User talk:Eighty5cacao/Eloi physiology

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[edit] Neoteny vs. progenesis

Split from Talk:Eloi language#One note about Morlock language --Eighty5cacao 21:24, 10 February 2011 (MST)

Ok. I will try to address a couple of additional points I didn't bring up above:

  • Unreliability of the narrator — more specifically, the Time Traveller may not be entirely consistent as to what he means by "cooing."
  • The phonological similarities may be limited by differences in vocal tract physiology. Compared to modern humans developmentally, the Morlocks are likely accelerated as much as the Eloi are neotenous.

BTW, is the necessary JavaScript in place to allow redirects to anchors to work? Eighty5cacao 14:01, 10 February 2011 (MST) (last edit 14:13, 10 February 2011 (MST))

I read the page behind the commented-out link, and I think we need to mention progenesis in addition to neoteny. As for redirects to anchors, does iostream answer your question? --Tepples 18:05, 10 February 2011 (MST)
To address your points in order:
  1. It is plausible that the Eloi are more progenetic as well as more neotenous than present-day humans, since a shorter lifespan (due to predation) would require an earlier age of sexual maturity. Also, it's unclear how much progenesis would affect vocal anatomy as compared to neoteny; I expect it not to be significant, but data are deficient since neoteny and progenesis are not usually favored simultaneously. A general survey of Eloi physiology would better be treated as a separate article. If you were referring to the Morlocks, please explain.
  2. Yes, the link works as expected, and I probably should have tested that myself in a sandbox page.
I will write the "Comparison with Morlock language" section shortly unless I hear further objections. Eighty5cacao 19:00, 10 February 2011 (MST)
The hypothesis that I assumed when I wrote the entry for TTM in tvtropes:ImTakingHerHomeWithMe (since migrated to allthetropes:I'm Taking Her Home with Me) was that Eloi development stops at physiological age six, meaning there is no need for neoteny (slowdown), only progenesis (stopping short). Chapter 4 backs this up: "the children of that time were extremely precocious, physically at least". I'd bet they even need an external stimulus to unlock puberty, just like a Pikachu needs a Thunder Stone to unlock its mature state, and the Morlocks know this. And yes, I think such an article about Eloi physiology is deserved if we can dig up enough other clues from the book.
And if you didn't understand the edit summary, I'll avert failure: "Progenesis does what Neotenydon't" alludes to this Sega commercial, and so does one of Motorola/Verizon's Droid commercials. --Tepples 19:21, 10 February 2011 (MST)

Edit conflict: I intended to reword my last comment as follows:

No, I had no trouble understanding the edit summary (at least as far as Sega Genesis does what Nintendon't). Eighty5cacao 19:32, 10 February 2011 (MST)
I wouldn't rule out neoteny completely — recall what I've said about cuteness/kawaii, which have been linked more to neoteny than to progenesis in the sources I've seen. (I can cite the TTM text for specific physical features if you wish.) I acknowledge that small body size != neoteny; dietary limitations probably account for small size (related to insular dwarfism?).
What the Time Traveller means by "precocious" is difficult to determine precisely due to changes in the English language and his unreliability as a narrator. I've interpreted it to mean only that some type of heterochrony is present; neoteny is suggested by physical appearance, and progenesis earlier sexual maturity relative to other traits can be deduced from the shortening of lifespan by predation. (I misread my sources a bit; attempting to fix.)
With regard to your hypothesis, what source are you proposing for the puberty trigger? Specifically, does it come directly from a plant (as does a psychoactive drug you previously proposed), or is it something that requires processing in Morlock machinery?
As implied here, I am reasonably confident I can deduce enough from the book to be worth drafting. Some of this thread may need splitting to the draft's talk page, but I still need to figure out how. Eighty5cacao 19:58, 10 February 2011 (MST)

