PDA

View Full Version : Humans: Flawed or flawless?


Web Rider
05-09-2008, 12:39 AM
So it's been bugging me and I'd like to hear some arguments on the design of a human in the context of survival of the fittest. Obviously, we have survived, so we must be pretty fit, but when you get down to it, we've got some pretty shining flaws. Lets take humans as they are now as the "base design" of humans, and leave evolutionary arguments out of it more or less.

So, lets begin.

Humans walk upright, putting greater weight and therefore strain on our two legs, and therefore make us more vulnerable to being permanently incapacitated. A dog or cat can still function on 3 legs rather well without any external support, a human however, cannot. Our balance is highly tied to our big toe(I've had them numbed to the point of not feeling them, you basically can't walk).

Because of our upright position, our delishus meats are put forward right on our front, as our jewels. Essentially leaving us vulnerable to a frontal attack, whereas an animal on all fours is mainly vulnerable from the sides(as humans are too) and beneath.

Our skin is not particularly tough or defensive, we do not have a thick covering of fur to protect or keep us warm, nor do we have scales or simply really thick skin(like an elephant or rhino) to protect us from injury. As well we lack any defensive glands, organs, or extensions to protect us in case of attack. We have no horns, no barbs, no spines, ect..

We lack any truly offensive capabilities, while we are intelligent enough to use tools to make up for this, we have no natural offenses. We are not explicitly good pack hunters, we lack claws, flangs or venom. We are not particularly strong in comparason to many animals of similar size.

Nor are we naturally as fast, agile or sensitive. The fastest humans barely match up with some of the average speeds of average predators. And while we're on what we're born with, humans have an exceedingly long gestation period. While this is somewhat made up for by a long lifespan, this did not used to be true. We also have an extremely slow growth period. By the time a child is ready to fend for itself, many animals have been doing so for years.

Women are at best, able to feed two children simultaneously, while men are also able to produce milk, this ability has either been bred out of us or has simply vanished from disuse. It is suggested that men once developed fully-functioning breasts in times when most women died in childbirth. Women carrying children are extra vulnerable to attack from the front and sides due to the size of the belly, whereas animals vulnerable directions during pregnancy remain either side. While we're here, women do not carry many at once, we depend on having multiple seperate births instead of one or two multiple-birth pregnancies.

Humans lack the ability to go long periods without food and water. On average, a human can survive 3 days without water, and 2 weeks without food. Many animals do not eat but once or twice a week, sometimes less in certain cases.

------------

Honestly, it amazes me people have survived as well as we did. Maybe people just taste bad, perhaps humans had more natural offenses and defenses in the past before we developed mental capacities to offset them. As far as the human design goes, I'd say it's pretty badly done. There's much that could have been improved in order to increase the survivability of humanity, natural defenses, natural offenses.

Now, I wanna know what you think, list off some pros, some cons, and what your opinion is of them. If you believe in a "Creator" or not, it's not really relevant to the discussion, we're only addressing the actual design of a human being. If you think the design is great, present some evidence as to why. If you take issue witch my thoughts, please, present some counters.

Achilles
05-09-2008, 01:07 AM
Lets take humans as they are now as the "base design" of humans, and leave evolutionary arguments out of it more or less.It's going to be very difficult to address your points with ground rules like these. Everything you raise here can be addressed with "evolutionary arguments".

Web Rider
05-09-2008, 01:12 AM
It's going to be very difficult to address your points with ground rules like these. Everything you raise here can be addressed with "evolutionary arguments".

Yes, I am aware that people were different and probably more ape-like in the past, though our information on that does not indicate that we were truly anything other than hairier, dumber, and well, more ape-like. Even when you go WAAYY back to "Lucy", humans are much the same we are now. We were not exceptionally faster or more agile, nor were we exceptionally stronger or in possession of greater offenses and defenses.

If you want to address what you think we might have evolved out of, you're welcome to, but I doubt there's evidence to show we had any of the defensive or offensive capabilities of many creatures of similar size.

Jae Onasi
05-09-2008, 01:48 AM
Humans walk upright, putting greater weight and therefore strain on our two legs, and therefore make us more vulnerable to being permanently incapacitated. A dog or cat can still function on 3 legs rather well without any external support, a human however, cannot.We also can reach the top shelf in our cabinets because we're upright creatures. None of my pets could do that.

Our balance is highly tied to our big toe(I've had them numbed to the point of not feeling them, you basically can't walk).Not exclusively--there are 3 different systems that contribute to balance. People without big toes have adapted to walking.

Because of our upright position, our delishus meats are put forward right on our front, as our jewels. Essentially leaving us vulnerable to a frontal attack, whereas an animal on all fours is mainly vulnerable from the sides(as humans are too) and beneath.
God, it's good to be a woman.

Being upright produces a thinner profile for attack than being on all fours.

Our skin is not particularly tough or defensive, we do not have a thick covering of fur to protect or keep us warm, nor do we have scales or simply really thick skin(like an elephant or rhino) to protect us from injury. As well we lack any defensive glands, organs, or extensions to protect us in case of attack. We have no horns, no barbs, no spines, ect..Our skin protects us very well from extremes in the environment and germs, which are far more likely to attack us on a daily basis. Being bare-skinned (as opposed to having thick fur) allows the sunlight to hit our skin, and that allows the body to synthesize its own Vitamin D.

