Posts Tagged ‘Darwin’

Philosophy Suggests That Advanced Homo Is From Eurasia

April 27, 2019

The spark of a correct guess is often drowned into a sea of wrong guesses. I am going to give here an example of the philosophical method, the method of the artful guesses, used in paleontology, on human origins. The official story goes this way: man originated in Africa, nothing to see, let the professionals do their work. it’s probably wrong.

But a philosopher will say this to a specialist: how do you know that man evolved in Africa? Usual answer: because that’s where the fossils are from.  My counter-objection: conservation bias. And a philosopher would add: why did man evolve so fast? Usual answer: natural selection (as if there was another… even human selection is natural, Homo being part, a meta part, but still a part of nature!) My counter-objection: how to we know there was no accelerator of evolution?

At this point our friend the official paleontologist of the old school will become suspicious: accelerator? And the philosopher will point at technology, the companion and extension of Homo. To live in the most hospitable regions of East Africa, once one has found how to limit losses due to ferocious animals, one doesn’t need technology absolutely: one can just frolic in the buff.

Not the case in Europe, which, for most of the last 2.7 million years was too cold to live without clothing, fire, shelter, etc. And europe was probably Homo occupied for at least two million years (date at which varied Homo Ergaster fossils were found in the Caucasus, a place quite cold in winter in Dmanisi, Georgia. Hominid fossils as well as stone tools were found throughout the 1990s. The fossils looked similar to those of Homo erectus. But in 2000, an unusual jaw was found; its size and shape didn’t quite match H. erectus or any other known hominid that lived about 1.8 million years ago. So the team named Homo georgicus. Since then, more bones belonging to H. georgicus have been unearthed.

Homo Georgicus Female Looking At You Boy, 2 millions years across, and Saber Tooth Tigers Don’t Faze MeMore recently, a completely new Homo species was found in the Philippines, and some Australian researchers have started to claim the human occupation is at least 120,000 years old. Obviously, the hypothesis long-favored in China that human origins are from all over, is gaining ground.

And a philosopher will say: how come that was not obvious all along? Just look at a map, and think!

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Out Of Africa? Not So Sure, Even If Anglo-Saxon Saint Darwin Proposed It:

Once an English gentleman passed by East Africa, found it quite old, and decreed that man came out of East Africa. n his 1871 book The Descent of Man, Charles Darwin suggested that the hominin group originated in Africa – an idea most anthropologists believe today, because beliefs are easier to remember. But Darwin also wrote that the group may have arisen in Europe because, at that time, fossils of large apes had already been uncovered there.

 

Now, indeed, the climate in East Africa; typical dry, high altitude, is prospitious for preserving fossils. So naturally very old hominin fossils were found there. It is a case of all the drunks finding all the keys below all the lamps.

 

Hominins are a group of primates that includes modern humans, more or less extinct humans like Neanderthals and Denisovans, our immediate ancestors, and more distant species such as the mysterious Homo Antecessor, Homo Erectus, Homo Habilis, and earlier species on extinct branches, including australopiths like the famous Lucy. It is harder to find their fossils in Europe, because the climate and soils there were harder for fossil conservation.

 

So what happens? Rare fossils are found in temperate areas, and many of them… don’t fit the “Out of Africa” story. For example one, just one, fossil found in Italy looks ancestral to some forms found in Africa. Fossils of a 7.2-million-year-old ape called Graecopithecus that once lived at Nikiti in Greece seems to have small canines, plus hominin-like “fused” roots to one of its premolars. In 2017, a team cautiously concluded that Graecopithecus might be a very early hominin.

Under this scenario, the 8 to 9-million-year-old Nikiti ape could represent a group of “proto-hominins” that gave rise to hominins in Europe, represented by Graecopithecus at 7.2 million years old. Hominins then would have migrated into Africa around 7 million years ago.

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Conservation Bias Beware:

Conservation of things can introduce a “conservation bias”. An example: the Egyptian desert climate preserves old paint very well. However, Egyptians were not the only ones using paint in the past. The “Picts” of Scotland who confronted the Romans were called that way, the “Painted” (Picti) because they were covered with colors. Due to damp Scotland, those colors didn’t get preserved (although they beat the Romans)… Nor was the Picts’ writing. But that doesn’t mean they didn’t write… they wrote.

In general fossil are not conserved well in a wet, biologically active climate.

