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Interesting Findings And World Unfolding Through My Eyes.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The End of Darwinian Evolution

In a provocative and illuminating article, “A New Biology for a New Century,” the great biologist Carl Woese decried the obsolescence of reductionist biology as it has been practiced for the last hundred years and discussed the need for a new biology based on communities and ecosystems rather than on genes and molecules. He also raised another profoundly important question: When did Darwinian evolution begin? By Darwinian evolution he means evolution as Darwin himself understood it, based on the intense competition for survival among non-interbreeding species. He presents evidence that Darwinian evolution did not go back to the beginning of life. In early times, the process that he calls “horizontal gene transfer,” the sharing of genes between unrelated species, was prevalent. It becomes more prevalent the further back you go in time. Woese is the world’s greatest expert in the field of microbial taxonomy. Whatever he writes, even in a speculative vein, is to be taken seriously.

Woese is postulating a golden age of pre-Darwinian life, during which horizontal gene transfer was universal and separate species did not exist. Life was then a community of cells of various kinds, sharing their genetic information so that clever chemical tricks and catalytic processes invented by one creature could be inherited by all of them. Evolution was a communal affair, the whole community advancing in metabolic and reproductive efficiency as the genes of the most efficient cells were shared. But then, one evil day, a cell resembling a primitive bacterium happened to find itself one jump ahead of its neighbors in efficiency. That cell separated itself from the community and refused to share. Its offspring became the first species. With its superior efficiency, it continued to prosper and to evolve separately. Some millions of years later, another cell separated itself from the community and became another species. And so it went on, until all life was divided into species.

The basic biochemical machinery of life evolved rapidly during the few hundred million years that preceded the Darwinian era and changed very little in the following 2 billion years of microbial evolution. Darwinian evolution is slow because individual species, once established, evolve very little. Darwinian evolution requires species to become extinct so that new species can replace them. Three innovations helped to speed up the pace of evolution in the later stages of the Darwinian era. The first was sex, which is a form of horizontal gene transfer within species. The second innovation was multicellular organization, which opened up a whole new world of form and function. The third was brains, which opened a new world of coordinated sensation and action, culminating in the evolution of eyes and hands. All through the Darwinian era, occasional mass extinctions helped to open opportunities for new evolutionary ventures.

Now, after some 3 billion years, the Darwinian era is over. The epoch of species competition came to an end about 10,000 years ago when a single species, Homo sapiens, began to dominate and reorganize the biosphere. Since that time, cultural evolution has replaced biological evolution as the driving force of change. Cultural evolution is not Darwinian. Cultures spread by horizontal transfer of ideas more than by genetic inheritance. Cultural evolution is running a thousand times faster than Darwinian evolution, taking us into a new era of cultural interdependence that we call globalization. And now, in the last 30 years, Homo sapiens has revived the ancient pre-Darwinian practice of horizontal gene transfer, moving genes easily from microbes to plants and animals, blurring the boundaries between species. We are moving rapidly into the post-Darwinian era, when species will no longer exist, and the evolution of life will again be communal.

In the post-Darwinian era, biotechnology will be domesticated. There will be do-it-yourself kits for gardeners, who will use gene transfer to breed new varieties of roses and orchids. Also, biotech games for children, played with real eggs and seeds rather than with images on a screen. Genetic engineering, once it gets into the hands of the general public, will give us an explosion of biodiversity. Designing genomes will be a new art form, as creative as painting or sculpture. Few of the new creations will be masterpieces, but all will bring joy to their creators and diversity to our fauna and flora.
P.S.Freeman Dyson is professor emeritus of physics at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, where his research has focused on the internal physics of stars, subatomic-particle beams and the origin of life. This article was syndicated internationally by NPQ’s monthly service, Nobel Laureates Plus.

Posted by Ajay :: 6:09 PM :: 0 comments

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Do You Want To Live Forever?

I have been a fan of the Highlander movies and especially the TV show for years. It's classic "good vs. evil" stuff, with an immortal modern vs. ancient twist. If you've never seen it, I highly recommend that you check it out.

For anyone who has no idea what it is about, here are the basics:

There are a group of "immortals" who are humans here on earth, just like the rest of us. They live forever, but they are constantly battling each other for "the prize". The prize is all of the knowledge that man has accumulated literally since the dawn of time, and these immortals can be killed in only one way:

To quote the {ahem} immortal words of Sean Connery in the very first Highlander movie, "If your head comes away from your shoulders, it's over."

