Patterns. Scarily visible…

Photo by Alex Fu from Pexels

How do the large-scale patterns we observe in evolution arise? A paper in the journal Evolution argues that many of them are a type of statistical bias caused by our unavoidably recent viewpoint looking back into the past.

For example, the animals appear in the fossil record about 550 million years ago, in an enormous burst of diversification called the “Cambrian Explosion.” Many groups of organisms appear to originate like this, but later on in their evolutionary history, their rates of diversification and morphological change seem to slow down. Graham Budd and Richard Mann make the provocative argument that patterns like this may be largely illusory.

Biologists and palaeontologists use statistical models called “birth-death models” to model how random events of speciation and extinction give rise to patterns of diversity. Just as one can roll a dice five times and get five sixes or none, the outcomes of these random models are very variable. These statistical fluctuations are particularly important at the origin of a group, when there are only a few species. It turns out that the only groups that survive this early period are those that happen to diversify quickly – all the others go extinct. As is it exactly those groups that go on to be the large successful groups we see living today, and that fill most of the fossil record, it follows that they are likely to show this rapid pattern of diversification at their origin – but only because they are a biased subset of all groups. Later in their history, when such groups are diverse, statistical fluctuations have much less effect, and therefore their rate of evolution appears to slow down to the background average.

As a result, the patterns we discover by analyzing such groups are not general features of evolution as a whole, but rather represent a remarkable bias that emerges by only studying groups we already know were successful. (1)

Standing still.

A raging bull coming towards you.

Life and death.

So seemingly similar.

Blood dripping on the ground.

The bull is gone now.

Lying down.

A cold breeze.

Small butterfly.

Worm crawling on the ground.

Close your eyes.

Looking at the clouds.

Those patterns…

So scarily visible…

Luck… Chance… Gods…


Its mostly luck, which determined the success of a person in life, according to a new research. [1] It is mostly luck which determined reproductive success. [2] Its mostly luck which determines the survivability of a species. [3]

In a world of chance, we insist on believing that it is us who determine our future. In a world dominated by random events, we keep insisting that it is us who make things happen. We know that there is Logos governing the universe. Because we are part of it. We feel it constantly. We have just misjudged what is the source of that Logos.

It is not logos within us.
It is logos transcending the cosmos.

Stay humble and you will see.
You cannot control anything.
Because you are everything…

Mammoth extinct. Resurrected. Life and death.


Scientists are one step closer to cloning a woolly mammoth, thanks to the results of a new autopsy conducted on a remarkably preserved specimen of the species discovered last year.

The 40,000-year-old mammoth, nicknamed “Buttercup,” was found in permafrost on the remote Siberian island of Maly Lyakhovsky. When scientists cut into the carcass, its fresh-looking flesh oozed dark blood, raising hopes that DNA could be extracted.

Scientists believe that the key to cloning the prehistoric beast is finding a complete copy of its DNA. That wasn’t found in this case, but the scientists did recover long fragments. Plans call for researchers from South Korea’s Sooam Biotech Research Foundation to analyze tissue samples from the carcass over the next two years, with the hopes of finding an intact genome. (1)

The dead is not dead.
What was alive, always stays so.
In a weird way you already know this.
Not through DNA.
Not through genetics.
But in a more simple and elegant way.
By simply not dying.
Check again.
There is nothing to “resurrect”.

That is not dead which can eternal lie.

And with strange aeons even death may die…

Species, definitions, science. Towards nothing…


An old bat specimen. Re-examined. Is it one species? Or seven species?

An analysis of a museum’s bones collections seems to discover issues with the categorization of bats in species. (1)

The species definition problem is an old one. The definition-of-anything is actually an old problem in general. We all rely on our definitions. And we are always reluctant to change them towards reducing the level of analysis of the world we live in. The number of species may rise, but it will never fall. We may invent new definitions to create new things into our mind, but we will never destroy one. We all look towards the infinite, while the goal we should have is behind us.

Let’s stop defining new things. Let’s un-define the defined!

Let’s return to Nothing. This is everything…

Africa, Neanderthals, parents. The lost wisdom…


Call it humanity’s unexpected U-turn. One of the biggest events in the history of our species is the exodus out of Africa some 65,000 years ago, the start of Homo sapiens’ long march across the world. Now a study of southern African genes shows that, unexpectedly, another migration took western Eurasian DNA back to the very southern tip of the continent 3000 years ago.

According to conventional thinking, the Khoisan tribes of southern Africa, have lived in near-isolation from the rest of humanity for thousands of years. In fact, the study shows that some of their DNA matches most closely people from modern-day southern Europe, including Spain and Italy.

Because Eurasian people also carry traces of Neanderthal DNA, the finding also shows – for the first time – that genetic material from our extinct cousin may be widespread in African populations. (1)

In the beginning we live with our parents. Then we leave home.

We tend to believe we are more wise than our parents.

And there comes a day when we wish our parents were here again to advise us. Our Neanderthal “parents” are back in their “home”.

The home we have a tendency to mock as “Third World”, as “not advanced”, as “primitive”. There will come the time when we will need their advice again. But then it will be too late. They will be long gone…