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Impenetrable Africa:

Subtropical areas are one thing:  they typically have a wet season, are endowed with savannah park, and are easy to penetrate. Full tropical areas, though, are much less welcoming of human travel. A further problem is that most of the savannah park is crisscrossed by forest galleries, forests built around water ways. A simple forest gallery in Africa is more than a wall. It’s a chain of obstacles with obscurity, exuberant vegetation, tse tse flies, dangerous animals, snakes, spiders, crocs, ambushes… A forest gallery, with its profusion of trees and lianas, not to say leopards and giant carnivorous rats, can make hundreds of meters, and sometimes kilometers of nearly impassable jungle.

Forest galleries partition a lot of the tropics into small pockets which don’t communicate with each other.Hence the profusions of extremely varied languages in Africa. (In my quasi-native Senegal, six languages ruled, some tonal, others not; they are mixed, with pockets all over!)

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Gigantic Eurasia, Garden of the Gods, Easy Travel:

But then look at a map: the regions of East Africa susceptible of maximum accelerated human evolution (temperate, high altitude reasonably wet) are a small fraction, no more than 5% of what Eurasia offered… Once enough technology to resist the cold had been invented. Then wet, temperate Eurasia, presented an enormous area in which human groups could evolve, trade, compete, exchange ideas. Moreover, as I said, to just subsist in Eurasia one was technologically spurred more than elsewhere… namely in the tropical areas.

Most of the world temperate area is located in Eurasia, and particularly in Europe. Very little is found in Africa.

Eurasia, instead is easy to travel across… if one is a Mongol, some would object. Indeed, there is a giant steppe from Hungary to Korea, and the Huns and Mongols used it, a lot. But they were not the first to do so. The Indo-Europeans did this, much earlier. From West of Mongolia, in the Altai, they could go west to Europe, south to India, and east to China. And they did. Not coincidentally, the first Denisovan was found at Denis’ cave, in the Altai.

It is known that many advances of Chinese civilization were launched by European types originating from the Altai, 5,000 years ago. I suggest the same mechanism of dissemination of people and ideas was at work already two million years ago. A hint is that Chinese scientists claim to have discovered human usage of fire, in China, 1.3 million years ago.

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Conclusion: If one visited from another star system, one would find likely that humanity emerged in the largest continent, Eurasia. All the more as it was more challenging technologically, and the easiest to trade people, goods and ideas. Call that the anti-Tasmanian Effect. The Tasmanian effect is that an isolated society which has it all too easy, will devolve (Tasmania is temperate and got isolated after the last glaciation):

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2010/08/19/tasmanian-effect/

The anti-Tasmanian effect is that a maximally exposed mental maelstrom of a society will be most creative. But that carries over, with roughly the same mathematics to phenotypes: a maximally exposed phenotype maelstrom of an hominin population will be phenotypically most varied, enabling the evolution of most successful types, and thus becoming the main engine of evolutionary progress..  

Thus Neanderthals invented the burning of fossil fuels, 80,000 years ago in Europe (an interest of living in an extremely old continent rather than much younger continents or islands full of volcanoes). Europe was the best place to have a big debate on what were the best technologies, for two million years. Now, of course, citizens of nearly all countries can run air conditioning, talk and even see at a distance. But this is now. The most natural place for Homo species to evolve more was Eurasia. This is what philosophy says…

Science will follow and figure out the details, to be certain.

Darwin RIP…

Patrice Ayme

 

The (Ongoing) Evolution of Evolutionary Theory

November 14, 2014

The last two essays on Biological Evolution, the fruits of decades of meditation, were proximally suggested by an essay from Massimo Pigliucci, a philosopher and biologist (PhD genetics) initially from Italy and now, armed with a PhD in Philosophy (PhDPh?) from the USA, a professor at CUNY.

I thought Massimo unfortunately engaged in the usual Anglosphere trick of attributing the scientific establishment of Biological Evolution to Darwin, not Lamarck. This is fraught with numerous pitfalls, and adverse consequences, not the least of which being that Evolution deniers are thick on the ground in the USA.

Indeed reducing the Evolution debate to Darwin and a handful of finches, is all too reductive. Reductive to the point of eschewing most of the debate on evolution, as I tried to explain in the preceding two essays.

Lamarck established the Foundations of Evolution, and demonstrated, first of all, that it happened. And that it happened over eons.

Darwin and other made more explicit Evolution through natural selection (which is implicit in Lamarck, who, obviously considered it self-evident from what he described).