I should probably clarify why I said neoteny cannot be ruled out entirely. Consider one hypothesis about the distant future of human evolution — read from "However, Dr Curry warns..." to "Physically, they would start to appear more juvenile." Most of Dr. Curry's assumptions and hypotheses are inconsistent with those of H. G. Wells, but the paragraphs I indicated are still relevant, if more to neoteny than to progenesis. Neoteny seems more likely than progenesis to arise in humans via natural selection, but since artificial selection may happen, I assume both are significant. Eighty5cacao 10:23, 11 February 2011 (MST) (last edit 12:21, 12 February 2011 (MST))
See also another BBC News article which mentions lactose tolerance. To restate my points above: You may be right about the novel providing more clues to support progenesis than neoteny. However, it is unlikely that neoteny will never be favored between now and Eloi times, given the direction in which human evolution is already going. Eighty5cacao 00:49, 1 March 2011 (MST) (minor edit 08:58, 31 October 2012 (MST))
To make one last attempt at summing it up: "No need" does not mean "unlikely." Eighty5cacao 12:17, 24 May 2011 (MST)

Mud?

Kip.

In the future there will be neoteny, at least according to "Cyberfetus Rising". Something I wrote about axolotls and elves in this talk page section may apply here as well if future upworlders (Eloi) are deficient in a mineral. --Tepples 11:19, 16 November 2012 (MST)

In a nutshell: I'd need to study more closely the role of iodine in mammalian (and especially primate) metabolism. (This response also applies to the other discussion.)
In other words, making the leap from axolotls to humans is a bit hard to do without ... well, jumping to conclusions. My mind is also throwing fits about the potentially different environments of high-fantasy elves and the Eloi. Anyway, I acknowledge that I have previously read the page in question, but my mind didn't get around to mentioning it here. --Eighty5cacao 21:23, 16 November 2012 (MST)

#1: The baby schema. What does this say about the evolutionary tendency toward progenesis/neoteny as a way to encourage cooperation among adults and even protection from predators by contorting the adult face to fit the baby schema? --Tepples (talk) 15:32, 12 December 2012 (CST)

Acknowledged; I'll need some time to come up with a substantive reply, much as it is hard to make specific predictions about linguistic drift. (For comparison [edit], the baby schema in the Morlocks would have degraded over time so as not to recognize Eloi faces, but I digress.) --Eighty5cacao (talk) — Preceding undated comment added at 17:57, 12 December 2012 (MST) (last edit 22:18, 16 January 2013 (CST))

[edit] Dying of fright

See wikipedia:Nocebo and wikipedia:Acute stress reaction for the closest things to dying of fright in H. sapiens that I could dig up in a few minutes. --Tepples 08:29, 28 February 2011 (MST)

Ok. I have some doubts whether it is really appropriate to organize this article by bodily system, since dying of fright as well as "easily fatigued" could be relevant to multiple systems. I'll need some time to think about it. Eighty5cacao 09:22, 28 February 2011 (MST)
See also stress reaction in a goat breed. --Tepples 10:16, 12 March 2011 (MST)
That would belong better on the fanon page — the canonical view seems to be that Weena is actually dying in ch. 9, or at least becoming incapacitated to an extent that she would certainly die in the fire. The "fainting goats" behavior sounds more like a method of faking death (compare what I've already mentioned about playing possum). Eighty5cacao 11:47, 12 March 2011 (MST)

[edit] Fatigue

Fatigue is easy to explain. It's seen in H. sapiens without a habit of physical exercise. If you can just shake a tree and pick up the fruit, you don't have the kind of stamina that a farmer in a slightly less sugary environment would have. The same is true of mental fatigue: people inexperienced at stacking tetrominoes place far fewer pieces per calorie than the average Hard Drop regular, as reported in this Wired story. --Tepples 10:52, 28 February 2011 (MST)