We lack any truly offensive capabilities, while we are intelligent enough to use tools to make up for this, we have no natural offenses. We are not explicitly good pack hunters, we lack claws, flangs or venom. We are not particularly strong in comparason to many animals of similar size.
Nuclear weapons. Any questions?

You obviously have not ever been in a nasty fight with my sister and her claws, nor have you been in the dojang where I learned taekwondo. We may not have claws, but I guarantee you that if I attacked you with a roundhouse or side kick with the correct technique and force, you'd be down for a very long time.

Nor are we naturally as fast, agile or sensitive. The fastest humans barely match up with some of the average speeds of average predators. And while we're on what we're born with, humans have an exceedingly long gestation period. While this is somewhat made up for by a long lifespan, this did not used to be true. We also have an extremely slow growth period. By the time a child is ready to fend for itself, many animals have been doing so for years.So we're not cheetahs. So what. We don't run around hunting wildebeests on the African plains on a daily basis. So we have a long gestation/growth rate. It takes a long time for the brain to mature because of its incredible complexity. What we lose in terms of speed of maturation we more than make up in level of maturation compared to other creatures.

Women are at best, able to feed two children simultaneously,That's incorrect unless you're meaning at the exact same time. Women can feed more than two children, but it is much more difficult. If we had litters, we probably would have evolved/been designed with more breasts.

while men are also able to produce milk, this ability has either been bred out of us or has simply vanished from disuse.They don't have the ability normally because they don't typically have the estrogen required for breast tissue enlargement. Because they also don't become pregnant, they don't have the high levels of prolactin during pregnancy that contribute to mammary gland development, which is required to produce milk. In fact, if a man does produce milk, it's something that needs to be addressed by a health care professional asap because it could be caused by hormone disorders or even cancer.

It is suggested that men once developed fully-functioning breasts in times when most women died in childbirth.
If 'most women' died in childbirth, none of us would be here because the population would die out. In third world countries where perinatal/postnatal death is highest, men are no more likely to develop fully functioning breasts than in industrialized countries.

Women carrying children are extra vulnerable to attack from the front and sides due to the size of the belly, whereas animals vulnerable directions during pregnancy remain either side.
We also don't wallow in mud as a result, getting exposed to a variety of germs.

While we're here, women do not carry many at once, we depend on having multiple seperate births instead of one or two multiple-birth pregnancies.I have no clue why you think this is disadvantageous. It's far easier to take care of one baby at a time than 5.

Humans lack the ability to go long periods without food and water. On average, a human can survive 3 days without water, and 2 weeks without food. Many animals do not eat but once or twice a week, sometimes less in certain cases.None of the farm animals that Jimbo worked with and none of the pets I worked with could live without water for more than a couple days, too. In fact, very few animals could go without water for more than a few days. We also can go considerably longer than 2 weeks without food.

------------

Honestly, it amazes me people have survived as well as we did. Maybe people just taste bad, perhaps humans had more natural offenses and defenses in the past before we developed mental capacities to offset them. As far as the human design goes, I'd say it's pretty badly done. There's much that could have been improved in order to increase the survivability of humanity, natural defenses, natural offenses.And if we developed that way, then we wouldn't be humans--we'd be cats, apes, platypi, sharks, yellow warblers, red-eyed tree frogs, or any number of other creatures instead of humans.

Now, I wanna know what you think, list off some pros, some cons, and what your opinion is of them. If you believe in a "Creator" or not, it's not really relevant to the discussion, we're only addressing the actual design of a human being. If you think the design is great, present some evidence as to why. If you take issue witch my thoughts, please, present some counters.I can take issue with various supposed faults in our design, but then in about 10 years some new research will come out that helps explain why something was designed/evolved in that way. What looks like a fault to us at a cursory glance may actually be an exquisitely developed aspect of anatomy and/or physiology when evaluated more closely.

Web Rider
05-09-2008, 02:52 AM
We also can reach the top shelf in our cabinets because we're upright creatures. None of my pets could do that.
Dunno, my cats can get atop my fridge pretty easy. Some dogs can walk on two legs rather well. Apes, who are somwhere between 2 and 4 legs since they use their arms for walking, could pull this off.

Not exclusively--there are 3 different systems that contribute to balance. People without big toes have adapted to walking.
True, but it's something that requires lots of effort and work. Something that would put you at a disadvantage for a significantly long period of time.

God, it's good to be a woman.
Well, save the whole "time of the month" thing, though I'm not sure what's better here, monthly cycles, or annual "heats" like animals.

Being upright produces a thinner profile for attack than being on all fours.
True, though it provides a taller target, tradeoffs and all that.

Our skin protects us very well from extremes in the environment and germs, which are far more likely to attack us on a daily basis. Being bare-skinned (as opposed to having thick fur) allows the sunlight to hit our skin, and that allows the body to synthesize its own Vitamin D.
right, though I don't know if animals can do this as well, ones with or without fur or scales.

Nuclear weapons. Any questions?
tools, again, and not particularly good for survival purposes.

You obviously have not ever been in a nasty fight with my sister and her claws, nor have you been in the dojang where I learned taekwondo. We may not have claws, but I guarantee you that if I attacked you with a roundhouse or side kick with the correct technique and force, you'd be down for a very long time.
Oh, I know, but that skill is a tool, developed from the mind. Not really an instinct-driven development.

