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  1. Earlier
  2. Nothing confused me from his series, the screenshots were just me reasoning that the program exists in some usable form. Thank you, Steve!
  3. Hi Pyros. The project is in development and not in a state to present to the public currently. You are welcome to join the Facebook group of the 'Phylogeny Explorer Project' for updates and details and the new Website and shop will be up soon. You can visit a couple of sites that attempt to show cladograms of life, but they are mainly incomplete, limited or don’t generally include much extinct life. ITIS, OTOL and Onezoom are examples. The examples used by Aron are old images, but similar to what we use. We will use something different for zooming out, because it clearly isn’t practical. Rather like trying to show all the geological time periods in one shot – you can’t as it would mean you can’t read or see anything. What is it that confuses you from his series? Kind regards, Steve
  4. In AronRa's video series, he posted many screen shots of the phylogeny explorer. Is it possible for people outside the project to view the program (either in its current state or any other stage of development), or at least the cladogram? I've been looking around on the website, and the structure confuses me a little bit. Is viewing the program restricted to volunteers perhaps? I of course understand why editing would be restricted, but I'm wondering why viewing would be. Server capacity, perhaps?
  5. Hi Learning Islam. I wasn’t too clear on a lot of what you are saying here. Whether that is because it is over my head or not clear, I’m not sure. “The morality accounting for the most of the world, now, is Liberal Secular morality. Maximising freedom and equality.” Well that would be an interesting statistic. Could be substantiate this claim please. I’m thinking of the religious totality (3-4 billion) and communists and a range of other societies or ideologies or political views that would seem to push the Liberal quota into the minor, not major category. If you are rather saying that a secular, more liberal approach seems to be increasing in your (or a statistical) view, then fine. Most systems seem to have crux points where there is no certain answer when put to the test with extreme scenarios. Kantian ethics, utilitarianism, person centred ethics, purpose/motive vs end/means result ethics, ethics based on scriptures or pure natural/evolutionary ideas and so on. So the abortion dilemma (e.g. especially where we consider one life over another) can be difficult, and you rightly point out that because of such scenarios, we need to find an objective morality. You say you don’t have one, (and neither do I). I would like one, but (according to my philosophy/understanding) science and reality doesn’t care what I want or believe, so I am stuck with not knowing unless or until science can show it. TJump’s philosophy/thought seems to me to be the closest I have ever seen on determining a perfect morality which seems to provide answers to all questions yet posed and deals with theological and naturalistic positions. Sometimes there may only be options of involuntary impositions of will and morality (in his model) precedes humanity, sentience or life (i.e. it doesn’t start with or stem from any of these). You don’t actually state your own position. My view is that whilst many theistic beliefs/books/positions are incredibly cruel and encounter great suffering that modern society would not tolerate, and sometimes proceed beyond physical death and even to eternity in hell or reincarnation (with some possible good options too though, like heaven), an entirely natural position is possibly the worst of them all (and unfortunately - for that reason) this is sadly where I currently lie. No point, no hope, no end to suffering which began billions of years ago with no end in sight. I have my own thoughts, philosophy and solutions, if only in theory. Do you have any (radical or otherwise) solutions to suffering?
