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Re: Neu5Gc (Was: Chimp the Hunter, Kills the Savanna Hypotheses)

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  • dons3148
    ... Hello Rob... ... That may have been the case; however I would say you fleshed out somewhat the notion that it was a pathogen that was responsible for the
    Message 1 of 142 , Jan 16, 2011
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      --- In AAT@yahoogroups.com, "Rob Dudman" <ausell@...> wrote:
      >
      >
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: dons3148
      > To: AAT@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Monday, January 10, 2011 12:27 AM
      > Subject: [AAT] Re: Neu5Gc (Was: Chimp the Hunter, Kills the Savanna
      > Hypotheses)



      Hello Rob...


      > Hello Bill........
      > >
      > > First up you might find this intriguing quote from an
      > > item on Neu5Gc by Ajit Varki that I have read in the
      > > last few days... sounds a little familiar:
      > >
      > > "Possible Selection Processes Responsible for the
      > > Difference:
      > >
      > > The original selection mechanisms responsible
      > > for this human-specific mutation remain uncertain.
      > > A likely possibility is that an epidemic caused by
      > > a pathogenic microbial organism e.g. a form of
      > > malaria that required Neu5Gc for infecting cells
      > > may have eliminated individuals who did not have
      > > the homozygous CMAH mutation. Another possibility
      > > was that the CMAH mutation was positively selected
      > > for because the loss of Neu5Gc conferred some
      > > other functional advantage to such individuals.
      > > Finally it possible that the mutation simply
      > > drifted to fixation in a small effective population."
      > >
      > > Human Uniqueness Compared to "Great Apes"
      > > http://carta.anthropogeny.org/moca/topics/n-glycolylneuraminic-acid-expression
      > > _________________________
      > >
      > If 'a likely possibility', 'another possibility' and
      > 'possible' indicate a decreasing scale of probability,
      > then I'm sure Varki would be overjoyed to know
      > that I agree with him. I suppose though that this is
      > hardly surprising as I've drawn nearly all my ideas
      > on the issue from either Varki or Maria Martin.



      That may have been the case; however I would say you
      fleshed out somewhat the notion that it was a pathogen
      that was responsible for the CMAH mutation, specifically
      the malaria parasite. We can envisage that repeated
      infections among a small population brought about a
      mutation that became fixed in the human lineage within
      a generation or two generations at most. The question
      that remains unanswered is how humans adapted to what
      in normal circumstances would have been a negative
      gene mutation...

      Perhaps, with the loss of Neu5Gc one more restraint
      was removed on the expansion of the brain an in time
      the expansion of the brain provided a tool that could
      help us live with consequences of losing Neu5Gc.

      Coming up with an explanation as to why the MYH16
      became fixed in the human lineage seems an easier
      exercise, but in reality it is anything but...





      > > ........Evolution was often been described in the
      > > past as the `survival of the fittest', perhaps it would
      > > be more accurate to say that `evolution is the survival
      > > of the luckiest' ...
      > >
      > I think it was the golfer Gary Player who said. 'the
      > more I practice, the luckier I get'. An evolutionary
      > paraphrase would be 'the fitter the species, then the
      > luckier they'll be'.



      The "luckier species" maybe... but I do not buy into
      the Darwinian notion of "fitter species", "well-adapted
      species" as evolution tells us specialisation carries a
      high risk of extinction. Humans have survived by being
      highly adaptable omnivores (willing to exploit new
      niches, willing more or less to eat anything that
      grew or moved).

      The shore, the littoral habitat for our ancestors was
      just another niche to exploit, an easy source of food
      to exploit. It was lucky choice from an evolutionary
      viewpoint… as exploiting the shore foods provided the
      catalyst needed for the expansion of the human
      brain, but the ancestors' reasons for being on
      the shore 2.5 Mya was to fill their bellies.





      > > > > It does though, raise an issue that must be dealt with
      > > > > if the 'encephalisation/DHA/littoral' connection is to
      > > > > hold together......after a million years or so H.e/e
      > > > > brains did enlarge to a degree that was at least equal
      > > > > to the encephalisation that produced H.e/e brains in
      > > > > the first place. What happened to cause this change
      > > > > after a stasis of more than a million years?
      > > >
      > > > The key here is perhaps to isolate the stasis in
      > > > the size of the He brain as such, from the increase
      > > > in the human brain, that is to say while there was
      > > > little or no increase in the size of the He brain
      > > > there was an increase in the size of the human brain
      > > > (reaching its current size some 200,000 years ago)
      > > > that began some 800,000 years ago...
      > >
      > > Perhaps, seasonally they did (?) ...
      > > On the Atlantic coasts of Iberia (Portugal and Galicia)
      > > they may have been able to catch spawning salmon,
      > > possibly a good source of DHA for H.heid.
      > >
      > Yes, they may and perhaps they had seasonal access to
      > a DHA enriched diet......but 'may' and 'perhaps' is about
      > the best we can do at present and in comparison to the
      > evidence we've been dealing with regarding the CMAH
      > and the MYH16 mutations it's very weak.



      Perhaps we can say it is a certainty that salmon
      were present in the rivers of western Iberia
      (Portugal and Galicia) some 800,000 years ago.
      The unknown is knowing if and how H.heid caught
      fish in those rivers, if they did it would have
      provided them with a rich source of DHA... at
      a time when the human brain began its last
      expansion in size.


      [quote]
      What are current public health recommendations for
      omega-3 fatty acids?

      "This goal can be easily met by adding just two
      foods to your diet: flaxseeds and wild-caught salmon.
      Two tablespoons of flaxseeds contain 3.5 grams of
      omega-3 fats, while a 4 ounce piece of salmon contains
      1.5 grams of omega 3 fats. There's research evidence
      showing that two servings of non-fried fish per week-
      especially salmon, tuna, and halibut-can be enough to
      significantly increase the level of omega-3 fatty
      acids in your blood (including the level of both
      EPA and DHA)."

      omega-3 fatty acids
      http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=84




      > > > Could be.....there can't be much doubt from H.heid on,
      > > > but we need to bear in mind that the issues that make
      > > > habilis an unlikely predecessor for H.e/e, also apply to
      > > > the proposition that H.e/e became H.heid. We have to
      > > > assume an unknown littoral predecessor for H.e/e because
      > > > there's no evidence that habilis was anywhere other than
      > > > where their fossils are found and also the indications that
      > > > for some considerable time habilis and ergaster were
      > > > contemporaries....the same objections could be raised
      > > > with regard to H.e/e becoming H.heid.
      > > >
      > > > I think ergaster became H.heid., but if they didn't do it
      > > > at the littoral, then I suppose there's no compelling
      > > > reason to think that H.e/e emerged there either.
      > >
      > > I agree, both (H.e/e) are highly unlikely candidates
      > > for the littoral ancestor, both are the wrong species
      > > in the wrong places at the wrong times, and if we
      > > accept that the first significant increase in the
      > > brain was in H.e/e then logically they had to have
      > > had a littoral predecessor or predecessors (which
      > > rules out the habilis too from being ancestral to
      > > or genus Homo).
      > >
      > > Also the indications (from mutations/changes in the
      > > human lineage) are that the littoral phase in the
      > > ancestry of Homo occurred long before the emergence
      > > of H.e/e (best guess would be between 2.5 and
      > > 2.2 Mya (?) ...somewhere outside of Africa -
      > > possibly in the Persian gulf)...
      > >
      > Yes.....I think this is probable.



      Highly probable...



      > > H.heid in possibly returning to the shores on a
      > > seasonally basis in Iberia, probably would have
      > > provided the resources for last expansion in the
      > > size of the human brain.
      > >
      > Throughout this conversation I've been taking it
      > as given that the DHA requirements for the sort
      > of encephalisation we see between the A'piths
      > and H.e/e can only be obtained in a littoral niche,
      > but so far I've not found any credible estimates
      > as to just how much DHA this would need to be
      > on a regular basis, nor any esitmates of the time-
      > scales that had to be involved.



      Shellfish and birds eggs as sources of DHA were
      perhaps widely available in a littoral niche (there
      is some evidence for shellfish middens), but apart
      from the odd trapped fish in a tidal pool it seems
      a little unlikely that they caught fish on the shores.
      Fish as such were probably easier to catch inland...
      in lakes, river estuaries, rivers and streams.

      A couple portions of Atlantic salmon a week is said
      to meet the DHA needs of the average woman, males and
      pregnant women probably required more. (wild Atlantic
      salmon being a good source of DHA)

      Fish, salmon, Atlantic, farmed, raw - Nutrient
      content

      http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/cgi-bin/list_nut_edit.pl
      Nutrient content of other foods
      http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search/


      -------------------------------



      > Without information on these questions I've no
      > idea at all if a seasonal inclusion of salmon would
      > provide enough dietary DHA to produce the sort
      > of encephalisation we see between H.e/e and AMH.
      > My intuitive reaction is that it would not be enough
      > and indeed the only ref. that I could find suggests
      > that at least Canadian salmon migrations are relatively
      > recent......
      >
      > 'But we now have evidence that migration to the sea
      > may be a relatively recent behaviour.
      >
      > Fossil beds at Driftwood Canyon, near Smithers,
      > contain large numbers of fossil salmonid remains
      > from the Eocene age, approximately 45 million
      > years ago. What is interesting is that the fossil beds
      > are filled equally with both juvenile and larger adults.
      > If these salmon were heading off to sea in their juvenile
      > form and returning to spawn as adults we would
      > expect to find an abundance of larger carcasses in
      > the lake sediments and relatively few juveniles.
      >
      > Given the equal numbers, it looks likely that the
      > salmonids of the Eocene, lived out their lifecycle as
      > a landlocked species, the way Kokanee do today -
      > so their migration to the sea is relatively recent and
      > certainly after the most recent ice age.'
      >
      > http://tinyurl.com/4wecj78
      > ________



      Thanks for the link, interesting theory, but evidence
      for a landlocked salmon species 45 Mya does not rule
      out there being sea-going species 45 Mya (there
      landlocked and sea-going species today). Also the
      explanation they give does not fit with what others
      have said on the evolution of the salmon.

