Thursday, December 11, 2008

Slowly Built Endures Forever



~A. A. Bailey

Of Note: This is a picture of my "pet" frog, Agnes, who resided in one of the larger garden ponds this past summer. She had no idea a human was watching her activities on a regular basis although I don't know that for a fact. All day she'd bask in the sunshine while still immersed in the water. Pretty slick trick for this cold-blooded beastie during the hot summer months. I figure that Agnes' ancestors did the same millions of years ago although they were most likely much larger. Seems that over time, physical evolution provides bodies of finer and finer material in smaller sizes, though exceptions exist as they always do, of course. Ageless Wisdom postulates an evolution of consciousness as well. I wonder how far Agnes and her kin have traveled in that regard.

Today's Weather Report: Hum, my eyes are treated to blue sky out the northeastern window and gray clouds out the southern window. Which is it going to be today? Won't make a big difference as I sit here editing my husband's book. 32 pages are done with only 300 to go. Onward and upward always.....this mantra keeps me going. As do his visits to see if I'm still smiling.

Watch For Change Snippets: Consciousness pervades all. Humanity may not be able to comprehend consciousness of a rock or bacteria, but that does not preclude its existence. How else to explain the slime mold amoebas, who learned to slow down their motion in anticipation of the timed cold, dry pattern created by scientists in their environment? The main scientist running the experiment suggested that this might provide "a chance to reconsider what intelligence is."

Could be that some scientists have uncovered evidence of consciousness at other levels of being and may not recognize the fact. Take for instance the discovery of a virus that infects at least three different kinds of larger virus while at the same time shuttling genetic material between them all. Pretty fancy. The discoverer explained that "this is a completely different way of transmitting genes" and "could be driving evolution of new species in a as-yet-unknown way." Then, there's the mysterious medical case of the disappearance of bees. Seems these unfortunate insects may have developed dementia following a viral attack and are unable to find their way home, thus sealing their doom. Scientist have even subjected the diseased bees to head CT scans much like their demented human counterparts. Studies, funded by millions from the federal government, which is quite concerned about the epidemic, are ongoing.

This last one, however, may put the question of consciousness in lesser-beings to bed. Listen to this: while enduring dry spells of days or years, microscopic, all-female, aquatic creatures called bdelloid rotifer apparently die only to come alive again once the rain returns. Dead here means dead. During the dry spells, the creatures' cell membranes rupture scattering their DNA. Like Lazarus, however, these gals rise again--a fact that until now has baffled scientists. Lo and behold, the wee rotifers reconstitute themselves from bits and pieces of whatever DNA is lying around in the mud. The genetic material might be their own or random scraps from other organisms including bacteria, fungi and plants or even what they ate last for dinner. Doesn't seem to matter much. The investigators of this phenomenon suggested that "It may be their form of sex. But their partner is essentially dead. So you'd have to call it necrophilia. Actually, since they are all female, lesbian necrophilia." I'd call it smart.

Check out the latest Discover magazine for more examples of new "uncoveries" in 2008.
These are only four of one hundred.

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