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    Old 11-29-2012, 09:30 PM
    TheXand TheXand is offline
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    really ?

    just take a look down any highstreet and see all the fat bloaters waddling into McDonalds, you really think they stand a chance in a survival situation ?

    modern humans are weak in comparisson to our ancestors even a few hundred years back. I've heard it mentioned by historians a few times that the average medieval peasant was fitter and stronger than most modern athletes.

    not only that but most modern humans have lost the skills they need to survive, could you forge your own metal and make your own tools or hunt for food? could you farm ? do you know which fungi are safe to eat ? we rely too much on technology it's an incredible weakness.


    infact we have never been more vulnerable.
    We're not vulnerable at all. Just because there are the odd fat people out there doesn't mean that humans have devolved. We are physically the same as our ancestors, there just isn't such an incentive to stay in top form any more because we need not worry about our neighbours stealing our sheep and pillaging our crops so we can dedicate ourselves to other pursuits. That's not to say that there isn't an abundance of fit and active people. In fact, statistically speaking there are more fit and active than ever before given our larger population size.

    However given the right incentive humans will go to great lengths to survive. We live in a time of plenty right now, but once hard times hit you'd see a rapid change of your average person, and we'd *easily* reacquire "survival" skills given that society would be forced to reaccomodate them and our higher intelligence means we would acquire them quicker than ever, and those with those skills in society would teach them to others. Things like starting fires and "which fungi" to eat would easily be relearned.

    Not to mention that you're assuming everyone of any sort of intelligence would just...fade away. I daresay that most scientists would survive and knowledge would be preserved one way or another. If peasants from the dark ages could figure out ways and means to survive then we would do it in less time than ever.

    We've never been less vulnerable.

    Last edited by TheXand; 11-29-2012 at 09:32 PM.
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    Old 11-29-2012, 09:38 PM
    Lizard Lizard is offline
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    there was an article published recently that suggests that the human race reached it's physical and intellectual peak several thousand years ago (during the bronze age I think) and that since then we have been in a period of steady decline.


    humans today are far less intelligent than they used to be, we don't have to figure stuff out for ourselves because it's already been done, we just rely on the past work of others.

    who's to say we have what it takes to relearn what was lost ?

    also lets factor in our over reliance on medicines such as antibiotics which have made our immune systems weaker and diseases stronger, not a problem just yet but if there were any kind of catastrophe this would be a major issue as the rates of disease always rise after such events.

    the bubonic plague wiped out massive swathes of the human population at a time when humans were far more resiliant than they are today.
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    Old 11-29-2012, 09:40 PM
    Daniel Daniel is offline
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    I forgot it is now thought that Dinosaurs were warm blooded. That would actually explain a lot since warm blooded creatures often need a constant supply of energy to keep their body functioning. Where as cold blooded creatures don't need to maintain their body temperature that much so need to eat less. That could explain why crocodiles and the like survived and dinos did not.

    But how did the small mammals survive? I guess they could of lived of the dead caracses of the dinos maybe?

    That is if it was a meteor strike did finish off dinos since it isn't certain that that is what happened.

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    The human population size could well become a problem and I think we should advice children in school not to have more than two children as part of sex education. Although generally first world populations would be falling if it were not for imigrants so if we can limit poverty then the it should sort its self out.

    Even if our population did increase to an unsustainable level it would not wipe us all out.

    Whoever said we are not longer affected by natural selection is wrong. An example is in countries where malaria infections are high. There is a high level of sickle cell anemia which is a genetic defect with causes your blood cells to be sickle shaped meaning the malaria can not infect your cells. That is evolution in action.
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    Old 11-29-2012, 09:46 PM
    TheXand TheXand is offline
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    Quote:
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    Whoever said we are not longer affected by natural selection is wrong. An example is in countries where malaria infections are high. There is a high level of sickle cell anemia which is a genetic defect with causes your blood cells to be sickle shaped meaning the malaria can not infect your cells. That is evolution in action.
    I agree. Were extremely hard, end of the world times to come upon us we would see those not suited to it whittled away quickly. What's more is that the human population is so big we could lose millions that way and still shrug it off and carry on.
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    Old 11-29-2012, 09:49 PM
    Lizard Lizard is offline
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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Daniel View Post
    I forgot it is now thought that Dinosaurs were warm blooded. That would actually explain a lot since warm blooded creatures often need a constant supply of energy to keep their body functioning. Where as cold blooded creatures don't need to maintain their body temperature that much so need to eat less. That could explain why crocodiles and the like survived and dinos did not.

    But how did the small mammals survive? I guess they could of lived of the dead caracses of the dinos maybe?

    That is if it was a meteor strike did finish off dinos since it isn't certain that that is what happened.

