Tag: Evolution

If At First You Don’t Succeed, etc…

When all the cards seem stacked against you, when the road is long and rocky and all uphill, when it seems that the whole world and everything in it tells you you can’t do it because you just don’t have it in your genes to do it… don’t listen to all the negative nellies, and whatever you do, don’t give up.

Sometimes, no matter how hard it gets, no matter how many times you fall, you just gotta keep getting back up, and you just gotta get dressed up, and you just gotta keep on trying.

Even if your wheels fall off, or you go right off the road into the bushes, or you drive right into a rock wall, you just gotta get back up, brush yourself off, put on your best suit, smile at the doubters with a big ass toothy grin, and with steely eyed determination get back into the drivers seat, stamp on the gas pedal, and go for it.

Goal setting and determination is what separates the humans from the monkeys, I guess.

Never give an inch… and never give up.

Don’t never say never.

Success is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.

Whatever it is you’re trying to do, you can do it if you just keep on trying.

Palin denies evolution? You betcha! Also . . . .

Crossposted at Daily Kos

    Someone needs to explain to Sarah why she has a tailbone.

New York Times reviewer Michiko Kakutani writes:

    Elsewhere in this volume, she talks about creationism, saying she “didn’t believe in the theory that human beings – thinking, loving beings – originated from fish that sprouted legs and crawled out of the sea” or from “monkeys who eventually swung down from the trees.” In everything that happens to her, from meeting Todd to her selection by Mr. McCain for the Republican ticket, she sees the hand of God: “My life is in His hands. I encourage readers to do what I did many years ago, invite Him in to take over.”


    Wow. Just, wow.

    More below the fold.

Re-evaluating War and Its Lasting Effects

When lone gunmen brutally slaughter innocent citizens on our shores, the first thing everyone runs to diagnose is motive.  Wild speculation rages as the first few confused details trickle out, which eventually are firmed up as substantive information becomes public.  The media framing implies, but can’t bring itself to mention directly, whether the psychological cost of warfare might be a deeply destructive force that erodes the emotional health of those who serve.  That, in turn, points a finger at our reliance on war as an economic tool and a political necessity.  Politicians and military contractors both push a robust military option and insist upon on the existence of many triggers eager to be squeezed.  Socialist might be the right-wing insult of the hour, but pacifist follows closely behind on the scale of damning conservative indictments.  

I demand PURITY!!!!!

Crossposted at Daily Kos

     Demand purity? “But that’s crazy talk!” you say.

     Of course it is! I’m not talking about purity for the Democrats, you sillies. I’m talking about purity for the Republican party.

    I demand MORE of it! MORE Republican purity is the BEST thing the Democratic party and the progressive movement could possibly hope for.

     There is NO possibility of recalling The Wing-nuts-          

     You see, there is no such thing as liberal purity. Put 100 random liberals in a room and you will have 100 different views of how the world should be.

     Conservatives, on the other hand . . . .

     More below the fold

The Matrix, Free Will and Evolution


Some of us feel like Neo at the end of the first one when the bullets are coming fast and furious and to Neo it seems so comically slow motion. But to those still in the Matrix it all seems so real.

4 Inches Deeper

The 1976 Viking lander would have likely found water ice on Mars if it had probed just 4 inches deeper.

NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has revealed frozen water hiding just below the surface of mid-latitude Mars. The spacecraft’s observations were obtained from orbit after meteorites excavated fresh craters on the Red Planet.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
By FishOutofWater

Water ice, never seen before in Mars’ “temperate” zone, was discovered in a shallow crater that was made in 2008. The ice reveals that Mars was warmer and wetter in the relatively recent past.

The finds indicate water-ice occurs beneath Mars’ surface halfway between the north pole and the equator, a lower latitude than expected in the Martian climate.

This ice is a relic of a more humid climate from perhaps just several thousand years ago.

said Shane Byrne of the University of Arizona, Tucson.

Mars has large variations in its tilt that cause its climate to change even more strongly that the changes from glacial to interglacial on earth. However, Mars lost most of its atmosphere to space because Mars lacks the mass (size) to hold on to its upper atmosphere when it interacts with energetic particles in the solar wind. With only 1% of the atmospheric pressure of the earth, the Martian surface is uninhabitable to humans.

Uranium 235 / What God Said

I posted this diary a year ago, July 17, 2008 as part of the “Writing in the Raw” series.  This is the most recent writing I have done on evolution.  A few people here at DD have asked for more on Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and Evolution.  

Since I seem to be an ever-procrastinating lazy critter and haven’t come up with anything new and haven’t posted anything this year on those seminal events in the formation of the Evolutionary Imperative, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I repost the essay here with a few changes, mainly in format.  

This is especially for Lady Lib. For any who are truly intersted in this subject, I recommend going to my original post The Evolutionary Imperative — Writing in the Raw and read the truly cogent comments to see how others here are thinking about evolution and our current conundrum.  I begin with my poem:


                 by Sydney Vilen

What they remember is the light

Those scientists in the desert night

Ghostly iridescence, unearthly light

No color, merely shades of white.

Trinity Test at Alamogordo


Instantly into the still dark land

The light grew over the sand

Galactic secrets in the predawn night

Galactic secrets in atomic rite

And the light grew

Brighter than the light of twenty noons

And still it grew

An x-ray of the testing crew.

Trinity Test at Alamogordo


Shiva Yahweh Buddha Zeus

Father Son and Holy Goose

Humanity with its head in the noose

Glimpsed its form as god.

[Please glimpse consciousness as gods, beyond the fold]—  

Paleontologists Dismayed by Creation Museum

Creationism has seen big gains in the State of Texas school cirriculum in recent months aided by the help of a widespread radical Christian Fundamentalist mind-set.

