South West News Service (SWNS) and others shared stories about the behavior of Leaf-Litter Ants in Florida, a study published in the journal Current Biology. I am sharing the story to invite my readers to explore the Rudolf-Rudi Doctrine of Spiritualism.
Published April 9, 2023 8:38am EDT
Invasive foreign ants becoming dominant species in Florida, says new research: ‘Concerning trend’
Researchers fear the decline in native ants could impact already threatened ecosystems
New research is indicating that invasive foreign ants that have hitched rides on global imports are slowly becoming the dominant species in the state of Florida.
Populations of non-native leaf-litter ants have skyrocketed in the Sunshine State in recent years — with native populations falling alongside them, SWNS reported.
The number of non-native ants has nearly doubled in the past half-century in some areas, the study suggested.
This may be due to the fact that they’re willing to cooperate with other species and bring them into their huge colonies, the study said — while native ants tend to reject outsiders.
But researchers fear that the decline in certain species of leaf-litter ants — which act as seed spreaders and specialized predators — could impact these already threatened ecosystems in the southeastern part of the state.
The U.S. study team analyzed data tracking leaf-litter ants from 1965 to 2019, SWNS reported.
In later years, data showed non-native ants represented nearly a third (30%) of the 177 ground-dwelling species detected across the entire state. Their dominance grew most dramatically in southern regions, where non-native ant populations rose from 43% to 73% over the 54 years of the study.
These invading non-native ants are estimated to have arrived with goods imported to Florida from across the globe.
The study was published in the journal Current Biology.
It points toward a potential future of the state being dominated by an empire of ants not native to the state — while native numbers dwindle into insignificance.
On the character of the tiny critters, Professor Andrew Suarez, of the University of Illinois, said, “Leaf-litter ants tend to be very small, just a few millimeters in length; so moving through soil, leaves and other litter is like climbing over hills for them.”
He added, “Many of them are small specialist predators, like trap-jaw ants of the genus Strumigenys, which are solitary hunters that specialize in catching small arthropods like springtails.”
While the native ants and their would-be invaders share many traits and likely perform a lot of the same ecosystem services, the researchers say studies have not yet proven whether the growing population of non-natives will fill the same niches essential to the natural ecology of the area.
However, one area where the native and non-native ants do differ is when it comes to teamwork.
The research team tested the different ants’ ability and willingness to tolerate and work alongside each other by collecting more than 300 live colonies in artificial nests and observing their cooperation — or lack thereof.
Most of the non-native ants were shown to adopt other ants from different colonies to work together.
But most native ants tended to reject outsiders and keep themselves to themselves.
This difference in willingness to cooperate may give non-native ants a significant advantage over their native relatives, Dr. Booher said.
He explained, “We collected more than 300 live ant colonies and set them up in artificial nests.”
He said that by “marking individuals of the same species from different colonies and introducing them to one another, we evaluated if workers from different colonies were adopted or excluded. By accepting and cooperating with ants from various nests, non-native ants effectively act like a single unified colony over a large landscape.”
Though there are still said to be far more native than non-native leaf-litter ants in Florida, Booher admitted the foreign ants are becoming “more abundant and common.”
“This concerning trend has increased steadily over the past 54 years,” he added.
“Across all regions of Florida, non-native species have doubled in collection frequency.”
The Rudolf-Rudi Doctrine of Spiritualism coins the phrase Whole Synthesis to bring together Human Nature and Human Behavior
Yes indeed, Life is complicated. The complexities of Life demand the understanding of the term called Behavior which is a fundamental characteristic of all Life and of all Living Things. Psychologists tend to focus on the learned components of Behavior. Biologists tend to focus primarily on the analysis of the innate components of Behavior. Sociobiologists tend to recognize the role of genes and of environment to describe the behavioral abilities. I ask all of you to evaluate Behavior as the functional ability of the living matter or the ground substance called Protoplasm apart from genes and the environment.