I was planning to add wording to the effect that "The overall cardiovascular fitness of the Eloi is poor due to inadequate physical exercise," but my concern is this: Although the Eloi lack organized exercise patterns, their play activities might well have exercise value. Eighty5cacao 12:46, 28 February 2011 (MST)
There is exercise in play, which is why real-world elementary schools have recess periods. But if they don't play for long enough periods, they build only enough stamina to last one round at a time. That led me to Google ADD, and I ended up looking at wikipedia:ADHD predominantly inattentive. It states that this subtype of ADHD "is characterized primarily by inattention, easy distractibility, disorganization, procrastination, forgetfulness, and lethargy - fatigue, but with less or none of the symptoms of hyperactivity or impulsiveness typical of the other ADHD subtypes." In other word, these Eloi are clinically inattentive. --Tepples 15:46, 28 February 2011 (MST)
For the record, the Wikipedia article in question was later moved back to Attention deficit disorder. --Eighty5cacao (talk) 00:40, 13 December 2012 (CST)
It was moved (back?) to wikipedia:Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and "ADHD predominantly inattentive" does not currently appear to be a separate article. --Eighty5cacao (talk) 06:26, 21 July 2013 (UTC) (I am no longer maintaining this comment. --Eighty5cacao (talk) 21:02, 21 July 2013 (UTC))

Baby brains filter out less information than adult brains; see all but #2 in 5 Superpowers We All Had as Babies (According to Science) from Cracked. (#2 is about brown fat, which I've mentioned elsewhere.) Considering the developmental course of the Eloi, how could this relate to ADD symptoms? --Eighty5cacao (talk) 22:33, 17 February 2013 (CST)

In present-day humans, ADD incidence correlates negatively with sun exposure. What could this imply about differing mechanisms of ADD symptoms between present-day humans and the Eloi? --Eighty5cacao (talk) 06:00, 12 July 2013 (UTC)

[edit] Pitch of modal voice

Wikipedia:Voice type#Children's voices and Wikipedia:Vocal folds#Sex differenceshave a few ideas about what results in changes to voice type, from a "treble" (soprano-ranged child's voice) to an adult voice. The larynx gets longer, especially in men, and the lungs get bigger. I've noticed that adult little people on various documentary series on Discovery Networks (e.g. Little People, Big World) tend to have higher-pitched voices than people of typical stature, possibly because the larynx hasn't had as much room to grow. --Tepples 16:16, 14 April 2011 (MST)

Okay, thank you. I hope it does not seem like I'm being lazy here, but I am of course involved with schoolwork. Eighty5cacao 18:57, 14 April 2011 (MST)

[edit] Notes to self: Cardiovascular system

See vasovagal response for fainting and takotsubo cardiomyopathy for the physical condition commonly associated with "a broken heart" (though the latter is unlikely to be quite as relevant here). Eighty5cacao 17:54, 9 May 2011 (MST)

[edit] Maintenance note: Neoteny and progenesis on Wikipedia

wikipedia:Progenesis has been redirected to wikipedia:Neoteny without discussion by a user who claims problems with the comprehensiveness and/or sourcing of the former article. If there really were not enough material for an article, the proper redirect target would be the more general topic wikipedia:Heterochrony since neoteny and progenesis are clearly different. Hence I dispute this, but I am reluctant to take matters into my own hands. The last good version of the progenesis article is here. Eighty5cacao 18:58, 6 July 2011 (MST) (last edit 19:09, 6 July 2011 (MST))

There appear to be several other articles redirected out of process by the same user, who claims in some edit summaries to have added relevant citations to the Neoteny article. However, the Neoteny article does not specifically mention all developmental patterns claimed to be equivalent to neoteny, so I have difficulty figuring out where said footnotes would belong. Full list of redirects to Neoteny Eighty5cacao 19:31, 6 July 2011 (MST)
(Redacted — explanation in edit summary) Eighty5cacao 10:04, 14 July 2011 (MST) (last edit 19:35, 14 July 2011 (MST))
For the record: "progenesis is not the same thing as neoteny." Eighty5cacao 16:28, 12 September 2012 (MST)

[edit] Notes on puberty trigger

A discussion above raised the issue that the Eloi may need to consume hormone analogs to enter puberty.

