Posts Tagged ‘Evolution’


The Thinking Viking is still thinking about a lot of drafts, so, to keep things interesting, here’s two more pics.  Undisclosed location.  Enjoy.coverIMG_0538

You don’t need to think about this, but fungi were reclassified a not so long while back as belonging to the the same branch of life that produced US (animals, chemo-autotrophs, or organisms that cannot photosynthesize and must consume “food” to grow) eventually. These are your extremely distant cousins.

But I ask you to please , think about it.

MJ

PS I will give a massive WOW THIS PERSON KNOWS THEIR STUFF shout out for you if  ANYONE can identify these….

 

MJ

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The Thinking Viking loves a good discussion and debate.  Valid, cogent  arguments in favor for  or against a position, good stuff.  But there is an idea out there that whenever there is a dissenting voice, that there is a rational, reasonable discussion occurring.  That two opposing views are comparing valid, rational arguments. This is crap.  it is not always true that the other side has any grounds for even speaking.  Oddly, it reminds me of how people in a certain Colorado town were convinced that anything made by Ford sucked, Chevy ruled, and they argued for ever with the Ford and Mopar (need I mention AMC?) crowd, yet they all had tons of stats and figures to compare. Shhhh-  Fact is, all those old muscle cars are about equal once you push them to their design limits.

But there are facts to debate there.  Compression ratios, limited slip differentials, intake and exhaust mods, manual vs automatic, ignition advance, fuel/air mixtures, hell, even spark plug gaps. The things I am going to poke at don’t have sides to compare like torque curves or 1/4 mile times.

I’m gonna talk about the creation of the life on this planet and the creation of the United States.  Two things God had nothing to do with. There are a lot of voices on both “sides” here, some screaming bloody murder.

Uh oh, that got some people mad.

I am going to use all caps for the next two sentences, so Homer Simpson will understand.

THERE IS NO DEBATE AMONG SCIENTISTS ABOUT EVOLUTION BEING “TRUE”. THE UNITED STATES WAS FOUNDED SPECIFICALLY TO BE FREE FROM RELIGIOUS INFLUENCE IN STATE MATTERS.

Read that again, and I invite you to challenge me. Take your best shot.

Media of all sources will have you think that there is some confusion or true debate on these issues.

Nope. In two paragraphs I will be done.

While the details of abiogenesis and the mechanisms behind the creation of the first self replicating molecule are still not nailed down, the only discussions going on among scientists about evolution are about the details of how it occurs. Period. The counter argument has no evidence. I refuse to even put the counter into words here.

The founding fathers were living in times were your religious beliefs could get you killed. Dead.  Or at least excommunicated, which was essentially banishment from house and home and family and life.  They knew the dangers that would creep in if religion began to dictate law.  To call them “Christian” is a shellacking of the truth – with notable exceptions, that I’m not taking the time now to research, – many were “Deist” – believed in God, but not that this God would intervene in human affairs or who took any active role.  Plus, you have to understand that Everyone – and I mean EVERYONE – in that time was, from birth, indoctrinated with a church, and to not be part of this would be self…banishment.  No one in those times would publicly say there is no God, and most would invoke his name to lend authority to their ideas. So, sure, they were “religious men” – all men were. So much for the “Christian Nation”.

Rant done.

Think about it.
MJ


When I started this blog, I decided I would keep my political commentary out of it, you’ll have to see my Facebook page for that. But I recently (yesterday) attended Ron Paul’s rally in Berkeley, CA, and what I saw reminded me that politics and social issues go hand in hand, so I decided to share my thoughts.

First, I have long admired Ron Paul for his sincerity and his ardent refusal to change his views to please the masses or bow to the pressure of the story-of-they-day. I also long ago decided I would never vote for him for President. I’ll elaborate in a bit.

OK, he wants to audit and eventually end the Federal Reserve. Hell yeah.   He wants to end our ceaseless foreign undeclared wars and stop being the World Police. Hell yes.  He wants to end the War on Some Drugs. Hell yeah, again. He is angry that millions are homeless while there are millions of empty foreclosed homes. Agreed, I am too. He is rightfully angry that our federal government is intruding into our freedoms at an unprecedented level. Repeal the Patriot Act? It’s about fucking time. Abolish corporate subsidies? Yep. I’m still with you, Dr. Paul.

