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(BBC)   Two hundred thousand years ago, the world's most powerful predator arrived: Humans. So why haven't animals evolved effective defenses against us? Here's why   (bbc.co.uk) divider line 200
    More: Interesting, fishing fleets, megafauna, history of life, Baja California, evolutionary arms race, scientific papers  
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34284 clicks; posted to Main » on 18 Feb 2012 at 6:47 AM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-02-18 09:43:02 AM  

Erebus1954: Humans are animals. So by definition everything we do is part of nature. No?


humans are porpoises, but our huge egos place us arrogantly above others, even among ourselves.

/Flipper
 
2012-02-18 09:43:33 AM  
Its cute how evolutionists treat evolution like it was a god. "Evolution did this" or " evolution did that". "Why didn't evolution give me fangs" or "why didn't evolution save the poor animals".

Do you ask the same questions of gravity? Honestly, you sound like a bunch of cavemen.
 
2012-02-18 09:46:29 AM  
This article is hogwash. There's a multitude of animals that humans won't touch. And then, who knows, checkmate could be right around the corner for us.
 
2012-02-18 09:49:57 AM  

Bhruic: Why do these articles always exhibit such a fundamentally flawed viewpoint of evolution? Species do not "evolve defences". Random evolutionary mutations happen on a relatively constant basis, and if the mutation produces a net benefit, then the individual(s) with that mutation is/are more likely to survive than ones that do not have it. When a new predator is introduced to a species, they do not evolve defenses against it, those individuals who already possess some sort of beneficial defensive trait are more likely to survive, meaning that trait gets passed on, until most of the live versions of the species have that defense - because the ones that didn't all died.


So cut to the chase, how long is it going to take for me to develop retractable claws and laser vision?
 
2012-02-18 09:50:30 AM  

thrgd456: Its cute how evolutionists treat evolution like it was a god. "Evolution did this" or " evolution did that". "Why didn't evolution give me fangs" or "why didn't evolution save the poor animals".

Do you ask the same questions of gravity? Honestly, you sound like a bunch of cavemen.


2/10

Your strawman is annoying, but the gravity conflation is too distracting. Better luck next time.
 
2012-02-18 09:51:33 AM  

Straelbora: <b><a href="http://www.fark.com/comments/6949230/75047694#c75047694" target="_blank">HairBolus</a>:</b> <i>I thought that one of Jared Diamonds arguments in Guns, Germs, and Steel was that since humans evolved in Africa the African animals evolved to really dislike and avoid humans.

That is why, up to modern times, many African animals weren't hunted to extinction (as happened on other continents) and no African animals were able to be domesticated. People have tried to domesticate zebras but zebras "naturally" hate humans.</i>

True, but about 200,000 years ago with the emergence of modern humans, we stepped up our game as a species. So the African megafauna, while still at the same risk, had a slight advantage over their counterparts in Eurasia, Oceania, East Asia, er, and the Americas.

For example, African elephants and to a lesser degree, Asian elephants knew that those weird, hairless, upright apes were trouble and tried to keep their distance. Mammoths and mastadons in the Americas probably pretty much disregarded early humans, to their demise.


Also what about our low population and population bottleneck?

Our population was relatively small for much of that time. . Not only that our diet is and was different than other predators and prey. We had a wide range of food to consume.

Plus evolution takes a long freaking time.

Not many animals developed defenses or a offense strategy against monkeys with huge balls.
Monkey taunts tigers
 
2012-02-18 09:51:37 AM  

Theory Of Null: WhyteRaven74: It's rather hard to evolve a defense when humans decide to go after a population en masse. When humans go after a population simply to kill as many as possible as fast as possible, there's no real time to evolve any sort of defense. And given how humans go after populations, well armor plating is not the sort of thing you can evolve.

You summed up what I was thinking. Just wait till the aliens come and harvest us. Oh, and collect their gold they programmed us to collect.

Don't say the Sumerians didn't warn us.


Don't worry, dude. We got the Corps.
 
