It is on my mind – Scientific Inquiry

I watched the History Channel‘s from Ape to Man on Netflix last night (released in 2005), which is basically a history of our attempt to find the missing link.  Without calling it bias, it was really about the scientific communities changing bias over the centuries and how that bias led to rejecting significant fossil discoveries.  Decades later those fossils were re-examined and included in our lineage.  I’m sure the same is happening today.  The one thing we’ve never been able to do as a species is evolve non-biased thinking.  That bias is why the Piltdown Man was allowed to go unchecked for 40 years.

My concern with scientific inquiry is that science isn’t devoid of the vanity that comes from the desire to be right.  It’s so ingrained in we Homo sapiens that we don’t even recognize it at all or if we do, we don’t necessarily see it as a flaw. Being wrong is bad science, and no one wants to be a bad scientist.  The people who say what is and what isn’t rarely leave their egos at the door.  To say that’s not true is to ignore the history of science.

True scientific advancement comes from disconnecting from conventual thinking and risk being a bad scientist.  Maybe our society should put more of a premium on admitting when we’re wrong.  Maybe we should purge the word impossible and its variations from all languages.  I like the word improbable so much more because it leaves room for further consideration.  I say we should do the impossible and embrace the improbable.

But hey, I’m will to consider the possibility I’m wrong, no matter how improbable that may be.

BTW – This is not an argument for creationism.  I’m an evolutionist.  In the spirit of this post, let me just say that the creation theory is highly improbable.

Here is the UK’s version of the program.

Why I’m a Better Writer than a Chimp

Type on, chimp! You're writerie brain is no match for my writerie brain!

Ok, I’ve suspected for years now that I am a better writer than your average chimpanzee, but I’ve never really had any proof.  Well, I was reading one of my brain books – I am fascinated by the brain, in particular, the fiction writer’s brain.  I’ve always wanted to know where those visual images are developed in the brain, but I digress – and it touched on the subject of the biological differences between man and chimp.  I knew we shared 98% of the same DNA with chimps, but what I didn’t know was that one of the genes that differs between man and chimp is the gene that determines how many neurons we will make.  The simple definition for neuron is that they are the cells that make up the nervous system (including the brain), and they transfer information via electrical impulses.  Neurons in most animals (including humans) are basically the same in structure.  They are developed when we are embryos and they divide and divide and divide and divide… until the regulatory gene tells them to stop.  Our regulatory gene lets the neurons divide until there about 100 billion of those suckers.  The chimp’s stop a few rounds earlier and the result is a brain that is 1/3 the size of a human brain.  Bam! Proof positive that I could write any chimp under the table.     

The really awesome part is that our neurons connect with all the cells in our body to make a virtually infinite number of synaptic connections – 10 followed by a million zeros, to be exact.  How big is that?  There are 10 followed by 79 zeros particles in the entire universe.  In short, our brains are cool. Suck on that, chimps!

BTW – the book I got this information from is  The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science (James H. Silberman Books) by Norman Doidge, M.D.

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Freaky Search Friday – September 25, 2009 Edition

I am not, nor have I ever been a woman!

Ugly Evolution or Hottest Man Alive?

My favorite day of the week is here!  Not because it kicks off the weekend, but because I get to write my Freaky Search Friday weekly post.  Lest you think otherwise, I love all you freak out there.  You’ve made my blogging life interesting.  Keeping freaking it up!  These are the top ten freakiest search terms people used to find my blog this past week.  Enjoy!

10. маленькие татуировки –Gobidy-goop to you, too.  I think it’s Russian.  If so, it makes perfect sense for my blog to find its way in this persons search results.  I’m known for my Russian prose.

9. evolution photos, ugly to pretty – Sure Australopithecus africanus is no runway model, but ugly?  That’s kind of harsh.

8. monster suit – For that very special meeting when just a normal suit won’t do.

7. is jeff goldblum sick? – That depends on what you mean by sick!  Oh, rim shot!

6. what are nice pauses in a story – I wouldn’t know. All my story pauses are vicious.

5. carrot head steroids & carrot head plastic surgery– The man spends years developing an act and a style and people still can’t get his name right.  It’s Carrot Top!  Carrot head is just ridiculous.

4. poop identifier – Identifying poop must be a growth industry because someone searched for “animal poop identifier” last week.   There is such a thing as too much information.

3.  poop in your car – I just don’t think I can do it.  I can’t even poop on a plane.

2. – Wow!  That is taking the concept of fake breasts way too far.  I guess technically that a cow’s utter could be considered leather boobs.  Or is that boob?

And the number 1 freakiest search term used to find my blog is:

1. hottest man alive – It’s my Russian roots that make me so damn good looking.  I can’t help but feel this persons absolute frustration when they clicked on my blog expecting to find the hottest man alive.

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Ugly Duck Proves Theory of Evolution!

Seriously, why would God make anything this hideous?  I got a new 70-300mm Tamron lens for my Sony Alpha 200 DSLR camera, and I was anxious to use it.  I got it to get some shots of the moon, but it’s been rainy and overcast here for about a week and according to the weather guessers, it’s going to be cloudy for the next 3 or 4 days.  So I went outside, and found the same old ugly ducks hanging out by the pond. 

The real ugly duckling!
The real ugly duckling!

Not a pretty picture.  Beautiful shot, but ugly picture.  I can say that because I did nothing but point and shoot.  I’m a big fan of the Sony Alpha 200, BTW. 

The duck has apparently evolved a diseased look so it won’t be eaten.  Ain’t mother nature grand?

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