I’m naturally curious. I’ve always asked a lot of questions. Fortunately I’ve come to terms with a lot of them through extensive exploration of different shit because it used to frustrate the hell out of me to not understand something. But I do still have one that is hard to wrap my mind around. How did the very first human/human-like babies survive? I mean, I think we all can agree that human babies are pretty dependent for survival and could not possibly provide themselves with the things they need to survive. So am I missing something here? Did two asexual species come together and then create the sexual species that would evolve into homo sapiens? What would have been the point in that? Why would they have had the reproductive systems to pro create sexually? Lol! But that’s as close as a “logical” answer as I could come up with. What do you think?
This is just one of those questions that we would ask when we were young you know like if God created everything, who created God. lol Figured you fellow over-thinkers would have fun with this.
They might not have been so dependent in the past. I don’t know for sure obviously but evolution shows us we used to have bigger jaws and now we don’t need them. That is a little example but times change, things change and maybe babies now weren’t the same as babies back then.
…And another thing.
How would the two matching reproductive systems required to produce human or human evolutionary ancestors, have been evolved and ready to go at the same time and point in history? There has to be some sort of widely accepted theory on this. Maybe Darwin touched on the issue? I wouldn’t know, I have yet to deeply study evolutionary theory but at this point, my first presumption would be intelligent design.
The species that would eventually evolve into homo sapiens sapiens had been procreating sexually long before anything considered remotely “human.” The first “human-like” baby’s parents already had maternal and paternal instincts, just like most modern primates do in the wild.
this is a little like the chicken and the egg problem. There’s no knowing exactly when the first human was born; the line is far fuzzier than that. The earliest known case of the genus Homo is from around 2 million years ago.
The Smithsonian has a lot of info on early humans, if you’re interested: http://humanorigins.si.edu/
Your second question is a little more complicated: scientists know that genders are ancient structures of procreation. But nobody really knows WHY. From an evolutionary standpoint, it doesn’t really make sense for a lifeform to make the switch from asexual to sexual reproduction. It’s less efficient and requires two beings (at least) for any more to be born. This is a question that might be answered eventually by evolutionary biologists, but as far as I know, there’s no widely accepted hypothesis on the matter.
@lukashjanssen, Yeah, I realize that this is a very broad question and it possibly involves hundreds of millions of years of evolution. I’m not so much looking for an answer as I am appreciating the complexity of whatever that answer is… Be it, evolution, Intelligent Design, or a combination of both.
I read a little online, and it seems that some scientists think that the origins of sexual reproduction lie in the increased diversity of the gene pool. For creatures that spend time in various environments, it might be an evolutionary advantage to be able to have more diverse genetics in a population. This happens more with sexually reproducing animals because offspring only receive half of each parent’s genes, instead of identical genes (as happens with asexual creatures).
So maybe, since mammals and humans move around alot and need to be able to adapt to different environments, having a less-efficient, but more diverse genetic pool is actually an adaptive benefit. Who knows.
@onlyicontrolme, Right =) I’m clearly looking at this from an evolutionary standpoint. Perhaps someone else will stop by and make a presentation from an intelligent design standpoint. I think most major metaphysical worldviews have creation stories that explain the origins of the two genders (e.g. Eve from Adam’s rib).
@onlyicontrolme, I see. Well, while survival was difficult for early protohumans and their infants, it wasn’t impossible. Early homo sapiens had longer life spans compared to other similar primates (i.e. Neandarthals), and as a result, most humans lived to see their grandchildren. The presence of grandparents allowed us as a race to pass wisdom on to younger generations, ensuring their survival.
As for where sexual production came from, that’s a much harder question. There are several theories out there, and not many of them hold water. I personally haven’t even been convinced by one, but I can suggest further reading: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/sex/advantage/index.html
I found this article pretty helpful in explaining the different views out there
The parents of the first human-like babies kept them alive. Question answered.
There’s a lot more questions of course, but that is the general gist. These first primitive human babies had to come from somewhere… so being born from other human like organisms these babies were likely under their protection.
When I read your question I thought you meant that when we suddenly evolved into human babies how did we survive…. seeing as evolution occurs over a long period of time obviously these human babies had parents.
Lucius said it best. It’s not like one day a baby human arrived and had to fend for itself. We come from a long line of evolution. If you wanna go far back to the beginning it goes something like this (supposedly), bacteria, cells, plankton, fish, fish growing feet, reptiles, mammals, humans. It’s all a very very slow process over millions of years. Some sort of ape slowly evolved from a different sort of animal. There is no cut off. It’s continuous.
A-sex females are the natural species of Earth. Male is an alien virus that mimics DNA life-forms and then procreates with them to create a viable off-spring. Through the millennia, hardly any lifeforms have escaped the grasp of the male virus, thus guaranteeing the survival of the infiltrating male gene! Muahahaha
Nahh, i really have no idea. But I agree the male/female separation is such a fun and interesting paradox to think about.
@onlyicontrolme, Our babies are so much more dependant than others because of brain development, the human brain is a lot more complex than even our nearest living relatives, chimps, whose babies are relatively quick to become more mobile and self-sufficient. When a horse is born, it stands up within minutes or birth.
The further back humankind goes, the simpler their brain structure was and the quicker babies would develop. But even still, pretty much all mammals take care of their children for some time before they leave the nest, humans have had shelter for tens of thousands of years, we are not exposed like other animals are in the wild, so we can afford to have our babies more dependant for longer.