Category Archives: Bio science

Ideas that add up #190

Wilson argues that multilevel selection – both at the level of individuals and groups – has led to the creation of eusociality in ants and humans. In the simplest terms, individuals who co-operate together in groups achieve more and enhance … Continue reading

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Ideas that add up #189

Populations of bacteria live in the spumes of volcanic thermal vents on the ocean floor, multiplying in water above the boiling point. And far beneath Earth’s surface, to a depth of 2 miles (3.2 km) or more, dwell the SLiMES … Continue reading

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Ideas that add up #180

In studying world literature, Meeker found some significant differences between [tragedy and comedy]. Tragedy was almost exclusively the creation of Western civilisation, arising out of its heroic myths, while comedy was ‘very nearly universal, occurring wherever human culture exists.’ Tragedy … Continue reading

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Ideas that add up #175

Plankton — the tiny animals, plants and microbes that sustain life in the oceans — are far more diverse than biologists realised, according to the results from a four-year voyage around the world by the research schooner Tara. It found … Continue reading

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Ideas that add up #171

“The idea behind our research is that, if an entire galaxy had been colonised by an advanced, spacefaring civilization, the energy produced by that civilisation’s technologies would be detectable in mid-infrared wavelengths – exactly the radiation that the Wise satellite … Continue reading

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Ideas that add up #168

Questions like where did the oceans come from? The Earth was born in fire, and all its water was boiled off into space from its molten surface. Scientists have speculated that the water that fills our oceans was delivered at … Continue reading

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Ideas that add up #167

A theme of all these books is that ASI [artificial super-intelligence] would not need to hate us in order to destroy us. Even if its goal were to bake the perfect Victoria sponge, it might decide to wipe out all … Continue reading

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