“Do we not therefore perceive that by the action of the laws of organization . . . nature has in favorable times, places, and climates multiplied her first germs of animality, given place to developments of their organizations, . . . and increased and diversified their organs? Then. . . aided by much time and by a slow but constant diversity of circumstances, she has gradually brought about in this respect the state of things which we now observe. How grand is this consideration, and especially how remote is it from all that is generally thought on this subject!”
[Text of a lecture given by Lamarck at the Musée National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, May 1803.]

Lamarck was 57 years old when in 1801 he published his book, “The Inheritance Of Acquired Traits.”

This traits would now be called, genes, somas, prions, transposons, alleles, plasmids, and all what we have not discovered yet…

How these inherited traits are “acquired” is not clear to this day.

In recent decades, it became clear that the situation was at least as complicated as Lamarck had described it, and that the so-called “Neo-Darwinist” oversimplification of the 1960s was a grave error (ironically Darwin was on Lamarck’s side, as he tried to prove “pangenesis”! Pangenesis is pretty much a proven fact now!).

I will suggest in further essays of few more paradoxes and perspectives. Or how strict “Darwinism” contained the germ of its own de-selection as not the fittest theory.

Meanwhile, let Massimo describes it as he sees it!
Patrice Ayme’

Scientia Salon

41J0nOguz-L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_by Massimo Pigliucci

Nature magazine recently ran a “point-counterpoint” entitled “Does evolutionary theory need a rethink?” [1] Arguing for the “Yes, urgently” side were Kevin Laland, Tobias Uller, Marc Feldman, Kim Sterelny, Gerd B. Müller, Armin Moczek, Eva Jablonka, and John Odling-Smee. Arguing for the “No, all is well” thesis were Gregory A. Wray, Hopi E. Hoekstra, Douglas J. Futuyma, Richard E. Lenski, Trudy F. C. Mackay, Dolph Schluter, and Joan E. Strassmann.

That’s a good number of top notch evolutionary biologists, colleagues that I very much respect, on both sides of the aisle. My own allegiances have been made clear in a number of papers [2] and a co-edited book [3]. I have been arguing for some time now for what I consider the moderate-yes side of the debate: yes, evolutionary theory does need (and is, in fact, getting) an update, but that update is yet another expansion along…

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Evolution Scientifically Established Before Darwin’s Birth

November 13, 2014

English speaking authorities found a master thinker, Darwin, He created evolution. Charles Darwin is the messiah of evolution. Any critique of this miracle, this shattering of ill preconceptions, is labelled “postmodernist”, and no doubt arises noxiously from a gross lack of non-appurtenance to the church of righteous thinking (prestigious, well-paid American academia). Or then is to be attributed to the hysterical nationalism of the French.

This roughly summarize some of the critiques American professors have made of my “Lamarck Discovered Evolution” essay. It is typical.

Jean-Baptiste Lamarck Scientifically Established Evolution By 1800

Jean-Baptiste Lamarck Scientifically Established Evolution By 1800

Paradoxically, this scornful attitude comforts religious creationism.

Why? Making Darwin into what he was not, a snow capped giant towering above a sea of error, is all too close to the terror of the religious mindset. Making Darwin into God, neglects the evolution of ideas, the giant collaborative reasoning that is science. It reintroduce the concept of the prophet: everybody got it all wrong, before, then comes miracle man, Darwin. Miraculously speaking English.

So why not Jesus for miracle man?

Or why not Muhammad? Hey, Muhammad spoke Arabic, which is obviously the language of God.

The scientists who claim Darwin did it all, are lying. Lying because they have not integrated the scientific method, and do not know how truth is established historiographically is the worst possible case.

Most of the ideas demonstrating that there had been “biological evolution” were evolved before Darwin.

The truth is that Darwin was astounded by the audacity of several of his professors who praised ‘Mr. Lamarck” for having shown how life had “evolved” from “simple worms”.

Darwin’s publications came in a full century after evolution started to be established scientifically.

Buffon introduced the idea that migration caused speciation. He illustrated this with pachyderms.

Augier introduced the “Tree of Life”, then much improved by Lamarck. Lamarck’s Tree was much more specific than the general idea that all species came from fishes (Pre-Socratic philosophers).

Lamarck had spent decades looking at life and fossils through a microscope, and he demonstrated that life had evolved over millions of years, by documenting in extreme, microscopic details the evolution of mollusks.