      Malcolm Greenhalgh and Rod Sutterby's excellent
      illustrated history of the Atlantic salmon mentions
      that the salmon family tree goes back some 100 million
      years, and there is some fossil evidence from 60 Mya
      for the common ancestor of the Atlantic salmon and
      brown trout.

      At around 20 million years ago they say the Atlantic
      salmon and Pacific salmon parted company, then some
      5 to 10 million years ago the Atlantic salmon and
      brown trout parted company (the brown trout being
      the closest relative of the Atlantic salmon).

      More recent speciation is said to have occurred during
      the last glaciation with one salmon strain surviving in
      an ice free, ice locked lake in the North sea (today
      their descendants swim in Icelandic waters, and the
      waters of northern Scandinavia… of more interest is the
      salmon strain, the Celtic salmon strain that survived
      the ice in rivers of western Iberia (Iberia was also
      a refuge for the Neanderthals, but they went extinct).

      Once the ice retreated, the Celtic salmon strain
      spread north into waters of these islands and to
      waters southern Scandinavia (it is probably the
      fish I caught when I was a youngster).

      (Amazon)
      Atlantic Salmon: An Illustrated Natural History

      http://www.amazon.co.uk/Atlantic-Salmon-Illustrated-Natural-History/dp/1873674732


      ----------------------


      Incidentally today (Saturday) is the start
      of the salmon fishing season in Scotland.




      > > > > Yes, but 'too risky' is surely empirically discovered....
      > > > > those that didn't vomit at the smell of bacterially infested
      > > > > meat (scavenged cadavers), died (or least had cause to
      > > > > be disinterested in sex) at a greater rate than those who
      > > > > did vomit. It wouldn't be long until scavenging was not
      > > > > an option.....and it isn't.
      > > >
      > > > Stealing the kills of other predators would avoid the
      > > > risks of rotting meat (while taking on other potentially
      > > > lethal risks), but I'd hesitate to classify this as being
      > > > scavenging.....it's more a form of parasitism and I
      > > > think the accepted term is 'kleptoparasitism'.
      > >
      > > H.erectus were 'kleptoparasites' (?)
      > >
      > Probably not on any sort of professional basis......but
      > I don't doubt it when the opportunity arose.
      > >
      > > It could certainly describe the behavior of H.garhi
      > > and, H.e/e in stealing the fresh or nearly fresh kill
      > > (two day old kill) from predators and possibly when
      > > better organised chasing off the predator and
      > > claiming its kill as their own ...
      > >
      > Could be.....the tools found 'proximally' to garhi
      > offer evidence for what was done to the animals
      > once they were dead, we know very little on how
      > they came to be that way. I think H.e/e were clever
      > enough to organise themselves into efficient hunting
      > teams.




      Scavenging fresh kills would probably supply
      sufficient meat, if the levels of meat in the
      diets of the likes of the H.garhi were close
      to that of the chimpanzee (that is 6 to 8%).

      The human gut is said to be a third smaller than
      it should be for a medium sized ape, which probably
      indicates that at some point meat eating accounted
      for a greater portion of the human diet – possibly
      resulting in a reduction in the size of the human
      gut over time.


      Meat in the human diet: an anthropological perspective.

      http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Meat+in+the+human+diet%3A+an+anthropological+perspective.-a0169311689


      ----------------------------------



      As to H.e/e troupes (teams)... would you say they
      have been similar to hyena packs? (hyenas packs
      will seek out and follow African wild dog packs
      to steal their kill)




      > > Glad to hear that you have survived the floods
      > > relatively intact, Rob.
      > >
      > > Will you be compensated for the loss of your
      > > jetty (?)
      > >
      > No.....there's relief money being raised and made
      > available, but this is for those who have had serious
      > losses. The scope of the disaster is expanding daily
      > and the number of families affected is into the tens
      > of thousands.....the first fatalities have been reported
      > and there are another 66 people still missing.



      Hopefully, most if not all of those listed as
      missing will be found safe and well...

      What happened in Toowoomba and Grantham was
      unbelievable, it is bad enough to know you
      are about to be flooded, but for it to
      come out of nowhere without warning...




      > The rain has moved south from us and there's no
      > immediate threat of further flooding.



      That's good to hear....

      One other good thing to come out of this
      is the way Queenslanders have pulled
      together, helped each other.




      > > I assume since you and your neighbours built on
      > > somewhat higher ground that the local river has
      > > flooded on previous occasions, though a river rise
      > > of 8 to 14 metres still seems unbelievable compared
      > > to what we would see (think our local river has
      > > only flooded once in the last 100 years, and that
      > > was when it froze solid). News channels mentioned
      > > crocs and snakes repeatedly, but showed only one
      > > small snake in the water. (and it seemed in a big
      > > hurry to get out of the water - or away from
      > > the cameraman)
      > >
      > We took the last highest flood level (1948) and
      > built well above that (this one has equalled the '48
      > flood). The road to the nearest town is uncertain and
      > provisioning could be the next issue to face, but
      > so far, so good.
      >
      > Rob.




      Hope things improve soon...


      --Bill















      In AAT@yahoogroups.com, "Rob Dudman" <ausell@> wrote:

