know why humans are mostly hairless. When an organism has the ability to steal the fur of other animals, it makes little sense to burn up valuable protein growing fur of your own. Other advantages are to make it easier to control ticks and fleas and to make washing easier and to provide hygiene benefits.


This is an interesting theory. I guess we need to determine when humans started wearing aimal skins and then consider if that is enough time for an evolutionary change. Buggered if I know how I will determine this.

Wild pigs have hair! I did not know. I'm now asking other office workers to think of hairless land based animals. They are asking me to leave them alone.....

User avatar
brauneyz
Persistent Poster
Posts: 3767
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 3:13 pm
Location: Everywhere, USA

Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby brauneyz » Wed Dec 03, 2008 4:45 am

Matthew Ellard wrote:
Wild pigs have hair! I did not know. I'm now asking other office workers to think of hairless land based animals. They are asking me to leave them alone.....

Elephants, naked mole rats, and me, when I have time for a nice long shower. Now leave me alone... :wink:
"A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves." ~ Bertrand de Jouvenel

Matthew Ellard
Real Skeptic
Posts: 26370
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 3:31 am

Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby Matthew Ellard » Wed Dec 03, 2008 4:56 am

brauneyz wrote:
Matthew Ellard wrote:
Wild pigs have hair! I did not know. I'm now asking other office workers to think of hairless land based animals. They are asking me to leave them alone.....

Elephants, naked mole rats, and me, when I have time for a nice long shower. Now leave me alone... :wink:


Dear Landrew.....Brauneyz was in the shower and something made her think of the elephant. The elephant is not known for swimming.....perhaps humans are hairless because they too, wandered around the african savanna in herds and charged other predator animals in packs with their tusks......we only need to find evidence that early hominids were sometimes called "Jumbo" or worked in early stoneage circuses and we have proved this theory! I'm flying out to Oldevai Gorge now....meet you there....

User avatar
CMc
Poster
Posts: 299
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2008 10:00 pm

Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby CMc » Wed Dec 03, 2008 6:01 am

Matthew Ellard wrote:[ I guess we need to determine when humans started wearing aimal skins and then consider if that is enough time for an evolutionary change. Buggered if I know how I will determine this.

According to the Wiki article on epigenetics
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epigenetics#Evolution
"Epigenetic changes have also been observed to occur in response to environmental exposure..."
It is possible that the rate of hair growth is affected by epigenetic changes rather than mutations. Epigenetic changes are non-DNA changes that affect gene expression and can be caused by environmental factors and persist for multiple generations. So the stealing other animals fur theory could work.

User avatar
Major Malfunction
Has No Life
Posts: 11310
Joined: Wed May 10, 2006 6:20 am
Custom Title: Dérailleur Énigmatique

Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby Major Malfunction » Wed Dec 03, 2008 7:11 am

We don't have hair because it makes running long distances difficult. It's hot on the Savannah, dangers abound and resources are scarce. The ability to cover large distances is a strong selective trait. We can out-distance any animal on Earth, both because bipedalism is more efficient, and because we can regulate our core temperature even during extended periods of exertion. Sweat works much better on bare skin.
This being was produced using the same process as other beings, and therefore, may contain traces of nuts.

User avatar
landrew
Has More Than 7K Posts
Posts: 7018
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 5:51 am

Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby landrew » Wed Dec 03, 2008 2:45 pm

I think all the aforementioned theories have merit. There's no reason they can't all be correct. Besides, it's easier to get a mate the less hairy you are.
The job of a skeptic is to investigate the unexplained; not to explain the uninvestigated.

Matthew Ellard
Real Skeptic
Posts: 26370
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 3:31 am

Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby Matthew Ellard » Wed Dec 03, 2008 10:02 pm

landrew wrote:I think all the aforementioned theories have merit. There's no reason they can't all be correct. Besides, it's easier to get a mate the less hairy you are.


