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How old is the human race? - Page 3

post #81 of 101
One thing that I have learned in life is that the future never turns out the way sci-fi movies portray the future. I believe genetic modifications will be brought on like vaccines are now, except not by an archaic injection, and our future generations will not have to go through with it; they'll inherit it genetically.
post #82 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by franksargent View Post

Somehow I don't think machines that can't evolve on their own (absent "intelligent interventions") would be considered living organisms, able to procreate and pass on their artificial traits in a true form of natural selection.

You have a point, machine evolution is unlikely (though theoretically possible).

What I meant was that humans would eventually develop various levels of implant/bionic technology, perhaps even going so far as the sci-fi cliche of existing as a brain floating in a tank of nutrients hooked to wires, even further mudding the definition of what is 'human'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by talksense101 View Post

....

The scary part is that I believe we are headed towards this. It isn't that difficult to foresee a future where someone discovers a "terrorist" gene and recommends that parents who are susceptible to have that type of child use clinical methods for artificial reproduction. \

edit: Read this too.

Props for mentioning Gattaca, beat me to it!

In regard to the 'terror' gene testing, I am going to be scheduling an appointment at UNC Chapel Hill to have myself tested for a defective gene trait that is now known to bring on the heart problems I am having, since other non-genetic causes don't appear to be a factor in my case. (my blood pressure is 160, non-smoker, non-alcoholic, clear arteries, but there is a family history of sudden cardiac death)

If they do find the gene, it is recommended that my immediate family and children get tested for it as well. Right now it's not 100% proof that one will develop the full problems if you have this gene defect, but it would mean that you'd want to have your heart monitored more closely than others in order to catch any changes early.
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post #83 of 101
Ugh, nothing infuriates me more than people bringing up that crappy movie in discussions such as this.....
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post #84 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flounder View Post

Ugh, nothing infuriates me more than people bringing up that crappy movie in discussions such as this.....

I couldn't think of any other movie on the subject. It is easy to visualize the social issues if you look past the movie part of it.
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post #85 of 101
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Originally Posted by Flounder View Post

Ugh, nothing infuriates me more than people bringing up that crappy movie in discussions such as this.....



What about this one?

Quote:
Originally Posted by talksense101 View Post

I couldn't think of any other movie on the subject. It is easy to visualize the social issues if you look past the movie part of it.

Maybe not the greatest in movie terms, but the overall setting/social issues presented are certainly plausible.

When eugenics become a reality, it will (at least initially) be very expensive just like any other new/developing technology, which means only the rich will be able to have it. I can easily see society becoming divided between eugenics and 'regular humans'. Genetically modified people, at least in theory, would be smarter, stronger, etc.
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post #86 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPoster View Post

I can easily see society becoming divided between eugenics and 'regular humans'. Genetically modified people, at least in theory, would be smarter, stronger, etc.

Perhaps in the eugenics 2.0 generation. I don't think I'd want to be gen 1.0.
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post #87 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPoster View Post

When eugenics become a reality, it will (at least initially) be very expensive just like any other new/developing technology, which means only the rich will be able to have it. I can easily see society becoming divided between eugenics and 'regular humans'. Genetically modified people, at least in theory, would be smarter, stronger, etc.

That's assuming we'll still have our current capitalist society with a huge gap between the rich and poor.
post #88 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Outsider View Post

That's assuming we'll still have our current capitalist society with a huge gap between the rich and poor.

It would be good if there was something better, but what other possibility is there?

Communism is all but dead, socialism also has a rich/poor gap (not normally as large, granted). Are you implying that a wealthy person in a socialist country won't have access to better health care than someone totally dependent on the state system?

I think a mix of capitalist/socialist is probably the best overall system. Federalize some highly important and expensive programs such as health care, but retain private ownership of businesses and corporations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shetline View Post

Perhaps in the eugenics 2.0 generation. I don't think I'd want to be gen 1.0.

Any time genetic medicine/engineering comes up from now on, I'm going to think about the Will Smith version of I Am Legend!!
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post #89 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPoster View Post



What about this one?



Maybe not the greatest in movie terms, but the overall setting/social issues presented are certainly plausible.

When eugenics become a reality, it will (at least initially) be very expensive just like any other new/developing technology, which means only the rich will be able to have it. I can easily see society becoming divided between eugenics and 'regular humans'. Genetically modified people, at least in theory, would be smarter, stronger, etc.

Hey back off! I like Khannnnnnnnn!
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post #90 of 101

Well if you check out the wiki post about mitochondrial eve, you would realize we are at least 200,000 years old.  They don't actually tell us how old, even though they know.  They have to know because they mapped out the entire genome.

 

The only reason I can think of why they are keeping it from us, is that its indicating we are older than earth, and at the risk of looking like idiots or causing a panic, they decided to keep it.

post #91 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Where's our resident "young earther" in this discussion? Fellowship? And is our other religious nutjob Frank777 a young earther too?

(Sorry Fellowship, you are a really really nice person, but I still think some of your religious views are a stubborn throwback to your naïve impressionable youth).

Funny those guys are nowhere in sight because maybe they realize they have no evidence of young earth to stand by, and would be trounced in this discussion, just as theyve been trounced in every other similar discussion.

"Carbon dating is inaccurate!"
"Humans and Dinosaurs coexisted!"

 

I'm actually really pleased (and surprised) to see a thread like this without the young earthers diving in. It's refreshing! :)

post #92 of 101

Oh, cool. An interesting threat that in no way has to involve politics or any of the other annoying topics, and which is old enough to ignore all the existing posts thereabout.

 

There’s some pretty convincing evidence that human civilization is considerably older than we’re taught it is. As for humanity itself, I doubt that it’s currently possible to know if we can know its age.