  6. This is quite an old thread, but let's still respond! The morality accounting for the most of the world, now, is Liberal Secular morality. Maximising freedom and equality. So I am going to talk from that perspective, as I currently have no objective morals standards to hold up to. To what extent, if any, do we consider the view of the parents, the patient(s), whether the patient(s) is able to communicate or not, one’s beliefs, one’s culture, the law of the land etc.? Let's dissect it bit by bit. Liberal Secularist morality entails that the has the obligation to consider the views of the parent's, the patient's, and one's beliefs, culture, AS LONG AS they don't contradict the fundemental laws of that same exact morality. For example, Zorastrians consider Incest ( Yeah, fucking one's mother), a lovely and beautiful thing to do. Liberal Secularist morality sees nothing wrong in this (Remember: Maximising Freedom and Equality). Do or not do, no prob. BUT, forcing your wife to cover up, head to toe, and threatning her if she doesn't, is disingenous, disgusting, and repulsive; according to the Liberal Secularist narrative. NOO! HER RIGHTS!! (Sorry for the caps, but had to add emphasis) Liberal Secularist morality opposes everything against it. If the laws of the land aren't according to its paradigm, then fuck it. Wage War! We need to give those oppressed Iranian women their rights! (Insert Crying Emoji) In the case of the conjoined twins, Liberal Secularism will advocate for the preservation of the life of the infants. Seperating them? That's a gray matter. "Where's the consent? YOU are INFRINGING on their freedoms!", one flavor of the Liberal Ideology would say. " Fuck the consent! They are children! They can't think for themselves.", another would say. Boils down to the importance of consent. Turns out, it isn't that well-defined in the Liberalist paradgim. One may argue that a mother holding an infant may be immoral (sic. TJump, the athiest debater) due to lack of consent, but another may argue that consent doesn't apply here. In the end, the post of yours highlights that an objective moral standard is really needed. All the religions have subjective ones. Same for the modernist ones. Man-made and man-defined criterions aren't all that well spread out across the board, in such moralities. The fall of religion's legitimacy, due to science, destroyed the traditional religious moralities, and let the advent for the Psuedo Human-Saving moral code of the modern era. Enter Liberalism.
  7. We are Borg

    T-Shirt design

    Yes there photoshoped there are t-shirts in the works with transitional species and i hope other items where crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s. The hope is that we release the 17th of September. I need to create posters and other items.
  8. If you can’t donate do not worry, volunteering is also donating.
  9. We also need assistance with other stuff we need to do, all help is welcome.
  10. Jeffrey Paul Bradt

    T-Shirt design

    This is sweet! Has someone actually printed these onto things like the pictures seem to show, or are they photoshopped for now? This might generate some revenue and some interest, if printed onto swag like what's depicted.
  11. I agree with the sentiment that if I had an extra dollar to give, I would. Being poor and (I am sincerely sorry to say) in debt, I cannot give money. However, I do have a little bit of time, if someone would like to specify what a lay person can do to help. I may not be a scientist, but maybe there is something I can do. Let me know, I am following this thread. Thanks, JP
  12. Sorry, your post had two different places where it specified what you needed, so it wasn't entirely clear to me. Now that I've re-read, I see this: I feel that I am unqualified for these tasks. However, if there is anything, let me know what I can do as a lay person, please? Basically all I am is a musician who became a junior in each of two undergraduate degrees: electrical engineering technology, and physics. What this means is that I have skill in math; and I grabbed a qualification in emerging technologies along the way.
  13. I appreciate this sermon. I may or may not be a Christian, but I agree when you say: The words make us think. Your post made me think: I would love to volunteer, but I don't know what I can do. I am intelligent, fairly good with computers for a 50-year-old, and may have some free time, so maybe there is something. What kinds of positions and tasks does the project need us to fill? I am willing to consider donating time, albeit not money which I would love to contribute but cannot as I am poor and have too much debt. Money, I do not have. Time I do have. Let me know what I can do, please? I am following this. Thanks, JP
  14. Welcome to Phylogeny Explorer Project. Please feel free to look around and get to know the others. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask.

