Reverse evolution 2.

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Turtle ant soldiers scuttle to and from sporting shiny, adorably oversized heads, which they use to block the entrances of their nests — essentially acting as living doors.

Not all heads are shaped alike: some soldiers have ones that resemble manhole covers and perfectly seal tunnel entrances. Others have square heads, which they assemble into multi-member blockades reminiscent of a Spartan army’s overlapping shields. TheThe shape and size of a turtle-ant soldier’s head is dictated by the type of tunnel the species in question occupies. The ants don’t dig the tunnels themselves, but move into those excavated by wood-boring beetles. And since a hand-me-down tunnel might be too big or too small, Kronauer says, the ants diversify rapidly to be able to occupy it.

To examine the evolutionary journey of various head shapes, the researchers grouped 89 species of turtle ants based on whether soldiers sported a square, dome, disc, or dish-shaped head. They also included a group of turtle-ant species that don’t have soldiers. They then examined the evolutionary relationships among these groups using the species’ genetic information, which they had previously gathered.

If evolution was a one-way path, the first turtle ants that appeared some 45 million years ago should have lacked soldiers altogether, then gradually evolved toward specialization — starting with the generalist, square-headed soldiers, all the way to those with highly-tailored dish heads.

But the new analysis suggests that this was not the case. Instead, the oldest common ancestor the researchers could trace likely had a square head. That ancestor went on to form a range of species, from ones with no soldiers at all to others with different levels of specialization. In some cases, more specialist species reversed direction over time, evolving back into more generalist head shapes. (1)

But you cannot adapt!

Unless you have already done so…

At the end, even the trees will die.

And your big question will be answered.

And as you leave your last breath.

Right next to some dead ants running.

A smile will spread across your face.

I will never change!

I have adapted!

I will not live for ever!

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…

The evolution of… evolution.

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New research identifies a previously overlooked global event which changed the course of the evolution of life in the oceans. It coincided with a rise in calcium carbonate-secreting plankton and their subsequent deposition on the ocean floor.

The ocean as we understand it today was shaped by a global evolutionary regime shift around 170 million years ago, according to new research.

Until that point, the success of organisms living within the marine environment had been strongly controlled by non-biological factors, including ocean chemistry and climate. However, from the middle of the Jurassic period onwards (some 170 million years ago), biological factors such as predator-prey relationships became increasingly important.

Writing in Nature Geoscience, scientists say this change coincided with the proliferation of calcium carbonate-secreting plankton and their subsequent deposition on the ocean floor.

They believe the rise of this plankton stabilised the chemical composition of the ocean and provided the conditions for one of the most prominent diversifications of marine life in Earth’s history. (1)

Evolution evolves.

And through the ages of existence.

Even Being redefines itself.

Eternal change.

Towards a goal which keeps shifting.

Everlasting life.

Walking a road that keeps going.

Poor man.

How much do you really need to walk into the clearing?

Before you realize you shouldn’t have left the clearing?

Look up.

You haven’t walked a single step.

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