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Tags biology , intelligent design

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Old 4th December 2017, 02:10 PM   #121
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Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
......Eating carbohydrates is a choice, subject to free will. We eat it despite knowing it's bad for teeth........
Huh? Potatoes, rice, pasta, shredded wheat, bread.......all carbs, all no problem for our teeth at all.
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Old 4th December 2017, 03:01 PM   #122
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Originally Posted by aleCcowaN View Post
Sugar beet is a much modern mutation, and sugar cane only appeared in Asian Mesopotamia when the Arabs took it there from India.

All the tales of the "peoples of the Book" predate the cultivation and elaboration of sugar sources. Even in modern times sugar is considered to be kosher even when animal bones and other animal parts are used to refine it.

So, clearly "the creator" hasn't inspired any of them to correct any design mistake made in "its created creature".
But there's plenty of fossils that died of abscesses long before agriculture was invented. Don't blame modern food, blame the parasitic infection that evolved to suit a warm moist environment.
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Old 4th December 2017, 03:05 PM   #123
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Originally Posted by The Norseman View Post
Huh? Needed correction? I've... never heard that before. The removal of the foreskin was supposed to be done to demonstrate that you're one of the followers of god; to set you off from all the rest. Nothing to do with correcting anything.
Originally Posted by gerdbonk View Post
How can you be set off from all the rest if the part of the body you've modified can't be shown to anyone else due the shamefulness of nudity?
The omniscient God knew when he made that covenant with Abram that several thousands years later, the Nazis would come around to search for His followers and use, i.a., the method of "drop your pants" to identify them.

That's the best I can come up with.
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Old 4th December 2017, 04:38 PM   #124
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Originally Posted by ddt View Post
The omniscient God knew when he made that covenant with Abram that several thousands years later, the Nazis would come around to search for His followers and use, i.a., the method of "drop your pants" to identify them.

That's the best I can come up with.

Not a bad guess I suppose.

Although not a very clever initiative, it is on a par with the rest of the crapy ideas, Christianity would have us believe God is the owner of.
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Old 4th December 2017, 07:58 PM   #125
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Originally Posted by casebro View Post
But there's plenty of fossils that died of abscesses long before agriculture was invented. Don't blame modern food, blame the parasitic infection that evolved to suit a warm moist environment.
Caries began with the use of fire with food, but flourished when sugary products were available to the masses.

Also, appendicitis become very common with refined flours in the late 1800s. Before that it was just "an ailment of the rich ones". Another lack of foresight from the intelligent designer.
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Old 31st December 2017, 08:01 AM   #126
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Humans have hair growing from various parts of our skin. It grows to a particular length and stops growing -- except on the heads, and for men the face.

I knew a Navajo woman whose hair, braided, reached her ankles and then was pinned up halfway back to her head. I can't imagine the weight of it.

What kind of crazy thinking would lead to this unintelligent design feature?
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Old 1st January 2018, 11:25 AM   #127
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Originally Posted by xterra View Post
Humans have hair growing from various parts of our skin. It grows to a particular length and stops growing -- except on the heads, and for men the face.

I knew a Navajo woman whose hair, braided, reached her ankles and then was pinned up halfway back to her head. I can't imagine the weight of it.

What kind of crazy thinking would lead to this unintelligent design feature?
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Old 1st January 2018, 08:23 PM   #128
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Just to be clear, I wasn't referring to what my acquaintance did with her hair.

I was focusing on having one particular part of human anatomy with hair that does not stop growing. All the hair on the rest of the body gets to a certain length and stops.



BTW, we spent a few days near Dobson and Baseline last week, visiting relatives. This message is being posted from Green Valley, south of Tucson.
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Old 2nd January 2018, 01:38 AM   #129
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What I've always wondered about is how humans lost some of the tools animals use to survive. We don't have a lot of fur, our claws are pathetic, our senses of smell, hearing and sight not particularly acute. We've survived on brain power and the ability to alter our environment so that those senses are less critical. But I always wondered about the precarious position humans must have been in before the cognitive explosion in what, 15000 BC? So for tens of thousands of years, at least, this anatomically modern naked ape whose young couldn't walk for a year or more prevailed with sticks and stones in the absence of fur, claws, acutes sense - possibly senses we missed completely, like sonar, infrared sensors or sensitivity to magnetic fields that may help some creatures navigate. Humans have lost or never had many of the instincts/survival strategies that help keep other species going. I can see us losing these abilities after the dawn of "civilization," but we must have lost them earlier than that, leaving me to picture naked hominids staying alive in extreme environments with inferior survival attributes. Unless the lack of attributes forced humans to become more ingenious, our destiny tied to the created world.