      > > ----- Original Message -----
      > > From: dons3148
      > > To: AAT@yahoogroups.com
      > > Sent: Wednesday, January 05, 2011 12:02 AM
      > > Subject: [AAT] Re: Neu5Gc (Was: Chimp the Hunter, Kills
      > > the Savanna Hypotheses)
      >
      > Hello Rob...
      >
      > First up you might find this intriguing quote from an
      > item on Neu5Gc by Ajit Varki that I have read in the
      > last few days... sounds a little familiar:
      >
      > [quote]
      > "Possible Selection Processes Responsible for
      > the Difference:
      >
      > The original selection mechanisms responsible
      > for this human-specific mutation remain uncertain.
      > A likely possibility is that an epidemic caused by
      > a pathogenic microbial organism e.g. a form of
      > malaria that required Neu5Gc for infecting cells
      > may have eliminated individuals who did not have
      > the homozygous CMAH mutation. Another possibility
      > was that the CMAH mutation was positively selected
      > for because the loss of Neu5Gc conferred some
      > other functional advantage to such individuals.
      > Finally it possible that the mutation simply
      > drifted to fixation in a small effective
      > population."
      >
      > Human Uniqueness Compared to "Great Apes"
      > http://carta.anthropogeny.org/moca/topics/n-glycolylneuraminic-acid-expression
      >
      > _________________________
      >
      > > Hello Bill........
      > > >
      > > > > > Probably in the end neither had the advantage... or
      > > > > > any choice; it was perhaps more a matter of either
      > > > > > adapting to the gene mutation or going extinct (!)
      > > > >
      > > > > D'you mean genetic drift?
      > > >
      > > > Yes, as genetic drift and natural selection are the two
      > > > forces that drive evolution, genetic drift being random
      > > > change in gene frequency resulting in mutations which,
      > > > regardless of their adaptive value, become fixed. (it
      > > > is said to be more effective in small populations - an
      > > > humans were few in number for millions of years). It
      > > > could be described as the- adapt or die option
      > > >
      > > > It is not the only adapt or die option (!) as
      > > > environmental changes can also result in the adapt
      > > > or die option, for example for predators that for
      > > > generations have specialised in hunting particular
      > > > prey species, or species like pandas that eat a
      > > > limited choice of foods.
      > > >
      > > > Trees, forests faced with a permanent decrease or
      > > > increase in temperature or reduced rainfall are also
      > > > faced with the adapt or die option(!)
      > > >
      > > > Adapt or die(!) could have been the option facing the
      > > > LCA some five million years ago, as the Chad sea and
      > > > surrounding forests were decimated by the MSC. The
      > > > option that led to the ancestors of the chimpanzee
      > > > and Man going their separate ways...
      > > >
      > > I do accept that genetic drift occurs, but as an
      > > explanation for any given adaptation it represents the
      > > end of rational inquiry into the origins of that adaptation.
      > > I would much rather search for a non-existent natural
      > > selection cause for an adaptation that in fact has been
      > > a result of genetic drift, than assume genetic drift for
      > > an adaptation that in fact (although unknown to me)
      > > has been the result of natural selection.
      >
      > Fair point, however genetic drift (random chance)
      > can wipe out in a single instant the efforts of natural
      > selection over several generations. Imagine for a moment
      > two dozen blue flowers and a mere half a dozen white
      > flowers growing next to each other on the side of a
      > mountain on an island - all it would take - would be
      > a landslide that wiped out the blue to leave the
      > white to flourish on the island (!)
      >
      > Paleo -anthropologists often argue that `bottlenecks'
      > (often a random chance event) in the past have shaped
      > human evolution in a similar manner.
      >
      > Evolution was often been described in the past as the
      > `survival of the fittest', perhaps it would be more
      > accurate to say that `evolution is the survival of
      > the luckiest' ...
      >
      > and......
      > >
      > > >
      > > > > > Essentially the survivors would have had one choice...
      > > > > > adapt to having a weaker jaw or die(go extinct).
      > > > > >
      > > > > Could be, but I have a very negative intuitive reaction
      > > > > to anything that says 'you may reason to this point, but
      > > > > no further'. (I have the same reaction to the Big Bang
      > > > > Theory and reject it for the same reason......the Pope
      > > > > knew what he was doing when he gave a medal to
      > > > > Stephen Hawking for the way his work could be seen
      > > > > to reconcile science and religion.)
      > > >
      > > > Science and Stephen Hawking have gone far beyond
      > > > the limitations of the old `Big Bang theory', he himself
      > > > has a new book out on sciences current understanding
      > > > of the Multiverse (an amazing an fascinating concept -
      > > > worlds without end in an infinity of universes (!)
      > > >
      > > I wonder if the Pope will take the medal back?
      >
      > Possibly, if he reads his new book...
      >
      > The Pope would have had to discarded the notion that
      > the "world" was "created" in six days, by giving
      > Stephen Hawking the medal. Perhaps, he will accept
      > too the notion that we live in a Multiverse...
      >
      > > (An OT aside......)
      > > From a cosmological perspective the only way out of
      > > the 'random beginning' conclusion is to assume that
      > > the universe is fractal.....if you stand back far enough
      > > the randomness apparent in one frame of reference
      > > becomes structure in another frame of reference. This
      > > is the Multiverse and AFAIK the idea was pioneered
      > > by the Swedish physicist Hannes Alfven with his work
      > > on 'plasma cosmology' (the Alfven/Klein Model).
      > >
      > > see....
      > >
      > > http://www.plasma-universe.com/index.php/Hannes_Alfv%C3%A9n
      > > _______
      >
      > Thanks for the link... was not aware plasma physicists
      > also had a version of the Multiverse, it seems every
      > branch of the space sciences interprets it differently
      > (I have settled for the one, in which the laws of each
      > universe are a slightly different combination - meaning
      > there are universes in which life cannot exist and ones
      > in which matter cannot exist - an infinite variations
      > in between (!)
      >
      > Physicist Considers the Big Picture
      >
      > http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100112165249.htm
      >
      > Do you something in mind like Robert Oldershaw's -
      > `The Infinite Fractal Universe'?
      >
      > http://www3.amherst.edu/~rloldershaw/ifu.htm
      >
      > ______________________________
      >
      > > > > I'm happier with the thought that as yet I haven't been
      > > > > able to think of a way to cogently place these two
      > > > > mutations within the context of natural selection.....at
      > > > > least this leaves possibilities to explore - if I see either
      > > > > of the mutations as the result of arbitrary drift, then
      > > > > that's an end to it as there's nowhere left to go.
      > > >
      > > > I take a slightly different approach and regard
      > > > `genetic drift'(random chance) as part and parcel
      > > > of evolution as is `natural selection', as it is just as
      > > > fascinating to see how life adapts to both...
      > > >
      > > I certainly agree that the consequences of genetic drift
      > > are fascinating, but its antecedents are unknowable.......
      > > and there's little point in trying to know the unknowable.
      > > >
      > > > After all, life itself may owe its existence to random
      > > > chance (!)
      > > >
      > > And it may well have been inevitable and therefore not
      > > chance at all....in a Multiverse all things that are possible
      > > will become actual; we know that life is possible and
      > > that means that it's occurrence is inevitable in at least
      > > one of the infinite number of universes that make up
      > > the Multiverse. If a result is inevitable, then it can't be
      > > random. It's a bit obscure, but the logic seems ok. :-)
      >
      > :-)
      >
      > Yes and no...
      >
      > As it is random chance that makes all
      > things possible (!)
      >
      > Deceptive behaviour....
      > > >
      > > > > > > Wouldn't the deliberately deceptive behaviour that has
      > > > > > > been observed in other great apes be evidence of
      > > > > > > imagination (at the very least 'theory of mind')?
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > An interesting read....
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Neocortex size predicts deception rate in primates
      > > > > > > By Richard W. Byrne and Nadia Corp
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1691785/pdf/15306289.pdf
      > > > > > > ______________
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Thanks for the link...
      > > > > >
      > > > > > As to your point, I am not so certain that deceptive
      > > > > > behavior is anything other than behavior as numerous
      > > > > > species can use and do use deceptive behavior from
      > > > > > birds, to animals, to fish to insects that use mimicry
      > > > > > and deceptive behavior pretty effectively.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > As apparently can plants and even a robot, as
      > > > > > robots can now be programed to use `deceptive
      > > > > > behavior' to evade detection (!)
      > > > > >
      > > > > Do you mean predatory plants like the pitcher-plant?
      > > > > I would classify this as 'ambush predation'.
      > > >
      > > > Yes and no, while carnivore plants do use deception,
      > > > the plant I had in mind however was not a carnivore
      > > > one feeding on insects but a common orchid that tricks
      > > > wasps with a flower that deceives male wasps into
      > > > copulating with the flower as if it was a female
      > > > wasp as a way of further spreading its pollen (guess
      > > > male wasps are easily tricked (!).
      > > >
      > > Yes, I think this is the case....male wasps are easily
      > > tricked because they have no way to prevent the
      > > trickery from working - they can't know that there
      > > is such a thing as trickery so they buy the bridge
      > > every time some smart-alec orchid makes an offer.
      > > >
      > > > However, some plant species have proved a little too
      > > > successful at the art of deception that rye and oats
      > > > once weeds in wheat and barley crops, got a little
      > > > too good at avoiding being weeded by deceiving early
      > > > crop growers into thinking they might be wheat that
      > > > they are now grown and harvested own right as a food
      > > > crop (having effectively cultivated themselves (!
      > > >
      > > I'd suggest that they've been selected by the fact that
      > > weeding rapidly becomes boring....it seems that rye
      > > and oats have been selected by human inattention to
      > > detail.
      > > >
      > > > Vavilovian mimicry in some plants though cannot
      > > > explain the weird deceptive behaviour of carrion
      > > > flowers, for example the one that grows in S.Africa
      > > > that is blood red and is foul smelling (said to
      > > > smell like rotting meat (!)
      > > >
      > > I guess that smell attracts flies as the orchid's
      > > appearance attracts wasps......in us it is 'foul'
      > > and triggers a 'gag reflex'.
      >
      > Would have to be flies that feed on rotting meat...
      > can't see though how a plant figures out what would
      > attract a specific insect (unless it is some kind
      > of trial an error process, until it comes
      > up with the right combination of colour
      > and smells).
      >
      > > > > > Humans can tell a straight faced lie for individual gain,
      > > > > > insects can use mimicry deceptive behavior to evade
      > > > > > predation or to gain reproductive advantage; both I
      > > > > > would say are using deceptive behavior for gain.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Perhaps it is anticipation that is involved when someone
      > > > > > lies, a primate deceives, but I cannot see any role for
      > > > > > imagination.
      > > > >
      > > > > Yes.....I think of animal deception as camouflage of one
      > > > > sort or another. But what we're dealing with in humans and
      > > > > apparently other great apes, is deliberate deception and
      > > > > at the very least this entails the recognition of the existence
      > > > > another subjective point of view that can be deceived.....
      > > > > that can construct a reality that fails to accurately inform
      > > > > about the actual world
      > > > >
      > > > > Given that 'a subjective point of view' is by definition
      > > > > not something that can be objectively confirmed, then
      > > > > it seems to me that the recognition of a subjective point
      > > > > of view other than your own has to be an act of the
      > > > > imagination.
      > > >
      > > > Being able to anticipate the consequences of their
      > > > deceptive behaviour, does take the art of deception
      > > > to a higher level (for example lions anticipating
      > > > the reaction of their surprised prey). Guess for
      > > > apes and humans', deceptive behaviour was and is
      > > > a means for middle ranking members of a troupe
      > > > to get further up the food chain. get nearer
      > > > the `top table'.
      > > >
      > > A significant difference between ourselves and the other