So we're not cheetahs. So what. We don't run around hunting wildebeests on the African plains on a daily basis. So we have a long gestation/growth rate. It takes a long time for the brain to mature because of its incredible complexity. What we lose in terms of speed of maturation we more than make up in level of maturation compared to other creatures.
If you're saying we mature slower because we mature farther than other creatures, I may or may not disagree. Explain a little more please?

That's incorrect unless you're meaning at the exact same time. Women can feed more than two children, but it is much more difficult. If we had litters, we probably would have evolved/been designed with more breasts.
yup, hence the "simultaneously". And I agree.

They don't have the ability normally because they don't typically have the estrogen required for breast tissue enlargement. Because they also don't become pregnant, they don't have the high levels of prolactin during pregnancy that contribute to mammary gland development, which is required to produce milk. In fact, if a man does produce milk, it's something that needs to be addressed by a health care professional asap because it could be caused by hormone disorders or even cancer.
true, though both sexes produce the other's hormones to some degree, it's probable these may have been higher in the past, or not.


If 'most women' died in childbirth, none of us would be here because the population would die out. In third world countries where perinatal/postnatal death is highest, men are no more likely to develop fully functioning breasts than in industrialized countries.
Not really, the child or children would survive, and as long as the mother had more than 2, or women on average had more than 2, the population would still grow. Though I think you've got a point with the underdeveloped countries, though I feel a little bad saying so since it's essentially saying they're more primitive people.

We also don't wallow in mud as a result, getting exposed to a variety of germs.
I've yet to see pregnant cats wallow in the mud. And germs are healthy most of the time. You're exposed to many kinds of germs daily, without them, well, it's debatable if we'd live or not.

I have no clue why you think this is disadvantageous. It's far easier to take care of one baby at a time than 5.
for the way a human is designed, yeah.

None of the farm animals that Jimbo worked with and none of the pets I worked with could live without water for more than a couple days, too. In fact, very few animals could go without water for more than a few days. We also can go considerably longer than 2 weeks without food.
I am hesitant to address farm animals and domesticated animals because people have worked to breed very very particular traits into them. I mean, the cow has always been this big, docile food source for host of recorded history. Was it always this way? Do we have any evidence of how cows naturally used to be?

------------
And if we developed that way, then we wouldn't be humans--we'd be cats, apes, platypi, sharks, yellow warblers, red-eyed tree frogs, or any number of other creatures instead of humans.
What was call ourselves is a rather abstract thing, it's just a name, and what it means is simply what we want it to mean. Words are given meaning by people, we weren't called "homo sapiens" from the dawn of time, for all we know, primitive "humans" may have called themselves buffalo.

I can take issue with various supposed faults in our design, but then in about 10 years some new research will come out that helps explain why something was designed/evolved in that way. What looks like a fault to us at a cursory glance may actually be an exquisitely developed aspect of anatomy and/or physiology when evaluated more closely.
I generally agree that the way we developed must have been the right way or we couldn't have made it this far. All I'm really looking for is people's opinions on what they think. Science can say what it wants and how great having soft squishy skin is, but that doesn't mean we can't disagree.

Samuel Dravis
05-09-2008, 03:52 AM
There's an interesting part of being human that is usually overlooked - our languages. They're extremely complex and one of the most powerful tools ever used (although tools may not be the right word - language is as much a part of us as humans as claws are for other animals). I say used because people don't usually create their own languages, and even constructed ones like Eperanto are pale imitations of the Real Thing. The capacity to use language is an incredible and wonderfully complex asset that we have, and I know that if I had to I would trade much for it. Perhaps we aren't so badly off after all.

Ray Jones
05-09-2008, 04:28 AM
It's a combination of our brain capacity and anatomy of our hands. We are able to make or use tools in a way that other species can't. That enables us to survive in environments not suitable for humans, or to compensate lack of strength, generally to enhance our natural given abilities.

Arcesious
05-09-2008, 09:07 AM
Yes, I agree with Ray jones. We lack physical prowess but excell at intelligence. We are 'so smart' that we don't need physical prowess- we can improvise with mroe advanced tools than any other animal can make. Just look at waht we're usign to talk to each other. If we have computers and nukes in World War I, the world woudl certianly be different. Same thing as if we were at the same evolutionary stage we are now if had computers and syuperweapons in the Jurassic period...

Nedak
05-09-2008, 10:44 AM
It would be EXTREMELY narcissistic of ourselves to say that we are "flawless".

We clearly have many flaws, and our biggest is our intelligence. Our intelligence will eventually lead to our arrogant downfall. While the plants and the animals that have existed here for so long thrive and flourish, we will be dead and once again the animals and plants will take over our cities and live life as if we never existed. However, we will still have our legacy.

Nothing lasts forever.

Ray Jones
05-09-2008, 11:34 AM
True, but it's something that requires lots of effort and work. Something that would put you at a disadvantage for a significantly long period of time.That is simply not true, Reinhold Messner, you might know him as the first man who fought the Mount Everest 30 years ago without additional supply of oxygen, has only 3 little toes left, and still can climb mountains. For instance.


