- This topic has 7 voices and 53 replies.
December 31, 2008 at 3:29 am #4106
Me either. But then, that is why I am a historian and not a biologist.December 31, 2008 at 4:58 am #4107
Scout, you are correct and I am in err. Jean Baptists Lamarck, a contemporary of Linnaeus,(both published around 1750's-1780's) made the observation about the giraffe. His mistake was thinking that the adaptation would occur during a lifetime but he did later adjust his thinking, to 'change over generations.' He was a botanist and is know for his study of invertabrates.Mr.Baker, you are correct, Carl Linnaeus was also a botanist, known as the 'father of modern taxonomy'. He classified thousands of species of plants and animals, some incorrectly but overall his body of work is staggering. He was the first to classify whales as mammals and yet he thought sparrows spent the winter at the bottom of a lake. ;DDarwin regarded him as a genius as did Haekel and other biologists of the eighteenthcentury.December 31, 2008 at 9:59 am #4108
Linnaeus describes a precursor to Darwin's theory, that a giraffe grew his neck because he willed it, Darwin would say he needed it.
If a giraffe "willed it" (which is another way to say learned it) then it is not genetic and the trait would not be pass down to the offspring. Each generation would have to relearn the physical trait and, because of that, the species wouldn't have survived.
Generally speaking Africans evolved to meet thier needs on the savannah, in the jungle, or desert and time was spent on surviving.
As did every other human being. Genetically, Africans are not much different than anyone else. When comparing the DNA of say two complete environmental opposites, Eskimoes and Nigerians, one will find the genetics to be nearly identical.This is why I think the supposed superiority of Black atheletes is just not true. There's no scientific basis to support that theory. Size doesn't matter, talent does. There is no good athlete who didn't practice and work very hard at it.December 31, 2008 at 6:27 pm #4109
Genetically, Africans are not much different than anyone else. When comparing the DNA of say two complete environmental opposites, Eskimoes and Nigerians, one will find the genetics to be nearly identical.Skiguy, totally theoretical disscussion, mind you I don't say anyone here is wrong. I do like to volley ideas. 😀 Now, the chimpanzee has 94% shared DNA with humans, the differences are well, evolutionary. I have three brothers, two were natural athletes, sure they practiced but it was obvious that they had natural talent, my middle bro. was a flop a every sport he ever tried, except darts and fishing where he excelled. It matters how the genetic soup is ladeled out and if you come from two tall, strong, high jumpers your chances of being one yourself is greatly improved!December 31, 2008 at 11:42 pm #4110
It matters how the genetic soup is ladeled out and if you come from two tall, strong, high jumpers your chances of being one yourself is greatly improved!
That's true, but it still doesn't convince me that athleticism is mostly genetic. Tall and lean is great for high jumpers or track, but wouldn't be a desired trait for other sports like rugby or an American football running back.
Now, the chimpanzee has 94% shared DNA with humans
But they're not humansI like to volley ideas too, it can be quite interesting, but I also like to point out the flaws in certain theories. Especially evolution. ;DJanuary 1, 2009 at 12:18 am #4111
Cheeky. Not human, true enough, although you may may be shocked when apes start flippining each other off!Very Best Wishes for a Joyful New Year, to you and all the great folks here at Western Civ. ;DJanuary 1, 2009 at 12:21 am #4112
That's true, but it still doesn't convince me that athleticism is mostly genetic. Tall and lean is great for high jumpers or track, but wouldn't be a desired trait for other sports like rugby or an American football running back.QuoteYou will have to explain how braun(spelled correctly by me finally) and hieght would not help the running back!January 1, 2009 at 12:56 am #4113
Not many running backs are known for their height. 🙂 And they're certainly not born brawny. Even though this goes off topic a bit, I think this applies when it comes to athletic superiority for a particular race: Granted, with certain body types it is more difficult to gain the look of muscle mass than in others, but every human being (of the same sex) has the same capability to build muscle mass. I don't care who you are, show me two people of different heights and builds who spend equal time and an equal workout in a gym, they will both gain results. Yes, it will be easier and probably not take as long for the shorter guy to look bulked up, but it's not impossible for a tall, lean guy to do the same. Think about it. 15 lbs of muscle on someone whose 5'4 is going to look more bulky than the same gain on a guy who is 6'2, but the gain is the same nonetheless.I dunno. Maybe it's just my own opinion, but this has absolutely nothing to do with evolution or even genetics. It goes back to my comments on having to work at it. I don't rule out natural ability, though. Some people have more problems with a sport that requires a lot of hand/eye coordination (like tennis or baseball), but they may excel on the soccer or football field or on activities that require physical strength or endurance.Is the 6'4 Randy Moss a better WR or athlete than the 5'9 Wes Welker? Does Moss's natural physical trait of being taller, which is a common and desired trait for wide receivers, mean he has to work less at it than Welker does in order to be good?January 1, 2009 at 11:18 am #4114
Is the 6'4 Randy Moss a better WR or athlete than the 5'9 Wes Welker? Does Moss's natural physical trait of being taller, which is a common and desired trait for wide receivers, mean he has to work less at it than Welker does in order to be good?I don't know but there is a certain finesse to the athelete who excells beyond usual expectations.Yes all humans and animals for that matter evolved to survive, this supports the idea that slaves who survived the Middle Passage were fit or lucky. If you agree that Jefferson's remarks, for starters, support a mindset to breed slaves, then which slaves would be selected? You see similarity among human DNA, because, as recent studies indicate, the whole of humanity sprang forth from the African continent. I don't wish to offend any creationist proponents, in fact I fail to see where evolution forces a 'creation' of humans out of the discussion.As it stands, I don't see how a lineage of well bred slaves, who would excel in sports can be totally dismissed.January 1, 2009 at 1:49 pm #4115
As it stands, I don't see how a lineage of well bred slaves, who would excel in sports can be totally dismissed.
