12 DEC 2017 by ideonexus

 Summary of Human Evolution

ABOUT 13.5 BILLION YEARS AGO, MATTER, energy, time and space came into being in what is known as the Big Bang. The story of these fundamental features of our universe is called physics. About 300,000 years after their appearance, matter and energy started to coalesce into complex structures, called atoms, which then combined into molecules. The story of atoms, molecules and their interactions is called chemistry. About 3.8 billion years ago, on a planet called Earth, certain molecules combi...
Folksonomies: epic history
Folksonomies: epic history
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13 NOV 2015 by ideonexus

 Artificial Intelligence VS Intelligence Augmentation

IA, or Intelligence Augmentation, is all about empowering humans with tools that make them more capable and more intelligent, while traditional AI has been about removing humans fully from the loop. The traditional torch bearer for IA is Douglas Engelbart, who laid the seeds for much of the Personal Computer revolution with his famous Mother of All Demos in 1968, where he demoed the computer mouse, hypertext, windowing, videoconferencing, and more for the first time. Douglas Engelbart was foc...
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06 FEB 2015 by ideonexus

 Extropist Philosophy

Endless eXtension - Extropists seek perpetual growth and progress in all aspects of human endeavor. We are, as a species and as a culture, never finished or in any essential way complete. Instead, we continually pursue knowledge, we constantly experiment, we forever continue to develop techniques that improve our minds, our bodies, our culture and our environment. Extropists affirm this belief and take it to its logical conclusion. We desire the technology and understanding that allows us to...
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27 NOV 2013 by ideonexus

 Science is the "Crucible" for Extending Life

People are living longer and societies are getting grayer. You hear about it all the time. You read about it in your newspapers. You hear about it on your television sets. Sometimes I'm concerned that we hear about it so much that we've come to accept longer lives with a kind of a complacency, even ease. But make no mistake, longer lives can and, I believe, will improve quality of life at all ages. Now to put this in perspective, let me just zoom out for a minute. More years were added to av...
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Our culture, our memes account for our extended lifespans.

26 JUN 2013 by ideonexus

 Evidence of Sexual Selection in Humans

By primate standards, humans look strange, even after we step out of our sport utility vehicles. Compared with other apes, we have less hair on our bodies, more on our heads, whiter eyes, longer noses, fuller lips, more expressive faces, and more dextrous hands. In most species, sexual ornaments like long head hair, hairless skin, and full lips would have evolved only in males, because females would have been the choosy sex. Males have few incentives to reject any female mates. The fact that ...
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Many characteristics of our bodies which differentiate us from other primates, are probably the result of mating preferences of our ancestors.

18 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 Objectively Viewing the Work of Anthropology

Its [the anthropological method] power to make us understand the roots from which our civilization has sprung, that it impresses us with the relative value of all forms of culture, and thus serves as a check to an exaggerated valuation of the standpoint of our own period, which we are only too liable to consider the ultimate goal of human evolution, thus depriving ourselves of the benefits to be gained from the teachings of other cultures and hindering an objective criticism of our own work.
Folksonomies: objectivity anthropology
Folksonomies: objectivity anthropology
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Requires scientists to understand the origins of civilization in perspective of our own place in history.

21 SEP 2011 by ideonexus

 Are Humans Still Evolving?

Anybody who teaches human evolution is inevitably asked: Are we still evolving? The examples of lactose tolerance and duplication of the amylase gene show that selection has certainly acted within the last few thousand years. But what about right now? It’s hard to give a good answer. Certainly many types of selection that challenged our ancestors no longer apply: improvements in nutrition, sanitation, and medical care have done away with many diseases and conditions that killed our ancestor...
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Culture has removed many of the selective pressures from human survival, allowing harmful mutations to build up in the genepool; meanwhile, people living in third-world countries continue to experience selective pressures from droughts, famines, and disease.

04 MAY 2011 by ideonexus

 Neoteny in Humans

...the concept of "neoteny"—the retention of juvenile features into adult life. It is a commonplace of human evolution that the transition from Australopithecus to Homo and from Homo habilis to Homo erectus and thence to Homo sapiens all involved prolonging and slowing the development of the body so that it still looked like a baby when it was already mature. The relatively large brain case and small jaw, the slender limbs, the hairless skin, the unrotated big toe, the thin bones, even the ...
Folksonomies: evolution neoteny
Folksonomies: evolution neoteny
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Adult humans look like baby chimpanzees

23 MAR 2011 by ideonexus

 1973 Humanist Manifesto II - Introduction

The next century can be and should be the humanistic century. Dramatic scientific, technological, and ever-accelerating social and political changes crowd our awareness. We have virtually conquered the planet, explored the moon, overcome the natural limits of travel and communication; we stand at the dawn of a new age, ready to move farther into space and perhaps inhabit other planets. Using technology wisely, we can control our environment, conquer poverty, markedly reduce disease, exten...
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A revised Humanist Manifesto, considered necessary in response to World War II and Nazism. Isaac Asimov was among the signers.