True, though it provides a taller target, tradeoffs and all that.It is commonly known that taller means "bigger" means "stronger" means "superior" in the animal world. That's why many animals make themselves bigger when they face dangerous situations or have markings that imitate big eyes etc.

mimartin
05-09-2008, 11:58 AM
Humans walk upright, putting greater weight and therefore strain on our two legs, and therefore make us more vulnerable to being permanently incapacitated. A dog or cat can still function on 3 legs rather well without any external support, a human however, cannot. Our balance is highly tied to our big toe(I've had them numbed to the point of not feeling them, you basically can't walk).Watch two dogs fight and then tell me walking upright does not give humans an distant advantage. The dog's first instinct is to go for the other animalís neck. The vantage point of standing upright gives us the ability to see danger before it is sprung upon us. This allows time to seek a solution, with our intelligence, out of the problem. Second it put the vulnerable head and neck out of reach in the initial attack from most four legged animals allowing us time to fight off the attacker. Standing upright also give us an intimidating presents. What does a bear do to scare off someone or something that has invaded its space? Stand upright?

Yes, without a leg we cannot walk, but our intelligence has even overcame that obstacle. Now people that have lost both legs are considered to have an unfair advantage over two legged people. At least when it comes to Olympic sprinters (http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/article/0,28804,1733748_1733756_1735285,00.html).

jonathan7
05-09-2008, 02:46 PM
I think humans are deeply flawed, our inhumanity to one another and our ability to destroy ourselves are what I would site as evidence to that.

I say the above and as Ray Jones said;

It's a combination of our brain capacity and anatomy of our hands. We are able to make or use tools in a way that other species can't. That enables us to survive in environments not suitable for humans, or to compensate lack of strength, generally to enhance our natural given abilities.

It is our brain size + hands = tools = technology that have allowed us to become earths alpha predators. Also, to correct somethign Web Rider, we are excellent pack hunters; unless you can point me to a species with better planning and communication skills than us?

Ctrl Alt Del
05-11-2008, 09:56 PM
Humans walk upright, putting greater weight and therefore strain on our two legs, and therefore make us more vulnerable to being permanently incapacitated. A dog or cat can still function on 3 legs rather well without any external support, a human however, cannot. Our balance is highly tied to our big toe(I've had them numbed to the point of not feeling them, you basically can't walk).

Because of our upright position, our delishus meats are put forward right on our front, as our jewels. Essentially leaving us vulnerable to a frontal attack, whereas an animal on all fours is mainly vulnerable from the sides(as humans are too) and beneath.
It's actually one of our greatest advantages. Because of our stance, we developed hands and our essential opposing thumbs. That allowed us to build and use tools unlike every other known being before and to this day (the exception being Neanderthal).

While it may leave an opening on our balance, that's covered by our tendencies of amassing on groups. Each individual covers the others.

Eiganjo
05-11-2008, 10:43 PM
I think with the bigger brain, our body has lost what it needs for "wilderness survival". The human body has pretty well adapted to...sitting. Not only with the humans ability to craft tools, etc..., but also our brains call for laziness (<- which i think is a feeling unique to humans, i have never seen an animal sit around until it is too fat to move for example), comfort and pleasure.
With the human inteligence, our body has come more and more unimportant and unable to adapt. I'd almost call it a backward evolution, whenever I see a guy that seems unable to walk straight=). I guess this happens because there is no need for it anymore either. We pretty much create tools to make up for the functions our body doesn't have or has lost, just so in return we won't ever evolve that way, because we have no need to do so.
...man, i sound negative....well, i like being a lazy sitting bumm=)

Achilles
05-11-2008, 11:23 PM
I just thought that I would quickly interject that humans are not the only species to use tools and as such, there is no reason to think that we were the first. No doubt that our opposable thumb and larger brain has made us the best, but we are not unique in this regard. Cheers.

Q
05-12-2008, 12:38 AM
Achilles is correct.

Off the top of my head, I know that otters use stones to crack open shellfish, and there are other examples of primitive tool usage throughout the animal kingdom.

For some reason I'm reminded of 2001: A Space Odyssey where the apes are "instructed" by the monolith on how to start using tools.


OT: Humans are flawed. Very flawed.

Arcesious
05-12-2008, 01:10 AM
Flawed? erhaps in our own perspective. We have various problems in our species, mostly caused by our intelligence. But what will our intellect eventualy lead to, is the question. We cannot truthfully call our intellect a flaw until what our intelligence is capable of leads us to a certain point. Be that destruction of our entire race, or perfection of it. We have many philosophies, theories, and answers to our problems, soem of the more reasonable and logical ones being held mostly by those of our race that are far more 'mentally advanced'.
Our intelligence has bred many diversities in our species, many good, and many harmful. The only true way to make our race flawless is to overcome the diversities bred by our intelligence that are harmful; a hard task, but one that is possible. The only way to that is to force our race to fix themselves- a harsh thing to d that obviously will never happen, and one that I wish we would neve rhave to coem to, but, ultimately, that will be what we have to do. The world needs a mass-revolution, IMO, one of scientific and philosophical truths. The answer of making every human happy is impossible. The only way to balance the world is, by concept, communism. But the onyl way to make all humans happy is Democracy. We cannot have balance and contentment at the same time, is the problem. The true flaws we must overcome are greed, intolerance, and superstition. But, I must admit, I don't have the answer of how to do that.

Ravnas
05-12-2008, 01:22 AM
Sweet!! Anarchy FTW :D In all honesty, I'm not a fan of either system, we haven't evolved as a cooperative species for Communism and for that matter, Democracy is the same anyway. I still think A Constitutional Republic is better than those two, but there are better systems of government(Anarchy :lol: )

Web Rider
05-12-2008, 05:31 AM
The answer of making every human happy is impossible. The only way to balance the world is, by concept, communism. But the onyl way to make all humans happy is Democracy. We cannot have balance and contentment at the same time, is the problem. The true flaws we must overcome are greed, intolerance, and superstition. But, I must admit, I don't have the answer of how to do that.