You're not being offensive at all. I agree with you that breeding occured, but to say this is the reason for their present day excellence in sports doesn't jive well with me only because (considering evolution is fact) it takes thousands, if not millions of years for genetic traits to be naturally selected, does it not? And it still begs the question, how do you account for all the big, white guys who are good in athletics? Were they bred for that as well? Can it be ruled out that this may all just be about variations in the human species?January 2, 2009 at 11:12 am #4116
From my foxhole it looks as if people want to prove slaves were bred to score some kind of political point and continue the talking points about bad southern slave owners. I still dont think the evidence points to a widespread breeding program and dont think there would be very noticable results after a few generations even if there had been. It makes a nice story and compelling political football but the evidence does not support the conclusion. Some breeding undoubtedly occurred, but it was not widespread.I could just as easily make the point that many slaveowners were nice to their slaves and did not work them too hard. There is even evidence that would support me in that contention. But the evidence is scanty and there is more evidence that says most slaves lives hard were nasty, brutal and short. It is much simpler and realistic to conclude that the latter is correct.The same applies with breeding, the majority of the evidence points to no selective breeding but instead permission to cohabitate and reproduce being used as a reward and method of control rather than method to improve slave stock. This policy may have unintentionally selected for stronger slaves, but it was not the policy's intent to do so.I am advocating for us to use Occam's razor and avoid the emotionally satisfying answer that fits preconceptios about slaveowners and their practices.January 2, 2009 at 3:32 pm #4117WallyParticipant
During our study of early civilization (domestication of plants and animals, specifically) I tell the kids that a possible way the hunter-gatherers made the step toward pastorialism is this… having, after the hunt discovering a baby whangdoodle, that is orphaned by the momma becoming his bag for the day, our ingenious “h-g” decide to take this one home and raise it. Each day baby whangdoodle becomes more used to humankind and imprinted… domesticated if you will. It is not a great stretch to see more babies being brought up to dinner size to help with the food issue until the next epiphany: take two really docile whangdoodles and let them do what whangdoodles do… helps avoid the work and danger of the hunt… just feed them, let them make more whangdoodles, and eat the extras. Behold husbandry!Yes, this is an overly simplistic scenario but a logical progression none-the-less. Same idea with slaves... doesn't matter if you use all the terror tactics that we read in the old letter or a paternalistic view of my little dark helpers... when the importation of new slaves stopped the importance of a breeding program (formal or accidental) increased.January 2, 2009 at 3:44 pm #4118
But where is the evidence of a large-scale selective breeding program for desired traits? That is what I am arguing against here. It is quite apparent that given the opportunity the slaves would breed amongst each other more than enough to maintain the population. What is being ignored here s the fact that slaves were still human. They did not need to be forced to reproduce, they would do that all on their own given the opportunity. Even though they were viewed and treated as chattels, slaves were not seen as being inhuman. Sub-human and inferior yes, inhuman no. SLaves were viewed as children not as ignorant animals or beasts of burden.January 2, 2009 at 3:58 pm #4119WallyParticipant
But where is the evidence of a large-scale selective breeding program for desired traits?
I'm not proposing that a formal program with "papers" or such; more the positive feedback school of thought... don't let the kind gentle ones hook up with the violent brutal ones. That kind of control was in the power of the slave owner and (based on the term "sold down the river") was in play.January 2, 2009 at 5:46 pm #4120
There are others on this board who have made the suggestion that such a program did in fact, exist. your suggestion seems eminently reasonable and agrees with the facts that I am aware of.