Astral Aspiration: aromorphic evolution, a third perspective on the Starchild Skull

“Every man and every woman is a star.”

-Aleister Crowley

“The infant represents our evolutionary future.”

-Ray Peat

Aromorphosis: a morphological process of metabolic intensification,  whereby living organisms become increasingly complex over the span of evolution.

“Introduced by A. N. Severtsov, “who used the word “aromorphosis” to refer to the most general adaptive changes in organization and functions. Aromorphosis is usually accompanied by an increase in the intensity of the life processes of animals and in the variety of their manifestations (differentiation). These changes are useful and essential when the habitats of the organisms change while the organisms remain stable. Aromorphosis enables qualitative jumps that raise the level of organization of a species and enable it to adapt to life under new conditions, thus helping to enlarge its range.”

…  “As an example of aromorphosis in the evolution of higher vertebrates Severtsov cites the qualitative jump in the transition from reptilian ancestors to mammals. The four-chambered heart, the alveolar structure of the lungs, diaphragmatic breathing, and other factors raised the level of metabolism in mammals and increased their ability to adapt to changes in living conditions. Bearing young in the mother’s uterus and feeding them milk extended their chances of survival.”

-from the Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979).

The Starchild skull is an unusual skull  that was found in Mexico somewhere in the region of Chihuaha around the Copper Canyon area.


The Starchild Skull

Most of the debate around the skull has been around whether or not it is an alien / alien-human hybrid or just a deformed human skull, however a third possibility may exist.

The skull is extraordinary, truly remarkable, and the position of individuals such as Lloyd Pye who made the skull famous, that the skull must be at least partially extraterrestrial is understandable, a position that seems more reasonable than the standard sceptic’s reponse of it’s just hydrocephalic and /or progerioid.

More detailed information on the unusual features of the skull can be found at:

The Starchild project

The unusual features of the skull:


The Starchild Skull: Alien or Elfin?

The volume of the interior of the skull is 1,600 cubic cm, 200cm3 larger than the average adult’s and 400cm3 larger than an adult of equivalent size.


Left: Starchild (with reconstructed lower face). Right: Adult human

The orbits of the eyes are oval and unusually shallow.

It appears the skull would have had relatively small cheek bones and small muscles for chewing food as these muscles pass through the zygomatic arches.

The skull lacks frontal sinuses.

The bone is unusually thin, but also appears to be highly durable, exceptionally hard, Lloyd Pye has claimed that the bone was incredibly difficult to cut through and is woven through by odd fibres, yet to be identified.

A mineral analysis of the bone shows significant differences to typical human bone, most notably containing an unusually high amount of carbon and oxygen (carbon dioxide?).


Elemental Analysis

Genetic material recovered from the skull appears unusual, mitochondrial DNA from the starchild skull differs from human, generally the maximum number of mtDNA variations between humans is 120. The Starchild Skull has between 800-1,000 differences.

Nuclear DNA, some of the starchild’s nuclear DNA may be different from anything previously found on earth, including a fragment several thousand nucleotides long that could not be matched to any recorded DNA.

The Starchild’s FoxP2 gene also appears significantly different from human, this is a gene which appears to be involved in a number of processes in the body, including speech, oro-facial development as well as being involved in the development of the alveoli of the lungs, a large brain like the Starchild’s would require an efficient respiratory system.

Early tests appeared to show that standard X and Y chromosomes were present, suggesting that the child was a human male or at least had human parents. Mitochondrial DNA also appeared to belong to haplogroup C (a Native American group).

I don’t think the possibly significant genetic differences require extra-terrestrials to explain, given the evidence for non-random directed genetic mutation, it seems possible that a biology that is liquid crystalline and energetically coherent across multiple domains would allow for sudden meaningful and significant adaptive evolutionary jumps especially when conscious organismic intelligence is recognised as fundamental to and inseparable from biology. Organismic bioenergetic coherence would allow for seemingly vast evolutionary jumps with the new organism differing significantly and meaningfully at the genetic level from the parent organism.

The early results also strongly suggest the skull at least has a connection to earth humans.

What I would like to suggest is that the skull is neither deformed nor alien, instead it may be neo/meta-human, an evolutionary stride forwards.


Artists impression of Starchild in life: Tommy Allison

So why do I think this might be the case? Well the skull and some of the reconstructions based on it appear remarkably neotenous, that is it preserves very youthful features, large brain size, large, eyes, relatively small face in comparison to the head size, for more on neoteny as an evolutionary tendency see:

Chapter 4 of Ray Peat’s Generative Energy


Left:infant chimp. Right: adult chimp.




I think the mineral analysis is interesting, if carbon dioxide is as biologically significant as I suspect, acting in some sense as a sort of electrical doping agent increasing the conductivity of proteins, it might be expected that a more evolved and energetic organism might show signs of exposure to higher levels of carbon dioxide.

For more on CO2 see: Ray Peat’s articles

I think some of the unusual qualities of the bone might be explainable by increased trophic activity of the nerves, resulting in a more qualitatively developed bone as a result of increased quality of innervation, denervation of bone results in osteoporotic bone, so it does not seem unreasonable that increased nerve energy might result in a developmental advance in bone quality.


Hydrocephalic skull

I’m not convinced by the explanation that the skull is of cradleboarded hydrocephalic infant, or a child with progeria, the morphology of the skull while unusual appears coherent and the unusual qualities of the bone, if Lloyd Pye has reported them accurately, seem incompatible with either hydrocephalus or progeria. In progeria bones show hypoplasia and dysplasia, yet the starchild bone is reported to be super-humanly tough.

I don’t think it’s necessary to bring extra-terrestrials into the picture to explain the starchild skull, other factors that might be involved include the altitude, leading to increased carbon dioxide retention on the part of both the child and mother, possible yogic / meditative / spiritual practice on the part of the mother resulting in an optimized uterine environment for the developing organism.

If the skull is 900 years old this would place it within the Medieval warm period which lasted from AD 950 – 1250, in Europe this was a period of abundant food as result of the warmer climate and milder winters, as has been pointed out by others including Randall Carlson, this abundance of food and more hospitable climate may have contributed to developments in art and culture that resulted in Gothic architecture, it is possible that these more nurturing conditions allowed for the aromorphic evolution seen in the Starchild skull. Other various and unknown reasons might also be involved, likely requiring a highly permissive environment free from the usual distorting cultural stressors a developing child would encounter, allowing for the child to devote its conscious energies to the realization and expansion of its developmental potentials, allowing for autopoietic evolution.

The suggestion that the starchild’s differences are a result of an autopoietic evolution might seem strange even impossible, but only if you believe in a mechanical model of evolutionary change that depends on random mutations selected out by a blind mechanism “red in tooth and claw”, if it is recognized that evolution is a living organic participatory process that intimately involves conscious intelligence, then the suggestion that the starchild skull might be the result of a conscious organic probing into a new potential biopsychic state seems natural, and if this sort of evolution is possible for one then it must be possible for others.