The great geologist Lyell got a copy of one of Lamarck’s books from a friend in 1827. He wrote back:

“I devoured Lamark… his theories delighted me… I am glad that he has been courageous enough and logical enough to admit that his argument, if pushed as far as it must go, if worth anything, would prove that men may have come from the Ourang-Outang. But after all, what changes species may really undergo!… That the Earth is quite as old as he supposes, has long been my creed…”

However, Lyell, a close friend of Darwin and Huxley, rejected evolution when he was a professor at the prestigious King’s College, London.

Lyell explained in a letter to Whewell in 1837:

“If I had stated… the possibility of the introduction or origination of fresh species being a natural, in contradistinction to a miraculous process, I should have raised a host of prejudices against me, which are unfortunately opposed at every step to any philosopher who attempts to address the public on these mysterious subjects”

When finally Lyell endorsed evolution, he endorsed Lamarck. Darwin’s daughter Henrietta (Etty) wrote to her father: “Is it fair that Lyell always calls your theory a modification of Lamarck’s?”

No wonder. Darwin revisited Lamarck’s example of the giraffe, with more details:

“The giraffe, by its lofty stature, much elongated neck, fore-legs, head and tongue, has its whole frame beautifully adapted for browsing on the higher branches of trees. It can thus obtain food beyond the reach of the other Ungulata or hoofed animals inhabiting the same country; and this must be a great advantage to it during dearths…. Those individuals which had some one part or several parts of their bodies rather more elongated than usual, would generally have survived. These will have intercrossed and left offspring, either inheriting the same bodily peculiarities, or with a tendency to vary again in the same manner; whilst the individuals, less favoured in the same respects will have been the most liable to perish…. By this process long-continued, which exactly corresponds with what I have called unconscious selection by man, combined no doubt in a most important manner with the inherited effects of the increased use of parts, it seems to me almost certain that an ordinary hoofed quadruped might be converted into a giraffe.” (Darwin 1872. Sixth edition of his seminal book, Origin of Species.)

In other words, Darwin subscribed to Lamarck’s book of 1801, on inheritability of acquired characteristics. (The whole problem now being what these “acquired characteristics”, now called “genes”, “epigenetics, transposons, prions, soma, whatever…) are and how they arise…)

Darwin had produced a toy model of evolution. Anatomist Gould told him that some varieties of birds he found in the Galapagos were different species. Yet they all belonged to the finch group. Darwin then brandished that as an example of evolution.

Darwin’s dubious birdies no doubt beat the millions of years Lamarck had uncovered. That’s the strength of the Anglo-American empire!

Darwin’s “B” notebook showed that he speculated a species could turn into another by summer 1837. He discarded Lamarck’s independent lineages progressing to higher forms, drawing a tree of life with a single trunk branching out (there too Lamarck proved right: decades behind the microscope, remember?).

On the continent, evolution was solidly established.

Cuvier discovered the “Ptero-Dactyle” (name Latinized later), and Mesosaurus (sea going giant). Cuvier also invented stratigraphy, and demonstrated species came and went.

Cuvier was a Christian fundamentalist, but a very clever one, with an open, and changing mind. He invented most of the “Creationist” Biblical arguments. Yet he explained why he could be proven wrong in the fullness of time, thanks to, say, more discoveries.

Lamarck’s reputation was soiled because Cuvier smeared it all over with “pangenesis”. The original texts make it clear that Lamarck believed in natural selection. In the case of giraffes, to put it in modern terms, he believed that giraffe ethology, and the vegetation being what it was, due to climate, put a selective pressure favoring giraffe’s anatomy, the way it was. (Cuvier later said it was all about “desire”; that’s not in Lamarck).

Darwin tried hard to prove pangenesis. A battle was engaged, still ongoing. Many of the arrogant certainties of the 1960s have been washed away. Elements of heredity are known now to travel among species, and interact with ethology.

To combat religious fanatics, we need the weight of evidence, not inappropriate celebritism. Misrepresenting those who discovered evolution only helps creationists.

Darwin is an important biologist, but evolution had been scientifically established more than a generation before he published anything.

Everything else is pathetic tribalism, and, or, making fun of the scientific process. No way to help the advancement of civilization.

Patrice Ayme’

Evolution: Lamarck’s Discovery

November 12, 2014

LAMARCK, NOT DARWIN!

Abstract: Not attributing Evolution Theory to Lamarck constitutes scientific fraud. Why this fraud is committed is explained below thoroughly (including at the meta level).

