evolution

The evolution of science, science fiction, and mankind throughout the years.

  • Jade Newman
    Published 3 months ago
    Confused.com

    Confused.com

    2019 the year of confusion’. In the latest Confused.com car insurance advert, Sons of Anarchy actor Timothy Murphy cruises along the modern-day highway much like a cool moral cowboy with stubble and blunt humour intact, squaring up to his sketchy societal opponents. ‘The worlds gone goo goo gaga’. Unstable politics, climate change inaction, fake news, technology, internet surveillance, social media influencers, and consumerism, all get a knowing nod. This advert really hits home and symbolises the bewilderment that many of us feel trying to tackle this daily disconnected minefield. Much of our regular routine is influenced by these factors, which are smoothly brought to the forefront. Although anger, judgement, and blame are natural initial responses that can fuel action, the driver's laid back logic is a trait to be admired for the long run, which can aid our navigation through these trying times.
  • Elric Pankston
    Published 4 months ago
    What's Next?

    What's Next?

    In this age of unreason there is much that one must face. Being brought up with so many options has led to an uneven Huxleyan revolution. One I’m driven to think is by design, but honestly that may just be the ego in me.
  • Ray Percival
    Published 8 months ago
    'The Chronology Protection Case'

    'The Chronology Protection Case'

    The Chronology Protection Conjecture (TCPC)—this is the idea that we, as human beings, are intimately entangled with the evolution of the cosmos and that it (the cosmos) simply will not allow us to tamper with certain possible paths into the future—or the past. Traveling back in time and accidentally changing history, killing your grandfather so that you were never born in the first place, or imperceptibly upsetting the course of events in subtle ways that later blossomed into catastrophic changes to the present, is now traditional science fiction. But if it were possible, historians wouldn’t be able to sleep at night, their work constantly upset by time-tourists. Stephen Hawking rescued historians from this fate.
  • will mead
    Published 8 months ago
    Do You Really Need 'You'?

    Do You Really Need 'You'?

    Imagine, without any sense of obligation to conjure up vague banalities such as world peace or immortality, what your perfect life would be? A happy family, ten million dollars, a holiday home on the beach, a getaway home in Nice, a white, glistening smile, harmonious relationships with everyone in time for Christmas Dinner, a wide circle of charismatic friends, a smaller circle of the close and loyal, sunshine, ski-trips, good food, a gorgeous partner. Most people are inherently liberal-fantasizers in this way. Sure, universal healthcare would be nice, but so would buying a yacht. We cycle through each day stimulating our neurons into powerhouses for capitalist perpetuation, both personally and societally. Make money, feel good; buy something to eat, worth the cash; donate to charity, what a good guy I am. Like it or not, we all experience and fuel a liberal society. But what exactly makes it so? The answer is blatant, but unappreciated: a comparative existence, or in other words, hierarchy.
  • Tony Martello
    Published about a year ago
    Green Springs

    Green Springs

    I always wonder if cavemen and women knew what time was? And if so, did time seem to accelerate and decelerate to them, as it appears to do to us today? The concept of time has only changed recently (a few thousand years ago, since we developed a calendar) and decided to over-civilize our culture. Does time really speed up and slow down? I think not (maybe on a millisecond scale if you consider rotations of the earth and electromagnetic cycles and fields). Because of this quandary, let us consider a few concepts: First, consider a metal spring. When you squeeze it, it becomes smaller in length right? Well, not really. It always goes back to its original size (length) when you release it and take the pressure off. Modern calendars are the pressure to the spring in this analogy. The spring is truly always a fixed size but has open space in the middle between both ends that are not compressed without pressure. Similar to compressing a spring, calendars squeeze out all the space in our days and weeks that would otherwise be free time, or freedom.
  • Ryan Ferguson
    Published about a year ago
    A History of Violence

    A History of Violence

    When life first arose on this planet, resources were in abundance and all life was able to consume what they needed for survival and reproduction without having to compete with another organism for it. Life is like water though, it will expand to fill every niche it can find until a balance between proliferation of life and consumption of resources is found. This concept is what drove life to expand until the resources any one species required was in short enough supply to drive Darwin's tenets of evolution. When there is a selective pressure such as limited resources, variation in individuals, and heredity of traits, evolution begins to act on a species to ensure it becomes better and better at attaining the resources it needs. Competition is inherent in this equation, and seemingly inescapable.
  • Blue Dream
    Published about a year ago
    Growth

    Growth

    I started off small. A see-through, fragile, self equipt machine awaiting my command. I was alone in the dark, and my surrounding was moist, but it was also soft, so I felt secure. Two, four, six, eight seconds passed and I began to shake. My sides began to stretch out; slowly and delicately like a piece of gum. My insides hardened while my exterior collapsed and it was then and there that I accepted my fate. As I relaxed, my whole being vibrated with energy. With each inhale my body would let out a pop that signaled a new beginning. The pops now occurred faster and faster. I was growing. No, I was multiplying. Yes, that seems to describe it better. I was multiplying now at full speed and my being was on fire.
  • Sammy Vick
    Published 2 years ago
    Superpowers: Could They Happen?

    Superpowers: Could They Happen?

