Intelligent Design

intelligent-design-on-the-future-human-evolution-websiteWhat in the world happened to Intelligent Design?

Much to my chagrin, I revisit Intelligent Design years after the writing of my original article where I merely put forth the premise of ID.  That is, believers (some scientists along with the religious right) purport that the universe, and life itself, is too complex and specific to have happened purely by chance.  The ID theory proponents generally agree that fossil and other evolutionary evidence is genuine and point toward the progressive development of higher forms of life.  Where they diverge is that rather than believing random chance at the helm, ID theory proponents suggest, much like the Deist beliefs of the American founding fathers, that a creator put rules in place for the unfolding of life as well as the deployment of the laws of physics.

I will admit, I was rather pleased that a sort of compromise had been reached. Since we have yet to to come up with any plausible explanation of how the universe got here in the first place, ID sounded like it had as much credibility on that count as “quantum fluctuation”.  Where’d the quantum come from to fluctuate? Two theories in peaceful coexistence.

So silly me turned my attention to other things. Things one can actually do something about, like the FUTURE.

Long story short, I am making my rounds on the website, updating this, deleting that, adding new, etc. and I come across my old harbinger of peace, ID.  A few Google searches in and I start seeing things like conspiracies, court battles, law suits, and as much polarization and hostility as one ever saw in the original evolution vs. creation debate.

This evening I’ve spent as much time as I  am going to looking for a rational dialogue or even a forum for one. Theories abound.  I am having trouble seeing the harm in teaching ID as a theory. In fact, it might take some of the mysticism and superstitious hold some religions can exert on the unsuspecting (if you think I mean yours, I am sure you’re quite mistaken. Yours is completely different).

And before you think I’m picking exclusively on the dogmatists of the right handed variety, here ye, here ye, dogmatists of the highbrow sort who vehemently denounce even the slightest possibility of the “supernatural” which is merely a euphemism for the unexplained. Is it really necessary to be anti-religious?

For extremists everywhere a message for you In the words of Shakespeare:

Methinks Thou Dost Protest Too Much.

 

The Panspermia Theory

panspermia-and-the-future-of-human-evolution

Click for Larger Image

Panspermia, translated as “seeds everywhere,” is a theory that the seeds of life are spread throughout the universe in cosmic dust or perhaps in the tails of comets, and that life on Earth began when they managed to reach the surface of the planet. The theory has origins in the ideas of Anaxagoras, a Greek philosopher, but in modern times was revived by Sir Fred Hoyle, the famous British astronomer.

There is some evidence to suggest that bacteria, the probable mechanism, or panspermia “seed” may be able to survive for very long periods of time even in deep space. Two Cal Poly scientists demonstrated back in 1995 that bacteria can survive without any metabolism for at least 25 million years, making bacteria most likely immortal. Past studies out of India, further attesting to the robustness of life, have found bacteria more than 40 km up in Earth’s atmosphere where it would be unlikely to have come from our lower atmosphere.  Additionally bacteria Streptococcus mitus which was inadvertently carried to the moon on the 1967 Surveyor 3 spacecraft, was easily revived after being taken back to earth three years later.

One characteristic of panspermia would be that life in the universe would have a very similar biochemistry. So the high-altitude bacteria might be expected, whether of earth or extra-terrestrial origin, to appear very similar to terrestrial forms. This is not a testable hypothesis until life on another planet can be examined.

A major obstacle to the credibility of Panspermia theory is the fact that bacteria may not survive the tremendous heat and forces of an earth impact.  No studies or evidence have been conducted or collected to confirm or deny this likelihood.

Regarding known extraterrestrial material, the  “ALH84001″ rock sample believed to have come from Mars, shows some indication that microbial life may have been present at some point in the past. This widely disputed instance is the only indication we have of extraterrestrial life.

Some have taken the theory as an answer to those arguing the improbability of life spontaneously occurring on earth, that it happened elsewhere and traveled through the cosmos.

One of the newer wrinkles in the theory, purported by pranspermia.org, is that of Cosmic Ancestry.

Hoyle (and cohort Wickramasinghe) after reawakening the idea of panspermia, later broadened it to include a new understanding of evolution. They theorized that life could not have made the leaps and bounds from a single cell to humans in a mere 4 billion years; rather, the code of evolution was carried along with the seeds of life and indeed must always be so. Much in the same way the big bang set the rules for physics, life establishes the rules for its unfolding.

