‘The H. sapiens Problem’ Print Edition is Available

“The H. sapiens Problem” by Garry Rogers

The print edition of ‘The H. sapiens Problem’ is available. Here’s how it starts:

front-cover

Prolog

Why didn’t intelligence appear in Earth’s first complex creatures during the Proterozoic a billion years ago?

What if it did?

Life in the Proterozoic:  Waves from a passing pancake-shaped oblate spheroid shake two small cigar-shaped prolate spheroids with long fine flagellates. One Pro-sphere waves its flags with a question for the other:

“Know why the Obo-spheres can’t tell a joke?”

“No, why?”

“Everything they say is sooo flat.”

Jiggles.

Plot

A conflict driven by greed and an ancient grudge ensnares Corr Syl and Rhya Bright, two beautiful young warriors descended from rabbits. Humans from a neighboring city become violent and local authorities ask the two warriors to investigate. Along the way, readers meet a truly evil spider (with spider shape), witness Corr Syl’s clumsy comedic aspirations, endure silly games by other warriors, and wonder at Rhya Bright’s enthusiasm for wrecking enemies who happen along. They will also meet Z99, an intelligent warship whose quantum manipulations of dark energy allow travel through the multiverse.

Characters

  • Corr Syl and Rhya Bright are rabbit descendants and members of Earth’s global multi-species Tsaeb civilization. Like all Tsaeb, Corr and Rhya are beneficiaries of millions of years of natural evolution, scientific advance, and social development. They have internal control over their bodies down to and including their genes. Their mental control is highly advanced as well, but experiencing love, perceiving beauty, and choosing life’s directions remain the uncertain outcomes of experience and nature just as they do for one of civilization’s newest species, Homo sapiens.
    Corr and Rhya have trained as warriors, an uncommon specialty infused with knowledge developed during Earth’s post-dinosaur Age of War. Though still highly respected, warriors have faded from importance in the peaceful world of the Tsaeb. Unusual childhood experiences influenced Corr and Rhya’s decision to become warriors. However, Corr also dreams of becoming a comedian, next to warrior, the most honored profession, and Rhya is studying human psychology. These secondary interests illustrate the allure of those things we do not understand and for which we have no talent–awkward times ahead.
  • Z-99 is an intelligent warship that Corr discovers mothballed in an old museum.
  • Lactella is a Black Widow spider whose evil nature causes trouble through the entire story.
  • Ivan Johns is a human infested and controlled by Lactella.
  • Aaron Li and Ya Zhōu are typical human leaders (so you know what to expect).
  • Others:  Numerous members of the Tsaeb civilization play their parts. All but the birds have human shape. All retain the original skin covering: the fur, feathers, and coloring of their ancestors.

Story Provenance — Corr Syl Stories Merged

The principal conflict in the earlier books, ‘Warrior’ and ‘Terrible’, is between the Tsaeb and the human species. I considered spinning off stand-alone Tsaeb stories, but I was more interested in developing the Tsaeb civilization as a mirror for human nature. ‘Terrible’ is not really an independent story. It is the concluding chapter in the Tsaeb-human conflict. In fact, reviewers said that ‘Terrible’ was difficult to follow without first having read ‘Warrior’. Thus, it seemed best to rewrite and unify the stories. ‘The H. sapiens Problem’, has fewer slow spots and more character detail. It concludes with the revelation that two warring alien species are approaching Earth. Given a chance, either will consume our planet, leaving nothing behind. I have always loved space opera. The next book has space ships, grand starry vistas, and desperate flights across the cosmos.

Whoopee!

WHOOPEE!

Print Details

  • Publication Date:  Jan 3, 2017
  • Publisher:  Coldwater Press – (928) 925-7191 – PO Box 1011, Humboldt, AZ  86329
  • ISBN-13: 9781541157187
  • ISBN-10: 1541157184
  • Size:  6.0″ x 9.0″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm),
    88,300 words, 390 pages
  • Print Identifiers:
  •          ISBN-13:  978-1541157187
  •          LCCN: 2016921063
  •          ISBN-10: 1541157184
  •          BISAC:  Juvenile Fiction / Science Fiction
  • Subjects: LCSH Environmental protection–Fiction. | Conservation of natural resources–Fiction. | Human ecology–Fiction. | Environmentalism–Fiction. | Science fiction. | BISAC JUVENILE FICTION / Science Fiction.
  • Classification: LCC PZ7 .R633 Hs 2017 | DDC [Fic]–dc23
  • Audience:  Teens
  • Price:         $21.95
  • Available everywhere, including Gifts and Games in Humboldt, Arizona (928-227-2775).

