“Are human beings intrinsically good but corruptible by the forces of evil, or the reverse, innately sinful yet redeemable by the forces of good? Are we built to pledge our lives to a group, even to the risk of death, or the opposite, built to place ourselves and our families above all else? Scientific evidence, a good part of it accumulated during the past 20 years, suggests that we are all of these things simultaneously. Each of us is inherently complicated. We are all genetic chimeras, at once saints and sinners — not because humanity has failed to reach some foreordained religious or ideological ideal — but because of the way our species originated across millions of years of biological evolution. ... The eternal conflict is not God’s test of humanity. It is not a machination of Satan. It is just the way things worked out. It might be the only way in the entire universe that human-level intelligence and social organization can evolve. We will find a way eventually to live with our inborn turmoil, and perhaps find pleasure in viewing it as a primary source of our creativity.”—
—E.O. Wilson, from his New York Times Opinionator post “Evolution and Our Inner Conflict”
Definitely worth a read, especially if you have never heard of the competing theories of kin selection and multilevel selection being battled out by evolutionary biologists.
~Trent Gilliss, senior editor
I think it’s kinda neat that us vertebrates pretty much all have skeletons made up of the same stuff
like, on the outside, there’s quite a lot of difference between a triceratops and a horse
but when you strip all the superfluous stuff away they’re pretty much the same plan
same with all vertebrates
we’re all pretty much working with the same basic bone structure
skull, jaw, spine, ribs, pelvis, appendages usually
just tweaked around and stretched and skewed and resized
even our feet and hands pretty much have the same bones in the same places as all the other vertebrates, even like whales and bats and stuff. it’s all just a matter of stretching and skewing and resizing them for different purposes.
it’s weird, like, as a child, or as an adult who doesn’t know much about evolutionary biology, you’d look at a crow and a horse and a lizard and a dolphin and a human and see how different they look and just assume that they’re just as different on the inside
but they’re not
we’re all so close
Next time you talk about Dinosaurs being extinct..
make sure you specify “non-avian” dinosaurs!
Birds ARE Dinosaurs
Take a quick look at the Archosaurs and Ornithodirans as well! This will help show you how these species “branched off” before the evolution of Dinosauria and although they share a common direct ancestor are not one in the same!
“In the patrilinial society, men outperformed women on this task, taking 35 percent less time to complete it than the females. That difference vanishes when the test is given to the matrilinial tribe members; there was simply no significant difference between the sexes.”—Gender gap in spatial abilities depends on females’ role in society
Scientists show that manmade nucleic acids can replicate and evolve, ushering in a new era in synthetic biology.
Synthetic genetic polymers, broadly referred to as XNAs, can replicate and evolve just like their naturally occurring counterparts, DNA and RNA, according to a new study published today (April 19) in Science. The results of the research have implications not only for the fields of biotechnology and drug design, but also for research into the origins of life—on this planet and beyond.
“It’s a breakthrough,” said Gerald Joyce of The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, who was not involved in the study—“a beautiful paper in the realm of synthetic biology.”
“It shows that you don’t have to stick with the ribose and deoxyribose backbones of RNA and DNA in order to have transmittable, heritable, and evolvable information,” added Eric Kool of Stanford University, California, who also did not participate in the research.