# wisdom teeth as an argument for evolution

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by fedr808, Nov 29, 2010.

1. ### fedr8081100101Valued Senior Member

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This is a message for jfountain (different forum, long story),

happy now?

3. ### Twiztid AngelRegistered Senior Member

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Hi...its me...chaos wrapped in a OCD package lol.

I have followed this thread way before I became a member and actually its what led me to know you from another site. I am a Christian but still believe in evolution...shocking I know. I was raised Mennonite (strict Baptist thinking) and was told evolution was bad and that it conflicts with the bible, although I now know that evolution actually has the science to back it up. I teach my children the bible along with evolution.

My husband and myself both still have all 4 of our wisdom teeth still intact and they have never caused any problems. We haven't had any overcrowding are some of the other problems associated with wisdom teeth and we are both over 25 (were 35 & 36). I hope my children have no problems as well. I joke with my husband that he has the neanderthal head lol, he has a very thick skull and very heavy bone mass around his orbital cavities. My children neither one have this characteristic but they are also only 10 and 13. I surely don't have this characteristic

5. ### Fraggle RockerStaff Member

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The Pope, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the leaders of all the respectable Christian sects accept evolution as "true beyond a reasonable doubt" (the closest that a scientific hypothesis can come to absolute truth). They acknowledge the Biblical account of creation as merely a poetic and useful collection of metaphors. It's only the people in the Religious Redneck Retard Revival who have a congenital inability to understand metaphor and are spearheading the campaign against science.

7. ### Twiztid AngelRegistered Senior Member

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You mean like NC's bible belt Baptists

For this area believe me those two things don't mix.

8. ### matthew809Registered Senior Member

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There are many different understandings of creationism. Your argument may win over many of these, but not all of them.

I am a creationist with no religion, and no religious roots. I became a creationist through science alone. I believe we were created by an advanced being, or species(call it God if you like), and most likely our DNA was designed in a sort of computer program. Therefore the similarity of all the species of the earth is not a sign of common ancestry/evolution, but is a sign of the modular design concepts used. For example, a car uses light bulbs, but that doesn't mean it evolved from the light bulb. Why would an engineer reinvent the light bulb for use in a car?

Also, I do not believe that our creators are perfect in the first place. I do believe however that they are as close to perfect as needed to create us in the way they did. I believe they created our DNA to be very flexible, because our environment is ever-changing. Natural selection is very showing of the built-in flexibility of our DNA. If anything, our smaller jaws are a sign of genetic flexibility- not evolution.

Beyond the built-in genetic flexibility, I believe that our DNA is not evolving, but is being degraded as time and generations pass. This is evident in the increasing numbers of genetic diseases and mutations that show up in our species. Our DNA was originally created as close to perfect as our creators could or would allow. These random genetic changes never create all new genetic code which expands upon and is better than the original DNA design. The human heart could never be redesigned through random genetic mutations, although it can be corrupted in such a way that it appears to perhaps have some added benefit(if you ignore all the side-effects of course).

So, maybe our smaller jaws are a result of genetic flexibility, or maybe it's a result of DNA degradation. Either fits with my view of creation.

9. ### Billy TUse Sugar Cane Alcohol car FuelValued Senior Member

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Poor example for your argument as the car head light EVOLVED from earlier ones. To run off lower voltages from the battery they made the filament wire heaver - lower resistance to draw more current and thus keep the power higher.

The house light bulb has a much larger linear filament which is not suitable for focusing into a beam, so they EVOLVED it to be more compact. I.e. made it into a tight spiral so most of it could be at the focus of a lens.

Then that EVOLVED too from the lens in front car light usually mounted on the car's fenders as too much light was being wasted - not even going to the lens. That lens was EVOLVED / Replace with a deep parabolic reflector.

But that compact spiral filament was evaporating and coating the reflector, so a small amount of halogen gas was added to many to keep the reflector cleaner (and thru chemistry I don't understand) redeposit some of the evaporated filament tungsten back on the filament.

The seal beam head light is a good example of an evolving organism, but not a living organism of course, even thought with the last evolutionary step it does have some "self repair" capacity.

10. ### greenboyRegistered Senior Member

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years ago a Dentist wanted to remove my wisdoms teeth but I refused today I have two out and they are working molars, my dentist still want to remove them, because they are "hard to clean" but I am still refusing...

11. ### jmpetValued Senior Member

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1,891
I am in the 25% who have mandibles adapted to handle wisdom teeth. Granted I had one wisdom tooth removed years ago (and I doubt it was necessary then and now), my other three wisdom teeth came in natural.