Intelligent design might have preferred to leave humans with more instinctive survival skills.
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Old 2nd January 2018, 05:25 AM   #130
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Minoosh, you could pick any animal and find pathetic flaws: many have poor vision, low stamina, are really slow or sleep ridiculous amounts of time, which renders them defenseless. The very small and the very large can be said to be burdened by their size.

Apes haven't had kick-ass claws for tens of millions of years, so we never lost them. Instead we have fingers and opposable thumbs to hold things, and arms free to use at any time. All those creatures who must stand on their fingerless arms, don't you pity them for their ridiculous disability?

Our main strengths, that set us apart, are hands, the ability to run long distances, and smarts. The latter is not as recent as you think, Homo was really smart, and probably had complex grammatical language, for hundreds of thousands of years. Nursing children as long as we do comes at a high cost, but yields high benefits. It obviously worked out well on balance.
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Old 2nd January 2018, 06:47 AM   #131
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Pfft, creationists .. it's not like you can argue with them, is it ..
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Old 2nd January 2018, 09:00 AM   #132
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
What I've always wondered about is how humans lost some of the tools animals use to survive. We don't have a lot of fur, our claws are pathetic....
I can pick up a dime with mine. If I had ones like my cat I couldn't. And picking my nose might be problematic.
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Old 2nd January 2018, 09:28 AM   #133
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Originally Posted by aleCcowaN View Post
Caries began with the use of fire with food, but flourished when sugary products were available to the masses.

Also, appendicitis become very common with refined flours in the late 1800s. Before that it was just "an ailment of the rich ones". Another lack of foresight from the intelligent designer.
Well caries exist in many prehistoric mouths, including non Homo Sapiens species. However, the patterns of the caries are different. Primitive man (and earlier) had caries mostly on the occlusal surfaces, in other words the exposed chewing surfaces of the teeth. The caries are associated with heavy occlusal wear, where the enamel has been worn off, exposing the softer dentin underneath. The dentin is structurally made up of softer calcified crystals, inundated with hollow tubules. This design promotes the impaction of food particles and bacteria. In other words, the design of the teeth promote the decay process.

Caries, due to an increase in carbohydrate consumption (especially refined sugars), displays a different pattern. Sure, you still get caries on the occlusal surfaces of the teeth, but this time without the heavy enamel wear. More importantly, you see carious lesions in the interproximal surfaces, or the areas between the teeth. This is what your Dentist is looking at when he/she takes the annoying "bite wing" radiographs. In fact, a high degree of interproximal caries is considered pathognomonic for high sugar intake.

I always thought the tactic sharks evolved would be of some use. An (almost) endless supply of teeth. Some sharks shed as many as 35,000 teeth in a lifetime. I'm not sure about the evolutionary or metabolic ramifications of this design, but the Tooth Fairy burden would have been unbearable for Early Man.

Last edited by crhkrebs; 2nd January 2018 at 09:34 AM. Reason: Correcting my spell checker
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Old 2nd January 2018, 11:51 AM   #134
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
We don't have a lot of fur
...for a very good reason: we developed into hairless hunters who perspired and could run after animals during the African midday until those -furry- animals dropped because of a heat shock.

Originally Posted by crhkrebs View Post
Well caries exist in many prehistoric mouths, including non Homo Sapiens species.
The earliest evidence of cooking is from about one million years ago. "We" were homo erectus then.
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Old 2nd January 2018, 12:26 PM   #135
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
Huh? Potatoes, rice, pasta, shredded wheat, bread.......all carbs, all no problem for our teeth at all.
As long as you swallow them quickly. Human saliva contains an enzyme that breaks starches down into simple sugars to prepare them for digestion. There was an experiment that we did in junior high in which we applied iodine to a piece of bread and watched it turn black. Then we chewed a piece of the same bread until it was soggy, applied iodine, and there was no reaction.
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Old 4th January 2018, 12:08 AM   #136
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Originally Posted by Armitage72 View Post
As long as you swallow them quickly. Human saliva contains an enzyme that breaks starches down into simple sugars to prepare them for digestion. There was an experiment that we did in junior high in which we applied iodine to a piece of bread and watched it turn black. Then we chewed a piece of the same bread until it was soggy, applied iodine, and there was no reaction.
What a charming and practical science experiment. I substitute teach, am in awe of the people who actually draw out lesson plans.

