blueollie

Evolution: trajectory to humans in 1 minute…

Via Jerry Coyne’s website:

Yes, this shows one evolutionary trajectory; the one that leads to humans …and for the time scales involved (via one of the comments)

June 21, 2015 Posted by | evolution, science | | Leave a comment

can you spot the tree frogs?

From Why Evolution is True; click on the photo to get to a large photo that you can view at WEIT; I could NOT have found the frogs without the blown up version of the photo:

find-the-tree-frogs

Don’t give up.

Here is the solution (again, I needed to look at the full size photo to find those froggies

June 14, 2015 Posted by | evolution, frogs, science | | Leave a comment

Short videos that I never get tired of watching

Basketball: Larry Bird Scores 60

Football

Social issues

Bus Fights

Animals

Movies

Humor:
Monty Python:

Larry David

Honest Best Man Speech

Easter Egg Hunt

Career Builder ads

Cartoons
Foghorn Leghorn gets his wave function collapsed

Other (possibly NSFW; some sexual humor)

Friends try on tights (gluteal nudity).

April 4, 2015 Posted by | basketball, butt, evolution, football, morons, movies, religion, republicans, science | , , , , | Leave a comment

PC-ness on various levels

Today on Facebook, a friend posted the following:

realmenblahblahblah

I had to laugh. Personally, I think that I am attracted at what I am genetically predisposed to be attracted to, moderated by what I am capable of attracting back. Seriously….this is expressed very well here: (science)

and here

“Love: being slightly deluded in each other’s favor”…or an evolutionary adaptation that makes it easier for our species to propagate.

Heck, to see who I might be in love with, all I have to do is to watch her pick something up. If she bends over like this…she is probably for me.

No, I don’t go along with ideas that I don’t agree with (though I can change my mind upon seeing appropriate evidence). And yes, I am a liberal, who sometimes loses patience with other liberals:

There is some good discussion on this topic at Jerry Coyne’s website.

And no, liberals attacking each other over …well…not much is nothing new.

March 30, 2015 Posted by | education, evolution, political humor, political/social, politics, politics/social, social/political | , , , , | Leave a comment

Secularism, rage of the zealots and missing the point.

Yes, I know; Bill Maher holds some woo-woo beliefs (vaccinations). But his point: if you are secular, be open so others know that you aren’t alone is well taken, as is the point of living by some book that was written in a very ignorant age.

Oh sure, some might be offended by this.
People get offended when their deeply held beliefs are challenged; ok, I am no exception. But I can change my mind.

Not everyone can though, as Paul Krugman explains:

A bit more on the curious back and forth between myself and Robert Samuelson. It started when I made the commonplace point that normally the Fed, not the White House, is responsible for managing booms and busts, and that the great disinflation of the 1980s was basically a story of a Fed-imposed recession, and had little if anything to do with Reagan’s supply-side tax cuts.

Samuelson declared this “maddeningly wrong”, and proceeded to say that my analysis of the economics of the 1980s was … basically right — but that Reagan deserved credit for letting Volcker be Volcker. I pointed out that this wasn’t really critiquing my point. […]

Yet Samuelson is angry about something; indeed declared himself “maddened” by a column whose economic analysis he doesn’t actually dispute. What’s going on here?

The answer, I think, is Reaganolatry. Specific policies aside, Reagan must be seen as the hero who saved America. And therefore he must be given credit for a disinflation carried out by a Fed chairman who was appointed by, and began his anti-inflation crusade under, Jimmy Carter. Anything perceived as detracting from the Reagan legend is infuriating, even if you can’t find anything wrong with the substance.

Yes, one faces fury when one doesn’t pay proper deference to a legend or when one examines something perceived as fact:

Damn you, how DARE you question our VICTIM STATUS!!!!

Now in science, there are disputes. One of the tug of wars is in the theory of evolution. Basically, the tug of war is between the adaptationists (those who believe that evolutionary change is primarily an adaptation that improves reproductive fitness) verses those who see a bit more randomness at play. That is, some results of evolution can be, well, accidental and serve no “enhancement of reproductive success” purpose.

To see a demonstration of how this debate plays out, read Larry Moran’s post about “How did a zebra get its stripes.” It is very possible that the stripes occurred by..well…accident. I know; some just grit their teeth when it is shown that sometimes things happen for no good/useful reason. That is, Pangloss was wrong. :-)

Back to social I think that Vox goes astray here. They put forth a story that says that their free speech/cartoon posts received no threats from Muslims but that their “Islamophobia” posts got threats from non-Muslims.