  15. Sermon for today. 1 Corinthians 13:13 ‘And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.’ 2D parables. I like parables (of which the title is not one) for numerous reasons. They use everyday or extreme tools, issues or people to make a specific or more general point about something; usually an everyday area of life or a failure we can think about, relate to and learn from. They can be used to directly point something out to someone, face to face, without any accusation or legal issues, as it is just a parable. If the hat fits… Jesus was able to cleverly do this to the Pharisees. In fact He went a huge step further in a 3D parable (i.e. words into action). 3D parables. In Matthew Ch 9 from verse 1, Jesus, when presented with a paralysed man, said to him, ‘your sins are forgiven’. The Pharisees said to themselves that He was a blasphemer, as only God can forgive sins. Consider the evidence of His claim. What could science bring to the table to show that a person’s sins are forgiven? Nothing. And yet Jesus was being condemned for it. For his blasphemous words. Knowing what the Pharisees were thinking (and He would later be condemned by those same teachers for healing on a Sabbath), He offered a less controversial order. One that anyone can say to anyone without any likelihood of condemnation or legal action. ‘Get up and walk home.’ And with that, he did so. And full evidence was thus provided, given that ONLY God can forgive sin or perform miracles. A blasphemous order without evidence that anyone could make vs a totally innocent order, demonstrating without doubt, that Jesus was or at least had the power or authority of God. ‘Get up and walk home’ is so innocent, so laughably unlikely as a serious/actionable order in the circumstances (of who He was speaking to). The only thing that changed it, was the action taken by the crippled man. The responsibility of Jesus’ order was now passed to the man. Is the man now guilty of something? If so, what? Walking? Who would blame or accuse him of anything for doing so, and what would that say of Jesus? But the resulting conclusion is now passed to the Pharisees to decide. A man was instantly healed by the words of a man called Jesus. As only God can perform or permit such an act, then Jesus is God, God is working through Him or He is acting upon God’s authority. This put the Pharisees in a very difficult situation. To reject or accuse or punish Jesus (or the crippled man), was to accuse and blaspheme God or blame the devil. To accept what Jesus just did was to commit to following or obeying and promoting and accepting Him. It is reminiscent of saying ‘Let him who is without sin, cast the first stone’ or saying to the decaying body, ‘Lazarus, come forth’. There are many great words in books, be they religious, mythological, legend, fantasy, fiction or non-fiction. The truth of the words is irrelevant, they are just great. One says, one does. I mention this incident, not just because it is one of my favourite in the Bible, but because of the comparison between the two things which Jesus offered. One was words and internal or spiritual, but of little use in real life. The other was totally practical and a real demonstration of intent and action. Hopefully, this will make sense later. Parable about parables. Not just for others or even us, they/some are for ME. There was even a parable, spoken by Jesus in the Bible, about a parable. Those pointing out a spec in someone’s eye when you have a log in your own eye. Some parables are missed entirely or are assumed to be about others, never ourselves. It is said that people who criticise a lot are often the ones who most deserve criticism and the criticisms they make, often reflect the same areas that they themselves lack. Religious pointlessness effigies? Many non-believers are very quick to criticise faith and prayer as pointless, non-existent and impractical tools, evading the issue and actual, practical solutions. Imagine walking past a homeless guy, begging for food and you stop and pray for him before walking off. Or a doctor praying for someone with potential cancer and not actually giving them a diagnosis or medical help or intervention. You could do both, but experience tells us that if in doubt, always at least do the practical action as a minimum. That is because that is the need and where the evidence lies in a solution, there and then. There are numerous tele-evangelists. E.g. Kenneth Copeland who is worth between $300,000,000 and $1,000,000,000 + thanks to donations for all he… does – if only we could emulate this and have something as good to offer!!! Many deny the Covid 19 virus or Autism, mental illnesses etc. and see and preach them as spirits from the devil and not real things. That, and how they can say this publicly (and legally) and have followers of millions and the implications this brings and the tax relief they are allowed is beyond me. But this is not an attack or criticism or challenge of any God. If anything, it is rather a lesson that non-theists can learn from religion/religious and other texts. Action, not words produce results. I remember watching Usain Bolt. Always so relaxed, smiling, toying with the audience and then effortlessly beating everyone to become the fastest known human ever over a short