We injected castrated chickens with testosterone and measured comb growth. That was all the way up in Biology 2 in high school though.
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Old 4th January 2018, 12:11 AM   #137
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Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
Apes haven't had kick-ass claws for tens of millions of years, so we never lost them. Instead we have fingers and opposable thumbs to hold things, and arms free to use at any time.
Thanks, I had not considered that adaptation.

Originally Posted by aleCcowaN View Post
...for a very good reason: we developed into hairless hunters who perspired and could run after animals during the African midday until those -furry- animals dropped because of a heat shock.
Learn something new every day!
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Old 4th January 2018, 12:19 AM   #138
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Originally Posted by aleCcowaN View Post
...for a very good reason: we developed into hairless hunters who perspired and could run after animals during the African midday until those -furry- animals dropped because of a heat shock...
This is sarcasm, right?
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Old 4th January 2018, 12:33 AM   #139
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
What a charming and practical science experiment. I substitute teach, am in awe of the people who actually draw out lesson plans.

We injected castrated chickens with testosterone and measured comb growth. That was all the way up in Biology 2 in high school though.
if you want to up that, you can boil saliva first and then show the enzyme stops working after being heated. With some care you can even do temperature curves.
If properly prepared this is something 12 year olds can understand to a degree (don't go into enzyme structure and all that).

A similar experiment can be done with pieces of potato and hydrogen peroxide solutions.
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Old 4th January 2018, 12:59 AM   #140
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
This is sarcasm, right?
Nope, Google " persistence hunting"
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Old 4th January 2018, 05:24 AM   #141
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
This is sarcasm, right?
Not at all. It's a hypothesis proven by many facts, one of them being that human lice and chimpanzee lice started diverging genetically some 7 million years ago, while human crabs started genetically diverging from gorilla lice some 3 million years ago. This means that head hair and pubic hair became fairly disconnected patches millions of years ago (besides attesting our ancestors were very friendly with other species)
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Old 4th January 2018, 07:32 AM   #142
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
Nope, Google " persistence hunting"

This may be one of the reasons why zombies are inherently frightening. They use our own tactics against us.
Humans had the stamina to pursue prey animals that were faster than us for long periods, eventually wearing them down until they could be caught. Humans are faster than zombies, but no matter how fast you run, you'll eventually get tired and stop. They never will. They just keep coming, slowly and inevitably.
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Old 4th January 2018, 07:37 AM   #143
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Originally Posted by Armitage72 View Post
This may be one of the reasons why zombies are inherently frightening. They use our own tactics against us.
Humans had the stamina to pursue prey animals that were faster than us for long periods, eventually wearing them down until they could be caught. Humans are faster than zombies, but no matter how fast you run, you'll eventually get tired and stop. They never will. They just keep coming, slowly and inevitably.

This might be true if zombies existed. Do you have any evidence for this, other than countless films and fantasy books?

But (question not directed specifically to you), what kind of god designs hair that continues to grow without also creating barber shears that humans can just pick up and use to cut that hair?
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Old 4th January 2018, 08:23 AM   #144
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Originally Posted by xterra View Post
This might be true if zombies existed. Do you have any evidence for this, other than countless films and fantasy books?

Obviously, I was theorizing on the psychological aspect of why humans would find these particular fictional beings frightening, despite their physical inferiority in some areas. I remember seeing an argument that the fast zombies found in some modern movies are more frightening than the classic shamblers because it's harder to run away from them, but a relentless pursuer that never stops is also frightening for different reasons.
There's also the uncanny valley, but that's a separate issue.
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Old 4th January 2018, 02:24 PM   #145
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
Nope, Google " persistence hunting"

I'm with Skeptic Ginger on this one. I Googled "persistence hunting" an found this in Wiki:

Grey wolves, African wild dogs, spotted hyenas, lungless spiders,[citation needed] and humans are adapted to using this hunting strategy.

Don't know about lungless spiders but there is plenty of fur on the other animals, so this heat shock thing that aleCcowaN in banging on about, doesn't make much sense.

