Science in America — Neil deGrasse Tyson

April 20, 2017

A very powerful video that speaks for itself.

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De-Extinction: AMNH 2017 Asimov Debate – NdGT Moderator

April 1, 2017

Watch the 2017 Asimov Debate from the American Museum of Natural History. It was a great one. I did not expect the answer to the question of whether we can do this. No spoiler from me. Settle down for a couple of hours with a good drink for this one.

This debate discusses a wide variety of issues, including genetically modified organisms, agriculture, environmentalism, extinction, quality of DNA from preserved extinct animals, morality, animal welfare, legal issues, etc.

For a sample, just consider the question, if we brought back a mammoth (or mammophant) from extinction, is it automatically an endangered species? What is its “natural range”? What are its natural habitat and food? Is it moral to bring back a species adapted to the arctic in an age of climate change?

P.S. Neil is a bit out of his element on this first Asimov Debate that is NOT related to cosmology, astronomy, or astrophysics in any way. But, as he points out Isaac Asimov wrote about a variety of sciences, some of which did not even really exist at the time he wrote about them, such as robotics. So, de-extinction is perfectly within lines to honor the late Isaac Asimov who spent many hours at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

Enjoy.


Humor: Two New Borowitz Reports: Obama’s Citizenship & Virulent Humans

September 17, 2016

Emotional Obama Tearfully Thanks Trump for Granting Him Citizenship

WordPress seems to want some text between these links.

Scientists: Earth Endangered by New Strain of Fact-Resistant Humans

“Our research is very preliminary, but it’s possible that they will become more receptive to facts once they are in an environment without food, water, or oxygen”

Perhaps. Or, we’ll become less resistant to facts by being less alive.


Proof of Evolution in our Vestiges

March 20, 2016

I doubt I get many readers who doubt evolution. But, some of these are kind of cool and might help if you end up debating nutjobs who think we were created by God in our present state sometime after the actual human invention of agriculture.


Created in His/Her Image … Noodly Apendages and all

August 17, 2015

Is the intelligence and complexity of the members of the cuttlefish family (octopi, squid, cuttlefish) proof of the existence of the Flying Spaghetti Monster?

No.

But, it sounded like a good introduction to a highly interesting article about the complexity of the octopus genome, the mapping of it, and the intelligence of this family of creatures.

Enjoy.

Decoded octopus genome reveals secrets to complex intelligence


Why is there someting rather than nothing?

July 14, 2014

This is probably the best explanation of this going around. It is lengthy but highly worth watching.

“God is unnecessary or at best redundant.” Great quote and well demonstrated in the more than an hour lead up.


Humanity: Guilty as Charged on at least 177 Counts of Megafauna Speciescide

June 9, 2014

Photo credit: Jennifer Carole via flickr

There has long been a scientific debate about what caused all of the extinctions that just seemed to follow humans wherever we went. Some said climate changes, despite the same species of animals having survived about a half dozen such changes previously. To me it has long been obvious that those arguing that we were innocent were simply insufficiently misanthropic and were in denial. Most scientists from whom we hear tend to be human themselves after all.

Now there’s a new study showing, of course, that we’re guilty as charged on all counts. And, this is just the relatively large species. It’s not even counting all the cute little critters we bulldoze over before we even know they’re there. OK, the speciescides referenced here predate bulldozers. So, maybe we didn’t kill off as many little species when we were still using clovis point weaponry, not as many as we are now anyway.

Anyone still wondering why I hate our species?

http://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/humans-not-climate-change-blame-ice-age-animal-extinction