eBook Details

  • Publication Date:  Dec. 7, 2016
  • Publisher:  Amazon/Coldwater Press
  • Size:  3499 KB, 88,000 words
  • ASIN: B01N6EOQ1T
  • Audience:  Teens
  • Price:  $ 2.99
  • Available from Amazon.com

Story Provenance

The principal conflict in the earlier books, Warrior and Terrible, is between the Tsaeb and the irresponsible human species. I considered spinning off stand-alone Tsaeb stories, but I was more interested in developing the Tsaeb future. Thus,Terrible is not really an independent story. It is the concluding chapter in the Tsaeb-human conflict. In fact, reviewers said that “Terrible” was difficult to follow without first having read “Warrior.” So, all in all, it seemed best to rewrite and unify the stories. I removed some of the slow spots, added some character details, resolved the conflict, and set up the approaching confrontation with two alien species, a confrontation that humans must face along with the rest of the Tsaeb in a struggle to survive a massive onslaught by two advanced alien species.  I have always loved space opera. So, the next book will have space ships, grand starry vistas, and desperate flights across the cosmos.

Reviews

Write a review for Amazon.

We assumed #fish didn’t care about each other. We were wrong.

“Researchers have long thought fish were heartless and cold, incapable of the relationships mammals cultivate, but new research among fish in coral reefs suggests fish can work in long-term paired relationships.
By Lucy Schouten, Staff September 29, 2015

“A diver snorkels in the Great Barrier Reef off Australia’s Queensland state. Rabbitfishes from a coral reef have just been found to exhibit reciprocal cooperation, meaning they are the first fish known to take care of each other.
“Fish living in the vast network of coral reefs near Australia are already known to moviegoers for their devotion, thanks to the loving clownfish father-and-son pair in Pixar’s “Finding Nemo.”  From: exposingthebiggame.wordpress.com

GR:  The Bluegill in my ponds defend their nests against predators.  It seems that there are usually two defenders, but I haven’t watched enough to be sure.

Decoded octopus genome reveals secrets to complex intelligence

“The elusive octopus genome has finally been untangled, which should allow scientists to discover answers to long-mysterious questions about the animal’s alienlike physiology: How does it camouflage itself so expertly? How does it control—and regenerate—those eight flexible arms and thousands of suckers? And, most vexing: How did a relative of the snail get to be so incredibly smart—able to learn quickly, solve puzzles and even use tools?

“The findings, published today in Nature, reveal a vast, unexplored landscape full of novel genes, unlikely rearrangements—and some evolutionary solutions that look remarkably similar to those found in humans. (Scientific American is part of Nature Publishing Group.)

With the largest-known genome in the invertebrate world—similar in size to that of a house cat (2.7 billion base pairs) and with more genes (33,000) than humans (20,000 to 25,000)—the octopus sequence has long been known to be large and confusing. Even without a genetic map, these animals and their cephalopod cousins (squids, cuttlefishes and nautiluses) have been common subjects for neurobiology and . . . .”  Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.salon.com

GR:  Again, I have to say, “We are Not Alone.”  SETI scientists are prepared to attempt to decode any message they receive from space.  Perhaps they should concentrate on understanding the communications of animals on Earth.  Before it’s too late.

Are Namibia’s Rhinos Now Under Siege?

