Add this to the list of Arabic contributions to the world, along with Algebra and Chemistry.
Tag Archives | Darwin
Alligator snapping turtles are somewhat common where I live, and growing up I learned to leave the hell alone. Grown-ups warned me and my friends that they could snap through broomsticks and fingers with ease, and called them “thunder turtles” because the story went that they would bite and hold on until thunder struck. Unless you’ve seen one in the flesh it’s really hard to understand how enormous and intimidating they are. The one in the picture is tiny, relatively speaking. You’ve got to be stupid to bother these prehistoric-looking beasts. Enter this anonymous and now-hospitalized young man…
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They’re called ‘snapping’ turtles for a very good reason, but this hapless animal lover just had to find out the hard way and ended up in hospital.
The Chinese man was reportedly releasing the ferocious-looking creature into the wild but decided he had to give it a goodbye kiss first.
[disinfo ed.’s note: The original essay was written in Spanish. The author acknowledges that the English translation is not perfect. He also mentions in response to comments that “as can be seen in the Spanish version, the Bibliography refers to the books ‘mentioned’ in the text, not the books ‘used’ over 33 years of research. My aim is NOT to write an academic paper. If in doubt please consult the original text in Spanish on “byebyedarwin.blogspot.com“.]
This article surprisingly reveals the existence of a very precise spiral rhythm in the emergence of the evolutionary leaps that mark the history of the universe.
The proposed hypothesis is very simple: just as in any musical instrument successive second harmonics (1/3 of the vibrating unit) progressively generate new sounds, these same second harmonics generate all the major evolutionary novelties in universal dynamics as a whole. It is truly surprising that such a simple proposal is found to be precise and categorical when cross-checked against historical data.… Read the rest
Sometimes you’ve just got to let it go, man. Let it go.
A Palatine man was crushed to death in a trash compactor as he searched for his missing cell phone, authorities said.
Roger Mirro, 56, told a neighbor in his apartment complex around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday that he may have dropped his phone down the garbage chute, authorities said. Mirro asked for a key to the trash room in the lower level parking garage, they said.
Around 3 1/2 hours later, police got a call from Mirro’s wife saying he was missing, Deputy Police Chief Alan Stoeckel said in a statement.
Aaron Cynic writes at Diatribe Media:
New Hampshire took an early lead this year in the effort to dumb down school students and erode the separation of church and state in the education system by introducing two anti-evolution bills to its state legislature (h/t Mother Jones). The two laws are the first of their kind in the state since the late 90’s. According to the National Center for Science Education, House Bill 1149 would:
“[r]equire evolution to be taught in the public schools of this state as a theory, including the theorists’ political and ideological viewpoints and their position on the concept of atheism.”
House Bill 1457 would:
“[r]equire science teachers to instruct pupils that proper scientific inquire [sic] results from not committing to any one theory or hypothesis, no matter how firmly it appears to be established, and that scientific and technological innovations based on new evidence can challenge accepted scientific theories or modes.”
State Representative Jerry Bergevin, who introduced HB 1149, believes such legislation is necessary because he thinks evolution is tied to Nazis, communists, and the shooters in the 1999 Columbine massacre.… Read the rest
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Contrary to what many psychological scientists think, people do not all have the same set of biologically “basic” emotions, and those emotions are not automatically expressed on the faces of those around us, according to the author of a new article published in Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal published by the Association for Psychological Science.
This means a recent move to train security workers to recognize “basic” emotions from expressions might be misguided.”What I decided to do in this paper is remind readers of the evidence that runs contrary to the view that certain emotions are biologically basic, so that people scowl only when they’re angry or pout only when they’re sad,” says Lisa Feldman Barrett of Northeastern University, the author of the new paper.
The commonly-held belief is that certain facial muscle movements (called expressions) evolved to express certain mental states and prepare the body to react in stereotyped ways to certain situations.
A growing number of biology and medical students are rejecting the very basis of their chosen subject in favor of creationism, reports Steve Jones in the Telegraph:
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…Now, though, we have evolution, the grammar of biology. More and more, students do not like it. I no longer teach medics but I do have a lot of contact with biology undergraduates and go to many schools and to student conferences. Over the past decade there has grown up a determined denial by many people of the truths of modern science.
At University College London we have numbers of Islamic students, almost all dedicated, hard-working and able. Some, unfortunately, refuse to accept Darwin’s theory on faith grounds, as do some of their Christian fellows; and just a couple of years ago a Turkish anti-evolution speaker (a Dr Babuna, as I remember) was invited on to campus to give an account of why The Origin is wrong.
What if Darwin’s theory of natural selection is inaccurate? What if the way you live now affects the life expectancy of your descendants? Evolutionary thinking is having a revolution. Oliver Burkeman writes in the Guardian:
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The story, still sometimes repeated in creationist circles, goes like this: it is the 1960s, at Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Centre in Maryland, and a team of astronomers is using cutting-edge computers to recreate the orbits of the planets, thousands of years in the past. Suddenly, an error message flashes up. There’s a problem: way back in history, one whole day appears to be missing.
The scientists are baffled, until a Christian member of the team dimly recalls something and rushes to fetch a Bible. He thumbs through it until he reaches the Book of Joshua, chapter 10, in which Joshua asks God to stop the world for … “about a full day!” Uproar in the computer lab.
From the Wall Street Journal:
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Evolution, the theory goes, guarantees survival to the fittest. But we can blame evolution for some of today’s most pressing health problems, such as cancer, obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
A 2009 Gallup poll found that 44% of Americans believe that God created human beings in their present form within the past 10,000 years. Many of them also think the human body is perfectly designed.
But most scientists—including biologists, anthropologists, paleontologists and geneticists—see the 21st century human body as a collection of compromises, jury-rigged by evolution as our ancestors adapted to changing conditions.
“In many ways, we are maladapted for modernity,” says Stephen Stearns, a Yale evolutionary biologist. He and others in the field are urging medical schools to include more evolutionary thinking when teaching doctors about modern diseases.
For example, the immune system was honed to fight off epidemics like malaria and cholera, which proliferated along with urbanization.