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Author Topic: Logical explainations for the myth.  (Read 4064 times)
Athanor
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« Reply #25 on: December 06, 2013, 10:47:20 pm »


So..... it's not too improbable that lifelong exposure to metals and metallic compounds could result in congenital dwarfism.....



The mutations exposure to mutagenic substances would be random, and they would not be directed towards dwarfism.  It would be just as likely to throw up other genetic conditions, and the higher the rate of mutation the greater the diversity of the effects and the less direction the effects would have on the population as a whole.


Probably, but not necessarily. Achondroplasia (one form of congenital dwarfism) is caused by "a single missense mutation in one of the two Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor gene 3 (FGFR3)," according to http://www.medindia.net/patients/patientinfo/geneticdefects.htm

Now, I'm not saying that exposure to metals causes this particular mutation; merely that exposure to metals can cause gene mutations, and that a single gene mutation can cause an inherited congenital condition. Nothing to do with Lamarckism, really. This is all merely speculation - not even a testable hypothesis; but it remains a possibility, if only a vanishingly small one.

Athanor.
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George Salt
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« Reply #26 on: December 06, 2013, 11:33:53 pm »

Yes.. but it gives rise to that mutation in one individual.  You still lack the mechanism for a genotype shift in an entire population.

The most likely explanation for a population phenotype shift would be nutritional deficiency or a metabolic disorder caused by exposure to the chemicals.  But this would not be dwarfism.  If the diet was improved and exposure to the chemicals removed, future offspring would be of normal stature.
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Athanor
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« Reply #27 on: December 07, 2013, 05:34:42 am »

Yes.. but it gives rise to that mutation in one individual.  You still lack the mechanism for a genotype shift in an entire population.


The mechanism is inherent in the condition; a single mutation in the FGFR3 gene, which is then inherited. Read the article; if ONE parent has the mutation, then any child of that parent inevitably has the same mutation, and, thus, the same condition; and on and on it goes, through the generations. That's why it's called inherited congenital achondroplasia

Athanor.
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Alexis Voltaire
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« Reply #28 on: December 07, 2013, 07:40:17 am »

I'm pretty sure the unicorn myth (or at least the horn part) comes from Narwhal tusks. I read somewhere that Norse traders in the middle ages traveled into the far northern areas to acquire these for trade, so there was a real source of them in Europe at the right time.

When I was small a neighbor of mine had about 2 feet of the end of a real narwhal tusk, they look exactly like what I'd imagine a unicorn's horn would. I think someone just embellished the story of their origin, it's not hard to imagine that they came from a land animal, since they feel a lot like ivory or antler.

Here's a picture
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« Reply #29 on: December 07, 2013, 08:34:52 am »

I'm pretty sure the unicorn myth (or at least the horn part) comes from Narwhal tusks. I read somewhere that Norse traders in the middle ages traveled into the far northern areas to acquire these for trade, so there was a real source of them in Europe at the right time.

When I was small a neighbor of mine had about 2 feet of the end of a real narwhal tusk, they look exactly like what I'd imagine a unicorn's horn would. I think someone just embellished the story of their origin, it's not hard to imagine that they came from a land animal, since they feel a lot like ivory or antler.

Here's a picture


But how does a found Narwhal tusk (probably along the shore) gives the association with a horse? It just doesn't add up. Perhaps a sighting of a bad hair day horse, followed by a found Narwhal tusk.
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« Reply #30 on: December 07, 2013, 09:24:43 am »

I'm pretty sure the unicorn myth (or at least the horn part) comes from Narwhal tusks. I read somewhere that Norse traders in the middle ages traveled into the far northern areas to acquire these for trade, so there was a real source of them in Europe at the right time.

When I was small a neighbor of mine had about 2 feet of the end of a real narwhal tusk, they look exactly like what I'd imagine a unicorn's horn would. I think someone just embellished the story of their origin, it's not hard to imagine that they came from a land animal, since they feel a lot like ivory or antler.

Here's a picture


But how does a found Narwhal tusk (probably along the shore) gives the association with a horse? It just doesn't add up. Perhaps a sighting of a bad hair day horse, followed by a found Narwhal tusk.


A narwals tusk is grown from a mutated tooth. along with an elephant, A stag has a horn of bone with an hard outer that falls off. A rhino's horn is made keratin (hair and nails) however the closest next match, the stag only has and outer shell of this on it horn.
While a unicorn could be close to the stag in that its horn could be Keratin coated bone. It would be plausible that due to modern horses being gromed and treated as pets, the hair doesn't get to stick together to form and grow into a horn.

Other Plausable explanations is that use to random mutation, the modern horse just stopped growing them!
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Atterton
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« Reply #31 on: December 07, 2013, 09:00:50 pm »

Keep in mind that the unicorn has traits besides the horn that differ from those of a horse.
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CPT_J_Percell
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« Reply #32 on: December 07, 2013, 10:12:42 pm »

Keep in mind that the unicorn has traits besides the horn that differ from those of a horse.