2012-02-18 09:52:30 AM  

Mugato: Bhruic: Why do these articles always exhibit such a fundamentally flawed viewpoint of evolution? Species do not "evolve defences". Random evolutionary mutations happen on a relatively constant basis, and if the mutation produces a net benefit, then the individual(s) with that mutation is/are more likely to survive than ones that do not have it. When a new predator is introduced to a species, they do not evolve defenses against it, those individuals who already possess some sort of beneficial defensive trait are more likely to survive, meaning that trait gets passed on, until most of the live versions of the species have that defense - because the ones that didn't all died.

So cut to the chase, how long is it going to take for me to develop retractable claws and laser vision?


Look, I'm not going to stop abusing giraffes just because of your pedantry.
 
2012-02-18 09:59:51 AM  

Mugato: An evolution thread...where's the Farker Who Shall Not Be Named?


t1.gstatic.com

Shhhh. Shut uuuup.
 
2012-02-18 10:00:16 AM  
Because not all species survive. There are countless examples of critters who have failed. What we see are the survivors.

The current most effective predator of humans is our own transformed cells, cancers. We haven't evolved a defense against them. Some viruses have evolved to carry genes that recapitulate cancer formation. You could say these viruses are the most effective human predators. Recently we have decided to put selective pressure on these viruses by mass vaccination. This pressure may select for virus variants that more effectively evade the adaptive immune system. That could be unfortunate.

As pointed out upthread, pigs, chickens and other domesticates are doing fine. A virus that is endemic in these domestic species could transfer to us and take out a large number of us. One example is influenza. It's not much of a disease in birds so it's pandemic in their intestines. Every year influenza variants show up that have evolved to evade our immune system and cause 200,000 hospitalizations per year in the US alone. It is not hard to imagine an influenza virus that could cause ten times that number.
 
2012-02-18 10:02:55 AM  

cryinoutloud: Jesus, is every pseudo-scientist in here on the rag today? Saying "evolved defenses" works just fine for a short, general audience newspaper article.


No, it really doesn't. Describing evolution in that manner leads people to think that animals can just spontaneously evolve defenses. Like deer are just days away from being born with kevlar vests. It contributes greatly to the public misunderstanding of how evolution works. Frankly, with reporting like that, it's no surprise that lots of people hold to their misconceptions about evolution. News reporting has a responsibility to get the facts straight. Dumb it down if you have to, but dumb it down correctly.
 
2012-02-18 10:04:14 AM  

Mugato: An evolution thread...where's the Farker Who Shall Not Be Named?


His threadshiatting is generally within the first few posts. I think it happened so early by the time he saw it it was too late to be really effectual.
 
2012-02-18 10:04:20 AM  

kim jong-un: tillerman35: Invention is faster than evolution. I remember this from biology class way back when. The dinosaurs' cycle of thicker armor...sharper claws...thicker armor...sharper claws...thicker armor...sharper claws (repeat until somebody gives up eating somebody else) took MILLIONS of years. If we need thicker armor and/or sharper claws, it takes us at most a few months to invent them.

Or a bigger rock.


Biggest rock is best rock!!
 
2012-02-18 10:10:23 AM  

Krymson Tyde: Mugato: An evolution thread...where's the Farker Who Shall Not Be Named?

His threadshiatting is generally within the first few posts. I think it happened so early by the time he saw it it was too late to be really effectual.


Yeah, but you notice the thread doesn't have that same kind of zesty zing to it without his presence?

He's like balsamic vinegar on your salad -- he make the ordinary extraordinary!
 
2012-02-18 10:19:08 AM  

Bhruic: No, it really doesn't. Describing evolution in that manner leads people to think that animals can just spontaneously evolve defenses. Like deer are just days away from being born with kevlar vests. It contributes greatly to the public misunderstanding of how evolution works. Frankly, with reporting like that, it's no surprise that lots of people hold to their misconceptions about evolution. News reporting has a responsibility to get the facts straight. Dumb it down if you have to, but dumb it down correctly.


I kinda got the impression they were using a vastly longer timeframe than "spontaneous". It is reasonable to believe that some animals might evolve human specific defences, through the evolution of relationships, co-dependencies, or outright predatorial success over a period the article defines.

