[Taxacom] Supernovae supposedly causing evolutionary effects (the Fe-60 fallacy?)

John Grehan calabar.john at gmail.com
Thu May 30 11:47:16 CDT 2019


Ken,

It's irrelevant if structural bipedalism evolved within a forest habitat.
Sure, it may have allowed survival in a Savannah environment, but as a
result, not a cause (and its not the only 'option' as baboons demonstrate).
So the quote you give is just a statement of how a bipedalism might be
compatible with Svananah living (if they could survive predators in such an
open situation without fire and suitable weaponry – although orangutans can
make primitive 'spears' so who knows what might have been constructed once
the grasping hand evolved).

Nice Lamarkian bit about “our long, strong thumbs and short, straight
fingers evolved as we swung in the trees less”.

As for “Also for cooling out there under the blazing sun, they lost their
body hair” - could they have been so stupid as to do that if it weren't
comfortable in the first place? Visions of dead apes all over the place.

“The unique anatomy of our hands makes them stronger and more versatile in
a wider range of activities.” - true – including climbing of trees! Not to
mention cliffs (we are the only scansorial primate).

“Our larger brains are partly the result of a positive feedback loop
between our nimble hands and a growing intelligence” - pure waffle.

“our greater dexterity improved our diet” - the diet was so bad in the
first place?

“our better brains improved our abilities." - hasn't improved upon
teleological reasoning in evolution. Sooner Creationists take over teaching
evolution the better. At least its honest to God teleology.

John Grehan

On Thu, May 30, 2019 at 12:10 PM Kenneth Kinman <kinman at hotmail.com> wrote:

