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Science

Think of humans ‘as a little fish out of water’

There’s more than one theory of evolution, most notably Darwinian natural selection. But according to LSU biology professor Prosanta Chakrabarty, we’re still evolving.

We’re not the goal of evolution. Think of us all as young leaves on this ancient and gigantic tree of life — connected by invisible branches not just to each other, but to our extinct relatives and our evolutionary ancestors.

From pond scum to fish to humans

From fish to amphibians to reptiles to primates with big brains, every living thing today is the product of four billion years of evolution. The shared ancestry may appear linear (e.g. monkeys > chimpanzees > humans) but single cell organisms are still evolving to this day.

Meanwhile, ‘primitive’ bacteria and plants will be the ones that survive us all.

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Culture Science Travel

Born to dive: This group of people spends 60% of their day underwater

Image via James Morgan

The Bajau sea nomads are people from the Malay Archipelago (Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia).

Aquatic life is literally in their DNA. According to a study from the journal Cell:

They are renowned for their extraordinary abilities, diving to depths of over 70 m with nothing more than a set of weights and a pair of wooden goggles (Schagatay, 2014) and spending 60% of their daily working time underwater (Schagatay et al., 2011).

They’ve evolved to harbor extreme breath holding capabilities with up to 13 minutes underwater. For over thousands of years, the Bajau people have developed expanded spleens due to their dependency on diving underwater for food.

No one knows what originally compelled the Bajau to dive other than their need to survive and feed entire families.

Without experimentation, evolution does not exist. It is through struggle and adaptation we evolve.

Learn more in the video below.

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Books Culture Science

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

“We control the world basically because we are the only animals that can cooperate flexibly in very large numbers. And if you examine any large-scale human cooperation, you will always find that it is based on some fiction like the nation, like money, like human rights. These are all things that do not exist objectively, but they exist only in the stories that we tell and that we spread around. This is something very unique to us, perhaps the most unique feature of our species.

You can never, for example, convince a chimpanzee to do something for you by promising that, “Look, after you die, you will go to chimpanzee heaven and there you will receive lots and lots of bananas for your good deeds here on earth, so now do what I tell you to do.”

But humans do believe such stories and this is the basic reason why we control the world whereas chimpanzees are locked up in zoos and research laboratories.”

— Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Storytelling, language, memes, all released humans from the prison of biology.

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Science

6 Million Years Of Human Evolution

The mind released homo sapiens from the constraints of biology.

But apparently it’s not enough: now we want wings. We dare to be superhumans who stick smart chips into our brains and bodies.

Catch the evolution of faces in the last six million years after the jump.

Categories
Business Psychology

An irrational reward system

Greed taints everything. It is a bug in laissez-faire economics.

The insatiable desire to have more compels humans to cheat.

Civilization intends to be wild on its fairest terms. But too many people up top are biologically prone to control natural selection. Those hit hardest become the angriest of mobs.

Economics is human, purely biological; a Darwinian struggle to come out on top in a state of unfettered capitalism.

Coercion is natural, freedom is artificial.

Once the dopamine surge subsides, it triggers the cycle to gamble all over again. In the hunt for feel-good chemicals, we lose all sense of rationality.

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Arts Life & Philosophy Tech

Tracing loops

We can trace a loop with exactitude. Replication is the first step in learning a new process and developing our own style.

The shift from copying to creating something original is a slow one. The objects already out there shape our understanding of how things usually work.

It is the desire to reinterpret a style of art, technology, or weaponry that leads to the next thing.

Developing a unique style is the culmination of making small, subjective tweaks, over time. It takes combinatorial creativity, remixing, and trial and error to develop a style we can call our own.

Reproduction kick starts evolution.

‘Faceloops’ by Matthias Brown AKA Traceloops