Monday, March 06, 2006

Humans Ate Neanderthals And Are Eating Bonobos Today


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Bonobos are about to go extinct. Humans are eating them just like we ate all our nearest relatives who weren't hiding in deep jungles. Humans love cannibalism.

From AP:
Scientists are struggling to save the fast-disappearing bonobo, the gentle "hippie chimp" known for resolving squabbles through sex rather than violence.

Unfortunately, bonobos are prized by Congolese for their tasty meat, and many villagers who are illegally hunting the wiry, wizen-faced apes don't realize how close their prey is to extinction.

"Bonobos are an icon for peace and love, the world's 'hippie chimps,"' said Sally Coxe of the Washington-based Bonobo Conservation Initiative. "To let them die off would be a catastrophe."
The average American was taught to hate hippies. I remember because I was a hippie, though a rather violent hippie, thus the name, "The Violent Hippie Chick". Anyway, humans, hardly the paragon of virtues beloved by gods, are actually vicious cannibals that have eaten vast swaths of the planet's lifeforms into extinction. In Darwin's famous book about Evolution, he illustrates a successful bird strategy, the Passenger Pigeon, that adapted to modern farming techniques only by the time his book was published, the last Passenger Pigeon flocks were being decimated and work on annihilating the vast herds of buffalo had begun.

Humans killing bonobos claim the meat tastes yummy. Indeed, even with chimpanzees, it is the same, they go nuts over the delicacy of eating other monkey species and even eating each other's babies is a tasty treat. Humans were successful because we set up various complicated rules governing who to eat. For example, eating one's mate is a no-no and eating mother and sister and brother was bad, too. Indeed, as the ring of "do not eat" grew, the brains figuring this out grew, too. Being able to remember all the many rules, none of which are natural or inherited, meant having a large brain that is large enough to figure out how to teach complex social "do not eat/OK to eat" rules. Part of this system was "how to have sex, have children and not kill each other" rules.

These rules are breaking down rapidly across the board, across the planet. Due to overpopulation, the value of one's siblings, ones clan, ones own children is dropping. In some hard-pressed areas, selling the children into slavery and retaining only one is growing common.

Within "civilized" communities, the value of large families clinging together in the face of outsiders is in steep decline, too. Each generation, it grows less and less, each is sent out on their own and no one gives a hoot what happens next.

Back in the old times when the only way to survive was to protect the children collectively and have as large a clan as possible, humans did keep the genes for cooperation and love intact along with the mental gymnastics for avoiding T-rexing family members. From the BBC:
Scientists have long debated what leads people to "act out of the goodness of their hearts" by helping non-relatives regardless of any benefits for themselves.

Human society depends on people being able to collaborate with others - donating to charity, paying taxes and so on - and many scientists have argued that altruism is a uniquely human function, hard-wired into our brains.

The latest study suggests it is a strong human trait, perhaps present more than six million years ago in the common ancestor of chimpanzees and humans.

"This is the first experiment showing altruistic helping towards goals in any non-human primate," said Felix Warneken, a psychologist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany.

"It's been claimed chimpanzees act mainly for their own ends; but in our experiment, there was no reward and they still helped."
Humans and even apes will selflessly help strangers because deep inside us resides this "if you help this person, they might be carrying your genes" which is operational in a small community. As humans killed off all rivals and relatives, the need to recognize "this person has our genes" grew. I suspect one reason why we, unlike any ape or monkey, show a great deal of the white of our eyes is for identifying humans when all our other features looked similar to our nearer relatives. Animals show the white of the eyes only when very angry or very scared. We look like that all the time. We think of this state of being as natural but if any human stares at any animal, it flips them out. This is probably why zoo animals are very stressed at first before they figure the scary white eyed creatures are harmless.

"Altuism" in small children is problematic. They love to "help" but they also are in a continuous power struggle with mother in particular, father, if he is around and interacting. The tiniest baby will wail for attention. They will refuse to cooperate for the sheer joy of flexing their tiny wills. Then, at about 2 years of age, the storm breaks and it becomes a battle of wits and blunt strength to reel in the increasingly imperious tots. This is true of all animals dependent upon a parent. And they will compete ruthlessly with siblings until they learn the value of siblings.

The reason why total strangers will die for Bush, for example, is due to people exploiting this hard wiring which assumes human-like creatures must be related, therefore, one benefits if one dies for them. I will note that the Bush clan doesn't practice this at all which means the old Darwinian reciprical grooming genetics steps in. Namely, creatures able to tell if they are being "cheated" in reciprocation retaliate.

Another way of saying, the s**t is going to hit the fan, here.


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Comet Pojmanski Skims Past Earth, Seen At Sunrise


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Another celestial visitor. Comet Pojmanski swung around the sun and turned a stunning bright blue including the tail. Astronomers used to think all comets were the same, mostly water. Turns out they are as individual as different planets. This shouldn't surprise us at all.

