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Does the theory of evolution deny the instinct to survive?

  1. 0
    Andrew Hawkleyposted 7 years ago

    One of the problems I have with evolution is that it does not always seem compatible with the desire to stay alive. If a fish is perfectly healthy and content living in water then why would it bother trying to drag itself onto dry land? Wouldn't this be like a human trying to survive in a dry hot desert when it has a cool cave with plenty of running water close by?

    1. livelonger profile image89
      livelongerposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      You're making lots of assumptions.

      First, fish are not necessarily "content" in the water. In the water, they might have lots and lots of predators after them. By staying on land for most of the time, they can avoid predators. This is just a hypothetical, illustrative explanation.

      Evolution happens not necessarily out of necessity, but out of evolutionary advantage - a mutation/change confers some sort of advantage so that they're more likely to see their progeny live and continue the species. If one fish can survive for some time on land, while another can only survive in the water, it's very possible the former can end up seeing more of their children live (by avoiding predators, for example) so that, over time, they continue to live.

      Note that this is not just theory - because of certain sudden evolutionary pressures, sometimes evolution has happened over the course of just a few hundreds of years, instead of the thousands or million years that it usually takes. See the case of the dark/light moths in industrial England.

    2. Jewels profile image81
      Jewelsposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Above and beyond all things the prime reason for an animal protecting it's life and the life of it's young is to keep it's species alive.  Eating and procreating is the ultimate reason for living and it's fierce.  The animal kingdom is disgustingly vicious in it's desire to stay alive.  Fight and flight is instinctual and is not based on conscious reasoning.  They just bloody do it.  Even fish are doing their utmost to stay alive, in their own way.  Maybe some species of fish needed to get out of the water because by staying there their very existence was in jeopardy.  If habitat is in jeopardy then survival instincts take over.  In the process survival of the fittest rules.

      And have you ever seen your own mother in action defending you beyond all reason!

      I sometimes wonder about our current human evolution.  What the impact of our lifestyle and diet is having, our more sedentary lives. That's aside to cosmetic surgery, long term implications of preservatives, genetic engineering, and nanotechnology and the possibilities it will bring.  The mind boggles.

    3. Evan G Rogers profile image83
      Evan G Rogersposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      That's not a very good argument.

      Fish didn't "want" to go to land. They just developed the ability to do so at some point, and then by doing so they survived easier.

      For example: fish were being chased by some other bigger meaner fish. Then one was like "I bet I could survive on land for 3 minutes or so!". And it turns out he could. So then, he was able to not get eaten, and was later able to mate with some sexy fish mamma.

  2. knolyourself profile image60
    knolyourselfposted 7 years ago

    Things like crocodiles have not changed (evolved) for millions of years. This type evolution theory assumes everything evolved from single celled things and
    so then obviously based on this logic, these things came from the water and moved to the land or vice versa. I don't buy it either.

  3. 0
    Leta Sposted 7 years ago

    Interestingly, there was a group of ancient Indians here in the high desert region of Arizona called the 'Sinagua,' which, as can be ascertained by some, means "without water."  They and many other human cultures migrated and chose to live (some successfully for thousands of years) in arid regions without much water.  Bedouins just might be another group!

    They say that sea lions and other such large sea going mammals are actually closely related to cows and other ungulates, which means they were once land animals and exchanged their legs for floppy mammalian flippers (although sometimes vestiges of feet can still be witnessed in some specimens).

    I don't think life always follows the 'easy' plan.  wink

  4. 0
    Andrew Hawkleyposted 7 years ago

    I assume conservative evolutionists believe that fish came from sea plants. Are there any who believe that land creatures could come from land plants?

    1. Mark Knowles profile image61
      Mark Knowlesposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      You might want to educate yourself a little about evolution before making a statement like that. smile

      Conservative evolutionists? As opposed to liberal or radical evolutionists? lol

      As to your first analogy. Why not change that to:

      "Wouldn't this be like a human trying to survive in a dry hot desert when it is forced out of a cool cave with plenty of running water close by, by a stronger strain of humans, or a volcano erupted making the cave uninhabitable?"