But, and first in this argument, I have some problems with him I cannot ignore. As a biologist and philosopher by education I know a few things. First, corporations are not people, they don’t get scared, can’t be imprisoned, don’t feel pain, don’t need food or air or water.  Ron Paul would abolish the EPA and if we abolish the EPA, and let the threat of lawsuits and such keep corporations from polluting our environment as he suggests, that we will see a return to the times when poisons were poured into our water supply untreated, where industrial air pollution created acid rain.  A billion dollar lawsuit cannot undo the damage that a single BP-level accident can cause.  Money can’t fix it after the damage is done. Second, he is a Creationist. As in God made the Earth for mankind and evolution is “just a theory”  (please see “Just a Theory” for more on my views about this). Some have criticized me for allowing religion to taint my politics, but that isn’t it. Fact is, in this country, no one could possibly be nominated for President if they do NOT at least appear to believe in God. I don’t give a hoot if you’re running for President and you are Christian, Mormon, Jewish, Muslim (yeah, right like THAT would happen)  what ever.  What I DO mind is someone who doesn’t believe  that life evolves. Who believes that we were created exactly as we are today and the world was made for us, specifically.  It is  simply not true, and if you DO believe this, you are deluded, clouded by the Authority of the Church.  If you merely CLAIM to believe it you are being dangerously manipulative. Finally, tied to his  religious ideals, he believes that a fertilized human egg is a person, and therefore would prohibit abortion, (I suspect he would be happy to overturn Roe v Wade in the name of States Rights, one of his big talking points).

One, two, three strikes, you’re out Dr. Paul.  If we could somehow combine him with say, Bill Clinton and Teddy Roosevelt  and JFK and cherry pick features, we could have a fantastic President.  You can guess who is getting my vote in November.

Anyhow, here are some pictures.

All done.

MJ

PS  To clarify : Obama is not the clinton-roosevelt-JFK president. Still voting for him.  this two party thing we have going on sucks.


True story*. Fake names. This is kind of ugly. I forgive you if you don’t read all the way.

Last night, I was just sitting there, minding my own business, chuckling at a Facebook post, my tired butt planted firmly on the couch, when a message came in with a copied-pasted Facebook URL. Intrigued, as it came from a trusted source, I followed it.  Ah. One sided flame war.  Free-thinker friend I’ll call “Bill” was being harassed by someone named “Brad” – because Bill supports gay marriage rights, equal protection rights for LGBT folks,  and doesn’t feel homosexuals should have to hide their nature. Bill provides calm, rational arguments. Bill is straight. Well, me too. But of course Brad feels otherwise about &@% gays. Only fags would say that.  It makes him sick, it’s wrong, God hates gays, And that’s just the start. Gay marriage will never be legal because it offends too many.

I read the whole thread’s last page.  Brad was drunk, actually publicly claimed to be.  The usual hateful bigoted bits came from him – Bill must be gay, gay people are sick, gay people deserve the mistreatment they get because it is their choice and they could somehow stop being gay.  So far, I’m more amused than mad, a little surprised at the persistence and higher than usual amount of profanity, but not shocked. Not provoked to do much but read.

I then calmly point out his fallacy of logic, point out that gay marriage and equal rights for homosexuals are being, and have already been, voted into law in many states and many developed countries.

Wait – now Bill must be an idiot if he believes in evolution, it’s just a  “theory”.  Fish don’t grow legs, fools!

Wrong move, Brad.  I weigh in.

“Just a theory?”  How fucking ignorant are you? You do realize that “sub-atomic theory” FLATTENED HIROSHIMA AND NAGASAKI.  Ask 400,000 dead Japanese how sure we are about “theory”.  Gravity? Yeah, that  is  ” just a theory”, too. (from another post of mine Just a Theory – From Hiroshima to Whitney Houston) (hey WordPress.com – I just had to hand code that hyperlink – what gives? Insert-link did nothing)

Then it gets weird.  Apparently Brad thinks Bill shared Brad’s home address publicly and then makes thinly veiled threats about vandalising Bill’s home or otherwise stalking him. What?  And Brad suggests that his father would shoot other commentors on Bill’s side. Then he just starts tossing insults.  Then he goes after me – apparently my education at  The University of Colorado was worthless and I must have gotten nothing but a diploma out of it.  I check his page.  Community College grad with a certificate in metal machining.  Nothing bad about that, but it is undeniable I am better educated.  Doesn’t mean he is stupid.  He is proving that with his own words.  I grow weary, state as much, and leave the “discussion”.