HighlanderSo, these immortals cannot die unless their head is cut off, at which time all of their knowledge and experience is then transmitted to the immortal who did so - in a spectacular display of lightning and explosions, I might add.

Pretty cool, right? You cut off someone's head and you gain all of their knowledge and experience!

Yeah, okay. Actually it's pretty barbaric, but I assure you, the Highlander franchise has style, especially the TV series, with actor Adrian Paul playing the part of our favorite good guy immortal, Duncan McLeod (of the clan McLeod).

So, other than my obvious enjoyment of the Highlander saga, what does any of this have to do with personal growth and development? 2 things, actually:

1) Consider the question of living forever. Assuming it was possible - but only for you and a handful of others (who you don't get to pick) - would you do it?

On one hand, you get to live forever, and since time is not an issue, you can learn and experience everything and anything with absolutely no constraints, since there will always be more time.

On the other hand, since you don't get to pick the handful of other "immortals," the people that you love and care about will die. It's not a question of "if," but rather a question of when and how.

A morbid concept for a personal development blog? Not when you think about it from the point of view of considering how much your life is about you vs. how much your life is defined by the people around you.

2) If you chose the fact that you DID want to live forever, what would you do? I mean, everyone has hobbies that they would like to spend more time on, but an immortal would certainly be able to do something more constructive than reading more books or taking more naps. So, what would you do?

If you would NOT want to live forever, then ask yourself this question:

"Am I living my life like the clock is ticking and every moment is literally gone forever, never to come again?"

Oh, and one more thing. One of the members over at Personal Development Partners has contributed in a thought-provoking way to many conversations, and I am so very grateful to have gotten to know him.

His username over at at PDP is FloridaAviator, and with regard to his personal development journey, he had this to say:

"Making decisions based upon a compass to guide me instead of a clock to bind me has been a very enlightening and powerful revelation."

Dave, I know I grabbed your quote without first asking for permission, but, to be honest, that is great stuff, and I wanted to share it with the world. My compass told me to share your wisdom, and I want to thank you once again for putting forth such a profound concept.

You, sir, are the man.

By the way, this post was inspired by nothing less than me hearing the theme song to the Highlander franchise, and it is SO worth a listen. The song is performed by Queen, and is called Who Wants to Live Forever?

I am legally obligated to tell you that you are not allowed to keep this file. I am morally obligated to tell you that I really don't care what you do with it, as long as you gained at least one moment of introspection from your time here today.

Queen - Who Wants to Live Forever?

Posted by Ajay :: 5:33 PM :: 0 comments

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Who Is Your True Friend?

Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.” –Eleanor Roosevelt
Buddhists believe that to have good friends is good preparing resources for life and such friends can lead you to amny other good things.

According to the book ” A Constitution for Living” - Buddhist principles for a fruitful and harmonious life by P.A. Payutto, there are four kinds of TRUE friends.

1. The helping friend has four features:

When his friend is off guard, he guards him.
when his friend is off guard, he guards his property.
In time of danger, he can be a refuge.
When some business needs to be done, he puts up more money than requested.
2. The friend thorugh thick and thin has four features:

He confides in his friend.
He keeps his friend’s secrets.
He does not desert his friend in times of danger.
He will give even his life for his friend’s sake.
3. The good counselor has four features:

He restrains his friend from doing evil or harm.
He encourages him in goodness.
He makes known to his friend what he has not heard before.
He points out the way to happiness, to heaven.
4. The loving friend has four features:

When his friend is unhappy, he commiserates.
When his friend is happy, he is happy for him.
When others criticise his friend, he comes to his defence.
When others praise his friend, he joins in their praise.
To have true friend is one of the best luck. How many true friend do you have? And are you true friend of your friends??

Posted by Ajay :: 10:03 AM :: 0 comments

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Idiotic Technique

There are so many idiotic techniques masquerading as professional sales tools that it took considerable restraint to limit my list to only five.

Idiotic Technique #1: The Porcupine Close

This is the equivalent of ramming a red-hot poker into the ear of your client. The porcupine close goes something like this:

A woman walks into a store and asks the salesperson, "Does this dress come in blue?"
The salesperson nods, asking, "Would you like the dress in blue?"

Put simply, the porcupine close is answering a question with a "leading question" that forces the client into the direction you want him or her to go (in other words, it predisposes the client to say "yes" to your offer).

I once witnessed a "smooth" salesman using the porcupine close on a woman looking at stereos. She asked, "Does this model come with professional sounding tape-to-tape dubbing?"

The salesman smiled, and asked: "Would you like a model that came with professional tape-to-tape dubbing?"

