Human evolution - From sperm to ape

In summary, the conversation discusses the concept of ontogeny recapitulating phylogeny, which states that the development of an organism reflects its evolutionary history. The speaker also shares their thoughts on why humans go through a slow growth process instead of being born as already-mature, intelligent beings. However, some of the conclusions drawn are not scientifically supported, such as the idea that humans will continue to evolve into smarter beings. The conversation also touches on the topic of extinction and the impact of social behavior on survival.
  • #1
Galactic explosion
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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?
 
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  • #2
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.
 
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  • #3
Also note - some you conclusions are suspect - please find some better references. I am leaving this thread open unless it has more problems.
 
  • #4
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/iss...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.
 
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  • #5
I think Jim has sufficiently answered the OP, so we will close the thread.
 

Related to Human evolution - From sperm to ape

1. How did humans evolve from sperm to ape?

The evolution of humans from sperm to ape is a gradual process that occurred over millions of years. It is believed that the first step in this process was the development of multicellular organisms, which eventually led to the development of primitive aquatic animals, such as fish. These fish then evolved into amphibians, which were able to survive on land. Over time, these amphibians evolved into reptiles, which eventually gave rise to the first mammals. From there, early primates evolved, and eventually, humans evolved from a common ancestor with apes.

2. What evidence supports the theory of human evolution from sperm to ape?

There are several lines of evidence that support the theory of human evolution from sperm to ape. Fossil evidence shows a gradual change in physical characteristics over time, from early primates to modern humans. DNA analysis also supports the idea that humans share a common ancestor with apes. Additionally, the study of comparative anatomy and embryology also provides evidence for the evolutionary relationship between humans and apes.

3. How long did it take for humans to evolve from sperm to ape?

The exact time frame for human evolution from sperm to ape is still a topic of debate among scientists. However, based on fossil evidence, it is estimated that the first hominids, or human-like beings, appeared around 6-7 million years ago. From there, it took another 5-6 million years for modern humans to emerge. So, the entire process of human evolution from sperm to ape may have taken approximately 12-13 million years.

4. What role did natural selection play in the process of human evolution from sperm to ape?

Natural selection is a key mechanism of evolutionary change and played a significant role in the process of human evolution from sperm to ape. As early primates evolved and adapted to their changing environment, those with favorable traits were more likely to survive and pass on their genes to the next generation. Over time, this resulted in the emergence of new species with different physical and behavioral characteristics.

5. Is human evolution from sperm to ape still occurring?

While the human species has evolved significantly over millions of years, evolution is an ongoing process and is still occurring today. However, the process of natural selection has been greatly influenced by modern advancements, such as medicine and technology. This means that the rate of human evolution is much slower than it was in the past. However, genetic mutations and adaptations to new environments still play a role in shaping the human species, albeit at a much slower pace.

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