Science in America — Neil deGrasse Tyson

April 20, 2017

A very powerful video that speaks for itself.


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


Creationist Gives Huge Grant to Science University; What Does This Mean For the Future?

May 30, 2014

Lately we seem to be constantly confronted with examples of religion creeping in and trying to infringe on our science education. The latest I have come across is a young earth creationist donating a huge grant to a technical and scientific university. What’s more worrisome is that this university is a leading educator of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) teachers. Will this donation influence the curriculum of this university is the big question. And, what does accepting this money say about the university and their commitment to real science? I guess for organizations that accept grants, money is always taken no matter what the source or any potential consequences may be.

I personally find this very disturbing.

Greg Gianforte is an alumnus of the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey. He is also a presumed young earth creationist who helped fund a creationist museum in Glendive Montana. And, now he’s funding Stevens Institute of Technology, among other things, a leading educator of our STEM educators.

So, what does it mean when the largest donation by a living donor in the history of Stevens Institute of Technology, $10 million, is being given to the institution by a presumed young earth creationist who also funded a museum that teaches that humans and non-avian dinosaurs coexisted in a world that is less than 10,000 years old?

Read the rest of this entry »


Angry Atheists — Greta Christina Explains

April 30, 2014

Yes, the video is 48 minutes long. It’s worth it. I’ll wait for others to comment, if any bother to watch the whole thing, before adding my $0.02. Seriously, do watch it. It’s well worth the time. And, I don’t say that about a lot of 48 minute videos.


Observed Evolution In Recent History

April 23, 2014

I had no idea there were this many examples of evolution caught in the act in a human time frame. I had heard of 3, the recent finch evolution in the Galapagos, the recent lizard evolution on Cypress, and the color change of butterflies (or was it moths) during the industrial revolution when tree bark blackened from coal soot.

Anyway, this is a great page full of examples, including new speciation and even whole new organs evolving. Cool stuff.

http://phylointelligence.com/observed.html

If anyone actually asks you “were you there?” The correct answer is “Yes. I was there.”


Wordification: Fundalentilist (noun)

April 2, 2014

I’m creating a new word. Let’s see if it takes off.

Fundalentilist: (noun)
1. A human being who thinks with an organ of the size and complexity of a single lentil bean, a living dal.

Note that a young earth fundalentilist only has half a lentil and is twice as dangerous.

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Natural Selection: 2 Faith: 0 — Walk on Water? Fail. Lion’s Den? Fail.

January 5, 2014

I will be the first to admit that there are intelligent people of faith. These two shall not be numbered among them.

Pastor Tries to Walk on Water Like Jesus, Then Drowns in Front of His Congregation

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5 Million People Per Year Die of Nothing (More Accurately, Doing Nothing)

November 14, 2013

I just felt the need to spread the word … as I sit on my sofa … inactively killing myself.

The best medicine: No pill provides the amazing health benefits that exercise does


My Halloween Costume is Scarier

October 31, 2013

For this Halloween, I’m going dressed as the scariest monster in the roughly half-billion year history of multicellular life on this planet. I’m not including a picture of the costume. I’ll leave that to the imagination of the reader.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

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Fun Fact: Humans are Deuterostomes

June 11, 2013

Of course, some people never get past this phase. Others probably think that of me. But, I’m the kind of asshole who doesn’t give a shit about those assholes.


Prairie Dog Squeak Equals Human Sentence

May 19, 2013

I must say that I find it quite incredible that inside the very short squeak of a prairie dog is a complete sentence of the form “Danger, a thin human in a yellow shirt is approaching the colony.”

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Scientists Respond to Creationism

January 28, 2013

Unfortunately, scientists are still in the position of having to respond to complete and utter bullshit. There are some good responses in here to why this is a real problem. Unfortunately, I bet there will be induhviduals who respond on this thread in defense of creationism. If you are about to do so, please make sure to at least watch the video first.

My favorite response in this particular video is the one regarding the human eye and jaw as they reflect on the incompetency of god and provide better evidence of unintelligent design than the other kind.


Impeach Congressman Paul Broun

October 7, 2012

Congressman Paul Broun has publicly stated that he is deliberately failing to uphold and defend the constitution of the United States of America. As such, he should be forcibly removed from office for the failure to follow his oath of office. Here is a direct quote from this idiot who has proclaimed that the earth is 9,000 years old, and that evolution, the big bang theory, and embryology are lies straight from the pit of hell.

As you congressman, I hold the holy bible as being the major directions to me for how I vote in Washington DC. And, I’ll continue to do that.

Paul Broun’s act of legislating based on his personal religious beliefs is in direct contradiction to this famous quote.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ….

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Excuse Me, I’m Looking for 144 Million Idiots …

June 19, 2012

… oh … never mind. I found them.

In U.S., 46% Hold Creationist View of Human Origins

Remember folks, if you do not believe in evolution, you do not believe in modern medicine.

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Why is there stuff in the universe?

February 6, 2012

Let there be stuff? I don’t think that’s a very satisfying answer. This one is much better.

This lecture is entitled ‘A Universe From Nothing’ by Lawrence Krauss. It is rather lengthy, but amusing throughout and not too technical for a lay audience, such as myself. The introduction is by Richard Dawkins, who if I remember correctly, at some point calls Lawrence Krauss the Woody Allen of physics. It’s a fairly apt description, and a high compliment IMHO.

I highly recommend this. If you’re thinking it’s not worth the time, just replace a couple of reruns of older TV shows with an hour of this. It’s better for your brain anyway and just as entertaining.