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    mamals survived because they were mostly small rodent like creatures, they probably lived in burrows which would have protected them initially and then probably scratched out a living surviving on roots and stuff until the planet recovered.


    and it was most definately a meteor strike, there's hardly any doubt anymore, the levels of iridium at the KT boundary prove it as very little iridium occurs naturally on earth but there are high concentrations in meteors.
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    Old 11-29-2012, 09:52 PM
    JackRabbit JackRabbit is offline
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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lizard View Post
    there was an article published recently that suggests that the human race reached it's physical and intellectual peak several thousand years ago (during the bronze age I think) and that since then we have been in a period of steady decline.


    humans today are far less intelligent than they used to be, we don't have to figure stuff out for ourselves because it's already been done, we just rely on the past work of others.

    who's to say we have what it takes to relearn what was lost ?

    also lets factor in our over reliance on medicines such as antibiotics which have made our immune systems weaker and diseases stronger, not a problem just yet but if there were any kind of catastrophe this would be a major issue as the rates of disease always rise after such events.

    the bubonic plague wiped out massive swathes of the human population at a time when humans were far more resiliant than they are today.
    Popycock. Whilst there are indeed more stupid humans than there have ever been in history, there are also far more intelligent humans. Immune systems are not weaker, but diseases are stronger due to overprescription of antibiotics, coupled with people not finishing the course given. Bubonic plague only really caused a problem in Europe, which was not because of a "weaker immune system" of europeans but more to do with the apauling hygene of the time (most europeans thought that having a bath more than once or twice a year would give you the flux) coupled with non-existant sanitation. You seem to be forgetting that what are now considered quite mild ailments (asthma for example) would once have killed a child before they reached the age of 5. What has happened with the introduction of effective medicine is not that everyone is now genetically weaker, but that those with weaker systems now survive. Whilst these people may well suffer in the absence of medication, the vast majority of people who do not have these problems will still be fine. Indeed in the event of a world wide extinction event catastropy, we would certainly see upwards of a 75% mortality of people.
    That would still leave about 2 billion people.
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    Old 11-29-2012, 10:02 PM
    Lizard Lizard is offline
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    Quote:
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    Whilst these people may well suffer in the absence of medication, the vast majority of people who do not have these problems will still be fine. Indeed in the event of a world wide extinction event catastropy, we would certainly see upwards of a 75% mortality of people.
    That would still leave about 2 billion people.

    the way I see it is that because a lot of people who now live quite happily with diseases that would have killed them in a less advanced world are breeding rather than dying in childhood, quite a few of these conditions are hereditary so therefore there is a greater prevalence of them within the general population, so as such people are generally weaker but we compensate by using medicines, take away the medicines and you've got trouble.

    in a funny way the filth and squalor of the past probably contributed towards making us a lot tougher, by exposing people to virulent diseases from a young age you ensure that only those with the necessary adaptations are able to survive, stick people in a reletively sterile environment for a generation or two and you end up with the problems that the native south american peoples had when they first encountered europeans - within a couple of decades they were virtually wiped out by diseases they had no immunity to.
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    Old 11-29-2012, 10:06 PM
    JackRabbit JackRabbit is offline
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    You are answering your own conundrum. Yes, people dependent on regular medication would be wiped out. The resulting population are those with the strong immune system, and even with a 95% extinction, still leaves some 2 million people.
    Which is easily a viable population.
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    Old 11-29-2012, 10:13 PM
    TheXand TheXand is offline
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    I love how quickly the "everything was better in the olden days" argument falls apart under closer scrutiny.
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    Old 11-29-2012, 10:21 PM
    Lizard Lizard is offline
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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JackRabbit View Post
    You are answering your own conundrum. Yes, people dependent on regular medication would be wiped out. The resulting population are those with the strong immune system, and even with a 95% extinction, still leaves some 2 million people.
    Which is easily a viable population.
    yes agreed but you still have other issues to deal with, that's kinda my point, it wouldn't just be one thing that would wipe us out but a combination of factors.

    I totally agree that any one of the issues I've set out could be dealt with in isolation but when taken together you have a very different scenario.

    even though 2 million people is easily a viable genetic pool you have to remember that the world is a very big place these people are going to be spread out all over the place in little tiny groups with a much smaller genetic pool from which to draw, inbreeding could become rife.

    then you still have to hope that those that did survive the initial disaster and the epidemics that would follow had the necessary skills to continue surviving, and we'd have fierce competition from a resurgent natural world.

    I don't think we should ever be complacent, all of the greatest empires in history have crumbled and collapsed while at the very zenith of their power, nothing lasts for ever.
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    Last edited by Lizard; 11-29-2012 at 10:23 PM.
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