distance. Countless people admired him and kids wanted to be or emulate him. After all, we all saw how easy it was for him, right? No wonder he was admired. Roger Federer was asked if he was just pure talent. “100%”, he said. “I just relax, do nothing and eat cheeseburgers all day, then turn up and win.” When sarcasm brings perspective. The point, of course, is that behind all of the apparent relaxed skill or natural ability and progress, lies effort that is most likely greater than all of their competitors. If you saw the training, the grimaces, blood, sweat and tears, sacrifices, money, devotion and time involved over a long period, it would put the most stubborn people off. But that is all hidden behind the scenes. The actual game or race is the easy part, because all the work has been done in practise and training to prepare the way. They don’t just pray or hope or have faith that they will be good enough or win, no matter how religious, they know that they have to earn it, like anyone else. It is hard work, (more than their competitors) that is the fruit of the labours to win and get where they are. A non-theistic parable. Imagine a baby elephant struggling to get out of a muddy swamp, slowly drowning. A small child is trying to help, but it is hopeless, due to his meagre size. The elephant’s family call from afar. There are hundreds of 4x4 vehicles surrounding the swamp on the trail of a free safari. The passengers, clicking away, who joined because they love nature, are full of sorrow and words of comfort. ‘Call the police. Call the vets. Call a helicopter. Where is everybody? Somebody help.’ The safari guides operate the pulleys on the vehicle, but need volunteers to help pull it out. But everybody assumes or hopes someone else more qualified or rich or available will help. And finally, the baby elephant takes its last breath. And everybody cries, wondering at the utter waste of a life and what could have been. The parable’s parallel. Our project is struggling and needs your help. We are your free guides. We pay for your visit as tips are so few, and we are few and spread thinly, unable to operate all the strings to do what is needed and our heads are barely above water. Only one in 100 tourists who give us a tip (donate) or who volunteer, which is not sufficient. You are a tourist and we ask you to help in any practical way you can. Please ask for details. We ask very little, and if we don’t ask, we don’t get. We don’t want to be rude or intrude, but we need you to know where we are and what we need. We get many people, posting or sending comments about the Phylogeny Explorer Project. ‘What a great idea’, ‘when will it be ready?’, ‘Can I use it to do x now?’, ‘Keep up the good work’, ‘This is going to be amazing’, ‘Thanks for all the work’, ‘Can’t wait to use it as a teacher at school’, ‘The final nail in the Creationist coffin’, ‘Best wishes, hope it is ready soon’, ‘You have my full support’. And we try to respond to many of these comments, often because they don’t go to the Facebook group or Website where the answers can often be found, so it takes valuable time up. But if you have been following the analogy of faith, hope and love (and prayer), you will notice that people’s hopes and praise or interest don’t get a single thing done, don’t make an iota of progress and actually take time away to speak to them, with nothing in return. We are a very small team of volunteers and spread ourselves very widely and thinly over many areas, finding it hard to focus on any one area, so we sometimes can’t complete a task or only give a limited time. We totally rely upon the good will of volunteers and any donations we can get to pay for everyday expenses and to access specialist skills that we lack in out voluntary base. Our income is extremely small and some volunteers (on top of their work) are brunting the financial costs, which is unfair and sometimes this is in the hundreds or even thousands of £/$. Due to this lack of funding and not enough volunteers (many positions requiring no skills and little time), we can’t reach, as quickly as we would like, the point of being able to provide a publicly accessible project, due to this catch 22. Our workloads only increase and our donations, due to having little to physically/visually show to ask or tempt people to donate, are reducing and very limited. Catch 22’s. With a visually attractive MVP (minimum viable product) to show, we can justify reaching out a lot more for help, instead of relying on people to just act on faith that we will get there and their money is going to justify their giving to an invisible actuality. We need a visual, working model, up to date business plan, a press pack and a professional presentation with some key scientists on board. Whilst even some of these are catch 22’s, dependent on each other. Unless or until we get to this point, we can’t justify generating money or serious interest, sponsors, organisations and universities to join up. But without money (which these will help generate), we can’t reach the point to generate more serious money. We need security. Luck or hope is not enough. So, with well over 1000 members of the Facebook group and many thousands more who are aware of the project, be it through Aron Ra or elsewhere, we are asking