The irony to overcoming those things with a democratic system is that that system would inevitably lead to communism(the true ideal kinda, not to the Soviet or Chinese kind).

Nedak
05-12-2008, 10:30 AM
Achilles is correct.

Off the top of my head, I know that otters use stones to crack open shellfish.

Aye, as well as various monkeys (Chimps) and Birds (Crows).

As well as other animals.

Darth InSidious
05-12-2008, 12:32 PM
I just thought that I would quickly interject that humans are not the only species to use tools and as such, there is no reason to think that we were the first. No doubt that our opposable thumb and larger brain has made us the best, but we are not unique in this regard. Cheers.
Indeed. I would not be surprised if proto-human species in fact learned to use tools from other 'non-sentient' species.

I do intend to get back to you in the other two threads, btw - it's just been a rather busy week.

I think perhaps part of the reason we seem so vulnerable is that we don't use a lot of the hunting/survival instincts that we have. If you really want to, it is perfectly possible for a human to kill a lion with their bare hands...and some luck.

We're essentially a predator species that has lost the skills inherent in hunting. Quite simply, farming was a more efficient method of food-gathering (at least in the Nile valley and Mesopotamia). By being more efficient, it also allowed time to do other things than hunt, prepare to hunt, cook food etc. The development of domestication can be seen as an off-shoot of this, and so we let our hunter-gatherer-based skills weaken in favour of skills adapted to the new methods of food production.

It's evolution of a sort - and has happened in more recent times, too. After all, it is unlikely that today you could learn by heart an epic such as, say, the Iliad, flawlessly, from start to finish - and yet this was done for recitations in the ancient world. By the same measure, it is doubtful that any ancient thinker, no matter how brilliant, would be able to perform the same variety of complex processes as we do - even if they are perhaps able to perform fewer to a high level.

I should warn you that this is something of a summary, rather than a complete/entirely accurate exposition of anthropological thought on my part. Call me a hypocrite if you will. :)

Pho3nix
05-12-2008, 02:24 PM
I agree with the OP. I've always found the human species to be pretty limited physically, intellectually however we dominate.

Ray Jones
05-12-2008, 04:42 PM
I just thought that I would quickly interject that humans are not the only species to use tools and as such, there is no reason to think that we were the first. No doubt that our opposable thumb and larger brain has made us the best, but we are not unique in this regard. Cheers.Absolute no question. I'd even argue against humans being the first species kind of creating tools or making use of them.

Jason Skywalker
05-12-2008, 04:52 PM
The fact that we are flawed is what makes us humans. No human being is perfect.

Ctrl Alt Del
05-12-2008, 06:01 PM
But the onyl way to make all humans happy is Democracy.
Indeed not.

Corinthian
05-12-2008, 07:31 PM
The best kind of government is frankly a Benevolent Dictatorship. The only problem is the scarcity of those.

Darth InSidious
05-12-2008, 07:34 PM
The best kind of government is frankly a Benevolent Dictatorship. The only problem is the scarcity of those.
Pharaonism ftw!

Arcesious
05-12-2008, 08:26 PM
Indeed not.

I agree with Corinthian, but the concept of how democracy works would make most people happy, Ctrl_Alt_Del. It gives them a voice, whereas many other systems don't allow as much freedom. Yes, even in a republic there is voting, but a democracy, in a pure concept, is much more desirable to any citizen who wants to have a voice that makes a difference in the higher ranks. However, democracies and other governemtns we have now aren't very 'for the people, by the people'... But of course, democracy can also lead to anarchy if something like the Constitution or a Civil Rights Document is not in place. As corinthian said, a Benevolent Dictatorship is the best government. why? Because soem people need a government that keeps them from havign certain problems, for their own good. However, before anything that is ever put in place, a very specific and detailed civil rights bill needs to be put in place- one that can only be put in place once major issues are finally resolved entirely, such as abortion, gay marriage, religion, science, and such.

Ravnas
05-12-2008, 08:41 PM
Then both political ideologies have their unattainable governmental goal. However, A benevolent dictatorship, no matter how great and wise this hypothetical ruler may be, there will always be a splinter group seeking anarchy and rebellion, dreaming of a nihilistic society.

Arcesious
05-12-2008, 08:58 PM
Rebellions can be quelled if the majority of humanity is against that group's goals. It would simply be a matter of educating every next generation to beleive valuable life rules/lessons, philosophies and science. And in such a way that it would not be 'brainwashing'.

Ravnas
05-12-2008, 09:09 PM
Fair enough, but there will a time if such a society exists no matter how we instill reason and rational though into our children's minds(Whoops, Brainwashing FTW :D ) There will come a time when the answers society provides won't be enough for one person, and one person is all it takes sometimes.

Q
05-12-2008, 09:42 PM
Flawed? erhaps in our own perspective.What, you need proof?!

If this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battlefield_Earth_%28film%29) doesn't convince you, nothing will. :xp:

Ravnas
05-12-2008, 09:55 PM
What, you need proof?!

If this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battlefield_Earth_%28film%29) doesn't convince you, nothing will. :xp:

Augghhhh!!! I'm melting!!, I'm melting!!, Oh what a world.... :lol:

Corinthian
05-12-2008, 11:09 PM
And that's just the tip of the iceberg. I'm sure some of the more infamous Internet Shock Images can go without mentioning as proof of Humanity being the most depraved species on the planet by far.

