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Where is Evolution Taking Us?

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consciousI see a big difference between having a word to label something, and truly understanding it. I can call this object in front of me a table, but I leave much to be understood. One place that this schism is especially apparent to me is in describing scientific phenomena. Consider evolution– we have some very sophisticated theories of how it has played out down to the molecular level, but does that mean we truly understand it’s purpose? Or even truly how it works?

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    “When you don’t cover up the world with words and labels, a sense of the miraculous returns.” –Eckhart Tolle

We painted a picture of evolution in school, which for many of us felt like a breath of fresh air after Adam and Eve. However for me at least, it still seems to fall short in terms of explaining the over-arching question of why. Why are we here? Why are we evolving? Essentially we are taught that every species is on its own little journey to survive and pass on DNA. That’s it. You’re here to have sex before you die! I’m reminded of the old economic paradigm which tells us that our purpose is to make money in order to consume goods… It makes sense within the context of a narrow discipline, but not in the context of our lives. For all our complex academia, is it possible that we’re missing something much more fundamental?

First of all, it’s becoming more widely understood that our evolutionary journey includes far more than just the human species. We are completely dependent upon plants, animals, and fungi to feed us, upon bacteria to help us digest food, upon the Earth to provide water and shelter for us, and upon the Sun to keep us warm. In truth, one could go on forever listing species upon which our survival (let alone our growth) is entirely reliant.

From our current biological perspective, a species is only as advanced as its ability to survive and reproduce. Intuitively, many of us recognize this logic, but feel there is more to the story. Perhaps that’s because what separates our species from the others on our planet isn’t exclusively biological. Maybe evolution isn’t either. Humans are not unique in their ability to thrive when dropped naked into a forest. In fact, we’re pretty bad at that. One of the things that separates us is our collective network of technology; we can conceptualize and materialize things to assist us that are VAST beyond any other species. Many anthropologists such as Amber Case are now making a convincing argument that modern humans have been gradually turning into cyborgs for generations now. Think about it. You move around largely with a car- not your legs. You are kept warm by a furnace, not your body’s ability to maintain homeostasis. And your information recall comes from a computer at least as much as from your own memory.

As an interesting aside, this cyborg evolution has made us completely interdependent in a way that few other species are. As Leonard Read famously noted in his 1958 essay, “I, Pencil,” there is not one human on the face of the Earth that could construct a pencil from scratch. The person who designs pencils does not know how to process wood pulp or mine graphite, let alone build the equipment to do those things. When we consider products like cars and computers then, we see a need for inter-disciplinary cooperation that is truly mind blowing. We are utterly dependent upon the specialization of people all over the planet- few of whom we have even met- to maintain and advance our cyborg evolution. I am struck by the fact in this moment that much of what I consider “my intelligence,” was built in part by a man who knows how to operate logging equipment to cut the trees to provide the paper for the books I’ve read. In short, we are not simply evolving on an individual basis between generations. Our increasing ability to survive and pass on genetic information is enhanced every day by the work of people in literally every country on our planet.

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As I look around at this cyber-like super-organism that our species has built I realize too that it is not simply our species that has built it. Far from it. Who provided the fuel to power the human brain? Not us, but plants, animals and fungi. So some credit is unquestionably belonging to them for the creation of- say- New York city. What’s more, credit is not simply due to the species that feed us, but also the species that inspire us. This includes beautiful plants, majestic animals, and without question, psychotropic metabolites.

Consider again the example of New York city. Can we pretend for a moment that coffee has not played an integral role in the construction of that empire? The person who invented elevators deserves some credit to be sure, but so does the plant that invented caffeine. What we think of as the “human empire,” is in reality a collaborative project by most every species on our planet. Our social dynamics are influenced largely by fermented grain- our artwork and philosophy by psychedelic fungi.

The fact of the matter is that evolution is not just an individual game. It is that, but at the same time it is just a much a team sport. As we exist today, some species are our allies, assisting us in pulling our chariot forward, while others seem to stand in our way. The conqueror mentality suggests that we simply barrel onward, and destroy whatever crosses our path. Today, with the threat of peak oil, “super bugs,” and dying oceans, just about every country is on the brink of revolution, and we are beginning to see that this approach simply doesn’t work. It can continue for a while, but it is a path leading to our own destruction as well as much of the life around us. The conservationist mentality says that we must slow down and go around when things get in our way. This is surely less destructive, but is it possible that there is an even better third option? Can we make friends of our foes? Can we, as an evolutionary movement, turn our relationship with our planet from parasitic to symbiotic?