I agree. However I wonder if the hair we carry on out heads has the additional purpose of being a "marker" in someway, like a peacock's feathers. I also wonder about pubic hair. Humans have innate sexual thoughts and ( In my opinion) boys think about girl's pubic hair (and related activities). Therefore pubic hair probably has a "marker" attribute in obtaining sexual contact.

User avatar
landrew
Has More Than 7K Posts
Posts: 7018
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 5:51 am

Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby landrew » Thu Dec 04, 2008 4:10 am

Matthew Ellard wrote:
landrew wrote:I think all the aforementioned theories have merit. There's no reason they can't all be correct. Besides, it's easier to get a mate the less hairy you are.


I agree. However I wonder if the hair we carry on out heads has the additional purpose of being a "marker" in someway, like a peacock's feathers. I also wonder about pubic hair. Humans have innate sexual thoughts and ( In my opinion) boys think about girl's pubic hair (and related activities). Therefore pubic hair probably has a "marker" attribute in obtaining sexual contact.

I think it's more likely that head hair is a sunshade. When our ancestors left Africa a few dozen millennia ago, chances are they were adapted to Africa by having dark skin and frizzy hair. When they faced the harsh winters of Europe and Asia the hair probably straightened to provide better insulation against the cold. As for pubic hair, I think it probably has something to do with preventing sunburn as well.
The job of a skeptic is to investigate the unexplained; not to explain the uninvestigated.

User avatar
CMc
Poster
Posts: 299
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2008 10:00 pm

Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby CMc » Thu Dec 04, 2008 4:19 am

As I recall, Carl Sagan's theory about pubic hair was that it was for collecting sexual odors and pheromones to subconsciously mess with the minds of the opposite sex. He probably should have stuck to Cosmology.

Matthew Ellard
Real Skeptic
Posts: 26370
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 3:31 am

Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby Matthew Ellard » Thu Dec 04, 2008 4:28 am

CMc wrote:As I recall, Carl Sagan's theory about pubic hair was that it was for collecting sexual odors and pheromones to subconsciously mess with the minds of the opposite sex. He probably should have stuck to Cosmology.


I'm laughing but I think Carl was right. I'm also laughing at LAndrews pubic sunshade theory. Is L Andrew suggesting his "endowment" is so large as to require a "thatched umbrella"?

User avatar
Gawdzilla Sama
Has No Life
Posts: 19473
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2008 2:11 am
Custom Title: Deadly but evil.

Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Fri Dec 05, 2008 1:45 am

landrew wrote:As for pubic hair, I think it probably has something to do with preventing sunburn as well.

You might change your opinion on that after you loose your virginity. :lol:
Chachacha wrote:"Oh, thweet mythtery of wife, at waft I've found you!"

WWII Resources. Primary sources.
The Myths of Pearl Harbor. Demythologizing the attack.
Hyperwar. Hypertext history of the Second World War.
The greatest place to work in the entire United States.

Matthew Ellard
Real Skeptic
Posts: 26370
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 3:31 am

Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby Matthew Ellard » Fri Dec 05, 2008 2:11 am

Gawdzilla wrote:
landrew wrote:As for pubic hair, I think it probably has something to do with preventing sunburn as well.

You might change your opinion on that after you loose your virginity. :lol:


Are you suggesting
1) landrew has not reached puberty and thus is not sexually interested yet...OR
2) Having sex with a sunburnt penis is very painful from personal experience

User avatar
Gawdzilla Sama
Has No Life
Posts: 19473
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2008 2:11 am
Custom Title: Deadly but evil.

Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Fri Dec 05, 2008 2:13 am

Matthew Ellard wrote:
Gawdzilla wrote:
landrew wrote:As for pubic hair, I think it probably has something to do with preventing sunburn as well.

You might change your opinion on that after you loose your virginity. :lol:


Are you suggesting
1) landrew has not reached puberty and thus is not sexually interested yet...OR
2) Having sex with a sunburnt penis is very painful from personal experience

I'm suggesting that a casual perusal of the female anatomy might not suggest the need for a "sunshade" despite the presence of public hair.
Chachacha wrote:"Oh, thweet mythtery of wife, at waft I've found you!"

