Bat will tell ya

Let Us Be Bats

The National Bat Monitoring Programme surveys are carefully designed so that anybody can take part in monitoring these fascinating but easily overlooked mammals. As well as being of great value to bat conservation, the surveys are fun and rewarding to carry out.

They usually involve visiting a roost or potential foraging site on two evenings in the summer. We run different surveys which cater to different levels of experience and knowledge.

Mr_c_Darwin

 

UK Bat Research Group

 

flying_squirrel_in_a_tree
Not a UK Bat!

 

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Natural Selection

Does not include creationism

Gradual Change Darwin Lamarck
Better than Lamarck?

 

Natural selection is the differential survival and reproduction of individuals due to differences in phenotype; it is a key mechanism of evolution. The term “natural selection” was popularised by Charles Darwin, who intended it to be compared with artificial selection, now more commonly referred to as selective breeding.

Variation exists within all populations of organisms. This occurs partly because random mutations arise in the genome of an individual organism, and these mutations can be passed to offspring. Throughout the individuals’ lives, their genomes interact with their environments to cause variations in traits. (The environment of a genome includes the molecular biology in the cell, other cells, other individuals, populations, species, as well as the abiotic environment.) Individuals with certain variants of the trait may survive and reproduce more than individuals with other, less successful, variants. Therefore, the population evolves. Factors that affect reproductive success are also important, an issue that Darwin developed in his ideas on sexual selection, which was redefined as being included in natural selection in the 1930s when biologists considered it not to be very important, and fecundity selection, for example.

Natural selection acts on the phenotype, or the observable characteristics of an organism, but the genetic (heritable) basis of any phenotype that gives a reproductive advantage may become more common in a population (see allele frequency). Over time, this process can result in populations that specialise for particular ecological niches (microevolution) and may eventually result in the emergence of new species (macroevolution). In other words, natural selection is an important process (though not the only process) by which evolution takes place within a population of organisms. Natural selection can be contrasted with artificial selection, in which humans intentionally choose specific traits (although they may not always get what they want). In natural selection there is no intentional choice. In other words, artificial selection is teleological and natural selection is not teleological.

Natural selection is one of the cornerstones of modern biology. The concept was published by Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace in a joint presentation of papers in 1858, and set out in Darwin’s influential 1859 book On the Origin of Species, in which natural selection was described as analogous to artificial selection, a process by which animals and plants with traits considered desirable by human breeders are systematically favoured for reproduction. The concept of natural selection was originally developed in the absence of a valid theory of heredity; at the time of Darwin’s writing, nothing was known of modern genetics. The union of traditional Darwinian evolution with subsequent discoveries in classical and molecular genetics is termed the modern evolutionary synthesis. Natural selection remains the primary explanation for adaptive evolution.

Or would you prefer – This Created Version?

fucking-with-gods-story

 

The Last Universal Ancestor

Evolutionary processes give rise to diversity at every level of biological organisation, including the levels of species, individual organisms, and molecules.

Mr_c_Darwin

All life on Earth shares a common ancestor known as the last universal ancestor, which lived approximately 3.5–3.8 billion years ago, although a study in 2015 found “remains of biotic life” from 4.1 billion years ago in ancient rocks in Western Australia. According to one of the researchers, “If life arose relatively quickly on Earth … then it could be common in the universe.”

Repeated formation of new species (speciation), change within species (anagenesis), and loss of species (extinction) throughout the evolutionary history of life on Earth are demonstrated by shared sets of morphological and biochemical traits, including shared DNA sequences.

These shared traits are more similar among species that share a more recent common ancestor, and can be used to reconstruct a biological “tree of life” based on evolutionary relationships (phylogenetics), using both existing species and fossils.

charles darwin

The fossil record includes a progression from early biogenic graphite, to microbial mat fossils, to fossilized multicellular organisms. Existing patterns of biodiversity have been shaped both by speciation and by extinction. More than 99 percent of all species that ever lived on Earth are estimated to be extinct. Estimates of Earth’s current species range from 10 to 14 million, of which about 1.2 million have been documented.

 

In the mid-19th century, Charles Darwin formulated the scientific theory of evolution by natural selection, published in his book On the Origin of Species (1859). Evolution by natural selection is a process demonstrated by the observation that more offspring are produced than can possibly survive, along with three facts about populations:

1) traits vary among individuals with respect to morphology, physiology, and behaviour (phenotypic variation),

2) different traits confer different rates of survival and reproduction (differential fitness), and

3) traits can be passed from generation to generation (heritability of fitness). Thus, in successive generations members of a population are replaced by progeny of parents better adapted to survive and reproduce in the biophysical environment in which natural selection takes place.

This teleonomy is the quality whereby the process of natural selection creates and preserves traits that are seemingly fitted for the functional roles they perform. Natural selection is the only known cause of adaptation but not the only known cause of evolution. Other, nonadaptive causes of microevolution include mutation and genetic drift.

Blind_Watchmaker

driver ants – are they really such a menace?

Dorylus clean up for nature

Dorylus, also known as driver ants, safari ants, or siafu, is a large genus of army ants found primarily in central and east Africa, although the range also extends to
tropical Asia.

The term siafu is a loanword from Swahili,and is one of numerous similar words from regional Bantu languages used by indigenous peoples to describe
various species of these ants.

 

 

Seasonally, when food supplies become short, they leave the hill and form marching columns of up to 50,000,000 ants, which are considered a menace to
people, though they can be easily avoided; a column can only travel about 20 metres in an hour. It is for those unable to move, or when the columns pass through homes,
that there is the greatest risk…

Source 

 

 

 

Self Indulgent Arrogance

Is Religion Human Beings Biggest Arrogance? Or is having no Faith even worse?

Axiological, or constructive, atheism rejects the existence of gods in favor of a “higher absolute”, such as humanity. This form of atheism favors humanity as the absolute source of ethics and values, and permits individuals to resolve moral problems without resorting to God. Marx and Freud used this argument to convey messages of liberation, full-development, and unfettered happiness.

atheist-poster
Born to prejudice?

 

One of the most common criticisms of atheism has been to the contrary—that denying the existence of a god leads to moral relativism, leaving one with no moral or ethical foundation, or renders life meaningless and miserable. Blaise Pascal argued this view in his Pensées.

French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre identified himself as a representative of an “atheist existentialism” concerned less with denying the existence of God than with establishing that “man needs … to find himself again and to understand that nothing can save him from himself, not even a valid proof of the existence of God.”

tn-atheism-omment
Athesim delusion?

Sartre said a corollary of his atheism was that “if God does not exist, there is at least one being in whom existence precedes essence, a being who exists before he can be defined by any concept, and … this being is man.”

The practical consequence of this atheism was described by Sartre as meaning that there are no a priori rules or absolute values that can be invoked to govern human conduct, and that humans are “condemned” to invent these for themselves, making “man” absolutely “responsible for everything he does”.

 

Wallace I Salute You

I am reading all things Darwinism at the moment and I would just like to give Wallace a mention.

He was considered the 19th century’s leading expert on the geographical distribution of animal species and is sometimes called the “father of biogeography“.

More..

Wallace was one of the leading evolutionary thinkers of the 19th century and made many other contributions to the development of evolutionary theory besides being co-discoverer of natural selection. These included the concept of warning colouration in animals, and the Wallace effect, a hypothesis on how natural selection could contribute to speciation by encouraging the development of barriers against hybridisation.

Wallace-Alfred-portrait