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Huck Mucus
09-12-2013, 03:04 PM
Non-scientist here. How did it come about that the anus is so close to the vagina; the urethra is "in" the vagina; the urethra passes both urine and semen. I think I learned this once, long ago, maybe in a discussion about how or why we even have separate sexes, but I've forgotten. When and how (not why) did the split occur in the first place? Thanks in advance.

Ian B
09-14-2013, 01:27 AM
In reply to your first question, the female body was designed by a local government authority. Who else would build the playground next to the sewerage works?:eyebrows: As for the rest, you need to read "The Birds and the Bees" for Dummies.

Mac von Frankfurt
09-14-2013, 01:56 AM
Does this mean I can hand off the award for the most awkward first post?:first:

MikeWhalen
09-14-2013, 02:43 AM
heheh, pretty much bro


Does this mean I can hand off the award for the most awkward first post?:first:

Huck Mucus
09-14-2013, 04:25 AM
In other words, you don't know. That's okay. I'll wait. Maybe someone who does will come along. If a whale's nose can rotate up and back to the top of the front of their body, you'd think our sex organs would move away from our waste disposal facilities. But I was really more interested in why they started out there in the first place, if they did. If not, how what drove them there. You'd think evolution had a reason in either case.

Mac von Frankfurt
09-14-2013, 05:47 AM
OK, I apologies for making an inside joke at your expense on your very first post. I am pretty new but I have been lurking quite a bit and I think it is accurate to say most people on this forum are interested in our ancestors after they started walking. So you may be waiting a long time for an answer. I could be wrong as some of these folks are pretty widely read.

AJL
09-14-2013, 06:25 PM
you'd think our sex organs would move away from our waste disposal facilities.

If there is no biological incentive to change, things usually don't change much.

Huck Mucus
09-14-2013, 06:46 PM
If there is no biological incentive to change, things usually don't change much.

That makes sense, but then that assumes the status quo is the way things have always been; begging two questions: 1. If they've always been that way, what was the biological incentive to start them out that way in the first place? And 2. Wouldn't sanitation be a reason to separate them? I suppose maybe the close proximity could build anti-bodies etc, but if that were the case, we'd just eat shit. The fact that we don't gives rise to my initial question.

AJL
09-14-2013, 06:55 PM
that assumes the status quo is the way things have always been

Not at all. Look at the phylogeny of all creatures then examine their digestive and reproductive systems and you might see my point.

MikeWhalen
09-14-2013, 08:49 PM
not to be a jerk, but they ripped up my street a few years ago and I had them replace the old water and sewer lines...they were about 15 ft deep (should have seen the mess digging the trench for them) and were less than a foot apart on the street side, and ended up coming in my house about 6 inches from each other
-that does seem to be relevant to this conversation, in a round about sort of way
...I guess the point is, regardless of ick factor, the simplest and easiest path to achieve the goal is what usually occurs in biological design, so having similar structural systems next to each other means a whole new different way does not have to be forged, and if by using a clever valve system you can use 1 system for 2 purposes, well, why not
-as to why that track or path got used in the first place, if I understand it right, there were probably hundred of different paths tried in evolution way back in the day, the one we and all the other mammals got, won out

dont know if that speaks to your issue, but its the best I got

welcome to the forum Huck

Mike

Huck Mucus
09-14-2013, 10:14 PM
Not at all. Look at the phylogeny of all creatures then examine their digestive and reproductive systems and you might see my point.

You said: "If there is no biological incentive to change, things usually don't change much." How does that not assume the status quo is the way things have always been, at least for the purposes of our discussion?

Huck Mucus
09-14-2013, 10:22 PM
not to be a jerk, but they ripped up my street a few years ago and I had them replace the old water and sewer lines...they were about 15 ft deep (should have seen the mess digging the trench for them) and were less than a foot apart on the street side, and ended up coming in my house about 6 inches from each other
-that does seem to be relevant to this conversation, in a round about sort of way
...I guess the point is, regardless of ick factor, the simplest and easiest path to achieve the goal is what usually occurs in biological design, so having similar structural systems next to each other means a whole new different way does not have to be forged, and if by using a clever valve system you can use 1 system for 2 purposes, well, why not
-as to why that track or path got used in the first place, if I understand it right, there were probably hundred of different paths tried in evolution way back in the day, the one we and all the other mammals got, won out

dont know if that speaks to your issue, but its the best I got

welcome to the forum Huck

Mike

Thanks for the welcome and the answer Mike Whalen. I understand the argument you are making. It's supported by our trachea and esophagus using pretty much the same utility corridor (to continue the analogy). Although we managed to keep our air, food and drink intake on one end and our sewer, birth canal and insemination delivery on the other end. While it may have been inconvenient to give birth and have sex out of our mouths/heads, I still would have thought those activities would have had further separation from the sewer. My original question was probably not very well stated but I guess I was asking almost in the same vein as the question about why we (and much of the animal kingdom) have five digits instead of four or six or . . .?

