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)

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.


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 

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.