Humans have been pulling teeth for as long as humans have had dental problems. The Egyptians had tooth problems from the abrasiveness of the food they ate but then again they had healers who could extract teeth.

I (being one to whom wisdom teeth fit in, yet I don't look like Jay Leno) believe wisdom teeth are an evolutionary throwback like color blindness- an error we will correct with time.

As far as humans vs Neanderthals there is no comparison. We probably shared some DNA but they were a different species than us sapiens. We simply out-thought them- we beat them to the punch.

I wonder- if a child were born and at 18 had no wisdom teeth come in how we would judge him?

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13. ### greenboyRegistered Senior Member

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I am not sure all those "mistake" you guys want to correct are really mistakes, the army found out colorblindness very useful, they have always a colorblind person to look around they are very able to localized and tell their superiors about camouflaged people or equipment almost invisible for regular people, I am not sure if we want to correct this. What do you think? I am sure wisdom tooth have a possible unknown use, from now the only use is to probably to make your dentist life easier.

14. ### river-windValued Senior Member

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2,671
As already mentioned, features detrimental to an individual's health which develop only until after they have reproduced plays a drastically lower role in natural selection than a trait applying negative pressure from birth.

All parts of the body require a certain amount of energy to produce and maintain, so there is always a baseline pressure against the existence of any particular organ or part. That influence is very small, however, particularly when the part in question is one of many copies of a type of tissue; the genes encoding for teeth pairs 1-7 are useful and good; the genes coding for tooth pair 8 overlaps with the using coding for 1-7, and as such, eliminating pair 8 without damaging the production of pairs 1-7 may not be a simple process. In such a case, the pressure to reduce the energy output to the creation of a vestigial part which only develops after sexual maturity may very well be balanced out by the complexity of the task; thus many many more generations would be needed to eliminate the wisdom tooth than, say, all teeth.

All of that assumes that there exists no benefit to the continued presence of wisdom teeth. As mentioned previously, humans have had very bad oral health historically, many skeletons with missing teeth are known. The major problem of "there's not enough room in the jaw for wisdom teeth" is that it assumes that the subject has gall of his other teeth. Wisdom teeth fit quite well if you're missing others. In that regard, early humans who lost baby teeth between 5-10, then started losing adult teeth between 15-20 might very well have benefited from having a few extra molars at ~20. While perhaps not enough benefit to warrant keeping them in the long run, this minor benefit during mid-reproductive peak may have reduced the pressure to lose wisdom teeth altogether by an important amount.

15. ### Billy TUse Sugar Cane Alcohol car FuelValued Senior Member

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I strongly doubt this is true. Can you give any reason or literature support? In general what is true about ALL the senses is exactly the opposite of what you state.

For example, if you lose the ability to distinguish between certain sound frequencies (i.e. reduced sonic discrimination) then you LOSE some of the ability that normal people have to notice sonic differences.

Here it that sentence again, but for vision:

For example, if you lose the ability to distinguish between certain color frequencies (i.e. reduced color discrimination) then you LOSE some of the ability that normal people have to notice visual differences.

You can re-write it for touch, taste, or smell senses. I.e. what you state seems to be clearly false.

16. ### greenboyRegistered Senior Member

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Last edited: Jan 19, 2011
17. ### Billy TUse Sugar Cane Alcohol car FuelValued Senior Member

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Yes, interesting. Thank you. I understand now why you thought that being color blind aided one to notice things that the normally sighted might not; but the reason this improved performance exists, in some rare cases, is the ADAPTATION that normally takes place when one is defective in any sense, not the color blindness itself.

In your first link some normal color vision monkeys were 20% less proficient in catching stationary insects than the color blind monkey, which as the article states, had better ability to notice subtle textures and contrast gradients than the monkey with normal color vision. This is much like the adaptation of a blind person to become more sensitive to information in his other senses. Or a person who has lost his peripheral vision (mainly used to detect movement) will normally have more acute hearing and slightly better acoustical direction location abilities.

If a normal color vision monkey were fitted with a color filter over eyes and then immediately became more proficient at catching the insects, I would agree that lack of red /green color vision (instead of adaptation to the defect via enhanced sensitivity to other aspects of vision, such as perception of texture, etc.) was an aid to catching stationary insects.

SUMMARY: Yes, in certain situations, the adaptation making improved sensitivity to aspects still available in vision (or other senses)* can more than compensate for the loss of color vision discrimination.