I believe the need for such a trigger is not a necessary consequence of progenesis, since there is no one right answer to the relationship between physical and sexual maturity. Furthermore, it seems impractical, and I would like to elaborate on my opposing arguments.

Plant sources pose a reliability issue: suppose that the the raw materials in a community are decimated by a climatic disturbance or overharvesting. The Morlocks might not know enough science to fix the problem, as their knowledge is more practical than theoretical.

The alternative would be for the Morlocks to process the hormones from Eloi corpses. However, the hormones may degrade after being sprayed on crops and/or soil, and the Eloi may be unwilling to have face-to-face "doctor's appointments" with the Morlocks. Eighty5cacao 00:05, 21 September 2011 (MST) (last edit 11:12, 26 September 2011 (MST))

While browsing random Slashdot stories, I discovered something today related to physical appearance and sexual maturity. The Traveller observes near the beginning of chapter 4: "the little chins ran to a point." A longer index finger is correlated with a more pointed chin: both develop when testosterone is low.<ref name="strain_pointed">Daniel Strain. "ScienceShot: Strong Jaws, Tiny Index Fingers". ScienceNOW. 2012-02-14. Accessed 2012-02-24.</ref> Where would this fit? --Tepples 10:21, 24 February 2012 (MST) (markup fixed 06:34, 27 February 2012 (MST))
Nowhere yet, as I/we haven't made enough progress on the "Developmental cycle" section. I do believe it is consistent with everything I've said (correct me if I'm wrong). Eighty5cacao 11:37, 24 February 2012 (MST) (last edit 11:09, 27 February 2012 (MST))
To clarify, that does belong in the "Developmental cycle" section, but I'd also have to put in a little more work in that section to bulk it up in general. Eighty5cacao 21:05, 3 March 2012 (MST)
An article in Time reports that this 2D:4D ratio is correlated with penis size, facial masculinity, female homosexuality, athletic performance, intelligence, and autism as well, at least in Korean men. --Tepples 10:02, 12 August 2012 (MST)
Related discussion --Eighty5cacao (talk) 11:37, 3 January 2013 (CST)

[edit] The magic numbers 7 and 150

[edit] Phonological loop

This is scratch work that should be moved to Talk:Eloi language once I think it over a little more.

Consider quantifying the memory limitations of the Eloi in terms of the phonological loop, and consider the implications for the Eloi language. --Eighty5cacao 22:08, 2 October 2012 (MST)

[edit] Dunbar's number

Social-group size might be another useful way to quantify Eloi cognition. To get a reasonable estimate, though, I'd have to look at Dunbar's original data for other primates. This may be a little tricky due to paywalls. --Eighty5cacao 15:19, 14 October 2012 (MST)

[edit] Eye shape

From chapter 4: "The mouths were small, with bright red, rather thin lips, and the little chins ran to a point. The eyes were large and mild"... These "large eyes [...] and small mouths" have nothing to do with wikipedia:Big Eyes, Small Mouth, I presume. But wouldn't larger eyes with larger pupils run closer to the diffraction limit? Perhaps "and mild" is the key. In anime, "large, mild eyes" on an adorable-type character tend to have a point at the top inner corner. If the Eloi eye were shaped like this, looking up would cause the eyelid to act as part of the iris, which both protects the eye from excess sunlight and reduces the Airy disk diameter, limiting bloom. --Tepples 18:54, 30 October 2012 (MST)