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Science is not just about truth. Science is truth itself. Thus, the history of science is about how one establishes truth. By itself that history constitutes a science, or more exactly a mine of experimental facts (and an important one), for the metascience of veracity (truthfulness; also called the logic of knowledge, epistemology).

First overall theorem? Misattributing a discovery to another place, another time, or another country is generally not happening by accident, but by propaganda.

In 1825, Darwin’s teacher of biology informed his 16-year-old student that Lamarck had discovered “biological evolution. (This has been forgotten, thanks to nefarious propaganda.)

Lamarck Tree Of Life, 1809: “…not only will there continually be found new species, new genera, and new orders, but each species will vary in some part of its structure and form…”

Lamarck Tree Of Life, 1809: “…not only will there continually be found new species, new genera, and new orders, but each species will vary in some part of its structure and form…”

That the discovery of the theory of evolution is not attributed to Lamarck, constitute scientific fraud.

Why? It has to do first with Christian fanaticism, which did its best to lie about what Lamarck discovered. Why now? Because most scientists are too busy to read original texts, and it helps that Darwin was Anglo-American.

It was not the first time the Christian fanatics struck.

An example I am fond of is the misattribution to Copernic and Newton of ideas of Aristarchus and Buridan. The Catholic dictatorship, the obsequious servant of 2,000 years of queens and kings, is the engine of this crime. A very profitable crime, as it helped keep the rabble the exploiters were exploiting, in a state of stunned stupidity. Still is.

The misattribution to Darwin of Lamarck’s discovery, evolution, is more of the same theocracy and its associated aristocracy, anxious to keep We The People in haggard dumbness, as we will see below.

Darwinism is Lamarckism, according to Wallace. Wallace was himself a great biologist, discoverer of the Wallace Line. Wallace was on Darwin’s payroll, and was also Darwin’s coauthor. That evolution was Lamarck’s idea was actually confirmed by Darwin, who let Wallace repeat everywhere that Darwin had contributed little, relatively speaking (to Darwin’s daughter’s dismay).

So what are the facts on evolution?

Evolution by artificial selection was known for millennia, and practiced for tens of millennia (the oldest dog known is Belgian, and around 35,000 year old, it was very different from a wolf, and looked like a modern, enormous war dog, showing breeding of dogs from European wolves is at least 45,000 years old, I guess).

Breeding cattle, horses, camels, evolution by artificial selection, was a well-known art, not to say science, already in the times of Xenophon (that’s what the general-philosopher-economist did when retired).

Fossils were known in Ancient Greece. They caused confusion. To remedy this, Aristotle (PBUH), sent his students to study and report on life forms, thus founding, de facto, biology. (That the universe was not in a steady state was illustrated by the fiery landing of a giant meteorite in northern Greece; it was visited for centuries.)

By 1766, after proposing that the Solar System had been accreted from a cloud of debris, Buffon proposed that animals changed: they evolved. African and Asian elephants had evolved from Siberian mammoths, due to the changing their environment that their migrations had brought, he claimed. The details are unimportant: the evolutionary horse was out of the barn. Buffon’s broad picture of environmental pressure on evolution was also to be scientifically confirmed.

The full blown theory of evolution was proposed by Lamarck. This was a great conceptual breakthrough.

To this Massimo from Scientia Salon replied: “It was also the wrong theory, unfortunately.”

Massimo, do you mean that evolution theory is the wrong theory? Lamarck’s main body of work humbly established “the theory of evolution”, as Darwin’s personal teacher named it.

Lamarck did this, in part, by examining carefully under the microscope the evolution, over millions of years of mollusks species.

Lamarck suggested several evolution mechanisms, jointly operating (his detractors focused on one particular idea Lamarck floated in 1801).

When Copernic, copying Buridan and Aristarchus, proclaimed heliocentrism, nobody asked him for a mechanism. Still, one attributes heliocentrism to Copernic. While Copernic did not discover General Relativity, one still do not attribute heliocentrism to Einstein.

Yet those who claim Lamarck did not provide the most modern mechanism for evolution do just this.

One of Lamarck’s book, “Philosophie Zoologique” was published in 1809. The year Darwin was born. Here are some extracts:

“as new modifications will necessarily continue to operate, however slowly, not only will there continually be found new species, new genera, and new orders, but each species will vary in some part of its structure and form … individuals which from special causes are transported into very different situations from those where the others occur, and then constantly submitted to other influences – the former, I say, assume new forms, and then they constitute a new species…. [Species form] “a branching series, irregularly graduated which has no discontinuity in its parts, or which, at least, if its true that there are some because of lost species, has not always had such. It follows that the species that terminate each branch of the general series are related, at least on one side, to the other neighboring species that shade into them” [Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, 1809.]