Originally posted by Marvin

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post #93 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Oh, cool. An interesting threat that in no way has to involve politics or any of the other annoying topics, and which is old enough to ignore all the existing posts thereabout.

There’s some pretty convincing evidence that human civilization is considerably older than we’re taught it is. As for humanity itself, I doubt that it’s currently possible to know if we can know its age.

Indeed. I doubt we will ever know; there is so little evidence.
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post #94 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post


Indeed. I doubt we will ever know; there is so little evidence.

 

I think we probably won't ever know in terms of specific years, but getting general gauges of time is very doable.

There's a much bigger problem though, which hasn't been mentioned here as far as I can see - there was no "first human" as such. So, where's the cut-off?

 

In other words, any dates that we consider would inevitably be a "date range" rather than a fixed year. Ideally that range will be reasonably large too, because of the evolutionary timescale.

 

So part of the problem is that we think of species as these isolated islands with definitive start-and-ends, because in our whole lifetimes we only see a tiny still snapshot of life. But when you think about the evolutionary continuum over millions of years, those discrete boundaries completely dissolve.

post #95 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ingsoc View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post

Indeed. I doubt we will ever know; there is so little evidence.

I think we probably won't ever know in terms of specific years, but getting general gauges of time is very doable.
There's a much bigger problem though, which hasn't been mentioned here as far as I can see - there was no "first human" as such. So, where's the cut-off?

In other words, any dates that we consider would inevitably be a "date range" rather than a fixed year. Ideally that range will be reasonably large too, because of the evolutionary timescale.

So part of the problem is that we think of species as these isolated islands with definitive start-and-ends, because in our whole lifetimes we only see a tiny still snapshot of life. But when you think about the evolutionary continuum over millions of years, those discrete boundaries completely dissolve.

You forgot Adam.
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post #96 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ingsoc View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post

Indeed. I doubt we will ever know; there is so little evidence.

I think we probably won't ever know in terms of specific years, but getting general gauges of time is very doable.
There's a much bigger problem though, which hasn't been mentioned here as far as I can see - there was no "first human" as such. So, where's the cut-off?

You forgot Adam.

There would be a stage beyond which you wouldn't recognize the creatures as human but there wouldn't be a well-defined cut-off point. You can see this process happen today:



The early stages of the evolving human form are unrecognizable. There have been fossils found that date back a while:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homo_habilis
http://www.earthmagazine.org/article/move-over-homo-habilis-early-human-evolution-remapped

"Until now, fossils dated to about 1.9 million years ago, mostly attributed to Homo habilis and Homo rudolfensis, have been considered direct ancestors to Homo erectus, the earliest undisputed ancestor of modern humans that lived between 1.9 million and 70,000 years ago. Homo sapiens first appeared on the scene about 200,000 years ago. But the older age of the A. sediba fossils raises the possibility of a separate, older lineage from which Homo erectus may have evolved, Berger said."

But there's more than just physical form to recognise as human, there's communication. We recognize primitive forms of communication in children as still being human so the exact point where we'd say something is human vs animal would not be clear. When humans are abandoned and raised by animals, they behave differently from humans but they have too much genetic heritage to be considered not human and can be retrained fairly quickly:



An exact timeline really comes down to what you want to define as human. There's an interesting article here about language origins with a lot of different ideas about how it developed:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origin_of_language

As far as early humans were concerned, they'd only be able to assess human origins based on their own understanding and memory. They'd need generations to pass down information. Without that communication verbally or in some form of writing/drawing, early humans would only have a much more limited historical account of their ancestors, potentially leading to an account of one original family and no knowledge of anything beyond that so they'd have to assume there was nothing before them and come up with an explanation but human understanding for most people has moved beyond that these days because we can see inside a womb and watch humans evolve from primitive cells in real-time.
post #97 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post

I have a very simple question. How old is the human race?


If one answers that question from a religious perspective, then the human race is approximately 6,000 to 15,000 years old (depending on the time scale biblical events are viewed).


If one approaches it from a non-religious perspective, is it safe to assume that the human race is significantly older 15,000 years old? If that assumption is correct, then why aren't we more advanced then what we are? Why isn't there more evidence that the human race existed 50,000 years ago?


Was there a major evolutionary change recently (within the biblical perspective time frame) that was the catalyst for the enormous growth of the human race?


Thoughts/opinions?


Dave

Simple answer.

No-one knows.

Happy to help.
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post #98 of 101
About 200,000 years old.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human

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post #99 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post

Simple answer.

No-one knows.

Lacking accuracy is not the same as not knowing. Your statement is designed to make it seem like any answer is valid and that completely fabricated statements are just as acceptable as scientific tests that are lacking in accuracy; they aren't.
post #100 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post

Simple answer.

No-one knows.

Lacking accuracy is not the same as not knowing. Your statement is designed to make it seem like any answer is valid and that completely fabricated statements are just as acceptable as scientific tests that are lacking in accuracy; they aren't.

 

No; that's just your interpretation of my statement.

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post #101 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post
 

 

No; that's just your interpretation of my statement.

 

Well, I interpreted it that way too. Maybe you can take the opportunity to clarify what you meant?

 

In any case, Marvin's previous post is spot-on in terms of framing the discussion about how long humans have been on the Earth. As I was saying earlier, a problem with any analysis of this is that we are used to seeing pretty clear delineations between species, but these delineations disappear over an evolutionary timescale. That is to say, there was no "first human" - rather, humans evolved on a continuum. So all we can ever really talk about is a range rather than a specific date. That range will necessarily be quite broad, because not much change happens within the space of, say, tens of thousands of years. I'd suggest that any telling range would probably be within a couple of hundred thousand years at least.

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