And so it has been since time in memorial - gradually the hunter becomes the hunted.
I wonder if the invisible hand of natural selection had this in mind when we evolved the ability to walk up right. If booty poppin’ on a hand stand was the ultimate goal (given certain selective pressures) then perhaps human evolution may have taken a stronger route. Stronger arms maybe? Ha ha ha ha….
Why zebras evolved their characteristic black-and-white stripes has been the subject of decades of debate among scientists.
Now researchers from Hungary and Sweden claim to have solved the mystery.
The stripes, they say, came about to keep away blood-sucking flies.
They report in the Journal of Experimental Biology that this pattern of narrow stripes makes zebras “unattractive” to the flies.
They key to this effect is in how the striped patterns reflect light.
“We started off studying horses with black, brown or white coats,” explained Susanne Akesson from Lund University, a member of the international research team that carried out the study.
“We found that in the black and brown horses, we get horizontally polarised light.” This effect made the dark-coloured horses very attractive to flies.
It means that the light that bounces off the horse’s dark coat - and travels in waves to the eyes of a hungry fly - moves along a horizontal plane, like a snake slithering along with its body flat to the floor.
Dr Akesson and her colleagues found that horseflies, or tabanids, were very attracted by these “flat” waves of light.
“From a white coat, you get unpolarised light [reflected],” she explained. Unpolarised light waves travel along any and every plane, and are much less attractive to flies. As a result, white-coated horses are much less troubled by horseflies than their dark-coloured relatives.
Having discovered the flies’ preference for dark coats, the team then became interested in zebras. They wanted to know what kind of light would bounce off the striped body of a zebra, and how this would affect the biting flies that are a horse’s most irritating enemy.
“We created an experimental set-up where we painted the different patterns onto boards,” Dr Akesson told BBC Nature.
She and her colleagues placed a blackboard, a whiteboard, and several boards with stripes of varying widths into one of the fields of a horse farm in rural Hungary.
“We put insect glue on the boards and counted the number of flies that each one attracted,” she explained.
The striped board that was the closest match to the actual pattern of a zebra’s coat attracted by far the fewest flies, “even less than the white boards that were reflecting unpolarised light,” Dr Akesson said.
“That was a surprise because, in a striped pattern, you still have these dark areas that are reflecting horizontally polarised light.
“But the narrower (and more zebra-like) the stripes, the less attractive they were to the flies.”
To test horseflies’ reaction to a more realistic 3-D target, the team put four life-size “sticky horse models ” into the field - one brown, one black, one white and one black-and-white striped, like a zebra.
The researchers collected the trapped flies every two days, and found that the zebra-striped horse model attracted the fewest.
Prof Matthew Cobb, an evolutionary biologist from the University of Manchester pointed out that the experiment was “rigorous and fascinating” but did not exclude the other hypotheses about the origin of zebras’ stripes.
“Above all, for this explanation to be true, the authors would have to show that tabanid fly bites are a major selection pressure on zebras, but not on horses and donkeys found elsewhere in the world… none of which are stripy,” he told BBC Nature.
“[They] recognise this in their study, and my hunch is that there is not a single explanation and that many factors are involved in the zebra’s stripes.
I have doing some background research, in order to write an article concerning LGBT rights. Here in Ghana, discrimination against the LGBT community is rampant, almost virulent. Anyway, in doing my research I thought, why not select some literature from Christian philosophy that supports the LGBT community. I found one website gaychristian101.com, which provides 9 reasons why homosexuality cannot be compared to bestiality and incest (An argument that is often put forward by those ever so clever bigots that wish to deny some people their rights.).
Well the article seemed to be going well, though at times the writing became a bit spotty and the points repetitive. However, the thread of argument was sound; the claims made in Leviticus against homosexuality are not be trusted, as the historical context of those biblical verses are not fully know and how comparing homosexuality to bestiality is a disingenuous line of argument etc…. etc….
Then I chanced upon the ninth and final point:
9. The beastiality argument denies the Biblical doctrine of human exceptionalism and embraces the false teaching of evolution.
What? I mean this came out of nowhere, apparently pulled out of the author’s ass.
Christians who use the beastiality argument against gay people are really advocating evolution (that human beings are animals) although many conservative Christians lack the intellectual sophistication to understand the implications of their argument. For the beastiality argument to be valid (it is not), the human exceptionalism asserted in scripture must be denied.
Evolution and the beastiality argument deny that human beings are a unique creation of God, separate from, higher than and unrelated to the animals. Evolution (and the beastiality argument) posit that we are nothing more than highly evolved animals. Evolutionists (and those who use the beastiality argument to assault gay people) deny our spiritual dimension, that human beings, made in God’s image as a separate creation of God, were given dominion over the animal kingdom but are not part of the animal kingdom, Genesis 1:28.