As part of my on-going Facebook Campaign of  “I’m not gay but I don’t give a fuck if you are” I then shared on my timeline, nothing related to the flame war I just part of, a tragic post about yet another gay teenager who committed suicide after bullying. I ask “How many more homosexual kids are going to die before we finally as a people stop the hate?”

Brad was watching.  He commented on my post that I should be the next to die. Horribly written and mis-spelled, but clear enough. On MY post.  Before I can finish typing my not-kind response, a friend of mine read his comment and jumped in, ripping him as bad as I was about to.  Thanks Lena (also, not her real name), I got your back too. No more comments from Brad on that post.

There’s more. Today I hear this: Brad has found someone at his school with almost the same name as me, ahem – different middle initial and surname spelled as a different northern European tongue.  Brad thinks this guy is ME. Yep. No shit. But he’s posting this poor bastards home address and encouraging vandalism .This other “me” has now been sucked into this insanity.  A simple view of my profile would have tipped this guy off that I live halfway across the country. Fucking god-damned WHAT?

Police are involved. You will hear no more of this from me.

I was on Facebook IM with a friend in the Midwest couple hours earlier.  She can’t walk the streets with her girlfriend out of fear of public outrage and family ostracism.

Any of you reading this far are already on my side.  The right side.  The fair and human side. If you have read this far and are not on the right side, I pity you. You have evil in your soul.

MJ

PS – follow my campaign on Facebook at I’m not gay but I don’t give a damn if you are


I cringe when I hear the words “just a theory”.  Why?  Because of the way it is usually used to dismiss a scientifically valid point. There’s more to it, I’ll get to that in a bit.

I usually don’t say anything when I hear those words.  It’s just not worth the time.  But if I find I am talking to some uneducated, deluded fool (notice that I do not say “stupid” or “unintelligent”? Know your enemies)  who wants to take me on, well, the gloves come off.  (I find that last phrase I used odd, since you actually have to be much more careful in bare knuckle boxing, but I digress.)

Anyhow, my first salvo is rather hot. It has “evolved” over the years.

“Just a theory?”  How fucking ignorant are you? You do realize that “sub-atomic theory” FLATTENED HIROSHIMA AND NAGASAKI.  Ask 400,000 dead Japanese how sure we are about “theory”.  Gravity? Yeah, that  is ” just a theory”, too.

That usually shuts them up.  But not always.  I won’t elaborate now.

What bothers me more than the random Creationist who sincerely believes that the Earth is 6,000 years old and dinosaur fossils are the tools of Satan, is that there is an unspoken under current to a lot of public discussions that just should not be there.  “Just a theory” is a fallacy  of  speech, a subtle equivocation.  The word “Theory” isn’t used in the common tongue the same way it is used in science.  And subtle word games can influence people profoundly.  This is why there are people convinced that gay marriage will destroy morality, or that drug testing welfare recipients is a just and fair use of our resources.  Or that’s it’s OK to suspend Habeus Coprus and hold people in secret prisons.

This happens more than you may realize.  Big media is very good at this game.  So are advertisers.  And politicians. And lawyers. Hear the word “garbage” associated with  anything enough and the general public will start to dislike it.  Don’t worry, if you are young, rich and pretty and go missing, an army will rise up to search for you. That homeless man, “that crazy guy who smells” – “human garbage” who hasn’t moved for hours on the side of the road?  Chances are that roadside is also going to be his bed, or even his grave.  Put out enough cameras and you will be able to broadcast terrible things, and scare the shit out of enough people that they will beg to be protected right out of any freedoms they had.

There’s a viral video where a young woman helps a blind man by changing his sign from “I’m blind, please help” to “It’s a beautiful day, and I can’t see it” and suddenly everyone passing gives him money.  This works both ways, but real people just can’t speak so loud that they drown out the money that talks louder than anything. The words we hear are fed to us, their meanings twisted by fear tactics and in some cases, outright lies. And it’s OK because it is “free speech”. And those hearing the words spoken so loud, respond with money.  Money for drugs they don’t need (Whitney Houston comes to mind),  useless products (That means YOU Snuggi, Chia Pet, Ad nauseam), wars we don’t want, leaders who don’t lead.

We are in the era of Newspeak and TV walls.  Bradybury and Orwell.

But it’s worse.  The people whose voices we hear the most aren’t even people.

Think about it.

MJ