Not that I can think off, but are you maybe thinking of its winged cousin the pegasus?
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George Salt
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« Reply #33 on: December 07, 2013, 11:36:56 pm »

Now, I'm not saying that exposure to metals causes this particular mutation; merely that exposure to metals can cause gene mutations, and that a single gene mutation can cause an inherited congenital condition. Nothing to do with Lamarckism, really. This is all merely speculation - not even a testable hypothesis; but it remains a possibility, if only a vanishingly small one.

Athanor.


You have a mechanism acting at the level of the individual, the scenario requires the trait to be dominant at a population level.  Achondroplasia is particularly unsuited to an explanation for a population entirely consisting of dwarf individuals (I did read the article). And I know that's justone possible genetic explanation, but the original explanation by the OP was very Lamarckian.



The unicorn has several other well known characteristic traits beyond the horn.  There's an interesting discussion on theunicorn in an old programme of In Our Time - http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00vhfdf
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Alexis Voltaire
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« Reply #34 on: December 08, 2013, 12:36:24 am »

I just remembered, there are people breeding white goats to have a single straight horn to make a unicorn. Lots of pictures.

I've seen a number of descriptions of unicorns that portray them as goatlike, equine with goat features, or vice-versa. Maybe it was just someone that got really bored and started to fool around with selective breeding of this type?
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chicar
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« Reply #35 on: December 08, 2013, 04:41:28 am »

For ghost, the more common explaination would be hallucinations due to ultrasound but i love to believe in a yet to be  discover quantic phenomenon.
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« Reply #36 on: December 08, 2013, 06:57:03 am »

Spiral horned Antelope, the single horn effect being a view from a distance. Alternatively anything that grows horns having them grow twisted together from an injury or mutation.
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MWBailey
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« Reply #37 on: December 08, 2013, 07:19:52 am »

Spiral horned Antelope, the single horn effect being a view from a distance. Alternatively anything that grows horns having them grow twisted together from an injury or mutation.



This seems the most plausible explanation (notice that I did not say 'probable' or 'likely'; there're a lot of suppositions inherent in this and most of teh other 'possibilities' so far discussed), in my view.

Perhaps the trait became permanent, and over time the two points of growth either merged or occurred so close together as to make the point (no pun intended) moot?
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bicyclebuilder
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« Reply #38 on: December 08, 2013, 12:31:15 pm »

For ghost, the more common explaination would be hallucinations due to ultrasound but i love to believe in a yet to be  discover quantic phenomenon.

We can only see in a small area. For instance, try to read a word on the right of this line, while looking at a word on the left. You can see there is a word there, but can't make out what it written. The area outside our visable range is added by our mind. This could be the area where we see ghosts. Figments of our imagination, made up by what we think is there.
Ghosts caught on camera are often explained by natural phenomenons.
I like to watch "Ghosthunters International", where they hunt ghosts. Usually using a voice recorder to record the questions they ask and the answers from said ghosts. Most of the times it's whispers. Sometimes rather convincing, but most of the time it sounds like a shuffle or a rumble from shoes or clothes. Put into context, it sounds like an answer that makes sence.
I'm not 100% convinced that all of this is fake, but a good 95% can be explained with natural events.
That said, all over the world, all the time, there have been people who claim to have seen ghosts. Also, there are numerous civilisations that where convinced that there is life after death.
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CPT_J_Percell
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« Reply #39 on: December 08, 2013, 03:47:21 pm »

Gentlemen I tend to believe that many of these things do exist but just because they haven't been seen doesn't mean that they do not exist.

It is possible that as monkeys turned into human then so too can other species.
Just because we haven't seen a dragon doesn't mean that they don't or didn't exist. I believe that if they are truly the oldest and wisest species to exist then they may have found a way to disguise themselves. As to ghost it could be that at various locations the vail between the living and the dead is thin enough for us to see through or it could be that we are seeing people from another world through (again) the thinning of the barriers between worlds.

*Leans back in the high backed seat to sip on the malt scotch and looks up to the smoke drifting around the room. On the table beside the chair sits a pile of books and the notepad containing the theory of Draconian genesis and evolution.*

Sorry, this is starting to feel like a role play!
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Atterton
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« Reply #40 on: December 08, 2013, 07:43:43 pm »

"It is possible that as monkeys turned into human then so too can other species."

That's just not how it works.

The reason I brought up siamese twins is to illustrate just how rare hypertrichosis really is. I believe we just know of about 50 cases for the last 500 years. That makes it seem unlikely you'd end up with a whole population having it, even if it is hereditary.
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CPT_J_Percell
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« Reply #41 on: December 08, 2013, 08:14:03 pm »

That's just not how it works.

No, there is also Darwinian evolution!
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George Salt
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« Reply #42 on: December 08, 2013, 09:51:16 pm »

"It is possible that as monkeys turned into human then so too can other species."