That misses the point, I think. Yes, there are isolated key board commando crackpots out there; no argument here. The difference is that there are no influential Christian clerics who are issuing the analogy of fatwas against people who write books, and there are no reasonably wealthy Christian countries that have governments who give lashes to those who insult religion.

I said “reasonably wealthy” because there are some third world backwaters where things like witch burnings still happen and where the Christians have a hand in it.

January 15, 2015 Posted by | civil liberties, economy, evolution, politics/social, religion, science, social/political | , , , , | Leave a comment

Evolution and complexity

First my workout: 5 mile run (varied the intensity every 4 minutes) 50:26. Then 3 mile walk (42:40); some on an incline. Frozen snow outside.

Evolution: this is a very interesting article. The gist: yes, natural selection acts to select for mutations that give some reproductive advantage. But there have to be possible advantageous mutations available to begin with, and that only works if things are sufficiently complex to begin with. And there have to be several possible advantageous mutations to being with.

I sure wish I had time to train to study this from a mathematical point of view. But I have enough to work on as it is..and that includes things that I am in better position to publish.

January 14, 2015 Posted by | evolution, running, science | , , , | Leave a comment

Circular illusions and camouflaged frogs

Can you spot the frogs? Clicking the link will take you Mathew Cobb’s post at Why Evolution is True (photo by Nash Turley)

camfrogs

I’m sure that you can, but this photo shows what evolutionary adaptation can do.

Also, WEIT provided a link to this little gem: these “rotating dots” are, individually, moving along a straight line path. Seriously…all of them are.

I am going to try to write some equations that describe this motion.

January 6, 2015 Posted by | evolution, frogs, mathematics, nature, science | , | Leave a comment

Limits of “Common Sense”…

Workout notes It was 23 F and sunny when I started a run (shuffle, really) and I had intended to go 10K. I ended up doing my double corn stalk course; I didn’t start my stop watch but estimate that I ran the 8.1 miles in roughly 1:31-1:32. It wasn’t much of an effort; very slow and steady.

Ferguson shooting
Yes, African Americans have a reason to worry about encounters with police. But the risk of being killed by police is low compared to other risks. It is just that mundane murders and accidents, while FAR, FAR more numerous, don’t make the news nearly as often.

In fact, people often struggle to understand how statistics affects their lives. For example, much of the time, early detection isn’t of much value for many types of cancers. Many cancers aren’t dangerous, others multiply so rapidly that early detection doesn’t help much; there is only a few types of cancers that early detection helps with. This shows up statistically.

Statistics can be brought to bear on “miracle stories” as well:

A bit more about science : evidently some science magazines are trying to increase sales by manufacturing a “crisis” in evolutionary theory that just isn’t there. Sure, there IS debate as to the mechanisms of evolution and research continues to be done. But that is really more “status quo”.

And no: just because evolution doesn’t make sense TO YOU doesn’t mean that it isn’t true, no matter what your religion says.

Speaking of religion Jerry Coyne points us to this humorous cartoon:

rabbitgodvsduckgod

November 25, 2014 Posted by | evolution, running, science, social/political, statistics | , , , , | Leave a comment

Animal Camouflage (part ???)

Can you spot the snow leopards? (via Matthew Cobb at Jerry Coyne’s website)

This isn’t impossible, but it isn’t easy either.

I remember seeing a cottontail rabbit yesterday; it was sitting on some leaves and you could look right at it and not see it. I wish that I had a high resolution camera at the time.

October 31, 2014 Posted by | evolution, nature | | Leave a comment

biology, dating and social norms of yesteryear

Video: this is 30 minutes long. Upshot: she gives a nice presentation of why some male/female social norms were the way that they were (saying: “men suck” is too simplistic) and notes that many want rights but don’t want obligations.

My counter is that many women that I know are extremely fair minded; they want equal rights for women but they agree that these indeed come with equal obligations. Not everyone is that way, of course, but any large movement will have its share of dummies and slackers.

I think that she is a good example of someone who can present a different point of view but do so in a logical, cohesive manner.

Science
Yes, the current post-doc system (at least in biology) can become abusive. The lab system trains more lab scientists than there is room for.

Good news: SCOTUS rejects an appeal for a teacher that was fired for pushing creationism in the class room. Academic freedom and First Amendment rights do not extend toward protecting incompetence.

Dating application There is a dating application that weeds out poor people (or, say, the non-wealthy). Though some are outraged, I am fine with that. People can select who they want to date. Not everyone is for everyone else.

October 7, 2014 Posted by | creationism, evolution, science, social/political | | Leave a comment

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