AJL
09-14-2013, 11:51 PM
You said: "If there is no biological incentive to change, things usually don't change much." How does that not assume the status quo is the way things have always been, at least for the purposes of our discussion?

Sorry, I'm not going to do your bio homework for you. If you paid close attention to what I said and did some reading, the answers should become clearer.

Huck Mucus
09-14-2013, 11:57 PM
Sorry, I'm not going to do your bio homework for you. If you paid close attention to what I said and did some reading, the answers should become clearer.

It's not a matter of biology. Rather, it's a matter of language; specifically the words "no incentive to change" and "don't change much." Where that is the case, the assumption of status quo is clear, in the context of our discussion.

Edited to clarify:

Your tautology is not in dispute. Rather, as I already said, it begs questions from the OP which were re-stated later for you, and which were not answered by the tautology.

“If there is no biological incentive to change, things usually don't change much” is true (I already stipulated “that makes sense”). But it adds absolutely nothing to the questions “How did it come about that . . .” and “. . .what was the biological incentive to start them out that way in the first place?”

You might as well say “It is what it is.” Yes, I agree. Now, can you answer my questions? If not I will wait some more.

AJL
09-15-2013, 02:23 AM
It's not a matter of biology. Rather, it's a matter of language; specifically the words "no incentive to change" and "don't change much." Where that is the case, the assumption of status quo is clear, in the context of our discussion.

Edited to clarify:

Your tautology is not in dispute. Rather, as I already said, it begs questions from the OP which were re-stated later for you, and which were not answered by the tautology.

“If there is no biological incentive to change, things usually don't change much” is true (I already stipulated “that makes sense”). But it adds absolutely nothing to the questions “How did it come about that . . .” and “. . .what was the biological incentive to start them out that way in the first place?”

You might as well say “It is what it is.” Yes, I agree. Now, can you answer my questions? If not I will wait some more.

You think you know logic? Go look up the meaning of "beg the question," which you got wrong in your earlier post.

Ian B
09-15-2013, 02:55 AM
Huck Mucus: The point is that the answers to your questions are so complicated, and I guess, in the main, can't be answered. The male urethra being a means of urination as well as ejaculation is convenient I suppose. Female urethra being protected by the labia is also convenient. But why stop there? Why is the mouth the means by which we take sustenance as well as breathing? Why are female breasts external to their bodies? Why is it that only females produce milk? These are all matters best explained by an expert biologist, and are the result of millions of years of development. And who is to say that in another million years that the human body will not have transformed into something that today would be unrecognisable as human?

Huck Mucus
09-15-2013, 03:51 AM
You think you know logic? Go look up the meaning of "beg the question," which you got wrong in your earlier post.

Allow me to correct you. I am as to reason, logic and debate as you would have us believe you are to Biological Anthropology and Human Evolution. I have the degrees and three decades of experience to back it up, but I'll just let the record here speak for itself. Your tautology, as I have already demonstrated, directly entailed the conclusion. You based your conclusion about my questions on an assumption that is as much in need of proof or demonstration as the conclusion itself, thus begging the questions I had already asked. When in a hole, sometimes it is best to stop digging, but ego won't always permit.

Huck Mucus
09-15-2013, 03:56 AM
Huck Mucus: These are all matters best explained by an expert biologist, and are the result of millions of years of development.

I agree. An expert biologist would indeed be a great help. I thought I might find that here, in Anthropology, Biological Anthropology, Human Evolution. Maybe not. Maybe I'm in the wrong forum. I shall move on.

AJL
09-15-2013, 02:28 PM
Allow me to correct you. I am as to reason, logic and debate as you would have us believe you are to Biological Anthropology and Human Evolution. I have the degrees and three decades of experience to back it up, but I'll just let the record here speak for itself. Your tautology, as I have already demonstrated, directly entailed the conclusion. You based your conclusion about my questions on an assumption that is as much in need of proof or demonstration as the conclusion itself, thus begging the questions I had already asked. When in a hole, sometimes it is best to stop digging, but ego won't always permit.