The further justification of his involving the evolving of different lice as somehow supporting the hypothesis, (whatever that is), is just crazy.
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Old 4th January 2018, 02:39 PM   #146
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Our cells basically self-destruct if not provided with a continuous supply of the chemicals needed to maintain metabolism. How much better it would be if they instead went dormant, able to be revived when conditions improve. It would mean the end of death by drowning, starvation, exsanguination, etc.

Of course this wouldn't be of much use without modern medicine able to repair damage and manually restart blood flow with necessary nutrients infused, so it is no surprise that such an ability did not evolve naturally for us. An intelligent designer would have no such excuse for making our cells so fragile. We don't design cars to break down permanently if they run out of gas.
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Old 4th January 2018, 03:59 PM   #147
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Originally Posted by Lukraak_Sisser View Post
if you want to up that, you can boil saliva first and then show the enzyme stops working after being heated. With some care you can even do temperature curves.
If properly prepared this is something 12 year olds can understand to a degree (don't go into enzyme structure and all that).

A similar experiment can be done with pieces of potato and hydrogen peroxide solutions.
How do you get enough spit, though? Does everyone contribute? Or are there very tiny test tubes? You don't need more than a quarter teaspoon I imagine. Middle school kids would enjoy spitting and chewing white bread into soggy masses. Which they would inevitably throw at each other, I fear. [/derail]

What are some things we've lost that we'd be better off having, though? I guess by definition statistically we aren't or weren't better off having them at a population level or we would not have lost them.

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Old 4th January 2018, 05:50 PM   #148
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Forget the trivial cell and survival stuff!!

Does this mean that no one wants to discuss the ineptness of "bad hair design"? How hard could it be to design hair over the entire body that didn't grow beyond some relatively-optimal length? Look around you. This is IMPORTANT, people!
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Old 4th January 2018, 06:45 PM   #149
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Originally Posted by xterra View Post
Forget the trivial cell and survival stuff!!

Does this mean that no one wants to discuss the ineptness of "bad hair design"? How hard could it be to design hair over the entire body that didn't grow beyond some relatively-optimal length? Look around you. This is IMPORTANT, people!
I'd be happy just to have it on top of my head and pay someone to cut it.
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Old 4th January 2018, 09:25 PM   #150
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Sure, but why does it grow (did it grow when you were younger, anyway) there so that it needs constant cutting, and not on the rest of the body?

And incidentally, how did early male hominids keep their beards from getting so long that they would trip over them when doing this persistent hunting gig?

How is this intelligent design???
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Old 5th January 2018, 12:20 AM   #151
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So if we do have some instinctive behaviors that we have lost to guide us, I wonder if there are remnants that could be enhanced. There was a poster here some time ago who was very interested in a newborn's walking reflex. A newborn, with its body supported and held upright on a surface, will start taking steps. It's quickly lost and there seems to be little application for it to supplement the practical trial-and-error way we actually learn to walk months later. The poster, who hasn't been around recently, was interested in accelerating learning in children (his own) and had strong opinions about what he saw as lost opportunities to raise smarter, stronger kids.

As far as body hair we started pulling some of it out in caveman days as far as I can tell. I still don't know what would be wrong with slight allover furriness, it could be nice. It does make sense to select for hands that can manipulate objects, but how long did it take for man to start building dams? Beavers had been at it much longer. I don't think humans ever damned rivers instinctively.

I picture a lot of cold people with goosebumps snuggling up in caves and trying to feed themselves with stone tools which would mean raw rabbit meat or maybe grubs and leaves. I don't know when hominids first used fire for cooking but I bet it was some time before anyone learned how to start one. There were many things we had to work out by trial and error and many came much later than fire. How long ago did we learn to tan skins, make textiles and mine/smelt ore? I can understand how we got ahead once we had warm clothes, superior weapons and stored foods that could be cooked later into bread or mush. But from what I understand these are not evolutionary adaptations; the acceleration of technology in the past 15,000 years have not in themselves wrought evolutionary changes. They haven't had time.
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Old 7th January 2018, 06:49 AM   #152
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Head hair only needs constant cutting if you're picky about its length. It does not grow indefinitely. The maximum length it will grow for any given individual varies, though.

