The Future is Wild

Clem

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I think the "Great Blue Windrunner" was the animal what lost me. Talk about conceptual bloat: a blue bird with a staggered wing configuration, canard foreplanes, nictitating eye membranes and unique individual markings invisible to all but members of the species. Most any geek with an interest in Russian aviation would see the "Windrunner" for what it is: an organic iteration of the Sukhoi "Flanker" family of interceptor/strike aircraft. Neato, up to a point, but I don't expect birds to start emulating aircraft anytime in the distant future.
 
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Clem,

Excellent observation! I know nothing about aircraft, so I would never have picked up on that.

Still in all, though they may be the stuff of s.f., the TFIW critters are at very least imaginative and at very best breathtaking. Who could deny the beauty of the Windrunner, the Rainbow Squid, or (sorry, Clem!) the Ocean Phantom? If there ever is such a thing as a Great Blue Windrunner, I would like to be reincarnated as one.... :smile:

Besides, if aliens observed our planet during the pre-Cambrian era, how likely is it that they would have envisioned dinosaurs millions of years thence? Truth is far stranger than fiction.

BTW, this leads me to a potentially sensitive subject, as I would be naïve to assume that every person who visits this site is necessarily an Evolutionist. Speaking as a believing Christian who finds no conflict between evolutionary science and the Genesis creation accounts (presuming the latter are interpreted metaphorically), it really irks me to see "Scientific Creationists" and other fundamentalists use THE FUTURE IS WILD as fodder for their arguments against evolution. I've seen lots of this lately on fundamentalist message boards, and it strikes me as the same sort of "selective logic" of which Biblical fundamentalists habitually accuse liberal believers. IMHO, one of the flaws of TFIW is juxtaposing the speculative creatures against proven evolutionary accounts of present-day animals. The Creationists apparently see this as a perfect example of the "spurious" reasoning of Evolutionists, and have a field day with it on their message boards. Accordingly, I really wish that there were more caveats on TFIW about purely speculative nature of the show.

I'm not here to debate theology with anyone, but I would be interested to hear if anyone else has encountered this misuse of the show by "Scientific Creationists", either online or in person.

Just curious,
Tani
 

Clem

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TaningiaDanae said:
I'm not here to debate theology with anyone, but I would be interested to hear if anyone else has encountered this misuse of the show by "Scientific Creationists", either online or in person.

Taningia,

This is the first I've heard of Creationists appropriating TFIW ideas, for purposes of argument. To be fair (and to gift the curious) I've embedded a link to an outfit doing just that sort of work.

Give the Fundamentalists their due, however: they should be recognized for the forthright clarity of their beliefs, so unlike the "Intelligent Design" proponents seeking to re-introduce Genesis into classrooms by stealth.

Clem
 

Colin

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I tried to watch another episode last night but I gave up after 10mins.. It was the one with a sub-species of rattleback.. so their imagination was so dry that they had to do the same animal again?! And the burrowing birds, what was it? Spinks?

Anyway, utter crap and that's my view on the programme, the narator has nothing to say and he's saying it too loud!

I think I have worked out the recipe... take any two animals and make one evolve into the other... and that's it. There is nothing clever or wild about that...

The Future is Kinda Backwards
 
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Clem said:
Taningia,

This is the first I've heard of Creationists appropriating TFIW ideas, for purposes of argument. To be fair (and to gift the curious) I've embedded a link to an outfit doing just that sort of work.

Give the Fundamentalists their due, however: they should be recognized for the forthright clarity of their beliefs, so unlike the "Intelligent Design" proponents seeking to re-introduce Genesis into classrooms by stealth.

Clem

Very interesting link, and I was surprised to see it was sponsored by Muslims rather than Fundamentalist Christians.

I do credit Scientific Creationists for clarity of beliefs, but not for logic. Did you know, for instance, that many of them explain away fossils by contending they were placed in the earth by "satan" to test the faith of "true Christians"? I know this because I have a traditionalist Catholic netpal -- otherwise a brilliant and well-educated man -- who stands by that argument. (I am BTW a liberal-progressive Catholic.)

I also agree with you about the Intelligent Design movement. It especially bothers me that they have co-opted the term "intelligent design" for their own. Like many liberal Christians, I accept the original concept of intelligent design to support what is already known about evolution -- i.e., I believe that the "big bang" and evolution (including the recent concept of punctuated equilibrium) are the mechanisms by which the Deity effected the creation of the present-day universe and present-day life on Earth, respectively. I also fully accept the time-frame given by cosmologists and evolutionary scientists for the age of the universe and of our planet.

