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Old 03 January 2019, 06:24 PM
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Icon102 Top 10 Design Flaws in the Human Body

The article on getpocket.com site is here; the original is from Nautilus dated 5/14/15.


I could not agree more on the knee!
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  #2  
Old 03 January 2019, 07:19 PM
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Quote:
we were designed not by Pygmalion, the mythical sculptor who carved a flawless woman, but by MacGyver.


#9 is pretty silly though. Just give up the ability to speak? Hahaha nope.
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Old 03 January 2019, 08:39 PM
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Humans are hardly alone in having bodged* bodies, nearly every animal is a collection of oddities. It is the natural result of a system of elimination where "good enough" is valued the same as "perfectly designed".

* The best definition of this Britishism is that bodging is making a square peg fit a round hole with a large hammer.
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Old 03 January 2019, 08:40 PM
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They missed the sinuses, which due to the shortening of the human face now open upward instead of forward, making them easily clogged and prone to infection.
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Old 03 January 2019, 09:40 PM
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I note they have the spine as number one.

I've been known to say that the human spine should be an argument-ending point against "intelligent design".
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Old 03 January 2019, 10:06 PM
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The second sentence of the first one reads to me like "Bumblebees shouldn't be able to fly."
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Old 04 January 2019, 01:42 AM
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They left out one of the most obvious flaws: the appendix. It makes perfect sense to keep something around that doesn’t really do anything, except occasionally get infected and try to kill its host.
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Old 04 January 2019, 04:31 AM
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The uselessness of the appendix is actually a matter of some current debate.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/release...1008102334.htm

https://gizmodo.com/your-appendix-ma...ink-1791075530

I don't know whether that's why the article didn't include it, though.
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Old 04 January 2019, 02:16 PM
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Not one of them mentioned menstruation as a design flaw--which it definitely is. Nor did they mention having female hormones turn off during menopause, causing all sorts of problems.

Seaboe
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Old 05 January 2019, 01:45 AM
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Agreed. Pretty much everything about the human reproductive system is proof as to how badly we’re designed. Any designer could come up with a better way of accomplishing whatever the menstrual cycle is supposed to do. Frankly, if it were up to me, a woman’s menstrual cycle would be every month, there would be ding and an announcement along the lines of, “You are not pregnant. Please enjoy your next month.”
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Old 05 January 2019, 10:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaboe Muffinchucker View Post
Not one of them mentioned menstruation as a design flaw--which it definitely is. Nor did they mention having female hormones turn off during menopause, causing all sorts of problems.

Seaboe
I always got the impression that evolution thinks a woman is only good for having babies and menopause is its way of saying you can die anytime now.
As far as the men go, having your genitalia hanging outside as long as you're on all fours and have hind legs/long tail to protect them. Once humans decided to stand up, it was game over as far as protection goes.
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Old 05 January 2019, 11:16 PM
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Originally Posted by DawnStorm View Post
I always got the impression that evolution thinks a woman is only good for having babies and menopause is its way of saying you can die anytime now.
I think evolution's primarily or only interested in the next generation as far as any gender is concerned; even if the 'next generation' is nieces/nephews/etc (or, if we're going to expand beyond humans, e.g. the potential next queen raised by non-reproducing worker ants).

The interesting thing about menopause evolutionarily is actually the reverse -- why are humans capable of living so long after menopause? Members of most species don't survive very long, if at all, after they're no longer capable of reproducing. Human women can survive even significantly after their youngest offspring reaches adulthood, so it's not just that we have to live long enough for the youngest kid to have a chance of living. Greater survival rate of the grandchildren, maybe?

Last edited by thorny locust; 05 January 2019 at 11:18 PM. Reason: because 'youngest' is not 'oldest'
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Old 06 January 2019, 04:13 AM
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I would take the whole article, which is not that serious to begin with, as a poorly researched joke. It repeated the myth that the limit on the length of human gestation is the size of the head vs. birth canal, when that has been debunked.* (Plus most other things that have been mentioned.). I'm not sure how menstruation is a design flaw? Obviously, it is annoying and inconvenient, and worse than that for some, but it is essentially a defense mechanism against a weak pregnancy, because pregnancy is so dangerous and resource-sapping for women. It actually seems fairly clever to me.