Muscle, Metabolism, Mitochondria, and Metamorphic Mutation Magick

Why should you study and practice Magick?
Because you can’t help doing it, and you had better do it well than badly.”
-Aleister Crowley 666


Tantravayanarasana- Peter Parker’s pose “With great power comes great responsibility.”

Part 1: Posture and Prana

The use of static postures is common to both Hatha Yoga and Qigong and various internal martial arts such as Tai Chi Chuan, these postures are often recommended to be held for extreme lengths of time for example 3 hour headstands and stories of Internal Kung fu masters who would not accept a student unless they could hold a posture such as “embracing the tree” for 2 hours. To people familiar with only typical exercises involving repetitive gross movements, these static practices often seem odd, masochistic, pointless, or even insane. However if we think about the body in greater depth these practices might turn out to be wily and wise.

There are two main types of muscle fibre in the body, type 1 slow contracting fibres heavily reliant on oxidative metabolism, possessing high quantities of mitochondria (the cellular organelles responsible for energy production), these type 1 fibres possess a rich capillary network and are red in colour, these muscle fibres are those which must be active for extended periods of time, maintaining posture or engaged in continuous but hopefully not too strenuous activity. The type 2 fibres, of which there is a further variety of subtypes, are less reliant on oxidative metabolism, making greater use of glycolysis, a less efficient form of energy production that produces less ATP than oxidative metabolism and more lactic acid, they contain fewer mitochondria, these fibres are generally white in colour as they have less blood supply, these fibres contract quickly and powerfully and are used when bursts of explosive power are required.

Muscle tissue exhibits a high degree of plasticity,  up regulation and down regulation of the different fibre types occurs in response to use and disuse. Nerve impulse patterns, neuromuscular activity, and mechanical loading play roles in the maintenance and transition of muscle fibre phenotypes. The type, intensity, and duration of changes in any of these factors, can cause muscle fibres to shift their phenotype to respond to the altered demands. Fibre transitions result from multiple changes in gene expression involving up and down regulation of genes involved in producing different myosin types in the fibre types (Pette 2001). After inactivity the slow red (type 1) fibres decrease leaving an increased proportion of fast white (type 2) fibres. Paraplegic subjects develop uniform fast fibre muscle composition within 6-12 months of injury (Polla et al. 2004). Both endurance and resistance exercise can cause the conversion of 2X fibres to 2A fibres, type 2A fibres are better supplied by capillaries and have more mitochondria and greater oxidative metabolism than 2X fibres but the 2A are not as metabolically active as type 1 fibres.

From all the available studies it appears much more difficult to increase type 1 fibres than other fibre types, extreme endurance exercise can do it but I think that can be problematic. However I suspect that if exercise such as Yoga posture and qigong standing practice were to be studied it might be found that they increase type 1 fibres. In addition to the long holds used being likely to stimulate type 1 fibres, there are studies which show that stretching appears to signal the conversion of type 2 muscles into type 1 (Goldspink et al. 1991). The muscle in this study was stimulated while in a stretched position , this is similar to the kind of activity in many yoga asanas where muscle must be active while stretched, this is not an eccentric contraction (where a muscle stretches while bearing a load, eg. walking downhill) which can damage mitochondria, but isometric contraction while the muscle is already stretched. The muscle in this study grew rapidly as much as 30% in 4 days. Muscles deprived of stretch will not differentiate into type 1 (Goldspink et al.1992).

The slow controlled movements used in Tai Chi and qigong involve rhythmic waves on contraction and subtle stretching and would be expected to stimulate type 1 slow red postural muscle development.

Patterns of activity can reshape the organism, type 1 fibres can become type 2 fibres if subjected to either disuse or if activity patterns change from continuous slower more controlled movement to rapid contraction, these changes involve a decrease in innervation, slow myosin is turned off when contraction speed increases and the fibres become innervated by only single motor neurons.

Physical activity is known to have a trophic effect on the brain, it seems likely that the increased innervation of type 1 fibres would mean that activities that maintain and cultivate these muscle fibre types should have an increased trophic effect on the brain, the more challenging balance and inverted postures of yoga seem especially likely to have such an effect, the slow controlled movements of Tai Chi should function similarly, as should dance, and multiple other activities climbing seems likely to cultivate type 1 fibres and have an increased trophic effect on the brain as the climber actively imagines routes up a rock face.

The postural muscles also seem likely to play a role in the organism’s energy level, in addition to containing more mitochondria than type 2 muscle fibres, type 1 fibres express more of an enzyme that converts T4 into the active thyroid hormone T3, type 2 iodothyronine deiodinase (Marsili et al. 2010). It seems possible that postural habits may be capable of signaling up or down regulated metabolism, if postural muscles are inactive this might lead to increased circulating T4, there is some evidence that increased T4 can suppress metabolism through conversion to reverse T3 suppressing mitochondrial respiration (Goumaz et al.1987).

Diabetics have reduced type 1 fibres and increased proportions of type 2 fibres (Oberbach et al. 2006). Cultivating type 1 fibres through exercise and lifestyle might be therapeutic.
The increased metabolic activity of type 1 fibres is also likely to contribute to softer and more fluid connective tissues, as the increased carbon dioxide, produced from oxidative metabolism, will interact with the amino groups of proteins and glycoproteins that make up the connective tissues altering the way these proteins interact with water leading to a more fluid and flexible body.

As people age they tend to experience muscle loss and become more prone to falls and consequent bone fractures, during aging blood flow and the capillary to fibre ratio decreases, promoting the development of the type 1 postural muscles would seem to be of importance in avoiding the increasing danger of medicalisation with age.
Increased activity of the postural muscles will support structural integrity of the body at multiple levels, blood flow efficiency will be increased, the increased innervation will also make body fat accumulation less likely as denervation can increase lipogenesis (Youngstrom and Bartness 1998).
Continual cultivation of perpetual poise discourages development of such sicknesses as hernias and haemorrhoids.

