Thursday, August 23, 2012

In which Ryan cares too much about having the last word.

So I bet you thought this blog was dead. Well, you were right; however I'm returning to make this post because the fact that the two top posts both say the same thing really bothers me.

This is fallacious reasoning:

"I share 99% of my DNA with a chimpanzee, therefore the other 1% is what makes me human."

It's a fallacy called "begging the question." There is no way you could possibly reach this conclusion without assuming what you're trying to prove.

If you share 99% of your DNA with a chimpanzee, the remaining 1% is what makes you not a chimpanzee. That is all.

</rantnoonewilleversee>

Monday, May 14, 2012

Throughout this semester we discusssed the various componets that makes us human.  When researching possible ways to answer this question I found a number of articles that said that humans and chimpanzees share about 99% DNA which means that it is that 1% that makes us human.  Also this semster we participated in 23 and me and I learned so much about my ancestry that I did not know before. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What makes me me???

After finishing up for the semester with APG 350 I know we have heard from everyone on what we thinks makes me me.  After finishing up my paper tonight and with the final presentations in class I have really sat and thought about this.  I still after all these assignments give an exact answer, because there is too much to the answer.

Biologically I am human.  I am 99% the same as a chimpanzee.  I have 46 chromosomes.  My phenotype is shown through my dirty blonde hair, green eyes, and much more.  But in the paper we were focusing mainly on the biological aspect but I did give some of my opinion to wrap the whole thing up. 

I truly feel that our culture, surroundings, and choices make us who we our.  Mostly our choices. My sister and I grew up in the same house and are completely different people.  I have made choices completely different from hers that have molded the person that I am today.  I chose my friends, the music I listen to, the way I dress, what I majored in.  I look at those same choices made by the people I grew up with and they are all different.

Many things in the class have been so open ended.  I have found myself questioning and thinking about things I never have before.  I look at things like race and identity in a different way.  This class has truly been an experience that I would not take back...after 5 years of college I'm graduating May 20th and this is probably one of the classes and college experiences I won't forget. 

Everyone has been adding family photos or bringing them in class so I added some of my own!

Monday, May 7, 2012

What makes me human

The human race as a species is one of the most intelligent animals to ever walk the planet earth.  The fact that homo sapiens sapiens have culture is what separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom.  Culture gives humans there way of life.  Culture provides language, art, lifestyle, and types of food consumed.  Biologically speaking homo sapiens have the largest brain capacities of all primates.  This makes room from more intuitive and creative lifestyles.  Homo sapiens are one of the only animals to adapt very well to every condition and environment this planet has to offer.  Our DNA is exclusive to use only.  The mutations our ancestors have acquired through out our 100,000-200,000 years of existence have shaped who we are today as homo sapiens.  Even today mutations are helping shape who humans really are.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Blue "Eyeberg" paper back in the news

A nice explanation of the science behind the blue eye evolution news you may have heard recently ... here.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Genomeboy's latest post

In "Of hairballs and long hauls" Misha gives us continued, helpful insight in classic Misha form!

What makes me me......

So I'm not really good at this, I never can get the hang of blogging but here it goes.

All semester we've been talking about what makes us human and unique as individuals and most of us said it was our genes or our environment and we all brought in fun baby pictures and told embarrassing stories and had a good laugh on the last day of classes. We all shared photos of our siblings so here's mine:


The top one is the three of us at my sister's 8th grade honors night about 3 years ago. My brother and I are about 4 years apart and my sister and I are about 6 years apart. Even though we all have the same smile and we all had the same crooked English teeth (until my sister got braces), the one thing I loved about the three of us is our eyes. Looking at us we definitely look related, no question, but you can tell where each of us got our eyes. My brother has light blue eyes with a ring of god around the iris, like our mom. My sister has dark blue/grey eyes, like our dad and then there is me. For the longest time I couldn't figure out were mine came from. But as I got older and actually started to learn and care about my background and genes I looked at photographs of my grand parents. I discovered that I have my grandma Jean's eyes, my mom's mom. I was very excited because we are very close and she is just the most wonderful person you'll ever meet (but who doesn't say that about their grandma's right?)

Another cool thing I started to notice when I was digging through my old family photos is how similarly my mom, my grandma and I looked

That's my grandma (black and white photo) when she was younger, around WWII. It was cool to see how alike my grandma, my mom and I are. The top right one is my mom when she was in girl scouts in the 70s and the bottom one is me, my freshman year, road tripping. There are differences in the three of us but I love the similarities we all have

So eyes are a good example of our uniqueness. But going along with what Molly was saying, age makes a huge difference in sibling differences. When we were younger, my sister always tried to copy my and my friends but now, we couldn't be more opposite. Sure we both are a little tree huggy but she is super athletic and runs all the time and listens to rap/pop and is all about photos for fb and such were as I don't run unless something is chasing me or I have to catch a farm animal, I listen to country, show-tunes, indie, and 50s, and I take more photos of everything else than myself to show my aunt on fb (she lives in the UK so it's cheaper than sending them snail mail). My brother and I are still similar, we have similar tastes in comedy, we like science and stuff but being in college as drifted us apart a little. My brother and sister are only about 18 months or so apart everyone thought they were twins when they were younger. People called them Irish Twins. Now, however, they are so different and so polar opposite it's hard to believe they are related.


But enough about them. What makes me human, what makes me me? Doing research for the final paper, I keep stumbling across articles about the 1% difference from chimps and the HAR1 region in the brain where most of the evolutionary advances and differences occurred and the different variations that led to us today. How we categorize people into groups, like race and how that is arbitrary and  you can get it wrong. I also find papers on how unique we are because we have so much variation within our populations and how diverse humanity is. I love it. I love making collages of how different everyone is because it is so beautiful! The colours, the culture, the faces, just wonderful! I want to thank you guys for a great semester and an insight on human variation.



-Cheers :)