I was also regularly dismayed by orthodox scientific and academic works that dealt with the human brain, consciousness, human nature, , FE technology, and the like, in which the authors accepted declassified government documents at face value (as in not wondering what else remained classified, for starters) or looked no further than 19th-century investigations. Direct personal experience is far more valuable than all of the experimental evidence that be amassed; there is no substitute for it, as that is where comes from. Armchair scientists who accept the skeptics' word for it have taken the easy way out and rely on unreliable "investigators" to tell them about the nature of reality. They consequently do not have informed opinions, or perhaps more accurately, they have opinions. The holy warriors’ efforts aside, the scientific data is impressive regarding what has been called “psi” and other terms, which clearly demonstrated abilities of consciousness that are still denied and neglected by mainstream science. , but he was a voice in the wilderness.
White science still has almost nothing to say about the nature of consciousness. However, Black Science (covert, largely privatized, and the same province where that ) is somewhat familiar with the nature of consciousness and considers it to be far more than a byproduct of chemistry. The assumption that the entire universe is a of consciousness is not only by White Science, but is probably a foundational assumption of Black Science mystics.
In Paleocene oceans, sharks filled the empty niches left by aquatic reptiles, but it took coral reefs ten million years to begin to recover, . As Africa and India moved northward, the shrank, and in the late Paleocene and early Eocene, one of the last Tethyan anoxic events laid down Middle East oil, and the last Paleocene climate event is called the (“PETM”). The PETM has been the focus of a great deal of recent research because of its parallels to today’s industrial era, when carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are massively vented to the atmosphere, causing a warming atmosphere and acidifying oceans. The seafloor communities suffered a mass extinction and the PETM’s causes are uncertain, but the when the global ocean warmed sufficiently is a prominent hypothesis. Scientists also look to the usual suspects of volcanism, changes in oceanic circulation, and a bolide impact.
After the dinosaurs, empty niches filled with animals that looked remarkably like dinosaurs, if we squinted. Most large browsing weighed in the five-to-seven metric ton range. By the late Paleocene, appeared in North America and China and attained about rhinoceros size, to be supplanted in the Eocene by larger , and in Oligocene Eurasia lived the largest land mammals of all time, including the truly dinosaur-sized . The largest yet found weighed 16 metric tons and was about five meters tall at the shoulders and eight meters in length. Even a might have thought twice before attacking one of those. It took about , and for the succeeding 40 million years, the maximum size remained fairly constant. Scientists hypothesize that mammalian growth to dinosaurian size was , including continent size and climate, and .
But the African Oligocene event of most interest to most humans was African primate evolution. By the Eocene’s end, primates were extinct in Europe and North America, and largely gone in Asia. Africa became the Oligocene's refuge for primates as they lived in the remaining rainforest. The first animals that evolved in the late Eocene, and what appears to be a appeared in Africa at the Oligocene’s beginning, about 35-33 mya. But ancestral to that creature was one that also led to those that migrated to South America, probably via vegetation rafts (with perhaps a land bridge helping), around the same time. Those South American monkeys are known as today and they evolved in isolation for more than 30 million years. For those that stayed behind in Africa, first appeared around the same time as those New World monkeys migrated; they diverged from . Scientists today think that somewhere between about 35 mya and 29 mya the splits between those three lineages happened. Old World and New World monkeys have not changed much in the intervening years, but apes sure have.
The chimpanzee and human lines seem to have split , and some recent estimates are as low as 4.6 mya. The species perhaps the dates to about seven mya, but the findings have also been used to argue for pushing the . Whatever the timing that scientists eventually agree on, the splits of orangutans first, gorillas second, and chimpanzees last (and the bonobo split arguably about a million years ago) almost certainly will not change. The between 5.8 and 5.2 mya may have been the reason for the split, as the resulting droughts from those Mediterranean Sea drying episodes further shrank the African rainforest. As with so many other evolutionary events, the line that led to humans began to leave the trees as the losers of rainforest life and adapted to new environments probably out of necessity, not a sense of adventure and opportunity. Those apes pushed to the margins learned to walk upright and learned to eat new foods such as roots.