you, if you really are supportive or like this project and appreciate the work we do and what it will offer, would you take a step of faith? You say you like the project. Well we can’t use or spend mere words, no matter how genuine. If only we could. If you really want to be a part or see progress or get recognition for your contribution(s) or be part of this team and project, we need your services or money, no matter how little. $1-$10 a month and/or a one-off donation would be amazing, especially if replicated by at least dozens of people (preferably a hundred or more), and help to motivate those of us who are taking one step forward and two steps back because we have to spend so much extra time budgeting our time, money and resources with the cheapest options, which are often slower options. Faster but slightly more expensive options can often get us to a point where money is generated a lot faster, so is more cost effective. But, like if you rent or need a mortgage, beggars can’t be choosers. The poor often pay more. If you can’t afford $1/month ($12/year), that is understandable for some and there are voluntary positions too. Alternatively you could let us know that you would really like to contribute a little money or time, but you can’t. This actionable effort taken to tell us is emotionally valuable to us and it takes away the unknown, i.e. are 99% of people who support us in word, really all unable or unwilling to afford £/$1 or an hour a week or is it just apathy or are members just joining one of hundreds of groups arbitrarily? We are looking for NEW people to help us, to share or replace the burden of others, with work or money. So many voluntary projects fall by the wayside, but I am not sure many are so potentially valuable and as educational as this one or have so much already done behind the scenes. The only way forward is with YOUR help. There is ONLY one way. The ONLY way to help us is to contact the project directly and we have the ONLY account where money goes into the project. No-one else and via nowhere else is this available. No person on the project or elsewhere takes money for this project. If anyone claims so or if you donate to anyone, thinking or believing or hoping or being told that any or all of the money goes to the project, it is untrue. If in doubt, contact Steve Owen or Jeroen Pill. We run the project. Other people, like Aron Ra and others who run Websites or patron’s do fund themselves for things, but this is not related in any way to this project. Any announcements or information about the project should also go exclusively through and/or be sanctioned by the project. Our practical needs. We want to reward those who help in some practical way and give them recognition. We see it on other sites and projects, but we don’t have the time, skills, resources or money to create this, which also takes time away from the project. But one volunteer, an hour a week could change this. We need about £200 per month, minimum to pay our ongoing costs. We would like an additional £100-£200 per month for other occasional costs or upgrades and we need at least £2,000 to pay for services that we do not have skills in within the project volunteers, using something like fiverr to make our media pack and a professional presentation, once the MVP is ready. We also want volunteers from non-skilled to developers, artists, marketing/branding folk, social media builders and mods, plus people who can help organise, manage and communicate on these things so others can focus on their areas. Let him who has ears, hear. Thank you for understanding and anything you can do to help and keep this alive. … but the greatest of these is charity. Faith and hope (and prayer and words) offer nothing to this project that we can use, unfortunately. If you like/support the project though, maybe this can translate into action. In some translations of the Bible (e.g. the KJV) 1 Corinthians Ch 13 doesn’t actually use the word, ‘love’ in this verse. It uses the word ‘charity’, which is the 3D translated version of a 2D word. It is love, ‘poured out’ or ‘in action’. Love is emotional, but charity is the actionable demonstration of it. Love is feeling sorry for someone who is hungry, telling your partner you’ll love them forever or liking the idea or work of a project. Charity is giving food or money to the hungry person, going out of your way to help, support and to regularly show your emotional claim to your partner or offering to help or donate in/to a project. It may be that some need coaxing from anonymity or just need a push and really would be willing and able to help, even in the smallest of ways. Obviously there are some who have chosen not to or really can’t afford a dollar/pound or an hour a week, but I am not convinced that such people are 99% of our group (which is the reality/statistics). You are free to choose not to help. You are free to choose who, if any project(s) or charity/ies you want to support. There is no shame in not having time, interest or money to help us. Our small current and diminishing list highlights very clearly where we are and I’d love to add YOU to that small, but hopefully growing and public list, if you are both willing and able, as the project success, progress and continuance, depends on YOU. Thanks.
