Saturday, September 21, 2019

Jackson Wheat - Cambrian "Explosion" - What a science communicator sounds like.

Past couple years I've noticed and watched a number of Jackson Wheat's videos and have consistently been impressed.  Now it turns out that he's provided the best introduction to the Cambrian Period for my purposes.  

He overcame my preference for highlighting genuine scientists in this series because he does such a nice job of confronting the ID challenge up front.  I didn't find much bio except that he looks to be a surprisingly young guy.  The man holds a lot of promise, I wish him well.  He also shows us what descriptions should look like, loaded with reference to sources.   Below the fold I share a series of key screen shots, followed by Wheat's detailed list of sources with links.

If I had more time, I'd love to do a little more commentary on his content since the two videos certainly have plenty worth discussing, but other matters are crowding me and I need to keep this going.  He does toss in a short loud introduction loop, but after that it's smooth sailing as Jackson succinctly summarizes the Cambrian "Explosion" - enjoy.

Jackson Wheat - Cambrian #1 - July 5, 2019

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Religious Thinking v. Scientific Thinking

When looking up Cambrian Period information you'll get flooded with Creationist Intelligent Design propaganda.  Stuff that freely misrepresents the facts and their "opponents," instead coming up with disconnected just so stories in complete disregard of the full spectrum of available understanding - so beware. 
That is why I'm sharing this comment that I originally penned for a discussion over at Center For Inquiry's ForumIt belongs here since a better understanding of the difference between religious thinking and serious scientific thinking is worth trying to push into the public consciousness!   (edited 9/19/19 evening)   

The challenge is clarifying the key difference between Religious Thinking and Scientific Thinking.  Both of which are products of our Human Mindscape.

It starts with acknowledging that all we see and experience, is through our senses and then processed by our brains to the best of our individual learning & abilities. 

The "Mindscape" is just that, our mind, the product of our body, nerves, brain and all we sense along with our emotions and thoughts.

Religions are all about our “Mindscape" itself, with it's constant dialogue and self-story telling and fears, emotions and needs.  Its freedom to poetically tie together whatever it wants.  It is the realm of the metaphysical thoughts and daydreaming and story telling. 

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Diary 9/15/19 - Day's of Our Lives, Sail Away.

My daughter has been fiercely independent minded from an early age.  During her teenage years she was never going to get married, but times change people.  Still I was surprised when she told me over a year ago about their plans for this wedding.  I wasn’t surprised when she informed me she was doing away with most of the gratuitous traditions such as the flower and garter tosses, among other silliness.  I was pleased and honored when she asked me to walk her down the aisle.  
We both found easy agreement that the Father Daughter dance was out - too odd and awkward.  Besides her being an adult for over a decade and her first dance belonging to her husband, there was the little matter of the tradition being a hangover from a mentality where wives and daughters were perceived as the patriarch’s chattel - something both of us reject.
Furthermore, seems to me, the real father daughter dances happen when our girls are still toddlers and young children when we actually are their protectors and guides to discovering the world and themselves.  So while the happy couple was cutting the rug, the old man was all misty and reminiscing long ago dances and “our” song.

Diary 9/15/19 - Day's of Our Lives, Passin Thru.

The big weekend has come and gone.  For me the official start was last Thursday, I was returning from town after errands, thinking about Friday's arrivals and reunions, my freshly pressed suit sitting by my side, when KSUT hit me with "Passin Thru".  Talk about a home run for me.  A genuine cosmic giggle as the lyrics resonated with me and the moment and the memories the song was triggering.  

It was an awesome celebration, leaving all participants feeling slightly refreshed beyond expectations as we return to our homes.  Genuine love and respect between people is a beautiful thing.  When its two young people who are curious, caring, adventurous, serious, (it was the seventh anniversary of their first date) and all the rest - it's especially beautiful to behold and celebrate.  

With all that love comes family and the never ending passage of the seasons with their additions and subtractions.  I can remember it like yesterday,

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Prof. Christopher White - Historical Geology - What a Professor sounds like.

I’ve been wanting to get Professor White’s talks into this series for viewers interested in hearing a very good professor lecturing his class via the web.  He is a pleasure to listen to because he gets on point and stays on point.  White speaks clearly, concisely, conveying a great deal of information in a short period of time. Below the fold I've listed his entire lecture series with links.  Not for casual viewing, but if you want to seriously learn a few things about Earth's evolution give him a try.


Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Liu, Carbone, Brasier, Corfield, Wood - Ediacaran Marine Ecosystem - What scientists sound like.

Here are some more excellent videoed talks discussing the Ediacaran Period before I move onto the Cambrian Period in this Pageant Earth's of Evolution.  

The first is an presentation by Alex Liu, the sound suffers from some unfortunate interference, still the talk is well given and worth hearing out.  The second features Calla Carbone at 2016 Royal Tyrrel Museum speakers series, while she reinforces Liu's message, she also expands with further insights into early ecological community development and the varied environmental niches that appeared.  She's a bit nervous, but considering she was a newly minted Masters at this point, it's an outstanding talk.  This is followed by an audio of a fascinating BBC Our Time Podcast conversation hosted by Melvyn Bragg with guests Martin Brasier, Richard Corfield and Rachel Wood.

Ediacaran Biota marine ecosystems evolution

The Ediacaran Biota and the development of modern marine ecosystems

Monday, September 9, 2019

Mary L. Droser - Ediacara Biota - What a scientist sounds like.

There are many excellent videos about the Ediacaran Period in Earth's Pageant of Evolution - each speaker touches on aspects the others don’t.  It's what makes learning about this so fascinating, the endless surprises and aha moments.   
It's a reflection of the new appreciation that the dawn of animal evolution was way more complex and amazing than anyone imagined - that is, before the scientific evidence really started coming in these past decades.  No ID needed.  Makes me think I’ll be sharing a few more lectures focused on the Ediacaran before moving on to the Cambrian Period.  
This time I’m highlighting Professor Mary L. Droser because she does such a nice clear job of describing the variety and complexity that showed up in these oldest of creature communities.  Below the fold you'll find screen shots of key slides outlining her talk.

Mary L. Droser - Catching the second Ediacara wave: 

ecology and biology of the Ediacara Biota as recorded in South Australia

University of Adelaide | July 12, 2016

Prof. Mary L. Droser
University of California, Riverside, USA