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Unread postAuthor: MrCrowley » Fri May 24, 2013 12:54 am

A quite interesting discussion on the women/children relationship, I think they can thank/blame biology.
Only watched a few minutes so I didn't really get to see where she went with it but I'd be pretty skeptical about what you take from that video based on what I heard and what I know about neoteny. Again, this is something that crops up in a few of my classes.

More specifically, I would be skeptical about evolutionary interpretations of neoteny as I think a lot of it can be explained by life-history theory, our evolutionary history, and development in general.

A few things she mentioned which caught my attention (in other words, are misleading):

    - Evolutionary tendency towards neoteny (very questionable).
    I could expand a lot here but it's probably just easier if I just tell you it's probably coincidental.

    - Humans show more neoteny than our relatives, citing the brain as an example (explainable by life-history theory and the evolution of encephalization in humans)

    - Chimpanzee as comparison for what our ancestors may have looked like (don't forget chimps have undergone ~7Ma of evolution since our split as well).

    - Adult humans resemble infant chimpanzees more than they do adult chimps. True, but doesn't really tell us much in this context. Human infants are even a closer match, and adult chimps show neoteny as well. Embryonic alligators have a skull with similar proportions and shape to an extinct adult bird. This all ties closely with life-history, developmental biology, and homology (common descent).

    - Neoteny as the reason for our delayed maturation.

    - The stuff about the maturation and developmental periods of our ancestors is a bit odd.
    The idea is not necessarily wrong but she forgets things like that chimps wean at roughly 6-7 years of age and humans closer to 3 years. Chimpanzees don't have a child developmental period. But they do reach maturity well before us. So I'm not sure if she hasn't done her research or just wrote that bit badly.

    - "Better at surviving"
    ugh, takes the "survival of the fittest" too literally. Survive all you want but your genes wont be passed on if you fail to be reproductively successful (as well as your immediate ancestors). It's not so bad to mention survival if you follow it up with something about reproductive success or "fitness" (as fitness includes your reproductive 'potential' and not just survivability).

    - "Less time to get smart"
    I get what she's trying to say but she goes about it horribly. If you delay chimpanzee maturation, you won't make them much smarter. Our delayed maturation is due to our massive brain, not a tendency towards neoteny. It just so happens that we need a delayed maturation, with a childhood, to allow our brain to develop (among other things). Neoteny is not the driving force of our delayed maturation or that this delay allowed our brains to evolve the way they did. She's got it the wrong way round (or at leasts words it that way).

    - The environment of ancestral hominins was similar to contemporary chimpanzee environment.
    Depends how far back you go along the evolutionary scale but you would probably make a better comparison with baboons (monkeys) than chimps from 4-3Ma onwards. Back then we were pretty bipedal but didn't have our huge brains, gracile dentition, or flat face. We had diverged quite a lot by then, however. Unfortunately, life-history isn't well preserved in the fossil record so you can really only make inferences about developmental timings etc.


If you keep looking at traits (like encephalization) as tendency towards neoteny, you're going to start saying some pretty confusing stuff that doesn't make much sense. It's the old axiom "correlation doesn't imply causation".

6:00 - Declares that what follows is only her conjecture based on what she has read (I see Fox news article as a reference in the description). Considering how many things I've picked up on in a single 6-minute watching (I paused to type), I don't want to know what follows for the next 22 minutes. I imagine there's a fair amount of evolutionary psychology that follows and you would want to be very careful in your interpretations of the interpretations reported in research/press releases. Usually, you can rely on the media to draw the pretty ridiculous conclusions from research but I've seen my fair share of ridiculous conclusions by authors in evo-psych papers.
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Last edited by MrCrowley on Fri May 24, 2013 2:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postAuthor: PVC Arsenal 17 » Fri May 24, 2013 1:32 am

jackssmirkingrevenge wrote:The notion of "growing a pair" includes developing an immunity to such criticism, as well as realising there is nothing more arbitrary than seeking the approval of women.


I know it. It couldn't be inferred from my comment but I was remarking on my generation's overall lack of integrity (both males and females). I'm beyond the point of trying to "fit in" with either group. That said, I find it refreshing when I encounter sensible people even through an internet forum.



@MrCrowley: I admit I don't have the slightest clue about most of the points you made, but I'm curious - what exactly do you study? I was sure that most senior members of this forum had engineering backgrounds, not biology. Your interests are diverse indeed.


@Kilash: Paid or not, why not use your talents directly for your own gain and let those students fend for themselves?
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Unread postAuthor: MrCrowley » Fri May 24, 2013 2:30 am

@MrCrowley: I admit I don't have the slightest clue about most of the points you made, but I'm curious - what exactly do you study? I was sure that most senior members of this forum had engineering backgrounds, not biology. Your interests are diverse indeed.
I'm looking to go in to palaeoanthropology, which is essentially palaeontology but studying human ancestors instead of animals. That in itself includes a diverse number of topics such as population genetics, osteology, palaeopathology, archaeology, and so on.