GR:  Nowhere is safe for rhinos. Once intelligence arose alone without the guidance of wisdom, most of Earth’s species were doomed. Can our species survive when only the toughest ruderals remain? Perhaps we will die or send a small colony into space. Either way, evolution could once again begin to recreate the biological riches it held when we appeared. Probably not. Why go to space when we can cover Earth with solar cells, wind turbines, hydro-generators, and of course, hydroponic greenhouses. With only small adjustments, our current non-sapient behavioral systems will survive.

strange behaviors

Early this year in The New York Times, I wrote an op-ed in praise of Namibia’s work in restoring populations of endangered black rhinos and, more important, in avoiding the poaching nightmare taking place next door in South Africa (on track to lose 1100 rhinos this year).  Here’s part of that piece:

Daniel Alfeus //Hawaxab-- aka Boxer Daniel Alfeus //Hawaxab– aka Boxer

Namibia is just about the only place on earth to have gotten conservation right for rhinos and, incidentally, a lot of other wildlife. Over the past 20 years, it has methodically repopulated one area after another as its rhino population has steadily increased. As a result, it is now home to 1,750 of the roughly 5,000 black rhinos surviving in the wild … In neighboring South Africa, government officials stood by haplessly as poachers slaughtered almost a thousand rhinos last year alone. Namibia lost just two.

But a new report says the…

View original post 543 more words

What if humans abandoned half the planet to wildlife?: A conversation with E.O. Wilson

“E.O. Wilson is a scientist and author who’s concerned with everything from insect society to the consciousness of humans. Over the past 60 years, he’s uncovered fascinating facts about the altruism of ants, won two Pulitzer Prizes for non-fiction, and created the field of sociobiology — the study of how evolution affects our behavior today.

“His latest book, The Meaning of Human Existence, features his scientifically driven musings about the nature of humanity and the biggest challenges we face as a species. I recently spoke to him about what scientific disciplines he thinks are key to solving them — and why he believes we need to set aside half the Earth for other species as soon as possible.”

Source: www.vox.com

GR:  In this interview, Wilson also talks about his next book, the one that argues for half the planet for wildlife.

Study shows sharks have personalities

Exeter, UK (SPX) Oct 03, 2014 –
Some sharks are ‘gregarious’ and have strong social connections, whilst others are more solitary and prefer to remain inconspicuous, according to a new study which is the first to show that the notorious predators have personality traits.

Source: www.terradaily.com

GR:  Further confirmation that fish, like other sentient beings, share some of our psychological traits.

 

Sentience in Plants: Plants Respond to Sound of Chewing Caterpillars

Plants Hear and Respond

12-IMG_3490

Caterpillars on a Grape Leaf

“Previous studies have suggested that plant growth can be influenced by sound and that plants respond to wind and touch. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri, in a collaboration that brings together audio and chemical analysis, have determined that plants respond to the sounds that caterpillars make when eating plants and that the plants respond with more defenses.

“Previous research has investigated how plants respond to acoustic energy, including music,” said Heidi Appel, senior research scientist in the Division of Plant Sciences in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources and the Bond Life Sciences Center at MU. “However, our work is the first example of how plants respond to an ecologically relevant vibration. We found that feeding vibrations signal changes in the plant cells’ metabolism, creating more defensive chemicals that can repel attacks from caterpillars.”Appel collaborated with Rex Cocroft, professor in the Division of Biological Sciences at MU. In the study, caterpillars were placed on Arabidopsis, a small flowering plant related to cabbage and mustard. Using a laser and a tiny piece of reflective material on the leaf of the plant, Cocroft was able to measure the movement of the leaf in response to the chewing caterpillar.

“Cocroft and Appel then played back recordings of caterpillar feeding vibrations to one set of plants, but played back only silence to the other set of plants. When caterpillars later fed on both sets of plants, the researchers found that the plants previously exposed to feeding vibrations produced more mustard oils, a chemical that is unappealing to many caterpillars.

“What is remarkable is that the plants exposed to different vibrations, including those made by a gentle wind or different insect sounds that share some acoustic features with caterpillar feeding vibrations did not increase their chemical defenses,” Cocroft said. “This indicates that the plants are able to distinguish feeding vibrations from other common sources of environmental vibration.”

Source: www.eurekalert.org

GR:  Plants don’t share many of the traits we think of as intelligence.  Like animals, however, they can act to defend against injury. They can move their leaves and stems, and they can produce repellant chemicals.

Scientists usually view plants as static forms that build defenses as natural selection acts on reproductive success.  The traits associated with plant growth, reproduction, and dispersal are sometimes called strategies, but not in the sense that foresight and planning are involved. Considering the limited sentience plants exhibit, this seems appropriate.  Still, it would be interesting to devise an IQ test for plants.  We could find out which ones are the most sagacious.