  16. Sharing a few things on where we are. There are many other things that are happening in order to try to bring in income, volunteers, side projects and things that, once up and running will help support the project as a whole. Here is just an overview on the development side over the past year, plus a bit of an appeal. As the Phylogeny Explorer Project, we have lots of responsibilities. One of them is communicating with donors, volunteers (they are KEY) and everyday users. Much of the necessary housework is the part of the iceberg under the water that no-one thinks or cares about, and most is done by the same small group of people, taking valuable time away from the visible peak that we want to give to the public. Some volunteers are now having to increase their workload beyond anything I expect of a volunteer just to keep up. Communicating (on project matters) is something we have done very little of in months and we want to apologize for, and explain more on this, on behind the scenes development matters. One year back we closed down the old Explorer with around 65k species, but we never explained in detail why we did this. We still retain this database. We closed the old Explorer because it was crashing every hour. The previous database was selected years back. Not because it was the best option, but the best option for the paid person creating it (i.e. it was his favoured language and database using that language and the selection of such a person was done by people who are not specifically IT people). Those who later worked on it afterwards were left with what was there (on terms of the programme itself and no information about the progress and workings of it) and it was deemed better to work with what was there than start afresh, which loses time and may cost money and those around were used to that technology. The database manufacturer also promised many new features but which never actually came to fruition. It is also of note that we were building the tree manually, one by one. With import/export, copy/paste and the like, the amount of data and new technologies and added features we plan and want would likely overwhelm the old database. The new database is probably 1000 times more powerful. We are still limited to free or very cheap alternatives, due to a lack of funding, but the step up in cost to the next level, compared to the actual added features and benefits is not worth it. When it did, the system automatically restarted, but at a cost in skilled manpower doing these tasks instead of developing the database. The old Explorer could be offline for hours until someone restarted the system manually. This escalated to the point that even restarting was not always working and users were complaining. Other than for the very purpose of the testing process, bad customer experience cannot be allowed or overstated as a NO-NO. Delays may be annoying or frustrating, but it beats offering a poor service. A service that is available to a user is what we are offering, so if it is not at least satisfactory, it should not be made available. A bad reputation is almost impossible to claw back from. In that time before we closed the old Explorer. The old database was chosen because it was one of the most promising databases out there. But like many (especially free) internet stuff, it had set backs. It is between a graph database and an non-SQL database. It works but with too much data in it, it’s expensive and it can’t handle what we really want. We talked about designing a new database that could provide a lot more and hold even more information, way beyond just millions of clades. The old database was created from zero and built manually to 65k clades. The new developers can import 3.7 million clades in a few hours, transform the clades where needed and go to other sources to import even more. The first thought was using PostgreSQL. It’s a free database and it can do a lot. After some time we lost a developer, who pops in from time to time, but who wanted to spend more time supporting a huge ethical climate change development project and spend more time on his family. This impacted development, but we found a new lead developer and after sometime he and the dev team decided PostgreSQL is good… but we need better. There are databases call Graph databases. They are non-SQL databases. They handle information very differently than relational databases. The developers picked one that would meet all of the requirements. We installed this on our server and it ran. But we found issues with this database, too. It was not running like it should and it had other issues. After a deep dive into this, it became apparent that the database was not being maintained by the company owner as it should, having been recently bought out. Also, the written information/documentation available about it was old and not being kept updated. The term, beggars can’t be choosers here fits the bill. We have no budget for costly databases which are between hundreds and tens of thousands of pounds/dollars/Euros per month. So we have to spend a lot more time working on what we have and deciding what to use, with the future in mind, should we need to upgrade or move to something different but compatible. It can be likened to starting a new business. You can do it all alone or with associates and deal with all the unknown problems and obstacles along the way, which is risky and time-consuming. Or you can get professional help or buy a ready-made one, which reduces the risks, but costs money and will likely bring a return or completion so much faster, which in turn will bring in funds that you may never get working with nothing or starting from scratch or having little to show. A catch 22. Here you also see the curse of the internet. What seems like a good idea months back, even after time looking and comparing, things can bite you. Well this happened with this database, so back to the drawing board we went. But now we needed a solution really fast, but that