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Perhaps it was the necessary precursor to long range planning, a skill that requires abstract thought?..One could argue that seeing an otter eat shellfish and then making the leap to trying the shellfish yourself is or isn't abstract thought. My personal feeling is that humanity's ability to view other species' activities and adapt them (or parts of them) to our own purposes is most assuredly based upon an abstraction. The growth of this talent had to begin somewhere, why not one night while waiting for the return of the 'big light' and its relative safety from the real dangers of the world? Something knocked inside that head and the head's owner had nothing better to do than to explore it...Originally posted by Shapley:
I think I covered this before, but my question would be why Og, Cog, Bog, & Dog would have ever developed the propensity for wondering. No evolutionary need seems to be served by it...
Evolution doesn't happen because an advantage would be borne by it. If that were true, it would mean that it was directed by an intelligence.Originally posted by Shapley:
my question would be why Og, Cog, Bog, & Dog would have ever developed the propensity for wondering. No evolutionary need seems to be served by it.
What evolutionary purpose is served by superstition? What use is the avoidance of the number 13? Or, for that matter, 666? How about whisky, nuclear weapons, and operas? We invent all sorts of things that aren't useful to our survival as a species.Also originally posted by Shap:
If man created God in his own image, as is often suggested, why? What evolutionary purpose is served by doing so?
Actually, it provides for the long-term care of children until they are able to fend for themselves, and reproduce.More from Shapley:
Such pondering would seem counterproductive to the goal of propogating the species, as it leads to the establishment of morals and mores that prohibit promiscuity and allow for survival of the weakest.
Wow, I sure missed that one. It looked to me like you were making the point that we didn't invent God, because it served no purpose to our survival. Correct me if I'm wrong.Originally posted by Shapley:
That's my point. We seem to be the only species that has developed the ability to design our own demise.
I disagree. What's the survival advantage to blue eyes, red hair, or a hooked nose? Many of these traits are clearly hereditary. Now if you had said they were disadvantageous, I would agree.More from Shap:
Most evolutionary traits that are not conducive to the survival of the species die out in the first generation that develops them.
While this is true, this only takes a few months for most mammals, so monogamy isn't all that important. Humans, BTW, are not the only species that mates "for life."Again, from Shapley:
Nearly all mammals nurture their young until they are capable of self-survival.
I'm not certain about this, but I believe you are wrong about most other mammals abandoning their weak ones. They do what they can, but elk, for example, don't have the technology to fix up a calf with a broken leg. Elephants clearly mourn their dead, and have been seen holding up an injured herd mate to help it avoid danger or get to a watering hole.Continuing discussion from Shapley:
They also have the self-preservation instinct that teaches them to abandon the weak, the sick, and the slow to a natural death. We, however, have developed compassion, which causes us to nurture our weak, sick, and slow, which some will argue is to the detriment of our species. Why?
Actually, Og figured out that woolly mammoths were seen more often in the spring and fall, so she spared her husband from hunting them in winter and summer, and had him concentrating instead of ground squirrels. As a result, Og was better fed, & produced bigger babies which had more milk to drink and which therefore survived at a higher rate than did Grog's. Grog had a baby a year, but too many of them starved while Grog's husband was spending his summers looking for woolly mammoths that werent to be found.Thus, while Og was pondering the heavens, Grog was copulating with his woman, producing the next generation of Grogs who would kill Og the first time his ponderings kept him from bringing home the bacon, or wooly mammoth as the case may be
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