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Still Waters

Were humans destined to walk the Earth ?

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Still Waters

What would happen if the hands of time were turned back to an arbitrary point in our evolutionary history and we restarted the clock? American paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould proposed this famous thought experiment in the late 1980s – and it’s one that still grips the imagination of evolutionary biologists today.

Gould reckoned that if time was rewound, then evolution would drive life down a completely different path and humans would never re-evolve. In fact, he felt humanity’s evolution was so rare that we could replay the tape of life a million times and we wouldn’t see anything like Homo sapiens arise again.

His reasoning was that chance events play a huge role in evolution.

https://theconversation.com/why-humans-or-something-very-similar-may-have-been-destined-to-walk-the-earth-118346

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and then

It's an interesting thought exercise and if I agreed that we were a random event then I could accept his premise with no problem.  

When a Creationist sees statements like this:  In fact, he felt humanity’s evolution was so rare that we could replay the tape of life a million times and we wouldn’t see anything like Homo sapiens arise again. 

Most of us see in it the plain evidence that we were in fact created.  Those odds seem like evidence to us.  We wonder how often it occurs to the purely scientific mind to ponder whether there isn't a plan involved.  This is not an attack on anyone's beliefs so please, no one take it as such.  I just saw the story and got a mental image of a white-lab-coated Ph.D. staring fixedly on a single tree while looking for the forest.

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Desertrat56

I am not a creationist and I thought the title of this thread was hilarious.  There is no foundation for the idea that humans on planet earth are anomalous.  There is no proof that we aren't either but there seems to be some missing pieces to the hypothesis as there usually are in this kind of thing, just like the theory that consciousness resides in the brain though nowadays there are scientists that have explored the evidence that the theory is wrong.

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Essan

Whilst I agree, there is also the possibility that elephants or squid or meerkats would evolve as a sentient, tool using species.  Who knows?   

As I have often said, I think life in the universe is (relatively) common.  Even sentient life.  Like dolphins and dogs.   But tool bearing homonids?   We could be one in a billion.

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Essan
37 minutes ago, Desertrat56 said:

I am not a creationist and I thought the title of this thread was hilarious.  There is no foundation for the idea that humans on planet earth are anomalous.  There is no proof that we aren't either but there seems to be some missing pieces to the hypothesis as there usually are in this kind of thing, just like the theory that consciousness resides in the brain though nowadays there are scientists that have explored the evidence that the theory is wrong.

The main argument for us to be anomalous is that there has been so much life for so long, before homonids appeared - and even then they were around for millions of years before homo sapiens evolved.    From an Earth perspective, we certainly are anomalous

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darkmoonlady

Rewind it to where? Evolution is continuum. It's like that last episode of Star Trek TNG where Q took Picard to see when life evolved on Earth (yet also apparently forgetting it was seeded there by aliens half a season previous but whatever). Rewind to when we were primordial goo? Well yes probability of humans evolving from goo not high but we didn't exactly evolve from goo. We evolved from animals very near to human already and ones previous to that were a little less human but still had five fingers and five toes. It's like the multiverse theory crossed with evolution, I'm sure if could spin the wheel of Time and see the outcomes dolphins evolve to be the dominant species or octopus. But saying humans wouldn't have evolved or it was a rarity isn't all that edgy or though provoking. We did evolve and we are surrounded by 7 billion of us. We did something evolutionarily different.

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Susanc241

This makes me think of the idea that anyone doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is very misguided.  Rewinding time and letting it play out again (even multiple times) would surely result in the same outcome, us.  I see it that all the random events that led to us would happen the same every time. Or am I missing something here?

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