The Bible, contra evolution and contra the beastiality argument, asserts human exceptionalism, that we are separate from, different than and elevated above the animals, without being evolved from the animals. According to the Bible, as human beings we are far more than just another animal in the forest.
The “homosexuality equals beastiality” argument assaults the Biblical concept of human exceptionalism and affirms evolution by comparing homosexual partnerships to beastiality. Anti-gay Christians who use the beastiality argument against gays and lesbians insult our intelligence, display their ignorance and do grave disservice to the cause of God and Biblical truth.
I mean human evolution is perhaps the best support for varied nature of human sexuality. Evolution demonstrates the fact that we as a species, share common traits with many species; species that do not have their sexuality and sexual inclinations, slotting neatly into distinct categories. Arrgghhhh! It makes me want to tear out my hair. Their arguments could have been so much better, more nuanced but they had to spoil it.
Was reading a fascinating article about American Protestant ministers and their views on scientific facts. You of course can find the article here.
Below are some notable excerpts from the article.
In response to the statement, “I believe Adam and Eve were literal people,” 74 percent strongly agree and 8 percent somewhat agree. Six percent somewhat disagree, 11 percent strongly disagree and 1 percent are not sure.
“Recently discussions have pointed to doubts about a literal Adam and Eve, the age of the earth and other origin issues,” said Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research. “But Protestant pastors are overwhelmingly Creationists and believe in a literal Adam and Eve.”
I mean you have to be as daft as sheet rock to bypass all the scientific evidence that is available on this particular matter. I mean a cursory glance at wikipedia, would provide one with a wealth of knowledge. Then again, I suppose it is a great credit to the power of unquestioning faith that would make otherwise rational people ignore all the available information out there.
Then there is my personal favourite,
“In response to the statement, ‘I believe the earth is approximately 6,000 years old,’ 34 percent of pastors strongly disagree. However, 30 percent strongly agree. Nine percent somewhat disagree, and 16 percent somewhat agree.”
46%, a whopping 46% of men who are considered learned by thousands and thousands of people, men and women whose every word lapped up like rain drops on a parched landscape, believe the earth is a few thousand years old. It just boggles the mind!
The article concludes by saying the following:
This underscores a conclusion that is as plain as it is unpalatable to accommodationists: among the things that religion poisons is acceptance of science. If we didn’t have religion, we wouldn’t have opposition to evolution. It also shows the futility of trying to convince Protestant pastors that their faith does not conflict with evolution. Asking that is equivalent to asking them to give up their faith.
Australopithecus Sediba Paved the Way for Homo Species, New Studies Suggest
ScienceDaily (Sep. 8, 2011) — Researchers have revealed new details about the brain, pelvis, hands and feet of Australopithecus sediba, a primitive hominin that existed around the same time earlyHomo species first began to appear on Earth. The new Au. sediba findings make it clear that this ancient relative displayed both primitive characteristics as well as more modern, human-like traits. And due to this “mosaic” nature of the hominin’s features, researchers are now suggesting that Au. sediba is the best candidate for an ancestor to the Homo genus. (click thru picture to read more)
This is why beauty queens are constantly thought of as airheads. Throughout this video, we are constantly treated to phrases like,
“Teach the alternative”
“Let the students decide”
“It is an experience”
“They should choose”
“Teach both sides”
What!?! Obviously these young women seem to support the raising of a generation of morons.
My favourites are Alabama, who claimed she did not believe in it so it should not be taught. Thank the dear lord that my education was not based on the whims of my elementary school teachers.
Idaho - Who seemed to perceive that what is taught in schools should be based on what one believes in.
Indiana - Dear god is my only response (She could not even formulate an opinion on the issue)
Kentucky - Started of well and then lost me about 5 seconds into her answer. Going on about supposed complexities
Hawaii - I love, because she could not pronounce creationism. She pronounced it “Creash-ti-nism”
Louisiana - Embarrassed blondes the world overNebraska - She needs to understand that creationism is not a credited theory
Oregon - Was a disappointment to me. Having lived in Portland, I assumed that particular state was a bit more progressive and would have been able to answer this question for what it is, a non-question.
Washington at least said what I had expected Oregon to say.
New Mexico was probably the most concise and to the point answer. “Evolution should be taught, because it is based off of science and I think science is a huge thing, that we need to continue to enrich our schools with.”
I think at the end of the day, these women need to realise that evolution is not something to be taught so that kids can “know the whole story” or so that kids can “choose” or “decide”. If I were a judge I would fail them all (most of them).But they are all very pretty.