From NASA:
Right now, however, a new comet has brightened unexpectedly and is visible as a faint streak to the unaided northern observer in the eastern morning sky just before sunrise. Binoculars may help. Comet Pojmanski, officially designated C/2006 A1 and discovered only in January, now sports a turquoise tail several times longer than the full moon. Comet Pojmanski's ion tail is due to gas particles expelled by the comet being pushed away from the Sun by the solar wind, the same wind that ionizes gas in the tail causing its blue tint. Pictured above as it appeared only last week, Comet Pojmanski has now begun to fade as its orbit around the Sun takes it further from the Earth.
Strictly for early birds. All comets are lovely to look at, they are delicate veils streaming in the cosmic wind. Unlike shooting stars which are items falling into our planetary well. The best place to view these comets remains mountain tops which is why observatories are set up there (except for Yerkes and campus-based observatories, of course!)

The view from my deck is blocked by the Taconic mountains to the east, alas. And my headcold prevents climbing the mountain to see higher up. But the photos are lovely. It is like a saphire ring, a clear, brilliant, sharp blue, the blue one sees in a stained glass window at Chartes sort of blue.

Like so many items whizzing past us, this comet is the first time we noticed it, probably won't be back for a while. It is a sharp reminder that we are very vulerable to being hit by such items and the window of knowledge of their passage is not much longer than half a year.

Not that anyone seems to care? Heck, NASA and our military are too busy spying on us to care, it seems.



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NYC Planetarium Doing Collision Show That Explains Nothing


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

This illustration shows classic cosmic theory, the Big Bang happened and everything flew outwards, evenly. Everything is flowing away and will fly apart faster and faster until it all burns up and dissappears into nothingness or rips apart suddenly because it is flying away faster and faster thanks to mysterious "dark matter." This is just plain silly.

From the NYT:
The show is a $3 million production by NASA and the American Museum of Natural History, where Mr. Emmart is the director of astrovisualization at the Rose Center for Earth and Space. Narrated by Robert Redford, the show provides a bold and colorful look at the universe — with colliding stars, planets and even galaxies — based on theories and data collected from 30 scientists around the world.

"There can't be anything wrong, factually or visually, with anything about this presentation," said Michael Shara, curator of astrophysics at the museum. "It has to be consistent with what is being written in the science journals."
This show includes the future Andromeda/Milky Way (that's us!) merger. Again and again, I wonder how astronomers can swallow the BS about the universe expanding faster and faster. This is pure lunacy. Funny, how the word for crazy uses the image of the moon.
While most of the presentation focuses on the past, the show includes a preview of what scientists predict will happen in two billion years: a collision between Earth's galaxy, the Milky Way, and its nearest neighbor, Andromeda, that will create one vast new galaxy.

"The two galaxies," Mr. Braun said, "are drifting toward each other right now."
According to my diagram, this is impossible. If everything is flying apart, it can't be crashing together. There is no way we can cross paths. Mapping the universe has shown clearly "strings" of matter. Instead of a uniform field, the pesky stellar stuff likes to lump itself along long lines leading to big globular clusters. The question is, are these globular clusters sliding into each other, too?

Any logical system should take a line of reasoning and run it to the logical conclusion and if data doesn't match then the line of reasoning is flawed.

Astronomy is in crisis mode right now. To maintain older theories, reality has to be tormented increasingly to the point of creating stuff out of whole cloth which is fun and stupid. If there is an easy explanation for something then most likely, that is the explanation!

So, if galaxies are falling INTO each other's gravity wells and all smaller galaxies are falling into bigger galactic gravity wells then this means the universe isn't shooting outwards at all, it is FALLING INWARDS. The curve of space-time gives us the illusion of falling outwards just like when one is in freefall going into a planet, one thinks one is weightless even though one is very definitely falling relentlessly. Space if full of such contrary-wise perceptions which is why Einstein's understanding of relativity was such a brilliant revelation.

I am no astronomer, I was born at an observatory and grew up in them, quite literally, my bedroom was in an observatory for a while, even. Not having to ever have to take an exam, I never had to cough up and drill into my head, standard theoretic stuff so I have nothing to loose to examine the facts coming in and the facts are, ALL GALAXIES ARE IN FREE FALL!

And what is attracting all of them, the ultimate planet, so to speak, the thing causing this?

Gravity. Simple gravity. The energy of the Big Bang has been expended and now consolidation is going on as all the Big Bang stellar debrie is being suctioned up by giant black holes. Look at our galaxy, looks like an Electrolux vacuum cleaner, the dirty debrie circling down into the center. Smaller galaxies being ripped apart as they slither down like string or ribbon being devoured by the vacuum cleaner.

I happen to like this diagram. :)

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