Part 2 Asana and Attitude

“Some see Nature all Ridicule & Deformity, & by these I shall not regulate my proportions; & some scarce see Nature at all. But to the Eyes of the Man of Imagination, Nature is Imagination itself. As a man is, so he sees. As the Eye is formed, such are its Powers.”
-William Blake

In addition to effects on muscle phenotype posture has other subtler effects, different postures involve different patterns of nerve activity which will affect the endocrine organs, including the thyroid a master regulator of metabolism, conscious shifts in posture will change innervation patterns and endocrine function. A study examining the effects of posture on hormone function found that adopting an expansive posture for even a minute or two could lead to elevated testosterone and decreased cortisol (Carney et al. 2010). The same study found that individuals who adopted open expansive postures were more likely to engage in risky behaviour, individuals who adopted collapsed low power postures showed decreased testosterone and elevated cortisol and were more risk averse.
It seems likely that posture can affect every hormone produced, systems such as yoga and qigong all emphasise the importance of the spine, and seek to cultivate strong, flexible spines, they also emphasise keeping the spine straight during meditation, with yoga emphasising postures such as padmasana (lotus) and siddhasana (adepts/perfect) both of which encourage a very straight alignment of the spine, with the back of the neck kept long, this alignment seems likely to encourage production of the youth associated neurosteroids, pregnenolone, progesterone, and dhea. This sort of alignment is intensified during pranayama performed with mulabandha (contraction of the pelvic floor), uddiyana bandha (vacuuming the abdomen in and up under the rib cage), and jalandhara bandha (contraction of the throat with the chin dropping in towards the space between the collar bones).



Krishnamacharya applying jalandhara, uddiyanna, and mula bandhas while in mulabandhasana.

Given these effects of posture on biology it should be possible to make therapeutic use of postural play to transform multiple challenges individuals are faced with, even conditions where it is believed an individual has encountered an impassable genetic wall in the developmental unfolding might be capable of change, Down’s syndrome, caused by an extra copy of chromosome 21 might seem like one of these impassable genetic walls, but this attitude seems inherently limiting. Individuals affected by Down’s syndrome generally show some common postural features, including a forward head posture and generally poor muscle tone, if affected individuals could be encouraged into new postural habits some change might be possible. The forward head posture likely alters blood and cerebrospinal fluid flow to the brain inhibiting its full development. Seeing the trophic effects of exercise on the brain as well as the trophic effects of the brain on tissues, there is clearly considerable inertia to overcome in this condition but change may be possible if skillful means are used to encourage new postural patterns, and other supportive therapies are included that focus on optimising metabolism.


Shifts in postural muscle use over generations seem likely to be a significant factor driving speciation, changes in environment would lead to shifts in how the organism interacts with its environment and moves through its environment. New patterns of muscle activity will change nerve activity reshaping an organism’s consciousness as it actively imagines new ways of relating to its environment.


Part 3: Diaphragmic Diabolism

“Concentration is the root of all the higher abilities in man.”
–Bruce Lee

The diaphragm is major postural muscle in humans and has great significance in preserving our highest functioning. The diaphragm is a uniquely mammalian structure, reptiles and amphibians have only a non-muscular membraneus septum separating the lungs from the digestive organs, or in some a pseudo diaphragm. Reptilian lungs have relatively coarse structure, larger air spaces and less surface area than mammalian lungs, amphibian lungs are simpler still, often little more than simple balloon structures, some amphibians lack lungs and breathe through their skin. Mammals have highly lobated alveolar lungs, with very large surface area and high diffusion capacity but low compliance, it is our muscular diaphragm which  enables them to function efficiently through the creation of negative pressure allowing for fine control of ventilation. The structure of our lungs and diaphragm is key to maintaining our intense metabolism. If these structures degrade then systemic degeneration is inevitable unless function can be restored, the organism will be forced to function at a lower energy level, one that is incapable of maintaining the complex structures we have developed over the course of our evolution.



Small mammals (such as shrews and mice) have high metabolisms, the fibre composition of their diaphragm is in some cases uniformly made up of type 1 slow red  oxidative muscle fibres, dense in mitochondria. Large mammals (such as cows) have a proportionally lower metabolism, their diaphragms contain a higher proportion of type 2 fast white glycolytic fibres, with fewer mitochondria.

Small mammals breathe more times per minute than large mammals, these breaths will involve more continual activity of the diaphragm, promoting type 1 slow red fibres. Large mammals breathe more slowly, but these movements are intermittent  and less isometric tension will be maintained through the diaphragm, promoting  type 2 fast white glycolytic fibres (Gautier and Padykula 1966).
Does the metabolic activity of the diaphragm reflect the overall metabolic intensity of the organism? A tendency seen in evolution appears to be a movement to generally finer muscle fibres, amphibians and reptiles tend to have thicker muscle fibres than birds and mammals, type 1 fibres are thinner than type 2 fibres, this suggests that as organisms evolve and raise their energy level they become more finely woven.

Cultivating the function of the diaphragm might be capable of raising our energy level, I have seen a few claims that the diaphragm cannot be exercised but I think the individuals who made these claims have not thought them through sufficiently. In addition to its function in respiration the diaphragm is also a postural muscle one that plays a key role in maintaining our characteristically upright posture, stabilising our body during a range of movements (Hodges et al. 1997). Activities that require complex postural stabilisation; dance, hand balancing and some of the more demanding postures and transitions of yoga should all strengthen and tone the diaphragm.

The traditional pranayama practices of Hatha Yoga will also train and cultivate the diaphragm, the practice of uddiyana bandha combined with kumbhaka (breath retention), will both stretch the diaphragm and tone it through isometric contraction, both of which cultivate type 1 muscle fibres. The type of breathing emphasised in some qigong systems, a very fine, long slow, and super subtle breath, without retentions should also work similarly.

If there are activities that  can cultivate the diaphragm there are likely activities that do the opposite generally unconscious postural habits might lead to the degeneration of some of the diaphragm’s function, if it is not needed then tissue tends to degenerate, fear furniture.

While extreme endurance activity tends to promote type 1 muscle fibres in most skeletal muscles, I think in the diaphragm it might have the opposite effect. Extreme endurance athletes have been found to show increased rates of asthma (Helenius et al. 1997). This might be a result of the increased oxygen demand during exercise leading to increased ventillaton, and larger coarser movements of the diaphragm, resulting in the phenotype of the diaphragm muscle fibres shifting away from the slow red type 1 towards increased fast white type 2 fibres, this would also result in decreased innervation to the diaphragm making it difficult to control breathing at rest, promoting hyperventilation, carbon dioxide loss, decreasing the Bohr effect and so decreasing oxygenation of tissues at rest. If people insist on that sort of endurance exercise then it might be useful to also practice breath control at rest to promote type 1 muscle fibres as well as being attentive to breathing during exercise.