I cite the authoritative late 20th century scholarly work on the subject matter, appropriately titled Hair:

I want it long, straight, curly, fuzzy
Snaggy, shaggy, ratsy, matsy
Oily, greasy, fleecy
Shining, gleaming, streaming
Flaxen, waxen
Knotted, polka-dotted
Twisted, beaded, braided
Powdered, flowered, and confettied
Bangled, tangled, spangled, and spaghettied!
Oh say can you see
My eyes
If you can then my hair's too short
Down to here
Down to there
Down to where it stops by itself
(No never have to cut it 'cause it stops by itself)


The reason it stops by itself is that individual follicles periodically (but not simultaneously) go into a dormant phase where that hair strand falls out. The time and growth rate between dormant phases determine the maximum length. Those timings and growth rates vary on different parts of the body as well as between individuals.
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Old 7th January 2018, 07:33 AM   #153
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Myriad, look at my original post (#126) on this particular design feature. My acquaintance's hair does not seem to support your authority's position.

Nor does this:

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smith...ard-180953370/

(I know that the link says beard hair stops growing at about 5 feet [1.5m]. My original point remains: How is this intelligent design?)
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Old 8th January 2018, 09:46 AM   #154
Oystein
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Originally Posted by xterra View Post
Myriad, look at my original post (#126) on this particular design feature. My acquaintance's hair does not seem to support your authority's position.

Nor does this:

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smith...ard-180953370/

(I know that the link says beard hair stops growing at about 5 feet [1.5m]. My original point remains: How is this intelligent design?)
You point out to outliers. You might as well link to adults that grew to 8 feet of heigh ot only 3 feet, with all the problems such unusual growth is baggaged with; or to people who are exceptionally obese or exceptionally skinny due to their outlying personal metabolism; and question the wisdom of such "designs".

Perusing the German language Wikipedia, I find these typical numbers for human head hair:
  • Number: 100,000
  • Lost per day: 80
  • Growth per day: 0.33 mm
So each hair growth, on average, 100,000/80 days = 1,250 days (about 3.5 years) before falling out, and in that time reaches a length of 412.5 mm = 41.25 cm = 16.25 inches. That's not powerfully burdensome, or is it? Perhaps women's hair grows somewhat longer than men's hair, and I'd guess in either case, there is some sexual selection at play (same goes for male beards and female lack of the same). 40 cm of hair is no worse a burden than the peacock's tail or the deer's antlers.


With 100,000 hairs growing at 0.33 mm/day, you add 33,000 mm (33 m) of hair every day - whether you are shaven bald or have long hair
When your hair has reached full length of (on average) 41.25 cm, losing 80 hairs per day means losing 80 * 41.5 cm = 3,300 cm = 33 m - just what you gain by growing -> Dynamic equlibrium. You are no longer adding mass.

The average diameter of hair is something like 0.008 cm. This gives a full-grown hair a volume of 41.25 cm * (0.008 cm)2 * pi/4 = 0.002 cm3.
For 100,000 hairs, that's a total volume of a bit over 200 cm3 (equivalent to a 6x6x6 cm cube)
It seems that keratin, which is the major substance that hair is made of, has a specific gravity of about 1.3 g/cm3, so now we known that our fully grown head hair amounts to something like 270 g, or 0.6 lbs. (Note: I worked with rounded geometric means of numbers that are given as ranges. Of course, any individual may stray off these numbers by some factor).

For a fun comparison: Weigh your (clean!) underwear (underpants, undershirt, perhaps bra) on a kitchen scale: You will find that you cary much more weight in underwear with you than what most women with long hair have groing on their head - and I presume you never feel that you'd stand a significantly greater survival chance if you left your house without underwear!
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Last edited by Oystein; 8th January 2018 at 09:51 AM.
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Old 14th January 2018, 01:19 PM   #155
Thor 2
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Baby brain..... Now there's a good example of not so good design.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-1...-finds/9324664

One would think a woman would need all her faculties in good shape during this time, and not suffer from loss of cognitive ability and memory.
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Old 14th January 2018, 01:57 PM   #156
jimbob
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Originally Posted by Oystein View Post

For a fun comparison: Weigh your (clean!) underwear (underpants, undershirt, perhaps bra) on a kitchen scale: You will find that you cary much more weight in underwear with you than what most women with long hair have groing on their head - and I presume you never feel that you'd stand a significantly greater survival chance if you left your house without underwear!
It's not the weight but the length and the risk of getting tangled. As well as providing a good nest for parasites.

(On a trip to Jorvik they commented about how nit combs were a badge of status in Viking society)
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