Parallel to their theorizing, and In the early 1970s, another man, British chemist and inventor James Lovelock proposed the theory that life controls Earth’s environment to make it suitable for itself. The theory, Gaia, as seen from a Darwinian perspective, looks suspiciously teleological. Nevertheless, the publishers of panspermia.org are calling the combination of Gaia with Hoyle and Wickramasinghe’s “strong” theory of panspermia, Cosmic Ancestry.  They say that  that life can only descend from life as equally evolved as itself. It also suggests that life can only come from life, requiring a supernatural being.

Now there’s a interesting combination of science, philosophy, and religion.

The straight panspermia theory has been popular in science fiction. Invasion of the Bodysnatchers by Jack Finney has been made into a feature film three times. In The Day of the Triffids, the first person narrator, writing in historical mode, takes care to reject the theory of panspermia in favor of the conclusion that Soviet biotechnology created carnivorous plants. It’s not hard to see why when you examine the fact that while interplanetary, interstellar, and perhaps even intergalactic “contamination” of life may be possible, there’s a lot of baggage associated with that simple scenario. Not the least of which is aimed at those who would use it it in lieu of spontaneous life occurring on earth as an escape mechanism. Cosmic Ancestry notwithstanding, life has to have started somewhere.  Magic fairy dust hardly concludes that creationism vs. evolution debate.

 

The Future of Homo Sapiens

By professor Jacob Palme, First version 29-May-2006, last revision 23-Mar-2012

Will the human species, Homo Sapiens, continue to evolve in the next millions of years? If so, how? What can we learn from what we know about Homo Sapiens development until now?

The Creation of Homo Sapiens

The human species (Homo Sapiens sapiens) started its existence between 110 000 and 50 000 years ago. Its development diverged from the apes about 5 million years ago.

The earth has been capable of supporting life for about 3 billion years, and is expected to continue being able to support life for between 200 million and 5 billion years in the future.

Using the higher estimate, if we view the period of being able to support life as 24 hours, then we are now about 9 o’clock in the morning, humans diverged from the apes about a minute ago and the human species started to exist 1-2 seconds ago.

Using the lower estimate, if we view the period of being able to support life as 24 hours, then we are now about one hour before midnight, humans diverged from the apes about 2 minutes ago and the human species started to exist about 5 seconds ago.

The average life span of a species on earth is a few million years. Every year, thousands of species cease to exist and thousands of new species are created. Will thus the human species cease to exist in a few million years, like most other animals? If so, why, and what will replace it? Or are humans so unique and different from other species, that experience from other species cannot be applied, and humans may continue to exist for a much longer time?

Note: This paper discusses many ethically and politically sensitive issues, and some readers will probably be offended by this. But the goal is not to give any views on what is right and wrong, what should be permitted or forbidden. The goal is only to discuss what will probably happen in the future of human evolution.

Differences between Humans and other Species

Humans differ so much from other species, that human future development may not be governed by the same principles as other animals. [Miller 2004] says that humans and human society should be seen as a fourth system of structured energy, Tetrology, different from the previous atomic, chemical and biological systems.

Miller says that humans differ in the use of advanced technology, use of controlled energy, use of clothes, use of sense-enhancements like glasses, telescopes or microscopes, advanced social organization, advanced language.

Also many religious organizations and other belief systems regard humans, or sometimes a subset of humans, as the chosen people, made by God to mimic himself.

On the other hand, it is apparent that many typical animal behaviors also occur in humans, as has been pointed out by [Morris 1967-1997] and [Diamond 1993]. Humans have a mating behavior and an aggressive behavior which is obviously inherited from our animal ancestors.

This is important when discussing the future of the human species, because humans may be so different that experience from animals cannot tell us anything about the future of Homo Sapiens.

How a Species Ceases to Exist

To discuss this issue, one must first discuss which processes causes a species to cease to exist. Some such processes are:

  1. The species is specialized to a natural habitat, which ceases to exist. The risk for this is rather low for the human species, because of its high adaptability to changing environments. A cosmic catastrophe like a giant meteorite will certainly kill most people on earth, but some will probably survive, and will rapidly proliferate again.
  2. In the case of humans, because humans have so thoroughly modified their environment (cutting down forests, carbon dioxide pollution, etc.) there is a risk that humans will themselves modify their environment in such a way that they cannot survive in it any more.
  3. The species is out-competed by another species, like the Neanderthals were out-competed by Homo Sapiens. There is today no existing species which might threaten the human species. There is a possibility that a new species, based on humans, may replace the human species, but then humans do not stop to exist, just continue in another form.
  4. The species gradually evolves, through natural selection, into a new species. Such evolution is however slow for such a large and wide-spread species as the human. It usually occurs in small, geographically isolated environments.
  5. The species is exterminated by a ruthless predator. This is the way the ruthless predator Homo Sapiens has exterminated almost all big animals on the earth. Also within the human species, races have been exterminated or nearly exterminated by other races, for example the Australian aborigines. Such extermination is nowadays labelled “genocide” and is very much disapproved of. No non-human predator threatening humans is likely to evolve, expect possibly a new species based on the human species.
  6. The human species might also be threatened by a new virus or bacteria, but experience indicates that it is unlikely that such a threat will appear, such that we will not be able to combat it or that the whole species will be exterminated by such a threat.
  7. When bacteria grow in a mold, they reach a stage where there are too many bacteria, and they all die because of overpopulation.

How a New Species Can Replace Homo Sapiens

A new species, to replace Homo Sapiens, might be created in different ways:

  1. By natural selection in a limited population (New species occur mostly in limited populations, [Mayr 2001 p. 136]. Widespread species undergo little evoutionary change [Mayr 2001 p 254].) This is not very probable, since the tendency to intermingle among all humans is very large. Much more probable is that the human species itself evolves without splitting into a new species [Mayr 2001 p. 191], but also such evolution is not very probable, at least in a short time range [Mayr 2001, p. 261].
  2. By explicit creation through breeding or genetic manipulation of Homo Sapiens. This is the most likely alternative. When parents are given the option of creating better-than-average children, it can be expected that many parents will choose this option. Even if politicians talk a lot about the ethics of genetic manipulation, they will in practice probably not be able to stop some people using this option.
  3. By explicit creation through breeding or genetic manipulation of another species. But no such species very suitable for replacing humans exist.
  4. By an artificially created species. This might even be based on computers and not on biology. However, we are very far from this option today [Pearson 2004]. “Artificial intelligence” is a branch of computer science, but its results until now are very far from creating a species which can outcompete humans. No computer has the general adaptable intelligence of humans, nor can they even reproduce themselves.

Has Homo Sapiens Evolved Before?

Modern Homo Sapiens originated between 110 000 and 50 000 years ago. But until 50 000 years ago, it existed only in Africa. Then, in just a few thousand years, the art suddenly expanded into the whole of Europe and Asia, and eradicated all the rests of previous humanoids like Homo Neanderthalus and Homo Erectus [Klein 2004]. Many anthropologist believe that this must have been caused by a genetic mutation, for example a mutation which increased the language capabilities. Other’s claim that the human brain has not changed for 150 000 years [Mayr 2001, p. 252]. But they base this claim on fossils, and fossils may not show changes in the organisation within the brain.

After that, Homo Sapiens continued to live as a hunter-gatherer until about 10 000 years ago, when agriculture suddenly began and rapidly changed the prosperity of Homo Sapiens. Why did this suddenly happen 10 000 years ago? Many anthropologists believe that again, the cause was a mutation, probably in the area of linguistic skills.

Genetic research shows that certain genes related to the brain size did change between 5 800 and 37 000. Exactly this gene cannot explain changes in humans, since not all intelligent humans have this particular gene. But the fact that genes related to brain size have changed in this time span indicates that humans are still evolving [Warner 2005].

One of the researchers behild this result is qouted as saying “Our studies indicate that the trend that is the defining characteristic of human evolution — the growth of brain size and complexity — is likely still going on If our species survives for another million years or so, I would imagine that the brain by then would show significant structural differences from the human brain of today.”

Thus, it seems as if Homo Sapiens has evolved, and as if the major evolutionary events occurred quite suddenly. If this continues, we can expect that a sudden good mutation perhaps 10 000 years into the future can again change Homo Sapiens by natural selection. Of course we do not know exactly when this mutation will evolve.

How Homo Sapiens can Evolve

Homo Sapiens can evolve through natural selection or through breeding or genetic manipulation. Breeding and genetic manipulation is most probable for a few people in technically evolved countries.

Natural selection is most effective when many animals die before reproduction. Thus, natural selection is more effective in developing countries. In industrial countries, medical development allows most of those who would die to live and reproduce.

The size of the brain of humanoids has increased three times in the last two million years [Hofman 2002]. This icnrease has meant more connections, less nerve cells. This means that with the current design, the brain cannot become more than three times larger than it is today. Other studies [Pearson 1997] indicate similar results.