      > > great apes is that they use deliberate deceptive beviour
      > > on an incidental basis, where we have made it an essential
      > > foundation on which our social groupings are formed!
      > >
      > > The idea of a society in which everyone tells the truth
      > > all the time is a recurring theme in comedy fiction and
      > > the question is not why we lie, but why we turn this
      > > social necessity into a moral no-no. I suspect that this
      > > oddity has its roots in the way that primate groups use
      > > 'sentries' and the survival of the group may well depend
      > > on the veracity of the signals being received from these
      > > sentries. I wonder if the very first lying by omission was
      > > when an ancestor saw a stalking leopard and decided
      > > that discretion was the better part of valour!
      >
      > Without truth, society would not work... Perhaps
      > there is a difference between telling the truth
      > and being honest (a lie can be spoken honestly, if
      > the speaker believes it to be true... yet being
      > dishonest - is to deliberately
      > deceive someone)
      >
      > > > Would you say deceptive and manipulative
      > > > behaviour are the same thing?
      > > >
      > > Well...the truth can be used selectively in order to
      > > manipulate other people, but if they would otherwise
      > > behave differently if all the facts were known, then
      > > no, the two things are not different IMO.
      > > >
      > > > > As for robots....if one can deceive me on the basis of
      > > > > what it knows about the way I think, my predispositions
      > > > > and my fears and desires.....on its recognition of me as
      > > > > a person, then I'll return the compliment and accept that
      > > > > robot as a person with a prosthetic body. :-)
      > > > >
      > > > :-)
      > > >
      > > > Just think that robotic lawn mower happily mowing
      > > > your lawn might give a year or two of service before
      > > > suddenly cornering you and finding another use for
      > > > its razor sharp blades...
      > > >
      > > Hmmmm.....I suppose asking for my money back
      > > wouldn't really be an option. I know, I'd trick it.....
      > > I could stick both my arms out and say as loudly and
      > > as casually as I could, "I'm a tree."
      > >
      > > Ha, see....I don' take no crap from no lawn-mower!
      >
      > :-)
      >
      > Unless... it decides, the tree needs pruning (!)
      >
      > > > > It does though, raise an issue that must be dealt with
      > > > > if the 'encephalisation/DHA/littoral' connection is to
      > > > > hold together......after a million years or so H.e/e
      > > > > brains did enlarge to a degree that was at least equal
      > > > > to the encephalisation that produced H.e/e brains in
      > > > > the first place. What happened to cause this change
      > > > > after a stasis of more than a million years?
      > > >
      > > > The key here is perhaps to isolate the stasis in
      > > > the size of the He brain as such, from the increase
      > > > in the human brain, that is to say while there was
      > > > little or no increase in the size of the He brain
      > > > there was an increase in the size of the human brain
      > > > (reaching its current size some 200,000 years ago)
      > > > that began some 800,000 years ago...
      >
      > Perhaps, seasonally they did (?) ...
      >
      > On the Atlantic coasts of Iberia (Portugal and
      > Galicia) they may have been able to catch
      > spawning salmon, possibly a good source
      > of DHA for H.heid.
      >
      > > Yes, that's more or less what the fossil evidence indicates.
      > > Did the predecessors of H.heid. reoccupy the littoral?
      > > >
      > > > There also remains the possibility that H.erectus
      > > > was not a direct ancestor of Modern Man.
      > > >
      > > > Human Evolution (chart)
      > > > http://www.handprint.com/LS/ANC/evol.html
      > > >
      > > >__________________________________
      > > >
      > > Could be.....there can't be much doubt from H.heid on,
      > > but we need to bear in mind that the issues that make
      > > habilis an unlikely predecessor for H.e/e, also apply to
      > > the proposition that H.e/e became H.heid. We have to
      > > assume an unknown littoral predecessor for H.e/e because
      > > there's no evidence that habilis was anywhere other than
      > > where their fossils are found and also the indications that
      > > for some considerable time habilis and ergaster were
      > > contemporaries....the same objections could be raised
      > > with regard to H.e/e becoming H.heid.
      > >
      > > I think ergaster became H.heid., but if they didn't do it
      > > at the littoral, then I suppose there's no compelling
      > > reason to think that H.e/e emerged there either.
      >
      > I agree, both (H.e/e) are highly unlikely candidates
      > for the littoral ancestor, both are the wrong species
      > in the wrong places at the wrong times, and if we
      > accept that the first significant increase in the
      > brain was in H.e/e then logically they had to have
      > had a littoral predecessor or predecessors (which
      > rules out the habilis too from being ancestral to
      > or genus Homo).
      >
      > Also the indications (from mutations/changes in the
      > human lineage) are that the littoral phase in the
      > ancestry of Homo occurred long before the emergence
      > of H.e/e (best guess would be between 2.5 and
      > 2.2 Mya (?) ...somewhere outside of Africa -
      > possibly in the Persian gulf)...
      >
      > H.heid in possibly returning to the shores on a
      > seasonally basis in Iberia, probably would have
      > provided the resources for last expansion in the
      > size of the human brain.
      >
      > > > > ..........................The vomit-reflex is evidence not
      > > > > that H.e/e was a hunter, but that scavenging resulted
      > > > > in a selection process which left us with exactly the
      > > > > opposite reaction to rancid meat that is the hallmark
      > > > > of all scavengers. Whether H.e/e hunted meat or not
      > > > > is a different issue - I think that because they could,
      > > > > then they probably did, but we got that reflex from
      > > > > somewhere and given the deadly nature of rancid
      > > > > meat, it seems to me to be one of the most straight-
      > > > > forward examples of adaptation through natural
      > > > > selection that I've come across. It's the total absence
      > > > > of any reference to it in the literature that puzzles me.
      > > > >
      > > > > What's your view of this?
      > > >
      > > > Intriguing question...
      > > >
      > > > Perhaps it is the gut (the GI tract) that makes the
      > > > difference; the difference being between predators
      > > > and omnivores - not so much hunters and scavengers.
      > > >
      > > > Meat fresh and rotten meat spends less time being
      > > > digested in the gut of predator and meat scavengers
      > > > (less time for bacteria to multiply in the tougher
      > > > gut of a predator?) than it would in the gut of an
      > > > omnivore like Man. So whilst early Man may once have
      > > > been able to digest raw fresh meant and relatively
      > > > fresh meat, the reflex may have acted as a warning
      > > > for meat that was a little too risky for our slower
      > > > digestive systems to handle.
      > > >
      > > Yes, but 'too risky' is surely empirically discovered....
      > > those that didn't vomit at the smell of bacterially infested
      > > meat (scavenged cadavers), died (or least had cause to
      > > be disinterested in sex) at a greater rate than those who
      > > did vomit. It wouldn't be long until scavenging was not
      > > an option.....and it isn't.
      > >
      > > Stealing the kills of other predators would avoid the
      > > risks of rotting meat (while taking on other potentially
      > > lethal risks), but I'd hesitate to classify this as being
      > > scavenging.....it's more a form of parasitism and I
      > > think the accepted term is 'kleptoparasitism'.
      >
      > H.erectus were 'kleptoparasites' (?)
      >
      > It could certainly describe the behavior of H.garhi
      > and, H.e/e in stealing the fresh or nearly fresh kill
      > (two day old kill) from predators and possibly when
      > better organised chasing off the predator and
      > claiming its kill as their own ...
      >
      > > > Perhaps its 24 to 72 hrs for the human gut, and
      > > > say 6 to 8 hrs for a predator like a lion?
      > > > (meat digestion)
      > > >
      > > > Chimpanzees kill, chimpanzees eat meat, so it is
      > > > highly likely away from the savanna and the tropics
      > > > early human ancestors also hunted and ate raw meat
      > > > on a regular basis.
      > > >
      > > > One other factor for the vomit reflex, possibly
      > > > could be 'civilised' human reactions to what is
      > > > uncooked meat.
      > > >
      > > Rancid meat is dangerous and we show no adaptational
      > > evidence that we have ever been able to use it as a source
      > > of nutrition. Modern sensibilities may well engage the
      > > gag-reflex as a response to a range of harmless foods
      > > (eg., I gag at oysters), to non-food related sights and
      > > situations and even enlist disgust to maintain social classes,
      > > but the gag-reflex is essentially a mechanism that forces
      > > an omnivore who'll try and eat just about anything, to
      > > avoid certain potential foods.....this applies particularly
      > > to infants.
      > >
      > > While it's not so easy to find research on this issue, I
      > > think that the null has to be that the gag-reflex is an
      > > adaptation that resulted from the dangers of scavenging.
      > > The virulence of the pathogens in rancid meat (and
      > > particularly in tropical and sub-tropical environments)
      > > would have made this a rapid adaptation.....I don't
      > > think our ancestors scavenged for long enough for
      > > them to be reasonably characterised as 'scavengers'.
      > >
      > > The only paper I could find.....
      > >
      > > 'Evidence that disgust evolved to protect from risk of disease'
      > > By Val Curtis et al.
      > >
      > > http://www.hygienecentral.org.uk/pdf/BL040131.pdf
      > > _________
      >
      > Thanks for the link...
      >
      > The disgust response as such - seems to have had
      > an adaptive advantage:
      >
      > Survey shows disgust emotion evolved to safeguard
      > humans from disease and secure adaptive advantage
      >
      > http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/news/2004/disgustfactor.html
      >
      > The gag-reflex itself appears to have been a very
      > effective adaption in stopping early hominids from
      > eating rotting meat, meat loaded with toxins
      > (by-products of the rapidly multiplying bacteria
      > in the rotting meat).
      >
      > Think the distinctive odour of rotting meat is
      > produced by the toxins it contains (it is likely
      > that no amount of cooking would remove the toxins
      > from the rotting meat).
      >
      > Guess those who were foolish enough to eat
      > rotting meat loaded with bacteria and toxins
      > not only died, but died a pretty
      > agonising death.
      >
      > Even carrion birds like vultures will rarely
      > visit carrion that has been rotting for more
      > than three days, even though they can tolerate
      > some toxins better than we can...(after three
      > days the build-up of toxins in rotting meat
      > is said to be too much even for vultures).
      >
      > > > The Queensland floods have been one of the lead news
      > > > item on the news channels for several days (certainly
      > > > is a massive amount of water). This morning they were
      > > > mentioning crocs and snakes may be an added risk to
      > > > house owners in the flooded areas... Are you outside
      > > > the areas affected?
      > > >
      > > I live in one of the worst affected areas and there are
      > > a few hundred families coming to terms with the trauma
      > > of losing everything....there's more heavy rain forecast
      > > so the poor buggers aren't out of it yet. But most people,
      > > ourselves included, built homes above any conceivable
      > > flood level and for us it's been little more than an
      > > inconvenience.
      > >
      > > I do in fact live next to a river that rose about 8 metres...
      > > my jetty has gone and the landscaped riverbank down
      > > to where the jetty used to be is an unrecognizable mess
      > > of mud and broken branches caught high in the trees.
      > > To see that river flowing in full flood was an awe-
      > > inspiring experience of an enormous but understated
      > > energy.
      > >
      > > No crocs....but as the flooded area is about the size of
      > > France and Germany combined it may be that in the
      > > tropics freshwater crocs might appear where they
      > > normally wouldn't. But I'm sceptical about the report.....
      > > most of them were shot/trapped and turned into boots
      > > and belts back in the 60s and 70s.
      > >
      > > I've seen one or two more snakes than usual, but it's
      > > been a great surprise that the wild-life usually found
      > > along the riverbank.....platypus, echidna, monitor
      > > lizards, bush turkeys, large carpet pythons....have
      > > not been seen at all. There's no way that they could
      > > have stayed near the river, but they haven't been
      > > seen up here on the ridge. The only dead wild
      > > creature that I've come across was, ironically, a duck.
      > >
      > > I appreciate your interest.
      > >
      > > Rob.
      >
      > Glad to hear that you have survived the floods
      > relatively intact, Rob.
      >
      > Will you be compensated for the loss
      > of your jetty (?)