would be stable, able to manage our quality and quantity needs, be as future proof as possible, and (limiting our options), free. We found ‘Virtuoso’. It is now running on our servers and developers like it. It has more features than the previous database with better protection etc. etc. The one person that knows most about this has a heavy workload at his work and a family to take care of, so the transfer will take some time. As the Phylogeny Explorer Project, we are very grateful for the money and time our donors/subscribers and volunteers give us, but we also know that family and work comes first for them. We don’t have funds for a paid-for database, and lots of other things which might help improve and speed things up. We are entirely voluntary and rely entirely on members and beyond and anyone who wants to see us succeed, and our meagre budget and limited staffing is now critical for us to maintain this from month to month, as volunteers are now chipping in financially. If possible, for practical purposes, reserve your thoughts, prayers, good will, love, hopes and dreams for your friends, family and future life. We can’t do anything with that, as much as we wish we could. Some of your money and/or some of your time/skills. ‘Those are our needs’. What’s going to happen next? Well we have an Beta test running. It depends on an API call to an external database. But the features you’ll see are what’s going to be in the new Explorer (with the millions of species we now have). In a few weeks we’re going to meet and decide if we are opening the Beta test for more people. If/when a decision is made we will let you know. The Beta test is a non-editable system, so you can’t alter anything and we will value some testers. Also the tree is not complete or in the fully correct order in the alfa test. We need more people practically on board to make this project a great success. Please watch for volunteering positions. Projects like this fail, primarily on two things: lack of volunteers and money (we always need both). Please, if you can help in any way, we urgently need donations/subscribers and volunteers. So you know and we are clear. Also, feel free to post or enquire or pm/dm admin anytime, especially if you can help. The ONLY place you can donate or subscribe to the project is HERE. There is nowhere else where a single dime goes to it, so please be aware of any fake requests. Even Aron Ra does not take/receive anything for the project. Donations/subscriptions to him or any of his work is for him, personally, other than for the Phylogeny Explorer Project, so if you want or expect anything or any part of a donation/subscription to come to the Phylogeny Explorer Project, it ONLY comes via HERE. To donate to the Phylogeny Explorer Project, please go to: https://donate.phylogenyexplorerproject.org/
  17. https://donate.phylogenyexplorerproject.org/
  18. Dear Anton. It has been a long time and I see that no-one has responded, so I'll give it a shot. ‘Extinct’ in biology means to no longer exist as a living representative. It could be a species hypothesis or other taxon hypothesis. So, dinosaurs still exist because a branch (aves) still lives. Pterosaurs are extinct to the best of our knowledge (meaning that the fourth independent branch of flight ceased to exist). The dodo (as a species representative) is extinct. The Thylacine is classed as extinct, but if we find a living example, it will be removed from that list. According to the IUCN Red list category, they uniquely use the term with some caveats. For example, extinct in the wild represents the fact that we have managed to preserve the example(s) by way of using zoos, insemination or similar artificial means that would otherwise mean it became extinct entirely. If an organism is bread back, such as attempts have been made with the quagga for example, then it gets more complex. Which leads to the other parts of the question. As far as we know, Neanderthals/Neandertals (whether you refer to the species or subspecies https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neanderthal), is extinct, though we have found that we (Homo sapiens sapiens) have reproduced with them, based on testing the DNA of many modern humans. Rumours (by scientists too) exist that suggest the hobbit (Homo florensiensis) in parts of Indonesia still exist, but no convincing support has been brought to bear. Regarding hybrids, it is a topic that particularly interests me and I spoke a little of this, regarding cladograms on the Facebook group. For example, the largest cat to have ever existed is the Liger, which is a male Lion/female tigress hybrid, (with that combination accounting for the growth from the female tigress) but most zoos do not support such cross breeding as it offers science little and creates genetic weaknesses. Hybrids have sometimes gone on to breed with standard species or even other hybrids, but this tends to push health boundaries. Almost all big cats can interbreed, including cross continent, e.g. jaguars with lions, tigers or leopards. Did you know that in the history of the world, only one example of an African/Asian elephant has ever existed? Born in Chester zoo, England, Motty (male) was born on 11th July 1978. He only survived a couple of weeks. See photo. Phylogenetic trees do not represent such examples as it has little interest to science and is complex to represent on the cladograms or dendrograms in current use. Another reason is the definition or interpretation of a species. A species is not something that actually exists. You can’t touch a species, you can only touch an individual organism. It is a concept or a hypothesis to demonstrate (and when attempted, always seems to fail or omit something at best). Like any other taxa which equally do not exist in reality. Systematics is a better word replacement for taxonomy. The purpose of examining organisms is to systematise them. Taxonomy pre-supposes things and restricts its use. I hope this answered your question(s).