The concept of Whole Synthesis formulates the understanding of Behavior by the study of the relationships between Substance, Structure, Function, Heredity, Environment, Social Community and the actions performed.
Spiritualism – The Concept of Whole Synthesis:
Dr. Edward Osborne Wilson is recognized as the world’s leading authority on ants. He is the foremost proponent of Sociobiology, the study of the genetic basis of the social behavior of all animals including humans. In his book, Sociobiology: The New Synthesis (1975) he presents his theories about the biological basis of social behavior. It involves the application of the Theory of Evolution to the study of animal and human social behavior. It holds that the Theory of Evolution by ‘natural selection’ applies to behavior in the same way that it applies to structure and physiological functions. He holds that behavior patterns are genetically determined and are governed by the process of ‘natural selection’. Accordingly, he explains that social behavior relies upon the principle that genes are able to influence behavior and will be selected if the behaviors they encourage contribute ultimately to the reproductive success of the individual carrying those genes. The ‘Darwinian Fitness’ of an organism or a gene is a measure of the ability of that organism or gene to project copies of itself into future generations. Because, ‘natural selection’ would influence genetically controlled behavior, he believes that individuals will tend to behave in ways that maximize their ‘Darwinian Fitness’. However, he attributes 10 percent of human behavior as genetically induced, the rest being attributable to environment.
In my analysis, it could be indeed true that some behavioral abilities depend upon underlying genetic mechanisms which support the neural and hormonal mechanisms that are required in the performance of actions by organisms. Dr. Wilson recognizes the essentially biological principles on which animal societies are based and could apply those principles to human social behavior. One of Dr. Wilson’s most notable theories is that a characteristic such as ‘altruism’ could be genetically based and may have evolved through the process of ‘natural selection’. Dr. Wilson maintains that altruistic behavior is consistent with ‘natural selection’ in that the sacrifice is made to save closely related individuals who share many of the sacrificed organism’s genes.
Altruism and Sociobiology:
The term ‘altruism’ (French – altruisme) was coined by Auguste Comte, the founder of Positivism and Sociology. It is considered as antithesis to Egoism. Altruism is behavior that benefits others at some cost to the individual displaying altruistic behavior. Social scientists refer to altruism as the behavior of an individual who consciously comes to the aid of another, without expecting anything in return. Such behavior is influenced by empathy, an emotional response that results from being aware of another person’s emotions. In Ethics, altruism is described as a theory of conduct that regards the good of others as the end of moral action. It describes unselfish concern for the welfare of others.
However, biologists view altruism as any behavior that reduces the ‘Darwinian Fitness’ (reproductive success) of the altruist while increasing the fitness of another. It is common for animals to share food, help provide for another’s young, defend others against predators, and give alarm calls when a predator appears. Such animal altruism is common and it does not require psychological abilities and functions like sharing of emotions, feelings, and thoughts. Altruism as a behavior is not always a psychological function or ability. It is displayed as pure altruism in the social behavior of worker bees, ants, and wasps.
Spiritualism – From New Synthesis to Whole Synthesis:
It must be understood that behavior is a fundamental characteristic of life and of all living entities. All species, whether single-celled protozoans or the largest of mammals possess the capacity to respond to stimuli in their environment. This ability called responsiveness is the fundamental attribute of all kinds and types of behavior.
Psychologists like B.F. Skinner tend to focus on the learned components of behavior and stress the importance of environment and its influence on behavior. Biologists like Konrad Lorenz tend to focus primarily on the analysis of the innate components of behavior. Sociobiologists tend to recognize the role of genes and the influence of environment and describe that behavioral abilities depend on underlying genetic mechanisms that develop the structures and physiological mechanisms that are important to display a given behavior. It may be noted that both Psychologists and Biologists are describing behavior in the context of social relations and interactions between individual and groups of living organisms. Living things behave in ways to maximize their chances of survival. In the entire animal kingdom, most living organisms display parental or social instincts. All animals display social behavior. There is no animal that is ever completely isolated from some kind of environment that includes members of the same species or other species. Animals form parental societies to care for their offspring. Bacteria come together to live as colonies. Hence, it will be important to recognize social behavior that is displayed by individual living cells.