Well some have.

It is interesting to see why so many have not and why we have not yet driven them into extinction. Even taking into account the sudden and massive population expansion of our species, the number of animals that dont yet know how dangerous we are is higher than I would have guessed.
 
2012-02-18 10:20:32 AM  
Humans are often lazy...so be fast, hide fast.
Taste bad to us...we won't eat you if this is true.
Be intelligent...if you integrate with humans and aren't a threat... (raccoons, crows, etc...)
Live in places humans don't like.

There are many ways to survive...dinosaurs would eat anything...things survived them.
Nature has a way to find a niche for many things.
And if not, your species time has come.

You could make the exact opposite argument...humans are often aware of their impact.
Thus they refrain or rebuild or support certain species.
You don't see many animals hesitating to eat if necessary or going out of their way for another.

But interesting debate anyway...one most animals wouldn't have.
 
2012-02-18 10:21:34 AM  

Mugato: Bhruic: Why do these articles always exhibit such a fundamentally flawed viewpoint of evolution? Species do not "evolve defences". Random evolutionary mutations happen on a relatively constant basis, and if the mutation produces a net benefit, then the individual(s) with that mutation is/are more likely to survive than ones that do not have it. When a new predator is introduced to a species, they do not evolve defenses against it, those individuals who already possess some sort of beneficial defensive trait are more likely to survive, meaning that trait gets passed on, until most of the live versions of the species have that defense - because the ones that didn't all died.

So cut to the chase, how long is it going to take for me to develop retractable claws and laser vision?


Are you sure about that? That would explain why lighter skinned people don't come from sunnier environments like Africa because they would be less likely to survive, but it doesn't explain it the other way around. People who got out of the sun, had to lose their pigment over time.
 
2012-02-18 10:27:57 AM  
i238.photobucket.com

1. Be useful
2. Be cute
3. Be not tasty
 
2012-02-18 10:28:59 AM  
Nearly every article on that site shows a distinct lack of truthfulness.
 
2012-02-18 10:31:45 AM  

herrDrFarkenstein: Chevello: Because what animal can develop armor plating and horns that shoot fire and/ or projectiles in only 6000 years?

Yeah, about that. We've had fire and projectiles for about 1,000,000 years. They're not even (modern) human inventions.

Also, chimps in the wild use simple spears.


Oh, right. Next you'll be trying to tell us that the whole earth is billions and billions of years old, or dinosaurs were real and not put there by the Adversary to confuse our faith.

Wake up, people! The end is NIGH!
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-02-18 10:32:14 AM  
You could make the exact opposite argument...humans are often aware of their impact.
Thus they refrain or rebuild or support certain species.
You don't see many animals hesitating to eat if necessary or going out of their way for another.


Cooperative relationships have evolved many times, e.g. ants tending aphids.
 
2012-02-18 10:33:27 AM  
Because we've killed them all! Mwahahahahaha!
 
2012-02-18 10:34:10 AM  

Smurfme: Mugato: Bhruic: Why do these articles always exhibit such a fundamentally flawed viewpoint of evolution? Species do not "evolve defences". Random evolutionary mutations happen on a relatively constant basis, and if the mutation produces a net benefit, then the individual(s) with that mutation is/are more likely to survive than ones that do not have it. When a new predator is introduced to a species, they do not evolve defenses against it, those individuals who already possess some sort of beneficial defensive trait are more likely to survive, meaning that trait gets passed on, until most of the live versions of the species have that defense - because the ones that didn't all died.

So cut to the chase, how long is it going to take for me to develop retractable claws and laser vision?

Are you sure about that? That would explain why lighter skinned people don't come from sunnier environments like Africa because they would be less likely to survive, but it doesn't explain it the other way around. People who got out of the sun, had to lose their pigment over time.


There's a direct corrolation between annual direct sunlight levels and melanin in populations of humans pre-1500
 
2012-02-18 10:35:01 AM  

Smurfme: Are you sure about that? That would explain why lighter skinned people don't come from sunnier environments like Africa because they would be less likely to survive, but it doesn't explain it the other way around. People who got out of the sun, had to lose their pigment over time.