Lamarck, employed as one of the world’s first research professors, demonstrated both the immense age of the Earth, and natural evolution, by studying fossilized mollusks.

Lamarck was so towering in biology, that he himself coined and installed the word “biology”. Here it is, in his own words, in the original French, in Lamarck’s “Origine Des Animaux Sans Vertebres” [1815]:

«Tout ce qui est généralement commun aux végétaux et aux animaux, comme toutes les facultés qui sont propres à chacun de ces êtres sans exception, doit constituer l’unique et vaste objet d’une science particulière qui n’est pas encore fondée, qui n’a même pas de nom, et à laquelle je donnerai le nom de biologie

Yes, Lamarck also named and distinguished, “invertebrates”.

Lamarck suggested that the way animals lived could directly affect their genetics. A scientifically confirmed way to get this effect is now called “epigenetics” (“above genetics”). Considering how adaptive life is revealing itself to be, it is likely that more and more “epigenetics” will be uncovered.

It is ironical that Cuvier and his ilk made fun of Lamarck claiming that psychology could leave a trace in the progeny of a creature. Yet, this has been very recently confirmed: Lamarck, a hero for our times.

Lamarck got hated for all this by the forces of Christianity. The idea that a living creature, could, by the way it lived, CREATE its own features was revolting to those who promoted the Christian god.

What Lamarck was saying, philosophically speaking was that the living creature acted as the creator.

No need for a cross, a father, a son, an omnipotent god. Napoleon hated Lamarck. The Church hated Lamarck. British universities, (Oxford, Cambridge, etc.) which, at the time, were bastion of imperial Christianity hated Lamarck.

Really great minds are measured by the disapprobation they entail.

Lamarck proposed that the long necks of giraffes evolved as generations of giraffes had to reach for ever higher leaves.

The Church and Lamarck’s enemies made fun of that (some still do, following the Church!). Lamarck was deliberately mistranslated in English to make readers believe that he suggested the effort of the giraffe somehow directly passed over in its genetics.

In truth, what Lamarck truly said was 100% compatible with 2014 evolution theory: “…s’efforcer continuellement d’y atteindre. Il est résulté de cette habitude, soutenue, depuis longtemps [by giraffes]… que ses jambes de devant sont devenues plus longues…”. By insisting upon reaching higher, girraffes created, with their own wills, a different environment.

Similarly, Lamarck suggested that there are flying squirrels, because squirrels tried to fly for generations (natural selection does not contradict this).

Lamarck did not just propose that evolutionary was driven by behavior. Following Buffon, Lamarck believed life started with spontaneous creation (this is the present view: laboratory studies and the most recent theory show that, in the early Earth’s environment, cellular life would appear spontaneously; fossils show it went fast: chemoautotrophs may have appeared 4 billion years ago).

Lamarck proposed that, insensibly, each baby was more complex than the preceding baby, so evolution would be characterized by an increase in complexity (as it indeed is).

Lamarck suggested birds descended from reptiles.

Lamarck went further than strict “Darwinists” go. He suggested that biology was an increase in complexity that could not be avoided, a sort of anti-Second Law Of Thermodynamics. Lamarck made life into a “force qui va” (to quote Victor Hugo).

This is a piece of philosophy, but one that has probably a great future: the Second Law of Thermodynamics is often quoted against life, but everything indicates that life swims up the stream of the Second Law, as the salmon swims up the river.

After 1815, reaction came over Europe. Jews got discriminated against by the Middle European dictatorship (they could not be doctors, lawyers, etc.). Lamarck, being an enemy of god, was made into an object of scorn.

The bloody dictator Napoleon launched Lamarck bashing: “[this book] … déshonore vos vieux jours… Ce volume je ne le prends que par considération pour vos cheveux blancs.”

The lies about Lamarck were deliberately crafted by a Christian fanatic, the biologist Cuvier. Cuvier, in charge of Lamarck’s eulogy misconstrued monstruously what Lamarck said about giraffes, and ill-intentioned unwitting parrots have been repeating Cuvier’s lies, ever since.

Cuvier totally believed that God had created all the species. Cuvier’s arguments are used by Christian fanatics to this day.