      1. 0
        sandra rinckposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        What makes you think it was all forced?

        1. Mark Knowles profile image61
          Mark Knowlesposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          Because I understand evolution.

          As the OP said - why would you leave a warm dry cave with running hot and cold unless you were forced to? Organisms are "forced" to evolve to deal with adversity, and survive. They must adapt to changes - if nothing changes, they do not need to adapt.

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            sandra rinckposted 7 years ago in reply to this

            Right, I understand but what makes you believe that a creature that lived in a cool damp place didn't want to live in a hot dry one on it's own?  People do it all the time and are not forced to adapt but adapt on their own will. 

            I prefer to live in a moderate climate but grew up in a cold wet one.  I was not forced to move, I moved because I like this climate better.  And at first my skin burned from the sun in sunny califoria because I wasn't used to it in cold damp washington.  If I wanted to I could have went back but I chose not to. 

            So, my question again was, what makes you believe it was forced?

            1. Mark Knowles profile image61
              Mark Knowlesposted 7 years ago in reply to this

              Observation and personal experience. Or are we talking about the OP's original statement no longer.

              He was suggesting that no organism would choose to live in an uncomfortable situation when they were already in a comfortable one.

              I suggested that this would have been forced on the organism in question. Did you move to a moderate climate in order to survive? No. You preferred to. Tell me how that was 10,000 years ago. big_smile

              When was the last time you made a radical change? Were you forced to adapt - or did you just decide to be something else because the weather was better? lol

              1. 0
                sandra rinckposted 7 years ago in reply to this

                I think you are trying to say from personal experience of your lifetime that you have never seen someone chose to move from a place that is suitable for one but not the other.

                I prefer to live in California cause it is warm, my mother on the other hand grew up in a very humid and hot climate and chose to live in Washington where it was cool. 

                Though she is indigenous the place she was born she did not like it.  She was not forced. 

                10,000 years ago?  You are suggesting that everything was forced because what you consider to be a harsh environment had to be forceful abandonment or a forced change or forced adaptation?

                1. Mark Knowles profile image61
                  Mark Knowlesposted 7 years ago in reply to this

                  I think you are saying that you do not grok the meaning of what you indigenous are moving from unless choose.

                  Read the first post. Christian.

                  1. 0
                    Leta Sposted 7 years ago in reply to this

                    Hey, 'grok!'   Robert A. Heinlein.  "Thou Art God."  smile

                  2. 0
                    sandra rinckposted 7 years ago in reply to this

                    and I think when you don't grok the meaning of something you resort to child's play.  Mr. Knowles who must have lived 10,000 years ago and have spoken to the creatures then to know from personal experience.  wink  it's your delusion.

                       /ɪnˈdɪdʒənəs/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [in-dij-uh-nuhs] Show IPA
                    1.     originating in and characteristic of a particular region or country; native (often fol. by to): the plants indigenous to Canada; the indigenous peoples of southern Africa.
                    2.     innate; inherent; natural (usually fol. by to): feelings indigenous to human beings.

      2. 0
        Andrew Hawkleyposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Evolution is supposed to happen over billions of years. Did small fish get information billions of years in advance that stronger larger fish were coming along and thought: Sh*t, we better start growing some legs so we can walk on land to get out of here? A suddenly erupting volcano would happen too fast to allow you to change your physical appearance.

        1. Mark Knowles profile image61
          Mark Knowlesposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          Like I said - Please educate yourself a little before asking such questions. lol

          I realize it is hard - but just read a few books - not too much to ask is it?

