17 OCT 2021 by ideonexus

 Philosophers are "Loafers"

We were not originally made to be learned; we have become so perhaps by a sort of abuse of our organic faculties, and at the expense of the State, which nourishes a host of loafers whom vanity has adorned with the name of “philosophers.” Nature created us all solely to be happy—yes, all, from the crawling worm to the eagle that soars out of sight in the clouds. That is why she has given all animals some share of natural law, a share of greater or less delicacy according to the needs of ...
Folksonomies: commentary
Folksonomies: commentary
  1  notes
 
17 OCT 2021 by ideonexus

 Humans Trained Themselves in Symbolic Thought

From animals to man, the transition is not violent, as good philosophers will admit. What was man before the invention of words and the knowledge of tongues? An animal of his species, who, with much less native instinct than the others, whose king he then considered himself to be, could not be distinguished from the ape and from the rest, except as the ape itself differs from the other animals; which means, by a face giving promise of more intelligence. Reduced to the bare “intuitive knowle...
Folksonomies: philosophy empiricism
Folksonomies: philosophy empiricism
  1  notes
 
28 FEB 2021 by ideonexus

 Evolutionary Origins of Play

There are several kinds of speculation about the origins of play: (a) The first holds that play originates as a mutation and therefore an amelioration of dangerous adaptational conJicts. According to John Allman in Evolving Brains, this play mutation constitutes a pre-existing genetic function. (b) Some scholars claim the most fundamental conJict arises between dangerous and mutually threatening opponents. In studies of such conJicts, 80 percent of the time creatures from ants to mammals ac...
Folksonomies: play evolution
Folksonomies: play evolution
  1  notes
 
07 NOV 2019 by ideonexus

 "Scandals" - Animals Evolved from Cancer Cells

Panchin knows the idea of cancer-derived animals sounds far-fetched — so much so that, in the paper, he and his co-authors refer to them as Scandals (an acronym for “speciated by cancer development animals”). [...] According to Panchin’s three-step scenario, a Scandal would start off as a cancer, but not just any cancer. It would have to be transmissible, so that it wouldn’t die when its host did. Then the cancer would have to spread to other species, and then independently evolve...
Folksonomies: evolution biology cancer
Folksonomies: evolution biology cancer
  1  notes
 
10 FEB 2018 by ideonexus

 Microcosm of Imagination

Brooding, she changed the pool into the sea, and made the minnows into sharks and whales, and cast vast clouds over this tiny world by holding her hand against the sun, and so brought darkness and desolation, like God himself, to millions of ignorant and innocent creatures, and then took her hand away suddenly and let the sun stream down.
  1  notes
 
12 DEC 2017 by ideonexus

 The Disruptive Nature of Homo sapien's Rapid Rise to Apex...

Genus Homo’s position in the food chain was, until quite recently, solidly in the middle. For millions of years, humans hunted smaller creatures and gathered what they could, all the while being hunted by larger predators. It was only 400,000 years ago that several species of man began to hunt large game on a regular basis, and only in the last 100,000 years – with the rise of Homo sapiens – that man jumped to the top of the food chain. That spectacular leap from the middle to the top ...
  1  notes
 
06 APR 2015 by ideonexus

 The Trick of Magnifying Normal Creatures

The trick of magnifying a normal creature to menacing size is all too common. The giant amoeba is a familar example; monster insects (or whole populations of them) even more so. It might pay an author with this particular urge to ask himself why we don't actually have such creatures around. There is likely to be a good reason, and if he doesn't know it perhaps he should do some research. In the case of both amoeba and insect, the so-called "square-cube" law is the trouble. Things like streng...
Folksonomies: physics biology speculation
Folksonomies: physics biology speculation
  1  notes