I define Spiritualism as the capacity or the biological ability of an individual living cell to formulate harmonious relations with others and to participate in or contribute constructively to changes in the social environment. The potency called Spiritualism is reflected in the biological functions of Consciousness and Intelligence.
At a cellular level, the social aspect of Consciousness is reflected by the biological abilities of the cell such as association, cooperation, communication, recognition of other living cells in its immediate environment, and performing actions which have characteristics of functional subservience to provide benefits like survival and reproductive success to other cells. A very good example of Spiritualism is that of altruism displayed by the mature Red Blood Cells of the man. The mature Red Blood Cells have no nuclei and hence cannot divide or reproduce. Each Red Blood Cell has a very limited life span of its own. They sustain their meagre energy needs by a form of anaerobic respiration as they do not have mitochondria like the trillions of other cells of the human body. The Red Blood Cells are passive in nature and they simply exist to provide Oxygen to other cells and tissues, collect Carbon Dioxide while being swept along by the blood stream. Since the mature Red Blood Cells have no nuclei, their behavior is not operated by genes or genetic mechanisms which could be important in their formation, development, and maturation. The social aspects of the Red Blood Cell behavior is related to the spiritual nature of its living substance.
I would ask Biologists to give attention to the nature, and the functional abilities of the living substance apart from the consideration of genes and genetic mechanisms. It may be very clearly understood that the nucleus, the chromosomes, and the genes have no independent existence of their own and they perform their cellular functions while they derive energy and nutritional support from the living substance or Protoplasm that has the biological abilities of Consciousness, and Intelligence which is reflected in its properties like responsiveness, the power of nutrition, and reproduction.
Spiritualism is the Science of Whole Synthesis which formulates the understanding of Behavior by the study of the relationships between Substance, Structure, Function, Heredity, Environment, Social Community and the actions performed.
Rudolf is reborn as Rudi to describe the spiritual connection between the Cell and its Energy Provider
Rudi acknowledges his German heritage at Whole Foods when he discovered the spiritual connection between man, food, and Providence.
Whole Foods, Whole People, and Whole Planet are connected by a material substance called Protoplasm or Cytoplasm, a divine plan to provide nourishment to Life.
The Rudolf and Rudi Connection at Whole Foods, Ann Arbor can be best described as the concept of Whole Spirituality, the three dimensional spiritual relationship between the multicellular human organism, food, and the Divine Providence.
Spiritualism – The Cell Theory of Spirituality:
In Biology, cell is the basic or fundamental unit of structure, function, and organization in all living things or it is the building block of life. Let me begin with my respectful tribute to some of the people who contributed to ‘The Cell Theory’, one of the foundations of Biological Sciences. Cells were first observed in the 17th century shortly after the discovery of the microscope. Robert Hooke, british curator of instruments at The Royal Society of London, during 1665 coined the word cell. Dutch microscopist Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723) made over 247 microscopes and examined microorganisms and tissue samples. He gave the first complete descriptions of bacteria, protozoa (which he called animalcules), spermatozoa, and striped muscle. He also studied capillary circulation and observed Red Blood Cells.
Improvements in microscopy during early 19th century permitted closer observation and the significance of cells had received better understanding. Matthias Jakob Schleiden (1838), German botanist, Theodor Schwann (1839), German physiologist, and Rudolf Virchow (1855), German pathologist, and others made important contributions to the Cell Theory that describes cell as the building block of all Life.
The Cell is the smallest unit in the living organism that is capable of carrying on the essential life processes of sustaining metabolism for producing energy and reproducing. Many simple, small, single-celled organisms like Protozoa perform all life functions. In higher, complex, bigger, multicellular organisms, groups of cells are structurally and functionally differentiated into specialized tissues and organ systems. Thus, the Cell Theory includes the following foundational principles of the Biological Sciences:
1. All living things are made up of cells. Cell is the most elementary or basic unit of Life.
2. Cell is a fundamental unit of structure, function, and organization in all living things including plants and animals.