Note that a species need not evolve. Some species remain identical for hundreds of thousands or millions of years [Meyr 2001, p. 193, 195]. And the evolution of humans has had long periods of little change, such as the Homo Erectus which did not change very much for 1.5 million years.

Will Homo Sapiens Deteriorate

Some people say that the lack of effective natural selection for humans in industrial countries will cause the human species to deteriorate, since natural selection is necessary to keep a species healthy. As a simple example, the existence of spectacles would cause more people to be born near sighted.

However, this is counteracted by immigration of people from less developed countries. This immigration is today so large, that it can probably counter the risk of deterioration of the species as a whole.

Also, future use of genetic manipulation and intentional breeding can be expected to counteract degradation.

Genetic Manipulation and Artificial Breeding

Genetic manipulation and artificial breeding is today disliked, because it was used in earlier years by governments in questionable ways. Most known is the Nazi ideas of killing or sterilizing “inferior people” like Jews and people with mental illnesses. Also in non-Nazi countries, enforced sterilization was common earlier, but is not done so much today.

The reason for this is that such government control is today not regarded as ethical, and also that the efficiency of such schemes is debatable. All schemes which reduce the genetic variation within the human species can cause more harm than value.

In spite of this, it is my belief that genetic manipulation and artificial breeding will be important in the future, but not done by the governments but by parents. Already, today, more and more pregnant women voluntarily screen for disabilities and genetic diseases of the faetus and choose abortion rather than giving birth to a child with a genetic illness [Tännsjö 1999].

This will probably become much more common in the future, with better medical and technical options of influencing the genes of future children [Pearson 1997]. There will certainly be a lot of discussions about the ethics of this, but my belief is that positive genetic manipulations will eventually become accepted ethically. And this might create a race of superhumans, which might even become a new species threatening its creator.

Evolution of Human Cultures

One can note that a Darwinian type of evolution today does not exist only for Homo Sapiens itself, but for various cultural organisations of humans. In particular, the economic competition on the world market has many Darwinian features, with survival of the fittest as one central function.

Do You Agree?

If you do not agree, or have more ideas on the future of Homo Sapiens, you are welcome to comment on this paper. Your comments may influence future versions of it. A forum for discussion is available.

References

The original of this paper can be found at http://web4health.info/en/aux/homo-sapiens-future.html.

There is not very much written about the future of Homo Sapiens. There are a large number of books about evolution and human evolution and about how humans were formed by evolution, and this is important for understanding what will happen in the future. Here are presentations of some such books:

 

  • [Leakey and Lewin 1977]
  • Origins: The Emergence and Evolution of Our Species and Its Possible Future
  • By Richard E. Leakey and Roger Lewin.
  • ISBN 0-525-48013-7.
  • E. P. Dutton publishers 1977.
  • A detailed and interesting overview of all the stages of evolution of Homo Sapiens since the separation from the monkeys 5-7 million years ago.
  • [Mayr 2001]
  • What Evolution Is
  • By Ernst Mayr, Basic Books, 2001.
  • Lots of information about how Darwinian evolution works.
  • [Miller 2003]
  • From DNA to ABC
  • By Joel Miller.
  • ISBN 91-972454-3-7.
  • BenTarZ Productions, 2003.
  • A collection of essays, many of them give interesting ideas on human development and human languages development. Are humans distinguished from the monkeys by the use of tools? But monkeys also sometimes use tools. Are human distinguished by building houses? But beavers and birds also build nests.
  • Miller claims that modern human society is a distinct new stage which he calls “civil society”. I wonder if historians five hundred years from now will agree with this?
  • On the future, the author says that implanting of electronics inside the human body will be an important feature of how people live in the future. I agree with him, this is quite probable an area where major changes in our lifestyle will come in the future.
  • [Bryant 1999]
  • Evolution of animals and the age of reptiles
  • by Peter J. Bryant
  • An overview of how life started and developed on earth. Life started 3 billion years ago, multi-cellular organisms 2 billion years ago, complex organisms 600 million years ago, mammals outcompeted the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.
  • [Miller 2004]
  • Tetrology and the Tetrastic System
  • By Joel Miller
  • A presentation of the view that the human system of organizing knowledge is so different from the previous atomic, chemical and biological systems, that is should be seen as a forth, Tetrastic system.
  • [Pearson 1997]
  • The Future of Human Evolution
  • By Ian Pearson
  • Darwinian Evolution will have limited impact on the future of Homo Sapiens, since other kinds of evolution, such as breeding, genetic engineering and electronics will take over as dominant factors.
  • [Warner 2005]
  • Human Brain Still a Work in Progress
  • By Jennifer Warner, The Human Genome Project, citing: Evans, P. Mekel-Bobrov, N. Science, Sept. 9, 2005; vol 309: pp 1717-1720; 1720-1722. News release, Howard Hughes Medical Institute. News release, University of Chicago Medical Center, Science Daily.

