10 October 2009

An Alien God (on evolution)

“In a way, Darwin […] discovered a strange alien God – not comfortably “ineffable”, but really genuinely different from us. Evolution is not a God, but if it were, it wouldn’t be Jehovah. It would be H. P. Lovecraft’s Azathoth, the blind idiot God burbling chaotically at the center of everything, surrounded by the thin monotonous piping of flutes.”

[via:Hacker News]

30 September 2009

This is the Dream Time

“As we move into the far future, and our descendants spread out across space and redesign their minds and bodies to explode Cambrian-style into a vast space of possible creatures, they will remember the fleeting period we now live in as a dream time, one that will never return again.”

7 September 2009

Cotton-top tamarins grew calmer after they heard music compositions based on their own calm, friendly calls. But the monkeys became more agitated when University of Wisconsin-Madison psychology professor Charles Snowdon played music that contained elements of their own threatening or fearful calls.

Tamarins respond to music expressing monkey feelings: deep evolutionary roots for the musical elements of speech?

The catch is that they don’t care for “human” music. Tamarin optimized music samples are included with the article.

“…music based on soothing, friendly monkey calls tended to calm cotton-top tamarins, a species native of South America. Music based on fear and threat calls stimulated anxious behavior.”

[via:Tiede]

27 August 2009

Depression may be mental adaptation, enhancer of analytical thinking

[via:Mummila]

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