Acknowledged; no actionable comments nor objections yet. About the diffraction limit, we'd have to consider the spectral shape of the light coming from the sun. Or maybe not — my understanding is that the change over the next 800,000 years wouldn't be significant. (Anything the Traveller said about this is unlikely to be accurate to modern astronomical standards; compare his guess about the warm climate.) As for eyelid position, are there any real-world precedents in other animals? --Eighty5cacao 22:03, 30 October 2012 (MST)
To clarify: "the change in the peak frequency over the next 800,000 years wouldn't be significant relative to the overall width of the spectral shape." (I realize I still haven't defined "significant" very rigorously. But that's beyond the scope of this discussion, I hope...)
And on the eyelid issue: Looking up at the edge of the eyelid in the way you describe would cause the effective pupil to approximate a horizontal/diagonal slit, as opposed to a vertical "cat's eye" slit. I don't see many biological precedents for the former (why?), which is what I was getting at above. Also, the eyelashes might complicate the situation; are we to assume the Eloi have none, or just fewer than present-day humans? --Eighty5cacao 09:12, 31 October 2012 (MST)
I was sort of thinking of looking up at the corner, which would cause the pupil to form a triangle: eyelid, inner edge of opening, and edge of iris. --Tepples 09:40, 31 October 2012 (MST)
I didn't get around to mentioning that it might help (to make a "more regular" pupil shape) if the Eloi pupil were already somewhat cat's-eye-shaped to begin with. I still don't see much scientifically valid in this discussion, but I'll keep thinking. --Eighty5cacao 21:32, 31 October 2012 (MST)
Besides, my premise is invalid as to the lack of precedents; wikipedia:Pupil states, "goats have horizontally oriented pupils." Eighty5cacao 21:00, 2 November 2012 (MST)

A more practical answer would be to say that large eyes do not necessarily imply large pupils. However, I still need to do the research on this. --Eighty5cacao (talk) 09:31, 13 December 2012 (CST)

I saw this on Inside Edition today: Extrapolation one-eighth of the way in by Nickolay Lamm and Dr. Alan Kwan --Tepples (talk) 02:15, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
Acknowledged, though the article's author obviously makes assumptions that differ from those of Wells (specifically concerning quantity of space travel); I'd have to think about what happens in the other 700,000 years to bring about the conditions of the novel. As usual, a more detailed response may or may not follow later. --Eighty5cacao (talk) 03:23, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
More specifically, that article could be construed to support my hypothesis of selection for neoteny (the time period covered by the article) followed by selection for progenesis (later). --Eighty5cacao (talk) 15:45, 13 June 2013 (UTC)

[edit] Down syndrome

TODO: "The signs and symptoms of Down syndrome are characterized by the neotenization of the brain and body..."

No offense is intended to real-world Down syndrome patients. --Eighty5cacao (talk) 13:06, 21 February 2013 (CST)

[edit] The 10.000% pyramid

The category is "Things that eat meat". Excuse the excessive precision. Ready, go.

Each layer of the ecological pyramid represents a 90% loss. So assuming the Eloi and Morlocks are about the same size, as is the case with men and sheep, it'd take 120 Eloi to support a dozen Morlocks. What does the novel say about ranch size? --Tepples (talk) 02:00, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

Not entirely related, but close: I've seen a couple of books on wilderness survival mention that rabbit meat does not provide enough fat and vitamins to be suitable as a human's primary food source. In addition to the obvious hunger and fatigue, diarrhea is another symptom of relying excessively on rabbit meat. So if Eloi meat is similarly lean, it might make the loss ratio even less favorable. (I wouldn't count on this being a big deal, though.) --Eighty5cacao (talk) 18:00, 24 April 2013 (UTC) (last edit 05:17, 6 May 2013 (UTC))

[edit] Morlock physiology

I followed links from some Stack Exchange discussion to wikipedia:Hemeralopia, or inability to see in bright light. I know the Time Traveller didn't get quite as much participant observation time with the Morlocks, but I think it may eventually be worth it to compile clues to the conditions they have until we have enough to launch an article. --Tepples (talk) 01:29, 5 May 2014 (UTC)

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