Increased type 1 fibres are found in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), however other pathological alterations to the respiratory system have also occured here, the lungs become inflamed, functional surface decreases, the lungs lose surface area, airspaces enlarge, the lungs swell and the diaphragm becomes chronically shortened, the muscle fibres lose sarcomeres, now the diaphragm can only make small rapid movements, and other muscles of the chest heave in an attempt to overcome the lost function.
Breathing exercises  performed badly due to misunderstandings might lead to degeneration of the diaphragm, I have met a few people who seem to have made their breathing habits worse through breathing exercises, when you practice notice what is happening. People often talk about practicing deep breathing, they mean exchanging large volumes of air massively altering the internal atmosphere of the lungs, carbon dioxide and water vapour are lost, and the highly sensitive membranes of the lungs become damaged and inflamed losing their efficiency. Often these individuals will have been told pranayama is good because it increases the elimination of useless waste products of metabolism such as carbon dioxide, a completely mistaken idea. Mouth breathing is likely the worst breathing habit, the enlarged airway means the diaphragm will not be called to work  effectively, type 1 slow red fibres will be down regulated, encouraging a less innervated diaphragm, decreasing control of breathing,  causing degeneration and the lowering of an organism’s energy level.

In Buteyko breathing the importance of carbon dioxide is understood, and the basic reduced breathing exercise of Buteyko will develop the diaphragm to some extent, however I suspect that more complete diaphragmatic development will occur through sensitively applied traditional yoga breathing methods, that incorporate bandhas and kumbhakas, however I may be mistaken (I’m still learning).

The way the diaphragm is used during breathing can effect blood flow dynamics, the use of uddiyanna bandha, seems to increase venous return to the heart, and likely stretches the heart causing the release of the heart hormones (natriuretic peptides) that further raise the organism’s energy level.

A safe focus for breath control is to seek to make your breathing ever finer and subtler, ideally at rest it should be imperceptible, if you were to place a hand directly beneath your nose the breath should not be felt, it should be silent, and the muscular movements should be so slow and subtle that only a sharp eye would notice. Breathe through your nose, when you mouth breathe you enlarge your airways allowing for large shifts in the internal atmosphere of the lungs, losing carbon dioxide and water vapour. The reduced breathing exercises of Buteyko are safe for most people focused on improving health, though I think some practices that make use of larger diaphragmatic movements would complement the practice. The simple “ujayi” breath used in Astanga Vinyasa is also useful, the increased awareness of the breath caused by the gentle contraction at the base of the throat and the resulting Darth Vader type sound bring increased awareness, during more challenging asana and vinyasa the breath will be louder. Sensitivity to the breath can be increased using ear plugs or inactive headphones, allowing you to hear the breath as it travels through the nasal turbinates and refine it further.


Carney DR, Cuddy AJC, and Yapp AJ, (2010), Power posing: brief non-verbal displays affect neuroendocrine levels and risk levels, Psychological Science.

Gautier GF, and Padykula HA, (1966), Cytological studies of fiber types in skeletal muscle, Journal of Cell Biology, 28, pp. 333-354.

Goldspink G, Scutt A, Martindale J, Jaenicke T, Turray L, Gerlach GF, (1991), Stretch and force generation induce rapid hypertrophy and myosin isoform gene switching in adult skeletal muscle, Biochemical Society Transactions, 19(2), pp. 368-373).

Goldspink G, Scutt A, Loughna PT, Wells DJ, Jaenicke T, Gerlach GF, (1992), Gene expression in skeletal muscle in response to stretch and force generation, AJP-Regu Physiol, 262(3), pp.356-363.

Goumaz MO, Kaiser CA, Burger AG, (1987), Brain cortex reverse triiodothyronie (rT3) and triiodothyronine (T3) concentrations under steady state infusions of thyroxine and rT3, Endocrinology, 120(4), pp. 1590-1596.

Helenius IJ, Tikkanen HO, Haahtela T, (1997), Association between type of training and risk of asthma in elite athletes, Thorax, 52, pp.157-160.

Hodges PW, Butler JE, McKenzie DK, Gandevia SC, (1997), Contraction of the human diaphragm during rapid postural adjustments, Journal of Physiology, 505(2), pp. 539-548.

Marsili A, Ramadan W, Harney JW, Mulcahey M, Castroneves LA, Goemann IM, Wajner SM,

Huang SA, Zavacki AM, Maia AL, Dentice M, Salvatore D, Silva JE, Larsen PR, (2010), Type 2 iodothyronine deiodinase levels are higher slow-twitch than fast-twitch mouse skeletal muscle and are increased in hypothyroidism, Endocrinology, 151(12), pp. 5952-5960.

Oberbach A, Bossenz Y, Lehmann S, Niebauer J, Adams V, Pashke R, Schon MR, Bluher M,

Punkt K, (2006), Altered fiber distribution and fiber specific glycolytic and oxidative enzyme activity in skeletal muscle of patients with type 2 diabetes, Diabetes Care, 29(4), pp. 895-900.

Pette D, (2001), Plasticity in Skeletal, Cardiac, and Smooth Muscle, Journal of Applied Physiology, 90 (3), pp.1119-1124. Polla B, D’Antona G, Bottinelli R, Reggiani C, (2004), Respiratory muscle fibres: specialisation and plasticity, Thorax, 59, pp. 808-817.

Youngstrom TG, and Bartness TJ, (1998), White adipose tissue sympathetic nervous system denervation increases fat pad mass and fat cell number, AJP-Regu Physiol, 275(5), pp. 1488-1493.

Bats, bats, bats and Bioenergetics

The Bat that flits at close of Eve
Has left the Brain that won’t Believe.”
–William Blake



Ernst Haeckel: bats

Flying Freaks

Bats are the second most species rich and abundant mammals (rodents are the first). Bats are dispersed across every continent except Antarctica and make up 20% of all mammals, with over 12,000 species of bat worldwide.  Their order is labelled Chiroptera  (Hand-wing), and consists of two suborders Megachiroptera (mega bats) also known as Yinpterochiroptera and Microchiroptera (Microbats) or Yangochiroptera.
They are the only mammal capable of true flight. Their physiology has been tailored to flight , possessing highly flexible wings that can be folded so as to virtually disappear when not in use (Cheney et al. 2015).


Bat wing (Cheney et al. 2015).

These wings have thin muscle fibres running through them allowing the bat to fine tune wing shape for different situations, the underside of these wings is covered in fine hairs allowing the bat to sense air flow and respond appropriately. Different wing shapes occur in different species depending on their flight style, in general when compared to birds bats are better generalists, and demonstrate greater manoeuvrability than birds. Some species including Nectar feeding bats are capable of hovering flight though not quite with the extreme skill hummingbirds display.

Bats can even flip in flight “landing” to hang upside down, spend the day in torpor, and fall back into flight the next night.

Thundering Thoraxes

The demands of flight have lead to some developments in bat physiology,  most obvious (other than wings) is the extreme development of their cardiopulmonary system necessary to support the intense metabolic demands of flight, flying is no easy thing.

During flight heart rate can reach up to 1000 beats per minute. Bat hearts have amongst mammals the highest mitochondrial density, even the flight muscle (pectoralis) of bats has a greater mitochondrial density than the heart of other mammals, the muscle fibres are finer than other mammals and have an extensive capillary supply. Bats have the largest lungs and heart of all mammals relative to body mass. Amongst bats relative heart size decreases with increasing body size, lung size remains isometric (Canals et al.2005).


