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Scientists Find Brain Evolution Gene


Warrior_of_god
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Scientists believe they have found a key gene that helped the human brain evolve from our chimp-like ancestors. In just a few million years, one area of the human genome seems to have evolved about 70 times faster than the rest of our genetic code. It appears to have a role in a rapid tripling of the size of the brain's crucial cerebral cortex, according to an article published Thursday in the journal Nature.

 

Study co-author David Haussler, director of the Center for Biomolecular Science and Engineering at the University of California, Santa Cruz, said his team found strong but still circumstantial evidence that a certain gene, called HAR1F, may provide an important answer to the question: "What makes humans brainier than other primates?" Human brains are triple the size of chimp brains.

 

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I have a question. Does evolution happen because we need to adapt or does it happen because of random mutation? If it is because of the need to adapt then what reasons would human brains need to evolve? I think the book the selfish gene says our brains evolved for mating reasons. thoughts

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I believe we evolve because we need to. Example:

 

A certain species of clam in the North East grew a thicker shell over the past 15 years in response to two new species of lobster or crab being introduced. these 2 crab species had never been seen in this part of the world before, they come from Asia. The clam species recognized a new threat and evolved to defend against it.

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I believe we evolve because we need to. Example:

 

A certain species of clam in the North East grew a thicker shell over the past 15 years in response to two new species of lobster or crab being introduced. these 2 crab species had never been seen in this part of the world before, they come from Asia. The clam species recognized a new threat and evolved to defend against it.

So how would this happen. Would one clam with the hardest shell become born and the opposite sex of clams mate with that one leading to more offspring of similar genes? Or do all the species just "make" their shells harder somehow? I thought a mutation has to be born for evolution to happen.

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I believe we evolve because we need to. Example:

 

A certain species of clam in the North East grew a thicker shell over the past 15 years in response to two new species of lobster or crab being introduced. these 2 crab species had never been seen in this part of the world before, they come from Asia. The clam species recognized a new threat and evolved to defend against it.

So how would this happen. Would one clam with the hardest shell become born and the opposite sex of clams mate with that one leading to more offspring of similar genes? Or do all the species just "make" their shells harder somehow? I thought a mutation has to be born for evolution to happen.

 

i think it would be explained by natural selection, the clams with the thinner shells did not survive because of being easier prey. the ones with the thicker shells would survive thier preditors easier thus reproducing more and becoming the predominant clam in the area.

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I have a question. Does evolution happen because we need to adapt or does it happen because of random mutation? If it is because of the need to adapt then what reasons would human brains need to evolve? I think the book the selfish gene says our brains evolved for mating reasons. thoughts

 

My understanding of the process - in general - is this:

 

There are random genetic mutations happening all the time. Different aspects of physiology change as a result of mutation.

 

Now if there is some kind of change in the environment - disease, climate change, habitat removal... whatever it may be - that a particular genetic mutation protects against, then clearly that mutation will be passed on to future generations.

 

However, a mutation may also simply allow an individual to compete more successfully against its peers. It might make it more adapted to its environment, giving it more chance of finding food and therefore being stronger, therefore making it more likely to mate and pass on the gene.

 

With brain development, it would seem to me that even a small mutation allowing for a bit more intelligence in a particular individual would allow it to compete more successfully for food, help it deal better with dangers such as predators... in short it would make it a stronger individual more likely to survive and mate, therefore passing the mutated gene on to a whole new generation of offspring who would be more successful than other family groups. And so it would continue.

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That artical made it sound as if the clams developed thicker shells, I personally believe that they would do this after many of them were killed by the new crab species.

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Ummm... Not to decemate all of your idea's about evolution but I have a simple question: If people mate with those who are better adapted to the enviroment then why are Christians still around?

 

Just wondering because, to me, if all you do is sit around and talk about how people should act and pray for God to feed you then you wont survive. Or if you took Paul's advice and never had sex again because of how dirty it is...

 

Then again, in more rational animals the evolution theory does seem to work. :scratch:

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I can accept natural selection as a theory behind the clams with harder shells becoming more numerous because they can survive better in their natural habitat. In fact the 'survival' angle seems to me to be the main issue.. if they did not need a harder shell to survive then there would be no reason for the harder shell to evolve. Like people who lived in a hot country for millions of years would develop a skin that could cope with the conditions.. etc

 

But back to the original question about the human brain gene... How does that fit with natural selection? We did not need these extra big brains just to survive .. if the issue survival how did such a gene get selected. Like it was a huge answer to a very small question if you know what I mean. And does this mean that at some point ANY animal could by accident develop this intelligent gene and naturally select it .. then in 1M years we have a competitor for world domination.. except that competitor also has big sharp teeth! :grin:

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Perhaps evolution, such as this case, kicks in so to speak for levels of survival too. Maybe if an animal is just surviving thats not enough, maybe it needs to thrive. If thats the case then our large brain enabled us to thrive via the technolegy we use and develope.

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