How did the different human races evolve?

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by Balder1, Jan 26, 2003.

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  1. NenarTronian Teenaged Transhumanist Registered Senior Member

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    Good points all around

    I'd really like to read something about the biology behind Oriental peoples' eyes and eyelids, etc. I've never asked any of my asian friends, it'd be rude, but can they see just as well as non-orientals, with their eyes being the way they are? If not, would this be considered an evolutionary disadvantage of sorts?

    Salud

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  3. John Mace Registered Senior Member

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    Nenar:

    Why do you think so many Asians have to wear glasses?

    Sorry, I couldn't resist that little joke-- I'm not serious.

    I have read a LOT on human evolution, and can guarantee you that no scientist is even close to understand how subtle traits like the "epicanthic folds" of Asian eyes evolved. The only theory I've seen is that it somehow reduces glare off snow in northern climes. This sounds to me like a REAL stretch.

    There is a theory, though, that the closest living model of a group of humans who resemble what humans look like before the racial differentation began are the !Kung San of the Kalahari desert (you know, the guys who have "clicks" in their languange) in Africa. If you've seen pictures of them, they do seem to be an amalgum of all the various races (medium brown skin, high cheek bones, Asian-type eyes). There is even some genetic evidence to suggest that they are the group most closely related to the original humans who left Africa to spread around the world some 50-70ky ago.

    It's important to realize, though, that even if this were true it does NOT mean that the !Kang San are somehow "living relics". They have undoubtable undergond physical changes over the thousands of years since H. sapiens migrated out of Africa.
     
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  5. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

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    ok, I correct
    there were found remains of a little girl in France, which had the charecteristics of both: homo sapiens and neanderthal
     
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  7. John Mace Registered Senior Member

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    I 'm not aware of the France fossil you're talking about. There was a young boy (est 4 yrs old) found in Portugal a few years ago. The anthropologist who excavated it claims it has sapiens features in the skull and Neanderthal liimb proportions. Many other anthropologists dispute his claims-- no clear consensus yet on that one.
     
  8. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

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    it was on Discovery channel some months ago
     
  9. wantknoght Registered Member

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    Dark skin is better in hot climates, and short stature is better in cold climates, because it aids in heat retention, due to reduced surface area.

    I don't believe this can explain the emergence of different racial characteristics, solely on the basis of natural selection. However, there is another explanation.

    A peacock's feathers actually reduces its survivability, by attracting predators. This is offset enabling the male to advertise his fitness in other respects, which the females find attractive.

    In a hot climate, people might recognize the advantages of dark skin, and find it more attractive in a mate. If those with the darkest skin find it easiest to attract a mate, you end up with a dark skinned race.

    Further north, lighter skin may have been a sign of wealth, indicating that the person didn't have to work in the sun.
     
  10. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

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    actually more recent research indicates that the higher amount of melanin in dark skin serves a more important function than just protecting from the sun. It seems to ward of infections in some manner. In the tropics this seems to be an important quality
     
  11. Neville Registered Senior Member

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    To the people who were talking about homo-sapien and Neanderthals skeletons. Is it really possible for them to produce an offspring? This is a monkey and a human ('pre'-human) right?
     
  12. John Mace Registered Senior Member

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    Neville:

    You lost me. Are you implying that Neanderthals are monkeys?

    Maybe spuriousmonkey has the answer...
     
  13. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

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    neanderthals were no monkeys!

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  14. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    My uncle looks just like one!

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  15. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

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    neaderthals were spurious monkeys
     
  16. Pi.r.Squared Registered Member

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    Neanderthals were primitive humans neville. Not monkeys but types of humans.

    Is that monkeys in a rush spurious monkey?
     
  17. John Mace Registered Senior Member

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    Fetus:

    re: your uncle

    Funny thing about Milford Wallpof, the guy who believes Neanderthals are the ancestors of Modern Europeans. He's kind of a walking defense of his own thesis. The guy looks more like a Neanderthal than almost anyone I've ever seen...
     
  18. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    Maybe thats why he came up with the theory in the first place Hehe

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  19. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

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    from www.dictionary.com
    spu·ri·ous P Pronunciation Key (spyr-s)
    adj.

    1.Lacking authenticity or validity in essence or origin; not genuine; false.
    2.Of illegitimate birth.
    3.Botany. Similar in appearance but unlike in structure or function. Used of plant parts.

    pick no.1

    so they were not genuine monkeys, but...blabla what has been said above somewhere
     
  20. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Apes, not monkeys, please.

    It's technically correct to call humans "apes." We are also "primates," the entire order of intelligent, grasping, climbing mammals. But no present or past humans were "monkeys", that is a different branch of the primates. The most obvious difference between apes and monkeys (and all the other primates such as lemurs, for that matter) is that apes are the only ones without tails.

    Gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans, gibbons, and humans. We are the five species of apes. (OK, some people say that there is more than one species of chimp.)

    If anybody doubts our place among the other apes, just watch an Olympic gymnast at work -- and then realize that he or she is doing all that WITHOUT the other species' prehensile feet!
     
  21. jps Valued Senior Member

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    Race is a social construction. The describe people as being from a certain race because of their appearance(skin color, hair type, etc.) however biologically there are greater genetic differences between groups of people who look alike than those who don't, but because its not visible we do not categorize them seperately.
    To argue that people who look different from each other probalby have other genetic differences makes little sense given this. Why not look at other groups with biological differences, like those susceptible to sickle cell, for differences in IQ from the rest of us?

    To anyone still entertaining the ludicrous outdated idea that certain races are innately more intelligent than others I'd reccomend the book
    The Mismeasure of Man
    by Stephan Jay Gould
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/t...f=sr_1_1/104-4932257-2850366?v=glance&s=books
     
  22. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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  23. Neville Registered Senior Member

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    I find it strange that of all of the branches used to follow evolution from the 'core'/original species humans are the only ones on their branch. All the others have a considerable number of different species: amphibians, tadpoles, fish, lizards etc. (it was on the chart that i was shown anyway and this was pointed out by the lecturer.)
     
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