Samuel Dravis
05-12-2008, 11:16 PM
And that's just the tip of the iceberg. I'm sure some of the more infamous Internet Shock Images can go without mentioning as proof of Humanity being the most depraved species on the planet by far.With humanity the only species on the planet that can be depraved, I'm pretty sure those are unnecessary examples. :)

Q
05-12-2008, 11:28 PM
And that's just the tip of the iceberg. I'm sure some of the more infamous Internet Shock Images can go without mentioning as proof of Humanity being the most depraved species on the planet by far.What, the Rickroll? :p

Totenkopf
05-12-2008, 11:29 PM
Probably more useful for determining (or at least observing) the degree of depravity to which humanity often sinks.

If this doesn't convince you, nothing will.

Hubbard probably turned over in his grave at least twice. :)

Achilles
05-13-2008, 12:34 AM
I think the important distinction to consider here is "survival of the fittest", not "survival of the perfectly adapted" etc. Organisms do not have to perfectly adapted to their environments in order to survive, they just have to be adapted well enough to be able to produce off-spring.

As such, are human "flawless" in their adaptation? Hardly. Our eyes suck. Our lower backs are poorly adapted to walking upright. The list of "flaws" goes on and on. However we do possess the amazing ability to adapt our environment to us which is significantly more staggering than the simple ability to create and use tools. We farm a portion of our food supply. We build habitats to protect us from the elements. To the best of my knowledge, no other animal does this besides us.

I say all this because I think it's necessary to point out that the two, seeming opposing ideas presented in the original post need not be mutually exclusive. Humans can be both well-adapted and flawed at the same time. We do not need to reconcile either argument because they are not at odds with one another.

And if you don't believe me, ask yourself how many times you've successfully removed a screw with a butter knife, or used a rock to drive in a tent-peg. :D

Thanks for reading.

Ravnas
05-13-2008, 01:04 AM
And if you don't believe me, ask yourself how many times you've successfully removed a screw with a butter knife, or used a rock to drive in a tent-peg. :D



Or used a coat hanger to unlock a door, not to mention use video games to experience the thrill of a real relationship :D

Corinthian
05-13-2008, 01:49 AM
Besides, what other species on the face of planet Earth has the capability to end all life on the planet at the push of the proverbial button?

Quanon
05-13-2008, 07:25 AM
And what other living thing tries to create a living creature/ intelligence.
And then has fear it might destroy its creator...

The weirdest thing is that humans know whats wrong or their problems are, but they don't do anything about it.

And like posted above, the last decades we didn't adapt, we altered the enviroment to our needs.

Though certain Chimps do build a nest/bed to sleep in, so they break off branches and leaves, destroying the structure of a tree.
Then again their ain't 6 000 000 000 chimps.

Rathoris
05-13-2008, 08:05 AM
main problem: greed. Enough said really. We've become to intelligent for our own good. All the deceit we are capable of.....
Shamefully we do realise we are exhausting the planet but are to selfish to act.

Ray Jones
05-13-2008, 12:02 PM
Every species is exhausting the planet in its "corner of life". Only the whole of all species makes it a "cycle of life". The point is there is sometimes a disturbance in its balance, having its roots in one or more species whose populations are growing to fast/big. We're surely not the first ones who eat up the planet. However, we are (supposedly) the first ones able to actually recognise that and its not like we're doing nothing.

I say all this because I think it's necessary to point out that the two, seeming opposing ideas presented in the original post need not be mutually exclusive. Humans can be both well-adapted and flawed at the same time. We do not need to reconcile either argument because they are not at odds with one another. Correct. We come with an optimum on balance between specialisation and flexibility. Our bodies are developed enough to perform a couple of impressive tasks despite the fact that we are not the fastest, strongest or most robust species on earth. We reached the optimum for pretty much every physical ability out there, and managed not to drift into any overspecialisation at all. As a result, the human evolution almost completely "switched" from 'physical' to 'informational' like 35000 years ago.

It is the human knowledge which is currently under heavy development, and not the body. For instance, one idea is that the last time when one human alone could hold ALL the knowledge of all mankind was circa 200 years ago. Today this not possible any more.

But if you'd switch a stone age baby (upper palaeolithic) with a 21st century one, it is assumed that neither of them would behave "conspicuous". :)

And if you don't believe me, ask yourself how many times you've successfully removed a screw with a butter knife, or used a rock to drive in a tent-peg.What really breaks it down to the brain+hands combo again. Pre-human species like the Australopithecines supposedly had brains big enough to have the capacity to come up with a lot of ideas. However, their hands lacked "proper" development and that had a deciding impact on the fine motor skills, making even easy tasks like operating a screwdriver impossible for them.

Besides, what other species on the face of planet Earth has the capability to end all life on the planet at the push of the proverbial button?We surely do not have that capability. We're far away from it.

But then again, it's all about the design. No doubt, donkeys intuitionally know how to operate a carrot button. :D

Totenkopf
05-13-2008, 02:44 PM
^Funny, you're anti-nuke Ray, yet you don't think that a global thermonuclear war would basically effectively destroy all or most life on the planet? (mind you, we're talking ability here, not whetther or not that's ever likely to pass)

Darth InSidious
05-13-2008, 03:46 PM
I seem to recall that cockroaches are projected to be able to live through such a thing.

