I’m taking my time working up Chapter 5 of the cat evolution series because it’s a little tricky to figure out.
The topic is extraterrestrial life, but I want to use this as a springboard that launches us back at Earth: life on Earth, generally, and cats and humans in particular.
Tricky, but it should be possible.
I’ve let everything else ride for a bit, though the Sunday Campanian volcanoes series is scheduled and will play out.
As part of the work, I just redid the chapter list over at bjdeming.net. Here’s the current one (will update these links, too, as new chapters are published):
- To Make a Cat.
- Time: Human vs. Geological.
- What is Life?
- Does Life Exist Elsewhere?
- Main Character: Earth.
- Main Character: Plate Tectonics.
- Volcanism: A Main Character?
- Early Life on Earth.
- Main Character: Tetrapods.
- Mammals vs. Dinosaurs: Round 1.
- Mammals vs. Dinosaurs, Round 2.
- Mammals vs. Dinosaurs, Round 3.
- The K/T (K/Pg) Extinction.
- Paleocene Mammals and Dinosaurs.
- Eocene Saber-toothed “Cats.”
- The Big Freeze.
- Oligocene Wildlife.
- Cats and “Dogs.”
- Miocene Saber-toothed “Cats.”
- Miocene Cats, With and Without Saberteeth.
- The Miocene-Pliocene Toll Bridge.
- Smilodon and Homotherium.
- Main Character: Felinae, the “Cone-tooths.”
- South America is Invaded.
- The Ice Ages Begin.
- Seeking Refuge.
- Plio-Pleistocene Wildlife.
- Main Character: Us.
- The End of Sabertooths and Most Giants.
- Choosing Hard Work Over Life in Eden.
- Domestication of a Little Wildcat.
The biggest change is dropping one chapter (now 34 in total). Natural selection is a big topic and by no means settled, from what I can read about it; also, a separate chapter on it moves us away from the focus on cats.
I simply eliminated the chapter on natural selection and will just work this evolutionary factor in when it’s called for in other chapters.
Now for a little fun.
Got looking into possible plant intelligence while investigating approaches to the ET life chapter — it’s a VERY controversial topic, to say the least.
But along the way, I realized that here on Earth ordinary life survives and thrives in ways that we humans can’t even see clearly without technical assistance:
By either speeding things up…
…or slowing them down. How and why did cheetahs evolve, anyway?
This is such a great planet!
Featured image: Wabisabi2015, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.