Monday, March 17, 2014

Human Brood Parasite

How we laughed!

"Consider the ludicrous sight of the tiny Garden Warbler standing atop a cuckoo to reach the mouth of the gaping parasite." (p. 68). To feed it, right?

Dawkins goes on to observe: "The cuckoo is descended from a line of ancestors, every single one of whom has successfully fooled a host. The host is descended from a line of ancestors, many of whom may have never encountered a cuckoo in their lives, or may have reproduced successfully after being parasitized by a cuckoo. "

Reading "The Extended Phenotype" one reflects that at least people would never lavish care and resources on a child-substitute from an unrelated species - a human brood parasite ..

Would we, puss-puss?

Interesting news from the Antarctic Cosmic Microwave Background telescope BICEP2. The detection of faint B-mode polarisation in the CMB is evidence of spacetime quantum fluctuations during inflation and gives for the first time an energy estimate for the inflation fields (enormous) as well as observational input into theories of quantum gravity for the first time. This is a big deal.