Ray Jones
05-13-2008, 05:30 PM
Scorpions and ants as well. Then we have life being separated from the rest of the world by kilometres of water in between. Right beside all those creepy, slimy creatures living in caves or who knows where.

Alpha and beta radiation can be practically blocked by a sheet of paper. Gamma radiation is a bit more invasive, but a hundred metres of water or rock would basically block any direct radiation from getting anywhere.

Fallout and following contamination will hardly reach caves or deeper regions of the oceans.

Also we have already found several habitats (mostly undersea) that are completely independent from the sun light.


^Funny, you're anti-nuke Ray, yet you don't think that a global thermonuclear war would basically effectively destroy all or most life on the planet?ACH!! And I thought I'm anti-nuke simply because it wastes tax money, is immoral, and gives a bad taint, especially when dropped over a city, not because it might destroy all life when dropped in hundreds.

mur'phon
05-13-2008, 05:40 PM
And banana flies, dozends of insects and countless bacteria. To show just how resistant some creatures are, a human can take 5 before dying, a banana fly can take 200.......

Ctrl Alt Del
05-13-2008, 05:45 PM
The best kind of government is frankly a Benevolent Dictatorship. The only problem is the scarcity of those.
And what is a benevolent dictatorship? And benevolent to whom?

Because soem people need a government that keeps them from havign certain problems, for their own good. However, before anything that is ever put in place, a very specific and detailed civil rights bill needs to be put in place- one that can only be put in place once major issues are finally resolved entirely, such as abortion, gay marriage, religion, science, and such.
I wasn't aware government could sttle those things for good.

Rebellions can be quelled if the majority of humanity is against that group's goals. It would simply be a matter of educating every next generation to beleive valuable life rules/lessons, philosophies and science. And in such a way that it would not be 'brainwashing'.
But that's exactly brainwashing. Who determines what are the "valuables" sciences on a dictatorship? The government. Last I heard, they're still made of humans.

And, it doesn't matter what justification you have to rule: Divine right, votes, war... there'll always be a resistance where there's opression.

Corinthian
05-13-2008, 09:09 PM
Well, that's part of the problem, Ctrl. Benevolence to some is malevolence to others.

Also, Ray, with the present nuclear stockpile, most human life would be snuffed out within seconds. The subsequent Nuclear Winter would freeze the Earth, killing everything else in a long, slow, mournful death.

Web Rider
05-13-2008, 09:38 PM
Well, that's part of the problem, Ctrl. Benevolence to some is malevolence to others.
which is why democracy was invented, so people can control the level of malevolence in their government.

Also, Ray, with the present nuclear stockpile, most human life would be snuffed out within seconds. The subsequent Nuclear Winter would freeze the Earth, killing everything else in a long, slow, mournful death.

If every missile was launched and a significant amount of land was hit, yeah, probably. Though enough life in various places would survive, such as the creatures at extreme depths in the ocean.

Darth InSidious
05-14-2008, 10:41 AM
Actually, I'm pretty sure Cleisthenes invented democracy in order to get one up on the Pisistratids. :p

Totenkopf
05-14-2008, 02:46 PM
Besides, what other species on the face of planet Earth has the capability to end all life on the planet at the push of the proverbial button?

We surely do not have that capability. We're far away from it.


ACH!! And I thought I'm anti-nuke simply because it wastes tax money, is immoral, and gives a bad taint, especially when dropped over a city, not because it might destroy all life when dropped in hundreds.

This is why I posed that question.

I seem to recall that cockroaches are projected to be able to live through such a thing.

Why I was careful not to say all. ;)

Ray Jones
05-15-2008, 08:33 AM
So, I'm against the use of nuclear weapons, and at the same time I say mankind is not able to end all life on this planet at the push of the proverbial button. I'm not sure why that is so irritating for you?

Also, Ray, with the present nuclear stockpile, most human life would be snuffed out within seconds. The subsequent Nuclear Winter would freeze the Earth, killing everything else in a long, slow, mournful death.Sure, overkill use of nuclear bombs would shorten the food chain quite a bit, and probably directly or indirectly causes almost all plants, mammals, birds, reptiles and a large number of fishes to cease their existence. Insects and micro-organisms will be most probably the least effected.

Also, life has gone through some incredibly cold/heat periods on Earth already, so I don't really think a nuclear winter would be too much of an issue, although it will add to the body count, yes, just like the nuclear summer that will follow inevitably.

But obviously some creatures always manage to survive, just like some did after the big impacts/eruptions causing the same nuclear winters and summers. So nothing new here as well.

The observed resistance against radioactivity of some species is pretty easy to explain, since early Earth had a different atmosphere, which was much less protective against high-energetic cosmic radiation, which is basically the big brother of what our nukes produce.

jonathan7
05-15-2008, 08:40 AM
Sure, overkill use of nuclear bombs would shorten the food chain quite a bit, and probably directly or indirectly causes almost all plants, mammals, birds, reptiles and a large number of fishes to cease their existence. Insects and micro-organisms will be most probably the least effected..... <snip>

Aye life does usually find away, though I'd of thought you'd be talking 90-95% of Animals initially being killed by a Nuclear winter. And obviously because of radioactivity and mutation, the higher up the food chain you are the more 'easily' your body will be effected by the radiation.

Ray Jones
05-15-2008, 09:51 AM
When we talk about a scenario where hundreds or thousands of nuclear weapons are fired, we have to differ whether the detonations take place evenly distributed or concentrated somewhere like ten there, twenty there etc.

