We don’t have a problem with the West, we’re just obsessed with it

How much do we not know about what Indian researchers are doing simply because Western scientists haven’t written to some of them?

Better to have been a mammal in India

The Copernican April 10, 2014 Studies of fossils and soil samples collected at a site in South India have revealed unique attributes of the ecosystem not found in many parts of the world. In particular, an international team of scientists found that most mammalian species in the region seem to have survived at least 100,000 … Read more

If prey can eat predators, we’re ignoring evolution

The half-century old mathematics that ecologists use to understand how predator and prey populations rise and fall has received a revamp. Two scientists from Georgia Tech did this by crediting evolution for what it is but not commonly thought to be: fast, not slow. The scientists, Joshua Weitz and Michael Cortez, applied a branch of mathematics … Read more

Smaller dinos were harder to wipe out, and they’re still around

The asteroid that wiped out dinosaurs 66 million years ago didn’t get them all. Some of them survive to this day in the form of birds, and they may have made it because they got smaller. For about 170 million years, dinosaurs were the dominant life-forms that lived on land. In this period, spanning the … Read more

A cultured evolution?

Can perceptions arising out of cultural needs override evolutionary goals in the long-run? For example, in India, the average marriage-age is in the late 20s now. Here, the (popular) tradition is to frown down upon, and even ostracize, those who would engage in premarital sex. So, after 10,000 years, say, are Indians more likely to have … Read more

Universality of the Lotka-Volterra equations

If humankind were to discover a planet that harbours water, and if, by some provenance, the same unicellular organisms that were the precursors to Earth-bound evolution were to be introduced into this environment…

  1. Would the significant differences between our evolutionary pattern and their evolutionary pattern be equivalent in any measure to the significant differences between our environment and theirs? (akin to linguistic relativity; see Whorf-Sapir hypothesis) How might we measure these differences?
  2. How would the second-degree Kolmogorov model predator/prey population functions change? (Lotka-Volterra equations)
  3. Will the timeframe for “onset” of intelligence be determinable? Will intelligence manifest itself again at all? (Naturalism)
  4. Will the Earthborn megapode be able to recognize the “alien” megapode (or vice versa)? (Vitalism)
  5. Will evolutionary parameters in similar environments be similar, or will small changes in the evolution of genetic components manifest as large deviations in the final morphology?

Winterwolf VI

“Right. Caution. Good. Anyway, where was I? Yes! Evolution! This race of new humans was enabled to evolve at an accelerated pace, to mutate and reform within a decade without having to wait for a million years, with a genetically implanted trigger that would terminate mutatory control once human intelligence was reached.” The New Chance. … Read more