“Paleontologists took a trip to Answers in Genesis’s Creation “Museum” – and were dismayed, unsurprisingly, by what they saw. The Ninth North American Paleontological Convention was held June 21-26, 2009, at the University of Cincinnati, attracting several hundred paleontologists from around the world to present their latest research, as well as to attend a plenary session on evolution and society featuring NCSE’s executive director Eugenie C. Scott. The organizers of the convention also offered a side trip to the nearby Creation “Museum, explaining that “it is essential for professional paleontologists to become better aware of how their work and their roles in society are portrayed by creationists, themes that are conveyed vividly at the museum.”

read more

Liberal/Conservative Disconnect: Evolution & Free Markets

There is a major disconnect between liberals and conservatives.

Liberals believe (mostly) in the science of evolution, but reject unrestrained capitalism.

Conservatives tend to exalt unrestrained capitalism, but reject evolution.

These are core philosophical antagonisms; and, of course, they are inconsistent with one another.  In both cases, unrestrained competition is viewed as good/bad.  

Why is Natural Selection lauded, but capitalism rejected, and vice versa, by the respective sides?

I have some thoughts, but will hold off on expressing them for now.

Have at it.

The revolution WAS televised…

You might not have noticed consciously, but it already happened; and even though you might not be consciously aware of it, you know it on a different level. Do you want proof? consider this:

Remember $4/gallon gas? of course you do. It was the kind of horror that makes red-blooded Americans (As the inhabitants of the United States of America like to call themselves) question the meaning of life. It meant that we couldn’t joy-ride any more. It took all the flavor out of parking and necking (or petting, if you were that advanced) even though those pursuits went out the window with the advent of bucket seats anyway.

It spelled the death of the Hummer. Suddenly, vehicles designed for the battlefield weren’t so fashionable any more, except for certain people in Montecito; but we all know that Montecito is the graveyard of the elephants anyway. What recession? In Montecito, it doesn’t exist out on the road. Of course, who knows what happens behind the electric gates and impenetrable hedges? And I have to say that one does see quite a few Priuses among the Bentleys (!) in Montecito, so it’s not ENTIRELY devoid of consciousness.

Basically, the jump in gasoline prices sent shockwaves through the USA that affected everybody. No matter that the price of gas descended again; everybody knows that it could jump up anytime, and is, as we speak, rising again, ruled by the fickle winds of ‘market forces’. The knowledge that events and people beyond our control could raise the prices to four, or even more, dollars per gallon has affected our whole way of life. We (Or some of us, anyway) actually THINK before we jump into the car; we wonder whether we really NEED to make a special trip to town for a hot pretzel; should we consolidate errands? does anybody else in the family need something that we can get while we’re out?

I think that it’s an excellent omen for Earth day. And besides, rest assured that as soon as the oil barons feel that they can raise prices, they will. Right now, certain people are saying something to the effect that “We can’t raise them too fast, we’ve got to wait until this ‘recession’ is on the way to recovery, and then we’ll raise them again!”

I hate to tell them, but the damage has been done. The Hummer factory is closed, which is the actual proof that the revolution happened; the Hummer was a stupid car for deluded people who bought the illusion that they needed a Hummer to A- Keep them safe in a crash B- make them feel like G.I. Joe C- some other ‘statement’ that the car manufacturers and oil sellers persuaded people to make.

So…. what makes you think that I hated Hummers from the beginning? and that I’m persuaded that the people who can’t get rid of them will eventually just walk away from them the same way that some people are walking away from their mortgages on houses that are now worth less than the payments? And that four-wheel-drive cars are great… on a ranch in Wyoming, but not really necessary for a trip to Von’s?

The funny thing is that all the stuff is still there. Houses, trees, food, things, they’re still there. The only thing that changed is some abstract thing called “Value” that somebody decided things were worth.

And something very important really has changed; more people are planting gardens, more people are recycling, more people are car-pooling, as the pocket-book nerve gets pinched ever harder. There’s signs of hope, of an emerging consciousness, of a real revolution. People are starting to realize that the things that they took for granted are actually gifts from the Creator that can disappear the next day, and that cheap consumer goods are not as much fun as getting together with one’s family, friends, and society and doing things that don’t necessarily require the burning of gasoline. Among other changes. I’ve tripled the size of my vegetable garden, and when I finish posting this (Which I posted on DKos, where it disappeared without a trace, probably because it wasn’t RELEVANT enough, or whatever the people there judge to be relevant) I’m going out to plant more stuff; I don’t want a single vacant space in that garden!

Welcome to the world; welcome to Earth.

Science Trumps Intelligent Design Again

 by Al Bratton

While Bible-Thumping Creationists continue to teach that God’s Intelligent Design is responsible for the origin of Earth and Man, science continues to trump their efforts.

“Ten Amino Acids Thermodynamically Favored”

from Talk Reason.org

In the famous Miller-Urey experiment, amino acids, the “building blocks of proteins,” can be relatively easily produced by simple, natural processes. Ten of the 20 life building amino acids were created in conditions similar to the atmosphere of a young planet Earth.

Bottom line:

“…if these 10 amino acids were the basis of life on Earth, and they form so favorably, then there’s a very good chance that life on other planets may have originally used the same 10 amino acids.”


“…the fact remains that life here on Earth might have a lot in common with life elsewhere….”


Adult? Male Palin Supporter

Seems a few taking pics at a Palin rally hit on the same rational of who are these Sarah Palin supporters and the mentality of the group think.

I visited After Downing Street and Dave has a post up there from a curious woman wanting to find out for herself what was attracting people to Palin, certainly isn’t her intelligence, experience nor non-writin rhetoric while at these rallies.

Though apparently those who are flocking to her seem to be on the same intelligence level.

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