I would of course respectfully disagree with Stephen Hawking and the late Stephen Jay Gould (both of whom I respect profoundly) about their philosophical interpretations of the "big bang" and evolution / punctuated equilibrium -- i.e., that these facts necessarily imply a random and mindless universe. So yes, I believe in intelligent design, but in the literal sense, not as a thinly-concealed re-packaging of "Creation Science".

BTW, as you might know, in Hinduism -- and Theosophy, the western esoteric movement which incorporates many esoteric Hindu and Buddhist concepts -- there exists the idea of the "day of Brahman" and "night of Brahman", which is the much earlier predecessor of the "pulsation theory" of the universe, i.e., an endless, beginningless universe alternately expanding and contracting throughout eternity. (Implying that the "big bang" is a non-unique event.) Considering that as far as I know no one has determined exactly what preceded the "big bang", there may indeed be room for the Hindu concept of creation in modern cosmology as well.

Fascinating stuff!

:!:
Taningia
 

cthulhu77

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I not only think that in the future, birds and fish will resemble current fighter aircraft design, but will also carry rolling airframe missiles...easier to take out prey items that way! :biggrin2:
http://www.raytheon.com
I am more of a paradigm-shift person myself...I don't really believe in steady evolution. Any one out there read Greg Bear's stuff on the evolution/Pshift in humans???
Greg
 
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cthulhu77 said:
I am more of a paradigm-shift person myself...I don't really believe in steady evolution. Any one out there read Greg Bear's stuff on the evolution/Pshift in humans???
Greg

Hi Greg --

I hadn't heard of Greg Bear before (my s.f. fandom goes back to the days of Sturgeon, Bradbury, and Asimov), but I found this site via a search and skimmed some of the material:

http://www.gregbear.com/

If my superficial reading is right, it appears that he believes the action of viruses can result in abrupt changes to species. Quite an interesting concept.

Nowadays, from what I gather, the standard scientific view is no longer pure Darwinism, but Darwinism with the additional concept of Punctuated Equilibrium (proposed by the late, great Stephen Jay Gould) -- i.e., slow change punctuated by abrupt mutations resulting in periodic evolutionary "leaps" by species:

http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/PUNCTUEQ.html

http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punctuated_equilibrium

http://www.nature.com/nsu/020520/020520-3.html
[scroll down to mid-page -- or better yet, read entire obit for this remarkable man]

Of course, viruses are not postulated as the cause of Punctuated Equilibrium, and I don't know what SJG would've thought of that concept, but certainly there is no reason to dismiss the concept completely.

It would be interesting to see what the fossil records say about this in relation to Cephs -- Phil, feel free to jump in here! -- though it's obvious that they have changed far less radically in the course of aeons than primates and their/our ancestors.

Tani
(a SJG fan in all but metaphysics)
 

cthulhu77

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Oh, do yourself a big favour and pick up "blood music" or "darwin's children"...you will be a fan in no time!!!
Fascinating theories abound...who can say????


Only Cthulhu Knows.

hehe.
Greg
 

krin

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Okay, so its not great science...

So "The Future is Wild" is not great science and the animation is a bit limited and the narration goes on a bit long, but at least its fun! Its nice to see a bit of imagination in an animal program.

Australian cable is about half way through the series, saw the swampus episode on Tuesday.

Hey, its cute and it just might spark a child's imagination to look further.

KRin
 

cthulhu77

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Oh, all in all, it is way better than the trash that is on normally...just grousing about the repetition of some stuff...
I do like the squibbons...very funny/cool!
 

WhiteKiboko

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I know some people are fans, but who would really buy it? why pay an inflated price (no, a cable channel having absurd prices on copies of its shows? what a shock!) when you couldve just taped it....or digitally recorded it for those of you more advanced than me....

my guess for the price range is $35.95-49.95.....

anyone know how close i am?
 

Phil

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It came out over here a couple of months ago and is quite hard to find. I thought it a bit overpriced, £10 per DVD, but bought it anyway as it was the only way I could get to see it. It has not been on terrestial TV here and I don't have cable or satellite. Although it's fun, it is a bit of a one-watch wonder really, but I had to find out what you lot had been going on about over the last few months!
 

cthulhu77

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Phil, I feel terrible ! I got so caught up in the move and the wedding, I totally forgot to send you the tapes. :oops:
I agree with you on the review though...one watch is ok.
Greg
 

OctopusV

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Well, I'd just like to say that after seeing the program, I wanted to make sure that these were possible. I looked up several books about natural history and evolution, that's when I realized that the creators expected to see a pattern, repeating evolutionary ages, the end of the program is the beginning of the second invertabrate age. Now there are plenty of analogies in the show ex. squibbon is to early primate as (??squid-human??) is to human, but regardless, here are the possibility factors for each creature on a scale from one to ten; ten being a slight possibility it won't evolve, one being a slight possibility it will, I've done my homework :smile:.

