Daily Archives: June 25, 2010

“Everything you know is .. wrong” and “Transhumanism”

The next installment of my new falsehoods series, on Skeptically Speaking radio with Desiree Schell, is tonight at 6PM Mountain Standard Time. You can listen on line or wait until emacsDay, I mean Sunday, and download it.

The main guests (my bit is a little add in pre-recorded thing) are George Dvorsky and Greg Fish. Details, and a place to leave comments are here.

I will post this installment’s sister blog post some time before the show. The falsehood in question is: “Humans Evolved from Apes” … A statement that is indubitably true yet clearly wrong.

My Congresscritter Dislikes Small Businesses

First, I want to point out this post which describes an interesting example of Michele Bachmann Republicans making stuff up to harm a Democratic contender for a congressional seat.

Then, I want to show you a video from Jim Meffert’s campaign which relates to the above linked post AND points out what a crappy representative I have here in Minnesota’s 3rd district, where I live. Help!
Continue reading My Congresscritter Dislikes Small Businesses

Falsehood: Humans evolved from apes

Is it a Falsehood that Humans Evolve from Apes?

How about this one: Is it a Falsehood that Humans did NOT evolve from Apes????

Yes and no. Humans descend from a population of primates from which other apes also descended (minimally the two species of living chimps) and which was part of the panoply of late Miocene forms, all related to each other, that we call apes. So yes, humans evolved from apes.
Continue reading Falsehood: Humans evolved from apes

The Disturbing, Almost Twisted, and Very Well Executed Birthday Present

Both this year and last year (is this the beginning of a tradition?) Stephanie Zvan gave me a short story for my birthday. Last year, the story impressed me because it was a good story even without the unexpected, mildly disturbing twist. This time, the twist is not mildly disturbing at all.

It is deeply disturbing. Here is the story.

Stephanie will be reading from her work at the Convergence Convention coming up in a few days. Personally, I think this is a candidate for a reading like this, though it would be appropriate to have two readers acting it out. It could be seen as all dialog and stage direction. The problem is, where do we find an eleven inch high person?

Anyway, go read it.

Thanks for the story, Stephanie! I think…..

The science of lion prides


Although the paper addresses Tanzanian lions, this is a photograph of a Namibian lion
Starting some years ago, we began to hear about revisions of the standard models of lion behavioral biology coming out of Craig Packer’s research in the Serengeti. One of the most startling findings, first shown (if memory serves) as part of a dynamic optimization model and subsequently backed up with a lot of additional information, is the idea that lions do not benefit by living in a group with respect to hunting. They live in groups despite the fact that this sociality decreases hunting effectiveness. This is a classic case of “but wait, I can see it with my own eyes!” vs. data.

ResearchBlogging.orgSome of the most recent work done by Packer’s team has just been highlighted in a pretty nice write up by Mattt Walker in the BBC, representing a paper just coming out. The most interesting finding: Male lions kill (or attempt to kill) females from neighboring prides in order that their own pride obtains numerical superiority in pursuit of territorial competition.


Continue reading The science of lion prides

You Talk A Mite Too Much, General

I am all in favor of the White House and the military being at odds over policy and politics. I have this notion that the elected civilians need to remind the officers that in our country, at least, the elected civilians are in charge. It’s that respect for the concept of democracy deep within my little cowboy heart that gets alarmed whenever I sense that the President and the Joint Chiefs of Staff are too much on the same page.

Continue reading this post by Mike at QM