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   Author  Topic: The Ancestor's Tale  (Read 1327 times)
David Lucifer
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The Ancestor's Tale
« on: 2005-01-28 19:00:33 »
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The next VBC selection is The Ancestor's Tale by Richard Dawkins as chosen by Meridion vote.

The book doesn't have traditional chapters, just short sections called rendezvous. I propose
we schedule a pace of a few rendezvous per day on average:

week (ending)rendezvouspages
1 Feb. 5begin1-35
2 Feb. 12036-87
3 Feb. 191-788-135
4 Feb. 268-11136-177
5 Mar. 512-15178-213
6 Mar. 1216214-245
7 Mar. 1917-19246-273
8 Mar. 2620-25274-313
9 Apr. 226314-379
10 Apr. 927-35380-417
11 Apr. 1636-39418-463
12 Apr. 23end464-506
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Drakeo Vortex
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Re:The Ancestor's Tale
« Reply #1 on: 2005-02-01 01:26:50 »
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I'm in I just started reading   Dawkins Rules

Who else is participateing?


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David Lucifer
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Re:The Ancestor's Tale
« Reply #2 on: 2005-02-04 01:01:57 »
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Quote from: Nate on 2005-02-01 01:26:50   

I'm in I just started reading   Dawkins Rules

Just started this eve. Mermaid is also reading it.
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Casey
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Re:The Ancestor's Tale
« Reply #3 on: 2005-02-04 17:56:37 »
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I got a copy for Xmas from my gf.  I've not had a chance to open it up because of school and my other reads.  But, I'll begin soon; likely in mid Feb.

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David Lucifer
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Re:The Ancestor's Tale
« Reply #4 on: 2005-02-06 13:51:21 »
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I like this teaser from p.32

Quote:
Are our genomes riddled with evidences of domestication, affecting not just our biochemistry but our minds? Like Balyaev's domesticated foxes, and like the domesticated wolves that we call dogs, have we become tamer, more lovable, with the human equivalents of floppy ears, soppy faces and wagging tails? I leave you with the thought, and move hastily on.

I think I first heard of this possibility, that humans inadvertantly domesticated themselves, from a friend who was reading The Third Chimpanzee or maybe The Naked Ape. Does anyone remember reading of it before? No doubt other humans were the main selection pressure on the human species. I think that may be the main reason for the "Great Leap Forward" mentioned, the biggest danger to any group of humans was a rival group of humans so there was an extreme selection pressure to create larger and better organized groups which required more sophisticated communication and planning which required a new level of language. What do you think?
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Drakeo Vortex
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Re:The Ancestor's Tale
« Reply #5 on: 2005-02-08 05:48:50 »
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This is a good paragragh right at the beggining of the general prologue

pg. 13 para. 2 The Ancestor's Tale by Richard Dawkins

"In spite of the fascination of fossils, it is suprising how much we would still know about our evolutionary past without them. If every fossil were magicked away, the comparative study of modern organisms, of how thier patterns of resemblences, especially of thier genetic sequence, are distributed amoung species, and how species are distributed amoung continents and islands, would still demonstrate, beyond all sane doubt, that our history is evolutionary, and that all living creatures are cousins. Fossils are a bonus. A welcome bonus, to be sure, but not an essential one. It is worth remembering when creationist go on (as the tediously do) about 'gaps' int he fossil record. The fossil record could be one big gap, and the evidence for evolution would still be overwhelmingly strong. At the same time, if we had only fossils and no other evidence, the fact of evolution again would be overwhelmingly supported. As things stand we are blessed with both."

What sciences single handedly could try to prove evolution ?

Anyone dare to make a list ?




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Re:The Ancestor's Tale
« Reply #6 on: 2005-02-08 06:25:51 »
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Lucifer --I think I first heard of this possibility, that humans inadvertantly domesticated themselves...


Human emotions towards animals was defintely selected for with extreme prejudice.

These emotions towards animals would (re)apply themselves on fellow humans. 

Is it possible that the natural human - human feeling we all get were not the same before animal domesticaion?

What about the ancestors of humans who never had ancestors with domesticated animals? Are there differences?

Then shouldn't there be a variety of difference emotional adaptions depending on the level of dependence to domesticated animal of one's ancestors. 

Can't this be easily tested by looking at the social relations of concestors of the varying levels of dependence of animal domestication?

