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How well adapted is the human body for survival?

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posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 11:06 AM
If you take our superior intellect ( I use this term guardedly
) out of the equation, how well does the structure of our human body equip us for survival?

In terms of our ability to flee, we're not particularly fast, nor can we take aerial flight to elude danger. We can swim, but not particularly well or necessarily for long, and we are sensitive to the temperature of the water.

We don't possess a tough exterior as compared to those creatures with thick hides, shells, plating, quills, etc.

We are relatively hampered by the limitation of our poor sight in the dark. Other creatures have much keener senses of smell and hearing that serve them well in terms of protection.

Much, much smaller adversaries can put us out of commission or kill us with venoms from stings and bites.

I could give more examples, but I believe one would get the point I am trying to make. If it were not for our intellectual ability to compensate for our survival shortcomings through the creation and use of tools and cunning, our bodies are designed in such a way that we are much more likely to be prey than predator.

I suppose in some respects it's a wonder that we've been able to survive on what essentially is intelligence alone for as long as we have. Can we succeed in this way indefinitely?

[edit on 12-2-2010 by GoneGrey]

posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 11:15 AM
The human body is actually very special. It takes around 1 tonne of pressure to snap an adults thigh bone. Everyone has the instinct to survive, even if we dont think it. All it takes is determination and a strong mind.

There was a program once about the human body being able to lift about a tonne in an emergency situation where your body just takes over from your brain.

posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 11:20 AM
well we dont have big sharp teeth for biting. we dont have big claws, for shredding.

we can't run that fast, compared to other animals.

we can't swim very fast.

we cant handle raw meat very well. nor are the majority of us any good at scavanging for food.

so naked human, not very built for survival.

Human, armed with tent. knife, axe. gun and fire making tools.= good

posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 11:32 AM
Pro - we are omnivores...therefore we have a large food source to pick from
Pro - we breed like bunnies
Pro - we are big (not gigantic, but big enough)
Pro - appearantly we dont taste very good.

Con - currently our senses and reflexes are dulled into near oblivion
Con - we are weak and die easily

We are adaptable creatures, but we gave up alot of our natural survivability in favor of intellect. it is by intellect alone that we came to be on top.

posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 11:37 AM
That's an easy one. Can you name any other species which has successfully adapted to live 6 of the 7 continents like we have? We're the most adaptive higher species on the planet. The only creatures more adaptable are microorganisms.

posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 11:43 AM
Actually the human body is far stronger and resilient than we give it credit. I have seen a man that anyone would say that he would drop dead of a heart attack if forced to run across a parking lot for a hundred dollar bet, pick up and toss other large men while entering diabetic shock from low blood sugar.

At that point the man was operating on pure adrenaline with no rational thought or natural aversion of injury to self or others. I likened it to wrestling a bear. And the man did not even become winded while struggling with us. Once his sugar was stabilize (and it was like flicking a switch) he was docile and apologetic to everyone after seeing how winded, red-faced and sweaty that we were to hold him and not hurt him in the process.

From that experience, I would say that our minds keep us well below our peak ability in order to protect us from strain and injury.

posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 12:46 PM
I’d have to say, from a purely physical standpoint, we are one of the worst designed species. Next to sheep, worms and manatees, I can’t think of a species more pathetic in its anatomical defenses.

The only thing that has allowed us to survive is our intellect. Without that, we’d primarily be classified an easy snack .

posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 12:50 PM
reply to post by passenger

I'd have to disagree. Our ability to sweat alone puts us above 99% of other land-based creatures.

posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 12:52 PM
without our minds we would have never made it this far.

Living on instincts alone we would be scavengers, perhaps we were in the early dates of our existance.. Yet the foods we began to eat helped us develope the minds we have today. In addition I beleive if we are in numbers we can be a deadly foe to the predators in this World. In addition I think our breed is the most adatable breed on the face of the Earth, for instance we can adapt to the coldest climates or the hottest climates on the face of the earth. A tiger I do not think can do this, nor a turtle or reptile of sorts.. Our adaptability helped our survival as well. Their are allot of animals extinct, that did not make it as far as us human beings have..

posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 01:11 PM

Originally posted by unityemissions
reply to post by passenger

I'd have to disagree. Our ability to sweat alone puts us above 99% of other land-based creatures.

That's fine for a moderate/temperate environment. In extreme conditions it's a liability. Dehydration is one of the prime killers when humans are exposed to severe heat. Conversely, in frigid temperatures, the lack of hair or fur (which allows the sweating) is also a detriment. Plus, exertion in cold weather can make you sweat which can increase hypothermia. If humans didn’t have the intellectual capacity to clothe and shelter themselves – plus make fire – anything out of a narrow range of climactic conditions spells doom.

Plus, sweating has nothing to do with the ability to run down prey, escape from predators, etc. Sweating is an adaptation which facilitated our evolutionary emphasis on brain power. It’s an adjunct development - not a prime factor. You are looking at it in reverse. That is, we needed to sweat to keep our brains cool; we didn’t need brains to help us sweat.

posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 01:21 PM
I'm not trying to throw your thread off kilter but I had to pop in to say I truly believe survival depends more on the human spirit and fate than the body alone.

How many times have people who were crushed and crumbled and broken and bent - after a recovery - right back to pole vaulting or skydiving or bull ridding (whatever)?

And then there's the person who slips on wet leaves going to the mail box and breaks their neck and dies.

It's such a combination of fate, and the human spirit.