But my science degree is in Biological Anthropology (and Statistics), which includes the subfield of palaeoanthropology as well as other subfields like primatology, forensic anthropology, osteology, genetics, etc. It can get a bit confusing as it has a very inter-disciplinary approach. Anthropology tends to borrows fields from other disciplines and apply them to human research, hence BioAnth also being known as Human Biology.

When I was younger I thought about studying to do engineering but I was never very good at calculus, lost interest in science at high school, and sort of lost direction.
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Unread postAuthor: POLAND_SPUD » Fri May 24, 2013 4:52 pm

Only watched a few minutes so I didn't really get to see where she went with it but I'd be pretty skeptical about what you take from that video based on what I heard and what I know about neoteny. Again, this is something that crops up in a few of my classes.
Damn dude you're like the most most annoying student ever - you study crap & then you discuss stuff
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Sat May 25, 2013 12:49 am

MrCrowley wrote:A few things she mentioned which caught my attention (in other words, are misleading)


she means well but she's still a woman at the end of the day :D

I'm beyond the point of trying to "fit in" with either group. That said, I find it refreshing when I encounter sensible people even through an internet forum.


Spudfiles is a bit of a gentlemen's club in that regard, which is appreciated.
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Unread postAuthor: Technician1002 » Sat May 25, 2013 11:35 am

At least you managed to get paid.

I do a lot of charity work. Some of it comes with benefits

My spudding is an example. My mentorship for the engineering challenge was unpaid, but well worth every minute..
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Unread postAuthor: Kilash » Sun May 26, 2013 9:14 am

I have mixed feelings about this. It's good that you're making a buck out of it, but you are simultaneously assiting the devaluation of the education system, while at the same time missing out on it if you're good enough to get qualifications while still working as a "mule".


I already went to college. I was enrolled into an engineering program, but I quit after a year. I barely passed my classes and I hated everything about it while I was there. Its funny, but I barely passed high school too, didn't even expected to get accepted into college either. Now I'm writing papers for other people...

Maybe I would had done better in school if someone had paid me to go. :lol:

In any case, I hate homework and I hate studying.



Also, how did this sudden devolve into a discussion about neoteny....
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Unread postAuthor: RamboNucke » Sun May 26, 2013 2:10 pm

So the average american is dissatisfied with 4$ per hour. There are these guys with commercial youtube channels witch make like 200$ per month. I strive to have my channel like that because I can live not too bad with that much money. However it turns out this is very little for them, and they wont be able to live off it, untill it's like 1000+. I feel in advantageous position now :D
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Sun May 26, 2013 2:24 pm

RamboNucke wrote:So the average american is dissatisfied with 4$ per hour.


Well it is just over half the minimum wage there... and shockingly three times the minimum wage in your part of the world :-/

Maybe I would had done better in school if someone had paid me to go.


It happens...

Also, how did this sudden devolve into a discussion about neoteny...


You did paint it as a gender issue in your original post, and we love gender issues on this forum :D
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Unread postAuthor: POLAND_SPUD » Sun May 26, 2013 10:13 pm

Well it is just over half the minimum wage there... and shockingly three times the minimum wage in your part of the world
Funny how it's not about how much you really earn, but how much you earn in relation to other people around you
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Unread postAuthor: Kilash » Sun May 26, 2013 11:06 pm

You did paint it as a gender issue in your original post, and we love gender issues on this forum Very Happy


Here's a million dollar question I want to know.... has there ever been a female spudder?
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Unread postAuthor: RamboNucke » Sun May 26, 2013 11:49 pm

If it's a million dollar question, I'll just purchase a girl, give here a spud gun and record, as awkward and clumsy she'll be. It's all about the spud guns remember?
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Sun May 26, 2013 11:50 pm

POLAND_SPUD wrote:Funny how it's not about how much you really earn, but how much you earn in relation to other people around you


Yep... the value of money is completely relative.

OP got $4 for 1 hour, someone in Vietnam on minimum wage would have to work more than two 8 hour shifts to get the same amount.

That my friends is why we can afford to have a QEV delivered to our door from the far East for less than $10.

Here's a million dollar question I want to know.... has there ever been a female spudder?


A couple did crop up but they were either partners of current members who were here briefly, or not actually female :shock:

It would seem that the compulsion to blow holes in things, and the subsequent acquisition and honing of the skills necessary to do so, is a mostly male compulsion.
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Unread postAuthor: MrCrowley » Mon May 27, 2013 12:25 am

A couple did crop up but they were either partners of current members who were here briefly, or not actually female
Is this in reference to that long-held sf myth about a certain someones 'sister'? Or is this another member I've forgotten about?
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Mon May 27, 2013 12:40 am

MrCrowley wrote:Is this in reference to that long-held sf myth about a certain someones 'sister'?


The very same... is that a "myth" though, I thought it had been confirmed?
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