For example, after looking at mummies, and recent remnants, Cuvier pontificated that, as there was no evidence of recent evolution, there could be none. Lamarck retorted that Cuvier’s argument was mathematically stupid. Instead, unwittingly, Cuvier had proved, what Lamarck demonstrated first, that the Earth was very old, many millions of years old.

Lamarck being French, some feel more appropriate to attribute the discovery of evolution to the rich English gentleman Darwin, who, besides, was the heir of a financier, and not a vulgar research professor, as Lamarck was.

If Darwin’s teacher taught Darwin in 1825 that Lamarck had established “evolution”, why should we say now that “evolution” was established by the student of the student? Because, being in the Anglo-Saxon realm, we have to be Anglo nationalists? Is it all about tribalism?

As I mentioned this, EJ Winner objected that: “Patrice suggests that the bias against Lamarck is culturally determined (because he was French). This is simply and only post-modernism, in the least convincing sense. Need we really come to this?”

Well, I am not the one who came that way. Christian fanatics showed the way.

It is not because post-modernism is often wrong, that it is always wrong. Science and mathematics are, first of all, tribal phenomena. Sociologically speaking.

Lamarck was lodged at the Museum d’ Histoire Naturelle until his death at 85. Perhaps from spending too much time looking into microscopes, he was blind in his last decade.

Ideas are hard, especially when revolutionary. Parodying Lamarck’s ideas the way the Church did means that no meta-lesson was learned. Those who introduce the greatest new ideas, like evolution, deserve the greatest respect. Not showing respect for geniuses such as Lamarck is not to show respect for what makes civilization advance. Attributing Lamarck’s evolution to Darwin, just as universal attraction to Newton, belittles both Darwin and Newton, as it boils down to calling them liars. And it allows the real enemy to escape unscathed (religious and tribal fanaticism made into the dominant moods).

Attributing Lamarck’s discovery and affirmation of evolution to someone else, sixty years later, constitute scientific, and philosophical fraud. For want of a nicer way to put it.

That this is used to comfort the general intellectual aura of Anglo-American mental imperialism makes it worse. Ninety-six years ago, the First World War finished with a cease-fire. It had not solved the fundamental problem, namely that German speaking people confused dictatorship and republic. That lack of truth led them to have another go at it, 20 years later.

Ignoring truth is costly. Science, and metascience, can teach truth, and how to get to it. This is nicer in the longer term, as human beings are truth machines. Short term, it is anything but.

Truth does not have to be nice. It just is.

Patrice Ayme’

Speciation Math; Why It’s Crucial

February 16, 2014

Believing in Christianity and its Dog God barking in the sky is a fundamental element of the subjugation of the masses in the USA. In Europe, it’s natural to be an atheist (except if one is a Muslim or a Pole, and even then…). In the USA, atheism is impolite. That’s why the president ends all his homilies with an appeal to Dog God. God the Dog is watching over you, its son, the NSA, also, and bless be the United States of America.

It’s unlikely a honest to goodness American will be prone to revolution, as this would implicitly recognize the primacy of man over the creation of Pluto Dog God. So no wonder creations of man such as science (a form of anti-Plutocratic revolution from excessive usage of the nervous system) are attacked at every turn.

Mammoths were very clever. Science was well started when Neanderthals made mammoth hunting plans on the plains:

Homo Sapiens Neanderthalensis: Same Species, Us.

Homo Sapiens Neanderthalensis: Same Species, Us.

[The colored eyes of Neanderthals are a proven thing, so are the facial features; the hairline is probably too low… The will to make Neanderthals beastly is obdurate…]

Such were the idle thoughts brought to me by a rant against evolution on so called “Big Think”. The conclusion struck me, with the issues it brought:

…” [Evolution Theory is] also terrible at explaining the speed at which speciation occurs. (Of course, The Origin of Species is entirely silent on the subject of how life arose from abiotic conditions in the first place.) It doesn’t explain the Cambrian Explosion, for example, sudden appearance of intelligence in hominids, or the rapid recovery (and net expansion) of the biosphere in the wake of at least five super-massive extinction events in the most recent 15% of Earth’s existence.”

This is all false or misleading, but still it’s interesting to answer.

OK, I will let pass the fact that Darwin’s book, The Origin of Species was published in 1859, about a century before laboratory experiments enabled to create organic chemistry in the lab from the sort of atmosphere, water and lightning Earth enjoyed for billions of years. 1859: that was two years before Lincoln became president. Slavery was lawful in the USA.