You misused a term in logic which you claim to be adept at, and you're not paying attention to the biological systems of other species related to people and how they evolved, so I would say perhaps you are in the wrong forum.

I say this not to be unwelcoming, but I have seen lots of people who pretend to be experts come on to forums in order to push an unclear agenda, and so far, I am not convinced you are not one of them.

You may have been taught that there is no such thing as a stupid question. Maybe there aren't, but there certainly is such a thing as a stupid way to ask a good question.

AJL
09-15-2013, 04:12 PM
I have a feeling Huck Mucus will not be with us for much longer, but just so everyone else here knows, science in general and evolution in particular work on a null hypothesis system:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Null_hypothesis

In essence, if something is in an evolutionary state, the assumption is it will not change unless there is a reason for it to do so.

This is different than assuming things have always been as they are: unfortunately Huck Mucus does not seem to be as good at logic as he claims he is.

In this case the null hypothesis is to preserve a cloaca, an organ that has both excretory and reproductive functions. What Huck Mucus failed to do was to understand (a) that science works on null hypothesis; (b) that monotremes have a cloaca as do other aninmal orders and so the null hypothesis is that an ancestor of humans went from having one organ for both functions to two, which is actually a change; and (c) that insulting those who know what they are talking about while pretending to know what one is talking about is generally bad practice.

GTC
09-16-2013, 07:35 AM
I have a feeling Huck Mucus will not be with us for much longer,

I'm surprised he/she has lasted this long.

ilmari
09-19-2013, 05:08 AM
A Google search will turn up all anyone needs to know and the fun part is that all of the same syntax is used with anyone that ever used the same moniker.

AJL
09-20-2013, 12:08 AM
Thanks ilmari -- he seems to be gunning for the Guinness record for most forum bans.

Mac von Frankfurt
09-20-2013, 01:29 AM
If there is no biological incentive to change, things usually don't change much.

Just to get this straight in my mind, I always assumed the egg precedes the chicken. That is the mutation occurs independent of any incentive. If the mutation is advantageous for survival or mating the mutation gains as a percentage of the population. Eventually the entire population may have the mutation and it becomes a defining characteristic of the species. But the species did not will the mutation into existence nor did environmental conditions cause it. The mutation was a random occurrence.

AJL
09-20-2013, 02:16 AM
Just to get this straight in my mind, I always assumed the egg precedes the chicken. That is the mutation occurs independent of any incentive. If the mutation is advantageous for survival or mating the mutation gains as a percentage of the population. Eventually the entire population may have the mutation and it becomes a defining characteristic of the species. But the species did not will the mutation into existence nor did environmental conditions cause it. The mutation was a random occurrence.

Yes, that is true. A better way for me to say this would have been: if there is no selection for that mutated trait, it will tend to persist at only very low levels, so that over time it is more or less neutralized. To go to this specific example, perhaps some individual people have their "equipment" slightly farther apart than others, but if there is no incentive for this trait to be selected for as opposed to a cloaca or two widely separated orifices, there will be little or no change in this trait in the population over time. (This could also be called normalizing selection.)

BMG
09-20-2013, 02:28 AM
Just to get this straight in my mind, I always assumed the egg precedes the chicken. That is the mutation occurs independent of any incentive. If the mutation is advantageous for survival or mating the mutation gains as a percentage of the population. Eventually the entire population may have the mutation and it becomes a defining characteristic of the species. But the species did not will the mutation into existence nor did environmental conditions cause it. The mutation was a random occurrence.

Interesting theory . In short survival of the fittest . Quite logical but one question though
If a species is put into unfavourable conditions like climatic changes wouldnt there be an incentive for a change whether it is for good or bad since no changes means its doomed ? .After all the surviving species must have gone through difficult phases and got adpated .

AJL
09-20-2013, 03:32 AM
If a species is put into unfavourable conditions like climatic changes wouldnt there be an incentive for a change whether it is for good or bad since no changes means its doomed ?

Individual organisms can't be incentivized or motivated to change the way employees are by sales commissions or bonus packages.

Mutations already exist in a population: then, those individual populations that have a mutation that is favourable for dealing with climate change will live and reproduce more, while other populations won't.