Monday, December 9, 2019

Pageant of Earth's Evolution (in 24hr) part two

Since my introduction was so long I posted it separately.

FourCornersFreePress, December 2019

In the first half of this look at Earth’s 4.6 billion year old pageant of Evolution, scaled down to 24 hours, Earth’s first enduring Life took about 4 hours to claw together an existence within very tiny, very simple, very protective sacks, against an extremely harsh environment.

After that, Evolution progressed very slowly.  Why?  Because Earth’s hostile environment provided limited means, this stifled further development.  Which brings us to a key early scientific breakthrough in perspective, namely that an organism cannot be understood without also understanding the environment it lives within.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Introduction to Cc's Pageant of Evolution part two.

They say a true test of how well you've learned about something is how well you can explain it to others and in its essence this months long Pageant of Earth’s Evolution project has been that sort of a self-evaluation for me.  Both to see how well I understand it and to see if I could convey the story in a way that might resonate with people.  

Why is that important to me?  Because I believe clearly appreciating Earth and her story is one of human society’s greatest failures - and greatest challenge for enabling any sort of future functional human society, since our avarice has pretty well condemned this globally connected modern society we depend on.  

I keep struggling with; How could intelligent people allow such self-destructive disregard to the need of the life support system that sustains your society?  I mean seriously, never accepting that our long term economy depends on a healthy biosphere no matter how much we’ve learned about it?  

Proudly proclaiming that endless growth was our economic priority and that Greed was Good and Too Much Was Never Enough.  From my perspective it’s always been nothing less than sociopathic self-interest and faith-induced-blindness.  Along with being absolutely self-destructive.  As those who dare to open their eye and minds can see when surveying the growing carnage covering our planet.  But I digress.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Pageant of Earth Evolution (in 24hr) part one

A nice thing about having my own blog is that I get to do what I want and since I've finally completed the big project I assigned myself this past summer - I'm going to repost the first half of my Pageant of Evolution in 24 hours before sharing the finale in the next post.  


In last month’s celebration of Earth’s Pageant of Evolution I touched on the interplay of tectonics, geochemistry and archaic life. The intimate love-making of Earth's geology and biology - to put it poetically rather than scientifically. 

Getting back to the science, scientists have learned about the why and how of various ocean bottom structures that provide the catalyst between geochemistry and biochemistry, by helping bind basic molecules into complex organic building blocks of life.

This month to convey the immensity of Deep Time I’m scaling down Earth’s 4.6 billion years to 24 hours. A billion years take 5 hours plus change, 3.2 million years tick by every minute. Our human story fits into Earth’s past 4-5 seconds. Imagine that. 

Friday, November 22, 2019

Diary, 11/22/19 - November 22, 1963

November 22, 1963, I don't imagine too many are thinking about that day John F. Kennedy was murdered (under circumstances still not fully known) in these days of American's Constitutional Crisis of the first order.  But, I do.  It's as though in some ways the die was set that day, liberals, humanists, children of the enlightenment would never really recover and the dark forces of Oil Money, Corporate Greed and War Profiteers simply got stronger and stronger as we partied.  Then we elected a nasty business shyster and reality TV show host into our White House.  

Now here I sit with my computer about to shut down and the power cord hundreds of miles away, though I had more I'd of liked sharing, guess I'll cut it short.

There are these personal thoughts I shared 6 years ago:
Fifty (six) years and still mourning our loss.

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The impeachment hearings have shoved Evolution musings off to the side, besides I finished the second half to my satisfaction just took an extra few weeks.  And, I still intend to share a bunch of related links, when I can.

But, right now we Americans need to face what's happening on the national political stage, this fight is for keeps.
  

I'd hoped to get caught up on posting the hearings today, but for that missing power cord.  Stay tuned  ;-)

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Pageant of Earth's Evo part two... TAKE ONE

I've got this lit it up like a Christmas tree with hotlinks to a variety of relevant articles, videos and such.  All of it accessible to any interested person without much previous understanding, while offering some great information to the initiated as well. For a look at part one link here.
I'm happy to report I regrouped and revisited the challenge I write about at the end of the article.  After some rest time, then more work, I  finished a version that I'm satisfied with and that comes in <1,000 words. 
 
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In the first part of this look at Earth’s 4.6 billion year old pageant of Evolution, scaled down to 24 hours, Earth’s first enduring Life took 4 hours to claw together an existence within very tiny, very simple, very protective sacks, against an extremely hostile environment.  