There are huge time constraint given the limited time scale, even with extreme selection pressure mathematically could this work out?

How could you factor in the gradient phenotypical expressions to determine if there really is genetic differences?

WHAT IF, the difference in our social behavior today is largely a by-product of the difference in animal domestication by our ancestors only a few thousand years ago?
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David Lucifer
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Re:The Ancestor's Tale
« Reply #7 on: 2005-02-09 19:28:37 »
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Quote from: Nate on 2005-02-08 06:25:51   

Human emotions towards animals was defintely selected for with extreme prejudice.

I'm not sure what you mean here. Obviously human emotions evolved and animals were in our environment, so it is (vacously) true. But I'm guessing you mean more than that, even though the range of emotions toward animals fill the entire spectrum of emotions.
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David Lucifer
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Re:The Ancestor's Tale
« Reply #8 on: 2005-02-09 19:31:15 »
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Quote from: Nate on 2005-02-08 05:48:50   


What sciences single handedly could try to prove evolution ?

Anyone dare to make a list?

comparative anatomy
genetics
paleontology
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Drakeo Vortex
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Re:The Ancestor's Tale
« Reply #9 on: 2005-02-10 16:52:47 »
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Nate --Human emotions towards animals was defintely selected for with extreme prejudice.

Lucifer --I'm not sure what you mean here. Obviously human emotions evolved and animals were in our environment, so it is (vacously) true. But I'm guessing you mean more than that, even though the range of emotions toward animals fill the entire spectrum of emotions.

I assumed that the selection rate would increase for the factors of substanence because of greater population and constant depletion of resources of the first 'farming' societies. That the rate of selection would be much higher than most traits in the ancestrial hunter-gathers.   



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David Lucifer
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Re:The Ancestor's Tale
« Reply #10 on: 2005-02-12 16:58:53 »
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Who else has arrived at Rendezvous 1?

Once again Dawkins has presented a compelling argument for viewing evolution from the genes' perspective. I was surprised by many things in the Rendezvous 0 chapter, not least of which that according to some of my genes (blood type for example) I am more closely related to some chimps than some fellow humans. I always suspected as much
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Re:The Ancestor's Tale
« Reply #11 on: 2005-02-16 13:22:21 »
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I am at redezvous 1 already

I especially like this quote about a theory by Maxine Sheets-Johnstone

Ancestral Tale pg 91

"She thinks we rose on our hind legs  as a means of showing off our penises. Those of us that have penises that is. Females in her view were doing it for the opposite reasons: concealing thier genitals which, in primates are more prominently displayed on all fours. "

If you can't run from your penis envy, you will have to crawl.

This seems like fruedian babble, but dawkins mentions it.  Do any primates show off thier penises?

Wait hold up I'm makeing a floral arrangement around mine and drawing a smiley face on the end.  I'll talk to people by shakeing it up and down. Then i'll get all the chicks, oh yeah.
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David Lucifer
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Re:The Ancestor's Tale
« Reply #12 on: 2005-02-21 13:38:38 »
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Quote from: Nate on 2005-02-16 13:22:21   

Wait hold up I'm makeing a floral arrangement around mine and drawing a smiley face on the end.  I'll talk to people by shakeing it up and down. Then i'll get all the chicks, oh yeah.

So how did that work out for you?
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David Lucifer
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Re:The Ancestor's Tale
« Reply #13 on: 2005-02-21 13:42:12 »
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Bottom of p. 131

Quote:

Beware, by the way, of the temptation -- it is all too common -- to think that, because a genomic parasite seems, with hindsight, to have done us a favour [re-introducing trichromatic vision], genomes therefore harbour parasites in the hope of future favours. That isn't how natural selection works.

While I agree genomes don't "hope" for anything, wouldn't it be true that genomes that allowed parasites to exist in their midst would do better in the long run than those that introduced extra mechanisms to expel them?
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Drakeo Vortex
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Re:The Ancestor's Tale
« Reply #14 on: 2005-03-07 13:05:13 »
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I'm still on track just finished rendezvous 14.  I like the book so far although at times it explains things most of us probably already know either from dawkins previous books or from the discovery channel.  But the most important thing is the outline he is trying to convey. And it remains intact and gets clearer and clearer the more you read. Dawkins is a great writter and it's an easy read even at the predictable parts.
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