WWII Resources. Primary sources.
The Myths of Pearl Harbor. Demythologizing the attack.
Hyperwar. Hypertext history of the Second World War.
The greatest place to work in the entire United States.

Matthew Ellard
Real Skeptic
Posts: 26370
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 3:31 am

Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby Matthew Ellard » Fri Dec 05, 2008 5:13 am

Gawdzilla wrote:I'm suggesting that a casual perusal of the female anatomy might not suggest the need for a "sunshade" despite the presence of public hair.


I see....you have never got a female of the species to lie down? I guess your famly is an "on the go family" will little time for small talk.

.

User avatar
Gawdzilla Sama
Has No Life
Posts: 19473
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2008 2:11 am
Custom Title: Deadly but evil.

Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Fri Dec 05, 2008 3:16 pm

Matthew Ellard wrote:
Gawdzilla wrote:I'm suggesting that a casual perusal of the female anatomy might not suggest the need for a "sunshade" despite the presence of public hair.


I see....you have never got a female of the species to lie down? I guess your famly is an "on the go family" will little time for small talk.

.

I was a sailor most of my adult life. I didn't have time for the female to assume the supine position. :twisted:
Chachacha wrote:"Oh, thweet mythtery of wife, at waft I've found you!"

WWII Resources. Primary sources.
The Myths of Pearl Harbor. Demythologizing the attack.
Hyperwar. Hypertext history of the Second World War.
The greatest place to work in the entire United States.

jcity
Regular Poster
Posts: 504
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2007 6:17 pm

Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby jcity » Sat Dec 06, 2008 3:11 pm

Major Malfunction wrote:... We can out-distance any animal on Earth, both because bipedalism is more efficient, and because we can regulate our core temperature even during extended periods of exertion. ...

I have to call you on this one. Athletically, we humans only rate at the level of pigs. Dogs and horses, for example, completely put us to shame. We only out-distance other animals because of our intelligence: we take supplies along, and more recently we make other animals or machines do the work.
"When someone says 'there ought to be a law...', there probably oughtn't." Penn Jillette

User avatar
landrew
Has More Than 7K Posts
Posts: 7018
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 5:51 am

Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby landrew » Sat Dec 06, 2008 4:43 pm

jcity wrote:
Major Malfunction wrote:... We can out-distance any animal on Earth, both because bipedalism is more efficient, and because we can regulate our core temperature even during extended periods of exertion. ...

I have to call you on this one. Athletically, we humans only rate at the level of pigs. Dogs and horses, for example, completely put us to shame. We only out-distance other animals because of our intelligence: we take supplies along, and more recently we make other animals or machines do the work.

All this stuff can be looked up, but a human can outrun many animals over long distances, including horses. In Africa, Bushmen sometimes hunt animals by chasing them down on foot, capturing them when they eventually fall from exhaustion. But many animals have humans beat, including sled dogs, which have a much better metabolism for long distance running. Migratory birds have us all beat; the arctic tern migrates from one polar region to the other twice a year.
The job of a skeptic is to investigate the unexplained; not to explain the uninvestigated.

jcity
Regular Poster
Posts: 504
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2007 6:17 pm

Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby jcity » Sat Dec 06, 2008 9:06 pm

landrew wrote:All this stuff can be looked up, but a human can outrun many animals over long distances, including horses.

Humans cannot outrun horses even when the horses have riders.

landrew wrote:In Africa, Bushmen sometimes hunt animals by chasing them down on foot, capturing them when they eventually fall from exhaustion.