    2. 0
      Andrew Hawkleyposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I was drunk when I wrote this. However there are alternative evolutionists who believe in the aquatic ape theory which they claim explains human evolution far better. This quote I've taken from wikipedia:

      "As compared to the great apes, their nearest living relatives, humans exhibit many significant differences in anatomy and physiology, including bipedalism,[1] almost hairless skin like some marine mammals,[2] hair growth patterns following water flow-lines,[3] increased subcutaneous fat for insulation,[4][5] descended larynx,[3][6] vernix caseosa,[3] a hooded nose and the philtrum preventing water from entering the nostrils [3], voluntary breath control like marine mammals and birds,[3][7] and greasy skin with an abundance of sebaceous glands, which can be interpreted as a waterproofing device.[8] It has also been suggested that the abundance of docosahexaenoic acid in seafood would have been helpful in the development of a large brain.[9]"



      1. Mark Knowles profile image61
        Mark Knowlesposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        LOL That explains it smile

        You can usually spot my drunk posts a mile off. I hadn't heard this aquatic ape one. I will have to investigate further. smile

        1. Sufidreamer profile image80
          Sufidreamerposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          I remember that my last Ouzo fuelled posts involved the Iranian President's Parrot Army. A danger to world peace smile

          The aquatic ape theory - I remember it from Horizon, a few years back. It is postulated that our hunter gathering ancestors may have evolved on the sea-shore, rather than the forests and savannahs. Interesting, and we do seem to be better suited to a marine diet.

          Andrew's Cities in the Sea are about returning to nature big_smile

          Mind you, I swim as well as a sack of rocks - looks like evolution is going to wipe my line out sad

          1. Jewels profile image81
            Jewelsposted 7 years ago in reply to this

            Is a really interesting experience swimming with those training fins on the feet.  You could say it has to do with buoyancy, but geez, if we were not meant to swim with those things I'll go ape.  Marvelous feeling, so familiar even.  Have a go and see what you notice about your own anatomy.  I know I go deep, so please bear with me on that score.  But I'm quite serious nonetheless. smile  Great article by Elaine Morgan, thanks for that link.

  5. 0
    Leta Sposted 7 years ago

    I was gonna say some of that, Mark.  (Well, I was going to be a little snottier.)  But then I just got tired of hearing myself type.... lol  smile

  6. knolyourself profile image60
    knolyourselfposted 7 years ago

    "I asked you why you believe that survival is forced?"
    Maybe going out on a limb here, but guessin' that forced survival would be like climate change, say warmer where cold weather animals would be forced to adapt or perish. Course for the theory of evolution to be relavant here, this change would have to take place over a very long period of time to allow things to evolve.

    1. Paraglider profile image92
      Paragliderposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Change generally does take a long time. Look at the progress of global warming now. It's still slow enough for some people to insist it's not happening. But remember too that survival precedes adaptation. Change reduces populations. The survivors gradually adapt to the new 'permanence'

  7. 0
    Andrew Hawkleyposted 7 years ago

    There seems to be a strong assumption that evolution is driven through fear rather than aspiration.

    1. Sufidreamer profile image80
      Sufidreamerposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      No fear or aspiration - there is no conscious thought involved at all. It is an unfeeling process with no 'choice' involved.

      A fish does not suddenly decide to move onto dry land - think of the Mudskipper fish, which can survive out of water for long periods of time. Gradual adaptations allowed the species to exploit a vacant ecological niche and thrive - not consciously, but the ones that can spend longer out of the water are more successful and likely to breed This trait is passed onto the offspring. African Lungfish can survive the drying up of their environment using a rudimentary lung - the ones without this adaptation died.

      Imagine a virus sweeping across the world tomorrow, wiping out 99% of the human race. The survivors were immune to the disease, a trait that they would pass down to their offspring. No fear or aspiration, just winning the genetic lottery.

      The problem with discussing evolution is that it is a large field, consisting of many different aspects. Asking somebody to explain it in a short forum post is like asking somebody to summarize the Bible or Relativity. All I can advise is that you read it for yourself, and make your own interpretation.