To borrow our chariot analogy once more, would our journey not be much easier if we had more species pulling with us, rather than merely out of our way?

Finally, with all this talk regarding evolution and “forward progress,” we should take a moment and reconsider our initial question of what evolution really is. With each step forward we become more influential over our reality- due to the exponential growth in technology (or the law of attraction, whichever you prefer) the buffer time between us conceptualizing something, and our ability to manifest it before our eyes is getting shorter and shorter. People such as Ray Kurzweil see this trend and suggest that we are approaching a singularity where our ability to create whatever we can imagine is instantaneous. In a word, this is OMNIPOTENCE. At the same time that we are becoming more powerful, however, our understanding is also growing exponentially- each discovery building upon the last. Though this trend is more difficult to measure, its direction is clear. We are inching toward an ever-deepening understanding of everything. In a word, OMNISCIENCE. And finally, if the emotional undercurrent of our society is any indication, there is a very strong desire to treat life with more respect than we do. While those who disregard other species are more intense than ever, the desire to live harmoniously with our planet is not going away. In fact, I would suggest that its currently spreading like wildfire. If we dare to extrapolate this trend, we are forced to consider the possibility that this super-organism could very well be oscillating toward OMNI-BENEVOLENCE.

All-good, all-knowing, and all-powerful: conventionally, these are the three criteria comprising our definition of God.

For all our arrogance, there are few things which make humans more uncomfortable that accepting allegations of divinity. However all arrows seem to point toward that; the very force of evolution is an ascent from animal to deity- from thing to being. Humankind today could be deemed an awkward teenager somewhere between the two… but in my estimation, rapidly moving toward the latter.

Some might see this and feel alarm- that humanity is a force growing to rival God, an evil conglomerate attempting blasphemously to replace him. I don’t see it this way at all. I believe that omni-benevolence is a criteria of divinity not by chance. If you are not relating to everything around you symbiotically, then knowledge and power are ultimately a liability. In other words, if we don’t learn to play nice, we’re going to destroy ourselves. It’s a pretty self-limiting process. I suggest, therefore, that without equal growth in our ability to relate harmoniously, we will never reach full technical potential. Evolution is not a process of growing into rivalry with God. It is a process of merging with it.

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

Watch the interview here.
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Scientists Discover A New & Efficient Way To Turn Sunlight Into Fuel

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A new process is able to effectively turn sunlight into fuel by combining natural processes and human made technologies.

  • Reflect On:

    With all of the emerging alternative energy sources that are becoming available to us, do we really need to be burning fossil fuels any longer?

The sun is a big burning ball of fire and thus, energy. Really, everything is energy. We already know that it is the light and warmth of the sun that gives life to every living thing on this planet. We have already seen an example of how the sun’s energy can be utilized to create power with the rapidly increasing use of solar panels, but researchers from St. John’s College, University of Cambridge, have now discovered a new way to utilize energy from the sun and turn it into fuel. Yes fuel — the type of fuel that could directly compete with fossil fuels.

The researchers used semi-artificial photosynthesis to explore new ways to produce and store solar energy. Using natural sunlight to separate hydrogen and oxygen including the use of a combination of biological components and human made technologies.

This research could revolutionize the way we are currently utilizing the sun for renewable energy production. Their method was able to absorb even more solar light than the natural process of photosynthesis. A paper, published in the journal Nature Energy described how the researchers were able to develop this process of unassisted, solar driven water splitting.

One of the authors of the study and PhD student at St. John’s college, Katarzyna Sokól said, “Natural photosynthesis is not efficient because it has evolved merely to survive so it makes the bare minimum amount of energy needed — around 1-2 percent of what it could potentially convert and store. “

One of the keys to this process is an ancient enzyme known as hydrogenase.

“Hydrogenase is an enzyme present in algae that is capable of reducing protons into hydrogen,” Sokól added.

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“During evolution this process has been deactivated because it was necessary for survival but we successfully managed to bypass the inactivity to achieve the reaction we wanted — splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen.”

The process of mimicking photosynthesis in order to collect and store energy is something that scientists have been experimenting with for years. However, according to Sokól, the earlier technologies are not capable of scaling up to industrial models for a myriad of different reasons — either they are too expensive, or inefficient of use materials could also pose a risk to the environment.