The key to this kind of hunting is making the prey animal overheat. It requires intelligence and multiple hunters and is not a raw endurance test. One learns this later in this article touting the hypothesis that humans are well-adapted to run. It's still a stretch to claim superiority over most animals:

Peter Weyand wrote: Covering the 26.2 mile distance from Hopkinton to Boston on foot is an intimidating prospect for most. ... The top runners will make it to the Boylston Street finish line between 2:00 and 2:30 pm... As impressive as the marathon times that today's top runners manage are, they are unremarkable when compared to the performances of animal runners. An average dog toeing the starting line in Hopkinton at noon could arrive at the downtown finish line by 1:30 pm. A trained sled dog would arrive before 1:10 pm. ... and nature's swiftest endurance runner, the pronghorn antelope, could arrive comfortably before 12:50 pm...
...
... even the fastest humans, by virtue of their modest engine size, are stuck squarely in the middle of nature's pack.
Link. Emphasis mine.
"When someone says 'there ought to be a law...', there probably oughtn't." Penn Jillette

User avatar
landrew
Has More Than 7K Posts
Posts: 7018
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 5:51 am

Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby landrew » Sun Dec 07, 2008 1:44 am

jcity wrote:
landrew wrote:All this stuff can be looked up, but a human can outrun many animals over long distances, including horses.

Humans cannot outrun horses even when the horses have riders.

Bzzzt!

http://discovermagazine.com/2006/may/tramps-like-us

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/two-legs-outrun-four-as-man-beats-horse-732060.html

Humans have more endurance than most other land animals and can outrun them over long distances.
The job of a skeptic is to investigate the unexplained; not to explain the uninvestigated.

jcity
Regular Poster
Posts: 504
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2007 6:17 pm

Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby jcity » Sun Dec 07, 2008 3:27 am

landrew wrote:Bzzzt!

Oh yeah, once in 25 years on a course that favors humans as much as possible. The average human against the average horse: no chance. Top human against the top horse: still no chance.

landrew wrote:Humans have more endurance than most other land animals and can outrun them over long distances.

Perhaps if you're including mice and porcupines and such, not to mention predators who operate mainly through bursts of speed. But if you're including large prey animals and canines then that shows the problem with PR getting ahead of the science. It's an eye-catching lead-in to some of the research articles, but the articles don't really support such dramatic claims. Rather, the hypothesis is that our early ancestors first benefitted from running to steal kills made by other predators, and in the process developed enough endurance and heat-shedding ability to run down some animals in the heat of the day on the African plains, probably using cleverness and numbers as well. Even if the hypothesis is entirely correct, the best it says about modern humans is that there's some genetic potential there. But pit the average person today against the average large prey animal and I know where I'd put my money.
"When someone says 'there ought to be a law...', there probably oughtn't." Penn Jillette

User avatar
landrew
Has More Than 7K Posts
Posts: 7018
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 5:51 am

Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby landrew » Sun Dec 07, 2008 4:37 am

jcity wrote:
landrew wrote:Bzzzt!

Oh yeah, once in 25 years on a course that favors humans as much as possible. The average human against the average horse: no chance. Top human against the top horse: still no chance.

Bzzzt! Bzzzt! Bzzzt!
Native Americans also used to hunt moose by eventually tiring them out after chasing them for 10-15 km.
http://books.google.ca/books?id=8ZTBawkiwBgC&pg=PA78&lpg=PA78&dq=indians+chased+moose+exhausted&source=web&ots=_2eNeS666a&sig=eVF4Zt4J3BZEI8eQs4tMZNVe06c&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=2&ct=result
Last edited by landrew on Sun Dec 07, 2008 4:52 am, edited 3 times in total.
The job of a skeptic is to investigate the unexplained; not to explain the uninvestigated.

User avatar
Gawdzilla Sama
Has No Life
Posts: 19473
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2008 2:11 am
Custom Title: Deadly but evil.

Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Sun Dec 07, 2008 4:42 am

landrew wrote:
jcity wrote:
landrew wrote:Bzzzt!

Oh yeah, once in 25 years on a course that favors humans as much as possible. The average human against the average horse: no chance. Top human against the top horse: still no chance.

Bzzzt! Bzzzt! Bzzzt!
Native Americans also used to chase down moose by eventually tiring them out after chasing them for 10-15 km.

They have books that explain the difference between a horse and moose. Amazon.com.
Chachacha wrote:"Oh, thweet mythtery of wife, at waft I've found you!"

WWII Resources. Primary sources.
The Myths of Pearl Harbor. Demythologizing the attack.
Hyperwar. Hypertext history of the Second World War.
The greatest place to work in the entire United States.