      >
      > I assume since you and your neighbours built on
      > somewhat higher ground that the local river has
      > flooded on previous occasions, though a river rise
      > of 8 to 14 metres still seems unbelievable compared
      > to what we would see (think our local river has
      > only flooded once in the last 100 years, and that
      > was when it froze solid). News channels mentioned
      > crocs and snakes repeatedly, but showed only one
      > small snake in the water. (and it seemed in a big
      > hurry to get out of the water - or away from
      > the cameraman)
      >
      > --Bill
      >
      > --- In AAT@yahoogroups.com, "Rob Dudman" <ausell@> wrote:
      >
      > > > ----- Original Message -----
      > > > From: dons3148
      > > > To: AAT@yahoogroups.com
      > > > Sent: Wednesday, December 29, 2010 12:59 AM
      > > > Subject: [AAT] Re: Neu5Gc (Was: Chimp the Hunter, Kills the Savanna
      > > > Hypotheses)
      > >
      > > Hello Rob...
      > >
      > > > Hello Bill........
      > > > >
      > > > > > > > Yes, but would a gorilla-size mouth/jaw have been
      > > > > > > > an impediment that was so severe that it led to a
      > > > > > > > reproductive disadvantage?
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Their rivals would have had the smaller jaws; and
      > > > > > > smaller jaws probably came with a smaller mouth
      > > > > > > opening, perhaps the advantage when it came to
      > > > > > > extracting the contents of oysters. So perhaps the
      > > > > > > reproductive advantage lay with those with the gene
      > > > > > > mutation?
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > I think that 'perhaps' is about right......when extracting
      > > > > > the edibles from oysters (etc.,) the shells are opened and
      > > > > > the meat is detached from the shell before it's simply
      > > > > > tipped into the mouth. This opening and detaching is
      > > > > > best done with a tool of some sort, but if it came to
      > > > > > using the teeth, then wouldn't those without the mutation
      > > > > > have an advantage?
      > > > >
      > > > > Probably in the end neither had the advantage... or
      > > > > any choice; it was perhaps more a matter of either
      > > > > adapting to the gene mutation or going extinct (!)
      > > > >
      > > > D'you mean genetic drift?
      > >
      > > Yes, as genetic drift and natural selection are the two
      > > forces that drive evolution, genetic drift being random
      > > change in gene frequency resulting in mutations which,
      > > regardless of their adaptive value, become fixed. (it
      > > is said to be more effective in small populations - an
      > > humans were few in number for millions of years). It
      > > could be described as the- adapt or die option
      > >
      > > It is not the only adapt or die option (!) as
      > > environmental changes can also result in the adapt
      > > or die option, for example for predators that for
      > > generations have specialised in hunting particular
      > > prey species, or species like pandas that eat a
      > > limited choice of foods.
      > >
      > > Trees, forests faced with a permanent decrease or
      > > increase in temperature or reduced rainfall are also
      > > faced with the adapt or die option(!)
      > >
      > > Adapt or die(!) could have been the option facing the
      > > LCA some five million years ago, as the Chad sea and
      > > surrounding forests were decimated by the MSC. The
      > > option that led to the ancestors of the chimpanzee
      > > and Man going their separate ways...
      > >
      > > > > > Wouldn't the deliberately deceptive behaviour that has
      > > > > > been observed in other great apes be evidence of
      > > > > > imagination (at the very least 'theory of mind')?
      > > > > >
      > > > > > An interesting read....
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Neocortex size predicts deception rate in primates
      > > > > > By Richard W. Byrne and Nadia Corp
      > > > > >
      > > > > > http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1691785/pdf/15306289.pdf
      > > > > > ______________
      > > > >
      > > > > Thanks for the link...
      > > > >
      > > > > As to your point, I am not so certain that deceptive
      > > > > behavior is anything other than behavior as numerous
      > > > > species can use and do use deceptive behavior from
      > > > > birds, to animals, to fish to insects that use mimicry
      > > > > and deceptive behavior pretty effectively.
      > > > >
      > > > > As apparently can plants and even a robot, as
      > > > > robots can now be programed to use `deceptive
      > > > > behavior' to evade detection (!)
      > > > >
      > > > Do you mean predatory plants like the pitcher-plant?
      > > > I would classify this as 'ambush predation'.
      > >
      > > Yes and no, while carnivore plants do use deception,
      > > the plant I had in mind however was not a carnivore
      > > one feeding on insects but a common orchid that tricks
      > > wasps with a flower that deceives male wasps into
      > > copulating with the flower as if it was a female
      > > wasp as a way of further spreading its pollen
      > > (guess male wasps are easily tricked (!).
      > >
      > > However, some plant species have proved a little too
      > > successful at the art of deception that rye and oats
      > > once weeds in wheat and barley crops, got a little
      > > too good at avoiding being weeded by deceiving early
      > > crop growers into thinking they might be wheat that
      > > they are now grown and harvested own right as a food
      > > crop (having effectively cultivated themselves (!
      > >
      > > Vavilovian mimicry in some plants though cannot
      > > explain the weird deceptive behaviour of carrion
      > > flowers, for example the one that grows in S.Africa
      > > that is blood red and is foul smelling (said to
      > > smell like rotting meat (!)
      > >
      > > > > Humans can tell a straight faced lie for individual gain,
      > > > > insects can use mimicry deceptive behavior to evade
      > > > > predation or to gain reproductive advantage; both I
      > > > > would say are using deceptive behavior for gain.
      > > > >
      > > > > Perhaps it is anticipation that is involved when someone
      > > > > lies, a primate deceives, but I cannot see any role for
      > > > > imagination.
      > > > >
      > > > Yes.....I think of animal deception as camouflage of one
      > > > sort or another. But what we're dealing with in humans and
      > > > apparently other great apes, is deliberate deception and
      > > > at the very least this entails the recognition of the existence
      > > > another subjective point of view that can be deceived.....
      > > > that can construct a reality that fails to accurately inform
      > > > about the actual world
      > > >
      > > > Given that 'a subjective point of view' is by definition
      > > > not something that can be objectively confirmed, then
      > > > it seems to me that the recognition of a subjective point
      > > > of view other than your own has to be an act of the
      > > > imagination.
      > >
      > > Being able to anticipate the consequences of their
      > > deceptive behaviour, does take the art of deception
      > > to a higher level (for example lions anticipating
      > > the reaction of their surprised prey). Guess for
      > > apes and humans', deceptive behaviour was and is
      > > a means for middle ranking members of a troupe
      > > to get further up the food chain. get nearer
      > > the `top table'.
      > >
      > > Would you say deceptive and manipulative
      > > behaviour are the same thing?
      > >
      > > > As for robots....if one can deceive me on the basis of
      > > > what it knows about the way I think, my predispositions
      > > > and my fears and desires.....on its recognition of me as
      > > > a person, then I'll return the compliment and accept that
      > > > robot as a person with a prosthetic body. :-)
      > >
      > > :-)
      > >
      > > Just think that robotic lawn mower happily mowing
      > > your lawn might give a year or two of service before
      > > suddenly cornering you and finding another use for
      > > its razor sharp blades...
      > >
      > > Researchers Give Robots the Capability for
      > > Deceptive Behavior
      > >
      > > http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100909114113.htm
      > >
      > > > > (imagination is the plaything of the mind)
      > > > >
      > > > :-)
      > > >
      > >
      > > > > > The one thing that comes to mind that would over-ride
      > > > > > such (xenophobic) impulses is a catastrophic collapse
      > > > > > in the population...such as you'd get with a malarial
      > > > > > epidemic? Although this still wouldn't explain a
      > > > > > reproductive advantage for the survivors with weaker-
      > > > > > jaws .
      > > > >
      > > > > It would as possibly in such a situation random
      > > > > chance (genetic drift) would more likely determine
      > > > > the outcome than the long drawn out processes of
      > > > > natural selection an environmental adaptation.
      > > > >
      > > > > Essentially the survivors would have had one choice...
      > > > > adapt to having a weaker jaw or die(go extinct).
      > > > >
      > > > Could be, but I have a very negative intuitive reaction
      > > > to anything that says 'you may reason to this point, but
      > > > no further'. (I have the same reaction to the Big Bang
      > > > Theory and reject it for the same reason......the Pope
      > > > knew what he was doing when he gave a medal to
      > > > Stephen Hawking for the way his work could be seen
      > > > to reconcile science and religion.)
      > >
      > > Science and Stephen Hawking have gone far beyond
      > > the limitations of the old `Big Bang theory', he
      > > himself has a new book out on sciences current
      > > understanding of the Multiverse.(an amazing an
      > > fascinating concept - worlds without end in an
      > > infinity of universes (!)
      > >
      > > > I'm happier with the thought that as yet I haven't been
      > > > able to think of a way to cogently place these two
      > > > mutations within the context of natural selection.....at
      > > > least this leaves possibilities to explore - if I see either
      > > > of the mutations as the result of arbitrary drift, then
      > > > that's an end to it as there's nowhere left to go.
      > >
      > > I take a slightly different approach and regard
      > > `genetic drift'(random chance) as part and parcel
      > > of evolution as is `natural selection', as it is
      > > just as fascinating to see how life adapts
      > > to both...
      > >
      > > After all, life itself may owe its existence
      > > to random chance (!)
      > >
      > > > > > > Agree, H.erectus was in the wrong places to be a
      > > > > > > littoral dweller. H.erectus at least outside of north
      > > > > > > Africa was a scavenger/hunter and perhaps the
      > > > > > > prey of predators.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > My position here is that I can't on the one hand use a
      > > > > > DHA-rich littoral diet to explain the encephalisation
      > > > > > that we see in H.e/e and at the same time argue that
      > > > > > they stopped encephalising while still exploiting a
      > > > > > littoral diet. The most parsimonious solution to the
      > > > > > conundrum of the H.e/e stasis in brain enlargement
      > > > > > is to assume that they inherited their large brains
      > > > > > from predecessors who did exploit the littoral, then
      > > > > > they maintained this enlarged size through an inland
      > > > > > diet that included meat (brains, bone-marrow etc.,)
      > > > > > But of course those who doubt that our ancestors grew
      > > > > > their big brains at the littoral are stuck with the same
      > > > > > conundrum.....they have to argue that an inland diet
      > > > > > was sufficient for the initial encephalisation and that a
      > > > > > continuation of this same diet was then insufficient for
      > > > > > encephalisation.
      > > > >
      > > > > Agree it is more the parsimonious explanation, as it
      > > > > is highly unlikely that the H.erectus (or its immediate
      > > > > predecessor, if there was one) inherited a larger brain
      > > > > from a littoral predecessor, than for H.erectus to have
      > > > > exploited a littoral niche.
      > > > >
      > > > > Though it should be said that there are two other
      > > > > factors that impose a physical limits on further
      > > > > encephalisation in our species, namely our bipedal
      > > > > gait and the ability to give birth relatively safely,
      > > > > however I do not think either of these would have
      > > > > applied to the much smaller brained H.erectus.
      > > > >
      > > > It does though, raise an issue that must be dealt with
      > > > if the 'encephalisation/DHA/littoral' connection is to
      > > > hold together......after a million years or so H.e/e
      > > > brains did enlarge to a degree that was at least equal
      > > > to the encephalisation that produced H.e/e brains in
      > > > the first place. What happened to cause this change
      > > > after a stasis of more than a million years?
      > >
      > > The key here is perhaps to isolate the stasis in
      > > the size of the He brain as such, from the increase
      > > in the human brain, that is to say while there was
      > > little or no increase in the size of the He brain
      > > there was an increase in the size of the human brain
      > > (reaching its current size some 200,000 years ago)
      > > that began some 800,000 years ago...
      > >
      > > There also remains the possibility that H.erectus
      > > was not a direct ancestor of Modern Man.
      > >
      > > Human Evolution (chart)
      > > http://www.handprint.com/LS/ANC/evol.html