 

  • [Morris 1967-1997]
  • The Naked Ape, The Human Zoo and Intimate behavior, The Human Sexes, The Naked Eye
  • By Desmond Morris
  • ISBN: 0-385-33430-3, 1-56836-163-7, 0-09-1878675, 0-563-38358-5.
  • These three books which give many interesting insights into how human behavior is governed by our animal past.

Related information

Credit

Original Article reprinted with permission from here.

Human Evolution & Origins

You may have seen the following sentiment on other pages of this “Evolution & Origins” section in addition to other places:

It does not matter whether you believe we descended from monkeys and share a common genetic heritage with the first living cell on the planet, or whether that we are a unique Being breathed into life by an almighty god, or even if you subscribe to the theory that the Anunnaki created the Sumerians by mixing their own DNA with that of the most advanced Hominid they could find 6,000 years ago, the open book of the future lies ahead for us to write with our deliberate and thoughtful actions:  The Future of Human Evolution is ours to determine.

Therefore this section attempts to cover the major explanations of existence, evolution being explored further as the leading scientific theory. It makes no attempt to make converts from one’s belief system into another. It is, and we hope you will agree, really interesting to explore these various ideas.

Inside Human Evolution & Origins

What is Evolution?

In our opening article to the section, we bring you a discussion of what evolution is and how evolution works so that you can understand the principles and mechanisms behind it so you can journey with us as we extrapolate these concepts, along with an estimation of mankind’s proclivities, to where the future of human evolution may be headed.

Meet Your 10 Closest Evolutionary Relatives

Human evolution timeline, illustrations, and a few brief facts of Homo sapiens’ nearest hominid relatives. The most enlightening fact is how very brief our reign on earth has been.

Cretenists vs Evilutionists

Understanding the role and concepts of Micro-Evolution and Macro-Evolution against the backdrop of the creationist controversy and in relation to the mission of the site might be of interest to some visitors.

The Panspermia Theory

This theory suggests life originated extraterrestrially and may travel from place to place on cosmic dust. Recent developments have seen a supernatural rider attached to central theme.

 

Intelligent Design

Where did all the moderates go? This once compromise theory between religious fundamentalists and extreme scientific atheism has taken some hits. Is it down and out?

Particle Physics

The Standard Model

Below is complicated diagram of what can be a complicated discussion. But unless you’re a budding physicist you don’t really need to understand every particle spin, interaction and result to understand the broad concepts we’ll be talking about on this site. And I’m quite convinced that it is the intentional convoluted naming convention (and lack thereof) that makes particle physics somewhat challenging rather than the concepts it tries to explain.

This article then, is intended to familiarize the uninitiated with the terminology of the basic sub-atomic particles in the standard model. Maybe it will help you get through your next read of a scientific journal article, or maybe just a cocktail party with your favorite particle physicist. In any event, hopefully you’ll know more than 90% of the world population after reading this simple introduction.

If you will indulge my memory device, though corny as most of them are, it is effective and has enabled students to remember the fundamentals after just one review.


When looking at the diagram, keep in mind this simple set of facts: There are two types of building blocks to the physical universe, bosons and fermions.

  • Bosons are the particles that are responsible for the forces described by the standard model.
  • Fermions are the particles that make up matter.
  • Fermions exchange bosons to interact.

future_human_evolution_particle_physics_standard_model

To solidify that most fundamental of all facts (from what is known today!) and its terminology in your mind, You may want to think of the Fermilab particle accelerator in Chicago that I happen to know has free range bison grazing its grounds. Bison are powerful (forceful) animals located throughout the Fermilab campus (a real place with a physical structure composed of matter).

Concreate Fermilab represents Fermion Matter, with the Forceful Bison representing Boson the Force

Concrete Fermilab/Fermion Matter – Forceful Bison and Boson the Force

force-bison-boson-matter-fermilab-fermion

Force/Matter Memory Device

The Four Forces

Gravity – the most common sense and observable force in everyday life is not explained by the standard model.  We’ll be covering that massive hole in human knowledge and what’s being done to remedy it on other pages in this section.  For now let us focus on the forces that are predicted and explained by the standard model.

