Saturday, January 6, 2018

Welcome Again!

I began this blog in late 2009. For those of you who have begun reading this blog more recently, I would like to continue summarizing some of the previous entries. The first entry for 2017 summarized some of the 2009 and 2010 entries..

I now review some entries from 2011. Please check them out!

  • January12, 2011. Earth is a Lucky Planet, Part Three. Goldilocks’s Earth. A continued overview of the ways in which Earth got lucky in its evolution.
  • January19, 2011. Parasite Load. Financial corporations are parasitic upon us the same way that parasites can build up to deadly levels on a host.
  • Starting on February 11, 2011, I posted four entries called The Evolved Capacity for Evil, all based on Barbara Oakley’s book Evil Genes: Why Rome Fell, Hitler Rose, Enron Failed, and My Sister Stole My Mother’s Boyfriend.
  • Starting on March 14, 2011, and through April 16, I posted a series of eight reports, My Fun Creationist Weekend, about the weird things I learned from visiting local creationist museums: The Creationist Museum in Rural Oklahoma; Noah’s Ark! Wow!; Into the Land of the Dinosaur Preacher; The Lost Paradise of Carl Baugh; Mysteries of the Cretaceous World at the Baugh Museum; Lies and Damned Lies at the Creationist Museum; The Ghost of Marlyn Clark; and a final instalment.
  • April 26,2011. Welcome Aboard, Mrs. Ples—Your Cabin is Number 10,587,282A. Where would human evolutionary ancestors have fit on the Ark—in the animal pens, or in a cabin?
  • I posted two entries, the first on May 13, 2011, about John Avise’s book Inside the Human Genome: A Case for Non-Intelligent Design.
  • Starting on May 27, 2011, I posted a series of four essays that remain even now one of the most extensive critical reviews of the Near Death Experience and how it is an internally-generated experience by the victim rather than a vision into the afterlife. Yes, I present the evidence. I really wanted to believe there is an afterlife, I still do, but my arguments remain unanswered. I also speculate about how it could have evolved.
  • If you want to read about the meeting of the Society for the Study of Evolution at the University of Oklahoma, I have a series of entries starting June 22, 2011.
  • On August 19, 2011, I posted an essay, What Rick Perry Thinks about Science, which I assumed would be part of the dustbin of history by 2018, but sadly it is not.
  • Starting on September 1, 2011, I posted a series of brief excerpts from my book, published the next year by Prometheus Books, Life of Earth: Portrait of a Beautiful, Middle-Aged, Stressed-Out World. I think you would enjoy the book, still available for purchase, but alternatively you can check out the essays I posted from it. The first essay is Hurry up and Wait, about how evolution is sometimes fast and sometimes slow.
  • Starting on October 7, 2011, I published a series of five essays called Dinosaur Adventure, my first visit to the Paluxy River with Glen Kuban. This is the set of dinosaur trackways that creationists claim include human footprints. But there are a lot of things to learn from them besides just the tired old conclusion that creationists are wrong. See the photos!
  • On November 10, 2011, I posted an essay, Darwin Has a Sense of Humour. Did you know there was a really funny passage in The Descent of Man? Check it out.

I would like to call attention to an entry I posted on May 24, 2011, about altruism, and how it is fundamental to our human species. Let me repost a brief passage from it:

“On a news program on NPR, one of [the richest people in America] called in and said that if his taxes were not lowered, he would take revenge (he did not use this phrase) on his fellow citizens by cutting back on employment and pay in his corporation. His attitude was fiercely hateful toward his fellow citizens. He hates the rest of us. Really. He may technically be a citizen of the United States, but his loyalty is not to his country but only to himself. He would choose to inflict an unlimited amount of damage on others rather than to give up even the slightest amount of the increased luxuries that would come from a tax reduction for the richest Americans. He obviously hates anyone who is not as rich as he is; in fact, he probably hates the other 399 of his fellow super-rich.

And yet this man depends upon the altruism of all of the rest of us. He may be able to pay for any medical procedure that he needs or desires, but these procedures were developed by researchers who are paid much less than he is, and often at taxpayer expense. He would not be able to afford health care using only procedures which were developed entirely by his personal funding. If he fell down on the sidewalk, he would expect someone to call an ambulance, rather than to say, gimme 500 bucks, sucker, then I’ll call the ambulance. His reasoning is, I am rich therefore I do not need to do anything for anybody unless I am paid for it; but because I am rich, you need to do things for me, even when you are not paid to do so.”

I plan to continue the work I started in 2009 as long as I can. Happy New Year to you, too!

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