The study of evolution is filled with controversies. Some scientists believe that mankind continues to move forward and this will always be the case, while others believe humanity has reached its final stage of evolution, and is now currently in an era of stagnation.
“I think that we’ve stopped evolving,” said English broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough.
Because if natural selection, as proposed by Darwin, is the main mechanism of evolution – there may be other things, but it does look as though that’s the case – then we’ve stopped natural selection.
We stopped natural selection as soon as we started being able to rear 95–99 per cent of our babies that are born.
We are the only species to have put a halt to natural selection, of its own free will, as it were.
But John Hawks, an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, disagrees:
We have evolved in our recent past, and we will continue to do so as long as we are around. If we take the more than seven million years since humans split from our last common ancestor with chimpanzees and convert it to a 24-hour day, the past 30,000 years would take about a mere six minutes. Yet much has unfolded during this last chapter of our evolution: vast migrations into new environments, dramatic changes in diet and a more than 1,000-fold increase in global population. All those new people added many unique mutations to the total population. The result was a pulse of rapid natural selection. Human evolution is not stopping. If anything, it is accelerating.
Thinking about evolution — whether it’s accelerating or stagnating — is both fascinating and mind boggling at the same time. But the controversy of it has led modern illustrators to present the subject at hand in a much different way than arguments on paper or in person. In fact, these illustrators are putting their imaginations to work to show these two opposing scientific assumptions in a satirical way, and honestly, it’s just as thought-provoking as the lengthy arguments on either side of the scientific table.
The following images will make you wonder: Have we gotten better or worse? Have we advanced technology, or has it simply overtaken us? Think of sitting down with your grandparents, and how your discussions on the world, and where we are, and who we are, differ. Many of us might find ourselves in a common argument. Grandparents believe younger generations have become mere robots, forgetting what hard work looks like and what the outdoors smells like. The younger generations may believe we have created so many advancements to better the world we live in that it’s a fair tradeoff. Of course, this is merely an example and cannot speak for everyone, but it’s interesting to see how generations apart can vary on outlook, such as scientists do.
Take a look at the following 15 illustrations and decide for yourself where you stand on the topic, or even just see what the images provoke your brain to think!
Photos: Dan Piraro, Joel Marsh, imgur.com, SDunne17, Amjad Rasmi, kudelka.com.au, bycentaur, photogsomething, Liz Meyer, Glenn Jones, daneatsfood, Gumby507, Mike Keefe
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New Images Of Jupiter Are In And They’re Awesome
Low and behold, the magnificent gas giant Jupiter in all its glory!
Earth is a miraculous being. We have lived on this planet for centuries and still haven’t learned of all its magnificent depths and crevices. Yet, beyond the mysteries of our own home, we have the beauty of the stars to consider, which inevitably leaves us wondering, what else is beyond this blanket of darkness and twinkling lights? While we have discovered much about our solar system and neighbouring planets, there is still plenty more to learn.
In 2011, Nasa launched a space probe called Juno which is currently orbiting Jupiter. Juno finally began its scientific investigation of the planet when it entered orbit on July 5, 2016. The mission aims to learn more about how the planet formed, its composition, the amount of water present within the deep atmosphere, and its mass distribution. It will also measure its deep winds, which have been noted to reach speeds of up to 618 kilometers per hour (384 mph), and its gravity field, magnetic field, and polar magnetosphere.
On July 10, Juno completed a close flyby of Jupiter and its Great Red Spot during its sixth science orbit. “For generations people from all over the world and all walks of life have marveled over the Great Red Spot,” said Scott Bolton, principal investigator of Juno from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. “Now we are finally going to see what this storm looks like up close and personal.”
On Friday, September 1, the JunoCam collected more images of this magnificent gas giant from its seventh science orbit, and NASA put the raw images online. In the following photos you will see what seems to be a large storm cutting into the side of the planet, creating a rather lovely pattern, along with amazing closeups of the clouds, a shadow on Jupiter caused by one of its moons, and hurricanes making their way across the planet. As an additional treat, there is also a video stitching together images as Juno flew over Jupiter.
Juno’s missions is scheduled to end in July 2018 but the mission could be extended if all continues to go well.
Breath-Taking Images of The Recent Full Solar Eclipse, From Space
As you probably already know, Earth experienced a total solar eclipse on August 21st. This rare astronomical event garnered plenty of attention, capturing the imaginations of people from all around the globe.
I’ve always been fascinated by such events that happen in space, as well as chronobiology, a field within biology that examines and studies phenomena in living organisms and how solar, lunar, and other related rhythms affect our physiology.
Here at Collective Evolution, based on all of our research in several different fields, we believe there is currently a massive shift in consciousness happening, and that it’s actually coinciding with the heightened activity of the Sun. Throughout all stages of human history, major events (like 9/11) have been marked by a spike or increase in solar activity.
“I believe it will be the magnetic influence produced by the sun that will usher in what is described by our ancient ancestors as ‘the transition’ bringing us to a new state-of-being.”