> John,
>       I would strongly disagree that the "advantages of Savannah life are
> irrelevant."  It is very relevant as it relates to the "structural
> reformation of the pelvis and legs etc."
> Here's just one of many online discussions on the subject:
>      "As our ancestors had to move farther between clumps of trees as
> their forest was shrinking, an upright posture would have helped in many
> ways. It would improve their view in tall grass. It would reduce the amount
> of their skin exposed to the sun. It would get their heads above the hot
> boundary layer near the ground, helping them stay cooler. Also for cooling
> out there under the blazing sun, they lost their body hair. In addition,
> they might have used their hind limbs for standing and walking more as they
> used their hands for carrying things across open ground.   Some other
> advantages came from this adaptation. It provides a better posture for
> feeding from trees while standing on the ground. Being upright makes wading
> in water easier and safer. Our long, strong thumbs and short, straight
> fingers evolved as we swung in the trees less. Other great apes have curved
> fingers which facilitate hanging from branches. The unique anatomy of our
> hands makes them stronger and more versatile in a wider range of
> activities. Our larger brains are partly the result of a positive feedback
> loop between our nimble hands and a growing intelligence. As our greater
> dexterity improved our diet, our better brains improved our abilities."
>  (Source:  https://greencomet.org/2012/08/26/bipedal-the-savanna-theory/
>  ).
>                                        ---------------Ken
>
> ------------------------------
> *From:* John Grehan <calabar.john at gmail.com>
> *Sent:* Thursday, May 30, 2019 9:53 AM
> *To:* Kenneth Kinman
> *Cc:* taxacom
> *Subject:* Re: [Taxacom] Supernovae supposedly causing evolutionary
> effects (the Fe-60 fallacy?)
>
> If my recollection is correct, early hominids evolved structural
> bipedalism while still living under forested conditions. So all the
> purported advantages of Savannah life are irrelevant. And of course modern
> day great apes are all capable of bipedal walking, but this has nothing to
> do with the structural reformation of the pelvis and legs etc. (unless one
> invokes Lamarkian theories which sometimes occurs). All structural changes
> in evolution occur at particular times and of course one may invoke the
> conditions of the time as the cause, but on the other hand they may have
> nothing specific to do with the evolutionary change at all (other than
> being compatible with those changes occurring). Looking back over the
> quoted material one statement was " Bipedalism had already gotten started,
> but
> we think this may have given it a strong shot in the arm" What the heck?
> Its like they then admit that their theory had nothing to do with the
> origin of bipedalism, but then somehow 'supercharged' the result? Its a
> miracle, it surely is. Amen.
>
> John Grehan
>
> On Thu, May 30, 2019 at 9:55 AM Kenneth Kinman via Taxacom <
> taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> wrote:
>
> Dear All,
>        The more arid and cooler conditions in Africa (and bipedalism in
> our ancestors) and the extinction of that gigantic shark do seem to be
> connected.  But instead of radiation-induced mutations, global climate
> cooling during the Pliocene makes far more sense (that shark was overly
> dependent on warm seas).  The question is what caused this cooling globally.
>         As far back as 2004, physicists began speculating that these
> supernovae perhaps caused the cooling by increasing global cloud cover.
>  But note that such research comes from radioactive Fe-60 studies, and its
> half-life just happens to be 2.6 million years.  So supernovae could have
> easily been showering Earth with particles, radiation, and Fe-60 for
> billions of years and the Fe-60 would be undetectable before the late
> Cenozoic.  So that doesn't make much sense either (probably lots of such
> supernovae back in the very warm Eocene).
>         So I would advise physicists to stop trying to connect supernovae
> explosions (especially based on Fe-60) to biological events.  The gradual
> cooling of climate during the late Cenozoic was most likely due to factors
> like continental drift and changing ocean currents (perhaps including the
> final closure of the Isthmus of Panama).  That giant shark couldn't take
> the cooling and the sea-level drop shrinking its habitat.  On the other
> hand, although our ancestors in Africa saw their forest habitat shrinking
> as well, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise for us (causing
> increased bipedalism and all that followed from that).
>                         ------------Ken Kinman
>
> 2004 article that may have started all of this:
> https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/2be3/d584041a87604a4d2def5f2329de23934af5.pdf
>
> ________________________________
> From: Kenneth Kinman <kinman at hotmail.com>
> Sent: Tuesday, May 28, 2019 6:12 PM
> To: taxacom; John Grehan
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] More fairy tales from evolution
>
> Hi John,
>        Some press coverage seems to love the hypotheses of Dr. Melott and
> colleagues.  A couple of years ago it was about such bursts of cosmic
> radiation (muons in particular) causing an extinction of marine megafauna
> at the end of the Pliocene.  And another hypothesis that the increase in
> mutation rates caused disparities between molecular clocks and the fossil
> record.  Here are just three examples (in the first one he suggests "due to
> the importance of highly penetrating muon irradiation, the disparity should
> be magnified for megafauna"):
>
>      (1)  "A Possible Role for Stochastic Astrophysical Ionizing Radiation
> Events in the Systematic Disparity between Molecular and Fossil Dates."
>      https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/ast.2016.1527
>
>     (2)  "Muon Radiation Dose and Marine Megafaunal Extinction at the
> end-Pliocene Supernova":
> https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/240093v1.full
>
>     (3)  "Researchers consider whether supernovae killed off large ocean
> animals at dawn of Pleistocene":
> https://phys.org/news/2018-12-supernovae-large-ocean-animals-dawn.html
>
> ________________________________
> From: Taxacom <taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> on behalf of John
> Grehan via Taxacom <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
> Sent: Tuesday, May 28, 2019 1:52 PM
> To: taxacom
> Subject: [Taxacom] More fairy tales from evolution
>
> Evolution is definitely not a science. Its all about fairy tails (pun
> intended). Here's the latest. The sooner we get honest to good fairy tails
> (Creationism) in our schools the better. At least they are honest about
> miracles. Good grief.
>
>
> https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/exploding-stars-led-to-humans-walking-on-two-legs-radical-study-suggests/ar-AAC25BS?li=BBnbcA1
>
>
> According to the researchers, a series of stars in our corner of the Milky
> Way exploded in a cosmic riot that began about 7m years ago and continued
> for millions of years more. The supernovae blasted powerful cosmic rays in
> all directions. On Earth, the radiation arriving from the cataclysmic
> explosions peaked about 2.6m years ago.
>
> The surge of radiation triggered a chain of events, the scientists argue.
> As cosmic rays battered the planet, they ionised the atmosphere and made it
> more conductive. This could have ramped up the frequency of lightning
> strikes, sending wildfires raging through African forests, and making way
> for grasslands, they write in the Journal of Geology. With fewer trees at
> hand in the aftermath, our ancient ancestors adapted, and those who walked
> upright thrived.
>
> That, at least, is the thinking. In the history of human evolution, walking
> upright dates back at least 6m years to Sahelanthropus, an ancient species
> with both ape and human features discovered from fossil remains found in
> Chad. One prominent theory is that climate change transformed the
> landscape, leaving savannah where trees once stood.
>
> One of the study’s authors, Adrian Melott of the University of Kansas, said
> ancient human relatives were already dabbling with standing upright before
> the effects of any supernovae took hold. But he believes the violent
> explosions still played a role. “Bipedalism had already gotten started, but
> we think this may have given it a strong shot in the arm,” he said.
>
> “Lightning has long been thought to be the primary cause of fires before
> humans had a role, and with a lot of fires you get the destruction of a lot
> of habitat,” Melott said. “When the forests are replaced with grasslands,
> it then becomes an advantage to stand upright, so you can walk from tree to
> tree, and see over the tall grass for predators.”
>
> The cosmic rays from one star known to have exploded about 164 light years
> from Earth would have increased the ionisation of the atmosphere 50-fold,
> the scientists calculate. Cosmic rays ionise the atmosphere when they knock
> electrons out of the atoms and molecules they slam into in the air. Cosmic
> rays normally only ionise the upper reaches of the atmosphere, but powerful
> ones from nearby supernovae can penetrate the entire depth of the
> atmosphere, ionising it all the way to the ground. “We are sure this would
> have increased lightning strikes, but lightning initiation is not well
> understood, so we cannot put a number on it,” Melott said.
> _______________________________________________
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