It took another 17 hours worth of Earth’s geology and biology combining forces to process and tame Earth’s raw materials to the point that descendants of those simple cells, which had been evolving new skills all along, had an environment with the proper conditions (ocean, atmosphere, chemistry, nutrients, climatic conditions, tectonics), to enable spectacular expansion and innovations.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Diary, 11/5/19 - Small Victories, USA's newest Library District

I'll keep this short.  We had two local rural libraries facing closure because of shrinking County financial support, so local citizens took the matter in hand.  Long story short, we gained 400 signatures to qualify for a special tax district ballot measure #6D.  The County Clerk has now declared it a victory.  Truth be told the victory margin of 4% is rather disappointing, but not near as disappointing as losing, so I'll take it.
Long live Fort Lewis Mesa Library and Sunnyside Library and the Southwest LaPlata Library District, the nation's youngest, that will operate them.  Now we simply need to do better job of engaging and winning over our entire rural community.


Monday, November 4, 2019

Pageant of Earth's Evolution (in 24hr) part one



In last month’s celebration of Earth’s Pageant of Evolution I touched on the interplay of tectonics, geochemistry and archaic life. The intimate love-making of Earth's geology and biology - to put it poetically rather than scientifically. 

Getting back to the science, scientists have learned about the why and how of various ocean bottom structures that provide the catalyst between geochemistry and biochemistry, by helping bind basic molecules into complex organic building blocks of life.

This month to convey the immensity of Deep Time I’m scaling down Earth’s 4.6 billion years to 24 hours. A billion years take 5 hours plus change, 3.2 million years tick by every minute. Our human story fits into Earth’s past 4-5 seconds. Imagine that. 


Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Demystifying Roger Penrose's Three Mysteries of Reality

In a recent discussion about Sir Roger Penrose’s '3 realms' view of reality, Penrose set the stage by listing his Three Mysteries:

1)   “Mysteries (of) the physical world, physical stuff.”
2)   Mystery of the “mental world that's our experiences, consciousness, feelings about things.”
3)   Mystery of “the world of mathematical abstraction”
(Below the fold I’ve transcribed the full quotes in context.)
Those points stopped me right there.  Before continuing I needed to be able to enunciate why I found the above so inadequate for such an exploration of reality.

Here I take a moment to suggest a more fruitful approach.  When Penrose mentioned “the mystery of physical stuff,”  there was no talk of Evolution.  Why?  

After all, all the physical stuff around us is the product of an evolutionary process that started billions of years before humanity and will continue billions of years after we are dust and forgotten - why ignore that this Earth created us and we will die back into it?  

Seems to me acquiring such an awareness is a prerequisite for any subsequence discussion.  While the omission relegates understanding Evolution to insignificance leaving our outlook on “reality” decidedly egocentric and myopic.

Diary, 10/15/19 - plugging away

Hello, no I haven't abandoned my Pageant of Evolution Video Series, but I'll tell you after the many many good to excellent talks and videos about the Ediacaran and Cambrian, getting into the Ordovician, Silurian it thins out.  Too many sloppy homemade type videos, not enough serious lectures - and not enough time for me to thoroughly search.  Though I finally found some good classroom videos that might work out, it's simply taking more time than I anticipated, or that I have on hand.

I am working on the column itself (deadline 20th) and considering how much I need to cram into a thousand words, it's going well, got a plan, had to change it a couple times, but always getting closer to what I'm wanting to get across and I do think I'll pull it off.

Then we have a local election issue happening, that's also eating up a lot of my time. 


 Trying to save two rural libraries, by taking over ownership before they get shut down.  

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

What about Intelligent Design and Evolution?

Within science respecting Evolution discussions the monster in the closet that's rarely mentioned is Intelligent Design - and when it is, it's immediately beaten right back into the closet.  Why?  What do scientists have to fear?  Don't we have a rational "Intelligent Design" to point to?  Namely Mathematics!  Why not confront the faith-shackled with that reality?

Index, Cc's Pageant of Evolution - Oct 2nd.


An index of this collection of my favorite YouTube videos dedicated to a better appreciation of Earth’s pageant of evolution to date:
Introduction to Cc's Pageant of Evolution project.
Pageant of Earth's Evolution (in 24hr) part one
Pageant of Earth's Evolution (in 24hr) part two
September 30, 2019

September 26, 2019

September 23, 2019

September 21, 2019

September 19, 2019

Monday, September 30, 2019

Martin Smith - Origins Ecdysozoan Body Plans - What a scientist sounds like.

Drawn by, Danielle Dufault

Before moving beyond the Edicarian and Cambrian Periods I want to finish with this wonderful talk by an enthusiastic paleontologist, Dr. Martin Smith’s.  He’s done some incredibly work detailing an accurate anatomy of that most exotic of poster species Hallucigenia, among others.  