The woman looked at him like he had three heads, and said: "Of course I want professional tape dubbing … WHY ELSE WOULD I BE ASKING YOU ABOUT IT?"

The salesman got caught using one of the most widely used, moronic closing techniques ever devised. It's so blatantly manipulative and underhanded that I'm amazed it's persisted for so long in so many sales training methods.

Could you imagine a wife saying to her husband, "Honey, would you mind taking out the trash?"

And the husband responds, asking, "Would you like me to take out the trash?"

Or imagine asking a hot dog vendor, "Do your hotdogs come with relish?"

"Would you like your hotdog with relish?"

It just doesn't make any sense. Why not simply answer: "Yes, our hotdogs come with relish…relish, mustard, sauerkraut, and onions. Would you like me to make you one now?"

This leads into the 2nd most idiotic sales technique: leading questions.

Idiotic Technique #2: Leading Questions

A leading question isn't really a question at all; it's a command that bullies the client into thinking about something in a particular way.

In his best-selling book, How to Master the Art of Selling, Tom Hopkins uses these examples:

"You're interested in quality in the product you're looking for, aren't you?"
"Working with suppliers who value their reputations for reliability and integrity is important, isn't it?"

"A reputation for professionalism is important, isn't it?"

Essentially, you're asking the client a question that you know they already know the answer to. Who's gonna say they want products that are of poor quality or dishonest suppliers with poor reputations? It's an absurd waste of time (both for you and the prospect) to ask these kinds of questions.

The reason why salespeople still use this technique goes back to the Dale Carnegie principle which assumes if you get the client to say "yes" to something at least three times they'll be more likely to say "yes" to your offer.

So does that mean if you ask your client three simple "yes" questions and then ask him if he'd like a punch in the nose, he'd be more likely to welcome a good jab? Of course not. Leading questions quietly inform your clients that you think they're idiots. Why else would you ask them pointless questions that you don't care to hear answered?

Idiotic Technique #3: Matching and Mirroring the Client

I once saw Tony Robbins in a nationally televised interview.

The host of the program (Barry Nolan) seemed very impressed with Robbins and quite pleased with the way the interview had turned out…but when the footage arrived at the editing suite, Mr. Nolan had another story to tell.

One of the editors working on the Robbins piece was familiar with some of Tony's "sales techniques" and spotted Robbins mirroring the host throughout the entire interview. (Mirroring is simply a process whereby the salesperson "mimics" the clients body movements, breathing patterns, and voice tonality, pitch, tempo, etc. in an attempt to gain rapport and make the client feel as though he's talking with someone "just like himself").

I'm not sure what Tony Robbins was thinking to do something so obvious on national television. Robbins is a very powerful communicator, but unfortunately, Mr. Nolan felt he sometimes goes a bit far with some of his abilities.

I'm not against mirroring or matching, per se. I find myself unconsciously matching my breathing and voice tempo to people all the time…but the key here is your degree of subtlety. Obviously, if a client speaks three words per minute, you'd come across like an obnoxious boob if you raced along like an auctioneer. But you'd also come across like an annoying heckler if you matched the person's identical tempo. A little common sense is required for the appropriate use of this technique.
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Posted by Ajay :: 10:00 AM :: 0 comments

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For the New World Order, a world government is just the beginning. Once in place they can engage their plan to exterminate 80% of the world's population, while enabling the "elites" to live forever with the aid of advanced technology. For the first time, crusading filmmaker ALEX JONES reveals their secret plan for humanity's extermination: Operation ENDGAME.

Jones chronicles the history of the global elite's bloody rise to power and reveals how they have funded dictators and financed the bloodiest wars—creating order out of chaos to pave the way for the first true world empire.

Watch as Jones and his team track the elusive Bilderberg Group to Ottawa and Istanbul to document their secret summits, allowing you to witness global kingpins setting the world's agenda and instigating World War III.

Learn about the formation of the North America transportation control grid, which will end U.S. sovereignty forever.

Discover how the practitioners of the pseudo-science eugenics have taken control of governments worldwide as a means to carry out depopulation.

View the progress of the coming collapse of the United States and the formation of the North American Union.

Never before has a documentary assembled all the pieces of the globalists' dark agenda. Endgame's compelling look at past atrocities committed by those attempting to steer the future delivers information that the controlling media has meticulously censored for over 60 years. It fully reveals the elite's program to dominate the earth and carry out the wicked plan in all of human history.

Endgame is not conspiracy theory, it is documented fact in the elite's own words.

Posted by Ajay :: 9:56 AM :: 0 comments

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