* https://www.sciencedaily.com/release...0827152037.htm. The limiting factor is basically the fetus running the woman's organs to the brink of serious illness or death. It's some pretty fascinating research.
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Old 06 January 2019, 05:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
The interesting thing about menopause evolutionarily is actually the reverse -- why are humans capable of living so long after menopause? Members of most species don't survive very long, if at all, after they're no longer capable of reproducing. Human women can survive even significantly after their youngest offspring reaches adulthood, so it's not just that we have to live long enough for the youngest kid to have a chance of living. Greater survival rate of the grandchildren, maybe?
There is a cost to having older members of a group stick around (food and other resources) but also a benefit, particularly in a social species with a limited range.

First, I really don’t know how we compare to say, a dog or the various kinds of wolf (also social species) in terms of the fraction of one’s life that one can be reproductive. I do believe other great apes (gorillas and such) can survive well past their reproductive prime. If so, and assuming it’s not something common to pre-apelike ancestors, that may suggest it has something to do with the benefit that extra generations have on child-rearing (like caring for a dependent child when mother is off gathering dinner or is downright incapacitated), rather than what otherwise might be the most obvious explanation (human intelligence and the need to pass down complex knowledge).

It could be that human longetivity has it's roots in a common ancestor with other great apes going back tens of millions of years, when all apes (as opposed to all apes but humans—there were no humans at such a time, not even as a genus) had a limited range and tended to live in and around trees (so grandma could just sit up there looking after junior while mom and dad gathered food or warded off predators and all was good as long as there was enough food to go around). While the cost of longetivity might then have gone up as human ancestors started walking around (possibly due to climate change and deforestation, making the ability to walk efficiently rather than swing between trees the optimum mode of transport), it’s not like the elderly would have been capable of overpowering the healthy members of the band to demand a share of food in times of famine (so there would have been a cost to longetivity, but the fit members of the group could easily ensure that cost was born exclusively by those not capable of "chewing the leather" so to speak, and that wouldn’t have even required human intelligence like voting people off the island, it would have been only natural). Which is to say, that there may have been a period of time when longetivity, assuming it evolved in our mostly sedentary tree-dwelling ancestors, became "vestigial" for lack of a better term, but there was nothing driving the outright loss of those genes from the gene pool (external factors and group dynamics could have shortened the lifespan as needed with no change to DNA), and that obviously paid dividends when a band of humans could afford to keep a limited range and live out of one nice cozy cave for a few generations. And, again, if they couldn’t, the ones who either couldn’t keep up or weren’t deemed helpful to survival under exigent circumstances could always be "helped along" to the next world (once our ancestors developed a concept of death and the afterlife, that is).

But of course I am not an evolutionary biologist, I just watch a lot of TV. However it is that humans or their ancestors became capable of outliving their reproductive years by a wide margin, it's important to keep in mind that it’s not like our genes got together and said "you know what? Let’s see if we can make a human live longer, and trim that tale while we’re at it." It’s just that over time, somewhere along the line, incremental mutations in our genes led to changes of physiology that just happened to be beneficial in some circumstances and weren’t costly to maintain in others so that the species, if not to the individual, could become more successful at reproducing. While it might not have increased the number of children any one individual could have before "ageing out," under favorable conditions it may still have increased a particular group's ability to raise children to reproductive maturity themselves, thereby giving that group an advantage over others that lacked that mutation.

Eh—I guess to sum it up, I think you’re right. Help raising the grandchildren.

Last edited by ASL; 06 January 2019 at 05:37 AM. Reason: Correcting the auto-correct
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  #15  
Old 06 January 2019, 05:48 AM
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Elephants generally outlive their reproductive capability. Matriarchal cows lead the herds, their age giving them the experience of surviving harsh conditions and letting them guide and teach younger members where to go and what to do during droughts, for example.
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Old 06 January 2019, 06:28 AM
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I have a degree in biology but not in evolution and have only limited zoological education but my understanding is, from a animal doco, that dolphins and at least one of the great apes also have menopause and they raise their babies in female lead pods or troops. But as I said it isn't my field of expertise and it may be only speculation.

Which leads my to go slightly off topic and say once when I was out fishing with my Dad we went passed or rather were passed by one such pod of dolphins. The dolphins ranged in size from not much bigger then a football (which dad reckons was only a few days old) to full grown. They passed us like we were standing still, which were most definitely not.
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