User avatar
Major Malfunction
Has No Life
Posts: 11310
Joined: Wed May 10, 2006 6:20 am
Custom Title: Dérailleur Énigmatique

Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby Major Malfunction » Mon Dec 08, 2008 7:54 am

jcity wrote:
landrew wrote:Bzzzt!

Oh yeah, once in 25 years on a course that favors humans as much as possible. The average human against the average horse: no chance. Top human against the top horse: still no chance.

You're forgetting that horses and dogs were different beasts back then. We've changed them to suit our requirements of endurance. There were no huskies or thouroghbred racing horses a million years ago.

And average humans back then were - no doubt - a helluvalot fitter than the average human today! Their "average" was probably equivalent to our "top".

Your comparisons are fail.
This being was produced using the same process as other beings, and therefore, may contain traces of nuts.

jcity
Regular Poster
Posts: 504
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2007 6:17 pm

Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby jcity » Mon Dec 08, 2008 3:04 pm

Major Malfunction wrote:You're forgetting that horses and dogs were different beasts back then. We've changed them to suit our requirements of endurance. ...

What about zebras?

Major Malfunction wrote:Your comparisons are fail.

Let's recall your original wording:

Major Malfunction wrote:... We can out-distance any animal on Earth ...

Even if you retroactively want "we" to mean only our ancestors, the claim still represents the extreme end of someone's hypothesis. If you're limiting the discussion to a million years ago then it's difficult or impossible to be definitive.
"When someone says 'there ought to be a law...', there probably oughtn't." Penn Jillette

User avatar
bigtim
Perpetual Poster
Posts: 4076
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2006 7:04 pm
Custom Title: Skeptical Berserker
Location: Miðgarðr

Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby bigtim » Mon Dec 08, 2008 5:50 pm

jcity wrote:
Major Malfunction wrote:You're forgetting that horses and dogs were different beasts back then. We've changed them to suit our requirements of endurance. ...

What about zebras?

Major Malfunction wrote:Your comparisons are fail.

Let's recall your original wording:

Major Malfunction wrote:... We can out-distance any animal on Earth ...

Even if you retroactively want "we" to mean only our ancestors, the claim still represents the extreme end of someone's hypothesis. If you're limiting the discussion to a million years ago then it's difficult or impossible to be definitive.



Any animal has physical characteristics that can exceed humans... except for one.

While we can't out-run a predator we can out think them. We can plot and plan while we attempt to escape. We can spot and do on the fly trend analysis to predict what and when and where.

Our brains and our penises may not be the biggest on the planet... but we think harder than any other beastie...
~
BigTim
"I'm not entirely convinced that ValHalla isn't real."

jcity
Regular Poster
Posts: 504
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2007 6:17 pm

Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby jcity » Mon Dec 08, 2008 7:35 pm

landrew wrote:Bzzzt! Bzzzt! Bzzzt!
Native Americans also used to hunt moose by eventually tiring them out after chasing them for 10-15 km.
http://books.google.ca/books?id=8ZTBawkiwBgC&pg=PA78&lpg=PA78&dq=indians+chased+moose+exhausted&source=web&ots=_2eNeS666a&sig=eVF4Zt4J3BZEI8eQs4tMZNVe06c&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=2&ct=result

Is there more in the reference than this?
At most, the people say, after one and a half, or two hours, of steady walking on snowshoes a man will have completely exhausted a moose running in high snow, and the animal will stand its ground and be killed.

Hardly a fair contest.
"When someone says 'there ought to be a law...', there probably oughtn't." Penn Jillette

User avatar
OlegTheBatty
True Skeptic
Posts: 10407
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2008 2:35 pm
Custom Title: Uppity Atheist

Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby OlegTheBatty » Mon Dec 08, 2008 7:43 pm

jcity wrote:Hardly a fair contest.