That's just not how it works.

But it sadly persists as one of the most common misunderstandings of how evolution or natural selection works.. along with that other chestnut that somehow humans are somehow "more highly evolved" than some other given species.
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CPT_J_Percell
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« Reply #43 on: December 08, 2013, 10:10:13 pm »

"It is possible that as monkeys turned into human then so too can other species."

That's just not how it works.

But it sadly persists as one of the most common misunderstandings of how evolution or natural selection works.. along with that other chestnut that somehow humans are somehow "more highly evolved" than some other given species.

Ah yes god sir, that is such a chestnut. You just have to tread these cobbled streets to find the not so evolved humans. Perhaps they are samples of the yeti and bigfoot!
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bicyclebuilder
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« Reply #44 on: December 09, 2013, 09:15:37 am »

I don't think we have found all primates. Alive or fossil. We've only scratched the surface (pun unintended) when it comes to primate fossils. Us humans have lived along side a lot of Homo Genus. And in a relative short time of about 2.5 million years. Perhaps after all these years, we've forgotten about these species, but sometimes we've encounter the last ones of it's kind. Those encounters got rare and special. Stories linger on even far after they got extinct. Maybe these "missing links" still exist or maybe it's just the stories that echo's through time.
If we look at Bigfoot as a primate similair to Gorillas, it would probably need about 15 km2 of habitat. There are sertainly areas in the world that have this size of undiscovered land. The problem is, we don't know if we can compare Bigfoot with Gorillas. We don't know if their social structure is similair to Gorillas. All we know is the stories of encounters.

As for ghosts. Perhaps there is something beyond death. In the Ghosthunter show, they use all kinds of monitoring equipment. Heat camera's, infra red camera's, laser grid, EMF meters, geiger counters. But all seperate. Isn't it possible to make a tool that can collect all these things at ones? A combination of this can probably take in more data then all of them seperate. Perhaps a combination of infra red and EMF can shed more light on the subject.
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George Salt
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« Reply #45 on: December 09, 2013, 12:48:39 pm »

"It is possible that as monkeys turned into human then so too can other species."

That's just not how it works.

But it sadly persists as one of the most common misunderstandings of how evolution or natural selection works.. along with that other chestnut that somehow humans are somehow "more highly evolved" than some other given species.

Ah yes god sir, that is such a chestnut. You just have to tread these cobbled streets to find the not so evolved humans. Perhaps they are samples of the yeti and bigfoot!

Even if found, they are as equally evolved as humans.  All extant species are equally evolved.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2013, 01:59:29 pm by George Salt » Logged
RodDuncan
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« Reply #46 on: December 09, 2013, 01:44:16 pm »

I am really enjoying reading this discussion. So many great ideas.

This, below, is another way of thinking about the question. Please forgive me if it is slightly tangential:

Anthropologists have suggested that stories and myths are subject to a process of evolution by human selection, particularly in pre-literate societies. A story is told. Some of the listeners may then go and re-tell it to others. But all the re-told versions are slightly different from each other, because our memories are fallible. Inevitably, some of the retold versions are better suited to satisfy profound human psychological needs. These get re-told more often than the less satisfying versions. Thus, the story evolves over generations of re-tellings until it reaches its ‘ideal’ form.

This theory doesn’t have anything to say about the question of whether mythic creatures really exist/existed. However, it does suggest that where a myth exists across a wide range of geographically separate cultures, it probably answers fundamental human psychological needs.

I have heard it suggested that the Fair Folk are projections of unconscious human needs. But I repeat – that does not imply any answer to the question of whether they exist independently of our conception of them.

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bicyclebuilder
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« Reply #47 on: December 09, 2013, 02:30:37 pm »

That might be the case, RodDuncan. It's easier to vent ones feelings or point of view with the use of mythical creatures. With the right simbolism, the "in"-crowd knows who the storyteller is referring to. And a mythical creature can do whatever the storyteller wants it to do. Also, like you said, easier to explain the unexplainable.
The made up creatures can play tricks on us. If one would go to "sasquach country", one might feel the presence of Bigfoot. A tree trunk can easyly be mistaken for a big hairy creature.
Same goes for a haunted house. If one it told that the house they are going to spend the night is haunted, chances are a ghost will be seen. Wishfull thinking.

My quest is a double one: Are certain myths real or misinterpetations of what has been seen? Meaning, is there some form of threuth in the myth or is it all made up?
And if the myth is based on a real animal, what would that animal be or have been?
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RodDuncan
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« Reply #48 on: December 09, 2013, 02:43:03 pm »

I can recommend this podcast on the subject of unicorn myths:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00vhfdf

It is a scholarly discussion of the origin of unicorn myths and is part of the BBC radio series 'In Our Time'
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violaambroseflux
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« Reply #49 on: December 09, 2013, 03:36:43 pm »

living unicorn

http://youtu.be/cB20ttaNlAQ
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