Tag Archives: evolution ontology

Ontology of fear

Brian Rea's fears mural

Brian Rea, a designer, art director, and artist, is the topic of a recent online article in Fast Company magazine. Rea has created two giant murals (7 x 3.5-meters, according to Fast Company), on which he has written the names of various fears, organized by type. For instance, there are major categories for fears about physical/natural events, emotional events, supernatural events, and political events.

UFO #1

Rea told Fast Company that he “spent a few months researching UFO sightings and reports from the last 50 years” in order to depict fears about UFO’s.

UFO image #2

It seems to me that looking at these murals might provide some insight into an ontology of fears. Besides the intrinsic interest of such an ontology, I suspect it might be useful to psychiatrists or psychologists looking for insight about hallucinations, paranoia, anxiety, and other moods and mental states. I haven’t been able to identify any such ontology currently being built, and I hope that interested ontologists searching the Internet might come across this posting.

The murals are being shown at the Murals exhibition in Barcelona, Spain, at the Fundació Joan Miró, until 6 June 2010.

Entelechy: Online journal of ideas with an evolutionary flavor


SUNY New Paltz Psychology department faculty member Alice Andrews is the editor and publisher of an online journal, Entelechy: Mind and Culture. Entelechy (see review at left) publishes an eclectic mix of poetry, short fiction, essays, and visual art and makes for stimulating browsing. Evolutionary biology is a central theme. The “about” page describes it as follows.

Concerned with ideas — psychological, philosophical, spiritual, scientific, political, mathematical, semiotic, memetic, postmodern, evolutionary, and revolutionary.

Darwin-touched — Evolutionary fiction and biofiction; Darwinian literary criticism; as well as essays, art, poems, and reviews with evolutionary themes.

Visionary — e.g., work by artists and writers who want to connect with their audience; who are driven to heal or raise the consciousness of their audience (i.e., who are compelled to affect their audience emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, aesthetically, morally); who are fearless in style and content.

3rd-culture —i.e., work which attempts to bridge the arts and humanities with science. Work, then, by artistic and literary scientists; as well as scientific/science-interested writers and artists, and anything in-between and beyond.

Many contributions highlight sexuality, attraction, romance, and beauty, enlightening them as lived experiences of human relationship, expressions of desire—and as an element of human biology, and so, a product of our evolution.

Andrews has explored this area in a novel, Trine Erotic, described at Amazon.com as follows:

[P]erhaps the first novel to explore evolutionary psychology (the new ‘science of the mind’). This ‘novel of ideas’ — what author Andrews calls ‘evolutionary fiction,’biofiction,’ and ‘meta-seductive fiction’– also explores why we write: to seduce (as mating strategy), to process, to heal ourselves and ultimately readers, to find meaning.

The latest issue on the web site is Fall 2009, issue #9, and a message on the home page states that the journal is not accepting new submissions. There is plenty of browsing still to be had. It would be unfortunate if the publication were closing down for good.

Andrews is helping to set up an Evolutionary Studies program at New Paltz, on the model created by David Sloane Wilson and colleagues at SUNY Binghamton. Best luck, Alice, in your efforts!

New lab instrument invaluable in search for truth


The new apparatus with the Rock Splitter.

A new instrument has been obtained for use in the Invertebrate Paleontology & Evolution Ontology Lab at AMNH. It’s seen here photographed with that other low-tech but important tool, the rock crusher/splitter. Who knew that such a powerful tool such as the rock splitter could be used with such precision? The thinnest flake of layered shale can be split off fully intact.


The new apparatus with the MK II and a trilobite.

The new apparatus is pictured in the next photo with our lab mascot, the Nikon MK II Fiber Optic Light. A note on it says “taking the microscope to rm 114,” with the word “back” inserted between “microscope” and “to rm 114.” Until recently, there was dissecting microscope with the MK II. I take it that the person who took the microscope “back to rm 114” also took the fiber optic lights from the MK II. I say that possession is nine-tenths of the law, and since our lab was home to that microscope for many years, I may just bring it “back” to its rightful spot, bringing along the MK II’s lights too.