His guileless enthusiasm for the fascinating details his work has helped uncover is a treat to behold.  Just as interesting is his descriptions of the debates and questions that scientists wrestle with as they strive to arrive at conclusions and work towards a general consensus, or keep on searching.  Below the fold I include screenshots and further information regarding Dr. Smith's work.
The origins of Ecdysozoan body plans

Palaeo cast  -  May 19, 2017

By Dr. Martin Smith, Durham University - talk given at University of Bristol

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Keith Peterson - Cambrian - Molecular Clock - What a scientist sounds like.

Professor Kevin J.Peterson gives a fun informal lecture at MDI Biological Laboratory's Science Cafe'.  Besides giving a good overview of the state of our understanding of Ediacaran/Cambrian's radiation event, I like it because of the way he acknowledges the provisional nature of our understanding and the importance of the arguments over the evidence that keep science moving forward.  He underscores how we learn from honestly evaluating our mistakes as much as our successes.  Below the fold I include key screen shots plus information from papers mentioned in this talk.  (For why I'm putting together this collection, please see this.)

MDIBL Science CafĂ© - Cambrian Explosion: Animals or Fossils?  Professor Kevin Peterson
MDI Biological Laboratory  -  August 21, 2013


Monday, September 23, 2019

Diego Garcia-Bellido - Animal Dawn - What a scientist sounds like.

Not much to add here, Dr. Garcia-Bellido Senior Researcher of Palaeontology at the South Australian Museum and Associate Professor at the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Adelaide in Australian does a very nice information filled review of what we know regarding the transition from Ediacara Biota to the Cambrian, which set the stage for the further evolutionary revolutions to follow in short order.  Below the fold I post screen shots of key slides to entice and highlight key points.   (If you're wondering why I'm posting these videos see this)
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Animal Dawn - Research Tuesday - Garcia-Bellido  Presentation



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.

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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.


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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 

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Murray Gingras - 585 MYA animal tracks - What a scientist sounds like

Alrightie than, enough being distracted by chores and laziness - it's time to get this Pageant of Evolution rolling again.  I think I want to have some fun by simply selecting good lectures that follow in chronologic order from the Ediacaran and culminating in the Anthropocene and humanity's uncontrollable impulses that are driving towards an inevitable self-destruction.  If you laugh at that perhaps you need to learn about the progression of "civilization' these past few centuries and then stop to actually think real hard about trends and how they dictate the future.  Being blind to what's happening isn't going to stop it from happening.
___________________________________________________________________
      
585-million-year-old tracks reveal evidence of the first animals on Earth



Saturday, September 7, 2019

Observations regarding Sept 7th, Anonymous Comment

I received the following comment which didn't pass muster. 
I accept constructive comments and challenges.  If you want to challenge what I've written do so.  But yelling about rationalists being like a Nazi cult, and such further disconnected from reality ranting ain't an intelligent discussion. Your comment is being REJECTED!
That doesn't mean I'm not willing to discuss it:

COMMENT READS: After looking at the name calling dialog by the two attackers of Dr Holmes 

Can you offer any specifics we can calmly discuss?

and their ferocious need to out him and chastise him for his work and opinions. 

Hold on.  There is a YouTube Channel that goes under the name of Frolly1000 - it spews slander and scientific ignorance (lies and misrepresentations) along with a load of contempt.  It has to do with his politicizing climate science and scaring people out of learning about it in a serious constructive manner.

What’s wrong with outing such a malicious fraud?  

Why shouldn’t we be curious about who the character is behind such a devious attack on serious honest scientists and the work they have done? 

I agree with Dr.Holmes, this climate hysteria has become more of a cult or religion. 

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Pageant of Evolution (3), Earth's Evolution in 24 hours (#a)

Here’s my third Pageant of Evolution, Four Corners Free Press column, again I couldn’t avoid starting back at the beginning, but this time it feels like I’ve gotten the solid footing that was evading me previously.  I admit I don’t feel particularly pleased with the first and second, but I do like this third essay and look forward to seeing how well I manage to finish the story of our Earth’s Pageant of Evolution.
My next column will continue into the Metazoic and Cenozoic when Life started utilizing all the resources and potential that Earth had spent all those billions of years processing and developing.  The period that highlights how much environment and climate dictates how Life evolves and who thrives or dies.


In last month’s celebration of Earth’s Pageant of Evolution I touched on the interplay of tectonics, geochemistry and archaic life. The intimate love-making of Earth's geology and biology - to put it poetically rather than scientifically. 

Getting back to the science, scientists have learned about the why and how of various ocean bottom structures that provide the catalyst between geochemistry and biochemistry, by helping bind basic molecules into complex organic building blocks of life.

This month to convey the immensity of Deep Time I’m scaling down Earth’s 4.6 billion years to 24 hours. A billion years take 5 hours plus change, 3.2 million years tick by every minute. Our human story fits into Earth’s past 4-5 seconds. Imagine that.