Electromagnetism – light, magnets, electricity etc. This one’s easiest to remember. It affects the charge of protons and neutrons and allows them to attract to form atoms. You may not have known that the actual force is carried by the photon. When two electrons interact, they repel each other, exchanging photons. The electromagnetism force has Infinite range.

Strong (nuclear) Force – Holds the building blocks of matter together, strong but short range. If we extend the metaphor of the physical structure of Fermilab being constructed of Fermions, we’ll say it is made out of Quarks (think odd-shaped bricks), and the force that holds it together is still the bison (boson), but only the bison’s very strong hide processed into glue (the gluon).

Weak (nuclear) Force – Responsible for various kinds of radioactive decay. Staying with our bison/Fermilab metaphor, let’s say that the people of all shapes and sizes inside the Fermilab structure represent all sorts of particles.  The Wily bison Zealously maintain their presence around the structure, forcing weak people (particles) and their puny energy out of the structure (radioactivity). The bosons responsible for this force? Why the Wily “W” and the Zealous “Z”, of course.

Here’s our Story

And we’re sticking to it!

Fermilab, constructed of odd-shaped bricks is strongly held together with bison-based glu on them, and is surrounded by Wily, forceful bison who Zealously force weak people with their little energy to leave.

Translated:

Fermion quarks have physical mass and are held together by the strong force boson gluon. The W and Z bosons are responsible for the weak force radiation as particles leave an atomic structure.


Protons, Electrons, and Neutrons (oh my!)

Protons, electrons, and neutrons, as I’m sure you were taught in high school, are the basic building blocks of atomic-level matter. You remember, the elemental chart? Let’s put together our knowledge of subatomic particles to get to the real matter (pun intended).

Going back to our complicated-looking particle chart, we understand what the W & Z and gluon bosons do (weak and strong forces respectively), and that matter is made up of fermion quarks. We haven’t covered any of the fermion leptons so we’re about to find out what that tiny, most useful of all leptons does, the electron.

Very nearly everything in the physical (i.e. touchable) universe, including you, is made up of just three fermions, two types of quark and a lepton, the electron.  There are several more fermions, but these three matter particles comprise nearly all of the mass in our known universe and will suffice for this lesson.

The two most prevalent quarks are known as ‘up’ and ‘down’.  And when viewed along side the electron, all three possess a unique electrical charge important to how they combine to create the basic building blocks of an atom:

  • Up quarks carry a positive two thirds charge (+2/3).
  • Down quarks carry a negative one third charge (-1/3).
  • Electrons carry a ‘whole’ negative charge (-1).

Depending on how these three quarks combine, you can get a particle with a whole negative charge (the electron), a whole positive charge (the proton), or no charge at all (the neutron). A bit of simple math shows us how this works.

  • Electrons are a fermion lepton, not made up of anything smaller. With a full negative charge that is (-1) + (nothing) = -1
  • Protons are made of two up quarks (+2/3) + (+2/3) =+4/3 and one down quark (-1/3).  Add the negative third charge of the down quark and you get a particle with a full positive charge (+4/3) + (-1/3) = (+3/3) =+1
  • Neutrons are made of two down quarks and one up quark.  Adding these together we see that the charges cancel each other out and we get no charge at all: (+2/3) + (-1/3) + (-1/3) = 0.
hydrogen-atom-and-the-future-of-human-evolution

Stylized Hydrogen Atom

So there we have it. Three basic particles, a proton with a full, positive charge (+1); an electron with a full negative charge (-1); and a neutron with no effective electrical charge.

Various combinations of these three particles pretty much make up all matter in our physical universe – things that have mass and can be touched.  One electron circling a single proton makes hydrogen, the most basic atomic structure and the most abundant element in the universe. All you have to do to get every other element conceivable, simply add protons, neutrons and electrons!


For the astute, or for those who are gluttons for punishment, you will have noticed that we completely skipped the odd-hanging Higgs boson shown on our diagram. Incorrectly shown with a question mark next to its mass, scientists confirmed it existence since the chart was drawn. Rather than being the oft-touted god particle, its a rather innocuous particle, the ramifications of which will be dealt with in another article. Once I get over the huge personal disappointment of this lackluster discovery.

Intro Video before the Higgs was discovered.

Silliest, yet most straight forward description of the Higgs Boson

Without all the nonsensical god references. Physicist believe the Higgs gives the other particles Mass.  Referring back to our standard model at the top and the video you’re about to watch, Justin Beiber is a Quark and the teenaged girls are the many Higgs floating about in space.