The Stadium Paradox

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I’m curious to see what sorts of things people will think of in response to this:

You go to a football game and you bring your mother. She sits to your right. To your mother’s right is her mother. To the right of your mother’s mother is her mother, and so on. As you go around the stadium, you maternal ancestors for thousands of generations are sitting in the stadium, each one to the right of thier own daughter. Now you look to your left. After going all the way around the stadium, the chain has come back around to its starting point. The ancestor to your left is not human. At what point in the stadium is the cutoff? It is generally accepted by biologists that an organism cannot give birth to an offspring that is a different species than it is. At what point do your maternal ancestors stop being human if an offspring cannot be a different species than its parents?


Thoughts?

 
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There is not one clear point. It’s a continuum and looking at one single family (usually) isn’t enough either, because the change took place in a population that lived in an environment that favoured certain changes.

 
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You go to a football game and you bring your two month older friend. he sits to your right. To your friend’s right is his two month older friend. To the right of your friend’s friend is his two month older friend, and so on. As you go around the stadium, some really old people are sitting in the stadium, each one to the right of thier younger friend. Now you look to your left. After going all the way around the stadium, the chain has come back around to its starting point. The methusalem is not a kid (assume you are). At what point in the stadium is the cutoff? It is generally accepted by biologists that a human does not holometabolise from child to adult. At what point do your older via via friend stop being a kid if a two month difference cannot provide a full metamorphism?


also a species by definition includes everyone that can interbreed to sustainably keep the genepool cohesive. if they form to genepools that are beyond the natural ability to remix into one genepool, they’re seperate species. seen from one generation to the next, you can’t clearly cut this taxonomically at any point, but from a single reference point you can, in theory. if we take the modern human, then the earliest ancestor that we in theory (if we could travel through time to meet) could interbreed with to sustainable mixed populations, that is the same species as us, before is not the same species as us – however the two sides of that border can be considered the same species between eachother, so it only works from one specific reference point.

 
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Officially every species has a single member taken and that is used to define the species. An animal is considered a different species if it would not have been able or is not able to multiply with this original example. This goes for humans as well (we are talking about genetical compatibility not actual reproduction)

 
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Originally posted by OmegaDoom:

At what point in the stadium is the cutoff? It is generally accepted by biologists that a human does not holometabolise from child to adult. At what point do your older via via friend stop being a kid if a two month difference cannot provide a full metamorphism?

There isn’t one. You’ll see a gradual progression, with isolated numbers of children popping up with adults on either side. Then a point where there are as many children as adults, and slowly the adults will tail out, leaving just children.

there is no one specific age we can point to and say “Biologically, that’s an adult!” Instead,l it all depends on individual rates of maturation, which for those who are a bit slow, means that it is an individual thing, unique to each individual. It follows a bell curve (as usual).


Originally posted by thijser:

An animal is considered a different species if it would not have been able or is not able to multiply with this original example.

Yup. As soon as reproduction becomes genetically impossible, the descendant has drifted too far from the ancestor to be considered the same species. That’s all there is to it.

 
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well, it is a little more complex than that. for one thing, while there are several species of lions, as well as several species of tigers, it is actually not even genetically impossible for lions and tigers to reproduce with eachother. in fact, the female offspring of a female lion and a male tiger (or was it the other way around?) is fertile.

 
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I’ve got a new one,
Suppose you are in a stadium and the guy right to you is 2 degree celcius hotter than you, guy next to him is 2 degrees hotter than him and so on a nd so forth. The circle completes and the guy to your left is ghost rider.
Tell me where does the change came?

 
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Suppose you are in a stadium.

Now suppose you are a bowl. To the right of each person is a person slightly more like a cup. The person to your left is a cup. When does one stop being a bowl and start being a cup?

Fuzzy logic, go.

 
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Suppose you are in a stadium.

Now suppose you are bacon. To the right of you is someone with slightly less fat. The person to the left of you is salami. When does one stop being bacon and start being salami?

I’m hungry.

 
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The switch happens…when there is enough intelligence to both emulate a turing machine, AND pass that behavior to your descendents, and have them pass it on…oh, and have enough brain power left over to change the turing machine rules so as to produce another turing machine.

Monkeys can be trained to emulate a turing machine, but they really won’t be able to pass it on to their descendents.

 
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from my opinion we cannot tell exactly which one is different because from evolution point of view, change doesn’t appear suddenly but slowly. that change can be define into another species just after thousand even millions of year. so it will change steadily but you can’t pin point for sure

 
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In stadium. Caucasian. Left = darker. Right = Michael Clarke Duncan. When Caucasian no more?


These kinds of definitions are great for detecting extremes, but they fail miserably when you get to the middle of the spectrum. When you see Christianity you can clearly see that it’s a religion, but how can you really define religion? Is Buddhism a religion? Is Doctor Who a religion? Is Atheism a religion (precisely what it’s not)? Is Stalinism a religion?

The same thing goes for trying to label someone as a neocon (e.g.), or defining what is alive and what is not, trying to define music genres, etc.