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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
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?
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