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Bottled water: harmful to the environment

Bottled water: harmful to the environment

According to this article from Salem-News.com, it makes much more sense to filter your own water and reuse your bottle. What is the downside to buying bottles of water? Around the world, factories are using more than 18 million barrels of oil and up to 130 billion gallons of fresh water a year to create […]

July 1, 2007 | By | 14 Replies More
Dawkins cuts Behe apart and throws him to the dogs

Dawkins cuts Behe apart and throws him to the dogs

This NYT article by Richard Dawkins is just too much fun to not read. And when I mentioned “dogs,” I meant it.  If mutation, rather than selection, really limited evolutionary change [as Behe argues], this should be true for artificial no less than natural selection. Domestic breeding relies upon exactly the same pool of mutational […]

July 1, 2007 | By | 2 Replies More
Are you spending money on homeopathic medicine?

Are you spending money on homeopathic medicine?

If so, check out this post by Ebonmuse. It’s part of his Popular Delusions series.  Placebos (homeopathic drugs are one form of many) show up in many places . . .

July 1, 2007 | By | Reply More
Sicko diagnoses our sick political system

Sicko diagnoses our sick political system

What is it to be “sick”?   According to Merriam-Webster, there are two definitions: 1 : affected with disease or ill health 2 : spiritually or morally unsound or corrupt This afternoon I viewed “Sicko.”  I was one of the many audience members at the theater who applauded at the film’s conclusion.  Sicko will serve provoke […]

June 30, 2007 | By | 16 Replies More
The GOP Presidential Line-up

The GOP Presidential Line-up

  [Reprinted with the permission of Matt Bors]

June 30, 2007 | By | Reply More
Ancestors along the highway

Ancestors along the highway

[This idea was born as a comment here, but I decided to create a separate post out of it].

What if your mother stood right behind you, and your mother’s mother stood right behind her? Then your great grandma and then your great great grandma. Imagine them all lined up, one foot apart, stretching out into the distance. If a generation is deemed to be 25 years, a line of your ancestors as long as a football field (300 feet) would stretch backwards 7,500 years. The woman at the end of that 300 foot line would have lived during the time when agriculture just began in ancient Egypt. You’d still recognize each of your ancestors in that 300 foot line to be fully modern humans, biologically speaking.

Isn’t it amazing to think that you could run along side that entire 300 foot line of your ancestors in only 15 seconds (I’m assuming you’re not an Olympic caliber sprinter) to end up standing next to one of your own ancestors who was alive 7,500 years ago?

Now think even further back. In An Ancestor’s Tale, Richard Dawkins calculated that 20,000,000 great-grandparents ago, our relatives were small shrew-like animals living at the end of the Cretaceous period. What if you spaced out your relatives one foot apart to extend all the way back to these shrew-like creatures? That line would be 3,787 miles long. That’s about the length of highway running from my hometown of St. Louis, Missouri to Anchorage Alaska. Imagine speeding alongside that line of your relatives at 60 mph, seeing the generations of your relatives whizzing by, more than 5,000 of them every minute.

It wouldn’t take long to reach the last of your relatives who looks like you. In fact, your trip would have barely begun. Biologically modern humans (those whose bodies are the functional equivalent of our own bodies) came onto the scene between 100,000 and 200,000 years ago. Driving at highway speed parallel to that line of your own relatives, you’d run out of your biologically modern human relatives less than one-minute after beginning your trip. That’s only 4,000 generations.

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June 30, 2007 | By | 10 Replies More
The Apple iPhone: yet another conflation of needs and wants

The Apple iPhone: yet another conflation of needs and wants

It’s deemed “news” rather than advertising: It’s right up there with Paris Hilton. Hundreds of people who lined up to be among the first to get their hands on Apple Inc.’s coveted iPhone are now the braggarts and guinea pigs for the latest must-have, cutting-edge piece of techno-wizardry.  Gotta have it.  Gotta have it! As […]

June 29, 2007 | By | 8 Replies More
A drinking game about the President’s al Qaeda obsessions

A drinking game about the President’s al Qaeda obsessions

Chris Kelly writes about that “thing” on the President’s mind during today’s 45 minute trip to Rhode Island. Bush dropped in, to see what condition his condition was in, and to address the Naval War College. For the audience members playing the drinking game, the 9/11 references were: 1) “This is an ideological conflict we […]

June 29, 2007 | By | 1 Reply More
Ten tips for lousy interviewers: no more excuses for bad interviews

Ten tips for lousy interviewers: no more excuses for bad interviews

Is it just me, or are the interviews you see on television getting worse and worse?  There are exceptionally good interviewers, of course (such as Bill Moyers).  Bad interviews are the norm, however.  This is a shame, because most bad interviews could be cured if only the interviewers would follow a few basic rules Before […]

June 27, 2007 | By | 6 Replies More