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Thread: Fun Facts about Primates

  1. #16
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    Touch my Bomb, this is life...

  2. #17
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    Too bad "Scissor Sisters" is already taken...

  3. #18
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    "debatable, but many scientific sources will confirm that symbiotic relationships far out number competitive ones in nature"

    Must disagree. Surely parasitic life is the most common and successful, maybe not as competitive as Lion vs Deer, but definitely a one way street.

    IMHO it's rather silly to consider biological systems in emotional terms and judge them as such.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by credit crunch View Post
    "debatable, but many scientific sources will confirm that symbiotic relationships far out number competitive ones in nature"

    Must disagree. Surely parasitic life is the most common and successful, maybe not as competitive as Lion vs Deer, but definitely a one way street.

    IMHO it's rather silly to consider biological systems in emotional terms and judge them as such.
    Yes, and then you have bacteria, which outnumber just about everything else organic and are always competing with other organisms/their environs for their very existence.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by credit crunch View Post
    IMHO it's rather silly to consider biological systems in emotional terms and judge them as such.
    absolutely. and our media does it all the time, portraying nature as this mean, sinister wild where everyone creature is out for itself.

    but positing that symbiotic relationships may outnumber competitive ones is not an emotional response. at least no more than positing the other way around.

  6. #21
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    yeah you could "posit" that "symbiotic" (marketing catch phrase or what?) relationships "outnumber" other kinds, but you'd have no way of quantifying that in reality so it'd be basically a wild guess based on, well, nothing.

    things exist. things sometimes need to kill other things to continue existing. end of story.

  7. #22

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    As well as the beginning...

  8. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by credit crunch View Post
    "debatable, but many scientific sources will confirm that symbiotic relationships far out number competitive ones in nature"

    Must disagree. Surely parasitic life is the most common and successful, maybe not as competitive as Lion vs Deer, but definitely a one way street.
    On symbiosis:

    Symbiosis is an intimate association between two different organisms. In fact, most animals and plants live symbiotically with microorganisms. The larger organism is called the host and smaller organism or organisms the symbionts. Examples include bacterial colonization of the skin and digestive tract of animals and the roots of plants. For the microorganism, the benefits of the association can be a stable protective environment provided by the host. The bacteria may also obtain nutrients from the host. On the other hand, the symbionts can "protect" the host by making it more difficult for colonization by pathogenic bacteria. Some symbionts supply the host with nutrients that the host cannot synthesize themself nor obtain from their food.

    The original definition of symbiosis by deBary (1879) did not include a judgment on whether the partners benefit or harm each other. Currently, most people use the term symbiosis to describe interactions between the symbiont and the host from which both partners benefit; this is also called a mutualism. If there is negative effect on one of the partners, it is called a parasitic symbiosis and if there is no beneficial or negative effect it is a commensal symbiosis. These clear-cut definitions are not always easy to apply in nature. Take the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa for example. This bacterium can be found on the skin of humans and not cause disease, perhaps we would call it a commensial, but if the person has a severe burn P. aeruginosa can cause an infection and becomes a pathogen (a medicinal term for parasitism). This type of organism is called an opportunistic pathogen.

    Whether an association is a mutualism, commensialism or parasitism depends on the relative "strengths" of the partners and the balance of power can change over time.

    Parasitic behaviour is thus still a form of symbiosis FWIW.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by nomadthesecond View Post
    yeah you could "posit" that "symbiotic" (marketing catch phrase or what?) relationships "outnumber" other kinds, but you'd have no way of quantifying that in reality so it'd be basically a wild guess based on, well, nothing.
    assuming that you are right for now, that there is no way to "quantify the number of co-operative relationships vs. competitive ones":

    capitalism/civilization/media's privileging of the hunter over the gatherer, portrayal of the dog eat dog Nature of blood lust and competition, depiction of a ultra violent "human nature", is also "a wild guess based on nothing".

    Quote Originally Posted by nomadthesecond View Post
    things exist. things sometimes need to kill other things to continue existing. end of story.
    but it's more complex than that: our society chooses to focus, stress, and give more weight to the "sometimes need" to kill things, and makes violence seem like the pre-dominant form of interaction in nature -- because it's exciting, because it's good for the box office; and also for deeper ideological reasons.
    ________________________________________

    so nomad, symbiosis is not a "marketing catch phrase". i'm surprised some one as thoroughly learned and possessing of expert level experience in the field of biology is not familiar with such basic terminology.
    Last edited by zhao; 04-03-2009 at 06:14 AM.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by credit crunch View Post
    "debatable, but many scientific sources will confirm that symbiotic relationships far out number competitive ones in nature"

    Must disagree. Surely parasitic life is the most common and successful, maybe not as competitive as Lion vs Deer, but definitely a one way street.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr BoShambles View Post
    On symbiosis:

    Parasitic behaviour is thus a form of symbiosis.
    symbiosis, whether mutualistic, commensal, or parasitic, by definition, is anything but a "one way street".

