The Speed Obsession

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
Look at the evolutionary chain. From monkeys to proto humans to man the line gets taller (diet I guess?) and we are as a whole still getting taller, but according to you that's not evolution anymore. And starving a person to near death for their entire lives might stunt their growth, but merE nutritional value of meals alone will not. You need to actually read " The Origin of Species". If you say you have then you should re-read it, because your description "only if there is some reproductive advantage" is dead wrong. Your understanding of evolution is limited. You continuing to argue points you want to be true without anything real to back it up, we'll you used the word obtuse. You don't realize that you are not disagreeing with me, you are disagreeing with Darwinism. You are merely shooting the messenger.
Have you read the various twin studies on development? Some of them are old but still valid.

Height is a combination of factors. Genetic predisposition and expression is one set, diet is another set. Monozygotic twins brought up separately in different environments grow to different sizes and that seems to largely depend on environmental factors - including diet. Hormonal factors during adolescence and childhood also affect growth and these can be altered by both genetics and environmental factors. To be 'tall', diet and genetics need to be on your side. That's not to say that you can't be tall for other reasons though, sometimes a hormonal difficulty will express itself as either shortness or tallness. So it's a complex web of causality.

Over the last few hundred years in the Western World, the average height has increased largely as a result of improved healthcare and nutrition. The genetic base for most of the European population has changed little but the expression of height has changed and we are - on average - taller. Again, healthcare and diet and particularly during childhood and adolescence.

It's not rocket surgery to suggest that a young child that is inadequately fed will have developmental differences - including being shorter - than a child that is adequately fed. The genetics change very slowly but the height of the average European has increased significantly.

Evolutionary psychologists have said at various points that traits viewed as 'attractive' by society are usually indicators of good health in that society. Therefore it's not unreasonable to come to the conclusion that if height is an indicator of health, height in itself can be seen as an 'attractive' trait, the taller people breed more and both their genetic predisposition to height may be passed on more regularly.

What I'm not saying is that this is an evolutionary change. It could be self-selected breeding, like with dogs! The fundamental genetic base of all modern dogs is the same - canis lupus familiaris - but there are more varieties of dog than any other single specie on Earth. The domestic dog is all the same species - they can all interbreed and provide viable offspring so even though their appearance and size can be enormously different, the genetic base is fundamentally the same.

Diet and genetic expression are both factors that decide height.
 

drummer-russ

Gold Member
Okay. I'll leave it with this, then you can say "unh uh" one more time, and we can stop this. Do you believe that jockeys or flyweight boxers can get taller by eating a better diet? Do you think those people don't already eat well. Don't forget about pro basketball players, sheesh, we could have have 8'0" tall players in no time (diet right?). Its to bad we didn't understand this when Robert Wadlow was alive. We could have simply starved him into shrinking (No genetics there). While we're at it, let's try an enhanced diet for people with dwarfism, you know, nip that problem in the bud. It's just a genetic trait right? That can be changed with diet right? Look, I don't have a link to an obscure study that shows some scientific evidence that there is a possible link between diet and the height of modern humans. I will however direct you to the many papers and books published by Charles Darwin.
did you read the articles?
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
Awesome post, Duncan. Except, well, I read it so fast that I probably missed every salient feature... Time to go do some reproducin to add another ADHD citizen to our ranks!

J/K - I think you nailed that one.
 
T

The SunDog

Guest
did you read the articles?
Yes and they are good articles, but they refer to ontogenetic growth spurts. Specifically, the comparatively long growth of humans in relation to other primates and our ability to effect the overall growth of a single speciman by varying dietary nutrition during that growth period. It does not in any way account for or explain why humans are fully 12" taller now than we were 8-10 thousand years ago. Those articles explain how nutritional and dietary changes during ontogenetic growth spurts can account for differences measurable in inches above or below the average, over the course of just a few generations, they do not explain (or even refer to in those articles) the continual upward trend of human growth over the course of thousands of years. If your goal is simply to find evidence that supports the beliefs you already have then those articles are all you will need or want to read on this subject. If you want diet to explain away evolution, then I assure you it will.
 
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T

The SunDog

Guest
Have you read the various twin studies on development? Some of them are old but still valid.

Height is a combination of factors. Genetic predisposition and expression is one set, diet is another set. Monozygotic twins brought up separately in different environments grow to different sizes and that seems to largely depend on environmental factors - including diet. Hormonal factors during adolescence and childhood also affect growth and these can be altered by both genetics and environmental factors. To be 'tall', diet and genetics need to be on your side. That's not to say that you can't be tall for other reasons though, sometimes a hormonal difficulty will express itself as either shortness or tallness. So it's a complex web of causality

It's not rocket surgery to suggest that a young child that is inadequately fed will have developmental differences - including being shorter - than a child that is adequately fed. The genetics change very slowly but the height of the average European has increased significantly.

Evolutionary psychologists have said at various points that traits viewed as 'attractive' by society are usually indicators of good health in that society. Therefore it's not unreasonable to come to the conclusion that if height is an indicator of health, height in itself can be seen as an 'attractive' trait, the taller people breed more and both their genetic predisposition to height may be passed on more regularly.

What I'm not saying is that this is an evolutionary change. It could be self-selected breeding, like with dogs! The fundamental genetic base of all modern dogs is the same - canis lupus familiaris - but there are more varieties of dog than any other single specie on Earth. The domestic dog is all the same species - they can all interbreed and provide viable offspring so even though their appearance and size can be enormously different, the genetic base is fundamentally the same.

Diet and genetic expression are both factors that decide height.
This exactly the point. Environment can explain why one twin is 5'6" and one is 5'8. There is no way to make either of them 5'0" or conversely, 6'0". Variances up and down within a generation or from one generation to the next, will always be relative to the median. These variances can be explained by diet, but the continual upward trend of the median height cannot. That part is evolution :)

Look all I said originally is that people are competetive by nature and that is root of the whole "speed obsession" . I made a reference to de-evolution and how we can't just get shorter, someone disagreed with me (ad nauseam) that human height and evolution are connected, and so here we are, waaaaay off topic
 
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drummer-russ

Gold Member
" If your goal is simply to find evidence that supports the beliefs you already have then those articles are all you will need or want to read on this subject."

Nice job assuming. I actually researched to find why it has occured, not to confirm any thoughts I had. I completely understand the concept of confimation bias thank you.

So can you produce articles to the contrary? You seem to be fixating on the diet of an individual. The facts I and others have referred to are the better diet and health care for the human race at a macro level.
 
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