Centurio senex wrinkle-faced bat


The fine structure of bat lungs has undergone  development when compared with other mammal lungs. The structure has complexified with an increase in capillary density and finer alveoli allowing for increased respiratory exchange (Figueroa et al. 2007).

The surfactant of the bat’s lung also appears to differ somewhat from other mammals though it fits a meaningful trajectory. With bats having a very low ratio of cholesterol to disaturated phospholipids (DSP).
Surfactant is a complex mixture of phospholipids, neutral lipid (especially cholesterol) and proteins.

The ability to lower and vary surface tension in response to varying surface area is attributed to interactions between the disaturated PLs (DSPs) and other lipids including cholesterol and unsaturated PLs.
Shifting volumes from inhalation to exhalation is essential to lung function this is effected by surfactant composition.

It seems likely that upon expiration compression of the Surfactant results in a squeezing out of unsaturated PLs and cholesterol. The disaturated PLs can be tightly compressed together as a result of the full saturation of their carbon chain and greater hydrophobicity. Unsaturated PLs cannot pack as tightly due to their unsaturation and resulting shape, and  they are less hydrophobic which interferes with tight packing.

For the Surfactant to spread over the alveolar surface on inspiration the surfactant must be in a liquid crystalline state. DPPC (dipalmitoylphosphophatidylcholine) the main disaturated PL found in surfactant has a phase transition temperature of 41°C . A pure DPPC film would require a higher body temperature to function but in combination with other components such as cholesterol surfactant can function at lower temperatures. In multiple animals the ratio of cholesterol to DSP rises during Torpor and Hibernation (when metabolism and body temperature decrease) showing how surfactant composition responds to changes in metabolism and body temperature.

Other organisms have lower body temperatures than mammals and tend to experience greater fluctuations in temperature. They also have simpler lung structures, amphibians have simple sac like lungs, reptiles slightly more developed lungs but both lack the alveolar structures and diaphragm of mammal lungs. Birds support high metabolic rates with a different solution they have a small pair of parabronchial lungs connected to a series of air sacs, which act like bellows moving air through the lungs in one direction. The lungs consist of a series of tubes (parabronchi) from which emanate the rigid air capillaries, alongside blood capillaries allowing gas exchange.

As a result organisms with less intense metabolism have a higher cholesterol to DSP ratio. The more complex structure of mammalian lungs require greater flexibility in the surfactant.  The increased surface area means more efficient reduction in volume must occur during exhalation and the surfactant must spread easily over alveolar surface on inhalation.

Among mammals bats with their incredibly intense metabolism have the lowest cholesterol to DSP ratio, in some cases up to 15 times less than other mammals (Daniels and Orgeig 2003).

Polyunsaturated fats (both omega 6 and 3) cause lung edema and alveolar thickening (Wolfe et al. 2002). Their unsaturation makes them more prone to spontaneous oxidation and breakdown into various toxic byproducts, in organisms with intense oxidative metabolisms their presence may be a real problem. Dietary PUFAs  (polyunsaturated fatty acids) are capable of altering lung surfactant composition lowering saturated phospholipids and increasing polyunsaturated phospholipids. Impaired surfactant function is involved in acute respiratory distress syndrome and severe pneumonia both of which show lowered levels of saturated phospholipids and increased unsaturated PLs (Schmidt et al. 2001).

Polyunsaturated fats interfere with respiration at every level from the lung to the cell. At least if you are warm blooded and wish to remain so it might be wise to avoid polyunsaturated oils.

Bats coordinate respiration with wing beat frequency, generally inhalation occurs on the downstroke,  exhalation on the up stroke (Suthers et al. 1972).  Yogis take note bats practice vinyasa, movement coordinated with the breath.

The inverted posture bats use when at rest might also effect lung function, the inverted position means the abdominal organs will weigh down upon the diaphragm inducing a form of uddiyana bandha (an abdominal vacuum produced by expanding the rib cage after exhaling) compressing the lungs. This might help to encourage the maintenance of a high ratio of saturated phospholipids in the surfactant. Yogic practices like uddiyana bandha and headstand might do likewise and perhaps allow for finer alveolar development.

Fuel and Fire

Bats have  a great variety of dietary habits, including insectivores,  carnivores, frugivores, nectatavores, and of course the blood drinking sanguivore vampires. This would seem to indicate that a wide variety of diets can support intense metabolisms however amongst bats those who have the highest metabolism and the most energy demanding flight style are the nectatavores who like hummingbirds are capable of energetically demanding hovering flight though the bat may be capable of a slightly more energy efficient hovering style. The nectatavores don’t have the highest cephalisation of bats that appears to be found amongst some fruit eating species, carnivores, and the Vampires (maybe being a little monstrous benefits the brain).

If you compare the structure of fats and sugars you will see that fat is basically a chain of carbon and hydrogen however sugar comes premixed with oxygen. The chemical formula of glucose (and fructose) is C6H12O6. Each carbon from fat requires additional oxygen from the air to be oxidised to carbon dioxide and water. This could be thought of as being like the difference between a flame where combustion occurs when the fuel is not already mixed with oxygen from the air and when the fuel is already mixed with oxygen producing a shorter hotter more intense flame.


various bunsen burner flames:

Left most flame relatively oxygen poor and Fuel rich, reducing flame. Right most flame oxygen rich, oxidising flame.


It seems the most pristine plasma may come from things that are sweet like a child’s blood.

Infernal Immortality

Could this creature cursed contribute to cancer’s cure,
Or teach us how to evermore endure?

The Rate of living theory is still believed by many despite an abundance of evidence that more Life results in more Life. The belief is that an increase in metabolism must inevitably mean increased production of ROS (reactive oxygen species), and a resulting increase in wear and tear on the organism. Bats have intense metabolisms and live remarkably long for animals of their size, generally larger species of animal live longer than smaller,  although smaller animals of a given species often live longer than their larger relatives for example small dogs live longer than big dogs. When corrected for body size bats are the longest living order of mammals.

The longest living bat on record is a 41 year old Brandt’s bat (Myotis brandti) from Siberia  (Podlutsky et al. 2005).


correlation between body mass and lifespan

Correlation between body mass and maximum lifespan in mammals. Myotis bats are shown as blue diamonds, and other mammals as dark circles. The Brandt’s bat is indicated by a red diamond (Seim et al. 2013).

It was believed that hibernation might explain the longevity but even non-hibernating species show great longevity.
Mitochondria from bats show reduced rates of reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation with some species producing half the amount of non-flying mammals with lower metabolism (Bruet-Rossinni 2004).