3. Cells only rise from division of previously existing cells.
4. All cells are similar in composition, form, and function. All cells are basically the same in chemical composition (in spite of variations) in organisms of similar species. For example, all the solid tissues in the human body can be shown to consist largely of similar cells; differing it is true, but that are essentially similar to an Ovum.
5. The cells exhibit functional autonomy. The activity of an organism depends on the total activity of ‘INDEPENDENT’ cells.
6. Energy flow (metabolism and biochemistry) occurs within cells.
7. Cells contain hereditary, biological information (DNA) which is passed from cell to cell during cell division.
The Cell Theory of Spirituality:
The basic or fundamental unit of life in the human organism is derived from the fertilized egg cell that eventually develops into a complete organism. The most significant feature of similarity between the cells of the human body is the presence of a soft, gelatinous, semi-fluid, granular material inside the cell. This substance known as Protoplasm or Cytoplasm, or Cytosol is similar to the ground substance found in the Ovum or the Egg Cell.
This viscous, translucent, colloidal substance is enclosed in a membrane called Cell Membrane, Plasma Membrane or Biological Membrane. A small spherical body called nucleus is embedded in the Protoplasm of the cell. The three essential features of any living cell in the human body are that of the presence of protoplasm, the nucleus, and the cell membrane.
Protoplasm – The Ground Substance of Spiritualism and Spirituality:
I seek the existence of Soul or Spirit in a substance that is basic to life activities, and in a material that is responsible for all living processes. I, therefore, propose that the understanding of the true or real nature of this ground substance of all living matter will help man to discover peace, harmony, and tranquility in all of his internal and external relationships while man exists in a physical environment as a member of a social group, social community, and Society. In this blog post, I would like to pay my respectful tribute to Jan Evangelista Purkinje and Hugo Von Mohl for their great contribution to the scientific understanding of the living substance, living material, and living matter.
Purkinje conducted his research on human vision at the University of Prague and later on, he served there as a Professor of Physiology (1850-69). He went to Germany and was appointed the Chair of Physiology and Pathology (1823-50) at the University of Breslau, Prussia. There Purkinje created the world’s first independent Department of Physiology (1839) and the first Physiological Laboratory (Physiological Institute, 1842). He is best known for his discovery of large nerve cells with many branching extensions found in the cortex of Cerebellum of the brain (Purkinje Cells, 1837). He discovered the fibrous tissue that conducts electrical impulses from the ‘pacemaker’ called Atrioventricular node or A-V node along the inside walls of the ventricles to all parts of the heart to help in Cardiac contractile function (Purkinje Fibers, 1839). In 1835, he invented and introduced the scientific term ‘Protoplasm’ to describe the ground substance found inside young animal embryo cells. He discovered the sweat glands of the skin (1833); he discovered the nine configuration groups of Fingerprints used in biometric identification of man (1823); he described the germinal vesicle or nucleus of the unripe ovum that now bears his name (1825), and he noted the protein digesting power of pancreatic extracts (1836).
Hugo Von Mohl named the granular, colloidal material that made up the main substance of the plant cell as “Protoplasm” in 1846. Purkinje invented the word, but Hugo gave more clarity, understanding, and knowing the nature of this ground substance. He viewed cell as an “elementary organ” and in Physiology he explained Protoplasm as an organ of Motion or Movement, Nutrition, and Reproduction. It is the preliminary material in cellular generation. He was the first to propose that new cells are formed by division of preexisting cells and he had observed this process of Cell Division in the algal cells of Conferva glomerata. His observations are very important to understand the Cell Theory that explains cells as the basic building blocks of Life. He was the first to investigate the phenomenon of the stomatal openings in leaves.
