Tag Archives | Evolution
Jonathan Zap is an author, photographer, teacher, paranormal researcher and philosopher who has written extensively on psychology and contemporary mythology. Jonathan has done numerous radio and television interviews including four three-hour shows on Coast to Coast AM. Reality Sandwich, the popular online magazine, has published numerous of his articles. His book is titled Crossing the Event Horizon: Human Metamorphosis and the Singularity Archetype.
Jonathan Zap gives a talk titled “The Singularity Archetype and Human Evolution.” The talk is broad ranging and touches possible futures, SciFi, 2001: A Space Odyssey Carl Jung, 2012, Near Death Experience, Rupture Plane Events, Out of Body Experiences, traveling through event horizons, Singularity, and much more.
Commentary from Media Underground
How exactly is it that SpaceX can do everything so cheaply? Well, it would seem from this recent interview with Elon Musk that there are a couple of reasons in particular. The first being that there’s a tendency for big aerospace companies to outsource everything to subcontractors who then, bizarrely, outsource work to other subcontractors who subsequently – in what seems to be little more than an utter bureaucratic shambles by this point – outsource to other subcontractors and so on and so forth… ad nauseum. As one commenter aptly points out at the foot of this Wired article: “One reason for all that expensively administered subcontracting is that it pleases exactly those committees [who control NASA's funding]. The large projects they favor can subcontract in many different districts, whose congressmen then have a good reason to vote for NASA’s budget. This means the committee members need not trade away any more of their political capital to get the projects that support contractors in their districts.”
In short, SpaceX don’t engage in this subcontracting farce but do it all themselves from the bottom up.… Read the rest
The natural history of mankind’s development seems to differ greatly with the psychopathic philosophy of Ayn Rand, a ‘virtue of selfishness’ in which her heroes, such as John Galt, strive for their individual supremacy and autonomy over a collective view of public good. The fact that anthropological evidence refutes her premises would hardly have deterred Rand, who referred to the “primordial savages” of the world, “unable to conceive of individual rights.” As if the rights of individuals are mutually exclusive from such goals as sharing, or showing compassion, working in tandem or exercising a collective group intelligence (with a social awareness) to meet goals.
Indeed, Ayn Rand framed her moral arguments as if the individualists were the persecuted minority, using drastic examples like Stalinist Russia to make her invective criticisms of much more centrist or moderate positions, while ignoring the rich history of robber barons, feudal states and serfdoms.… Read the rest
Ever wondered if we are not alone in the universe?
As this truly nerdgasmic crash-course by Robert A. Freitas Jr speculates, the scope for alien life could be positively astronomical. Via xenology.info:
… Read the rest
Xenology is the study of all aspects of life, intelligence, and civilization indigenous to environments other than Earth. Over the last three decades xenology has advanced rapidly on many fronts. Biochemists have studied the origin of life on this planet, knowing that if they can duplicate the major early steps of “abiogenesis” in the laboratory then the evolution of alien life is a very likely – maybe inevitable – event. NASA biologists have spent much time developing sophisticated life detection instruments such as the miniature biochemical automated test laboratories carried to Mars by Viking in 1976. There is growing interest in SETI, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, in which radio scientists look for powerful transmissions or leakage radiation from advanced extraterrestrial supercivilizations.
… Read the rest
If you’re in the mood to draw ire from people with excruciatingly rigid beliefs, the Internet is generally a good place to start. While you’re at it, might as well pick a particularly polarizing topic. Why not evolution?
Now, that probably wasn’t exactly how the conversation went down over at the marketing offices of Dr. Pepper, but a recent ad for the soft drink posted on Facebook — with the slogan “Evolution of Flavor” — sparked a healthy dose of controversy nonetheless. Based on the iconic evolution diagram “March of Progress,” the ad features an ape who, after drinking Dr. Pepper, turns into a man. The ad went up Thursday, and by Friday had garnered more than 26,000 “Likes” and over 4,000 comments.
This is, of course, still the Internet — so plenty of comments in question are loaded with snark from people who mainly appear to be provoking for the sake of provocation.
It’s pretty much an established fact that ancient human beings interbred with their Neanderthal cousins, but according to scientists investigating the African genome, interspecies breeding may have occurred much earlier than we thought:
Their findings suggest humans are more genetically diverse than we’d previously believed. But they also show that ancient humans may have interbred with an unknown species of hominin — what researchers surmise “could have been a sibling species to Neanderthals.
Read more at IO9.
We don’t really know that much about how we became what we are, modern humans. John Noble Wilford talks to Chris Stringer, who is hot on the trail, for the New York Times:
… Read the rest
Who are we, and where did we come from? Scientists studying the origin of modern humans, Homo sapiens, keep reaching deeper in time to answer those questions — toward the last common ancestor of great apes and humans, then forward to the emergence of people more and more like us in body and behavior.
Their research is advancing on three fronts. Fossils of skulls and bones expose anatomical changes. Genetics reveals the timing and place of the Eve of modern humans.
And archaeology turns up ancient artifacts reflecting abstract and creative thought, and a growing self-awareness. Just last month, researchers made the startling announcement that Stone Age paintings in Spanish caves were much older than previously thought, from a time when Neanderthals were still alive.
Chris Davis writes:
… Read the rest
The Survival of the Idlest
Like the Darwinian theory, the Idle Theory of Evolution is built upon the Malthusian theory. But it is arguably truer to Malthus than Darwin’s system. In Idle Theory, rising populations and falling food resources mean that the creatures simply have to work harder to survive, rather than become embroiled in a Darwinian tooth-and-claw fight for survival, and that their populations oscillate rather than remain at some stable environmental ‘carrying capacity’.
Almost entirely absent from both Darwinism and Neo-Darwinism is any description of the physics of life. Idle Theory employs a physical model of life, centred on the energy used by the creatures to live, grow, and reproduce. Idle Theory is built around physical concepts of energy, work, and power, rather than economic ideas of competition and war, or the genetics of reproduction.
In the Idle Life model, the creatures are assumed to expend energy continuously in maintaining and repairing themselves, but to work intermittently to acquire and store the energy needed to power this maintenance work.