Bats appear to be highly disease resistant, being infamous viral reservoirs, including Rabies and Ebola. Viral persistence in the absence of disease or pathology characterises the relationship between bats and viruses. And bats carry a lot of viruses, they positively pulse with pestilence.

This disease resistance is likely linked to their ability to fly or more precisely the metabolism that supports this. During flight bats metabolism increases enormously when compared to non-flying but otherwise active bats, this can be an up to 16 fold increase in metabolism, in rodents running to exhaustion metabolism increases 7 fold (O’Shea et al. 2014). Strains of mice bred for high metabolism show stronger immune responses, the intense metabolism required for flight will lead to increased circulation and increased activity of white blood cells, replicating some aspects of fever. The cyclical nature of the metabolic multiplication that occurs during flight and it’s decrease during daily dreaming may mean that pathogens are controlled and eliminated during activity while some survive during the bat’s torpor to persist to the next night. The lowered temperature of hibernation should inhibit replication of most mammalian pathogens.

The intense cardiovascular activity required to support this metabolism should be resulting in large amounts of circulating natriuretic peptides  (heart hormones) released when the heart is stretched. The natriuretic peptides increase phagocyte activity, phagocytosis (the process by which cells, usually immune cells, engulf and digest foreign material) decreases with aging (Boran et al. 2008). The natriuretic peptides also have significant anti-cancer activity (Vesely et al. 2007),  bats seem to be resistant to cancer, although it does sometimes occur, the metabolism that a bat must maintain to sustain flight likely makes the metabolic derangement characteristic of cancer highly unlikely to occur.

But the bat must fly fast, or plummet from the sky, and slowly sicken and die.
These observations that an intense metabolism supports a strong “immune system” seem to support an alternative way of thinking about immune function, where immunity to disease is a secondary result of processes whose primary function is in morphogenesis, the maintenance of the organism’s functioning and form, if the organism is engaged in such intense activity that all of its substance is actively metabolising then no space will be available for any parasites to take root.

Vampire Venom

This beast with Black banners was sliced and diced it’s glands were gouged and chemicals computed.
Now this beast has Red references so as not to be refuted.

Vampire bat saliva is a complex cocktail of chemicals composed of over 8000 different molecules (proteins and glycoproteins) many of theses are some form of anti-coagulant,  some are anti-microbial and some have other effects (Francischetti et al. 2013). Their purpose is to ensure blood flows from victim to vampire.


Desmodus rotundus: common vampire bat skull

Some of the constituents include Desmoteplase (DSPA), Draculin, and desmolaris, I have seen some articles that treat Desmoteplase and Draculin as alternate names for the same chemical but they are separate molecules both have anti-coagulant effects (Low et al. 2013).

Desmoteplase is a protease plasminogen activator and causes fibrinolysis, breaking down blood clots. Desmoteplase appears a more effective anticoagulant than tpa (tissue Plasminogen Activator) and is thought to be promising in preventing and treating ischemic strokes.

Draculin is a glycoprotein and anticoagulant which inhibits some activated coagulation factors.

Desmolaris is an anticoagulant that binds kallikrein and reduces bradykinin inhibiting thrombus formation. It also has anti-inflammatory actions preventing increases in vascular permeability (Ma et al. 2013).
As a result of these properties various extracts of Vampire saliva have undergone trials for treatment of stroke.

However they might also have relevance in other conditions; including cancer where disordered clotting appears involved. Tissue factor (TF) is a glycoprotein that activates the clotting cascade, fibrinogen is cleaved into fibrin which polymerizes forming clots. Tissue factor is expressed by tumour cells it causes fibrin to deposit on circulating tumour cells trapping them in microvascular structures and promotes thrombosis, metastases and tumour growth (Kasthuri  et al. 2009).

Generally the intense metabolism of the bat promotes circulation and inhibits clotting through a variety of paths, carbon dioxide production from the intense metabolism may be one of the more elegant things to think about in this respect. Carbon dioxide acts as a vasodilator and promotes mast cell and platelet stability inhibiting the release of histamine and serotonin. Histamine and serotonin increase vascular permeability decreasing blood volume thickening the blood and promoting clotting.

Vampire saliva also contains CNP a natriuretic peptide (heart hormone) which increases heart rate and heart conductivity  (Springer et al. 2012), as well as increasing the strength of contraction (Beaulieu et al. 1997).

CNP is thought to be the ancestral natriuretic peptide with the other natriuretic peptides (including ANP and BNP) being generated from CNP in fishes far back in Creation’s Coil, although similar peptides occur in simpler organisms (Takei et al. 2011 and Inoue et al. 2003).

CNP also plays a morphogenic role specifically regulating bone growth (Mericq 2000).
Among higher vertebrates obligate blood feeding occurs in only three New World vampire bat species. These three vampires all diverged from a common insectivorous ancestor in a short evolutionary time, representing an enormous genetic development and required multiple coherent physiological changes including sensory, renal, secretory and of course dental (vampire bats have razor teeth).

To believe this occurred randomly is ridiculous.  Thankfully there appear to be scientists thinking about evolution in more coherent ways. Phillips and Baker (2015), suggest that vampire physiology developed by recruiting existing genes from other biological functions. One of these involves Entpd1, usually expressed in vascular endothelial cells and having anti-haemostatic properties. Two main processes appear to be involved exon  microdeletions, the removal of small sequences of a gene and alternative splicing, in which parts of a gene are put together differently, it occurs during gene expression and results in a single “gene” coding for multiple proteins as a result of different exons being included or excluded from the messenger RNA. It is thought that around 60% of human disease mutations involve splicing rather than mutations of the “coding” sequence (Bigas et al. 2005).

This suggests that evolution is an exploratory art that involves creativity and improvisation directed by the organism in responses to both changes in the environment and changes in the organism’s perception of itself and the environment.

Sinister Senses

The Bat blitzes through dark night,
Cares not for black or white,
So only does the Devil’s delight.

Bats have developed super senses that most other mammals lack, most famously the ability to see with their ears. By emitting a rapidly repeating ultrasonic series of squeals and squeaks and listening to the echos these creatures can fly in total darkness, even the wise Owl can’t do that let alone a silly Swan.



Townsend’s big-eared bat, Corynorhinus townsendii


There is evidence that parallel genetic changes have occured in echolocating bats and dolphins again suggesting that something more meaningful than random chance is involved in genetic adaptation (Liu et al. 2010).

FoxP2 is a transcription factor implicated in development and neural control of oro facial coordination. Equivalents show almost no variation across vertebrates.  Humans and chimpanzees differ by two amino acids. In echolocating bats however FoxP2 appears to have undergone intense selection and demonstrates extreme diversity (Li et al. 2007).