Protoplasm is a complex, viscous, translucent solution of such materials as salts and simple sugars with other molecules, mostly proteins and fats, in a colloidal state, that is dispersed but not dissolved in one another. Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, and Nitrogen constitute more than 90 percent of Protoplasm.
It exhibits properties such as Protoplasmic Streaming or Cytoplasmic Streaming or Motion that is called “Amoeboid Movement.” It has the intrinsic power to change its shape and position.
Protoplasm has the power of Nutrition by which it can attract and obtain the materials necessary for its growth and maintenance from surrounding matter/environment.
The living functions such as Nutrition, Cellular Respiration, and Reproduction performed by Cytoplasm involve acquiring, processing, retaining, and using information to perform tasks in a sequential manner for a predetermined purpose and hence describe Consciousness, Memory, and Intelligence.
The terms Soul and Spirit belong to the materialistic realm where the Physical Reality of man’s biological existence is established. I have not yet discovered any good reason to use the terms Soul and Spirit as a metaphysical or transcendental Reality.
The Inheritance of Cytoplasmic Membrane or Cell or Plasma Membrane:
The Functions of Cytoplasmic Membrane or Cell Membrane or Biological Membrane:
1. Protection: It protects the cell from its surroundings or extracellular environment. Plant cell possess wall over the plasma membrane for extra protection and support.
2. Holding cell contents: Plasma membranes hold the semi fluid protoplasmic contents of the cell intact; thus keeping the individuality of the cell.
3. Selective Permeability: Cell membrane allows only selected or specific substances to enter into the cell and are impermeable to others.
- Gases like O2 and CO2 can diffuse rapidly in solution through membranes.
- Small compounds like H2O and methane can easily pass through where as sugars, amino acids and charged ions are transported with the help of transport proteins.
- The size of the molecules which can pass through the plasma membrane is 1-15 A0. This property is responsible for keeping a cell ‘as a cell’, an individual unit.
4. Shape: It maintains form and shape of the cell. It serves as site of anchorage or attachment of the cytoskeleton; thus providing shape to the cell (especially in animal cells without cell wall).
5. Organelles: Cell membrane delimits or covers all sub-cellular structures or organelles like nucleus, mitochondria, plastids, Golgi apparatus, endoplasmic reticulum, microbodies etc. thus protecting them form the surroundings and also helps in maintaining a constant internal environment.
6. Compartmentalization: Cell membrane separate the cells from their external environment and cell organelle from cytosol. It help the cells and their organelles to have their own microenvironments, structural and functional individuality.
7. Cell Recognition: With the help of glycolipids and glycoproteins on its surface, cell membranes are able to differentiate similar cells from dissimilar ones, foreign substances and cells own materials. Cell recognition is useful for tissue formation and defence against microbes.
8. Antigens: Cell membranes possess antigens which determine blood grouping, immune response, acceptance or rejection of a transplant (graft rejection by MHC’s on plasma membrane).
9. Microvilli: They are microscopic finger like projections of plasma membrane present on some cells like intestinal epithelial cells, which are involved in a wide variety of functions, including increasing surface area for absorption, secretion, cellular adhesion etc.
10. Sheaths of cilia and flagella: Cilia and flagella are projections from the cell; made up of microtubules which are covered by an extension of the plasma membrane.
11. Cytoplasmic bridges in plasmodesmata and gap junctions: Plasmodesmata in plant cells and gap junctions in animal cells; meant for intercellular transport and communication, form cytoplasmic bridges between adjacent cells through plasma membrane.
12. Endocytosis and Exocytosis: Bulk intake of materials or endocytosis occurs through development of membrane vesicles or invagination and engulfing by plasma membrane.
Exocytosis: It is reverse of endocytosis that provides for releasing waste products and secretory materials ot of the cells with the help of plasma membrane.
13. Impulse transmission in neurons: The transmission of a nerve impulse along a neuron from one end to the other occurs as a result of electrical changes across the plasma membrane of the neuron
14. Cell metabolism: Cell membranes control cell metabolism through selective permeability and retentivity of substances in a cell.
