Posts Tagged ‘Nature’

Quote note (#280)

Bacteria are often invoked as agents of ‘rhizomatic’ (horizontal) disruption of tree-like genetic lineages, so it’s intriguing to see them being proposed (p. 161-2) as cladistic engineers:

If two groups of the same insect ignore each other and only mate with their social circles, they should eventually split into distinct species. These splits occur all the time in nature, and the forces that cause them can take many forms. They could be physical obstacles like mountains or rivers. They could be differences in timing, in the hours or season in which animals are active. They could be incompatible genes that prevent two animals from interbreeding. Anything that stops animals from mating, or that kills or weakens the offspring of those couplings, can create ‘reproductive isolation’ — a gulf that drives species apart. And as [Eugene] Rosenberg had shown, bacteria can cause reproductive isolation, too. By acting as a living barrier that stops two populations from meeting up, microbes could potentially drive the origin of new species. …

September 4, 2016admin 76 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Speciation
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Quote note (#167)

Jack London on Gnon (from ‘The Law of Life’):

He had been born close to the earth, close to the earth had he lived, and the law thereof was not new to him. It was the law of flesh. Nature was not kindly to the flesh. She had no concern for that concrete thing called the individual. Her interest lay in the species, the race. This was the deepest abstraction old Koskoosh’s barbaric mind was capable of, but he grasped it firmly. He saw it exemplified in all life. The rise of the sap, the bursting greenness of the willow bud, the fall of the yellow leaf — in this alone was told the whole history. But one task did nature set the individual. Did he not perform it, he died. Did he perform it, it was all the same, he died. Nature did not care; there were plenty who were obedient, and it was only the obedience in this matter, not the obedient, which lived, and lived always. … He also was an episode and would pass away. Nature did not care. To life she set one task, gave one law. To perpetuate was the task of life, its law was death.

May 30, 2015admin 32 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Fertility
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The Gnonion

Bryce found this superb thing. A sample (but don’t miss out on the rest):

EARTH — In a seemingly unstoppable cycle of carnage that has become tragically commonplace throughout the biosphere, sources confirmed this morning that natural selection has killed an estimated 38 quadrillion organisms in its bloodiest day yet. […] “What we’re seeing here is the work of a hardened, practiced killer,” said Yale University evolutionary biologist Richard Prum … “It is painfully clear this slaughter was perpetrated by a force that holds zero regard for the value of life” …

In what many are calling its most grotesque tactic, the killer appeared to single out the most vulnerable organisms — particularly the young and the physically weak — for its murderous rampage, slaughtering them without mercy as other members of their species fled in panic. Reports indicated those who escaped the carnage were left with no choice but to try to move on with their lives and survive even as the ruthless killer continued stalking them. […] Virtually no species was unaffected by yesterday’s killing spree, experts stated. […] “This is the work of a killer without empathy, without conscience,” said Jyotsna Ramjee, a University of Calcutta zoologist who confirmed that the day’s death toll was the largest on official records dating back to 1859, when the perpetrator was first identified.

January 30, 2015admin 12 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Humor
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