Yeah it does. You move to a cloudier area with dark skin, you're gonna be susceptible to rickets and other forms of Vitamin D deficiency.

Human pigmentation and levels of insolation are pretty well correlated, except in areas where recent migrants adapted to increased sunlight by covering up instead of getting darker.
 
2012-02-18 10:38:49 AM  

ZAZ: catusr: I wish deer would develop the ability to not run out in front of cars late at night.

I have seen cautious squirrels. There is hope.


I've seen cautious deer. I was driving along a road one night, and a family of deer were crossing it. They crossed one at a time, and actually looked both ways down the street before doing it.
 
2012-02-18 10:46:51 AM  

SoothinglyDeranged: Short answer: It hasn't been long enough yet.


Seriously.
 
2012-02-18 10:47:07 AM  

ConfederatedDunce: kim jong-un: tillerman35: Invention is faster than evolution. I remember this from biology class way back when. The dinosaurs' cycle of thicker armor...sharper claws...thicker armor...sharper claws...thicker armor...sharper claws (repeat until somebody gives up eating somebody else) took MILLIONS of years.


Because non-humans develop traits via the survival of genetic variations -- Darwinian evolution/Mendelian genetics. Information is passed between generations by chemical expressions that usually fail to produce advantage.

Humans develop traits via SUPER-LAMARKIAN evolution.

By using encoded information interpreted by our massive brains, adaptations that are successful are recognized and are passed on through the entire population within a single generation.

Our F-16's beat their thicker armor.
 
2012-02-18 10:51:47 AM  
I'm from the BBC and as a matter of editorial policy I blame Israel. That's why.
 
2012-02-18 10:54:26 AM  
You and me baby ain't nothing but mammals.

Ninjas are mammals!
 
2012-02-18 10:54:56 AM  
Species survival is a long race. Humans are the hare!
 
2012-02-18 10:59:07 AM  
We all know Professor X said it best. "Mutation: it is the key to our evolution. It has enabled us to evolve from a single-celled organism into the dominant species on the planet."
 
2012-02-18 11:00:45 AM  

WTF_Are_You_Looking_At: Species survival is a long race. Humans are the hare!


People keep saying things like this. There are 9 billion of us on the planet. Something could kill off 99.9% of us and you'd still be left with 9 million humans, which is more than the number of elephants or lions right now or ever.

Homo sapiens industrialis might not survive, but humans will be on this planet indefinitely, even if it's just 9 million hunter-gatherers.
 
2012-02-18 11:07:45 AM  

Ishkur: The cow used to be a rambunctious wild animal akin to deer until all its instincts were stripped out and it was turned into a living vegetable that does nothing but stand and eat, a bloated source of milk and meat so lethargic that it barely resists to being tipped over.


Given the opportunity cattle are still rambunctious wild animals. It takes a lot of attention to make them calm enough to easily handle.
 
2012-02-18 11:11:00 AM  

Sid_6.7: They may have evolved to a tiny extent, but technology tends to outpace evolution by orders of magnitude.

Not all species are incapable of evolving quickly enough. Look no farther than antibiotic-resistant bacteria.


That, and it's pretty hard to develop a resistance to a metal projectile traveling with a few thousand footpounds of kinetic energy.
 
2012-02-18 11:23:58 AM  
Maybe they have and are waiting for the signal to attack.
 
2012-02-18 11:26:22 AM  
First, this article could be sub-titled "Humans: Fark Yeah!"

Second, humans have proven again and again how adaptable we can be. What makes people think we're going to just die of starvation or some super-virus?
 
2012-02-18 11:27:40 AM  
How do you evolve a defense from being bred and raised on a farm??
 