Variations in FoxP2 in bats appear to be related to variations in bat species sonar. It’s seems possible that given its role in oro facial coordination  FoxP2  may play a role in the diversity these dwellers in darkness display in their faces. Interestingly FoxP2 is one of the genes that appears to diverge significantly from human in the Starchild skull.

FoxP2 seems to be involved in vocal learning in humans and seems to play a similar role in song birds, it might also be so in bats.Mutations in FoxP2 have been linked to developmental verbal dyspraxia (difficulty coordinating the muscle movements required for speech). FoxP2 is expressed in the brain and involved in neurogenesis and cortical development. FoxP2 is expressed in the heart and lung, in the lung it appears to be involved in alveolar development.

Bats also seem to be capable of magneto-reception (Wang et al.  2007), and make use of it to orient themselves, mole rats are also capable of magneto-reception, and like the bat they are unusually long-lived though different adaptations are likely involved in the mole-rat, high carbon dioxide levels seems like a possible connection, bats generate huge quantities as a result of their intense night life, Mole-rats likely maintain high carbon dioxide levels as a consequence of living in burrows. Bats that roost in caves may also be benefiting from increased carbon dioxide levels, depending on ventilation some cavernous ecosystems used by bats can contain 200 times the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide (Howarth and Stone 1990). I think based on  Ray Peat’s work that carbon dioxide might be a bio-electric doping agent increasing the conductivity of proteins and coherence of the organism, so playing a role in increasing subtle sensitivity.

Energy and Ecology

Obviously a creature like the bat with an intense metabolism requires a fecund environment to provide for it. Increasingly it is being realised that bat numbers and diversity are indicators of ecosystem health, bats also contribute to maintaining complex ecosystems they pollinate flowers, spread seeds from fruit, and control insect numbers ensuring vegetation is not overwhelmed. Their ability to fly, while energetically demanding  also allows them to participate in more intense flows of energy transformation.  Bats depend on complex ecosystems and in turn enrich them, and in many areas their numbers are declining.

Wicked Waves

In this Dread Dark what is this thing?
Weaving winds with webbed wing.
It’s thorax Thunders a Gigas Gongs,
This Lich’s lantern is ultrasonic songs.
Merrily murders moonstruck moths,
This Ghoul’s Ghost is gay as Goths.
Infernally inverted in cryptic caverns cursed it conspires,
Time twisting Heart harnesses Hell’s fires.
Now know this terror to be true,
Vampire Venom flows through You.


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Borán MS, Baltrons MA, García A, (2008), The ANP‐cGMP‐protein kinase G pathway induces a phagocytic phenotype but decreases inflammatory gene expression in microglial cells, Glia, 56(4), pp. 394-411.

Brunet-Rossinni AK  (2004), Reduced free-radical production and extreme longevity in the little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus) versus two non-flying mammals, Mechanisms of ageing and development, 125(1), pp.11-20.

Canals M, Atala C, Grossi B, Iriarte-Díaz J, (2005), Relative size of hearts and lungs of small bats. Acta Chiropterologica. 7(1), pp.65-72.

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Francischetti IM, Assumpção TC, Ma D, Li Y, Vicente EC, Uieda W, Ribeiro JM, (2013), The “Vampirome”: transcriptome and proteome analysis of the principal and accessory submaxillary glands of the vampire bat Desmodus rotundus, a vector of human rabies, Journal of proteomics, 82, pp. 288-319.

Howarth FG, and Stone FD, (1990), Elevated carbon dioxide levels in Bayliss Cave, Australia: Implications for the evolution of obligate cave species, Pacific Science, 44(3), pp. 207-218.

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Heart Hormones Inversions and Immortality

“Marshalling the information needed to optimize our own development runs counter to the program of our technical-scientific culture, which prefers to believe that degeneration is programmed, while emergent evolution is unforeseeable. But, if an optimization project is presented as a way to forestall the “programmed degeneration,” it might succeed in becoming part of the culture.”

-Ray Peat


alpāhāro yadi bhavedaghnirdahati tat-kṣhaṇāt |
adhaḥ-śirāśchordhva-pādaḥ kṣhaṇaṃ syātprathame dine || 81 ||

kṣhaṇāchcha kiṃchidadhikamabhyasechcha dine dine |
valitaṃ palitaṃ chaiva ṣhaṇmāsordhvaṃ na dṝśyate |
yāma-mātraṃ tu yo nityamabhyasetsa tu kālajit || 82 ||


“If he stints his diet, the fire quickly consumes [the body]. On the first day he should stand for a moment on his head, with his feet above.

After six months, the wrinkles and grey hair are not seen. He who practises it daily, for one yama (3 hours), conquers death.”


-from the Hatha Yoga Pradipika by Swatmarama (in reference to the Headstand / Viparita karani Mudra).


Dharma Mittra in headstand


   So yet again those degenerate Hatha Yogis obsessed by the body and materiality are making outlandish and absurdly inflated claims for their circus tricks, before we saw how they claimed pranayama can cure all disease, now they expect prudent and reasonable human beings to believe that standing on your head will make you immortal, whatever next, yoga can turn you into an Elf?

If you believe in a biology crafted out of the random chance errors of a clockwork horror story “red in tooth and claw” then the claims made by some Hatha Yogis as well as other devils might appear insane, however taking another perspective on biology the picture is very different. In a living model where the liquid crystalline structure is generated and supported by the controlled coherent fire of the respiratory whirlwind, where processes are interconnected across all scales, then it might be possible to make creative use of local effects to generate systemic changes which further modify local processes. A range of relatively simple techniques for generating creative constructive adaptation that is capable of overcoming the organism’s assimilated inertia might make themselves available.

I believe that Hatha Yoga is an art that has discovered such creative techniques, and increasingly the evidence exists to make this case.

The Natriuretic peptides are a class of hormones secreted by the heart, while they are named for the observation that they can increase the urinary elimination of sodium they have a range of much more interesting effects. A major stimulus for their release is the stretching of the chambers (atria and ventricles) of the heart (Espiner et al.1995).

There is some evidence that inversions (turning upside down) cause an increased stretch in the chambers of the heart, as might be expected due to increased venous return of blood to the heart. A study examining the circulatory effects of the head down position showed increases in stroke volume, and cardiac output and a decrease in pulse rate (Wilkins et al. 1950). A study looking specifically at the yoga postures Sirshasana (headstand) and Sarvangasana (shoulderstand) found a significant increase in early left ventricle filling, a shortening of the isovolumetric relaxation time and an increase in heart rate (Minvaleev et al. 1995). If inversions are stretching the hearts chambers then they should be stimulating the release of the Natriuretic peptides, as far as I am aware no studies have looked at this possibility so there is some speculation here.

The Cardiac natriuretic peptides include six hormones stored as three separate prohormones, Atrial Natriuretic peptide (ANP), B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP), and C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP). ANP contains: long-acting natriuretic peptide (LANP), vessel dilator, kaliuretic peptide, and ANP (Vesely 2006).