Predator - prey relationships are hardly characterized by fairness.
. . . with the satisfied air of a man who thinks he has an idea of his own because he has commented on the idea of another . . . - Alexandre Dumas 'The Count of Monte Cristo"

There is no statement so absurd that it has not been uttered by some philosopher. - Cicero

jcity
Regular Poster
Posts: 504
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2007 6:17 pm

Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby jcity » Mon Dec 08, 2008 7:58 pm

OlegTheBatty wrote:Predator - prey relationships are hardly characterized by fairness.

To test the claim that humans have the greatest endurance of all animals, the contest should involve only endurance. I don't question the superiority of humans if we are allowed the fruit of our intelligence.
"When someone says 'there ought to be a law...', there probably oughtn't." Penn Jillette

User avatar
landrew
Has More Than 7K Posts
Posts: 7018
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 5:51 am

Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby landrew » Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:17 pm

jcity wrote:
landrew wrote:Bzzzt! Bzzzt! Bzzzt!
Native Americans also used to hunt moose by eventually tiring them out after chasing them for 10-15 km.
http://books.google.ca/books?id=8ZTBawkiwBgC&pg=PA78&lpg=PA78&dq=indians+chased+moose+exhausted&source=web&ots=_2eNeS666a&sig=eVF4Zt4J3BZEI8eQs4tMZNVe06c&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=2&ct=result

Is there more in the reference than this?
At most, the people say, after one and a half, or two hours, of steady walking on snowshoes a man will have completely exhausted a moose running in high snow, and the animal will stand its ground and be killed.

Hardly a fair contest.

Sure. http://books.google.ca/books?id=yZ5PNvUrXxcC&pg=PA124&lpg=PA124&dq=bushmen+run+down+game&source=web&ots=hzGTyPLGcd&sig=DzxyKfqiBOzwH40yW1h5lmSuSnc&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=8&ct=result
The job of a skeptic is to investigate the unexplained; not to explain the uninvestigated.

jcity
Regular Poster
Posts: 504
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2007 6:17 pm

Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby jcity » Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:49 pm

jcity wrote:Is there more in the reference than this?

No, that's a different reference about bushmen and antelope. So your original reference doesn't actually support your moose claim. Bzzzt!
"When someone says 'there ought to be a law...', there probably oughtn't." Penn Jillette

User avatar
Major Malfunction
Has No Life
Posts: 11310
Joined: Wed May 10, 2006 6:20 am
Custom Title: Dérailleur Énigmatique

Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby Major Malfunction » Tue Dec 09, 2008 6:46 am

jcity wrote:
Major Malfunction wrote:... We can out-distance any animal on Earth ...

Even if you retroactively want "we" to mean only our ancestors, the claim still represents the extreme end of someone's hypothesis. If you're limiting the discussion to a million years ago then it's difficult or impossible to be definitive.

Bit of a pedantic argument. Our bodies haven't changed that much. We've been bipedal for maybe 8 m.y. and runners for 2.

Humans hot, sweaty, natural-born runners

Humans, he said, have several adaptations that help us dump the enormous amounts of heat generated by running. These adaptations include our hairlessness, our ability to sweat, and the fact that we breathe through our mouths when we run, which not only allows us to take bigger breaths, but also helps dump heat.

“We can run in conditions that no other animal can run in,” Lieberman said.

While animals get rid of excess heat by panting, they can’t pant when they gallop, Lieberman said. That means that to run a prey animal into the ground, ancient humans didn’t have to run further than the animal could trot and didn’t have to run faster than the animal could gallop. All they had to do is to run faster, for longer periods of time, than the slowest speed at which the animal started to gallop.

All together, Lieberman said, these adaptations allowed us to relentlessly pursue game in the hottest part of the day when most animals rest. Lieberman said humans likely practiced persistence hunting, chasing a game animal during the heat of the day, making it run faster than it could maintain, tracking and flushing it if it tried to rest, and repeating the process until the animal literally overheated and collapsed.

Most animals would develop hyperthermia — heat stroke in humans — after about 10 to 15 kilometers, he said.