The team took the approach to create an electrochemical cell, similar to a traditional battery, but based on the light-collecting biochemistry of a process called photosystem II. This was able to provide the necessary voltage that is required for the hydrogenase enzyme to do do it’s job and reduce the amount of hydrogen in water so that it can separate from oxygen and become the gas it was born to be.

Although this process may sound simple, connecting artificial systems with natural and organic processes has proved to be quite challenging.

“This work overcomes many difficult challenges associated with the integration of biological and organic components into inorganic materials for the assembly of semi-artificial devices and opens up a toolbox for developing future systems for solar energy conversion,” says, Erwin Resner, author and laboratory head.

There is much more research that needs to be done, but this is a huge and important step towards being able to fully utilize this method for an alternate fuel source.

“This could be a great platform for developing solar technologies. The approach could be used to couple other reactions together to see what can be done, learn from these reactions and then build synthetic, more robust pieces of solar energy technology,” says Sokól.

“It’s exciting that we can selectively choose the processes we want, and achieve the reaction we want which is inaccessible in nature. This could be a great platform for developing solar technologies. The approach could be used to couple other reactions together to see what can be done, learn from these reactions and then build synthetic, more robust pieces of solar energy technology,” she added.

Final Note

While this is certainly a plus in the direction of moving toward new energy systems, these technologies have advanced counterparts in the realm of zero-point energy that can make an even greater impact on humanity, without the need for sunlight.

The challenge? It has often been said that if ‘free energy’ like technologies come out prior to humanity shifting their consciousness enough to truly handle these technologies, we will in essence use them in the exact same way we do now: patent them, limit them and then charge people extensively for energy. This does not help to free the population, but only keeps it enslaved, and abundance limited.

Much Love

 

 

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

Watch the interview here.
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Wi-Fi Security – Measures to Prevent Technology Enabled Crimes

Every Wi-Fi user must know how to adopt security measures that will prevent them from becoming victims of wireless technology crimes.

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Considered as one of the greatest advancement since the Internet, Wi-Fi wireless networking technology has given mobility to computers. People use wireless technology in the office, at home, and in public places. Unless Wi-Fi users adopt some sort of security, various problems can result when computers transmit unsecured information to one another.

Bandwidth theft, exposed e-mail messages, password or user name theft, and hijacked online identity rank among the top problems brought about by unsecured Wi-Fi transmissions. Every Wi-Fi user must know how to secure their computer.

Use WPA Instead of WEP Encryption

Encryption protocols are used to make network traffic more secure by encoding data packets that are transmitted thereon. Unfortunately, some wireless routers don’t have encryption enable or use the weaker WEP (Wired Equivalency Privacy) security protocol.

It is well known that WEP security keys are easy to break and therefore network administrators should use the WPA or WPA2 protocols. Even if a router doesn’t support the more secure WPA or WPA2 protocols, WEP should be used; it is better than nothing.

Install a Firewall on Every Computer and Server

A firewall is the most basic and fundamental network security measure there is to secure wireless networks. While Wi-Fi routers can be used to extend the range of networks, they also make the network more vulnerable. A firewall will need to be installed on every computer to ward off security threats. This should be done even if the wireless router has a firewall installed on it.

Use Virtual Private Network (VPN)

B­asically, VPNs form a private network that uses a public network (usually the Internet) to connect remote sites or users together. VPNs use authenticated links to make sure that only authorized users can connect to a network. It also uses encryption to make sure that others can’t intercept and can’t use data that travels over the Internet. Numerous websites offer both free and paid VPN versions. VPNbase is one of them.

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Reduce the Transmitter Power of Network Access Points

Part of the convenience of using wireless networks is the ability to access services remotely. This strength also becomes a weakness, because others can see, and potentially use the network as well, especially when a powerful transmitter/antenna is being used.

To limit how far outside the premises the wireless signal travels, reduce the power output of wireless antennas. This requires some tweaking to find the right setting, because reducing the signal output of antennas also reduces the network’s service delivery and quality.

Disable Remote Administration

WLAN (wireless local area network) routers often come with the ability for a network administrator to remotely configure the router. By default, this feature is usually turned off and should stay that way if remote administration is not absolutely necessary. While network administrators can usually set passwords, to secure access to the router’s control panel, leaving the feature enabled could leave the network vulnerable as well.

Remove or Disable Weak Passwords and Access Codes

Ensure that all default passwords and access codes that come preset on network equipment are changed or disabled. Access the router’s web interface and update all settings that have a bearing on network security. Be sure the use strong passwords as well.