If you're prepared, (big point that being prepared), and if you've a will to live - nd fate on your side - you'll rock.


posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 01:33 PM

Originally posted by silo13
I'm not trying to throw your thread off kilter but I had to pop in to say I truly believe survival depends more on the human spirit and fate than the body alone.

It's such a combination of fate, and the human spirit.

That is true but it’s not only specific to humans. Animals too can exhibit a ‘will to live’ despite terrific injuries and hardships – just like people. Witness any group of animals exposed to a trauma like a drought, flood, whatever. Some will simply lie down and die at a certain point. Others will continue until their bodies literally give out or they make it through. It also applies when confronted by predators. Some will simply give in and others will continue to fight despite all odds against them. Same goes for crippling injuries.

I would submit then that the ‘human spirit’ is more a function of our animal nature and inherent drive to survive. It’s not a special aspect of our human intellect. Although I would admit that we can rationalize more ‘noble’ or complex motivations for trying to survive. But it’s still the same principle of the will to live.

And as for fate as a factor, well of course that applies to everything. Nothing special about humans when it comes to that. All life is a roll of the dice.

posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 02:19 PM
The human body is very well suited to survival. First, we have an opposing thumb... that puts us up one over many other species. Secondly, our bodies can take a lot of damage and still survive. Kinda like an A-10 WartHog, We can lose one or more of our appendages and function fairly well. We can lose one of two lungs, one of two kidneys, likewise with eyes, ears, and so forth...and still"survive."
I do not remember his name, but I do remember the story of a mountain man out in the rockies, he was attacked by a grizzly bear. She was at a river protecting her cubs, and he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. During the attack, both of his legs were broken, his back was slashed and clawed and badly lacerated. The bear wandered off with her cubs, leaving him for dead. BUT he was alive...
Although badly wounded, losing blood, and unable to walk or crawl...this mountain man literally clawed and pulled himself across 200 miles of wilderness living off scavenged carcasses, wild berries, and roots. He applied mud to his back to stop the bleeding, aid in healing, and later applied maggots to eat the decaying wounded flesh, then cleaning himself in a river. He finally made it to an outpost in Colorado, and after a hard winter...fully recovered and went back out to trap again in the spring. Saw it on the history channel...wish I could remember the name...dang it.
Yup, the human body is an amazing thing.

posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 02:33 PM
Just pointing out that our species have survived for thousands of years in the harshest climates. Some estimates suggest that around 2000 humans were clustered around equatorial Africa during the early paleolithic age.

We've survived against unlikely odds. Powerful predators, sparse food resources, extreme climates. We haven't always been apex predators...most of our time on Earth has been spent fairly low on the food chain.

Other hominids have met extinction. Larger predators are also extinct...short-faced bears, sabre-tooth cats, dire-wolves. Plagues, catastrophes and our own self-destructive behaviour have been unable to end our survival.

'How well is the human body adapted for survival?' Pretty damn well!

posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 06:24 PM
At one point humans were resilient, clever, and adaptive. However I think now in today's world the majority wouldn't have a clue if the lights went "Out". Without their amenities, electricity, running pumped clean water, cell phones computers, clothes, microwaves, grocery stores and everything else that they count on they would be doomed. People walk around in a fog with no knowledge of their surroundings or knowledge of what species of flora or fauna in in their areas. They are plastic people living in a plastic bubble. Pop their bubble and peel off the plastic and you have a clueless skeleton of what we used to be. Wouldn't last a second in the wilderness.

"I need a latte and a spa treatment"

posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 06:49 PM
reply to post by GoneGrey

We have a brain that allows us complex thoughts to find what we need. We don't have a warm layer of fur, but we know how to seek it. We don't smell well, but we know how to hunt. And most important, long term memory and communication, so we can contain the information and pass it along.

posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 10:31 PM
reply to post by nixie_nox

I was going to point ts out also..

Since the brain is part of the body, Id have to say we're extremely well suited for survival..

posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 10:51 PM
The primary function of the human body for 99.89% of humanity's existence has been to hunt and kill Mammoth and this we have done so successfully that they're all dead now.


posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 10:58 PM
I thought I should point out that we don't breed like bunnies. We actually don't breed that well at all, and we have highly needy babies with very long dependency periods.

Without formula to back up on, most women need to use ecological breastfeeding to keep a baby alive and healthy. This means that they average out at having breastfeeding induced infertility for 14 months and generally still won't catch a new baby right away. That's why in those areas children tend to be spaced about 3 years apart. That's the human woman's "natural" child spacing.

And women die often in having babies. We have forgotten this in our modern world. Humans have the highest mother mortality rate for birth in mammals.

It took our species 70,000 years to go from a near extinction event to 7 billion.

We are adaptable enough on the other hand to have colonized every land base but the south pole. That's pretty adaptable.

[edit on 2010/2/12 by Aeons]

[edit on 2010/2/12 by Aeons]

posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 11:03 PM
reply to post by GoneGrey

Humans are amazingly tough. Your eyes aren't weak - they're untrained. Same with your sense of hearing and scent. Same story with your muscles. They need constant work and exercise to be at peak performance.

Humans are at least as tough and dangerous as chimpanzees... and they're pretty tough and dangerous.

Your average flabby, untrained office-dweller isn't much in a survival situation now, but he has the potential to become just as capable as any other animal out there. The brain simply means we are more flexible in the environments we can survive in (tough as a chimp is, it's going to die in the desert)

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