Why doesn’t any animal have three legs?

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If ‘Why?’ is the first question in science, ‘Why not?’ must be a close second. Sometimes it’s worth thinking about why something does not exist. Such as a truly three-legged animal. At least one researcher has been pondering the non-existence of tripeds.

“Almost all animals are bilateral,” he said. The code for having two sides to everything seems to have got embedded in our DNA very early in the evolution of life — perhaps before appendages like legs, fins or flippers even evolved. Once that trait for bilateral symmetry was baked in, it was hard to change.

With our built-in bias to two-handedness, it can be hard to figure out how a truly three-legged animal would work — although that has not stopped science fiction writers from imagining them. Perhaps trilateral life has evolved on Enceladus or Alpha Centauri (or Mars!) and has as much difficulty thinking about two-limbed locomotion as we do thinking about three.

This kind of thought experiment is useful for developing our ideas about evolution, Thomson said. (1)

How fascinating.

Everything started with Nothing.

Then One came into existence.

We are still in the phase of Two…

And there is no way to get any further.

For going further means that we get to three.

And from there infinity is one step away.

Leading to nothing more than zero once again…

But there is no infinity.

There is no two.

Not even One.

For only everything exists.

Infinity!

In the palm of a small kid…

Organoids. Brain waves. Death…

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Some years ago, two hundred and fifty miles over Alysson Muotri’s head, a thousand tiny spheres of brain cells were sailing through space. The clusters, called brain organoids, had been grown a few weeks earlier in the biologist’s lab here at the University of California, San Diego. He and his colleagues altered human skin cells into stem cells, then coaxed them to develop as brain cells do in an embryo.

The organoids grew into balls about the size of a pinhead, each containing hundreds of thousands of cells in a variety of types, each type producing the same chemicals and electrical signals as those cells do in our own brains.

What, exactly, were they growing into? That was a question that had scientists and philosophers alike scratching their heads.

Dr. Muotri and his colleagues reported that they had recorded simple brain waves in these organoids. In mature human brains, such waves are produced by widespread networks of neurons firing in synchrony. (1)

Brains observing other brains.

Fascinated by what they see.

A world full of light.

A world full of shadows.

Do not try so much to stay awake.

You are meant to sleep. And dream.

Of a cosmos somewhere else.

A cosmos casting shadows over shadows.

Which generates no brain waves to detect.

An invisible cosmos.

Penetrating this one.

Through all the brains and brain waves.

Yes, you can detect the waves some-How.

But it is the Why which makes you doubt if that really means something…

Do your brain waves mean anything?

Do you dare question yourself?

Quantum… time? Quantum… cosmos?!

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An international group of physicists led by Stevens Institute of Technology, University of Vienna and University of Queensland reveal the quantum properties of time, whereby the flow of time doesn’t observe a straight arrow forward, but one where cause and effect can co-exist both in the forward and backward direction.

To show this scenario, researchers merged quantum mechanics and general relativity to conduct a Gedanken experiment.

To illustrate what happens, imagine a pair of starships training for a mission. They are asked to fire at each other at a specified time and dodge the fire at another time, whereby each ship knows the exact time when to fire and when to dodge. If either ship fires too early, it will destroy the other, and this establishes an unmistakable time order between the firing events.

If a powerful agent could place a sufficiently massive object, say a planet, closer to one ship it would slow down its flow of time. As a result, the ship would dodge the fire too late and would be destroyed.

Quantum mechanics complicates the matter. When placing the planet in a state of superposition near one ship or the other, both can be destroyed or survive at the same time. The sequence of events exists in a state of superposition, such that each starship simultaneously destroys the other. (1)

An interesting idea.

But why stop at the spaceships?

Why not extrapolate to planets?

To the cosmos?

To existence itself?

Look around.

So many things to doubt. And yet you know you shouldn’t.

Close your eyes.

There is nothing there. And yet, you know there is…

Once upon a time you were born.

Once upon a time you have died.

But it matters not.

For you will always be here now.

Look around.

So many things to believe. And you know you should.

Close your eyes.

Everything is there. And yet you know nothing is…

Once upon a time you died.

Once upon a time you were born.

But it matters not.

For you were never here anyway.

Trees dying… Don’t care…

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Joshua trees facing extinction: They outlived mammoths and saber-toothed tigers. But without dramatic action to reduce climate change, new research shows Joshua trees won’t survive much past this century. (1)

What does it matter?

Trees are eternal.

We die.

Worms live forever.

The universe is Ephemeral.

The world doesn’t care for existence.

It is existence that cannot be without the cosmos!

Look at the tree dying.

You aren’t watching it.

It is not dying.

It is watching you.

As you are being born…

Listening to music. Humans. Apes.

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In the eternal search for understanding what makes us human, scientists found that our brains are more sensitive to pitch, the harmonic sounds we hear when listening to music, than our evolutionary relative the macaque monkey. The study, funded in part by the National Institutes of Health, highlights the promise of Sound Health, a joint project between the NIH and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts that aims to understand the role of music in health.

“We found that a certain region of our brains has a stronger preference for sounds with pitch than macaque monkey brains,” said Bevil Conway, Ph.D., investigator in the NIH’s Intramural Research Program and a senior author of the study published in Nature Neuroscience. “The results raise the possibility that these sounds, which are embedded in speech and music, may have shaped the basic organization of the human brain.” (1)

Yes, we are the only ones listening to music.

Because our mind is never here.

We love traveling to the stars.

Only because we detest the Earth on which we were born.

We will learn one day.

When we reach the stars.

That those bright small dots we will see.

Is our home.

Which we have left a long time ago…

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