Physically Secure your Wireless Network Equipment

Hardware devices typically come with a hard reset button. Making network equipment readily available to be physically handled by anyone who wishes to do so puts the network at risk. Secure all critical and sensitive equipment in rooms or equipment racks.

Don’t Broadcast the Network’s SSID

To allow for the easy setup of wireless clients, most wireless access points will broadcast the SSID (Service Set IDentifier), or network name. While broadcasting the SSID makes setting up wireless clients easier, it also makes WLANs visible to wireless devices that are within range, including those that are malicious. Turn off SSID broadcast to make the network invisible and more secure.

Simple Wireless Network Security

Ensuring that a wireless network is secure is an ongoing responsibility. Wireless network threats, such as those posed by hackers and viruses can be thwarted by some common sense approaches such as physically securing network equipment and using strong encryption methods and technologies. However, the most effective security measures are those that seek to cover all the known security vulnerabilities.

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

Watch the interview here.
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Germline Genome Editing: Scientists Consider Altering The Genes In Babies Before They’re Born

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Soon we could be able to edit the DNA of unborn fetuses to prevent them from developing certain diseases.

  • Reflect On:

    Just because we can do something does it mean we should do it? At what point have we gone too far, should we just let nature take care of these things?

What was once something coming directly from sci-fi movies depicting the future, is now soon to be a reality — editing the genes in babies before they are born could help them live decades longer and reduce the risk of developing cancer, according to some controversial new research. This process is known as germline genome editing.

These DNA-editing tools, known as CRSIPR-CAS9, could be used to ‘make us more resistant to diseases of old age’ when used on egg and sperm cells, according to Dr. Roman Teo Olyink from the University of Auckland.

By altering just a few or even a hundred of the genes that typically code the conditions for heart disease, Alzheimer’s or arthritis, those unborn babies who would otherwise be at risk because of a family history of such disorders may be able to live longer and have more years being healthy, according to the research.

The greatest benefit of the gene-altering would be in the realm of developing cancer. An at-risk fetus would be half as likely to develop the disease and could live up to two decades longer if cancer was still to develop, the scientists claim.

Other scientists who are skeptical of this procedure feel that by editing a person’s risk of one disease, it could end up making them more susceptible to another. The gene editing also doesn’t account for the fact that poor health is often brought on by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Cancer Risk Could Be Significantly Reduced

Researchers looked at a collection of genes that affect a person’s risk level of developing certain conditions. By looking at which genes an individual has, their risk of developing certain diseases can be assessed. Then, they were able to determine whether or not someone who has a higher than average risk of developing a specific disease would have been less susceptible had they undergone the gene editing procedure before birth.

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Dr. Olinyk claims that the results would be dramatic and these people who had undergone this procedure would live healthier for longer and have a significantly lower risk of even becoming ill at all. “This research shows that we could potentially use gene editing to make us all resistant to diseases of old age. Cancers on the model show a very significant and lasting improvement,” he said.

How Much Is Really Genetic?

For something like Alzheimer’s disease where the gene is literally passed on to the next family members, this procedure could be hugely beneficial. But for other diseases that are only genetic if something triggers or awakens the genes to cause disease or illness, shouldn’t we be educating people on the role that environmental factors play in the development of disease?

In a way, this procedure could be taking away an opportunity to empower ourselves and get to the root cause of our illnesses, be they emotional or physical. The environments we live in, the food we eat, and our lifestyles all play a role in the development of disease, even if that disease is one that tends to run in our families.

I have heard before that most diseases that are considered genetic are only developed if we live a similar lifestyle as our parents and follow in their footsteps in regards to our diets. It’s only genetic if we eat like our parents. By just assuming that we will get sick or contract a disease because our parents did and their parents did is giving away our power to heal and stop the genetic cycle of disease from our families.

Other Issues Of Concern

If this technology can indeed be used to alter genes by removing ones that may cause disease or illness, then later down the road it can certainly be used to add genes with certain characteristics as well. Parents could choose what eye and hair color their children will have or how tall they will be. How many parents would strive to build the genetically perfect basketball player?

Is the ability to alter these genes taking things too far? Should we just let nature do it’s thing? Or is this technology becoming available to us now because we are advanced enough to handle it? What are your thoughts? We want to hear from you, comment on this post below and let us know what you think about gene-altering technology.

Much Love

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

Watch the interview here.
Continue Reading
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