Shagrat: 7
Snowstalker: 6 (the teeth probably won't be that long)
Gannet Whale: 5 (if it comes on land it won't be as big)
Cryptile: 5 (how an Autrailian frilled lizard evolves in the Mediterranean doesn't fit)
Scrofa: 8 (it's just an elongated boar)
Gryken: 9 (it's a pine marten turned rock badger)
Babookari: 8 (it'll take a while for it to get the fish basket thing down)
Carakiller: 7 (the head plumage is far-fetched, and it's arms won't shrink if it uses that claw at all)
Grassland Rattleback: 7 (the porcupine-like spikes won't develop on a future paca in armodillo mode)
Desert Rattleback: 7 (if the first rattleback can occur, it would probably also adapt to desert life)
Spink: 6 (it isn't going to dig those tunnels unless it has better digging tools than spades)
Deathgleaner: 8 (if the top predator position isn't filled, bats will get big enough to fill it)
Reef Glider: 8 (some sea slugs can already swim, so given 100 million years, it could become a pretty good swimmer)
Ocean Phantom: 9 (a Man-of-War colony could do that and much more in 100 million years time)
Spindletroopers:9 (it won't be hard for sea spiders to develop harder mouthparts)
Lurkfish: 8 (an electric catfish could don on camouflage and increase it's electricity faster than 100 million years)
Swampus: 8 (I need to see how the oxygen reserves work with it first, but from what I know so far, it works)
Toraton: 8 (if these "conditions" that encouraged an increase in size are the same as with other animals that have grown large in the past, then it could get pretty big)
Roachcutter: 8 (It's almost like several birds of today, but evolved from Antarctic shore birds)
False Spitfire Bird: 8 (it is as possible as the spitfire bird, just like the king snake to the coral snake)
Spitfire Bird: 8 (I really need to find out more about the chemicals the bird takes from the flower)
Falconfly:6 (an 18-inch wasp?)
Spitfire Beetle:8 (the larvae of existing beetles mimic other creatures already)
Great Blue Windrunner: 9 (beleive it or not, it could develop a good manuverability system just from canards and feathered legs)
Silver Spider: 7 (although it's unlikely, if spiders developed a caste system, it would be really effective)
Poggle: 9 (a small rodent that steals from other animals? It's absurd! :lol:)
Terabyte:8 (termites could improve their workings painlessly and easily)
Garden Worms: 7 (convoluta worms already are symbiotic with algae)
Gloomworms: ? (I have to learn more about it)
Slickribbon: 7 (a worm would be able to become top predator, but three feet long is a little stretch as far as respiration goes)
Silverswimmers: 8 (if crustaceans developed neoteny, they could do just about anything)
Ocean Flish: 7
Rainbow Squid: 7 (if the squid could escape the two-year life cycle, it could get bigger, faster, stronger, and smarter)
Sharkopath: 8 (becoming a pack animal could be a real benefit)
Bumblebeetle: 7 (it really makes adulthood pointless)
Desert Hopper: 4 (if a snail could live being sucked up by a hypercane and thrown into the desert, it could become a hopping snail)
Death Bottle: 7 (a bog-dwelling carnivorous plant could colonize the desert)
Forest Flish: 8 (smaller body easier to carry)
Megasquid: 8 (why it lost it's beak is beyond me)
Slithersucker: 10 (a slime mold could easily become carnivorous)
Squibbon: 8 (a feeling of compassion could make cephalopods cease to be solitary)
 

Clem

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Octopus V, um....

I have restored the anechoic properties of this thread. Everything is going to be all right.

I'd just like to point out that the Rainbow Squid is one dumb-ass cephalopod, optic camouflage or no. If you're over 30 metres in length and largely defenseless, you shouldn't be hanging out near the surface in broad daylight. That's just...I mean, come on...

Clem
 

cthulhu77

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Its as good as listening to Bakker and G. Paul argue about how a velociraptor looked...there is no way to PROVE it, and so it can't be called science...just speculation. I found the extrapolations of the show rather silly, and mostly without much merit...but it was fun to watch...once.
Greg
 

Clem

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cthulhu77 said:
Its as good as listening to Bakker and G. Paul argue about how a velociraptor looked...there is no way to PROVE it, and so it can't be called science...just speculation
Greg,

Based on the (legit) finds coming out of China, I'd say that Gregory Paul has largely won the feathered theropod debate. Now, if he could just come up with a way to shut Jack Horner up...

Clem
 

cthulhu77

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Now THAT would be a fun 3-ring circus...Bakker,Paul, and Horner... :lol:
Whoo-hoo! get them arguing about T-rex as a scavenger or predator...you could sell tickets!
Greg
 
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