– Mitch Batros, author, solar researcher
Today, we understand that the sun goes through cycles, like the sun spot cycle that lasts 11 years.
Do these events affect human consciousness? A Soviet-era interdisciplinary scientist and biophysicist who founded “heliobiology,” the study of the sun’s effect on biology, named Alexander Chizhevsky produced a lot of great research on the subject, as have many others.
“When I first came across Chizhevsky’s research it was fascinating because you’re seeing thousands of years’ worth of human history and human events that seem to coincide almost perfectly with the cycles of the sun, and the radiation and cosmic rays that are coming down cosmologically and that are ultimately impacting human consciousness and the events that take place here on Earth.”
– Joe Martino, Founder of Collective Evolution
After analyzing years of data, Chizhevsky discovered a remarkable correlation between sun spot cycles and major events in human history. We go into more detail about this in our third documentary, The Collective Evolution III: The Shift, at approximately the 40 minute mark.
It’s also important to mention the fact that an international cooperative effort to help activate the heart of humanity and facilitate a shift in global consciousness is underway, thanks to the work of scientists over at the HeartMath Institute. Science has recently shed light on the fact that what we used to perceive as ‘human’ aura is actually an electromagnetic field that all our bodies emit, a fact which plays a very important role — far beyond what is commonly known — in understanding our biology, and the interconnectedness we share with all life.
Astronomical bodies, like the Sun, also have electromagnetic fields. Perhaps we have a relationship with the stars and the planets that we don’t yet understand.
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According to Vedic scholars, teachers, and gurus like HH Swami Vidyadhishananda, this event was a rare opportunity for meditation:
In general, eclipses indicate an interruption of the energy of the luminaries and hence are deemed as important events for life on Earth. The effect of an eclipse on each individual is different and depends on their particular position or placement of luminaries at the time of birth. . . .
Typically the effects last for three to six months if the eclipse is of particular significance to an individual, whereas it can even last for up to a year if relevant to a country. If and how an eclipse affects an individual is a specific and detailed calculation and is in itself a vast subject. An eclipse of this magnitude influences life across the entire globe to varying degrees. . . . However such effects which are out of our control can be best mitigated at the personal level by way of contemplation or meditation.
Whereas eclipses and their effects have been feared by most traditions and cultures, meditators patiently wait for such moments to come forth. This is because the depth and power of meditation increases manifold during an eclipse.
Definitely some interesting things to think on. Thanks for reading.
Why This Photographer Shoots Real People Doing Everyday Tasks Naked
As an adult, how many times have you been nude around someone else? Friends? Lovers? Family? Strangers? Likely not very often, since being naked, other than taking off your clothes and jumping in the shower, or quickly changing, remains taboo in our culture.
In a way, I understand it. The naked body is most often associated with sex, and so, we cover up the parts of our body associated with it. But of course we dress for so many other reasons: to be warm, to be comfortable, to be fashionable, to be symbolic, and so on.
But the taboo of being naked is just that: a taboo. It’s fear-based, and so we refrain from it. Maybe it’s too much to imagine walking around the streets of a city naked, but what about doing one of your favourite things in the comfort of your own home? Would, and should, being naked really change it?
Photographer Sophia Vogel knows nudity carries this taboo, and so she sought out to prove to people that being naked should feel just as natural as being clothed. “If you think of it right, we are all naked underneath our clothes,” she said.
In her photo series “With and Without,” Vogel got intimate with her subjects, entering their homes and asking them what their hobbies included. Whether it was listening to music or playing with their cat, she asked them to perform their hobbies with and without clothing. Taking photographs during their clothed state and then again during their naked state, she gave a side-by-side comparison of what a hobby looks like in these seemingly different contexts.
Though nakedness has certainly gained more popularity in the mainstream, allowing it to slowly escape the confines of the taboo world, it is still very much a shocking, inappropriate state to many.
“The pressure of being a sexual being is omnipresent for every human being,” Vogel said. “We are observed and judged every day, and the fashion industry lavishes beauty ideals and criticism on us. We set high standards for ourselves. I want to speak up against these ridiculous standards.”
But Vogel’s portraits show no signs of sexual connotation, despite nudity being so sexualized in modern society.
“By presenting all kinds of different body shapes and natural postures I would love to show that everybody is beautiful in their own way,” she said. “I love to present nudity in an aesthetic manner without any sexual context. Not every single nude photograph should be linked to sexuality.”
Even more intriguing about this photo series is that Vogel’s subjects are not models at all, but regular people who agreed to take part in the project by way of reaching out on Instagram, or word-of-mouth. Clearly, many others wanted to break the stigma, too, including the teachers, dentists, attorneys, and various other volunteers — most of them millennials — featured in the series.
“Right now, I am unfortunately only able to get ahold of the younger generations, but I would love to photograph a wide age range,” she said.
Photos: Sophia Vogel
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