Trees Prove That Life Isn't Just about Survival of the Fittest
Trees are far from dumb; they talk and share, because they need each other to live better lives.
Jag Bhalla is an entrepreneur, inventor and writer. His current project is Errors We Live By, a series of short exoteric essays exposing errors in the big ideas running our lives, details at www.errorsweliveby.com. His last book was I'm Not Hanging Noodles On Your Ears, a surreptitious science gift book from National Geographic Books, details at www.hangingnoodles.com. That explains his twitter handle @hangingnoodles.
1. A lone tree does not live as long. That fact could shift views of how the whole tree of life works.
2. Trees are social, reveals Peter Wohlleben’s The Hidden Life of Trees, they “talk” and share.
7. So much for Richard Dawkins' claim that “there is no welfare state in nature.”
9. As microbiome research has shown “symbiosis isn’t rare. It’s the rule.” All natural animals and plants use collaboration.
10. The "red in tooth and claw" view of biology needs to be updated, says David G. Haskell in The Forest Unseen. Nature’s “economy has as many trade unions as robber barons.”
11. The idea that biology is dominated by individual genomes ruthlessly competing is turning out to be “pleasant fiction” (Ed Yong).
12. A gene’s survival “vehicle” (the genes that every selfish gene must cooperate with to survive) typically extends beyond its body. Those survival vehicles can include its herd, or in our “by nature self-deficient” case, our “teammates”.
Illustration by Julia Suits, author of The Extraordinary Catalog of Peculiar Inventions, and The New Yorker cartoonist.
The stories we tell define history. So who gets the mic in America?
- History is written by lions. But it's also recorded by lambs.
- In order to understand American history, we need to look at the events of the past as more prismatic than the narrative given to us in high school textbooks.
- Including different voices can paint a more full and vibrant portrait of America. Which is why more walks of American life can and should be storytellers.
A glass of juice has as much sugar, ounce for ounce, as a full-calorie soda. And those vitamins do almost nothing.
Quick: think back to childhood (if you've reached the scary clown you've gone too far). What did your parents or guardians give you to keep you quiet? If you're anything like most parents, it was juice. But here's the thing: juice is bad for you.
Orangutans join humans and bees in a very exclusive club
- Orangutan mothers wait to sound a danger alarm to avoid tipping off predators to their location
- It took a couple of researchers crawling around the Sumatran jungle to discover the phenomenon
- This ability may come from a common ancestor
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