      Here are some good links:

      http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn1 … tions.html

      http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrar … sconcep_01

      http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-int … ology.html

      Edit - Sorry Andrew - Crossed posts. I remember the Aquatic Ape theory on Horizon, and found it to be very interesting. Humans certainly seem to be physiologically adapted to an aquatic diet! smile

      1. 60
        moral_animalposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Excellent response. Evolution is a big topic to be discussed in a dedicated blog. I like the questions asked here stimulating new perspectives & insights.

        I believe we are destined to take control of our evolutionary destiny and fast forward it to future, sooner than most believed. We are unraveling secrets of our DNA progressively. Perhaps we will be able to extend out lives enough to sustain inter-galactic travels and party across the universe to discover delightful beauties of our virtually limitless universe.... 

        Possibilities are infinite, stay tuned! :-)

    2. Jewels profile image81
      Jewelsposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I'd say that's a good assumption.  To have aspiration would suggest reasoning and intelligence, which is lacking in the animal species, even in the human animal species sometimes!  Instinctual acts of heroism happen without aspiration and reasoning, they just bloody do it.

  8. Misha profile image75
    Mishaposted 7 years ago

    And eating raw salmon yesterday night I was wondering why I like it that much!

    Thanks for the links Andrew, I never heard of this - and it makes perfect sense to me smile

    1. Jewels profile image81
      Jewelsposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        It does doesn't it!  I've just spread that around a bit, needs to be read. smile

  9. aka-dj profile image80
    aka-djposted 7 years ago

    The "Discovery Channe1" just did a story that included CGI of some creature (with a name I can't even remember). It was supposed to be the predecessor to whales. It actually lived on land. (of course, many millions of years) before the lack of food drove it back into water.
    Well, you know the rest of the story, right?
    And we "believers" are constantly accused of having too much imagination, ( for inventing some invisible super being we call "God")
    So, anyway, waterbased creatures evolve into land dwelling creatures, which again go back into water. hmm We best keep really good records, because in a few million years, they (whoever we will evolve into) will have "actual" evidence of that evolutiuon. lol lol lol

    1. Jewels profile image81
      Jewelsposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Predator X it's currently called, here's one article link. http://au.news.yahoo.com/a/-/newshome/5395374

      "Which again go back into water?"  You mean our wanting to swim and bathe?

      And yes, here's hoping they do have records, it will stop religious arguments dead in their tracks.

      1. Mark Knowles profile image61
        Mark Knowlesposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        I wouldn't bank on it if I was you. Facts don't seem to mean much to these guys big_smile

    2. Jewels profile image81
      Jewelsposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Mark, this is where the "which go again back into water" quote came from.  I don't understand!  Very unlikely we'll go back into water, more likely we'll have to survive on space stations, so that means less reliability on organic matter.  What are we going to evolve into?  What's all that McDonald's doing to us too?  Big Mac and fries in a capsule, to go!

  10. Lisa HW profile image82
    Lisa HWposted 7 years ago

    I don't understand why the idea that there may be a Creator cannot co-exist with the fairly easy-to-see process of evolution.  Yes, it would contradict the idea that the Adam and Eve story should be taken literally; but those accepting evolution are not necessarily non-believers.

    Within the last few years, PBS had a special about Arthur Clark and the concept that, at the root of all life, is one simple formula for a fractal.  Essentially (and in non-scientific terms), using the formula to create computer images shows that with the simplest image to start with, different images will be created by "squaring" what is there, introducing a slight variable, and allowing the computer to continue reproducing and reproducing the image, until it becomes a very complex picture.  This formula has been called "the thumbprint of..." (either "God" or "life" - I forget and don't plan to look it up right now).  More information can be seen at:


    So, if  you imagine a bunch of individual cells "way back in the beginning to time", and imagine slight variations affecting changes in them; you can see how several different, simple, forms of life could begin to branch of into different forms, which would eventually become species.

