> I am using the term you posted
> I take that to mean the optimum size forQuote
> Haldane used the term "most convenient size"
> if you dislike it
> take it up with him.
I will although far be it for me to argue with one of the most influential biologists of all time. LOL I'll give you that one. He was writing a hundred years ago, after all.
Haldane, for all his brilliance, didn't have the benefit of genetics to help him out, but that's not the term that's used now. It's stabilizing selection...or right sizing.
> He says there is a limit to how big or how small a
> certain "form" can be
> but that there is variation within it
There's variation, but only up to a point. Evolution won't let populations get too big or too small without becoming a new species.
> here's a view of what happens when creatures are
One of the most intriguing enigmas comes
> from Flores, an island in Indonesia. It concerns
> the Komodo dragon, which lives on Flores as well
> as on nearby Komodo. By all appearances, this
> voracious monitor lizard represents an archetypal
> case of gigantism. Thought to have grown huge on a
> diet of Stegodon, an extinct elephant-like
> creature that became a pygmy on Flores, the Komodo
> dragon today can grow up to 10 feet long and weigh
> 330 pounds; it can drag down and devour deer,
> water buffalo, and people. Yet while it is the
> world's largest lizard, a much heftier monitor
> lived in Australia during the Pleistocene—a
> 23-foot-long, 1,370-pound monster.
Not arguing this at all. Island dwarfism is a well known phenomenon.
> and wasn't there some other small creature found
> on Flores?
Yep, the Hobbits. They're still studying that but the last I'd heard they were leaning towards "new subspecies" and not very small humans.
> My point being that the "most convenient size"
> humans may be in a wider range.
But it's not. This is well known. Look up the normal distribution for human height (a bell curve).
> You are treating today's humans as baseline
> and deviation from this is a problem
> I'm suggesting perhaps a larger size was possible
> for a certain genetic strain of humans -giants
> and that the warmer weather put them at a
> not physiological problems from growing so big
No, the physiological factors alone would have reduced their life span.
I think we can leave the climate argument out of it, though. There is zero evidence that these giants, if they existed, date to the Ice Age. If there was, then that would be a productive discussion.
To reiterate, I'm not against the idea of 7 foot tall people running around North America. Indeed, there probably were a few here and there. But not an entire population of 8, 9 feet or more. They wouldn't live long enough to reproduce and keep that genetic line going. And that's another thing. Interbreeding with the locals would have reduced their size.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07-Nov-15 02:20 by Aine.