15. Electron transport chain in bacteria: In bacteria; Electron transport chain is located in cell membrane.
16. Osmosis through cell membrane: It is movement of solvent molecules (generally water) from the region of less concentrated solution to the region of high concentrated solution through a semi permeable membrane. Here the semi permeable membrane that helps in osmosis is the cell membrane. Eg: Root cells take up water from the soil by osmosis
17. Carrier proteins for active transport: They occur in the cell membranes and control active transport of substances. Example, GLUT1 is a named carrier protein found in almost all animal cell membranes that transports glucose across the bilayer or plasma membrane.
18. Plasma Membrane enzymes: Many enzymes are present on the plasma membrane with wide variety of catalytic activity. Example: Red blood cell plasma membranes contain a number of enzymes such as ATPases, anion transport protein, glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase, protein kinases, adenylate cyclase, acetylcholinesterase.
19. Cell Membrane Receptors: Receptor on the plasma membrane performs signal transduction, converting an extracellular signal into an intra-cellular signal. Membrane possess receptors for hormones, neurotransmitters, antibodies and several other biochemicals.
20. Plasma membrane assisted Cell movements: Undulation and pseudopodia are cell membrane phenomenon involved in cell movement. Amoeba, macrophages and WBCs move with the helps of temporary organelles like pseudopodia. Pseudopods are temporary cytoplasmic projections of the cell membrane in certain unicellular protists such as Amoeba. Some mammalian cells such as fibroblasts can move over a solid surface by wave like undulations of the plasma membrane.
The Ground Substance of Spiritualism and Spirituality. The vital characteristics, the animating principles of Protoplasm could be known by observing Amoeba proteus. The Living Substance works as an organ of Motion or Movement, as an organ of Nutrition, and as an organ of Reproduction to generate new cells which have a life span of their own. In these physiological functions, I describe the characteristics such as Cognition, Consciousness, Memory, and Intelligence as spiritual attributes of Life as they bring functional unity and harmony in the interactions between different parts of the same individual organism while it exists in an environment as a member of a biological community.
The Spirituality of Substance, Function, Organization, Action, and Interactions:
To establish the biological existence of the human organism, I add the concept of Spiritualism and Spirituality to the Cell Theory.
The Single Fertilized Egg Cell has ground substance that is of Spiritual nature and the Spiritualism and Spirituality consists of the following functional, and organizational characteristics:
1. The Cell is Conscious of its own existence and knows its internal condition and knows it external environment.
2. The Cell is intelligent and it has the cognitive abilities like perception and memory to acquire information, to retain information, to recall information, and to use information in the performance of its complex tasks in a sequential manner.
3. The Cell has the ability to show characteristics such as mutual cooperation, mutual tolerance, and display functional subordination and subservience while being independent.
4. The Cell grows, divides, and develops into a complete organism while it acquires substances and energy from an external environment. The power of Protoplasm/Cytoplasm to attract matter found in its external environment is called Nutrition. The Cell continuously transforms matter to build matter of its own kind for its own benefit to sustain its existence with its own identity and individuality. The Organism represents a social group or a biological community of Cells. The Spiritual nature of Protoplasm/Cytoplasm brings this functional harmony and unity in the Social Group or Biotic Community of Cells by bringing together its Essence and Existence.
5. The Cell Theory is incomplete for it does not describe the conditioned nature of the Cell’s existence. The Cell represents a Living System that is thermodynamically unstable. It requires a constant supply of matter and energy from its external environment to sustain its living functions. The concept of Whole Spirituality formulates the connection between the Cell and its external source of matter and energy.
The theoretical claims about Spirit and Soul, the religious and philosophical doctrines of Spiritualism and Spirituality must be verified using the Cell Theory that defines the human organism. To describe Soul or Spirit as nonmaterial or immaterial Self will not help man to know the real or true man.
Whole Foods, Whole People, and Whole Planet come together in a Wholesome Relationship as God is the Energy Provider, the Original Source of Matter and Energy for Life.