    So, keeping that idea in mind:  If you think of any charts you may have seen that show the development of an unborn human baby; and if you then think of any charts that show the development of a baby from birth to adulthood; it's as if you're looking at a high-speed version of evolution.  With some shared DNA, the cell division process begins with fertilization.  The simple clump of cells continues divide until the "creature" turns into a tiny sea-like creature (that looks like a shrimp) with a tail.  Already programmed to "sprout" into a completed fetus, it lives under water until birth.  With metabolism changing as the human grows and ages, the newborn is still not walking on two feet.  Anyone who has ever bathed an infant knows how "seal-like" they can seem.  (Not saying we evolved from seals - it just points out a similarity)

    Here's where the image of a toddler comes in.  Think of the crawling, learning to walk and eventually awkward, stockier, body of a two-year-old (with head larger in proportion to his body than that in older people).  Throughout childhood the child's physique and brain become refined (the way humans have become refined throughout the ages).  While this is going on, of course, the formula can still be in play as the "variable" of hormones causes human children to "branch off" and develop physical traits that more dramatically define the genders.

    Voila - evolution from super-simple life form to simple sea creature to more complex sea creature to awkward but upright human to refined human adult.

    One other point:  As most know, it in the earliest stages of pregnancy when something like alcohol or drugs has the most potential of causing damage.  There is even the chance that before conception reproductive cells can be damaged by a parent's exposure to some hazardous things.  Once a fetus has all organs in place the potential for the most serious damage is diminished.  This shows how as any species reaches a higher level of development the likelihood of dramatic mutations in cells (to the point of setting the organism off into "branching off") will be reduced.

    Throw in differences in metabolisms (of species at any stage in development), any connections between physical growth, electrical activity,  and the development of brain connections, the affects of external and internal environments (hormones, brain chemicals, substances in foods, etc.); and the fact that the body affects the brain and the brain affects the body - and, again, voila:  evolution made easy.    smile

    It's enough to make a person suspect there could be a designer of the whole thing. 

    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/yt-rIM1gl … rn_humans/

    1. Jewels profile image81
      Jewelsposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I don't think the idea of a Creator is in dispute here, it's the timing and what the first created 'thing' was.  And who said creation didn't start with a jelly like substance in the ocean?  And what came out of the primordial chaos?  There is no doubt we have a huge gap, allot of missing knowledge.  Best we make sure there are better records kept somewhere, somehow?

  11. Lisa HW profile image82
    Lisa HWposted 7 years ago

    Hi, Jewels.  I don't really think it is either; but so often people who don't want to recognize evolution seem to think that evolution is about proving there is no God.   I didn't intend that to be a point I was, or wasn't trying to make.   I guess, after seeing many evolution discussions online and seeing how many people really don't want to believe it; maybe I was trying to reassure anyone who thinks a person can't believe in both God and evolution.  smile

    The comment about whether "we" started out as water creatures, later became land creatures, and then returned to being water creatures (and the "perplexed" emoticon) seem to indicate serious doubt about evolution; based on going back only so far in "zillions" of years in the evolutionary process, rather than going all the way back and trying to see the process (rather than taking isolated things out a whole context).

    1. Jewels profile image81
      Jewelsposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Hi Lisa, I never had a problem with Evolution and a Divine force, so I'm with you there.

    2. Mark Knowles profile image61
      Mark Knowlesposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      What is this "returned to being water creatures"?

      Although, I see no reason why, if environmental conditions changed and water creatures came on to the land - if they changed again and favored water creatures, they would not go back to the water.

      As for evolution proving there is not a god - I can't say that is the case. I don't believe in a god but that came long before I understood evolution.

      And once you do understand evolution, it is clear that there is no god guiding the process. In fact, if there were, evolution would become a worthless, dis-proven theory, because it relies on natural, organic adaptation to changes and any direct intervention by a supreme being would make the whole thing invalid.