2012-02-18 11:30:01 AM  
This was an interesting comment at the site:

Enjoyed the article. Here's a thought. Given the unusual nature of our dominance, it could be considered that defending against us has required unusual "work-arounds" by natural selection.
Animals that have become successful since the rise of Homo sapiens are the domestic dog, the domestic cat, cattle, sheep, goats, etc. In other words, success has come not by competing with us but by becoming commensal or by having a synergistic relationship with us.
You might think it isn't much of a life being a cow or a sheep but, in biological terms, they are currently extremely successful.
For that matter, rhinoviruses are doing quite well, the influenza virus, the Lactobacillae, Escherischa coli is booming, Staph., and so on.
So, our "servant" species and our parasites and micro-predators are doing ok. Perhaps the closest to an "old-fashioned" competitor that is doing well would be the fox, crows and the like. Small, to medium-sized intelligent generalists.
Oh. And of course, cockroaches. :-)
 
2012-02-18 11:34:32 AM  

Bhruic: cryinoutloud: Jesus, is every pseudo-scientist in here on the rag today? Saying "evolved defenses" works just fine for a short, general audience newspaper article.

No, it really doesn't. Describing evolution in that manner leads people to think that animals can just spontaneously evolve defenses. Like deer are just days away from being born with kevlar vests. It contributes greatly to the public misunderstanding of how evolution works. Frankly, with reporting like that, it's no surprise that lots of people hold to their misconceptions about evolution. News reporting has a responsibility to get the facts straight. Dumb it down if you have to, but dumb it down correctly.


Actually, some species seem to respond extremely rapidly to threats to their survival in some cases. Check this out. (new window)
 
2012-02-18 11:40:14 AM  

KrispyKritter: Erebus1954: Humans are animals. So by definition everything we do is part of nature. No?

humans are porpoises, but our huge egos place us arrogantly above others, even among ourselves.

/Flipper


They call him Flipper, Flipper, Flipper!
But now he's a sandwich.
You'll be happy to see.
He's cholesterol free...
 
2012-02-18 11:43:00 AM  
I'm convinced that these guys are gonna take over once we've finally wiped ourselves out.

www.24hrpestcontrol.com

/hail
 
2012-02-18 11:45:17 AM  
ByOwlLight: "Well that was a really long-winded way of basically saying, "Because tools.""

Basically this. Brains and tools iterate faster than selection and reproduction. They never stood a chance.

The only thing left is adapting into pets and hiding in the deep ocean.
 
2012-02-18 11:59:57 AM  

I sound fat: God bestowed us with dominion over the animals... duh.

They cant out evolve God's will. Sheesh.



Yes. You do.
 
2012-02-18 12:00:14 PM  
dixiedynamitecoaching.com

Yes, but soon the mice will be done with us, and then what?
 
2012-02-18 12:00:55 PM  
The article is bullshiat.
We aren't predators.
We're tool users and ceased to be predators the moment we used the same skill for growing fields of grain.
 
2012-02-18 12:03:02 PM  
Lots of species run the fark away when they see a human. That's probably the most effective defense they could have evolved.
 
2012-02-18 12:04:57 PM  
The do have defenses - they run away when they hear, see or smell us. They hide if they can and depending upon the animal, so will try to eat us.

What other option is there? Fight or flight is about it.

Unless they start stealing guns and somehow learn how to use them, I'd say they have "evolved" in that area as much as possible.
 
2012-02-18 12:10:06 PM  

Terrydatroll: An interesting point is that they say we KILL more large animals, not that we hunt and kill more large animals. Since cows are large animals and goats are not makes the article pretty self serving since America produces more beef than any other country yet more goat is eaten worldwide than beef. Hmmmmm


more to the point domesticated animals such as cows or chickens will never evolve defenses against us since we control their evolution through deliberate breeding
 
2012-02-18 12:11:27 PM  

prjindigo: The article is bullshiat.
We aren't predators.
We're tool users and ceased to be predators the moment we used the same skill for growing fields of grain.


I like Fark, because it's a repository for the dumbest shiat ever put into print.
 
2012-02-18 12:12:06 PM  

Sid_6.7: They may have evolved to a tiny extent, but technology tends to outpace evolution by orders of magnitude.

Not all species are incapable of evolving quickly enough. Look no farther than antibiotic-resistant bacteria.


came here to point out this bloodly obvious answer
tech and brain power will always beat evolution hands down
 
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