      > >
      > > __________________________________
      > >
      > > New finds in the Middle East and of the possibility
      > > there was a third human species, have also muddied
      > > recent human origins somewhat.
      > >
      > > December 2010
      > > Fossilised tooth changes human history?
      > > http://english.pravda.ru/science/tech/28-12-2010/116375-fossilised_tooth-0/
      > >
      > > 2010 Nature 468:1012 doi 10.1038/4681012a
      > > Fossil genome reveals ancestral link
      > > A distant cousin raises questions about human origins.
      > > http://www.nature.com/news/author/Ewen+Callaway/index.html
      > >
      > > _____________________________
      > >
      > > > > > As for H.e/e I think only the survivors of hyena attacks
      > > > > > could have had a reproductive impact sufficient to make
      > > > > > thicker skulls a species characteristic and I have to
      > > > > > doubt that there would have been enough of these to
      > > > > > make such a difference......particularly if the usual victims
      > > > > > were the young, the old and the infirm.
      > > > >
      > > > > Good points, in fact very good points, so perhaps
      > > > > the description in Noel T. Boaz and Russell L. Ciochon
      > > > > book "Dragon Bone Hill" (2004) of the H.erectus is the
      > > > > one closest to the truth:
      > > > >
      > > > > [quote]
      > > > > "Armed with a shaky hold on fire and some sharp
      > > > > rocks, Homo erectus incredibly survived for over
      > > > > 1.5 million years, much longer than our own species
      > > > > Homo sapiens has been on Earth. Tell-tale marks on
      > > > > fossil bones show that the lives of these early
      > > > > humans were brutal, ruled by hunger and who could
      > > > > strike the hardest blow, yet there are fleeting
      > > > > glimpses of human compassion as well. The small
      > > > > brain of Homo erectus and its strangely unchanging
      > > > > culture indicate that the species could not talk.
      > > > > Part of that primitive culture included ritualized
      > > > > aggression, to which the extremely thick skulls
      > > > > of Homo erectus bear mute witness."
      > > > > ______________________
      > > > >
      > > > > So maybe the unfortunate H.erectus did finally share
      > > > > something with its hyena predator - a hard, brutal
      > > > > life scavenging on the kills of predators as they
      > > > > followed the seasonal movements of herd animals
      > > > > across wilds of Asia.
      > > > >
      > > > Why d'you suppose that modern humans have a
      > > > vomit reflex to the smell of rancid meat? Some four
      > > > years ago I had a long and interesting conversation
      > > > with Pauline about this and I've found nothing since
      > > > then to cause me to change my opinion......
      > > >
      > > > (Pauline....
      > > > >
      > > > > Unless some strong evidence nails H. e/e as a hunter, the
      > > > > conservative position is that he got his meat from (some
      > > > > sort of) scavenging.
      > > > >
      > > > Rob.....
      > > > Here I do disagree. The vomit-reflex is evidence not
      > > > that H.e/e was a hunter, but that scavenging resulted
      > > > in a selection process which left us with exactly the
      > > > opposite reaction to rancid meat that is the hallmark
      > > > of all scavengers. Whether H.e/e hunted meat or not
      > > > is a different issue - I think that because they could,
      > > > then they probably did, but we got that reflex from
      > > > somewhere and given the deadly nature of rancid
      > > > meat, it seems to me to be one of the most straight-
      > > > forward examples of adaptation through natural
      > > > selection that I've come across. It's the total absence
      > > > of any reference to it in the literature that puzzles me.
      > > >
      > > > http://tech.dir.groups.yahoo.com/group/AAT/message/36495?o=0&var=1
      > > > _________)
      > > >
      > > > What's your view of this?
      > >
      > > Intriguing question...
      > >
      > > Perhaps it is the gut (the GI tract) that makes the
      > > difference; the difference being between predators
      > > and omnivores - not so much hunters and scavengers.
      > >
      > > Meat fresh and rotten meat spends less time being
      > > digested in the gut of predator and meat scavengers
      > > (less time for bacteria to multiply in the tougher
      > > gut of a predator?) than it would in the gut of an
      > > omnivore like Man. So whilst early Man may once have
      > > been able to digest raw fresh meant and relatively
      > > fresh meat, the reflex may have acted as a warning
      > > for meat that was a little too risky for our slower
      > > digestive systems to handle.
      > >
      > > Perhaps its 24 to 72 hrs for the human gut, and
      > > say 6 to 8 hrs for a predator like a lion?
      > > (meat digestion)
      > >
      > > Chimpanzees kill, chimpanzees eat meat, so it
      > > is highly likely away from the savanna and the
      > > tropics early human ancestors also hunted and
      > > ate raw meat on a regular basis.
      > >
      > > One other factor for the vomit reflex, possibly
      > > could be 'civilised' human reactions to what is
      > > uncooked meat.
      > >
      > > > As for the suggestion that life was short, hard and
      > > > brutal for H.e/e.........I don't doubt it at all.
      > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > It's almost certainly the case that endogenous Neu5Gc
      > > > > had allowed repeated infections of P.reich from before
      > > > > the H/P LCA until the CMAH mutation. In modern
      > > > > humans exogenous Neu5Gc is used by other pathogens,
      > > > > but AFAIK the P.reich parasite is the only one we can
      > > > > be reasonably certain about prior to c. 2.5 Mya.
      > > > >
      > > > > One way of looking at it Rob, would be to say if it was
      > > > > not for the P.reich parasite an the loss of Neu5Gc...
      > > > > we might have been just another extinct ape species in
      > > > > the forest.
      > > > >
      > > > Or turned to rock alongside H.georg.
      > >
      > > :-)
      > >
      > > > > However as the year 2010 ends our 'friend' the
      > > > > ubiquitous mosquito is still adapting, still intent on
      > > > > conquering new territory...
      > > > >
      > > > > A Malaria Mosquito Is Becoming Two Species in a Hurry
      > > > >
      > > > > http://www.livescience.com/animals/malaria-mosquitos-species-splitting-101021.html
      > > > >
      > > > > [quote]
      > > > > A strain of African mosquito that carries the
      > > > > deadly malaria parasite is splitting into two
      > > > > species faster than expected, according to a
      > > > > new study. The finding helps explain why the
      > > > > insect can survive in environments spanning
      > > > > from humid rainforests to arid savannas.
      > > > >
      > > > > The mosquito, Anopheles gambiae, is one of the
      > > > > top carriers of malaria parasites, which infect
      > > > > 250 million people a year, according to the
      > > > > World Health Organization.
      > > > >
      > > > > -------------------------
      > > > >
      > > > We've got floods here in Queensland and I suspect
      > > > that the mozzies are going to love it!
      > > > >
      > > > > With best wishes for 2011
      > > > >
      > > > And to you.
      > > >
      > > > Rob.
      > >
      > > The Queensland floods have been one of the lead news
      > > item on the news channels for several days (certainly
      > > is a massive amount of water). This morning they were
      > > mentioning crocs and snakes may be an added risk to
      > > house owners in the flooded areas... Are you
      > > outside the areas affected?
      > >
      > > --Bill
      > >
      > > > --- In AAT@yahoogroups.com, "Rob Dudman" <ausell@> wrote:
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > ----- Original Message -----
      > > > > From: dons3148
      > > > > To: AAT@yahoogroups.com
      > > > > Sent: Wednesday, December 22, 2010 7:50 AM
      > > > > Subject: [AAT] Re: Neu5Gc (Was: Chimp the Hunter, Kills the Savanna
      > > > > Hypotheses)
      > > > >
      > > >
      > > > Hello Rob...
      > > >
      > > > > Hello Bill........
      > > > > >
      > > > > > > > Then essentially a `tool using' habilis was no different
      > > > > > > > from a `tool using' gorilla using a stick to test the depth
      > > > > > > > of the water it was walking through or an otter using a
      > > > > > > > stone to crack open a shell...
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > IMO, absolutely no difference at all.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Yes, they are essentially using 'tools' for the same job -
      > > > > > namely to get at food.
      > > > > >
      > > > > That's an interesting distinction.....it had occurred to me that
      > > > > what is different about our use of tools is that we use them
      > > > > for purposes other than obtaining food, but then I had to
      > > > > pause with your example of the gorilla probing for depth
      > > > > before venturing further into water. No doubt the ultimate
      > > > > objective is to get at food, but the immediate objective is
      > > > > (I presume) to avoid getting dunked. There's also the
      > > > > example of chimps using branches to intimidate...although
      > > > > AFAIK, these branches aren't modified to make them
      > > > > more effective as weapons.
      > > >
      > > > Birds dropping shells on rocks, otters, chimpanzees
      > > > shaping sticks to get at honey and a gorilla using a
      > > > stick as it walks through waist deep water to reach
      > > > a tasty morsel all appear to be in pursuit of same
      > > > objective, food ,which is probably the origins too
      > > > `tool usage' among humans. It may offer too an
      > > > explanation as to why the H.erectus repeatedly made
      > > > the same `stone tools' for hundreds thousands of
      > > > years (roughly 1.4 million years) with little
      > > > or no change.
      > > >
      > > > Human tools;, tools that were used for purposes other
      > > > than getting at the food probably made an appearance
      > > > about a quarter a million years ago as flint
      > > > tools, probably the first genuine multi-purpose
      > > > tool a stone tool with a razor sharp edge(!)
      > > >
      > > > > > > ............................What else can they imagine
      > > > > > > as they sit for hours chewing their stalks? Probably not
      > > > > > > much, but I can't think of a way that this could be shown
      > > > > > > scientifically.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Perhaps only when `scientist' can devise a scanning
      > > > > > method that literally `reads' thoughts, will that
      > > > > > question ever come close to being answered.
      > > > > >
      > > > > I've got the rather unhappy idea that if this sort of scanning
      > > > > is ever invented (which I doubt will happen), it'll be so far
      > > > > into the future that we'll be the only extant primate (having
      > > > > caused the extinction of all the others by then).
      > > >
      > > > :-)
      > > >
      > > > Hopefully it will be very far into the future ...
      > > > or when I am old enough not too care one way or
      > > > the other.
      > > >
      > > > Then again it might be just around the corner (!)
      > > >
      > > > As some neuroimaging experts believe they will soon
      > > > be able to tell what a person is thinking by the
      > > > areas of the brain activated when a person
      > > > looks at something...
      > > >
      > > > > > Gorillas are not using `imagination' in the human sense
      > > > > > but probably something that is on the face of it similar
      > > > > > but is entirely different, namely `anticipation' though
      > > > > > the ability `to anticipate' is also believed by some to
      > > > > > be uniquely human as it is said to involve the frontal
      > > > > > lobes of the brain.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > However, it seems to me that by using a stick to test
      > > > > > the depth of the water its walking through the gorilla
      > > > > > can be said to be anticipating what would happen if
      > > > > > it got out of its depth in water...
      > > > > >
      > > > > > I would add - that imagination - the ability to form
      > > > > > images, concepts and sensations in the mind is beyond
      > > > > > doubt uniquely human. (probably the point at which
      > > > > > mankind's early ancestors could imagine - was when
      > > > > > they became human!)
      > > > > >
      > > > > Wouldn't the deliberately deceptive behaviour that has
      > > > > been observed in other great apes be evidence of
      > > > > imagination (at the very least 'theory of mind')?
      > > > >
      > > > > An interesting read....
      > > > >
      > > > > Neocortex size predicts deception rate in primates
      > > > > By Richard W. Byrne and Nadia Corp
      > > > >
      > > > > http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1691785/pdf/15306289.pdf
      > > > > ______________
      > > >
      > > > Thanks for the link...
      > > >
      > > > As to your point, I am not so certain that deceptive
      > > > behavior is anything other than behavior as numerous
      > > > species can use and do use deceptive behavior from
      > > > birds
      (Message over 64 KB, truncated)
    • Rob Dudman
      ... From: dons3148 To: AAT@yahoogroups.com Sent: Wednesday, November 09, 2011 12:06 AM Subject: [AAT] Re: Neu5Gc (Was: Chimp the Hunter, Kills the Savanna
      Message 142 of 142 , Nov 10, 2011
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        ----- Original Message -----
        From: dons3148
        To: AAT@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Wednesday, November 09, 2011 12:06 AM
        Subject: [AAT] Re: Neu5Gc (Was: Chimp the Hunter, Kills the Savanna
        Hypotheses)