Around 10.5 mya, after Eurasian forests began thinning out, African rainforests began losing their continuity, broke up into isolated patches, and woodlands and grasslands appeared along rainforest edges. Whether the around 9-10 mya as the Miocene cooling progressed, or , is currently controversial. However, by seven mya the evolutionary line to humans was firmly established in Africa, as the forests that could support apes in near-African Eurasia disappeared, and the last of those lines went extinct about eight mya. The from the human line about seven mya, but . Whatever the timing really was, there is little scientific debate whether humans and gorillas descended from the same line and that that ancestor lived in Africa. The show that great ape DNA and human DNA are very similar. Chimpanzees and bonobos, our closest surviving cousins, share more than 98% of their genes with humans. About . in common with humans, and . Humans also that other great apes retained.
Few people on Earth today have much understanding of the relationship between . Most people think that money runs the world, when it is only an accounting fiction. Money by itself is meaningless, and financial measures of economic activity can be highly misleading. I noted long ago that scientists had little respect for . that obscured the role of energy while exalting money. What a coincidence. Understanding this essay's first half will help with comprehending the last half, and the connections between energy, ecosystems, and economics should become clear.
The study of intelligence is a young science, and the relationship of brain size (both absolute and relative) and structure to what is called intelligence is currently subject to a great deal of research and controversy, and even the is hotly debated. The appeared with mammals, and is the key structural aspect of brain evolution that led to human intelligence. The attempts to determine which , and those suspected of being the most intelligent have passed the test, including all great apes, cetaceans, elephants, and even a bird. Humans do not pass the mirror test until about 18 months of age. There is great debate between those embracing "rich" versus "lean" interpretations of behavior and intelligence observations among animals, in which seemingly complex thinking can be an illusion.
Most plants produce seeds, which would have largely survived the catastrophe and began growing when conditions improved. Ferns came back first, in what is called a , as ferns are a . Crocodiles, modern birds (which included ), mammals, and amphibians also survived, and all could have found refuge in burrows, swamps, and shoreline havens, lived in tree holes and other crevices that they were small enough to hide in, and all could have eaten the catastrophe’s detritus. In general, freshwater species fared fairly well, especially those that could eat detritus. Also, the low-energy requirements of ectothermic crocodiles would have seen them survive when the mesothermic/ dinosaurs starved. The primary determinants seem to have been what could survive on detritus or energy reserves and what could not, and what could find refuge from the initial conflagration. While there may have been some evidence of dinosaur decline before the end-Cretaceous extinction (it was gradually growing colder), and the may have caused at least some local devastation, the complete extinction of non-avian dinosaurs, ammonites, marine reptiles, and others that would have been particularly vulnerable to the bolide event’s aftermath has convinced most dinosaur specialists that the bolide impact alone was sufficient to explain the extinction and no other hypothesis explains the pattern of extinction and survival that the bolide hypothesis does. In general, the key to surviving the end-Cretaceous extinction was being a marginal species, and all of those on center-stage paid the ultimate price. The end-Cretaceous extinction's toll was nearly 20% of all families, half of all genera, and about 75% of all species, and marked the end of an era; the Mesozoic ended and made way for the Age of Mammals, also called the , which used to have the .
A has challenged The Expensive-Tissue Hypothesis, at least as far as robbing energy from the digestive system to fuel the brain. The study compared brain and intestinal size in mammals and found no strong correlation, but there was an inverse correlation between brain size and body fat. But since human fat does not impede our locomotion much, humans have combined both strategies for reducing the risk of starvation. Whales have bucked the trend, also because being fatter does not impede their locomotion and provides energy-conserving insulation. A human infant’s brain uses about 75% of its energy, and baby fat seems to be brain protection, so that it does not easily run out of fuel. However, the rapid evolutionary growth of an energy-demanding organ like the human brain seems unique or nearly so in the history of life on Earth, and comparative anatomy studies may have limited explanatory utility. There are great debates today on how fast the human brain grew, what coevolutionary constraints may have limited the brain’s development (, , ), and scientific investigations are in their early days.