Human evolution - From sperm to ape

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

The reason I'm writing this is because I would like to share my thoughts about this interesting thing I was thinking about.

So we all know how animals and all other living organisms share a common microbial ancestor that dates back billions of years. Well, I just find it fascinating how when we look at the reproductive cycle of anything, it all relates to literally the same stages of the process of life's evolution on earth. Whether it be a plant, animal, or cell. You can practically see the entire timeline of evolution in a human, from a single cell, to a walking, talking, hairless ape. And the only reason it takes 9 months now, instead of nearly 4 billion years, is because we come pre-coded with the genetic material, thanks to our ancient bacterial grandparents that had to go through blind trial and error, to get to where we are now.

After birth, we can see how human babies are primitive beings that have nothing on their minds but instinct, reflecting our distant ancestors, like monkeys and such (the only thing on the mammalian mind at this point is food, parents, and security). Then as the infant grows older, becoming a child, the frontal lobe matures to that of maybe a chimp, or perhaps still a little lesser than that. The child develops basic social skills, such as friendships, cooperation, and mutual respect. I would still say a monkey is more capable than a 5 year old child, in some ways. Then comes adolescence, where the human starts to form complex social structures and hierarchies, and also personal relationships. This would probably be on par with a chimpanzee or gorilla. The human is now (possibly) capable of surviving without its parents, and has a clear understanding of the world around it, in terms of survival and social acceptance. Finally, comes full adulthood, which is where our capabilities surpass all animals on earth, and is our current step in evolution. And I think, far into the future, when we evolve to have super-brains, our reproductive life cycle (ageing process) might just be one step longer before we reach intelligent maturity. Again, reflecting our evolutionary history. So it might be that a child then, would be smarter than an adult, now. But that would still be considered primitive compared to a future adult human, that could for instance bend space with their mind, while a future child could solve Einstein's equations just by looking at them.

As you can see, the most effective way nature has for us is this thing I like to call, cyclic reproductive evolution. Why aren't we born as already-mature, intelligent humans, instead of going through the whole 25 year process of relatively slow growth from cell to ape? That's beyond me. I guess nature doesn't have to do that yet. But I just find it incredible how the cycle of life works. And really, it's a pattern that we see in everything. Before anything can live its full life and reproduce, it must go through a quick historical evolution, a growth process.

What do you guys think? Cool idea?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
jim mcnamara
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This is something, if you had a good Biology intro course, you would have encountered as:
'ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny' It dates from about 1880, and is a quote from Ernst Haeckel a German biologist.

http://2000clicks.com/graeme/langwisdomsayingontogenyrecapitulatesphylogeny.htm

It is good that you saw the concept. The not-so-good part is that PF really does not want people's "original" ad hoc thoughts, we want proven science. This concept is a 'should have known' if you had more background. So, the point is, we do not want you to feel penalized, we think you should take Biology courses and get up to speed on what we already know. Clearly you can think, you just need more "fodder" for thought.
 
  • #3
jim mcnamara
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Also note - some you conclusions are suspect - please find some better references. I am leaving this thread open unless it has more problems.
 
  • #4
jim mcnamara
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A FWIW - the bit about humans getting smarter is not founded in any Science. Evolution works only on survival in a changing environment. It does NOT have a direction. You cannot look at a population of almost any species of mammal and correctly guess what it will be like in 100,000 years. IMO, the only good possible guess is extinction. Why? 99% of all species that existed are now extinct. So as far as guessing goes, 'extinct' has the highest probability. This applies equally to humans, squirrels and any other form of life.

Granted, the human environment includes hypersocial behavior. And in the sense that "heretics" and often their families were thrown out of the social and physical environments - or killed outright - we see the potential for greatly reduced survival of offspring. See Myanmar and Rohingya:
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/myanmar-mass-graves-latest-rohingya-slaughter-genocide-ap/

You cannot generally say that we are necessarily becoming smarter. Archeologists consider human brain size as a partial indicator of increasing intelligence and linguistic skills. Do not conclude too much from this but - Neandertal remains show individuals with brain sizes larger than modern humans.

https://www.cobbresearchlab.com/issue-2-1/2015/12/24/average-cranium-brain-size-of-homo-neanderthalensis-vs-homo-sapiens

Neandertals are extinct. So this does not support your 'smarter always evolves better' idea. Pick extinction is you like good odds.
 
  • #5
Evo
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I think Jim has sufficiently answered the OP, so we will close the thread.
 

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