Reducing Evolution to Darwinism is silly: Darwin himself was an enthusiastic Lamarckist. Lamarck established biological (Lamarck’s neologism) evolution by studying the changes in fossilized mollusks over millions of years (the order of mollusks had been scientifically determined by Cuvier, Lamarck’s predecessor) . Lamarck was banned with rage and consummate fury by the very Christian universities that dominated England (Oxbridge, etc.). This explains why neither Wallace, nor Darwin, nor Spencer were university professors. The former two were not just great expositors of the (French) Theory of Evolution, but pushed it further with discoveries, from the Wallace Line, to Patagonia or the Galapagos.

Let’s go back to the stupid quote on top (excellent lemonade can be made from old lemons, though).

One statement is clearly false: Contrarily to that misleading quote, supreme intelligence took millions of years to appear in hominids. Supreme intelligence, as evidenced, more exactly, by brain size, followed the evolution of bipedalism (and, thus, attendant change of in behavior, diet and environment). We know it took at least 5 million years, from bipedalism to the apparition of brainy Homo Erectus.

What this means is that bipedalism opened a new ecological niche. Bipedalism allowed a number of related species of primates, the hominids, to roam around, and literally, dominate the landscape. As they roamed around, the opportunity for even more sophisticated behaviors arose, and caused a sort of evolutionary sucking: nature abhors a vacuum, and biological evolution, like the Quantum (and it’s probably related) tends to occupy all the space it can occupy (this is why the math of the Quantum are represented by Hilbert Spaces spanned by Quantum States; the exact equivalent in evolution are ecological niches… the complication with life is that life itself creates the niches. The same happens with renormalization in QFT!).

Thus the hominids evolved an increasing number of environmentally disruptive and manipulative behaviors, which, in turn, favored mutations favoring them. That evolutionary phenomenon is thus non-linear, a sort of exponential, it can go fast.

A new function, bipedalism, allows to bear arms, using one’s… arms. That in turn, makes bellicose and predatory behavior, let alone good eyesight, more profitable, and so on.

Actually, a similar type of mathematics is at play after mass extinction, explaining that life’s diversity tends to augment with them.

After life got wiped out of billions of ecological niches in a major extinction event, those get reoccupied quickly by maladapted species. Maladapted to said niches, that is. Thus billions of speciations will tend to occur. These speciations cannot happen in steady state, because the environment of the steady state includes a fine balance of the physical environment with the existing, entangled species. If an event wipes those out, the old steady state cannot be recreated, and each niche acts like a throw of the dice.

Thus massive extinction tends to lead to massive speciation. It’s purely mathematical.

A lot of complicated mathematics and physics underlays Evolution Theory. I presented my own to help explain the apparent disappearance of Neanderthals. My theory rests on subtle mathematics, physiological, and environmental considerations. It’s actually not a theory of Neanderthal disappearance, rather than a theory of the disappearance of a Neanderthal appearance. So it would in particular predict that Europeans are much more Neanderthal than one thought.

Why? Neanderthal had evolved into a superior species (hilarious: Nazism is coming back, but instead of being Aryan, it’s Neanderthal… The Thal of Neander is on the Dussel, basically in the Ruhr…). Neanderthal has had to have evolved in a superior species, or she would not have rules the freezing North (a related species, the Denivosan, ruled the North-East, and evolved into Chinese, or, at least Australian bushmen).

If Neanderthal was that superior, he could not be wiped out. So, instead, one needed a more subtle explanation, which I provided: “Mathematics “Extinguished” Neanderthals”. Two very recent (end January 2014) DNA computational studies support my point of view. (See note.)

Oh, by the way, mathematics is not just about equations. It’s first of all, about ideas. Anybody who had Euclidean geometry or Mathematical Logic will confirm this. The phenomenon of occupying the entire space is the essence of Quantum Physics (Me, myself and I say). It’s the math of Hilbert Space. It’s also the math of evolution.

All these mathematics of evolution are no idle pursuit. Right now, the planet is at a fulminant stage of evolution, thanks to us. Understanding what the laws that will command our destiny, are, is the quintessence of humanity.

Patrice Aymé

Note: With up to 30% Neanderthal genome, it is found that some Neanderthal traits survived very well (say about skin), while other disappeared. Take the lack of waist of Neanderthal: an advantage in very cold climate, but not anymore after clothing became good enough; and probably a disadvantage for running and combat.