  19. Dear Alexis. Thank you so much for your ideas/suggestions. I love the idea. The down sides, are that there are potentially as many transitional points or clades or nodes, as species, so it is not practical with several million species, not least given our very limited voluntary staff and resources. Also, when one finds the most recent common ancestor (between two or more chosen species or clades) and the program traces lines of ascent from it, which line do you follow of the two or more selected species? For example, between a thylacine and a wolf. They both look similar, but a wolf is more related to an elephant than a thylacine. And do you trace it to the thylacine or the wolf? The up sides are as follows. The MRCA is something we already have. I also already have several hundred silhouette images for clades. I use Mike Keesey’s Phylopic art (http://phylopic.org/) which is free, but it obviously has only a tiny proportion of all the ever growing clades. Making a program to show the transitions selected is a great idea. One way to enable this, given the huge number required, is to do it gradually. So at first, you may just see 5 transitions, but later you may have 20, over time, as we add more. This way it is an ongoing process that works from the off, rather than having to wait to even start it. We have developers who I think could make the programme. I have always wanted visuals like this, e.g. on each node, but I love your idea of visually transitioning things when selected. I will speak to the team about this. Are you a programmer? Do you have any skills or interest in helping the project in any way? There are many things which require no skills by the way, let alone biological ones. If you would be interested in being on a committee where we discuss ideas and the like, I think you could be a real asset. If so, let me know. Thanks again, Alexis. Steve
  20. Well, there's only one post here, and it's from almost three years ago, but the category says Ideas and Suggestions, and since this is both an idea and a suggestion, I'll post it here, atleast to begin with. Here's the idea I had for the Phylogeny Explorer. I'm sure you're familiar with the small, animated GIF that shows the evolution of life from a single cell through early animals, chordates, tetrapods, etc., up through primates, monkeys, and apes, ending with humans. In case you're not sure what I'm referring to, it's a condensed animation from Carl Sagan's Cosmos documentary, and I've included below a frame from the animation, the stage where it's something akin to a dimetrodon. Well, my proposal is that, for every clade in the Phylogeny Explorer, and I know that's a huge number, at every branch point, the project include a small, simple diagram that represents that clade, either a black-and-white line drawing like the one shown here, or a solid, two-tone image. Now here's the fun part: My idea is for a simple application, Flash or Java or whatever, doesn't matter a whole lot, where you choose two (or more, even) endpoints from wherever on the tree they you like (I suspect the majority of people would probably be most interested in modern species at the rightmost end of the tree), and the program locates their most recent common ancestor, displays that ancestor in two (or more) adjacent boxes, and then animates the transition from that ancestor to the user-chosen descendants. It could even use multiple frames, with the visual transitions occurring in the top one while, on the bottom, the tree scrolls right-to-left in synch with the transitions as dots pop up and mark each branch point as it is reached in the animation. Hopefully I'm providing a sufficiently well articulated description of what I'm talking about that you haven't any trouble envisioning it. Coding the application to do the morphing would in all likelihood be the easy part. The hard part would be to assemble the massive number of pictures that would be needed; indeed, it's not merely the sheer number of images required that makes this a daunting endeavour, it's making sure that every one of those images matches its neighbours in terms of size, body layout, etc. That being said, if it allows the layman to understand just how evolution works (i.e.: shuts the Creationists' ringleaders up) by dispelling the notion of modern species being derived from other modern species, and instead shows how multiple modern species evolved from a common ancestor that we can actually point to on a phylogenetic tree, it would, in my opinion, be more than worth the effort. --Alexis Brooke
  21. Yes that would be a great animation but very expensive to make. There are animations that show spin of planets and sun but those are simple. You also have animation of smallest to biggest suns we know that one is interesting to.
  22. You’ll need to see the Queen as a node she is what gives order to the hive. Its a cpu with all the knowledge the collective has. Thinking as theBorg as a bee hive is not practical because of the hive mind. The hive mind as a whole could not run every ship, planet and unimatrix you’ll need a node. There are canon books that explain the Borg better but i haven’t read them.
  23. You know what would be cool? Something like this, except that zooms out and shows the Solar System's spin, velocity, and position with respect to the Milky Way (it's at, like, a 120° angle from the galaxy's orbital plane), and then zooms out again to show the Milky Way's and Andromeda's rotational speed, angular orientation, and linear velocity with respect to both each other and the CMBR (the two galaxies are also at a significant angle to each other, something like 60° I think). This would provide us with Earth's actual absolute speed with respect to the CMBR representing a universal stationary reference frame, since that speed depends a little bit on where it is in its orbit around the Sun, and a lot upon the Solar System's position in its orbit around Sagittarius A*.
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