Category: Science - Silent Rogue
 
Did you know that the ever-so-popular fruit known as the banana would never have survived the evolutionary process had it not been for some forward thinking farmers who decided to artificially cultivate the plant?

The original banana lacked the ability to reproduce. Apparently, the banana is the sterile result of cross-pollination between two very unpalatable species of fruit.

If the farmers of yore had not been so adept at agriculture, the lovable banana may not have survived to this day. These cultivators realized that while the banana seeds could not be planted for offspring, they could still bud the stems of the two parent plants together to grow the yellow plant. Through their efforts, the banana was introduced to audiences worldwide, and the Cavendish variety is now bought from markets and enjoyed worldwide.

A similar incident occurred with the seedless Navel Orange (which is actually a Siamese twin of fruits), but don't take my word for any of this. Read Matt Castle's article on damninteresting.com for a much more detailed account of the interesting origins of the banana.
 
Is life on other planets possible? Scientists have debated this questions for years now, but we may finally be closer than ever to the truth. Astronomers recently discovered a planet that fulfills the "Goldilocks" requirements (aka the "just right" environment) that sustains life on Earth.

The newly discovered planet (located 120 trillion miles away in the constellation Libra) displays the similar habitable environments as our own planet. Chances are that liquid water may also be present, and as our own history shows, where there is liquid water, there is life. The planet currently holds the name Gliese 581g because it is the sixth planet orbiting the dwarf star Gliese 581 (given the letter "a") and is about three times the size of Earth. 581g orbits Gliese 581 once every 37 days and does not seem to orbit much, indicating that there may be widely varying landscapes across the planet ranging from -25 degress to 160 degrees.

The presence of water on 581g has not been confirmed, but reaching the faraway (yet cosmically close) planet would take a few generations of human life. Interestingly, according to the researchers, if you were to stand on the 581g, you would be able to see our Sun without the aid of telescopes. Where conditions for life are met, life follows eventually. Even if it is not an advanced life form, maybe we are not alone in this universe after all...
 
Humanity has begun its downfall. Ever since the days of modern medicine, the life expectancy of humans has increased astonishingly with ease of life. The industrial revolution sparked what would lead to advances in biochemistry with vaccines for smallpox and the isolation of medicinal penicillin. These initial discoveries blazed the path for antibiotic pills and anesthesia.

As technology progresses, so does the protection against various illnesses. However, with each advance in modern medicine, evolution loses just a bit more of its ability to weed out weaker individuals from our gene pools. If life were to progress as it is, we would eventually bring the entire process of evolution to a halt by treating genetic mutations and sustaining evolutionarily unfit individuals.

In fact, if things were allowed to progress even further, a new process of de-evolution could potentially occur. In this process, we can assume that the "unfit" individuals alive due to modern technology would supply unfit genes to their progeny, who in turn would spread those unfit genes further and further eventually resulting in a majority of humans having those unfit genes. Quite potentially, these unfit genes could become the predominant gene and wipe out other more traditionally fit genes resulting in a physically inferior human race (think of those sci-fi movies where the technologically advanced aliens have frail and fragile bodies - ie. War of the Worlds, ET, etc.).

How I see it is, there are two paths for an evolutionary species. The first is the scenario I mentioned before (weak anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry with highly advanced technology). The second is a no or limited technology scenario where survival of the fittest results in physically superior individuals (think aliens with special heat seeking eyes or the ability to lift ten times their weight, etc - ie. Alien, Superman, etc.). We as a species have chosen the former. Technology offers us vast possibilities in achieving our individual and special endeavors while the latter is more chance based  than anything.

While we have chosen what seems to be the more rational path, I am being honest when I say that I am a bit curious to see how we would have turned out had we let nature take its course. (I mean, it brought us this far didn't it?)

Now, before you go crazy and start calling me a lunatic or people hater... This was just some random thought that popped into my head, and I thought I might share to see if anyone has any thoughts on these thoughts. And no, I do not condone destroying all forms of technology to further our evolutionary growth.