        Hello Bill........
        >
        > > But of course our ancestors lived with P.reich. for a long
        > > time before we selected against it and the question becomes,
        > > what happened.....why did we begin to select a defence that
        > > had obviously not previously been under so much selection
        > > pressure?
        >
        > Perhaps, it was the combination of malaria outbreaks and
        > being outside of Africa sometime between three and four
        > million years ago, resulting in a particularly virulent outbreak,
        > to which they had little or no resistance...bringing them to the
        > brink of extinction.
        >

        I take this idea as the null. The question is why a virulent outbreak?

        Why would a parasite that had probably been with us at least
        since the divergence from P., then become so virulent or so
        frequent that it led to the elimination of its target sialic acid?
        The most plausible reason would be that for some reason we
        became more vulnerable to attack by the parasite's vector....the
        anopheles mosquito. Now the question has become, why this
        increase in vulnerability? I think that the reduction of our body-
        hair has to be the null here.....in fact, nothing else comes to mind.

        >
        > > ........................................
        > > If the pubic louse was isolated at c.3.3 Mya, then IMO the
        > > reduction of body-hair is the most plausible explanation for this
        > > and it's precisely this hair reduction that would have the result
        > > of making us more susceptible to mosquito attack, which in
        > > turn would have resulted in more P.reich. infection and hence
        > > a greater selection pressure for an effective defence. And to
        > > complete the 'coincidence' it was all happening while African
        > > primates were suffering RV infections that our ancestors missed.
        >
        > Possible, however the difficulty would be that the date of the
        > gorilla louse infection in H.at 3.3 Mya directly conflicts with
        > period (4 to 3 Mya) when the ancestor of humans would likely
        > have been absent from mainland Africa during the first PtERV1
        > outbreak.
        >

        I see this as a 'manufactured' difficulty. By this I mean that if at an
        early stage in formulating a theory an error has been made, this will
        inevitably show up at a later point either as a contradiction in the
        theory or, as in this case, as a completely incomprehensible
        theoretical outcome.