A nuclear winter takes place mostly because of the smoke of fires, dust and vaporised matter that's blown into the air blocking off the sun causing a significant drop of temperature on Earth.

So, even if we drop like 1000 nukes over the ocean, the chances for a nuclear winter to occur are dropping near zero, though we'd have much radioactive rain/fallout in the following time, causing less but still many deaths.

If we drop them equally all over all the continents, surely almost nothing will die due to a nuclear winter as well. Everything that's not "under a rock" will be burned at several thousand degrees, disrupted, or dies because of the intense radiation. The nuclear winter will occur, but its death toll will be only "minimal".

If we drop 1000 bombs over South America, most deaths will be due to the nuclear winter caused by huge fires of the burning rain forest. However, it should cause less deaths than the above scenario. Also, we really would not need 1000 a-bombs for that, just "some" gas and matches, and somebody willing to light up a whole continent.


However, each of these scenarios means that the "higher up the food chain" will be significantly closer to its lower end.

Totenkopf
05-15-2008, 03:36 PM
So, I'm against the use of nuclear weapons, and at the same time I say mankind is not able to end all life on this planet at the push of the proverbial button. I'm not sure why that is so irritating for you?


Don't flatter yourself. :xp: Seriously, though, I just thought it was a glaring inconsistency on your part. Even with the thousands of nukes we posses (and will no doubt be added to in the future), I'd agree that we aren't likely to kill ALL life on the planet, just a very large part of it. Maybe any human survivor's of such an "exchange" will become like the Moorlocks. :)

Arcesious
05-15-2008, 04:52 PM
I particularly don't like the fact that, at any given time, some stupid power-hungry leader of soem country could cause a nuclear war and end my life due to his/her idiocy... Comedy Central tends to lighten the mood about such things for me, thankfully.
If Russia, China, and the U.S became military allies, then maybe I'd feel a bit safer. Well at least we can be glad that Germany didn't get nuclear weapons in WWI... If they had... The world would be far worse than it is today.

When you talk about Humans being flawed/flawless, count your blessings. We're not that flawed...

Ray Jones
05-15-2008, 05:26 PM
Seriously, though, I just thought it was a glaring inconsistency on your part.Hee, and it seems I splendidly managed to worm out of that one, eh! :D:D:D

(yeah you wish I'd really say that)

Totenkopf
05-15-2008, 06:35 PM
Hee, and it seems I splendidly managed to worm out of that one, eh! :D:D:D

(yeah you wish I'd really say that)


Not so fast there, hoss. Was referring to your statement about us (humans) being "far away from it". The "push the button" scenario is one that would result in the exchange of thousands of such weapons (much greater in yield than the firecrackers dropped on Japan, which had you apopletic when challenged on the degreee of damage they caused). So, using your previous logic about how damaging even a low yield weapon is to the environment and the life in general, it's a stretch for you to conclude that we're "far away from it". Nice try, though. ;)

Ray Jones
05-16-2008, 05:09 AM
I think now you're interpreting too much into that while discarding the initial context which my apoplectic argumentation about the damage was addressing - the idea that a conventional solution would have caused more deaths than the one that took place.

Totenkopf
05-16-2008, 05:25 AM
I think now you're interpreting too much into that while discarding the initial context which my apoplectic argumentation about the damage was addressing - the idea that a conventional solution would have caused more deaths than the one that took place.

Naw. It spiraled beyond that in that thread. However, just so there is no further misunderstanding, never said you thought ALL life would be annihilated by a massive thermonuclear exchange, just found your contention that we were "far away from it" (the ability to destroy life on the planet) to be inconsistent with your previous postion about the destructive nature of nukes in general. Ce le vie. :)

Ray Jones
05-16-2008, 07:09 AM
But we *are* far away from it despite the destructive nature of nukes.

For instance, the explosion of Chicxulub impact from 65 million years ago which supposedly killed "only" 90% of all species was about 2 million times more powerful than the explosion of the most powerful fusion-bomb man has ever created (its fireball was 9 km in diameter).

2 million times.

When we take all active-and-ready-to-blow nuclear warheads of today we're pretty much at 20,000 (we had a maximum of about 70,000 in the eighties), let alone the fact these are not all 50MT Tsar-type bombs (which was built and detonated only once) and have only up to 1/25th of that power (as a very, very positive average, most are in fact at 1/50th and below).

You're not gonna try to tell me 20,000 "weak" a-bombs, even if detonated at once on one spot, would have the same effect as a ten kilometre asteroid multiplying these powers by at least the factor 2,500. Heck, even if we take all nuclear bombs that have ever been built (roughly 150,000), and assume it were all Tsar-type bombs, our penis still lacks size by the factor 10 at least.

If that is not butt raping our nuclear powers, I don't know what it is.


That is why I say we are far away from destroying all life by the push of the proverbial button, without feeling any contradiction to my previous statements about the dangers and effects of nuclear weapons.

Samuel Dravis
05-16-2008, 12:36 PM
A nuclear exchange would not be limited to a single point on the Earth's surface and would invariably target cities and other points of interest on land, which would put out the most radioactive dust, unlike the crater you've spoken of. It's entirely possible to kill everything off if we wanted to-- although I agree such a scenario is extremely unlikely (since I don't think that anyone using nukes will want to blanket the WHOLE world with them).

Ray Jones
05-16-2008, 04:26 PM
Of course, no one would drop all his bombs over one spot. I just made a comparison.