And this: Born To Run
This being was produced using the same process as other beings, and therefore, may contain traces of nuts.

jcity
Regular Poster
Posts: 504
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2007 6:17 pm

Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby jcity » Tue Dec 09, 2008 2:30 pm

Major Malfunction wrote:Bit of a pedantic argument. Our bodies haven't changed that much. We've been bipedal for maybe 8 m.y. and runners for 2.

My point is that none of these articles offers much support for the original claim. The only scientifically-verified hunt that's been mentioned involved two men tiring the prey before the fresher third man came in for the kill. It's a logical cooperative-hunting strategy if you can't outrun your prey. The prey is unlikely to run indefinitely in a straight line, so if some hunting-pack members hang back then there is a good chance their freshness will pay off later in the hunt.
"When someone says 'there ought to be a law...', there probably oughtn't." Penn Jillette

User avatar
Major Malfunction
Has No Life
Posts: 11310
Joined: Wed May 10, 2006 6:20 am
Custom Title: Dérailleur Énigmatique

Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby Major Malfunction » Wed Dec 10, 2008 5:14 am

jcity wrote:
Major Malfunction wrote:... We can out-distance any animal on Earth, both because bipedalism is more efficient, and because we can regulate our core temperature even during extended periods of exertion. ...

I have to call you on this one. Athletically, we humans only rate at the level of pigs. Dogs and horses, for example, completely put us to shame. We only out-distance other animals because of our intelligence: we take supplies along, and more recently we make other animals or machines do the work.

Fine. In the intrest of moving the conversaion along, I will adjust my statement to read, "We can out-distance many animals on Earth..."

Now I'm calling you on the pig thing. Care to back that up?
This being was produced using the same process as other beings, and therefore, may contain traces of nuts.

jcity
Regular Poster
Posts: 504
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2007 6:17 pm

Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby jcity » Wed Dec 10, 2008 2:59 pm

Major Malfunction wrote:Now I'm calling you on the pig thing. Care to back that up?

The article I quoted above notes that even the less-capable miniature pig is capable of a three-hour marathon, which beats all but a few percent of humans. Other references are harder to come by, in particular the one I read that led me to mention pigs in the first place. However, the wild boar can hit a top speed of 30 mph, slightly better than what's been achieved by the best human sprinter. Domestic pigs are slower, but likely still generally comparable to people, especially given the sorry state of human fitness. As you noted, the dissipation of heat can be a factor, so humans could have an edge in hot conditions.
"When someone says 'there ought to be a law...', there probably oughtn't." Penn Jillette

User avatar
Major Malfunction
Has No Life
Posts: 11310
Joined: Wed May 10, 2006 6:20 am
Custom Title: Dérailleur Énigmatique

Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby Major Malfunction » Thu Dec 11, 2008 8:17 am

The article has no references. Without comparative and supporting data, the statement that a pig could run a marathon in 3 hours is an unsubstantiated claim.

Further, he reaches that conclusion by porpoisefully ignoring the mechanics of the body and focusing soley upon metabolic output. We have similar metabolic output, he says, which is the most important thing when it comes to endurance running, he says, therefore pigs can run just as far and fast, he says.

Pigs fly.
This being was produced using the same process as other beings, and therefore, may contain traces of nuts.

jcity
Regular Poster
Posts: 504
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2007 6:17 pm

Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby jcity » Thu Dec 11, 2008 5:31 pm

Major Malfunction wrote:The article has no references. Without comparative and supporting data, the statement that a pig could run a marathon in 3 hours is an unsubstantiated claim.

Because it's unlikely anybody will force a pig to run a marathon, this burden of proof will never be met. However, there is evidence available that also bypasses your efficiency argument. This abstract indicates that trained pigs achieve 5 m/s or 18 km/h at VO2max. In Noakes' The Lore of Running, 4th ed., p. 48, there is a chart showing VO2 versus running speed for nine elite runners. I think it's reasonable to assume that elite runners will, if anything, be more efficient than the average person. At 18 km/h the VO2 ranges from about 50 to 70 mL O2/kg/min. Now refer to the chart labeled "VO2 Max In Athletes and Non Athletes" on this page. This chart gives a good indication of typical human VO2max. You'll note that even trained athletes generally fall into the 50-70 mL O2/kg/min range.