        The error? The first simple error is taxonomic.....the louse in
        question has been named 'the gorilla louse'. This is very
        understandable......the louse lives on gorillas and at present
        this is the only place it lives.

        The assumption is then made that the present situation where
        only the gorilla plays host to the louse can be extrapolated back
        in time ......once this is done and a variant of the louse is found
        to have lived on another primate, it has to follow that the louse
        transferred from the gorilla to this other primate - in this case us.

        But when it's assumed that this louse was once the H/G louse
        and then speciated in only us, a transfer from G. to H. is not
        entailed and the daftness that has to be conjured up to explain
        the 'transfer' can be seen for the Benny Hill joke that it is.

        >
        > I came across this intriguing illustration this morning by Varki
        > himself on how Neu5Gc may have been deactivated in the
        > human lineage 2.4 Mya...
        >
        > Uniquely human evolution of sialic acid genetics and biology (2010)
        >
        > http://www.pnas.org/content/107/suppl.2/8939.figures-only
        > ______________________________
        >

        I was floundering in another brain-fog toot sweet!

        >
        > > > The a'piths, were hominins (an possible ancestors)...
        > > > Whether these particular hominins, or another group of
        > > > hominins were ancestral to Man is still undecided in my
        > > > opinion, though most professionals would accept that the
        > > > a'piths were ancestral. (striding bipedalism strengthens
        > > > the case that they were ancestral, though the RV question
        > > > needs an answer).
        > >
        > > While I respect your opinion, this issue is no more undecided
        > > than is the descent from an H/P LCA, the loss of Neu5Gc or
        > > the dating for the emergence of the human pubic louse.....they
        > > are all drawn from genetic evidence and they are all without
        > > serious argument to the contrary. Finding one of these to be
        > > inconvenient and therefore to be ignored, while accepting the
        > > others as having the foundation of solid evidence is a case-
        > > study of cherry-picking.
        >
        > Sorry, I don't understand the point you are making here...
        >
        > In mentioning the a'piths, I said that if professionals accept
        > the a'piths as ancestral, they would need to answer how the
        > a'piths would have evaded PtERV1...(as the a'piths
        > were likely to have been in east Africa between 4 and 3 Mya)
        >

        Sorry about the confusion....I read you as saying that IYO it
        was still undecided and so I repeated my previous point that
        it is not an undecided issue from a scientific perspective. The
        A'pith descent model predicts that either an A'pith species
        (afarensis) had a unique defense against both RVs, or there
        will be other African primates who do not carry the markers.
        Trying to find some confirmation for the first of these predictions
        is where we get all the special pleading and this is necessary
        because at this stage the second prediction has been shown
        to be refuted.

        Hawks and Chimps.......
        >
        > .........................................
        > But there's no evidence at all that chimps and gorillas at the
        > time of the A'piths ranged further than where we find them
        > now and if the only reason for Hawks to suppose that they
        > did is to support some 'replacement' theory, then that is blatant
        > special-pleading. Theories should explain evidence and if
        > they don't, what good are they?
        >
        > Guess... John Hawks blog must be an acquired taste...
        > as I enjoyed reading his speculations on what may have
        > restrained the ancestors of the extant chimpanzee...
        >
        > He is the only anthropologist whose blog I read on a
        > regular basis, even though I may not always agree
        > with everything he has to say.
        >

        I couldn't agree more.....I have great respect for him. But IMO
        in this case his argument is weak.

        Gorilla louse....
        >
        > If Weiss in right in his thinking that the other apes do not
        > have pubic hair in the human sense then wouldn't have just
        > been a G. hair louse that transferred to another host
        > 3.3 Mya... why is it assumed that is has always been a
        > pubic louse. Would it not be more plausible to say it only
        > became a pubic louse once it transferred to H. and only
        > once its human host became a relatively hairless animal
        > over time?
        >

        I'm having some difficulty here......is Weiss suggesting that
        the other apes are bald in the pubic area? I hadn't noticed
        that, but then I haven't spent much time looking. I agree
        with your point.......it wasn't a pubic louse until c.3.3 Mya
        and then it was specific to ourselves. What on earth has
        the presence of great ape pubes got to do with it? It was
        a great ape body louse prior to c.3.3 Mya and remains
        so to this day.

        >
        > Weiss in dating of the louse transfer to a human host to
        > 3.3 Mya creates a conflict with the dating of when PtERV1
        > infected the African apes, as the ancestor of H. is likely
        > to have been entirely absent from mainland Africa between
        > four and three million years ago...
        >
        > One possible solution would be evidence that narrowed the
        > time window of when the RV could have infected the ancestor
        > of the extant chimpanzee and subsequently the gorilla to
        > nearer to three million years ago than four million...
        >
        > A narrower infection window for the RV would have allowed
        > the ancestor of H. to be exposed to the gorilla louse, but
        > leave Africa prior to the spread of PtERV1 among the
        > ancestors of the extant chimpanzee and gorilla.
        >

        As I said at the start of the post, I think the 'exposure' to the
        gorilla louse is a manufactured situation entailed by incorrect
        nomenclature, but granting the possibility of such an exposure
        for the purpose of discussion, it still implies cohabitation
        between H. and G.and there's no evidence or even an
        implication from any other line of research to indicate that
        our ancestors exploited the same habitat as gorillas c. 3.3
        Mya......heavens, the RV evidence says they weren't even in
        Africa. AFAICS, the only reason to think that they did
        cohabit with gorillas is to fulfil the requirements of the
        'exposure/transfer' notion. And with that move they vanish
        up their own......um......theory. :-)

        Todaro........
        >
        > > Do you have reason to think that Todaro's 'Evidence for
        > > the Asian Origin of Man' paper is one of these binnable
        > > papers? Does anyone? I can say that while he is not an
        > > anthropologist, he is one of the most respected geneticists
        > > and he has an impressive list of peer-reviewed publications.
        > > Why should I think he is to be binned? To the contrary.....I
        > > think a great deal more notice should be given to what
        > > he had to say.
        >
        > With that, I can only but agree...
        >
        > Especially as the Todaro paper you mentioned, indicates
        > that a chunk of human evolution occurred outside of
        > mainland Africa, though I would favour Caucasus region
        > (Dmanisi) rather than the far east of Asia.
        >
        > [quote]
        > "Old World monkeys and apes, including man, possess, as
        > a normal component of their cellular DNA, gene sequences
        > (virogenes) related to the RNA of a vims isolated from
        > baboons. A comparison of the viral gene sequences and the
        > other cellular sequences distinguishes those Old World
        > monkeys and apes that have evolved in Africa from those
        > that have evolved in Asia. Among the apes, only gorilla
        > and chimpanzee seem by these criteria to be African,
        > whereas gibbon, orang-utan and man are identified as Asian,
        > leading us to conclude that most of man's evolution has
        > occurred outside Africa."
        >
        > (unfortunately this is still a `pay to access' paper
        > at Nature)
        >
        > Evolution of type C viral genes: evidence for an Asian
        > origin of man
        >
        http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v261/n5556/abs/261101a0.html
        ______________________________

        I too favour the Caucasus and I'm more and more leaning
        toward the Caspian/Black Sea as candidates for the littoral
        that turned an H.georg. into an H.e/e. It's all very speculative
        and I think there's a great need for some of the research
        resources currently studying African A'piths to be redirected
        to the north-east.

        >
        > > > > .....................................
        > > > > Yes....but the only one we have lived at the megalake
        > > > > and this raises the matter from being a distinct possibility
        > > > > to being just about a certainty. Toumai was found at the
        > > > > edge of the ancient lake and while there may be some
        > > > > chance that they were just visiting when Toumai died,
        > > > > the probability is that they lived and foraged there.
        > > >
        > > > In the case of Toumai that seems very likely... though
        > > > it should be said in the case of the a.afarensis found
        > > > in Chad it seems taken that it was either lost or a
        > > > visitor, rather than an indication that the a'piths lived
        > > > that far west of the Rift.
        > >
        > > It's taken that Abel was lost? A Rift A'pith got up one
        > > morning and ended up 3000 Km away? That must have
        > > been both the luckiest and the dumbest A'pith that ever
        > > graced the Earth! This has to be proof-positive that the
        > > A'piths are ancestral to Mr Bean.
        >
        > :-)
        >
        > Their only other option would have been to admit the
        > obvious - that hominins (the a'piths) had lived west
        > of the Rift, in Chad...
        >

        And why d'you suppose this would be a problem for them?
        John Hawks had no problem in imagining the central forests
        so packed with robust A'piths that the chimps couldn't get a
        look-in until the habitat was vacated. I can see that the RV
        evidence is a very real threat to those into the A'pith research
        program, but why would they be concerned about A'piths
        in Chad? Whatever their reason they'd better deal with it......
        Abel was there and he wasn't lost and wasn't on holiday.
        Very odd.

        Rob.
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