*I am not suggesting this was the case, just to better illustrate my point, the insect may have been making subtle movements or even faint scratching noises which went undetected by normal vision monkeys, which had not adapted to be more sensitive in these other senses. The tactical sense adaptation of a blind person is amazing. Some can distinguish a one dollar bill from a $5 bill etc. just by the feel (or perhaps unconsciously by slightly different smell?) PS - I don’t know if it is still true, but 30 years ago the army would not accept anyone who was color blind. There are too many situations where confusing a blood wet shirt as a grass stain, or just part of a perspiration wet green camouflage would be a problem, etc. 18. ### greenboyRegistered Senior Member Messages: 263 Even when I agreed this maybe the case, my experience while in the field is insect when they feel threated and camouflage is their protection they stay quiet because this is part of their protection. Adaptation of the senses is very common, when I was trained to work as a bank clerk they made us to touch and caress real dollars bills, different denominations, several times a day, until they slip in the pile a false bill 90% of the time we were able just touching it we knew it was false, at the end of the training was 100%, and we were hired by the bank... *I am not suggesting this was the case, just to better illustrate my point, the insect may have been making subtle movements or even faint scratching noises which went undetected by normal vision monkeys, which had not adapted to be more sensitive in these other senses. The tactical sense adaptation of a blind person is amazing. Some can distinguish a one dollar bill from a$5 bill etc. just by the feel (or perhaps unconsciously by slightly different smell?)
m

PS - I don’t know if it is still true, but 30 years ago the army would not accept anyone who was color blind. There are too many situations where confusing a blood wet shirt as a grass stain, or just part of a perspiration wet green camouflage would be a problem, etc.[/QUOTE]
Probably not, today work places and even the army learned people with differences or handicaps if you will, may produce different services.

19. ### billvonValued Senior Member

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A simple example is a standard colorblindness test. Someone with normal vision will see the number 74 amongst the colored dots; someone with color blindness will see the number 21.

If you used that test as camouflage against a background of all 74's, the person with normal vision would see all 74's. The person with colorblindness would see the background 74's but would see 21's where the item being camouflaged was.

20. ### Billy TUse Sugar Cane Alcohol car FuelValued Senior Member

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Certainly as greenboy's second link illustrates it is possible to construct a quasi-random field of colored dots that form a word or number only for those who see two different colors as the same, but that would be idiotic form of "camouflage." What I doubted was not that this is possible to construct, but that partially defective vision ever directly improved visual performance in natural activities such as monkeys catching insects etc. I.e. I agreed that the ADAPTATION to a defect may will allow other senses (or preserved aspects of vision, such as contrast, motion detection, depth of field discrimination*) to become more sensitive and discriminating than in the normal individual.

For camouflage, you want either a truly random field of dots or better still some masks like the surrounding terrain or a pattern of stripes, etc. that via high local contrast for all sighted humans distract you from noticing the true outline of the painted object.

* I failed to mention this earlier but an insect sitting on a limb is perhaps 0.5 mm closer to the monkey than the nearby limb is. That small difference in separation at monkeys arm length may not be noticed by the non-enhanced-by-adaption visual system of the normal monkey.

Last edited by a moderator: Jan 21, 2011
21. ### billvonValued Senior Member

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13,225
Agreed. That was just a simplistic example.

Well, colorblind capuchins do indeed catch more insects that normally sighted monkeys. There are several possible mechanisms, but the effect is there.

Don't be caught by the trap of assuming that colorblindness is a "defect." In some animals it may make them better food catchers, mate identifiers etc.

Well, no. A "truly random field of dots" would be instantly recognizable in a desert (for example.) What you want is a pattern of pigments that matches the surrounding area when a normally sighted person looks at it.

The problem arises because pigments that appear to be the same color are often very different spectrally. Because of the way our eyes work, a white light from a blackbody source looks to be the same color as a white light from a trichromatic (RGB source) - even though when you look at them on a spectrograph they look absolutely nothing like each other. Likewise, brown pigment #1 may look exactly the same as brown pigment #2 to a normally sighted person, even though the spectrum of the reflected light looks completely different.

However, change your visual apparatus - remove one of your color receptors, or alter it - and your eye responds to different parts of that spectrum. And now those two browns are going to look completely different.

Which is why even a well camouflaged installation is often very visible to someone who is colorblind. You could no doubt create pigments that looked more alike to both normally sighted and colorblind people - but very little work has been done on that, since there are so many varieties of colorblindness.

22. ### greenboyRegistered Senior Member

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Well you loose your colors later on

Your perception of colors change and in some cases disappear. The older you get the more difficult you get in discerning colors. So we all are going to have some degree of color blindness when we get older or a richer colorful life

.

http://www.iovs.org/content/28/11/1824.abstract

23. ### greenboyRegistered Senior Member

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263
Ishiara test

What is accepted in the American Medical Field is Ishiara Tests just to
diagnose colorblindness.
http://colorvisiontesting.com/ishihara.htm