The Natriuretic peptides have a wide range of effects, they have been shown to be anti-inflammatory, ANP reduced the secretion of inflammatory mediators produced in response to bacterial endotoxin /lipopolysaccharide (Kiemer and Vollmar 2001). Both ANP and CNP reduced the expression of COX-2 and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) in response to lipolysaccharide (Kiemer et al. 2001). Anti-fibrotic , mice lacking BNP develop multiple fibrotic lesions (Tamura et al. 2000), BNP also appears to inhibit the profibrotic TGF-ß and increased collagen 1 and fibronectin proteins (Kapoun et al. 2004). ANP appears to have a tissue stabilising effect that prevents leakiness, ANP inhibited VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor), protected the integrity of the blood-retinal-barrier of rats, ANP also significantly reduced the damage done by laser injury (Lara-Castillo et al. 2009). ANP has been found to defend the endothelial barrier from histamine induced permeability (Fürst et al. 2008).

These cardiac peptides appear to have some significant anti-cancer activity, in 24 hours, Vessel dilator, LANP, Kaliuretic peptide and ANP decreased the number of human pancreatic adenocarcinoma cells in culture by 65%, 47%, 37% and 34% respectively. Vessel dilator completely stopped the growth of human pancreatic adenocarcinomas in mice, further decreasing the size of even palpable large tumors, after 1 week vessel dilator decreased the size by 49%, LANP by 28%, and kaliuretic by 11%, in placebo treated mice the tumor had increased in size by 20 fold.

These hormones also decreased the number of breast adenocarcinoma cells by 60%(vessel dilator), 31%(LANP), 27% (kaliuretic), 40% (ANP). Other cancers; decreased cell numbers of small cell lung cancer, squamous lung cancers, and malignant tumors of the heart (Vesely 2005).

A study examining the effects of CNP on proliferating smooth muscle cells found that CNP induced growth inhibition and promoted re-differentiation into highly differentiated smooth muscle cells rather than the less differentiated proliferative phase, CNP improved healing accelerating re-endotheliazation preventing neointima formation (Doi et al. 2001).

The cardiac peptides also decrease some hormones associated with stress, including prolactin (Samson et al. 1998), and ACTH which  raises cortisol (a catabolic hormone released by stress) release (Fink et al. 1991). Swatmarama states that headstand can reverse greying of hair, and prolactin has been implicated in hair loss (Foitzik et al. 2006).

These effects of the cardiac peptides, anti-inflammatory, tissue stabilising and anti-cancer suggest that it might be appropriate to view these hormones as in some sense bioenergetic kosmotropes that increase the coherence of the organism, as Energy and structure are interdependent, at every level(Ray Peat) then substances that increase structural coherence should in some way increase energy as an increase in structure should allow for an increase in energy flow which would in-turn allow for structural complexification.

ANP and BNP have been found to induce mitochondriogenesis (making new mitochondria) , and to increase “uncoupled” respiration, that is to increase respiration while producing less ATP, instead increasing heat production, this might seem wasteful but it appears protective. White adipose tissue appeared to become more like brown fat tissue, brown fat contains more mitochondria than white, and is especially abundant in infants, increased levels and activity of brown fat has been linked to resistance to metabolic diseases such as diabetes and obesity (Bordicchia et al. 2012). A separate study found that BNP protected against diet induced obesity and insulin resistance and increased muscle mitochondrial content (Miyashita et al. 2009).

With the prevalence of mechanical thinking in biology some people might think that increased metabolism means increased wear and tear on the lumbering bio-robot that is piloted by their consciousness (probably an illusion generated by those selfish genes), if the organism is generated by the metabolic flow of energy, the increased metabolism would be expected to result in increased renewal and rejuvenation. In mice individuals with higher metabolisms and greater mitochondrial uncoupling lived longer (Speakman et al. 2004). Somewhat obviously disuse of a tissue results in atrophy, and mitochondria demonstrate increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) and decreased respiratory enzymes.

Given the evidence for the role of intensified metabolism in evolutionary progress it seems especially difficult to take seriously suggestions that lower metabolism is a preferable biological state. Mammals have more intense metabolisms than reptiles from 2 to 5 times more, possibly even greater in the case of some humans, mammals also have greater thyroid activity than reptiles (Hulbert and Else 1981). This increased metabolic activity in mammals has required adaptative complexification of the cardiopulmonary system to support it, this is one of the clearest examples of aromorphosis (a raising of the shape making a higher level of function available), an increased metabolism and increased oxygen use required a development and complexification of the Heart and circulatory system, the generation of a four chambered heart made it possible to operate at a higher, more generous energy level. Generally, fish have a two chambered heart, amphibians three chambers, two atria and one ventricle, from here things get a little more complicated as many species of reptile have varying degrees of ventricular septation with a ventricle that has not quite divided into two separate chambers, meaning that blood flow can complexify and increase in efficiency but not to the degree of birds, and mammals which have four chambered hearts (Jensen et al. 2013). To complicate things crocodilians have four chambered hearts and lungs which are similar to bird lungs.


variations in heart morphology

Morphology of the heart of various animals (Jensen et al. 2013)


The cardiac peptides could be thought of as sorts of morphogen, substances that are involved in biological structure generation and regulation, which would be dependent on available energy, decreased energy tends to result in a sort of organismic shrinking, and poor circulation, the effects of an energy surplus can be felt after a large meal, a sort of pleasant expansive, metabolic flush, an increase in circulation, pranayama also can produce such an effect, which should result in increased stretch being experienced in the heart. It seems reasonable to suggest the heart as sort of morphogenic regulator.

These Cardiac peptides are higher in the foetal circulation than adults, and the foetal heart expresses higher levels of these hormones than the adult heart. Peaks of ANP and BNP during gestation coincide with significant moments during cardiac morphogenesis (Cameron and Ellmers 2003).

These peptides also appear to play a role in bone remodelling, CNP is a potent stimulator of osteoclast activity demonstrating a role in bone remodelling (Holliday et al. 1995). CNP also stimulates chondrocyte proliferation, cartilage matrix production and long bone growth in foetal rats (Mericq et al. 2000).

If these cardiac peptides are sorts of morphogen then they might be expected to be increased by other signs of increased energy availability, such as increased thyroid activity and steroid hormones this appears to be the case, thyroid hormones T3 and T4 (T3 being more active) and testosterone dose dependently stimulated ANP (Matsubara et al. 1987). ANP at least in some studies stimulates testosterone production (Pereira et al. 2008), I think this points to the possibility of some self-intensifying positive feedback loops at least when energy is available to nurture them. Life appears to desire to be ever more.

“Energy is the only Life…”

-William Blake



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