Human evolution; our feet differ from apes. (Introduction)

by dhw, Sunday, March 01, 2020, 08:16 (93 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: From the Darwin standpoint, why should Lucy develop a stiff foot she didn't really need when she existed? She could run faster which tells us she was designed to be able to save herself on the ground by running.

dhw: And so you have answered your own question. The stiff foot developed because it improved her chances of survival. This to me sounds far more reasonable than the suggestion that God stiffened her foot in order to “pre-plan our appearance” 1.5 million years later.

DAVID: As usual you are back to Darwin and I'm sticking with God the designer who knew she had to run faster. She survived so she probably had stiffer feet when she appeared after the huge fossil gap in evolution from apes. In your theory the pre-Lucy knew she had the need to move quickly so she designed her feet in advance, or did she stumble around and jump to the trees when necessary. We know she had long arms and ape-like shoulders.

You continue to misunderstand the process I am suggesting. Yes, pre-Lucy knew she had to run quickly. No, she did not design her feet in advance. Nobody knows how feet originated, and nobody knows how non-stiff feet evolved into stiff feet, but the theory I am proposing is that as pre-Lucy and her species tried to run faster, the cell communities that form the feet and legs responded by stiffening the feet. Just as pre-whale legs became flippers in response to the need to swim instead of walk. And just as – on a smaller scale – illiterates, taxi-drivers and musicians change parts of their brain by performing certain tasks. It is always a matter of the cell communities implementing ideas and restructuring themselves IN RESPONSE to new demands and new conditions, NOT IN ANTICIPATION of them. Pre-Lucy may well have jumped into the trees when necessary. In that respect, she was a transitional form and provides direct evidence for common descent.

DAVID: This means she was designed with the ability to protect her on the ground from the beginning of her species appearance. Not a slow Darwinian adaptation.

dhw: It’s a pity we don’t have a few thousand pre-Lucys to see how stiff all her ancestors’ feet were. And then a few thousand more fossils to see how stiff the feet were between all the generations of all the hominins and early homos prior to Sapiens. Without them, of course, it’s impossible to say how fast or slow the adaptation was.

DAVID: Agreed, but she survived and my God took care of the needed designs. We have to work with the only fossils we have. It still looks like H. sapiens ended with most unusual unexpected characteristics.

Unexpected by whom? There are loads of species that ended with most unusual characteristics. Why is the human foot more unusual than the elephant’s trunk or the camel’s hump? But yes, humans are remarkable animals, and yes, we can only work with the fossils we have. These suggest a stage by stage development of certain organs, supporting the case for common descent. All the changes fit in with the theory that God – if he exists – preprogrammed every single one 3.8 billion years ago, or he popped in to dabble every single one, or he designed a mechanism that enabled cells/cell communities to do their own designing. We should leave discussion of the possible variations, implications and logicality of these three theories to the thread concerning your own theory.

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