Bottom line: Pigs have raw athletic ability that is similar to that of people.
"When someone says 'there ought to be a law...', there probably oughtn't." Penn Jillette

User avatar
landrew
Has More Than 7K Posts
Posts: 7018
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 5:51 am

Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby landrew » Thu Dec 11, 2008 5:59 pm

jcity wrote:
Major Malfunction wrote:The article has no references. Without comparative and supporting data, the statement that a pig could run a marathon in 3 hours is an unsubstantiated claim.

Because it's unlikely anybody will force a pig to run a marathon, this burden of proof will never be met. However, there is evidence available that also bypasses your efficiency argument. This abstract indicates that trained pigs achieve 5 m/s or 18 km/h at VO2max. In Noakes' The Lore of Running, 4th ed., p. 48, there is a chart showing VO2 versus running speed for nine elite runners. I think it's reasonable to assume that elite runners will, if anything, be more efficient than the average person. At 18 km/h the VO2 ranges from about 50 to 70 mL O2/kg/min. Now refer to the chart labeled "VO2 Max In Athletes and Non Athletes" on this page. This chart gives a good indication of typical human VO2max. You'll note that even trained athletes generally fall into the 50-70 mL O2/kg/min range.

Bottom line: Pigs have raw athletic ability that is similar to that of people.

Swine are not adapted for sustained running. They may sprint out of the way of a predator, maybe inflict a bite or two and duck into the brush. They are not a plains animal like a gazelle, a zebra or a human being. We spent a long portion of our evolution on the African savanna, eating grass seeds and chasing down game.
The job of a skeptic is to investigate the unexplained; not to explain the uninvestigated.

User avatar
bigtim
Perpetual Poster
Posts: 4076
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2006 7:04 pm
Custom Title: Skeptical Berserker
Location: Miðgarðr

Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby bigtim » Thu Dec 11, 2008 6:23 pm

landrew wrote:
jcity wrote:
Major Malfunction wrote:The article has no references. Without comparative and supporting data, the statement that a pig could run a marathon in 3 hours is an unsubstantiated claim.

Because it's unlikely anybody will force a pig to run a marathon, this burden of proof will never be met. However, there is evidence available that also bypasses your efficiency argument. This abstract indicates that trained pigs achieve 5 m/s or 18 km/h at VO2max. In Noakes' The Lore of Running, 4th ed., p. 48, there is a chart showing VO2 versus running speed for nine elite runners. I think it's reasonable to assume that elite runners will, if anything, be more efficient than the average person. At 18 km/h the VO2 ranges from about 50 to 70 mL O2/kg/min. Now refer to the chart labeled "VO2 Max In Athletes and Non Athletes" on this page. This chart gives a good indication of typical human VO2max. You'll note that even trained athletes generally fall into the 50-70 mL O2/kg/min range.

Bottom line: Pigs have raw athletic ability that is similar to that of people.

Swine are not adapted for sustained running. They may sprint out of the way of a predator, maybe inflict a bite or two and duck into the brush. They are not a plains animal like a gazelle, a zebra or a human being. We spent a long portion of our evolution on the African savanna, eating grass seeds and chasing down game.


well... some of us did... some of us were short legged and massively torsoed for spring attacks to kill beasts with spears... and we interbred with your long legged women!
~

BigTim

"I'm not entirely convinced that ValHalla isn't real."

jcity
Regular Poster
Posts: 504
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2007 6:17 pm

Re: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago

Postby jcity » Thu Dec 11, 2008 6:35 pm

landrew wrote:Swine are not adapted for sustained running. ...

If you examine the articles you'll find that even the claim that humans are specifically adapted for sustained running is not yet widely accepted; the debate is ongoing.

Let's turn this around: is it your claim that the average person can run down the average wild boar? Evidence?
"When someone says 'there ought to be a law...', there probably oughtn't." Penn Jillette


Return to “Origins”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest