Flexible tool use is closely associated to higher mental processes such as the ability to plan actions. Now a group of cognitive biologists and comparative psychologists found out that the apes carefully weighed their options. To do so the apes considered the details such as differences in quality between the two food rewards and the functionality of the available tools in order to obtain a high-quality food reward. (1)
Using tools to harness the cosmos.
Letting go of the tools to see the cosmos.
Closing your eyes to know that you are the cosmos.
Evolution does exist. But not in the direction we think of. We used to be gods. And then we started being humans. At the end, we will have the best tools in the world. And we will be nothing more than apes…
Question your assumptions.
And what is left, will be nothing more than the obvious…
The pinnacle of beauty to most people is a symmetrical face, one without any major left-right differences. But for blind Mexican cavefish (Astyanax mexicanus), asymmetry may be a lifesaver. That’s because their lopsided skulls may help them feel their way along dark cave walls – similar to a person navigating by touch in the dark. That behavior, presented here this week at the annual meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, suggests being a little “off” can have evolutionary benefits.
Lots of cave dwellers are a bit unbalanced. Cave fish tend to have one eye that is larger than the other, for example, and cave crickets have different size antennae. Some researchers wondered whether left-right differences might help these creatures get around.
They scanned the skulls of A. mexicanus fish from three caves in Mexico. Their computerized tomography scans revealed most fish skulls bent slightly to the left, giving the right side of their faces slightly more exposure. Other tests showed these fish tended to drift along the right-hand side of cave walls, presumably using the larger side of their faces to feel their way in the dark. (1)
We have learned that evolution makes things more suitable for survival. And we tend to connect this with perfection. Perfection of mechanisms, perfection of structure, perfection of function. It is this perfection which causes life.
But could it be that we are misled?
Blinded by the light, could it be that we are heading towards the dark?
We like to see order as the foundation of existence. Enchanted by it, we fail to notice that this gift always leads to death.
We like to see perfection as the foundation of life. Mesmerized by it, we fail to see that it is imperfection which leads to life.
It is only the imperfect beings which will live longer.
One of the great puzzles of evolutional biology is what induced certain living creatures to abandon solitary existence in favor of living in collaborative societies, as seen in the case of ants and other social, colony-forming insects. A major characteristic of so-called eusocial species is the division of labor between queens that lay eggs and workers that take care of the brood and perform other tasks. But what is it that determines that a queen should lay eggs and that workers shouldn’t reproduce? And how did this distinction come about during the course of evolution? Evolutionary biologists have now found a completely unexpected answer: one single gene called insulin-like peptide 2 (ILP2), which is probably activated by better nutrition, stimulates the ovaries and triggers reproduction. (1)
Inequalities by genes.
The best proof that genes are not the
ones defining our life.
A research group has discovered a novel cancer-driving mutation in the vast non-coding regions of the human cancer genome, also known as the ‘dark matter’ of human cancer DNA. (1)
Not a surprising result. Something inherently in opposition with the basic premise of modern evolutionary theory (that mutations generate new functions which – if persisted – can effectively increase the survivability of the organism), but again, not surprising at all.
Science has for a long time postulated the obvious: Any process which is not well designed and executed results in errors. This is obvious in every aspect of modern science and in essence in every aspect of human life per se. Problems in network hardware lead to network noise. Errors in the DNA sequence lead to deadly illnesses like cancer. Inconsistencies in management processes lead to financial errors. Gaps in the chain of command lead to wars being lost. Random errors in the working of a computer program leads to people… breaking up the computer.
Not even once has any person cried out “Thank God for the flaws in my DNA! I will adapt better!”. Not even once has anyone celebrated the errors in the computer program he is using or in the project he is participating. And yet, modern biology wants you to believe that random errors in the DNA sequence – which by the way has inherent built-in mechanisms to prevent such errors (the whole DNA chain is double for that reason) – result in changes which in time could turn into objective benefits!
So to get this straight: You get a mutation (God forbid), with a miracle you stay alive (even though this mutation leads to cancer) and then… voila! The benefit starts to build among the population.
But this is more complicated than that! one could argue.
But your description is so simplistic that it is wrong! another could object.
Sure, you are right! I answer.
I keep the analysis simple in order to show the basic argument. If the analysis is made more elaborate (as some biologists have done) then the arguments against the basic evolutionary mechanisms would be overwhelming. Try to explain how the eye would slowly and gradually evolve and you will end up in complete chaos of assumptions and continuous “miracles” happening one after the other.
As in every case of modern science, the marketing exceeds the actual delivery.
Surely mutations play a role in the evolution of organisms. They are there after all, there is no doubt about that. Surely there is an evolutionary mechanism benefiting the organisms which adapt better to changes. Again this is obvious and evident – it would be evident even without any observation actually. And surely we have seen species adapt to changes in their environment (the adaptability of viruses to new drugs is one nice example).
But from that point to the point that we see the mutations as a major mechanism driving the evolution of life there is a great distance, with grave logical counter-arguments to deal with before you even reach the middle of the way. And even more, from that point to holding biology eligible for explaining life and casting religion useless, there is a gap so huge that reaches the levels of comical.
No, noise cannot generate new useful information.No, errors cannot produce something useful by ‘accident’.And even if they did, this would result in total failure (a.k.a. death).
So my dear fellow scientists, keep on searching for the truth. But keep your head down a little. Staying humble is not a disadvantage, but something to be proud of! Nature is not only about life, but also about death. Death which may eventually lead to life as you have never before imagines. And perhaps right there where you see weakness, you may discover strength…
Visiting a colleague in Germany in 2012, Boston College Research Professor Paul K. Strother was examining soil samples for pollen, spores, pieces of plants and insect legs – organic debris that might otherwise have been considered “pond scum” when it was trapped in sediment during cataclysmic earth events 200 million years ago.
The slides of rock samples drilled in the German countryside included some material that looked familiar to Strother, who studies the origin and early evolution of land plants. What he saw were features similar to those found in insect wings.
The only problem was that these types of moths and butterflies (Lepidoptera) were long posited to have evolved 50 to 70 million years later, during the Cretaceous period when the first flowering plants emerged as their prime food source.
“The consensus has been that insects followed flowers”, said Strother, a co-author of “A Triassic-Jurassic window into the evolution of Lepidoptera”, a new report published in Science Advances. “But that would be 50 million years later than what the wings were saying. It was odd to say the least, that there would be butterflies before there were flowers”. (1)