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  1. #1
    Level 8 Propaganda Bot SpankyMcFly's Avatar
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    Default Why did life move to land?

    Red Riding Hood: Goodness, what big eyes you have!
    Wolf: The better to see you with

    "Life on Earth began in the water. So when the first animals moved onto land, they had to trade their fins for limbs, and their gills for lungs, the better to adapt to their new terrestrial environment.

    A new study, out today, suggests that the shift to lungs and limbs doesn’t tell the full story of these creatures’ transformation. As they emerged from the sea, they gained something perhaps more precious than oxygenated air: information. In air, eyes can see much farther than they can under water. The increased visual range provided an “informational zip line” that alerted the ancient animals to bountiful food sources near the shore, according to Malcolm MacIver, a neuroscientist and engineer at Northwestern University.

    This zip line, MacIver maintains, drove the selection of rudimentary limbs, which allowed animals to make their first brief forays onto land. Furthermore, it may have had significant implications for the emergence of more advanced cognition and complex planning. “It’s hard to look past limbs and think that maybe information, which doesn’t fossilize well, is really what brought us onto land,” MacIver said.

    MacIver and Lars Schmitz, a paleontologist at the Claremont Colleges, have created mathematical models that explore how the increase in information available to air-dwelling creatures would have manifested itself, over the eons, in an increase in eye size. They describe the experimental evidence they have amassed to support what they call the “buena vista” hypothesis in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences."
    Above is an excerpt. Full article: Why Did Life Move to Land? For the View | Quanta Magazine

    The abstract of the paper submitted to National Academy of Sciences Massive increase in visual range preceded the origin of terrestrial vertebrates PDF: http://www.pnas.org/content/114/12/E2375.full.pdf




    This article caught my eye *grin* because how it relates to the question: How can a thing as complex as the eye have evolved by successive steps? If you take away certain parts, then it doesn’t work…or does it?

    This question is really part of a whole broader spectrum of questions about whether evolution can really explain complex things. This modern argument is basically a restatement of William Paley’s watchmaker argument, only now it goes under the name of irreducible complexity. This argument was popularized by Michael Behe and is widely used by Intelligent Design proponents.


    Rise above, break the cycle, focus on science.

    P.S. To think, this came about because of some researcher (who is being paid by someone) studying fish. It's something I know I'm going to think about next time I reflexively deride research on some esoteric topic.
    "The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents... Some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new Dark Age. " - H.P. Lovecraft
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  2. #2
    one way trip Abendrot's Avatar
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    Fascinating. In retrospect it seems obvious that visual acuity and the development of terrestrial life are related.

    I am still skeptical about the idea that it was eye development which drove this transition from sea to land, because small terrestrial animals generally do not pay attention to faraway objects, and this makes it doubtful that the land-fishes would have benefited much from the improved visual acuity.
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  3. #3
    Level 8 Propaganda Bot SpankyMcFly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abendrot View Post
    Fascinating. In retrospect it seems obvious that visual acuity and the development of terrestrial life are related.

    I am still skeptical about the idea that it was eye development which drove this transition from sea to land, because small terrestrial animals generally do not pay attention to faraway objects, and this makes it doubtful that the land-fishes would have benefited much from the improved visual acuity.
    Perhaps the herbivorous marine life could see 'stuff' on land to eat/interesting or as a safe space (lol) to protect from water predators. Obviously the predators followed the herbivores. Something 'seal' like comes to mind.
    "The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents... Some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new Dark Age. " - H.P. Lovecraft

  4. #4

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    God. Muthafrackers.

  5. #5
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Default Amphibians and Adaption

    We moved to land for the same reason we are moving from print based culture to an electronic culture today.

    Yes, we are the new amphibians, and consider, fish didn't discover water until we stated to move to land, just as we didn't discover the Environment until we went to the moon and turned the camera around and beheld the Earth and the Environment for the first time.

    So the general principle is that as the children of amphibians we naturally migrate from one environment to one richer and more favourable. It's called adaption, and it is why we are here.

    And if we want a tip on how to lead a better life, look for, and find, and join, a better social environment. Of course it means leaving your old social environment behind, and we find our old social environment was invisible, we took it for granted, until we left.

    It is extraordinary to find that our present environment is invisible to us until we move to a new environment.

    But be not afraid, we take our old environment with us as content into the new environment, for instance, the amphibians took the invisible environment of the sea with them onto land in their blood stream, when we left the sea, we carried the sea inside us. The sea is no longer our environment but is the now the content of our environment, just as books are now the content of the internet.

  6. #6
    Problem? Grand Admiral Crunch's Avatar
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    We moved to land because we got a good deal from the sea witch

  7. #7
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grand Admiral Crunch View Post
    We moved to land because we got a good deal from the sea witch
    Are you in the great amphibian tradition and painfully moving from one environment to an more favourable environment, or does your present environment remain invisible to you and you console yourself with fantasy?

  8. #8
    is indra's Avatar
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    Every niche is filled.

    Evolution 101
    tiny purple fishes run laughing through your fingers
    and you want to take her with you, to the hard land of the winter

  9. #9
    Problem? Grand Admiral Crunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mole View Post
    Are you in the great amphibian tradition and painfully moving from one environment to an more favourable environment, or does your present environment remain invisible to you and you console yourself with fantasy?

    I'll go with the first choice.

  10. #10
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grand Admiral Crunch View Post
    I'll go with the first choice.
    You can talk the talk, can you tell us how you walk the walk?

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