    The biologist Lynn Margulis, famous for her work on endosymbiosis, contends that symbiosis is a major driving force behind evolution. She considers Darwin's notion of evolution, driven by competition, as incomplete and claims that evolution is strongly based on co-operation, interaction, and mutual dependence among organisms. According to Margulis and Dorion Sagan, "Life did not take over the globe by combat, but by networking."
    makes sense that 19th century thinking would privilege competition over co-operation: it was a time of dog-eat-dog industrialization. and it also makes sense that it has become the dominant interpretation of evolutionary theory even 100+ years later, for our times is not very different -- how ever this does not mean that most of nature, or human history, is based on competition and violence -- the contrary in actuality.
    Last edited by zhao; 04-03-2009 at 09:28 AM.

  11. #26
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    really good book by Robert Eisler called "Man Into Wolf: The Origins of Sado-Masochism" where he argues that humans started as peaceful tree-dwelling apes, but then we started mimicking predatory animals like wolves (the origin of the werewolf myths, and the reason for their resurrection in Nazi imagery). So the humans who were able to imitate carnivores (the original humans were vegetarian) survived, and killed off the ones who couldn't adapt. If this theory is right my guess is that the Neanderthals were exterminated in what you might call an early version of an ethnic cleansing raid, something along those lines.

    Lynn Margulis has written some fantastic books about biology and cosmology. Also if you like her work you should read some Stuart Kauffman, a really nice guy who runs the Santa Fe Institute where I used to go occasionally. I added Lynne on FB a few weeks ago incidentally.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by zhao View Post
    symbiosis, whether mutualistic, commensal, or parasitic, by definition, is anything but a "one way street".
    Symbiosis, when in reference to cellular biology, is a little different than the common sense definition of the term, but yes, I don't think anyone's ever denied that sometimes organisms cooperate with one another. Why would they? In fact, most of the time organisms cooperate. Sometimes they don't.


    makes sense that 19th century thinking would privilege competition over co-operation: it was a time of dog-eat-dog industrialization. and it also makes sense that it has become the dominant interpretation of evolutionary theory even 100+ years later, for our times is not very different -- how ever this does not mean that most of nature, or human history, is based on competition and violence -- the contrary in actuality.
    No, it is not the "dominant interpretation of evolutionary theory", not even close, not by any scientist I've ever read, heard, or met in my entire life. Evolution has nothing to do with "competition" and everything to do with random mutation and environmental cues that happen to make these adaptations sometimes advantageous, other times not so advantageous for survival.

    Sometimes, when resources are low, species or organisms compete for these resources, but this has nothing to do with the theory of evolution.

    Once again, we've seen how the complete misapprehension of the most basic scientific theories gets repeated over and over and mistaken for "science" to the point of absurdity. By none other than.

  13. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by zhao View Post
    i'm surprised some one as thoroughly learned and possessing of expert level experience in the field of biology is not familiar with such basic terminology.
    Quote Originally Posted by nomadthesecond View Post
    Once again, we've seen how the complete misapprehension of the most basic scientific theories gets repeated over and over and mistaken for "science" to the point of absurdity. By none other than.
    FFS why don't you two just get married and be done with it

  14. #29
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    so nomad, symbiosis is not a "marketing catch phrase". i'm surprised some one as thoroughly learned and possessing of expert level experience in the field of biology is not familiar with such basic terminology.
    I never said I was an expert in the field of biology--far from it-- but hopefully I will be after I finish my second BaccScience and my MD/PhD. You know that I have my degrees now in humanities, not science. I have never claimed to be an expert in anything.

    What I was referring to up there is that there's no proof that "symbiotic" relationships (as in, those between hosts and parasites) OUTNUMBER those between, for example, VIRUSES or BACTERIAL DISEASES and their hosts. In fact, there's proof of the opposite being true.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr BoShambles View Post
    FFS why don't you two just get married and be done with it
    I'd rather shoot myself in the face.

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