    I've been fascinated with superheroes and superpowers ever since I was a little girl, creating my own and playing pretend. Though the one thing I've always wanted is for these powers to be real. So that's what I'm sought to find out; could these powers actually exist in the real world, what would these abilities do if they were real, what would they do to the human body and is having this power even possible for the human body to handle?
  • Monica Bennett
    Published 2 years ago
    The External Nose

    The External Nose

    Some are tiny and button-like, some look like a ski jump, others have bumps in the middle or wide nostrils, but they are all sone of the biggest mysteries in evolution. Why do we have an external proboscis that protrudes from our faces? This should be an easy question to find an answer to, but nothing could be further from the truth. A lot of research has been done on the shape of the nose and that is determined by the climates our ancestors lived in. In a paper published in PLOS Genetics, "Investigating the case of human nose shape and climate adaptation" byArslan A. Zaidi, Brooke C. Mattern, Peter Claes, Brian McEvoy, Cris Hughes, Mark D. Shriver, the authors put forth the idea that wide noses with larger nares are selected for in warm, wet environments, and long, narrow noses are selected for cold, dry climates. They examined nose measurements from a total of 140 women who were of West African, East Asian, northern European or South Asian ancestry. One doesn't have to leave Africa to find exceptions to their findings. Northern Ethiopians and Eritreans have narrow noses, and genetics have shown little admixture from Europeans or Arab groups, and instead have a common cluster of Y chromosome E3b, a haplogroup unique to the horn of Africa. Then there are the Fulani people of West Africa. They live in a warm, humid climate, but have narrow noses. This is the largest tribe in Africa, and they do not fit the mold these researchers have determined.
  • Monica Bennett
    Published 2 years ago
    Comparing Apes to Early Hominins

    Comparing Apes to Early Hominins

    Sociologists, anthropologists, psychologists, and other scientists often use data collected by field researchers to draw comparisons between humans and apes. Jane Goodall's research with chimpanzees is legendary. Diane Fossey researched gorillas. Primate centers from around the world have given us reams of data—enough to last several lifetimes of compilation. Their groundbreaking research gave science all it needed to interpret this data to model early hominin evolution, instead of seeing it for what it was: a detailed view of ape life today. The data is valuable in that we now know apes almost as certainly as we know ourselves. The problem is, it is often used to extrapolate "facts" about the LCA (last common ancestor). The truth is simple; apes have been evolving for 5-8 million, as have we. Apes bear no more resemblance to the LCA than we do. We don't think the LCA had agriculture, architecture, or dashing commuters, so why do some researchers insist that apes give us insight to early hominins? Apes are not primitive. They are the current apex of their individual species, as we are of ours. It took millions of years for apes to get where they are. We evolved to speak, walk on two legs, and see the abstract. They evolved to be quadrupedal tree climbers that can live in their environment without destroying it.
  • Harriet Weston
    Published 2 years ago
    'Nature-Culture': Embracing Genetic Modification

    'Nature-Culture': Embracing Genetic Modification

    From unprecedented globalisation to industrial refuse, the contemporary world has changed the face of the earth, prompting geologists to define it as the Anthropocene, “the age of humans” (Purdy, 2015: 1). Jedediah Purdy elucidates that as “a driver of global change, humanity has outstripped geology,” eliciting tensions and anxieties toward future conditions of the earth (Purdy, 2015: 1). Science fiction illustrates these feelings in futuristic stories, usually situated in a post-apocalyptic world where a revelation often portends that worse conditions await regarding environmental sustainability and human lives. Molly Wallace argues that such fictions intend to “suggest that the means to the apocalyptic futures are already in the works and […] to prevent the outcome imagined” (Wallace, 2016: 98). Science fiction accentuates present conditions in an imaginary future, resonating with Fredric Jameson’s claim that science fiction does not aim to “give us ‘images’ of the future […] but rather to defamiliarize and restructure our experience of our own present” (Jameson, 1982: 151). By positioning the present in unfamiliar contexts, one is able to dissociate from the present and thus gain a broader perspective, encouraging the chance to take preventative actions against the depletion and devastation of the earth. Perceived as both preventative and aggravating, genetic modification often features in science fiction novels, either as a necessary action to enable human survival or as a man-made evil that inevitably becomes humanity’s downfall.
  • Monica Bennett
    Published 2 years ago
    The Name Game

    The Name Game

    The photo above is an old shot of Willy Shoemaker, the jockey, and Wilt Chamberlain, the basketball player. Willy is not a dwarf of any kind. He is 4'11" tall. Wilt is not a giant. He is 7'1" tall. There is no argument—they are both Homo sapiens. What if you found their bones at an anthropological dig site? If you knew nothing about humans, you might think they represented two distinct species. After all, their skulls would have different volumes, and their postcranial bones would appear quite different from each other. This is what researchers face. Variation in a species can be enormous. There are so many classifications of hominins that it boggles the mind. Here is a list of some: Homo habilis, rudolfensis, antecessor, ergaster, erectus, heidelbergensis, floresiensis, neanderthalensis, gautengensis, cepranensis, naledi, tsaichangensis, rhodensiensis, georgicus, Denisovans, and Red Deer Cave People. This is not a complete list. There are many reasons that the taxonomy (classification) of Homo is so complicated. Some species coexisted, but they also cross mated, making all of these early hominins blends of each other. Each researcher has his own idea of who begat whom, and what makes a fossil Homo. Everyone has an opinion and no one agrees with anyone else. There is no standard among scientists, and the entire naming process is getting out of hand. Anyone who finds a fossil these days is claiming to have found our oldest ancestor, the oldest Homo, or the "missing link." Just look at the situation that recently occurred in South Africa. Last year, Lee Berger proclaimed Homonaledi, a fossil found by his son, to be this ancient Homo who was already a member of our genus while Australopithecuseines like Lucy were running around. You could hear the laugh go around the paleo world when the fossils were found to be a mere 250,000 years old.