      Whether there was a god started the process is another question. I personally do not believe there was because I see no reason to think there was and the only argument I have ever heard for it is "I believe there is a god, therefore he created everything, therefore there is a god."

      One thing evolution does prove is that the bible is not literally true, and this certainly seems to upset many who believe in "creationism." i.e - we were made in god's image, the way we are now, a few thousand years ago, and are "offended" that we are merely animals, which we are. smile

      Some of the people who do believe this will go to extraordinary lengths to substantiate this claim. Even out right lying to children. Or starting threads in the science forum questioning the validity of evolution. big_smile

      Which is yet another reason for me to think the christian religion is worthless. big_smile

      1. aka-dj profile image80
        aka-djposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Sounds like you are vascillating a little! big_smile:

      2. Jewels profile image81
        Jewelsposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Mark I agree with you.  I really like the way you think.   And allot of spiritual masters think exactly the same as this.   The God's image thing is taken way too literally.  And Jesus, God help the guy who has probably the biggest karmic debt because of the way people understood his incarnation!  What a responsibility, I know I'd be terribly disappointed if I hung on a wooden stick and they didn't get the right message!  He's not going to do it for you, he was just showing you how!

        In God's image - we are no different to God, we have the ability to be as God is.  It's a state of consciousness - doesn't need the arms and legs bit.  We grew those cause we got stuck on this planet and don't have the intelligence to get off it! Well not properly anyway!   

        Now I'm going to need Saving for saying all that.  "God help get them off me!"

  12. Lisa HW profile image82
    Lisa HWposted 7 years ago

    I can see how there's the chance that a higher power/spiritual force/intelligence (whatever) could have created "the system" and may or may not be involving Himself in the workings of things, to one degree of another.

    I can even see how - supposing someone believed that there is some spiritual thing that is "everywhere" (the way religions often say there is) an idea like, "man being created in God's image" could have had its roots in some transcendent spiritual "message", which could have written by humans. 

    Spirituality is often associated with a level of certain type of intelligence.  People who said to be "highly gifted" are said to often have a sense of a higher calling.  If we associate spirituality and intellect with the more advanced evolution of human beings (as compared with the more muscular, less "intellectually refined") cave people; it may not be that off base to assume that man could have been, and continue to be, evolving toward a more spiritual (God-like) nature - with the problem being that as long as man is going around Earth in his Earthly body, he will not be like God.  Afterwards, maybe he would "turn into" that "image and likeness". 

    Another idea is that if life is made up of two forces (time and space or male and female), and if takes both to make any part of life; then a human being made up of those most basic elements of life could be said to embody "the image and likeness" of life, itself; or a creator.

    I, personally, haven't ruled anything out until I get there (to any afterlife that may or may not exist); but my point is that if man continues to evolve into a more "intellectual"/spiritual being than his predecessors, that could point to an evolution aimed not only at furthering the species, but at further moving humans toward things/places spiritual.  Also, if there were an increasing refinement to the point of more intelligent, peaceful, human beings; whatever their minds and "souls" brought to Earth while they're here would potentially "bring a little Heaven" to Earth.  Again, I'm not saying I necessarily believe any of these ideas; but I think they do point to the possibility, at least, the evolution may not be confined to physical traits and could potentially move man to a higher level of "shared spirituality", regardless of whether there's actually a guy with a white beard sitting on a cloud.

    1. Jewels profile image81
      Jewelsposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I like what you're saying here.  I look to a Spiritual evolution personally and in doing so I also don't have to believe in the guy with a white beard.  I find it not necessary.  I don't see a God as something separate.  But I do see how my own level of consciousness has been raised by the practices I've been doing.  As far as evolution goes in this context, it's not driven by a God, or God, it's driven by us. (LOL, I was going to put us in capitals, but it would then look like US and be mistaken for the United States!)big_smile