Category Archives: Science

Time For Less Nonsense

brain waves

Must engage brain!

I’m at a loss for words after I allow myself to get caught up in discussions with people who haven’t worked hard enough at educating themselves and still insist in trying to spread their lack of knowledge to others. I’m talking about people who argue Intelligent Design is a theory of equivalent substance and science as Evolution. Please stop spreading this nonsense and turn to people with knowledge on the subject.

I’ve had decades of discussions with people on this topic, and I admit, there were significant gaps in my knowledge. I didn’t however stay stagnant and refuse to learn more because I believed something to be a fact or true. Science isn’t a religion, although some people want to portray it as such so they can substitute their own mumbo-jumbo as an alternate truth. That’s an expression we heard the other day in politics. That’s fine if you never want to come up with a comprehensive, factual understanding.

First, if you’re stuck on an idea such as the earth is only a few thousand years old, you probably will never learn how evolution works. Your tenacity to cling to anachronistic, mythical beliefs halt your progression of knowledge. Evolution and speciation don’t occur anywhere near our compressed modern written timeline. That is to say, even if you were born in the Roman era, you will not find animals significantly alter from a simpler to a more complex living animal by the 21st century.

Darwin was influenced by observations made during his youthful voyage as a naturalist on the survey ship, Beagle. Although he’s credited with being the founder of evolutionary theory, his work was only a start and has been significantly superseded, and sometimes corrected through the study of biological science.

Evolution, or changes to a species occur over billions of years, not a few centuries. Lower organisms, such as insects, bacteria, or virus, evolve rapidly. That is why you find bacteria are able to adapt and become quickly resistant to antibiotics. So when you hear people say, humans aren’t descendants from apes or chimpanzees, they are correct. All humans, chimpanzees and apes evolved from a common ancestor millions of years ago. As you will learn through the videos, there are several forms of evidence which show that to be factual.

Don’t be confused with the scientific label referring to evolution as a theory. We have many mathematical theories as well. They are only labeled as such in order to allow free flowing exchange of ideas based on new and relevant discoveries. I studied electrical theory as a younger man, and believe me, call it theory or not, you will still be shocked when you place your fingers on 110 VAC.

A Primer on How Evolution Works

There is variation in traits.
For example, some beetles are green and some are brown. There is color variation in beetles.

There is differential reproduction.
Since the environment can’t support unlimited population growth, not all individuals get to reproduce to their full potential. For example, green beetles tend to get eaten by birds and survive to reproduce less often than brown beetles do.

There is heredity.
The surviving brown beetles have brown baby beetles because this trait has a genetic basis. Heredity of the traits of the beetles who survive.

End result:
The more advantageous trait, brown coloration, allows the beetle to have more offspring, therefore it becomes more common in the population. If this process continues, eventually the advantageous trait dominates, all individuals in the population will be brown.

If you have variation, differential reproduction, and heredity, you will have evolution by natural selection as an outcome. It is as simple as that.

The Theory of Evolution Made Easy

What is the Evidence for Evolution?

Origin of Life – How Life Started on Earth

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I hope this helps those people who refuse to be held back by dogma or willful ignorance.

 

It’s Pi Day . . So what?

Happy Pi Day!

Einstein in 1921 by F. SchmutzerToday is 3·14·15, corresponding to the first five digits of pi (3.1415) … a once-in-a-century coincidence! Albert Einstein would have celebrated his 136th birthday on March 14, too. It’s a great day to eat pie! Let’s all celebrate in appreciation of how important the number π is to math and science.

Pi is a non-repeating irrational, decimal number which has been calculated to 1.241 trillion positions, with no end in sight.

Pi became useful early on in designing spherical or conical shapes. The number is determined by dividing a circumference of a circle by the diameter, which gives us a constant value for all circles.

Pi is a very old number. We know that the Egyptians and the Babylonians knew about the existence of the constant ratio pi, although they didn’t know its value nearly as well as we do today. They had figured out that it was a little bigger than 3; the Babylonians had an approximation of 3 1/8 (3.125), and the Egyptians had a somewhat worse approximation of 4*(8/9)^2 (about 3.160484), which is slightly less accurate and much harder to work with. For more, see A History of Pi by Petr Beckman (Dorset Press).

The modern symbol for pi [π] was first contemporaneously used in 1706 by William Jones, who wrote:

There are various other ways of finding the Lengths or Areas of particular Curve Lines, or Planes, which may very much facilitate the Practice; as for instance, in the Circle, the Diameter is to the Circumference as 1 to (16/5 – 4/239) – 1/3(16/5^3 – 4/239^3) + … = 3.14159… = (see A History of Mathematical Notation by Florian Cajori).

Pi (rather than some other Greek letter like Alpha or Omega) was chosen as the letter to represent the number 3.141592… because the letter [π] in Greek, pronounced like our letter ‘p’, stands for ‘perimeter’.

Since it’s infinitely long, eventually, every piece of literature that’s ever been written and every sentence that can possibly be constructed in every language that has an alphabet (if we associate some binary sequences with that alphabet) can be read from decoding the digits of Pi.

 

pi-usefulness

Finding Perspective and Maybe a Little More..

Voyager 1, launched in 1977 is now over 12 billion miles away from our sun and has entered interstellar space.  The Pale Blue Dot is a photograph of planet Earth taken in 1990 by the Voyager 1 space probe. The original photo is grainy. This is an enhanced graphic modeled after that image.

Click on the image below to find out more:
Pale Blue Dot - planetary perspective

Carl Sagan wrote in 1996

“We succeeded in taking that picture [from deep space],
and if you look at it,
you see a dot.

That’s here.
That’s home.
That’s us.

On it
everyone you love,
everyone you know,
everyone you ever heard of,
every human being who ever was, lived out their lives.

The aggregate of our joy and suffering,
thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines,
every hunter and forager,
every hero and coward,
every creator and destroyer of civilization,
every king and peasant,
every young couple in love,
every mother and father, hopeful child,
inventor and explorer,
every teacher of morals,
every corrupt politician,
every “superstar,”
every “supreme leader,”
every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there —
on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena.

Think of the rivers of blood
spilled by all those generals and emperors,
so that, in glory and triumph,
they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.

Think of the endless cruelties
visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel
on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner,
how frequent their misunderstandings,
how eager they are to kill one another,
how fervent their hatreds.

Our posturings,
our imagined self-importance,
the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe,
are challenged by this point of pale light.

Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark.
In our obscurity, in all this vastness,
there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life.
There is nowhere else,
at least in the near future,
to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet.

Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.
It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character building experience.
There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits
than this distant image of our tiny world.

To me,
it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another,
and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known”.